Incidents Short story

Food for Thought

We are celebrating brother’s board results. Daddy has ordered ghee dosai, sambar vadai and mango lassi. Mummy sulks. The food is cold and the table, filthy. Daddy bellows at the waiter and he disdainfully takes away the cold food.


We now see the waiter lining up our new trays of steaming, delicious food. Our eyes gleam and my mouth waters. I clap my little hands with glee.


A short, dark boy, around my age walks up. He is wearing a frayed brown shirt and faded pair of brown shorts. Even his hair is brown, to match. He wears no slippers. His face is sunken, cheeks are hollow and lips are chapped. He wipes our table with his dirty rag. Daddy shouts at him to get a cleaner piece of wiping cloth. He wipes his nose and fetches another cloth – one that is bright and clean, like me but is frayed, like himself.


Daddy is happy. Mommy is gloating over brother. I have lost my appetite.

16 replies on “Food for Thought”

Beautiful and very well written…

and it struck a cord somewhere… and yea, it also makes us realise how lucky we are in some ways and it also made me thing about how common child labour is…

love the way you create these little stories around profound thoughts…storytelling instead of preaching is a far more powerful way of communication…excellent piece of writing!

Thank you, buddies. It was based on a true incident, which is probably why you could relate to it so well. This happens all the time, right in front of our eyes. I wish we would do something about it… Infact I wish I had done something about it that day 😦

Some thing we all learn over time is never to be rude to people, especially when they are less fortunate than us. You have an eye for the poignant and a heart that is sensitive. Loved it.

Right Yuva- it is injustice indeed. I believe the only responsibity/duty children must have is to play, play and play!

Roops- Thanks so much, and yes, we must be polite to all…it doesn’t cost us anything!!

Yeah, Sol. We all have, and we continue to do so. Mebbe we should do something the next time we witness something like this?!

Thank you, Shail. I hope the post makes even a teeny weeny difference to somebody’s life.

Been a while since I came to your blog. Very touching story. I have been in such situations before and have hated myself afterwards for not being able to do anything abt the unfairness of it all!:(

So, what do you think?

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