The Gift of Giving

Within two weeks over 1,000 bloggers made a commitment to come together and share their stories and thoughts on compassion on their respective blogs, each on his own yet bound together strongly like an energy that sparks the acts of kindness to further continue to make this world a better place to live in. Let the tidal wave of compassion flow across the virtual world to seep into the pores of humanity with every blogger doing his bit by sharing his post to contribute to this noble thought. I’m immensely grateful to be a part of this cause. The much awaited day has finally arrived for us to share and help grow the nature of compassion each of us have been blessed with.This is not exactly a new post but was written quite recently. I thought it was just ideal for sharing when the topic of compassion comes to my mind. So when 1000 bloggers have come together to write about their thoughts and stories of compassion to share on 1000 Speak for Compassion, this one was the closest to my heart!


Early this August when I landed in Mumbai all over again with a new job, I was put up with a few close family friends in a fairly unfamiliar and remote part of Mumbai. Although, we shared close family ties, I hadn’t been much in touch with them since my student days. Back home, I had heard stories about how this family of three, the couple and their young daughter were ardent animal lovers, especially stray dogs around their locality. It always had me curious on how they went about showing their concern for these less fortunate animals. During my stay of ten days with them, I had the chance to witness their generosity.

Every evening after the man of the house was back from work, even after a tired day at work he drove his wife in his car, with huge cans of food to feed about twenty seven dogs in and around their locality. A ritual that they have been following for past eight years now. These were huge aluminium cans with a large ladle to serve the special concoction that they whipped up especially for the dogs. The meal comprised of soft cooked rice, lentils and eggs. A huge sack of rice of about 60 kilos was parked right in the corner of their kitchen, and it was the month’s quota of rice just for these dogs. I absorbed all this with wide-eyed wonder. I mean, I’ve seen people doing a lot of good things for animals on and off, but to do something of this magnitude on a daily basis had me completely bowled over!

Come what may, the lady of the house would never have her dinner before she went out and served their grub to these dogs. They were her babies. Occasionally, when I got home early from work I went with them to witness their great devotion to this act. It was quite touching to note the way the dogs waited for their meals to arrive each day. The shower of wags and woofs were proof enough to declare their undying love for the lady who fed them with such warmth and affection. Interestingly, they all sat patiently in a line for their turn to be served, without creating the slightest of ruckus. There were days, it would be raining ferociously and the lady who has her share of health issues, had no one to accompany her or drive her to the locations that were inhabited by her dogs. But yet, she somehow manages to do this ritual dutifully with all her heart into it. On a rare day that she is unwell or has no choice but to delay feeding the dogs, she wouldn’t touch her own meal, feeling guilty for being unable to do her deed for the day and would sit brooding about how hungry her dogs must be. So much so, that she prefers not going out of town with the fear that her dogs will go unfed.

Apparently, this great deed was the brain-child of their then teenage daughter who got her mother involved in this noble cause along with her. Now, when the daughter is away in another city pursuing her studies, her parents still follow the ritual of ensuring that these orphaned strays are well fed every single evening before they themselves sit down for their own meals.

After all the stories one hears of atrocities meted out on the strays (read my post on the same here), there is only one emotion that fills my heart when I reminisce about this experience – respect. The very act of giving with selfless love to the unfortunate ones…especially the ones who are right out there, greeting you around the corner when you’re rushing back home, and sometimes you do not even oblige them with a glance, leave alone feed them everyday, has all my respect and admiration. Kudos to the noble thought which did not just remain a thought but got translated into action.

There are so many colors to the act of giving. But this one scores the highest on my list!

Linking this to #1000speak at
Originally written for #GivingTuesday Blog Hop  at Write Tribe