Fire sacrifice it was, and fie upon the sacrifice,
Guarding in the kiss of worship, ladles of religious lies.
My eyes were violated by a screen of ghee and smoke and oil,
Only I could spy through their façade; my parents stood beguiled;
All of them, no less than five, with crumpled skin as raisin, sat,
Down around the warming flame, a swarm of holy beureaucrats,
Swallowed by their minion, ritualistic hordes of leaves and rice,
Palms connected, eyes lowered, in pose of spiritual demise.
Why does God require greed and dead devotion to be pleased?
Why doesn’t a kindly deed, appease a soul that’s now deceased?
Chanted they, for hours on end, robotic dolls in sacred thread,
Icily devoid of heart, their motions slick and thoroughbred;
Mother cooked and fed them all, and father their commands obeyed,
And poured and chanted, bowed and prayed, unheeding of their masquerade;
Until the moment when the tormenting setup was brought to close;
And then they left with winning smiles, the fire cold and comatose,
And framed against the doorway, we, our purses noticeably light,
Having splurged on oil and ghee, for souls that long have taken flight.
Year upon a year, we shall deposit wealth in priestly dolls,
Year upon a year, we shall supress remorse in protocol.
Fire sacrifice it was, and twice did death its shadow cast,
This disarming afternoon, both kin and conscience breathed their last.
A/N: I just commemorated my Grandpa’s first death anniversary. And what disturbed me even more jarringly than my loss, was the ridiculous amount of money and energy spent on Hindu priests and religious rituals that didn’t remotely make sense. Grandma says all this will bring me blessings from Grandpa. I beg to differ. I think organised religion in its current form, along with the baggage of economic black holes it entails, deserves a kick up the ass. What do you think?