WASTE IT NOT
It was 7 o’clock, a Sunday morning. I was at Margao (Goa) railway station waiting to board the train to Mangalore. There was an announcement, “the train is delayed by an hour”. I was disappointed by the announcement, more so because I skipped my breakfast to board the train scheduled to be at 7:15 a.m.
Anyway, I couldn’t change the situation, thus accepting the revised time, I moved towards a vacant seat. But then, crows were desperately crying in my stomach; therefore I went in search of a canteen. I went around the station and found none open, except to my luck a woman who was selling samosas. She said, “3 for 10 rupees”.
I searched my trouser pockets and tried to get a tenner. I paid the lady and got the threesamosas and came as quickly as possible to a vacant seat at the platform.
On settling myself there, I took a deep breath and sent a sigh of relief thinking that eating these samosas I will diminish my hunger.
My hand started picking the samosas and I was eating piece by piece enjoying every bit of its taste. Suddenly, I found someone touching my back, I turned back to see who it was. I saw a shabbily dressed, dirty, stinking, hungry man. “Oomph!” said I, “what kinds of people exist in the world?”
He extended his right hand towards me, uh…actually towards my plate asking something to eat. I was reluctant, I continued eating, the samosas were surely tasty, but, I didn’t like the extra flour at the sides, so I removed and placed it at the edge of the plate.
The stranger touched me again, this time I was really filled with ire but I touched my heart and said, “All is right, All is right.” This time he asked me for the crumbs in the plate and all this was observed by the people around me. I was embarrassed, I didn’t know what to do, seeing my reluctance the stranger said in English, “Don’t waste it, child.”
I was astonished by this statement and immediately gulped the crumbs which I had segregated in the plate……one samosa was still remaining in my plate but then I was thirsty, I remembered that I didn’t carry water, thinking that I could buy it in the train.
The stranger saw me doing, “hisss…hiss…ss” and immediately removed an old dirty water bottle from his dirty antiquated rat eaten bag and gave it to me to drink.
I was really thirsty, so I took the water bottle instantly, opened it up and satiated my thirst. With this my stomach was now happy. But one samosa still remained; I thought of eating it later and packed it. Just as I was going to keep it in my bag, the stranger made the gesture of begging again which was observed by all. I was embarrassed but then I acted as though I was packing it with a lot of care and giving to the man. I gave it to the man; he immediately took the parceled samosa, tore open the parcel and ate the samosawithin seconds. I was spellbound. After eating the samosa the stranger said, “Child, don’t waste food. I lost all the members of my family because of lack of food”.
From that day onwards I stopped wasting food and I learnt to be generous to people. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4: 4-5).
Hey! I forgot to mention this: as soon as the man advised me, I ran to the woman (thesamosa vendor) and bought 3 more samosas and gave the man. I’m a little frank, isn’t it? “Oh God! My train has arrived; I’ve got to go, good-bye!”