I Deserve Better

Picture Credit: Poornima Metagudmath

For those who always thought that I am irrational, impaired and emotionally unbalanced, here is your justification. Perhaps, you were dead-on about me. I also realized recently that people who have had disgusting flare-ups at me are unequivocally reasonable. That is because I am worthy of all the animosity, the resentment and anything that those that loathe flung at me. It is not that I’ve unpredictably turned ‘Gandhian’ but it is that realization how aggravating I have been to a lot of people around me. I am genuinely remorseful for beseeching your inner demons. There is a lot I wish I could take back but I’ve come too far to ask for pardon.

When I was eleven years old, I learned what most people my age don’t get to learn. The lessons of compassion. What I should’ve learned was to have fun, delight in the last few years of my childhood before entering the chaotic realm of adolescence. My mom and grandmother (Mom’s mom) trusted my little shoulders so much that they let my big head rest on them. During one such trustworthy circumstance, I was left at home to stay with Kamalakka Peddamma (Mom’s elder sister) and her husband, Lakshmaiah Peddananna while they attended a cremation of another relative.  

Peddamma didn’t study at all and Peddananna made a highly regarded living. They had three kids, two daughters and a son. Neither of them were accommodating, so our home gave them the comforts that they couldn’t find in their own. Peddananna had a skin condition where his upper body was covered in puss and blood-filled boils. And they would rupture often nearly making a crime scene of the surroundings. That fateful night, he had one such episode. Peddamma struggled to keep it together. And with my tiny hands I helped her clear the blood that splattered onto the walls, bedsheets and the floor.  

A few months later, Peddamma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Even then they were very unwelcome in their kids’ homes. I am one of fourteen first cousins on mom’s side. Her son is the firstborn male in our extended family. She was at a stage where she forgot how to cook for herself and her husband. Neighbors in their village took pity and fed them whenever, whatever they could. One day when her husband couldn’t bear hunger pangs any more, he chewed on raw rice. This, he shared with my mom with a lot of hurt and defeat.

I sometimes forget that my mom is not Mother Teresa. Because our home was nothing less than the  ‘Kalighat Home for the Dying’. Peddamma’s Alzheimer’s worsened and at one time, her head was infested in lice. That day, my heart broke from seeing her in such a destitute condition. My grandmother and I spent a big chunk of our day cleaning her up, applying anything and everything we thought would get rid of the swarm. We couldn’t and had to shave her head. The worst part is that she didn’t realize what was happening with her. I never saw such an agony on any mother’s face that I saw in my grandmother. This might be why I don’t remember having a childhood.

My grandmother took custody of Peddamma until she died in January, 1999. I lost my best friend, my confidante and a mother figure. My mom was always on tours because of her job. And my dad lived and worked in a town 200 miles from home and visited only over weekends. My mom and I became close only after my grandmother died. Within ten days of her passing, my Peddananna died too. Their kids did show any inclination to take care of their mom, Peddamma. My mom in a pursuit to teach them a lesson tried to impose my Peddamma on them.

My cousin, her son, even succumbed to the pressure and took Peddamma with him. There was no correspondence for the longest time and my mom, my uncle and I decided to make a surprise visit to my cousin’s place. When we landed at their doorstep, I died a thousand deaths. Peddamma was outside his home in a make-shift shed made out of old comforters. She looked emaciated, I could see her bones as there was no flesh left, her eyes were out of their sockets and she must’ve weighed 40 lbs. She passed away shortly after but I had already come to the US. That day I made the biggest promise to myself that I would take care of my parents even if it meant that I never got married.

I wasn’t there to see any of the three deaths. But my mom and I are repeatedly overcome with heartache and nostalgia that we should have done more to give them a gracious passing. This January, exactly after 20 years, my cousin, Peddamma’s only son passed away almost under the same circumstances of abandonment by his own family. Hope he finds peace in his after life. How messed up I could’ve been that I felt no penitence. I also wonder if I have no soul left in me. Or may be, I have become unattached to filial affections.

These are not tales of lifetime but scars that remind you that life is not kind to all. When I am told to be positive, to practice meditation, not expel revulsion, I fail to register the realism of the people who seem to wish me well. I admire the tenacity of those who’ve been through worse hell than I may have and still hold their chin high. I have nothing but pity for those who have no clue of what comes to be, when adversities hit. “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” So forgive me if I choose to be unmindful of your travesties and unfit benevolences. I deserve better.

#lifeisbeautiful #lessonslearned

Matter of Choice


“Choices are the hinges of destiny.” Sometimes we are presented with no choice or rather a stand that one might take in order to avoid a throng of choices. Perhaps, it is also a test of our integrity on what we choose or not. Today I am contemplative of such reflections with cynicism and tetchiness.

When some feel stifled from my existence, I wish they have some choice to drift away. Since my presence never had any meaning to those that I thought it did, I am content knowing my absence wouldn’t matter. Yet, they don’t have much choice but to endure my aura of wit.

When there are beliefs that my life is a powerhouse of gloom, I wish there is a choice to bolster that it is. But when I leave myself no choice to be cheerful and resilient, the exemplar of their positivity is somehow overhauled. And none have a choice besides seeing me cackle through their misery.

When I see pro-choice and pro-life friends argue about the moralities of life, I wish I had that choice too. When I was at the age when I could make many ‘mistakes’ with my body, I didn’t and neither did I have any ‘accidents’. Today, science and God present me with no options.

When there is no choice left but to love myself, and I am perceived as a narcissist, I wish I could broadcast to the world it is not a bad thing. Instead of doing others a favor of not being one, I just end up feeling more entertained about myself. Then, there is nothing left to prove.

When I am conferred favored Telugu cuss words, I wish I have the choice of snapping back at every orifice that is spelled. Despite having remarkable vocabulary and being a troublemaker myself, I am bound by the respect for the elderly, even if they are a day older.

When life tests me in adversity, there is nothing much I can do to avoid. There are friends that I’ve earned that leave me with no choice, as they hang by my side from the beginning to the end as if it were the only thing they’d ever do.

When there were times, when I used to be body-shamed, I wish I had a choice to change instantly how I looked. Instead I left myself no choice to evolve into the person I always want to be. And now I feel younger than I ever did. Even if someone makes the choice to make me feel otherwise, there is not much to be.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart. Everything is a matter of choice even when you think there is none.

“Tuhada Kutta Tommy”

We get what we deserve. It has been deep-rooted in my mind. But what is that an 80-year old world-shattering woman who fought against all odds in her lifetime be worthy of or not. Or what does a 40-year old who belongs to an impermanent generation that got crammed between emerging technologies and age-old traditions is worth or not. And often both of us are left to ask around what we did to warrant the gloomy extant where the abhorrence bunged up with my mother but gave me its heirloom.

I can ever get over the fact that strong women like us are forced to surrender to humiliation despite our retribution and vehemence. One particular Auntie who is never tired of perpetual chinwag takes great pride in graduating in English with C-grade. Yet, my mother who is a ‘doctorate’ was criticized at a family get-together by her cousin (Auntie’s husband) and her own sibling on the use of ‘Dr.’ When Dr. Jill Biden went through a similar challenge, I did not know if I was comforted or offended. I was not spared either when I got my 1-20 to come to this country as a student. There was rebuke of sorts on our aptitude and choices despite being highly educated compared to all of them put together.

Until I got married, I was reminded about my incompetence to find a man. And when I did find my husband, a cousin counsels a day before my wedding, that one should never marry someone better looking. The motive she offered was that better looking men have the predisposition to be bored of their lesser looking wives. And perhaps, may even run away with other women. Much to her chagrin, that has not happened. But, her own actuality is being wrinkled in trepidation of admonishment from her significant other. It is sad that when words are tossed at others, people often forget that what goes around comes around.

When my father died, there were none dear to us that would host my mother for a night. A few months later when she fractured her wrist, I was told that it was jubilation in some households. When my dear uncle passed away, my cousin almost threatened me that she’d never forgive me if I didn’t ensure that my mom reached in time for the funeral. I hope she remembered the courtesy extended to us when it was our time.

The legacy continues. Having a successful career means nothing to some vexatious kin. My mother has been until recently guzzling down left-overs in her own home, while permanent guests got to relish fresh food. The tears of exhaustion were mixed with the waters that she was made to mop the floor. It is still not considered brutality by those who feel that it is their patrimony to live at an upper plinth. The smallest of their favors are paralleled with our sacrifices. Hope they recognize that false domination.

Their papercuts are of superior pain than any life-altering experience we may ever have. We chug along prompting ourselves that we were meant to tolerate life and those that come with it. Forgiving might never come easy but forgetting is crucial to survive the double-standards. But in a lighter vein, the universal reality maneuvers seem clichéd – “Tuhada Kutta Tommy, Te Saada Kutta, Kutta!” It means that, when it comes to your dog, it has a name but when it comes to ours, it’s just a street animal. A salutation to those who put their feelings above everyone else, and none others matter.

(If you’ve come this far and unable to fathom what the heck I wrote, I am simply calling out the bullshit of my kin, articulating how they feel loftier than us when it shouldn’t be the case. Yet, the triviality towards us is their pronounced virtue).

1/30/2021 update: All, thank you for the comments, likes and also showing so much concern for my blog. While it looks like social media exploit to some, I am merely sharing my euphemisms at elder abuse especially, and verbal abuse. It has been acceptable in our societies, that is okay to chide, taunt, humiliate those older to us. I’d love some good confrontations and lessons teaching but then what would be the difference between them and I?

God’s Test

When we look up to skies
Making promises to never rest
You may not hear our cries
When God said this is our test

Our hearts broke to lose you
World changed in a split
Repugnance came through
And the harshest reality hit

Those that never knew
With those that dearly did
Came together for you
None knew why that’s forbid

He chose to set you free
Despite us refusing to let go
All that we wanted to see
Reasons, we needed to know

Tears in our eyes, grief within
Knowing you suffered much
Alongside those that’ve sinned
Perhaps your destiny was such

On the path for your justice
To bring the culprits to knees
Nothing was left after all this
Yet, we wanted some peace

To the virtuous of men like you
We march fiercely to the truth
In hope that the skies are blue
Yearning for your lost youth

Sushant, you are in safe hands
But we are unable to move on
The day your killers take stands
That shall be our new dawn!

Wails of anguish won’t go waste
Neither will our prayers go unheard
Humanity will again be chaste
Praying lady justice has the last word!

#SushantSinghRajput

https://twitter.com/itsSSR?s=09

Serene Sovereignty

Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night (not for profit use)

From Shalini Bhagat to Barkha Dutt and many more generous essayists have gone on volubly ire about how it is unfair to some breathing, linked with Sushant Singh Rajput being put through media trial and how people in India and around the world have taken a voyage of agitation in support of what they believe is a cold-blooded massacre. The choice of words that were used to define the enthusiasts of SSR, as he was affectionately called was abysmal. Yet, the ‘upright’ editors elected to print what will remain in the pages of history as case studies of journalistic bigotry.

Despite the sentiment hammering nature of this very case, people like me and millions others that are not just emotional suckers but connoisseurs of their own panache, who never were SSR buffs, that chose to devote a part of life to fight against the unwarranted ways that political hoodlums and constabularies were handling the case. Worst of it all, was when he was pronounced to have died of suicide at the scene deprived of any thought or exploration. And to add to the many spectacles, the time of death mottled ubiquitously except in the post-mortem report.

Just like hoes on an abandoned sward, buccaneers started marking their territories and showing their swag. Most with virtuous determination and serving to the cause became cursory glue to the separations being caused rumors, fictional tales, and superfluous theatrics. At one point, the murder investigation abstracted to drugs, detentions based on pitiable, implausible reasons. Elsewhere, there were endorsements made to those that are squandering menace to society, merriments in honor of distinguished felons, and abuse of power.

Those not living in the bedlam of the leading democracy of the world, despite being condensed to Twitter rebellion have generated magnanimous awareness that can bring down monarchies, illustrated sensibilities against the atrocities carried by worthless regimes, and most of all the canard of show business. The ‘warriors’ continue to leave no stone unturned for ground protests. Amidst the annoyance of those trading hope, harvesting publicity for their benefit, and injudicious dogmata, those with higher emotional and intelligence quotient remain to fight this arduous mêlée in quest of justice. And with abiding conviction in the justice organizations that are supposed to serve selflessly.

It has been 6 months since the ill-fated and premature death of SSR. Patience is running out for those that are devolved in it. Hundreds of hashtags, innumerous letters of appeal written to the PMO, uncooperative popular media, thousands of agitations around the world – still no word of headway besides a status or a comment from the probing agency. Makes us wonder, if the delay is premeditated or encompassing national conspiracy. How are some exclusively able to make preposterous proclamations of his life and death while others have superannuated into the dullness of their irrational life?

If the frontrunners of the republic resort to decorous silence, perhaps assuming that the problems presented will sail away on their own – they are wrong. As Frederick Douglass said fittingly, “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” If any time is right, it is now. It is time that the behests of those who want to extinguish civilizations in the name of egalitarian principles are curtailed. It is time to let SSR rest in heaven or bring him back to life in a parallel universe. It is time that injustice is precluded to quiver the pillars of the blues, and reinstate sovereignty of generations, the way they are meant to be.

Adieu 2020!

I could go on about how 2020 didn’t make my favorite list but it did in many ways. It was not a bad year after all with simple yet meaningful accomplishments to gloat.

Grateful that I see the sunrise every morning, free of major illness or physical / mental constraints.

Indebted for my amazing family. A mother who never considers me a grown-up and a husband whose companionship I couldn’t do without.

Pleased for the savings from a year free of amazon purchases and frivolous spending.

I almost learned to forgive but realized that some cannot be forgiven. So the struggle continues and it still feels okay.

Honored to have a job and my ability to add value at work mostly to the people I work with. And thank God, my teams love me and my bosses tolerate me most.

In awe of my friends who never left my side in adversity and new friends who fueled the fire in my belly.

Still appreciative of those who got off my wagon because of political, religious and creative differences.

Realized power naps are a sham because mine are no shorter than three hours. I’ve learned to slow down and it feels great.

Blocked all negativity and recklessness so I can focus on my OCD which seems like a virtue that I should be proud of.

It was gut wrenching losing loved ones but it also meant that their legacy is now in my responsibility.

Reconnected with childhood memories and stopped chasing incomplete relationships. May be the latter weren’t meant to be for a reason.

I finally stopped seeing sense in agonizing on ‘Why me?’ It was an awakening that I am special and built for ‘Why not me? It could be worse.’

Standing my ground on the causes I’m dedicated to, including a new age revolution despite being trolled, rebuked and kicked out of groups was worth every ounce of my energy.

I found my calling. There is no greater gratification than to serve those in need. To share what I’ve learned and just being there.

To continue writing for myself although some wish that my endings were more dramatic and rather true. Well, I won’t stop their wishful thinking. Because, my 500k social media impressions don’t seem to.

It was all about feeling beautiful in my melasma, being true to myself and embracing my flaws. A little over-confidence doesn’t hurt.

Figured out the math in doing everything in moderation and saving myself from all kinds of emotional, spiritual and physical fatigue.

TMI but I can’t stop admiring my butt these days. I am extremely proud of my fitness regime since lockdown. That is 85k floors, 806 miles, healthy neurons and counting…

Adieu 2020, you could’ve been worse. Thank you to all that helped me through!

Happy New Year!!

#2020 #COVID19 #covidchronicles #2021 #quotidianblessing

Life and Literary Achievements of Shri. P. V. Narasimha Rao

Synopsis of Dr. Sarojana Banda’s panel discussion

The panelist Dr. Sarojana Banda talked about the life and literary accomplishments of Shri. P. V. Narasimha Rao. He was a master strategist, of highest ingenuity, paramount in myriad talents, someone with altruistic presence, and worthy of the name he was bestowed. Not only was he distinguished in the fields of politics, monetary ploys, judicial organization, and education but had unsurpassable multidimensional abilities, and spectacles of scholarly proficiencies. His modesty was laudable and was commonly unruffled. With his proficiency in 17-languages, being an excellent translator, adept in computer skills put him way ahead of his times.

From starting his literary stint in 1940 as an Editor for Kakatiya newspaper and co-writing with his pen name, ‘Jaya-Vijaya’, and being the chairman of Telugu Academy from 1967 – 74 was just the launch to his legendary exploits in literature. Shri. P. V. Narasimha Rao translated Vishwanatha Satyanarayana’s ‘Veyipadagalu’ to ‘Sahasraphani’ (Serpent with 1000 heads) in Hindi. This writing depicted the then traits of caste, temples, filial affections, farming and topics of relevance at time. ‘The Insider’, his autobiography that was articulated through ‘Anand’, depicted the political matters he faced, and his partisan maneuvers.

Based on the ‘Ram Mandir’ demolition on December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya, he wrote in the book of the same name and shared experiences of his role as Prime Minister and the backlash he faced. Pan Lakshat Kon Gheto (But Who Pays Attention) was a Marathi novel that was translated by him in which child marriage practice, cruelty against widows, child slavery and the atrocities against girl-child were condemned. He delivered the New Education Policy, as a parliamentarian on April 29, 1986 on how reforms can be developed for future generations through integrated personality development.

His writings epitomized lessons from politics, removed language barriers, emulated the splendor of other languages through translations, and speeches that scintillated many audience alike. It is said that he achieved transcendence through his literary clench. This helped him elevate himself from worldly intellectuality, gave us the opportunity to see his many incarnations through his literary work, and makes him most worthy of the highest award, the Bharat Ratna.

#Literary #Accomplishments #India #Pride #Telugu

‘Celebratory Rose Mallow Lei’

To our dearest Suhas, Supriya, on the event of your marriage celebration, Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 on this auspicious morning at 10:14am, with love and affection, adoration and warmth; A tribute in the form of this poetry melody.

——————————————————————————————————–

In this generational legacy treasure, epitomized and decked
The ‘Avaduta’ illustrious progeny in their embellished eminence
Distinguished ‘Ramaiah’, ‘Yelamma’ the foremost blessed couple
Bejeweled the ‘lingam’ and ‘vibhuti’ ash swathed in sunrays

Celebrated in the hamlet streets, with care from landlords
Resided in Village ‘Rebarti’, the victorious and wealthy ‘Ramaiah’
Came the eye-candy, fruit of his loins, ‘Mallaiah’ the worthy descendant
Along with ‘Venkatalakshmi’, made five diamond-like sons that gleamed bright

Their middle son, ‘Satyanarayana’ who brimmed with charisma
His compassion laden wife, ‘Kalavathi’, sanctified with goddesses ‘Lakshmi’, ‘Saraswathi’
In tenacity of marvels establishing the family of happiness and harmony
‘Anila’, ‘Surendra, Raghunandan, their humble, respectful brood

‘Krishna’, ‘Kavitha’, ‘Saraswati’ son, and daughters-in-law, righteous alike
Magnanimous treasures, ‘Anurag’, like the jasmine vine
Adeptness evolved ‘Rishi’, ‘Renuka’, ‘Padmavathi’, ‘Sainath’, in their astuteness
Riding the six wheels of perpetuation, is the noble chariot carter (Satyanarayana)

‘Surendra’, ‘Kavitha’s’ first born, ‘Suhas’ named with celestial verve
Cosmic emotional abundance, is the worthy ‘Supriya’, the liana
With toes pressed and fingers held, in the holy three knots, bonded for seven promises
Across the submerged seas, in western countries where they propitiously became one

‘Avaduta’s’ invitation, and ‘Pandeti’s’ wedding call
Heartfelt, soul captivating, ‘Vanajakshi’, ‘Shankara Raju’
Spreading adoration and rejuvenating drizzle with their affection
While blessings showered like pearls with grace of God

The sky as canopy, earth as platform
Blessings from the seven holy sages, a combination of harmonious ‘Kavitha’ (poem)
‘Vanajakshi’, ‘Chaandini’ exuded glee like ‘Holi’ (festival of colors)
Amongst the warmth of close friends, kith and kin

Affection of flowers, garlands, abundant shimmering wedlock festivities
From ‘Srinivas’ who resides in seven hilled treasures, come love filled blessings
Wishing you receive all in extravagance, completeness, lavishness
With desires, hopes from Aparna, Ram, Saroja’s, presenting
‘Celebratory Rose Mallow Lei’

Original Telugu Composition: Dr. Sarojana Banda
English Translation: Aparna Kadari

#Wedding #tribute #poetry @song

Little by Little

Little by little our love was gone
And none left one fine dawn
It was the most alive I ever felt
Who knew that it would melt
There was nothing we could do
While it slid away before we knew
We fought with life to keep it safe
But it still ended as homeless waif
Gravity and paranoia didn’t make
Heart would bleed and ever ache
Dreams that were meant for us
Left no chance to fuss or discuss
Didn’t realize the forces around
Made the awe drop to the ground
Knowing that bones still crave
Hoping some was left to save
Despite the power of its clutch
Far away we are from our touch
Noble is the love that’s untold
Or the soul that is never sold
For as long as we stay apart
We’ll always be in each other’s heart
Sacrifices took the lead
To make us do what we need
No matter what’s there or not
A lesson that couldn’t be taught
For the greater good we live
Little by little, our love taught me to give….

Disparaged and Dumped

Picture Credit: http://www.waste360.com

This is not about prejudice neither is it about partiality. These days I am rather indulged by many stories my mother and I share. It is not to make fun at anyone, but such chit-chat is therapeutic. And it keeps us both amused, for her lack of social media exposure with food eeriness and my otherwise lockdown burdened monotony. Besides my father and husband, I’ve taken creative liberties to generalize the rest.

These comical plots are from both men and women who exhibit disregard for food or take the front seat in wasting it. And in fact, I am going to share my own and what I continue to learn. In all these stories, there is a unique moral. Never realized that “food for thought” is very impactful unto itself. I am just indebted that we have food on the table with very minimal waste.

For once, you won’t hear about the husband because he is not only quite the chef any home desires sans the cleaning, but his improvisations are a treat to the sore eyes. To the point that my mother has become his most zealous enthusiast and connoisseur. While I extend my fangirl appreciation by doing the dishes, the best way to a woman’s heart is also through the stomach.

My father was our biggest cheerleader, relishing my mother’s cooking and later mine. But he didn’t even know how to make chai. Despite knowing his limitations in gastronomic dexterity, he offered to make scrambled eggs one fine day. I am not sure what he thought it was, but he used nutmeg powder. His determination was laudable, but implementation was imperfect rendering the dish unpalatable. Yet, all of us quietly ate without throwing it away. My mother and I joke to this day that, without his catastrophes, our gratitude for good food wouldn’t acquire such magnanimity.

We are also blessed to have men in our lives known to not waste or disrespect the food or the maker. I’ve come across so many people whose vagueness or domination over others when it comes demanding food preparations made me cringe. Yet, I’ve seen parents, siblings and wives put up with this idiocy with a smile. When everything seems fine to the rest of us, for these maniacs, the food is chewy or the spices are intense or it is not warm enough or there is too much of one color or there is no salt per their liking, they seem to disregard the food just like they do to people.

A certain professional chef I know sweats a lot. Even though rumors of their hygiene were floating around, I never imagine it would interfere with the food-making. However, I’ve avoided them every single time after I fell sick. Abstinence from their proficient culinary skills seemed like a better choice than throwing away food regaled by their saline.

When I was a kid, I used to dread my mother’s relatives’ visits. One such had the sharpest of smell sense for salt. I’ve seen so many that can differentiate condiments but never someone with such exclusive aptitude. Regardless, it was at no time the right balance for him. He would always complain about how my mother has still not learned to cook well. His plate however told a different story.

There was another one who was irrationally insolent. He never liked my grandmother and by that virtue anything she made. She was an amazing cook. So, when he visited once, we tricked him that my mother made the food. Despite all the taunts, my grandmother had patience to feed her heckler. He would relish and slurp his fingers. One day, after he enjoyed his meal, we told him who really made the food. He never apologized for being a jerk, but he didn’t come by ever after.

Long time ago, I had coworkers over for dinner and for some reason they came without their spouses. The batch of red chili I used that day was not as red. I avoid this one gentleman like pestilence because he wouldn’t stop humiliating how unappealing to the eyes my cookeries were. For the longest time, I would be paranoid inviting anyone else home.

This one aunt who is in my gene pool has OCD. Who doesn’t? I do too. She has this routine of serving herself from the center of any dish. Then, she would eat only the center of what she has on her plate. It would make sense if someone doesn’t want to eat a pizza cornice but what she does feels sacrilege to me.

Another aunt’s love for her adult child is so immense that she doesn’t care about anyone else sitting at the same table. I’ve always cautioned my mother to eat something at home before she went to their place. Because she’d serve my mother the foot befitting a toddler while her adult child would have a meal worthy of a glutton.  

When I was a kid, despite being in a double-income household, there was never a lavish spread. My mother did what met the basic nutrient standards. And there was nothing that we would waste. These days, I see parents catering to kids’ diktat and even being a garbage can for their leftovers. On top of that some pious mothers ward off evil by taking a handful of food, waving around their ‘beautiful’ kids, and throwing the food in trash. Yet, no one remembers millions of kids who would die to have that discarded food, evil or not. Not to forget the idiots who waste food in the name of offerings that could feed a village.

There would be many more stories that could write. The learning from these is poignant and compelling. When I first came to the United States, there were three days where I had to live on water and nothing else. Even before that, my grandmother and mother taught me to be thankful of food that we eat, never to waste any, and most of all be respectful no matter what is served. Because they are so many in parts of the world where people are dying of starvation every minute. And there is nothing they could do about it.

It is, therefore, a huge responsibility on us who have access to good food, clean water to not misuse or abuse that honor and those who make it scrumptious for us. Even during days, when food might be a little overcooked or bland, unless it inedible, there is not a single reason in this world to be anything other than being most grateful.