Throw Out the Sambar..!

Since my wife has gone to New York to see our daughter, I’m on my own, and quite often treat myself to ordering food from hotels nearby. This morning was spicy vadas which I’d got out of bed dreaming about! The hotel sends me a lot of sambar, which from previous occasions I’ve found reappear later on my table along with my dinner or lunch. The sambar, though tasting good with the hotel food doesn’t go well with the food cooked at home, maybe, because it’s a tad sweet, and my tooth, though in love with all things sugary, still prefers rice without tasting syrupy sweet!
“Throw the rest of the sambar away!” I told my cook, when she came later in the day, “I don’t want it!”
She looked at me strangely, then asked, “May I take it home and use it sir?”
And she did.
And as she walked away, holding the sambar in a vessel she had borrowed, there was a deep sense of guilt within me as I seemed to hear the sambar whisper, “You see Bob, what you wanted to waste is somebody’s meal!”
“Yes!” I whisper back to my retreating sambar, “There’s a lesson I’ve learned today!”
It’s about how much we waste. Ever so often I go for a buffet at a wedding, and fill my plate, thinking that it doesn’t matter, “Anyway, the host is paying by the plate!” It’s just a matter of time, before my eyes start looking furtively around, not for more food, but trying to locate the bin where I can very quietly throw my plate still laden with leftovers. And very quietly, I tiptoe to the bin, and in one swift motion, so others won’t notice how greedily I’d filled my plate, I throw the plate in. Behind me, I notice others coming with plates half full, and after I’ve gone, doing the same.
Have you ever sat at a bay window at a restaurant, and seen the waiter hurriedly, shooing away urchins or their parents, before you notice them staring hungrily at your plate?
Maybe, next time, I waste, I need to feel those hungry pair of eyes, and know my wasted portions could well be his or her’s meal for the whole day.
Suddenly, I realise it’s not just about food as I look at the torn shirt of the one who collects my garbage and remember, how some of my shirts and pants, out of fashion now, lie unused, and unremembered in some trunk.
“I’m meant to be eaten Bob!” shouts my sambar joyfully in my imagination, from the plates of a happy family!
As I finish this piece, I remember Gandhiji today on his birthday; his thoughtfulness when his slipper came off while boarding a train. He quickly threw out his other slipper saying, “Let some poor person benefit, by having a pair..!





9 thoughts on “Throw Out the Sambar..!”

  1. I once saw a madman on the streets who was given some jalebis by a passerby. He had his fill and when he was done, he called another beggar and gave him the remaining jalebis. Only they know the value of things.

  2. YES, the needy know the value of leftovers…. Many caterers & restaurants have also started doing their bit they send over the leftovers to the needy orphanages!!

  3. Takes me to the Bible…after Jesus fed the large multitude with five loaves of bread and two fish, there were 12 baskets of food left. The disciples picked them up and did not waste it, even though they could have done so. When our Lord did not waste simple food, who are we to???

  4. This is something we all should, in all conscience, be very mindful of, if we already aren’t. Its heartbreaking to see the wastage happening all around and yet, there are so many going to bed on an empty stomach every night. May common sense prevail..

  5. Once in Agra I was in Sanjay market very hungry sat to eat before that entering in the restaurant I met two old ladys may be chased by there children from home and living near by slums of tajmahal. They approached me for food as hungry throughout the day. I looked them with me and had late lunch with them in restaurant. Felt happy in myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *