#Feeding India Diaries: Big Fat Indian Weddings

We all just love weddings, don’t we?

And we all have our own reasons to love weddings, mine is food. I just love food. For the man who is extremely and dangerously hungry, no other interest exists but food. He dreams food, he remembers food, and he thinks about food, he emotes only about food, he perceives only food, and he wants only food.

Weddings are one thing Indian Parents love to spend money on. They spend all their hard earned money which they have saved throughout their lifetime especially on weddings of their little ones. You surely must have heard this popular line, “We have worked hard all our life to celebrate our daughter’s wedding in the most lavish way we can.”  The majority of this money is spent on food. Even if the parents have themselves been eating only Dal-Roti for the last 20-25 years, on the day of their daughter’s wedding you won’t be surprised to see International cuisines, and the best of Indian Dishes from every part of (My mouth has already started watering with the thought of those tasty dishes 😀 ).

Whenever I know there is going to be a wedding in the near future I prepare myself to fast the previous day. I know the wedding day is the biggest day for the bride and groom to be, but it is an even bigger day for me (or my tummy I should say). I just love to feast on anything and everything there is going to be on the menu(after all who doesn’t love free food?). For ages we have all followed the Golden phrase, “ Khao piyo khisko.”

We start with Aloo chaat, then Chaat papdi, dahi bhalle, Raj kachori. After we are done with trying all the chaat there is, we move on to the main course. No matter how many cuisines are there, every Indian’s favourite wedding food is Shahi paneer , Dal Makhani, and Butter Chicken, accompanied with Lachcha parantha and Meethi Lassi (What more do you need in life).

Leaving some space for desserts to fit into my stomach, our next destination is Gulab Jamun, Moong Daal Halwa, Jalebi topped with Rabri or of course, Ice-Cream (Any flavour works). And then finally paan!

But! Despite the efforts of foodies like me, A LOT OF FOOD GETS WASTED IN WEDDINGS (probably enough to feed hundreds of more people). All this delicious, perfectly edible, healthy and nutritious food is thrown into the dustbin. Yes, this is the sad truth. Food which has been bought with the lifetime savings of the parents/guardians going wasted. Doesn’t that hurt? Of course it does.

I had joined Feeding India, a not for profit that collects excess food from weddings and redistributes it to the needy. Now, the philosophy which I used to follow before joining Feeding India was, “khao,piyo,khisko”. After joining it has become, “ Khao, piyo, jo bacha hai KHILAO aur phir khisko.” Now, you must be thinking that the idea looks good but where will we go an donate so much food at 3 AM? What is where we come in as Hunger Heroes. We are just a call away, all you have to do is call us on our helpline number and there would be a volunteer who would come and pick up the leftover food. Yes you can call us ANYTIME be it 5 in the morning or 12 at night). We alleviate hunger and reduce food wastage simultaneously, that is our vision. We do not believe in cooking up extra new food to feed the poor, we simply act as a link to ensure the already cooked food reaches the place from where it is not needed to where it is REALLY NEEDED.

You can be a hunger hero yourself and join our organisation to volunteer. The happiness you will get and the blessings you will receive from the people whom you donate the food to, is priceless!! On one occasion, I actually remember seeing tears of joy in the eyes of an elderly beggar when I gave him a loaf of bread.

In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”


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