Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Leafful of rice

One of my friends got married last week. I was all excited to attend the wedding, as it was a long pending, long awaited wedding. She is a nice person, helpful to all those who knows her, very sincere to the work and intelligent to crack most of the business problems!! What else would you look for in a person, anyway!!! It had been about 5 years since I met her as both of us moved to different companies, roles and countries. So, I was thrilled when she called me to invite for the wedding.

I could meet most of my old friends in the wedding. Like any other Indian weddings, this one was also full of colours and rituals. I enjoyed every bit of it. Then came the turning point. We went to the dining hall. They had already served (it was only about 30% of the menu, I learnt later) on the banana leaf. I was shocked to see the items – not that they are not edible or served in a manner to hurt people or the taste was bad – but because the number of items was too much for anyone to eat – there were 5 varieties of sweets including lychee fruit peeled marinated in Malai, 4 varieties of chutney, 3 varieties of vegetables, 2 varieties of papad, one appam, one dosai, one Nan, one chappati, half a spring role, some noodles were already served on the leaves How can someone eat so many items in one shot!!! While I was struggling to finish these items, the servers came with the next set of items…. For all of them I said no – it would have been another 60-70% items - if I list all of them, you would be wondering if I am reading the menu card of a hotel!!! Most of us left a lot of food on the leaf. The food wasted by each of us would easily serve two more persons!!! I felt so hard to digest this fact. How can we waste so much food? Especially in an year where there is not enough rains and food production is expected to be hit!!!
Do you know what was my gift to her? Incidentally, it was a book called “A fistful of rice” – a book on using micro finance to help eliminating poverty from India – the book starts like this – when I saw the woman carefully collecting the few grains that were spilt on the ground (which would have been just swept by my aunt otherwise) the poverty struck me!!! I chose this book for my  friend as she is an MBA in finance and I thought a capitalist idea helping a social cause would be a different concept for a finance expert to read thru. I had given the gift to her before I visited the dining hall. Now I am wondering, if it was an unintentional offence to her and how would she feel when she reads it (of course after a few weeks or months)

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