Tuesday, November 11, 2008
You are invited!!!
Went to a wedding reception over the weekend with D. Today the template for a reception is so uniform that you can sleep walk through it. Land at the venue, plastic smiles fixed, meet / nod at the unknowns and unknowns around you, queue up for the mug shot with the newly weds, unload our burdens on them (the gifts of you please), rush to the next queue (for food this time), eat heartily, chew on the betel leaves, nod / meet some more, walk out. Every reception is a variation of this template.
Anyway I will cut the frills and come straight to the food. Food is an integral part of all celebrations in India and in most places around the world. Any celebration will reach its climax in the feast afterwards and a lot of care is given to the food served. Some of the guests who had come for my wedding still fondly remember the biriyani that they enjoyed that evening. So you can understand how much importance the feast holds in the scheme of the wedding.
I had an enjoyable meal that evening and though I had prepared myself for a vegetarian spread it was tasty and I cleared out my leaf. As I glanced to the side I saw D do likewise but just beyond her I saw mounds of food being wasted by the others in that row. A look around showed piles of wasted food on many of the plantain leaves food enough to probably feed at least 10% of the unfed guests.
I was very disturbed by what I saw, when I was being served I declined what I would not eat and asked to be served just enough, surely that much is common sense? Will we not do the same at home when we are aware how much we spend for the food we eat? Considering the spiraling cost of food items how much is being tossed in the garbage? How many poor and starving people could have had at least one decent meal, had this not happened? I have seen this disgusting behaviour in hotels especially where you have these unlimited buffets, food is heaped on plates and in most cases dumped in the bin because for many their palates could not accommodate their greed.
How is it possible that for many of these perfectly decent people one small Tupperware box can hold their tummy fill everyday when from their homes and be so insufficient when given free? These may never know the pain of starvation and the horror of a starvation death. Wise men say “As you sow, so you reap…”
The sign of greatness is when someone knows when to say NO!
P.S. If we say NO, we may not see scenes like this...