This struck my mind in my office at lunch, for a bowl of rice or a roti (unleavened whole meal bread) to reach our tables begins with the sweat and toil of the farmer in the farms, the labourers, the traders and the skill of the chef (often our mother) in the kitchen. The art, mastery & dexterity involved in the ploughing of land, sowing of seeds, nurturing the crops & harvest and that involved in the kitchen to mix the most humble of ingredients to create something ingenious & delicious is beyond compare.
Yet, when born in prosperity, we often misjudge the importance of food in our daily lives. We leave plates full of food in the trash once we are done, without the slightest idea of how important every grain of food is in the lives of those less-fortunate.
Words aside, for a live example visit the Madina Sharif Hotel & Macca Sharif Hotel near the J.J. Hospital Cross-section, Mumbai. The peculiar quality of this restaurant is it feeds the less fortunate. The view begins with weary & visibly needy people sitting outside the restaurant noticeably hungry. People passing by hand the cashier money, in any denominations, to be used to feed the people waiting. The usual amount to feed 1 person is INR 20, which includes 2 rotis & a gravy and another menu which costs INR 30 per person, which includes 2 rotis, gravy & a bowl of biryani.
(The Madina Sharif Hotel)
(People being served rotis)
The sight of the people waiting outside leaves quite an effect on our minds, who have considered food to be such a basic and trivial amenity and held it at the least of consequence. But, the panorama of those people eating the food has an exponential effect; it is more of a life-lesson. To see the how those people eat their food; enjoy every morsel and lick the plate clean is a precept un-paralleled.
(People eating, whilst other wait for serving)
One cannot simply disregard what has been seen neither completely perceive the magnanimity of the experience.
(A hungry man enjoying every morsel)
For it is said well, ‘we realize the importance of blessings after they are gone‘
Our disregard towards the value of every single grain of food is simply astonishing. For a race that has experienced the hardships of cultivation and cooking, we certainly are forgetful. This disregard, by extension, is towards all those who strived to get that food to our tables.
All is not lost, we need to start small. Begin with our lunch-boxes and dinner plates at home, make sure the dishes are properly cleaned and not even a single grain of food thrown away. Either pool-in lunch-boxes to provide a variety of delicacies and ensure everything is consumed or give it to some less fortunate people found close to your workplace.
Next time you dine, ‘Food for thought’ always.
Thank you for reading.