Bhojan8 mins 192 8 mins 192
Story 1 : Bhojan
"I cant let this thing stop", Manav thought, "I must do something'' But Manav was aware that nothing is in his hands. He called his closest friend Vishal.
A few months back :
"Head sector ke experts aur anya desho ke anubhavo ko dhyaan me rakhte hue, desh aaj ek mahtvapurna nirnay karne jaa raha hai,... aaj raat 12baje se ...pure desh me ... Sampurna lockdown hone jaa raha hai"
PM's words pierced the hearts of the whole nation. Manav loved to travel a lot, and for him it was like, the judge of a court sentenced him to a jail term of 21days. Manav used to go from places to places. He rarely used to stay at home. He discovered this hobby when his 7 years of relationship ended badly. Travelling was a kind of running away from the reality for him. It was like medicine to his pain. He did not give time to himself to think how he was cheated by a girl for whom he wasted his 7 years of life. Even though, his visits to home were rare, he was a responsible guy. Being the only son of his parents, he knew his responsibilities.
"See, you are lucky that you are at home and not stuck in a two star hotel of Kasauli. My illness saved you" , his father joked
A few days back, Manav was planning for a trip to Kasauli but he had to cancel it as his father fainted.
"jo hota hai acche ke liye hota hai" (all that happens, happens for good), his mom interrupting the conversation between the father and the son.
She was further saying, " the pressure for your marriage is double. God knows when this situation will come to normal. You are all ready 30. Anant is 8years younger that you and he is having a child of 2yrs."
Manav was irritated and said , "Anant, your favourite sister's favourite boy didnot even marry. He fled away with a girl who is barely 18 and returned with a grandson for his parents in less than 1 year. Anant, who is 8years younger as you said, if you do the calculations, he had the child before the legal age of marriage. Is this a thing to be proud? They should be charged"
Manav's father lightened the situation by cracking a lame joke thereafter.
Days turned to months and it was unbearable for Manav to stay at home. He was feeling suffocation and also felt as if the walls of his room were coming closer to him.
One evening, he went to the verandah for a fresh air. He walked to gate and saw the roads were empty. But there was a lady near the big dustbin holding a baby in her arms. She saw Manav and walked towards him. He took a few steps back and said to the lady to stop at a distance. The pandemic changed everyone and this reaction of his was because of the pandemic too. We all are trained in such a way to deal with this pandemic and sometimes while being precautious, we forget the basic humanity. Manav went inside the house without even listening to the poor lady. That night he couldnot sleep. The dry lips of the poor lady, her messy hair, the weeping child and the empty plastic bag - these images were flashing before his eyes. He was ashamed of himself.
Next day he went straight to the kitchen from his bed even before his parents woke, took some fruits in a bag and went out with double masks. The roads were empty. He felt as if he was the only over left in the planet. After taking the first turn, he saw that lady lying on the road with her baby. He called her addressing "Didi"
She woke up and immediately stood up. He put the bag a few steps away from them and he asked her to take it. The lady's eyes shined with tears of happiness. She took the bag, folded hands to him and showered him with hundreds of blessings. She started to feed her baby.
This scene gave satisfaction to him but that feeling faded when he saw other beggars on that same road. Some of them were watching that lady with watered mouths, some were folding hands to Manav. Manav realised his responsibility was not only to feed just that lady. He felt as if they all were his people, his blood relationships.
He went at home. By then his father was having his morning tea.
"Where were you? " his father asked
Manav didnot know from where to start.
"Dad, See the world is in its worst days and we are lucky that we are able to fulfil the basic needs to survive. But not all are lucky like us. I am thinking to do something for them. "
"For them? For whom? And what? ", his father asked in a calm manner.
Manav's mother gave him his tea and taking the first sip, he continued "For the poor people, atleast for the beggars who roams in the nearby places"
The next two days went on executing the plan. Both the father son calculated the budget they need. Manav was saving an amount for his next trip and even his part time job in the past few years made a good saving. His dad's half of the monthly pension were added to the amount. His mom wasnot favour in this decision. She unwillingly had to give away a small amount of what was saved for Manav's wedding.
And on the third day, they were ready with dal, chawal and sabji for around 50people.
The foods were prepared by none other than Manav and his father. They also had to appear for permission and as Manav's uncle was in politics, they easily got permission but they were warned to follow the precautions.
Day 1 :
Manav stood on the road and said in a loud voice
"Aap sabhi ke thodi si boj halka karne aur pet ki bhook ko mitane ki ek choti si koshish karte hue aaj se aap sabhi ko roz do baar khana milegi Hamare pariwar ki taraf se"
It was like the world of the beggars filled with color again. All of them were smiling.
"but first you have to follow some rules." manav said.
Manav was accompanied by his friend, Vishal and Raj that day. They asked the people to stand in a line with one hand distance. The people had to take a mask one by one and sanitise their hands. The santise department was handled by Raj and Vishal was distributing the masks. The people then had to go Manav where he was serving the food. The first few people felt confused as it was all new for them but looking at the first few people, the others got an idea. Manav was cheering up the people alongwith telling to follow the precautions.
"may god bless you"
"you are the evidence that there is still humanity''
"you are like God for us"
This kind of comments was getting by Manav and his friends. But every time Manav replies in a polite way, " I am doing what I can. I know its just a small attempt. In this way the first day went well
Day 6 :
A reporter arrived with his cameraman and asked Manav " what will you say about this activity of yours?" And Manav replied in a humorous way " My name is Manav which means human and if I don't show humanity, who else will?
Days went well. They tried new strategies like vegetable gardening. Manav sown some seeds of some vegetables in the large backyard and he was successful. Even though Manav's mother wasnot supporting him but she regularly watered the plants. Even she boasted of her son's helpful act to her relatives over phone which was heard by Manav many times. This kind of things made Manav smile.
It was more than 3 months since they started this. Manav was founded covid positive. His mother for frustrated the moment she got to know about this. He was admitted to the hospital. But all he was concern about the poor people.
"I can't let this thing stop", Manav thought, "I must do something'' But Manav was aware that nothing is in his hands. He called his closest friend Vishal.
He said, " See friend you were always with me in my ups and downs. You don't worry about me , I am getting proper treatment. But please don't stop the good deed we started even if my breathe stops"
The last line was enough for Vishal. The serving of food continued. The beggars were tensed to know about Manav. They all prayed to God before taking the meal.
" o god dont be cruel to the good people"
It was the 15th day since Manav was quarantined. By God's grace, he had no complications. Maybe its because of his recent good deeds. The govt was following the unlock process gradually by then. Each and every poor people were waiting for his arrival. Manav reached that particular road at around 9 am. He preferred to walk through that road as he had not seen his people for two weeks.He also got to know from his friends how those people prayed each and everyday for his better health.
Manav's heart skipped a beat when he saw the people on both the sides of the road. They were all wearing masks though he could sense their smiles. As he took his steps forward, white and yellow petals were showered on him. The jasmines were brought fresh. Everyone was cheering him up. He wiped his teary eyes and smiled. He never felt so special like this. People were clapping, some were singing too. He waved his right hand to the people, folded hands before them, and walked to the gate of his gate. Looking at the gate, he thought
" Everything started from here, this gate"