This painting depicts the line of a poet “ There is still some breath (life) left in me……..” In the scene a very old man is lying on the bed. He may die any time. His family members think that if he dies before sun-set, then they will cremate him on the same day. They have brought a new dress ( a coffin) to be worn by him.
They are seen making all the preparations for his last rites. The men are busy gathering wood needed to cremate him. Some has brought a pitcher and a ladder to take him to the cremation ground. Some ladies are very sad and some have started crying.
The old man says that he is still alive and not dead as yet.” Why is there so much hurry to cremate him before sun set ? They can do it the next day also. All his life, he has worked so hard, earned so much for them and they can’t keep him in the house for one night.”
In the clouds, a tiger is shown jumping on prey to catch and kill the prey. Similarly, the old man’s death can come any moment.
On the other hand, a sick cow is about to die, sitting under a tree. Many vultures are sitting on the tree, waiting for the cow to die, so that they can feed themselves on the dead cow.
Even the vultures do not touch the live cow. There is a hard hitting comparison between the vulture and human beings. The animals are much better than the human beings in that respect. They don’t eat the living animals. On the other hand human beings are so selfish that they cannot wait for the person to die. They have no feeling for others.