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Sreenath Sreenivasan

Thriving Mindfully

Smiles in the sky

There are times when I have got nothing to say,
And nobody to share that nothingness with.

The sun hides behind the clouds.
The rain falls, pitter-patter.
There sits a lonely dove on the cable
Awaiting someone.

I fly to that brooding bird
And proclaim,
All the truths she knows already

Again and again,
I speak
Of that feeling,
Of silently sauntering in the shimmering summer sun,
Of a restless retreat over raging rivers on a run
Of tumbling like a torpedo towards the tarmac turf
Of soaring in the sky on a slow, shy surf
Of the festive fervor in foraging for fruit
Of loving lentil left on lentils to loot

Of picking the perfect twig for a nest
Of the relief in repose, of relishing rest

Of being in love yet being lonely
Of being lonely yet being in love

The curvy cable eavesdrops
On our candid confessions
Coated in collegial camaraderie

The wire weighs down with
the weight of two birds
It hangs low between posts,
As if smiling

The sun shines,
The rainbow smiles back
At the smiling cable
Upside down.

We,
two birds
Fly away,
alone still,
Lifted in spirit
Melded in meaning

Buoyed by
Fleeting flirtations
Of those two
silent,
sinuous
symbolic
smiles.

A tale of two sisters

Two pairs of worn out slippers cushion the brisk onward march of two petite girls.
Sudha and Radha, dressed alike in maroon polyester sarees are on their way to work.

Sudha used to help with household chores at her employers house earlier. Now, she works as a hospice for her employer’s wife who is terminally ill, lying in a comatose state at home.

Radha is a cook. A pretty good one in fact.
She has been the in-house cook for a wealthy family in a posh locality for a year now.

The sisters ended up in Delhi in search of work a couple of years ago. Sudha was just 16 then and Radha a year younger.
They decided to work so that they could send their little brother to school so that one day their family could finally climb out of the valley of poverty they’d dwelt in ever since they’d known life.

And life wasn’t easy for the young girls. They slept in a little makeshift room in the workers ghetto behind the railway station. They would spend the majority of the money back home for family.
They could afford only one meal a day,
a dinner.

But they were happy, for they were working for something larger than themselves.

Radha would often feel tempted to eat the food she cooked for the family. She had great culinary skills. The whole locality would be able to guess what was cooking whenever she cooked.
But since the food was so delicious, there would never be any left over food for her to enjoy the next morning.

Sudha’s employer (who she calls Sahib) was a hopeful man. He always believed that his wife will spring back to life and vitality the next morning.
He made sure Sudha prepared a bland Khichdi for his wife every single day,
Hoping that when his wife wakes up, she will savour the food.
But for the past one year, the woman has been on the bed, not blinking, not moving.
Sudha cooks with hope everyday still.
But her hope is different from that of her Sahib.
At the end of the day,
When she’s heading home, she gets to carry the uneaten meal of Khichdi which she prepares for the patient every morning.

That khichdi is the meal both sisters share in the evening as their solitary meal of the day.

Their lives have been running on the monorail of this monotony for the past year.

But something changed in both their lives in the past 24 hours.

Yesterday, Radha’s employer had a party at their home. She was asked to prepare a Biryani with Raita for the 30 odd guests expected. Radha, adept at her skill, cooked up a fragrant Potful of Biryani with a delicious Raita to go with it.

Today morning, when she went to work she found the aroma of the biryani still lingering around.
She checked the pot to find some leftover Biryani from yesterday.
She scraped the whole pot clean and filled up a polyethylene bag with the Biryani.
She scrubbed the pot clean and got to her usual work.
Singing to herself as she worked, her happiness knew no bounds. She couldn’t wait for dinner time when she would finally be able to share a good meal with her sister Sudha.
She had had enough of the bland khichdi Sudha used to bring every evening.

After finishing work, Radha quickly headed to her quarters in the workers colony. She heated up the biryani over a kerosene stove, laid out a plate and waited patiently for Sudha to come home.

‘Sudha! What took you so long !’ she cried out once Sudha entered the room.
‘Come , sit, we shall have something different for our dinner today !’ Radha exclaimed.

Sudha sat down solemnly.

‘What happened Sudha, you look gloomy’

‘Let us eat little sister’ Sudha spoke feebly.

Both of them took a morsel each of the fragrant rice. Radha waited in anticipation for Sudha’s appraisal but she wouldn’t speak a word. She ate quietly.

‘What is the matter Sudha ?’ Radha enquired comforting her with a touch.

‘Sahib’s wife passed away last night.’

There was an unsettling silence in the room.

Both took another morsel of the delicious biryani.
But all they could taste,
was the hunger that awaited
the next evening.

नारी

किलकारी से आज मन का भर गया है झोला
देखो आज पालना भी झूम कर है डोला
आंगन में अब तो गूंजे है मद्धम सी लोरी
जो जन्मी है घर में अपने प्यारी सी छोरी

समय की करवट के साथ जन्मा भाई छोटा
नानी बन बिटिया झूमी जैसे हुआ हो उसका पोता
दूध के दांत भले टूटे नही हो पांच
रक्षा करे ऐसी भाई को आने ना दे आंच

थी उसके साये में कुछ ऐसी निर्मल छाया
पापा की डांट से मानो हर रोज़ ही बचाया
जो माँ की ममता अगर कभी पड गयी अधूरी
अम्मा बन हरदम की हर कसर है उसने पूरी

और भाई की मुठ्ठी में ताक़त कुछ ऐसी समाई
जो बहन की राखी से सज गयी उसकी कलाई
फ़िर भाई के रुतबे में लग जाता ऐसा तड़का
कि आंख उठाने से डरे मोहल्ले का हर लड़का

पर पलक झपकते ही देखो बड़ी हो गयी लाड़की
दुल्हन बन बैठी है आज, सज गयी है देखो पालकी
पीछे छोड़े अपने कई आँसुओं के अम्बार
ससुराल चली बन्नो बसाने अपना संसार

पापा बोले जा बिटिया रखना सबको हरदम ही ख़ुश
तू जन्मी थी तो ही उभरा था मेरे भीतर का पौरुष
तेरी ज़िद्द न होती ऐ बहना तो मैं पैदा न हुआ होता
बोला भाई, अब सूना हो गया देख तेरा नन्हा पोता

नारी की महिमा हैं यह, उसकी कोमल सी ममता
हर नर में परिवर्तन लाने की अद्भुत सी ये क्षमता
अगर ना होता नारी का वो निर्मल पावन प्यार
मानो ओझल हो जाता इस संसार का ही सार

हो धागों के ये रिश्ते या हो ममता के अटूट तार
इस प्रेम की पतवार से ही होती है नैया पार
नारी का अस्तित्व ही है मानो देवी का अवतार
आओ मिलकर इस शक्ति का करें हम जयजयकार

Who is a friend?

‘Oh no, not again!’ I hear my little five-year old neighbour shout out in anguish.

I don’t need to peep out of the window to know what’s spoiling her evening. I’ve seen her grow into the angel she is. I know each inflection, every giggle, every whimper of her animated self.

I go to my backyard and get a long bamboo stick. I open the front door, and she’s already there, waiting for me.

She needn’t speak.

I prop up the stick and reach for the shuttle-cock stuck on the flower-studded Champa tree by the street. After some poking in the lush canopy, the florescent shuttle cock falls down in tandem with the little girl’s squeal.

She is back at play with her mother on the street. Her reclusive mom wonders about this telepathic understanding between her daughter and me.

While at play I hear her tell her mother,

‘I told you. He will come to help. He is my friend!’

And that gets me wondering too.
When did we become friends?
What does it mean to be a friend anyway?

Soon, I realised the most sincere of definitions of a friend.

‘A friend is someone who cares about something with the same love and passion as you do.’

Think about it.

The interruption in play from the stuck shuttle cock is as much a matter of concern for the little girl as it is to me. We both care about the continuance of childlike play.

And I come out to help.

And we are friends!

We both find it inconceivable to not dance in the first shower of rain.
We care about the experience equally.
And we are friends.
Without ever needing to say a word.

A childhood friend cares about you almost to the same degree as you care about yourself.
Your emotion for them is exactly the same.
There’s an element of truth in that relentless reciprocity.

This mirrored magic of caring is what sustains childhood friendships for a lifetime.

If you make a friend later in life, chances are you are interested in similar things. You care about the similar political and philosophical ideas. You are passionate about the same thing in some manner.
Or you make something with them in some work context. And that leads you to care about a common idea or product or art.

The hours spent together, help coalesce your conceptions of friendship and soon, you start opening up to each other.

All friendship is a measure of how much we care about the same thing.
All brotherhood is a deed in trust.

Sometimes going out in search of friends doesn’t help.

All one can do is open up to care.
Care for someone, or something, or an idea with deep passion.
And let a friendship manifest around that commonality of care.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a friend.

Sometimes all you have to do, is to make the stuck shuttle cock fall down from a tree.

Once you’ve done that enough times, a little girl might call you a friend.

Is there an honour bigger than that?

With that thought, I wish you a happy friendship day!

Half Pants

Little Manjunath could not think about anything else but his brand new half-pants. Having lived in a single pair of half-pants ever since he remembers, the new pair was a luxury.

And he had worked hard to deserve them too.

One day at school, all kids had assembled in the kitchen courtyard to have their mid-day meal. A stray lump of glowing coal had slipped out of the stove, lending the haystack nearby a reason to burn.

As the flame raged into an inferno, the kids screamed and ran helter-skelter in search of a safer shelter. Manju, on the other hand, ran up to the well and fetched a bucket full of water to douse the fire.

How could he let the pot full of halwa get consumed in the flames!

Soon, the teachers at school came to help and the fire was extinguished.

He became the hero of the third standard that day. All teachers celebrated his bravery. Everyone celebrated with the sweet halwa salvaged from the fire. But what little Manju remembered most fondly was the gentle way in which Dhaara teacher, had ruffled his hair.

Dhaara was Manju’s class teacher. She was a charming lady in her mid-20s who taught her students with deep involvement and affection. Manju loved her in the most guileless, young-boy-like manner possible.

The principal of the school had taken note of Manju’s bravery. He had announced a gallantry award for Manju, to be awarded on the 15th of August, India’s Independence Day.

Manju wished to receive the honour in a new pair of clothes. His clothing situation though was a bitter irony. While his father was the local village washerman, who dealt with clothes all the time, he could hardly afford two pairs of school shorts for Manju.

But on learning of the bravery award to be conferred on Manju, he had borrowed money to buy a new pair of navy blue half-pants.

It was the night of 14th August. The new pair of half pants were swaying to the wind on the clothesline near the village pond. Manju could hardly sleep that night.

‘What if the half-pants get stolen? What if they are blown away into the pond?

What if they fall off and get muddy?’

A hundred things could go wrong, and all of them pestered him equally.

The whole household was fast asleep. It was midnight. Manju heard a deep rumble from outside. And, another worry entered his mind,

‘What if it rains?

I won’t be able to go to school with wet pants!
And I won’t be able to receive the award from Dhaara teacher!’

He longed for his hair to be ruffled again, just like the day of the fire in the kitchen.

The rumble was back again. It felt as if the clouds were forewarning about a sudden spell of rain.

Manju had to do something.

Quietly, he left his own house like a seasoned burglar. Guided by diffused moonlight and his villager instinct, he made his way to the community pond nearby.

He knew where his father always hung the clothes of the family. The topmost clothesline from the bank, near the banyan tree.

The fact that he was more afraid of missing out on Dhaara Madam’s gentle ruffle than any dangers lurking in the dark, led the little 8-year-old through the eerie theatre of the night.

He needed little searching. He got hold of his half pants and felt the damp fabric on his cheek.

‘Would it dry by morning?’ he wondered.

He didn’t want to receive the award with wet pants!

The rumble of the night got intense. Manju tried to listen for the source of the sound.

A pair of luminous eyes shone at a distance near the pond. A padded tail, curved like a bow, dangled high above the patch of grass.

It was a big cat.

A leopard.

Manju gulped all his screams.

Just as stealthily he had come out of his house, he climbed up the Banyan tree to be at a safe place, away from the feasting Leopard.

He wondered whose cattle shed in the village was one sheep short that night.

He prayed to Lord Hanuman, under his stifled breath.

Manju sweat his shirt wet in the half an hour spent in cover on the Banyan tree. Once the Leopard finished eating, he walked past the tree slowly.

Now, both of Manju’s half pants were wet.

Satiated with the kill, the Leopard sauntered into the thicket under the guard of the night.

Manju fell unconscious hugging a thick branch of the mighty Banyan tree.

The following morning, when Manju opened his eyes, he saw the angelic face of his class teacher.

‘Is this a dream?’ Have I reached heaven?’ he wondered in delirium.

He saw the faces of his relived parents on the adjacent side of the bed. He had a warm quilt around his body.

‘You’re fine Manju. Don’t worry.

We are all proud of you,’ said Dhaara teacher.

‘Good morning, teacher’ he mumbled.

‘We were worried when you didn’t come to school for the ceremony. Then the school gatekeeper told us you were on a Banyan tree the whole night.’

‘I hope it wasn’t one of our sheep. The leopard….’

‘Sshh… Don’t worry about it.

Here, I have your medal for you.

To the bravest child in our village!’

Dhaara teacher lovingly put the medal around a supine Manju.

She ruffled Manju’s hair affectionately. The gentle sweep of her fingers was worth a thousand badges of honour.

Everything seemed to be ending well for little Manju.

A bravery medal home delivered by his loving class teacher!

Everything seemed perfect.

Just the warm quilt gave him an irresistible itch on the thigh.

He slowly reached for the spot under the quilt to scratch that itch.

That’s when he realised,

He was wearing no half-pants!

Manju slept through the whole afternoon, naked under the blanket, without a worry in the world.

Both his half-pants fluttered slowly on the clothesline by the banyan tree next to the pond.

Magic Moringa

It would be safe to say that during the testing times of the pandemic, it was the drumstick that became my saviour.
No, I am not talking about the slender pieces of wood that help me make music on the drums. I am speaking about the drumstick hanging like muted chimes on the Moringa tree in my neighbourhood.

Also known as Saragvo in Gujarati, Muringyakaya in Malayalam, this hardy fruit-bearing tree made sure my family never went to bed with an empty stomach during the lockdown.
As the days of scarcity, and uncertainty reeled on with subsequent lockdown extensions, the majestic Moringa tree in the park assured us of our food security.

The moment the sun beamed its first rays into our locality, my mother would silently make her way to the park with a long stick in her hand. After some hustling, she would be back home with a few drumstick pods and a bunch of moringa leaves.

Come lunch and we’d have a spread of sambar and rice. Without the succulent drumstick soaking in the lightly flavoured stew, the dish would pass off as dal. But its pulpy goodness, and the satisfaction of sucking on the last drip from its fibrous remains made us feel a sense of plenitude in times of utter scarcity.

However, the spice shelf soon ran out of the indispensable ingredient of sambar – tamarind.
But has the creativity of a mother ever failed us?
Each day, we’d get to taste a different kind of tanginess in our ‘sambar’. We tasted the flavour of dried raw mangoes, dehydrated amla, Malabar tamarind, lemon, or even Kokum, as a replacement for the usual tamarind spiced sambar. And each dish would outdo the one served a day earlier.

The drumstick leaves started featuring in plenty in our dishes, sometimes as saag,at times as a poriyal with grated coconut, as a leafy accompaniment in dal, at times just raw as a garnish on a cucumber and pomegranate salad.

It’s safe to say our home was suffused with the aromatic blessings of the Moringa tree.

Since we were consuming so much food from a single tree, we wondered if there were any side effects to it.

After some searching online, my mother said,

‘They say it’s a superfood. Do you know anything about this? What is a superfood?’

I could have looked it up. But after the generous care given to our family for two months at a stretch, could I deem its superfood status merely to some magical combination of micronutrients?

Towards the end of May, the drumstick on the tree began to dry up. Only a few dozen drumstick remained near the canopy. But when my mother’s height failed her to reach the topmost fruit, my father’s resolution helped bridge that slender distance.

We derived as much as we could from the tree, until the day it rained for the first time in the season. With a grateful heart, we let the tree heal and recover with the spells of rain to follow.

From the last few drumstick, my mother managed to grow a few saplings. They’re growing well, one each on either side of the entrance to our home.

I remember how during the summer months, our city would be full of drumsticks hanging from the ubiquitous Moringa trees. But all of that fruit dried up every year, without ever receiving respect through our consumption.

The dried seed pods would fall on the concrete pavements. Not one seed would manage to break the opaque, unyielding shield of modernity and reach a longing layer of soil beneath.

I haven’t been out on the streets lately due to the pandemic.

But I only hope that all other Moringa trees have been utilised as abundant treasures in times of scarcity. I hope all of them look like the resurgent tree in our park, one that’s grateful of having served its cause, of having saved a few lives.

And if there are other seeds that have blossomed outside the houses of our unknown neighbours, the hapless seedlings have finally found a fertile place in our heart.

Two prayers

‘Rain rain go away,

Little Johnny wants to play…’

Little Johnny was singing this rhyme, wishing the rains away.

‘It’s vacation time. Why does it have to rain now?’ he thought.

While little Lola reached her hand out of the window to catch the falling droplets of rain.

She was delighted to feel the heaven-sent shower on her palm.

‘Johnny, it is nice weather. Come let’s sit in the porch and listen to the rain,’ said little Lola.

‘I don’t want to listen to the rain. I wish there was a big Umbrella that could shield the playground from the raindrops,’ said a brooding Johnny seated on his black and white football.

‘But the rain is nice. The plants need it. Animals need it. We need water from the rain too.’

‘It can rain in the night when we are asleep. Why does it have to rain in the day?’

‘So that you can see it, silly! Don’t you like to play in the rain?’ asked Lola.

‘I am a big boy now. I am eight years old you know. I like sports. Not dancing in the rain!’

‘Too bad for you big boy. I am still a little girl. I love the rain.’

‘Then why do you raise an alarm when you see a millipede walk into the house at night after the rain?’

‘Did you see a millipede?’ asked a terrified Lola.

‘Ha ha ha, foolish girl. If I had one wish, I would pray for the rain to go away right now!’

‘No, Johnny! Let the rain go away slowly. I still want to dance in the drizzle.’

Johnny let out a big laugh.

‘Ha ha ha, I will use my secret powers, and pray for the rain to stop in 10 minutes!’

‘No, No, Johnny!’ Lola pleaded…


Oh almighty sun, let the clouds part…Let me see your shining face….’

Lola, in turn, prayed to the clouds,


‘Dear clouds, don’t go away too soon. Let there be a drizzle as you move to other places.’

The rain began to lessen in intensity. The earth was gravid with fresh water. The seeds in the earth awakened. Soon, a gentle glisten of sunbeam spread on the soft surface of the earth.

Lola jumped out in the puddle outside her house. Her brother Johnny, flung his football into the puddle. He jumped right in and the whole neighbourhood knew the kids were at play.

They walked to the little bridge near their house. The water in the canal was ripple dotted with the falling droplets. A lotus bloom moved languidly with the gentle flow.

‘You see the Sun is out. My wish has come true!’ said Johnny looking at the emergent sun.

There was no answer from Lola.

She was looking eastward, away from the setting sun. She was entranced.

‘Johnny…’ she tugged on his sleeve and pointed to the sky in the east.

Johnny turned around and looked at the sky.

A majestic arch of seven colours shone feebly on the blue sky. A faint assembly of colours sat on top on the arch, just in the reverse order of colours.

It reflected in the freshwater flowing in the canal.

‘What is this Johnny?’

‘Some magic. Did you pray for this Lola?’

‘No, I just asked for a little drizzle.’

‘And, I asked for a little sunshine.’

The brother and sister duo, watched the sky in awe, as the sun sunk in the western sky.

Millipedes dug their way out of the moist earth. Lola never noticed.

There wasn’t any fighting between the siblings anymore.

And both prayers were answered, in nature’s own sweet way.

On the good old Lunchbox

Remember that calamitous moment in school, when the class teacher asked for yesterday’s homework with a cold steel ruler in hand? And you slid your hand ever so slowly inside the school bag, feigning to reach for the unfinished homework. How you imagined the cold slap of metal on your tender hands on a cold winter morning. And somewhere between all of this, your hands touched the stainless steel lunch box inside your bag that nursed your hands with the reassuring warmth of homemade comfort food.

And we felt all was well in the world. We found the largesse to convince ourselves, ‘This too shall pass’ and we dared to imagine beyond the pain, about the feast that awaited us at lunch time.

The lunch box is the closest substitute for the warmth of a mother. It’s the quintessential pacifier for growing kids who need to be weaned off their mother’s constant companionship. The weeping kids at pre-school find some consolation in the taste of the lovingly prepared meal by their darling mothers. The lunch box somehow convinces us that we are still not too far from home.

In school, lunchtime was the much needed pit-stop we needed for a quick refuel, before we headed out to play in the carefully budgeted lunch period. Lunch was a substitute for a visit to our friend’s home. And more often than not, we visited them all in that hurried limited buffet in the class room. And how discerning was our sense of taste! We might have not even seen a friend’s mother, but we could recognise her from a blind tasting test!

Amid the sharing of lunch all throughout school, we also grew up with a conundrum that’s unsolved to this day.
If everyone ate only out of their own tiffin, everyone would be full. But if everyone shared with each other equally, nobody ever felt full enough!

And as we shared our meals, we took our stomach on a gastronomical Bhaarat darshan. Our lunch comprised of two spoons of Upma, Half an Idli, quarter a Paratha, a slurry of curd rice, a handful of Poha, a disfigured cutlet, and assorted snacks that we trusted to be edible. Sometimes we scooped a fistful of Maggi, a dollop of pasta, a morsel of samosa on that odd special day. A random piece of lime pickle, a smattering of ketchup, and an odd dip in the green chutney, all washed down with hurried gulps of water.
The stomach was prepared for resilience right from school days.

But there were also days when we forgot to carry that lunch box, or someone hid it to have fun with us. Who could we blame when all pilferers pleaded victimhood? But the hunters often become the hunted too, and in the end nobody ever learned a lesson!

There is something crucial that we did learn at lunch hour though – the difference between civility and savagery. All we had to do was observe how girls and boys share lunch among themselves.

Boys would remember being injured with their finger cut from a stainless steel dabba grab-fest, juggling a hot paratha, getting their fingers pierced by forks, and all the pushing and shoving involved in the pursuit of one mouthful. On the other hand, girls would sit in a circle and eat with grace, while finding amusement in the public display of desperation from the boys. Girls always wondered why the boys acted this way. And the boys could never fathom why girls seemed to be growing faster when it was the boys who displayed a more ravenous hunger.

The weight of a full dabba has a gravity of its own. On a long journey away from home the dabba binds us to our roots, giving us comfort in each redolent morsel.
The dabba has always accompanied us regardless of our age. The dabba meant that you’re still cared for. That someone at home still called you by an adorable pet name, no matter how old you were. In a busy city like Mumbai, there’s an intricate web of Dabbawallahs who promise to deliver home-cooked food to your office doorstep. That speaks of what we long for through the dabba.

While most of us have experienced the joy of a dabba full of delicious food, only few among us have experienced the unspoken joy of a mother who washes an empty dabba late in the evening.

She knows that despite her proscription, her daughter did share the ghee and nuts laden halwa with her friends. She’s happy still, knowing that her daughter had the heart to share a delicacy with friends.

Until the dawn of the millennium, tiffin boxes were made of stainless steel, the most iconic of them being the three-floored skyscraper of a dabba, a familiar cousin of the indestructible Hero cycles. We have come a long way from that era. Moulded plastic lunch boxes have replaced the heavyweight champion. In fact, lunch boxes have become modern and stylish. Kids carry Tupperware as lunch boxes, something that was unthinkable in the late 90s. There are insulation lined lunch boxes that keep the food warm until lunch time. I remember the only way to achieve that back in the day was with the aluminium foil, something that only classier kids could afford. Looking back though, I’m glad none of our friends could afford that, else in the grab-snatch game at lunch hour, we’d all have accidentally ingested foil for food at some point.

However, most mischievous kids ensured that they had their lunch warm by finishing it when it was still warm, just after the first period.
Who needs foil, they’d say!
Their marginal moustache almost always bore signs of ingestion, in stark contrast of their staunch denial. Need one explain the genesis of the old Hindi saying – chor ki dadhi me tinka?

Just as the design of the box is changing, so are its contents. Toasted bread, cheese sandwiches, reheated pizzas, biscuits, and convenience foods are increasingly featuring in the lunch boxes of the school going generation today.
The advertising industry has been convincing us into using factory-made substitutes of what we believed to be indispensable, healthy meals. And given the pace of life today, one can empathise with the overworked mother who rationalises the temptation of sending a peanut butter jam sandwich for lunch.

Not only this, the rules in the school are changing too. There are schools that decree students to not share their lunch. It’s every man to himself here. Some schools have a kitchen and cafeteria, which comes as a relief for working parents. All kids eat the same meal. There’s no avenue to share. As we dish out these convenient measures we end up promoting a mono-culture that’s individualistic and unsavoury.

What will happen to the sisterhood found through sharing food?

We are what we eat.
In my school days, my friends and I ate almost exactly the same meal (give or take a morsel) as we shared food uncompromisingly at every lunch hour. Perhaps that speaks for why we still feel oneness with those who we shared our school lunch box with.

But with the culture of being kept from sharing food with friends, or having to eat the same meal in the cafeteria (without having to share), one wonders how it will affect children in the future.

Where is this headed?
We can only wait and watch. But don’t be surprised when kids aren’t as eager to share as they once used to be. They’re the least to be blamed for this change.

However things shape up, we can be glad to be a generation that still savours the good old charm of slinging a lunchbox to work.
And if we still carry a lunch box to office, we can only feel grateful.


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