Parle-G Biscuits and Grains

We live in a small flat in Ranip. While all the families in the society live in flats, many families’ economic prosperity is not much better than many living in slum. One such family lives behind us. A couple lives with their son and the husband’s brother and mother in a small inherited two room flat, that is 8 feet by 15 feet in size. The entire household subsists on the daily wages of the daily wages the male earns from doing labor work (20 – 50 rupees/day).

During Diwali, like all the other families, the wife was cleaning the home. Since they did not own a table, she stood on a tin box to clean the fan. Losing her balance, the tin slipped from underneath her and she fell on the back of head and had a brain hemorrhage. She was admitted to Civil Hospital, a government hospital, where she was treated at minimal cost. Once she returned home, the household was in turmoil. With only one income-generator and that too 20-50 rupees a day, daily earnings were all used for medicines and food for the woman. The rest of the family went hungry.

Hearing of their plight, I could not sit and do nothing. I immediately went to my mother with my desire to do something. My mother works as a peon at a school and since it was Diwali, many people give her grains and food to mark the occasion. She immediately agreed with my decision to help and suggested that we give the food she had just received.

“We can buy our own food. If we give this food to the family, then those who gave it to me will get even better karma for their actions.” With these words, she gave me the food (still in its original packaging) and 10 rupees to buy Parle-G biscuits for the son.

The family could not believe their eyes when they saw me at their door. Their happiness knew no bounds. The son had been eating 4 parle-g biscuits a day as it was all these could afford. Now they was adequate food for the entire family.

After that, I went to Manav Sadhna and collected some money. For the next week, even though I fell sick, I went out and bought the family fruits each day.

Today whenever I see the man, even though he has little or no money, he always asks me if I want coffee or tea. Our interactions have made an imprint on both of our hearts.