The entrance to the Canni Colony was choked with banners, posters and graffiti messages filled with hate and requests and pure disgust. Canni Colony, short for Cannibal Colony which was originally called the Purple Valley Colony was one of the least populated areas of the town stretching alongside the banks of river Kala. The people living here kept to themselves and were notoriously popular for their lifestyle and habits. The Kala River serves as a cremation ground for the people of all the nearby towns, and more often than not, the bodies which are only semi-cremated before being disposed off into the river flows down and enters the Canni Colony where the remains are consumed by the Canni people. They are always mentally exhilarated and do not confirm to the moral rules of society. Theirs is a complex choice of lifestyle which in simple terms can be put as; everything that is considered to be right by a civilised society does not matter here and everything that is considered to be repulsive by a civilised society does not bother them. The Canni people consider themselves to be above selfish human reservations and pride themselves for their one and only true rule; lead an unadulterated life because human body is just a vessel which is transient. It is the least important element in the vastness of what they consider to be life. If one succeeds in this, one attains pure enlightenment.
My assignment was to get involved with the tribe more deeply and understand their choices. I was supposed to capture these details, document them and present them for further research. But as I sit here watching the white mist flying out of my mouth, feeling freedom in its most authentic form, I smile to myself as I realise, not for the first time, that I probably never intended to finish that assignment. Taking up that job, which everybody else promptly refused to even consider, was my way of leading a path to eternal bliss. I let someone refill my smoking tube, and then went back to creating patterns of white mist with my mouth. We heard the chanting from outside the colony, hate speeches and threats. They show up every single day, sometimes with a new set of slogans. It amuses us, it amuses us that, out of all the things they could do with their lives, they decided to spend it on hating us. We pity them, and then we ignore them.
Somebody comes to me with a needle and began creating a pattern on my ankle; I lay back on the ground, feeling the mud and stones poking against my bare back. Whenever I felt a sting from the needle I remind myself; it is only a vessel. It does not own you and therefore, it cannot harm you. You are just carrying it around temporarily. It is nothing. And the pain goes away.
“They have been fighting again”, said a voice behind me. “In that town across the bridge, they have been fighting again. They killed each other with steel and fire”. “Why were they fighting?” I asked and the voice behind me began laughing before he replied, “you almost sound like you expect a suitable answer to that. When did they ever have a reason for killing each other? They just do, they will probably come up with some reason after they have seen enough blood”. I sighed in agreement. “Sometimes, I really hope that they do have a strong reason for what they do. They are taking lives which do not belong to them. Shouldn’t they at least have a valid reason for doing so?” asked the person working on my ankle with the needle. “They are civilised people. I guess civilised people do not require reasons for robbing lives” said the voice behind me.
As expected, the bells of the temple at the end of the Kala River began thundering and we heard loud wailing. I looked towards the entrance and saw a man walking towards us. He had a bag strung on his shoulders and held a book in his hand. I smiled in recognition. That was me few months ago. One by one, the people around me began getting up to walk towards the river. I looked back at the man and thought: good for him. Just in time for the feast.