This word has brought me innumerable memories,of tempting meals,of satiating aromas,of garnished foods,of mouthwatering dishes,but in all these there is this particular recipe that has been most close to my heart.
One recipe that I believe I would take with me to my grave.
One recipe that has somewhere somehow helped me be the way I am.
It was the year 2007.
I was working with a not so famous very small NGO(Non Government Organisations).
Aashray-Home for the abandoned.
Every morning we went to railway stations to pick runaway children,some lost and some whose parents had abandoned them and many more of these kinds.
They all were kept in this small 2 bedroom place-Aashray,their home cum basic school.
I went there to teach them,keep them happy and entertain them so that they could feel like a family and have the zest to grow.
They had a very simple transparent process of making food.Every evening the NGO personnel collected whatever funds and money they got and all children some 30 to 40 and the 4-5 people gathered as if like in a serious meeting.And then the staff told the children the exact sum they had and the possible variety of meager items they could buy.
And all after discussing came to an unanimous decision and that particular item was bought.
But whatever it was they ate with wonderful zest not once complaining.
I had heard that many a times they went to sleep empty stomach too.
But being from a reasonably good family I never believed that even now people could sleep without food.
One fine day I was there teaching these children acting.
Soon it was lunch time.The same meeting took place.
As it was birthday of a boy so all wanted to eat sweets.
The special dish at that part of the country was rice balls added with sugar and rolled into balls by using a lot of butter.
This was what the children desired to eat.
I thought the NGO people would surely say NO as this would require a lot of butter and hence would be very costly.To my utter amazement they din'y say no.
And then the preparation started.I couldn't hold my guessing for too much and went inside the kitchen to check how were they able to manage such a costly item when even basic food was a delicacy for them.
And then it dawned on me.
The NGO just wanted to keep the children happy.
I saw there that the balls were rolled using water-plain placid tasteless water.
And then the head told me that although we afford only this we can't make these small young children unhappy.
An hour later this dish was served.The children offered a prayer to the almighty and ate this dish as it was the most wonderful dish ever made.They offered one piece to me too.
Yes,it tasted like the worst thing I had ever eaten but still I yearned for more just because of the feelings that were served in the dish.
That day we friends gave a party to the children at Ashray and later gave them many more.
But it was one recipe that I never know and can never forget.
It was the recipe to happiness.