Never waste food….I don’t remember how many times my father might have uttered these words in his life time: may be millions of times…because at least I have heard them from him countless times.
Have you ever seen a kid serious about food? I guess…No!! So was I. But the difference was my father used to be very strict (in fact very very strict) about “wasting food”. If he would ever see anybody wasting food, throwing them into garbage bin, quickly his eyes would turn red with anger. He would instantly turn in to a DEVIL…I swear. He would right away start lecturing that person. If that person happened to be someone from his family…LORD!! All hell would break lose instantly. He would simply become mad.
One can really imagine now how would he be at home. Hitler – Reborn perhaps!!!At home, we were strictly instructed that, “Only that much food should we take in the platter, that we could finish”. No extra amount which we might not be able to eat. It was not just an instruction but a diktat. In fact we were taught that we should take small portions, finish it first… then take more if we wish. Our mother was strictly instructed accordingly.
But we were kids. Sometimes if taste wasn’t good then who will eat? You can’t…right! I remember it was one of the most difficult things to handle for us those days. At times my mother used to cover us if we were caught by father leaving food in the platter. But many times we were caught sadly though “wasting food” and faced the monstrous red eyes of our father; sometimes spanked also.
I used to feel bad in fact very bad and little confused too with that attitude of my father. I mean… how would I know food is tasty or not before eating? And if the food isn’t tasty then how could I eat it? Then I have to throw it…right! But did He ever understand that? NO…simply not. I used to feel.
Well, as my father was pre – independent born and also a self made man, it was difficult to make him understand how we felt those days. However good thing was he had a great command over all the scriptures including the epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana…etc. He was not only using stringency to discipline us but many a time he would tell us the bed time stories from those scriptures to convince us about many things he wanted to teach. In fact I would say…I have learnt the best lessons of my life through his stories only.
One day he told us a story about “importance of food”. I swear that story still rings in me and perhaps for the first time lead that foundation in my attitude to care about food and not to waste a grain of it.
The story goes like this…
The story is from the Epic Mahabharat:
The Kurukshetra war was over. King Yudhistir was ruling Hastina Pur with all his kindness and generosity towards his subject. Once there was a severe drought in Hastina Pur. So Raja Yudhistira asked his younger brother Prince Bhima to get some food grains and other help from the neighboring states.
Bhima went and gathered as much food items as possible from all his neighboring states and loaded them in the carts and started his returned journey towards Hastina Pur
On the way there was a broken bridge that stopped his caravan of carts to go any further. He was tensed. Then he learnt Kubera – The Lord of Wealth was staying nearby. He decided to take help from him.
As he reached at Kubera’s residence, he saw a man, clad with a dhoti till his knees, was picking scattered grains from ground.
He said, “Excuse me! Can I meet Lord Kubera??”
The man said without raising his head, “I’m Kubera…tell me what you want”
Prince Bhima was confused. He had the idea that Kubera was a wealthy person. And the man before him looks very ordinary and what’s weirder was he picking grains from ground. Why Lord of Wealth would really care for handful of grains. How could he be Kubera? No Wayy..
He turned red. Bhima is known to be short tempered. He said angrily, “See, and don’t play with me. I’m quite stressed as the broken bridge has stopped our journey. We are carrying food grains that our subjects need badly. Delay would cost us many lives. So please let me talk to Lord Kubera and get some urgent help”. Bhima was really edgy.
“Oh!! Is this the problem? The man said. You don’t worry Prince Bhima. I will sort out your problem within moments?”
Bhima looked bewildered and confused…
But the man immediately asked his employees to act swiftly and take “Sacks of Grain” from the warehouse and put them on the broken bridge making a “grain bridge” so that the carts could move on it.
It all happened within split seconds. Bhima was quite dazed and taken aback. He realized the man before him was none other than The Lord Of Wealth – Kubera. But the man was really quite deceptive.
Looking at his perplexities the man came to him and said, “Rajkuman Bhima, I understand your bewilderment. How could you imagine”The Lord of Wealth – Kubera” would be picking small and scattered grains from the ground?? But I value each and every grain. These little grains together only make a sack. Isn’t it?”
“I’m not wealthy because I have wealth; I’m wealthy because I value even a small penny of it. I never wasted a small grain. Food is necessary for human’s survival. I can’t see even a small grain getting wasted but I can afford “sacks of grain” put on the bridge so that million lives could be saved. Because the primary need of food is to save human life.”Said Lord Kubera.
Then he looked at Bhima’s face. Bhima looked convinced and full of respect and gratitude. He realized the wisdom given by Kubera. After expressing gratitude to Lord Kubera He returned Hastina Pur and million drought ridden lives were really saved.
I don’t remember how many times I have heard this story from my father. In fact it set the foundation in me to understand the importance of every grain of food. Later I learnt how hunger takes million lives every year across the world. The food wasted is nothing but making some people die in hunger. We must realize the importance of food and food items.
From that day, trust me, I never wasted food. I stayed in hostels throughout my academic years and I have seen how students used to waste food. Many times I have stopped them too..but it’s not just one person’s work. I also teach the same to my kid as well, not to waste food.
We should NEVER WASTE FOOD… It’s not just becoming wealthy or not but it’s our human responsibility not to waste food.
Remember….A grain of food wasted is like a “Human body” becoming lifeless… and realize!!
NEVER WASTE FOOD…A hearty advice by my father… still resonates in me!
This is My Post for The Alphabet N #AToZChallenge 2020 by @blogchatter in the Month of April 2020
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This is also posted in my other blog HERE