When Your Stomach Cries…

Let me brush my memory and begin right from the start of ‘that’ day.

Like any other day, I was still under my cozy blanket in my hostel room at 7:30 in the morning. My room mates never take trouble to wake me up before that because they know I would turn violent. I heaved myself down the bed, by then it was very late and I knew I had no time for break fast. Plus, I heard my friends talking about upma and the raw banana served in the mess hall. “Oh God.. Why would they never progress in life?” I asked myself furiously and dressed to college thinking of eating later during the day.

It turned out to be very hectic; this or the other reason interrupted throughout the day.. and till I left college in the evening, I did not get to drink even a cup of coffee. I hurried to the mess hall but was flustered to see the place being cleaned up and tea time was over long time back. I could not think of anything else other than food..! At least for those couple of hours I was living only to eat.

As soon as I entered my room, I saw my roomie taking the last bite of a biscuit; and on the floor was lying an empty packet of Nilgiris bread. Cannot blame them, because they know how much I dislike bread. And at that point of time, except God and me, none other on earth knew the intensity of my hunger.

Taking my friend along, I rushed down the stairs to buy something from the next shop. But we had to stop ourselves before the big black hostel gate. I went through the emotions of a prisoner behind the bars who is denied of living a life following his aspirations. Once closed for the day, it’s next to impossible to convince the warden to let us out, however crucial the reason be! My friend said, “Just an hour more.. we will compensate for the entire day by having an elaborate dinner! It was Wednesday and I knew I would get my favorite aloo fry.

That particular evening, the clock ticked very slowly! I do not want to remind myself what happened afterwards. The menu was changed, instead of aloo, it was some non-vegetarian curry (which I do not eat) and there was nothing left from the lunch menu. All I got was some potato chips and little sour curd with chilled rice. I could not control my misery beyond that, tears started running down my cheeks. My friends were also equally helpless because there was nothing they could do at that time of the night. Finally I got to eat a banana! That was the feeling of being in heaven - when the banana touched my taste buds!

None other than I am to be blamed, I know very well. It was a well deserved punishment. Lot of times, my mom was after me with food. When she prepares dosa, I would feel like having idli, if it was sambar, I would rather prefer rasam and if it was chapatti for dinner, I would want puri. I used to be so terrible at home.

The day’s experience taught me the value of even a small piece of bread. I could hear the wail of hunger, which is one of the most unbearable pains one could go through. Even after 60 years of Independence, India still has the world's largest number of poor people. More than a quarter of its population is below poverty line. But I, unlike the children deprived of food, ate lavishly the next day. What ever happened was just a day’s occurrence. I thanked God more than a million times for making me and my dear ones very fortunate.

Let us care for every crying tiny stomach, at least by not wasting food. From today, you and I will not dump anything from the plate into the bin; let that be a promise between us!

pongal feast @ home


Tyrant said...

Sounds good. But to be frank my friend! nobody cares! until unless they feel the situation!
And again, as long as you have all the comfort in life, you wont keep this in mind for a long. May be I am wrong. Well sorry in that case. But this is what my opinion.

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