Written by Krishna Khanna Category: Inspiring Life
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Contributed By Colonel Amarpal Singh

As a teenager, I threw tantrums if there was a trace of extra or less chillies in the food my mother served, said a friend I met regularly on my morning walk. I would push away my food, he said, and rudely demand to know when my mother would learn to spice dishes to my taste. To express my displeasure, I would sulk and not eat. My parents would pacify me with extra chillies by my plate and make sure nothing was added to the dish itself. I would not agree to this solution. Food had to be prepared and served exactly to my taste.

My parents were at their wits' end. They did not know how to please their son's taste buds. My mother began to observe extreme caution while exercising her culinary skills as far as chillies were concerned. The law of averages could not be defined to my taste in this matter. I continued to reject her attempts to please me.

One fine day I was cast in the role of the send-off party for my newly married sister at the railway station. There was some time for the train to leave and I curiously watched a beggar on the platform. After begging for some time, the beggar leaned against a pillar. I saw him take out a glass from the cloth sack hanging from his shoulder. Out from the same sack came a piece of dried chappati. The beggar filled his glass at the station tap and immersed the roti in the water to soften it, before he chewed it slowly .

This scene shook me, said my friend. I thought here is a human being like me surviving on dried chappati and water and I, in the comfort of my home, was unable to thank God for the food I got so plentifully That evening at . the dinner table I quietly ate whatever was served to me. The topic of chillies was never mentioned again. I became a changed youth and never hurt my parents again with ingratitude.