This link - if you can get to it mind you, takes you directly to a Google map image that hovers you above the Malabar Hill Dakhma Complex - The Zoroastrian Towers of Silence.
Actually, I thought that photographing them even from a height was frowned upon, so I was glad that the zoom button refused to take me in any further...yes, I admit to have tried it!
I have long had a fascination for the Zoroastrians - whoever thinks that Mazda is simply some kind of Japanese car, needs to look lively.
Mazda is the omniscient Wise Lord, the Creator. Mazda or Ahura Mazda among other names, is the exulted God of Zoroastrianism.
Zarathrustra was his priest/prophet who got the religion named after himself having built it out of some earlier established religious frameworks (Clark 2001: 3).
When shall I know, O Mazda, whether through truth you have control over anything, the fear of which frightens me. Let the pronouncement of good thoughts be told me truly. May the benefactor know of what kind his rewards will be. (Y.48:9)
That's from the Gathas which are the sacred texts provided for us by Zarathrustra - they are personal songs to God, a bit like the more widely known psalms and what is more interesting (to me at least), is that this religion - which we have, I hope, established is not - NOT - about worshiping a type of automotive technology, is considered to be the world's earliest 'received and prophetic' religion. Possibly 1400BCE and pre computer; blackberry or mud tablet script.
This is a living religion - although it seems not to be one that one can convert to.
However from what I can gather there has been enough spiritual permeability to allow scholarly types to detect historical links between the other 'people of the book'. but sadly Zoroastrians were dominated historically by the ones who thought theirs was best...
This all got me thinking - we have had the first Hindu Pyre in the UK, when can we build a Tower of Silence? Would we - if we had such a thing, as juddin - non-Zoroastrians get to go there, if the rituals were deemed suitable. Or would we have to steal the idea (like we have with lots of other non-western things in our oh so chequered past) and create our own local versions?
Where, (disregarding the straight-jacket of local planning departments for the benefit of imaginative thinking) would we put our new-fangled 'towers'? It seems a great pity to me that the famed Calder Hall piles have been demolished recently...They could have been modified perfectly!
Something on The Isle of Dog's might fit in with the ritual side of things....
(a joke in poor taste for those who know - shame on me).
But continuing on the wildlife theme, it's clearly the birds that are the main problem. Although if we are being creative, surely we could come-up with another form of vulture.....
Answers posted here please.
And I apologise in advance - for everything - with huge reverence - to Ahura Mazda engineer of all things and His followers in the Parsi community who I promise - I respect hugely.
Clark, P. (2001)Zoroastrianism: An Introduction to an Ancient Faith. Brighton/Portland: Sussex Academic Press