Vivek, my cousin, who lost his father recently, had organized the maasik shraad (Monthly duty towards the passed), a time and event where the Hindus worship for the peace of their father & ancestors. In this tradition, several Hindu rituals are performed, one of which is Bhoj (Meal) is offered to the people & sages, with a sense that these will reach their fathers and ancestors wherever they are now.
At the end of the day, after Bhoj was distributed, they had lots of food leftover. Everyone was giving their ideas about what can be done with the remaining food, while Vivek had something on his mind already. Some time ago while driving along the Yamuna river – about 10 kilometers away from his home – he had noticed a slum area that could use some help. He then told me about it and his wish to do something for them. This is a place near Kalsi, Uttarakhand (India) at the banks of river Yamuna, and we decided to distribute the remaining food to the slums.
The food was then packed in meal-size packets and we left for there. It took us about an hour and we reached the place as we had to find the place and drive not too fast as there was food in the vehicle. People from these slums were puzzled as they thought about why we are there, they probably are not used to seeing many people stopping by.
We told them that we have brought food to share with them, there was happiness and excitement among the crowd. All the children and women gathered around us, patiently and we then started distribution of food packets. Some people started eating the food as they got it. Some of us were even wondering about how long have they not eaten food as some started eating right away and finished their packet quickly. One thing was sure, they were hungry.
What we gave them may not be much for them, but watching them being happy with that one meal was very very satisfactory for us because of the one-time meal we provided them. We thanked our gods that we were able to do this and became a part of this good deed!
We finished the food distribution and left from there with a promise to those people that we will come again to them with more help and we will be working towards keeping our promise.
In India, we say “दाने दाने पे लिखा है खाने वाले का नाम”, which means “The name of the eater is written on the grain”, which totally came true that day and it feels so great to be a part of this.