Hi all. Hope all of you are keeping healthy and safe. Thank you all for your infinite love and support. Iam starting a new series of small personal essays based on my childhood memories that I would love to share with all of you. Today I share the first in the series. An incident that taught me the value of food. Hope you enjoy the read.
The Incident that Taught me to Respect Food
I was fortunate to be brought up in a small town. Life was simple. People were predictable. In fact, I owe my sensitive nature to the open upbringing of my parents and the prevalent lifestyle of my hometown. I was about 6 years old at the time of this incident. We had this tailor named Sartaj, who would come over to our place and do all the stitching that we requested him to do. Sartaj was highly talented. He could stitch anything, from pants to pyjamas and even beautiful frocks and skirts.
Once mummy had called him for a day to get some pending work done. Whenever he came, he would carry his sewing machine and other tools along with him. He would then sit in the open veranda of the house and would do all the major stitching and minor repair work that we requested him. Once all the work was done, my mother would give him his dues that he would happily accept.
During lunch hour on one such day, my mother offered him to have lunch at our place. She lovingly served the vegetables and dal for him and was asking me to carry hot fresh chapatis to him as an when they were being made by her. Since he had been putting hard work since morning, he was hungry. I, as a child, had my own inhibitions. What if my mummy gets tired making chapatis? What if the kneaded atta gets finished and mummy had to redo the kneading to make chapatis for us? I remember feeling a bit irked. The next time I carried a steaming hot chapati to him, I asked him, “Uncle! How many chapatis will you have?”
My mom overheard me. In the evening she sat me down and told me to never count food when you are serving. Food represents Goddess Annapurna. If you get an opportunity to serve food or water, especially to the less fortunate ones, count yourself lucky. Your family earnings grow manifold with the blessings of the Almighty when you share food with others. Every time you feed someone, say a huge thank you to the Universe that it chose you as a medium for this honour.
Since then, I never forgot the lesson she taught me. I feel fortunate and grateful every time the Universe chooses me as a medium to feed the hungry.