Who can separate the stone from what it represents? Differentiate the sculpture from its image?

Once a saint, who for years on end stood still meditating was suddenly disturbed by loud noises and deafening war cries from far way. And as he motionlessly watched from the distance, a barbaric horde raided the area and wiped out the place, they caused enough damage for the land to become absolutely unrecognizable.

And soon after, they attacked a group of thirty odd peaceful, unarmed and respectable men. Men who had stood for honesty and moral values. Men who were revered and humane. Men who were kind and just. And what ensued was unimaginable – an unprecedented massacre, where a dozen of those highly regarded men were pulled away, targeted and assaulted.

They initially jabbed, and then they hacked and then they chopped. But soon they tied ropes to the victims’ bodies and tore them apart by pulling and tugging. And these men who had seen through years of harsh winds, pelting rain and the scorching sun with strength and solidarity were torn apart. And the broken remains of their bodies were later drowned. And the remaining men were left mutilated and scarred.

All the while a large group of soldiers looked on. These soldiers, contradictory to popular belief, betrayed the peoples’ trust and did nothing about the slaughter. In fact they knew that this might transpire but still did nothing about it.

And with great grief do I say this that even evil tyrants and sinners of the worst kind shouldn’t beget the torture that the honourable men suffered.

The horde then claimed to take over the empire and rule over it, which people thought would without a doubt lead to an era of darkness and gloom to descend over the doomed land. But the barbarians had their own soothsayers who deceptively asserted that the future would yield happiness and bring glory to the empire.

Easily deceived, the murderers and barbarians were praised and made leaders of the horde by people. And then the followers hoisted their flags and standards and went about vandalising and rioting.

And the men whom they had witnessed being callously taken apart were labelled fiends and imposters. And the acts and deeds, which these honourable men had done for centuries, were obliterated.

And as the saint watched with silence, the hearts of the people turned to stone.

As they say – time does petrify!