Saturday, August 11, 2007

"Food Waster"

In her 17-page letter, my grandmother wrote of few more incidents in her childhood prior to her marriage at age 12. In reference to her other incidences in my previous blogs, click: here and here.

She had a cook, named RamaKrishna, who was a faithful servant for years. He held strong moral values that my grandmother's parents respected him and left him to assist a bit in disciplining the nine children during mealtimes.

Ramakrishna maintained that no one should NEVER waste any food on their plates. He enforced such discipline to the children. If someone carelessly wasted, even a morsel, the cook would put the leftover in a cloth bag and tie it with a string around the person's neck. Anytime durig the night, the food MUST be eaten, before daybreak. It was never ever allowed to be thrown away.

One evening, my grandmother carelessly, without thinking, served a big scoop of food on her plate. She realized, to her regret, was a bit too much for her stomach.

One by one, all her siblings, but her, left the table upon finishing dinner. Nervously, my grandmother sat still at the table, knowing that Ramakrishna would not allow her to get up without finishing the food. She dreaded having the cloth bag tied around her neck, even if all night.

Fidgeting, she did not know what to do. For two hours, she sat at the table with her hands clasped under the table.

Finally, my grandmother's mother pitied her and politely asked the cook to let her go only this time. The cook replied that she was free to get up. My grandmother knew she would be allowed to leave whenever she wanted, but with the bag tied on her unless she finished the food.

After some thought, my grandmother took a deep breath and held it. While she was doing it, she quickly drank some water and gulped the rest of the morsel on her plate.

She narrowly escaped the wrath of having the bag "weighing heavily" on her neck.

In the letter, she wrote that after this episode, she NEVER ever wasted food again in the rest of her entire life.