The Parsi Posse

Tower of Silence, Bombay source

Tower of Silence, Bombay source

The blog world easily seeps out into the real world.

Leo had a post up about bawas, his pal and some pictures this woman took in the tower of silence.

(For the uninitiated, when a Parsi dies, they’re taken to this hill-top in Mumbai where there’s a deep limestone well (The Tower). The flesh is eaten by vultures while the bones are meant to dissolve in the limestone/acid/solar panels.)

Then somehow over lunch this developed into a massive debate. My mother being semi-catholic is very anti-Tower of Silence. Being a semi-parsi I find the idea of the garden on the hill facing the sea, the Tower of Silence with the circling vultures, the rites and rituals, the rotting corpse, all highly romantic. So I’m obviously very pro-Tower of Silence

Besides, the idea of bits of my body flying around and landing on the Godrej building balconies and pissing off those bastard cunt residents who built high over OUR holy site so shamelessly (who also have a sea view and probably earn way too much), gives me a lot of mental satisfaction. They fucking deserve it.

I was hugely disappointed when my great-grandmother was cremated thanks to her Americanized idiot son, Sonny Uncle. My Great Gran was a real whale of a woman, so to be fair even the most ambitious, ravenous vulture would have been daunted.

I told my mother gross pictures or not, I’m having it written in my will and witnessed that when I go, I go to the bagh.

My dad suggested I talk to Vera about going sometime in the day.

“No no, I meant when I GO!”

“Oh! Ha ha I thought you meant for a visit.”

said my dopey father

“But did you even see the pictures? They were rotting bodies! It’s so gross!! It’s inhumane!”

cried the catholic in denial (Mother)

“Inhumane? How can it be inhumane?? They’re dead! Besides what did you think happened to a corpse? What happens in a coffin? Do you think the bodies decompose in a beautiful religious way while their skin glows and an angel flaps down to take them to heaven? If anything in an airtight coffin a body can decompose over years!”

I argued brilliantly

Anyway this is my point

1. What did they honestly think happens to a corpse when it decays?

Does everyone have an idealized view of what happens? A body can only decay so fast. There is a reason people are forbidden to go to that area of the Tower of Silence. It’s not disrespectful, it simply shatters their religious faith (as my father pointed out)

2. Much more importantly, what really is the problem here, (that everyone seems to side step) is that if this woman went to a church graveyard, bribed someone to dig up a coffin and then published photos of the decaying corpse, she would be taken to court for grave robbery straight away. The decaying corpse would be a side issue entirely.

The real issue here is her breaking the rules for the own convenience, bribing the attendants, clearly violating the privacy of the bagh, violating not only the dead by publishing those photos but also the memory of the living and then was outraged herself??

That’s the real issue here. Not the fact that the vultures are dying, not that a body might take a long time to decay. Any other religion and she’d have the pants sued off her or better yet have a good ol’ fashioned fatwah on her head.

This woman needs to be taken to court. Her actions should not be condoned. Otherwise why stop there? Why not start digging up grave yards, mock the Hindu burial rites, giggle at the Muslims? (Well don’t do the latter, it’ll get you killer but you get the gist)

So, I want to know, who the hell is taking this law breaking, grave robbing bitch to court?


19 thoughts on “The Parsi Posse

  1. listen dude, this ritual made snese when they had vultures. now the bodies just lie around, piles and piles of them, and they stink and they molder away. it’s no longer altruistic, it no longer makes sense. the bav community needs to evolve with the times man. they can’t just leave old bavs lying around. the only reason they don’t build a cemetery is because then they’d have to open it up to other religions (as per the rules of the lease) and they’d lose all the wonderful prime property in the middle of bombay that they’re sitting on. you should seen the videos yourself man. there’s nothing romantic about it. it’s just plan gross. by the way, i saw a guy get his legs chopped off by a train on christmas eve. actually, i just saw him being carried away, decaptitated, on a stretcher (“man, i drank so much, i was legless”).

  2. Dont be a complete moron leo. Religious rituals don’t exist because they are rational. And to expect them to be is being even stupider than you usually are. How many rational religious concepts are there? A god with an elephant head? Burying the dead in large termite proof boxes taking up acres of land? Worshiping a temple full of rodents [for me thats quite gross]..? One could argue that an entire temple of rats could cause a serious epidemic. In fact I find the entire concept of god completely irrational. But thats not the point is it?Why not change all religious rites? Homogenize all of them, why stop at one?Its a tradition, it has its roots and it exists. Conditions can be improved, I’m not arguing about that, but it doesn’t change the fact that this woman was by far the most disrespectful by doing this and does need to be held responsible for it. Secondly even if i was buried somewhere in a COFFIN and some dug me up, then took photos and distributed it around, any living relatives are bound to be pissed off. And seriously, I’m not going to look fucking pleasent after being dug up surely. She broke the rules and worst of all passed around this tape. If anyone is at fault its her. Does anyone desecrate coffins to check how nicely bodies have decomposed? Would they be punished? Of course they would [An extremist group did this to the grave of an old lady in the Uk and were given a harsh sentence] Rituals need to be preserved they have a history, I want mine to be preserved and not have people film me when and if I eventually go to the Tower. And lastly, who are you to change my religious rites? [I don’t know who else agree with you but you are clearly an ass] I’m not even religious but such a demand annoys me.

  3. write a complaint, write a reportBut don’t fucking violate someones family member by filming them and then pass it around to every third rate idiot like Leo’s indiscreet boss. Thats what really bothers me.

  4. yeah yeah I know that but you do have certain rites [I called it burial rites but maybe its pyre rites].I doubt you just chuck the body on a bunch of wood and then leave it there. There are prayers to be said and don’t they scatter whats left into the Ganga? [unless you cant]My point was that every religion has its rites and to ask it to be just changed is easy enough when its not your tradition.

  5. yes… every religion demands its respect. what was the video aimed at? was it for information? was it aiming for the discord?I bet Leo has had a second opinion about the whole thing since your blog.

  6. I find this whole deal of ‘sticking with tradition’ a bunch of rubbish. Everything must evolve. Either you move with the times or you disappear. Religion for one thing, is an anachronism; it has played its part. Its day is over now.It is highly blockheaded and irrational if people mindlessly continue a culture or a tradition just because <>that’s the way it has always been done.<> We aren’t cattle to not question what we’re being fed.This new age we live is all about what’s rational from what isn’t. Look at what’s happened to Christianity. I’m sorry if I might hit a tender spot here, but GAY MARRIAGES? Not that I’m against them, but the whole bloody goddamn religion certainly isn’t for it. But things stand rather differently now, don’t they?If a particular lady decides to question whether a particular practice is still viable, it’s pigheaded to lash out at her, saying she ‘desecrated the dead’ and whatnot.Whether you like it or not, religion must evolve. Or it’ll die. Like it already is. And then you’ll have fundamentalists desperately trying to revive it by crashing planes into high rises. And then they’ll all die too.Like they already are.

  7. i agree with scritch about the video a)being made at all and b)that it was made public was disrespectful. religion aside, its crossing a line which shouldn’t be – for any purpose at all. personal sentiments come into the picture. insensitivity is an understatement here. fuck it, its just goddamn gross. but yes, what WAS the point of this video?actually, the buddhists do the same thing, or similar. atleast from what i’ve read of tibet, they do – unsure elsewhere.@egghead – religions *should* evolve, thats true. but do you realize that religions started out as tenets for everyone to live well? in which case, those tenets should be given the once over, not the concept of religion itself. as it is, we’ve got fundamentalists lobbying for change all over the place – be it islam or hinduism. events like these can only lead to further chaos.

  8. I’m sorry but personally I think gay marriages have less to do with religion and more to do with having some legal rights. But a more religious person is going to disagree with me and insists the pope ought to sanction him and his hubby. I don’t think thats even a necessity as long as you have legal rights but again, someone who thinks they’re compromising their chances of getting into heaven is going to disagree.Secondly the homogenizing of tradition/culture is a bit sad in general, and I don’t mean a tradition of racism or the KKK or wife beating.thirdly my problem mostly is not with requiring a change, but is this video and its being passed around to ever half wit journo like Leo, who then says ooooh it was sooo bad dooode man, so disrespectful doode and everyone just glosses over this tape thing as if it was completly the correct thing to do.

  9. this is the problem with you bloody parsis. this is why you’re fucking dying out. you refuse to fucknig change. If you let outsiders marry your girls (yay! woohoo!) and progressed like other people, maybe you wouldnt be down to 55,000. out of which some 10,000 are more than a hundred years old anyway.

  10. and fucking pay attention man. You can marry outside now, you just cant convert helter skelter [thank god]its an exclusive club and you are so filled with envy and bile hahahahah muggle!

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