Sep 24, 2013

"Frog in Food" from Sermons in the Stroms

One day during the closing period of my monsoon halt in a small town of Gujarat's Kaira District, three gentlemen came to extend advance invitation to me for lunch at their respective homes.
I was to remain in that town only for a further nine days and of that, seven days were already booked. Just two days, a Wednesday and a Thursday remained. Wednesday was allotted to one Shri Amarbhai and Thursday to Shri Bhanubhai. The third Shri Chimanbhai who could not be given any day offered to stay as a reserve.
Now on my part, I informed them all to come to call me at the ashram at 10-45 a.m. on the appointed day and also told them that in case none turned up in time, that I would go to the town and fetch food from five families as is incumbent upon the monks.
They left, agreeing to comply. Days passed on and when Wednesday came, Shri Amarbhai at whose house I was to lunch that day didn’t come to call me thinking that Thursday was his turn. Shri Bhanubhai forgot not that his day was Thursday. As for Shri Chimanbhai who chose to act as a reserve, he was so sure about the impossibility of his getting an opportunity to act as host in place of Shri Amarbhai, that he left for the nearby City to make some household purchases.

So, when by 10-45a.m. neither Shri Amarbhai nor Chimanbhai came, as decided earlier I went to the town and collected food from some houses and come back to the ashram.
After some minutes’ rest as usual, I bathed and sat to eat. The Gujaratis use good deal of dried tamarind in vegetable curry and dhal. Before starting my meals, I put my hand to remove what appeared to be a piece of dried tamarind. It was somewhat sticky and when I removed it, a dead little frog was in my hand. The food was thrown away.
Normally, between the hours of 11a.m. and 3 p.m., I have no visitors. Somehow at about 11.45 a.m. that day, the local Station Master whose quarters is near the ashram came to me I for some private consultations. Before stating his business, he first casually enquired if I had had my lunch. When I told him that neither the host nor the reserve came to call me and also how a dead frog was found in the food which I brought from the town, with concern he hurried back--informing that he would bring food for me.
Unusual though in that hour, no sooner he came to see me, his wife and children left for the town to meet some friends. There was no food at home. He didn't know cooking. So, he entered the house - of the A.S.M. who was then fast asleep. There were no female members there either. He went to the kitchen and in a tiffin box he found some chapatties, curry and curd. Without waking the A.S.M, he brought me that food and I ate them all, mentally admiring the culinary talents of the Station Master's wife. It was only a few days later that I came to know of the above details and that the food which was brought to me was in fact kept aside for the A.S.M.'s daughter who was to come from out-station.
If this is not another solid case pointing to the golden truth that ‘EVERY GRAIN BEARS THE NAME OF ITS EATER', 'what else is it ???

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