It was a chilly December night in the narrow lanes of Mumbai suburbs and we were going home after we had alighted the train from Bangalore. The train was late by four hours and when the auto driver said that he would take a shortcut, I and my brother tired from the journey felt very obliged.
The auto took a turn in one corner and drove into a very dirty narrow lane. I was watching outside - so many slums, few did not even have roofs. There was a garbage disposal place at the far end corner of the road. A very old man wrapped in an old, torn blanket ate leftovers from the garbage. And as the auto passed, my eyes met his eyes.... sad, grief-struck, forlorn, hollow, dead eyes.
That fainted memory still sends chills through my body, raises my hair on the back and I bow my head in gratitude towards the almighty for not keeping me starving and providing me food and shelter daily. And after that day, I have never wasted food but donated the leftovers to the poor people thinking that someone somewhere is starving like that old man and an act of kindness will feed an empty stomach in a decent way. Not like the old man from my fainted memory eating foul and spoiled food.