Your First Time Buying a Bakra

Photo Source: The Times

There comes that special moment in your life (rolls eyes) when you've got to BUY A BAKRA for the first time. Yes, we all remember our first time don't we? As far as the experience is concerned I remain considerably ambivalent to this day. I mean sure we should be street smart and savvy enough to buy the things "Grownups" do but hell I am in no rush.

I do remember the surge of excitement I felt as a child when mum used to bring the newly bought bakras home. But then again I was well prepared in advance to wholly devour the poor beasts! (Yes, my sadistic instincts still empower me). I remember the bloody aftermath, the skinned carcass precariously dangling from atop a tree trunk with its entrails bulging out and watching the butcher well get down to business (I'll skip the Game of Thrones style gory details).

With mum being gone for Hajj and all, the burden of purchasing a healthy, meaty and "suljha hua" bakra rested on my shoulders. Well obviously I dragged my twin along with me (why should I suffer alone and in vain).

We drove to bedian road because as per my driver's expert and oh-so-knowledgeable "contacts" or his "mukhbaryoon wali cheeryan", the best bakras could be found there. I felt like Ms Trunchbull from Matilda, who rushes out in great bouts of unrestrained joy at the sight of punishing new students at school with the words "FRESH MEAT" running through my mind.

As we slogged through the traffic riddled road, we could see herds of goats in separate encampments for each different seller on the roadside. We parked the car and got out to choose the poor thing who would ultimately sacrifice itself for our carnivorous longings and religious rituals.

We walked through throngs of goats littering the roads and loitering almost everywhere the eye could see. We passed through separate batches and herds of sheep muddled together, on display for a possible suitor. Now I was told by separate people that "beta khareednay se pehlay daant zaroor dekhna kahin bacha na baich dein aap ko, thagay na jana". Well I left the frivolous details and the menial tasks to my driver (yes I do qualify as a burger elitist). I just wanted to quickly go home from the scorching heat and well SLEEP.

We moved along a makeshift wooden enclave which held all the sheep in its proximity. We stopped to observe if we should proceed to have a look and so we did. I looked around, searching for a stout and stubby candidate but the prices the vendors stated were way too high. So I kept on haggling and simultaneously arguing with my brother over almost everything until we eventually stumbled upon a batch which seemed considerably plump and yes FRESH!

We finally chose a chubby one, whose very apathetic eyes made me really sad as to what horror was going to befall him. The chirpy fellow was grazing on wisps of grass and green roots when the seller swathed in a very shabby dhoti swooped the poor thing from its ears and yanked it up by grabbing hold of his front feet. He lifted it up to show us how healthy and meaty he actually was and then swooned open its mouth and parted its lips which ironically made the goat give such a jovial smile that I didn't know either to laugh or feel sad for it. Then started the debate and bargaining to reduce the price. I let my driver handle this. By the end I was exhausted from all the aimless staring, whining in my head, bickering with my brother, standing in the heat and yes, the slight cursory arguments with the seller to make sure I did my part.

So yes people, it isn't easy going with your driver and buying a bakra which by the way, he entirely handled on his own since you don't know squat from looking at how big their teeth are to God knows what. But at least I did my part, so much so that when the time came for its ultimate demise, I gloomily patted its head before it actually became FRESH MEAT. I did feel bad for it but since we eat meat everyday, it is mostly a recurring occurrence which we seem to ignore until the time comes to ultimately eat it.