“During my summer vacations, my mother and I would often experiment in the kitchen and try out new recipes together. My childhood was spent making little tit bits for dad and him complimenting my cooking! It was a feeling I loved. This one time we went to the Golden Temple in Amritsar and when I saw the langar there, I felt really motivated to feed people like that. Then, my brother spotted a local Gurudhwara truck feeding the homeless in London and asked me, ‘Why can’t we do something like this in India?”
That’s when my mother and I decided that we would atleast give it a try. My mother and I began our initiative, ‘cook for a cause’ where we made dips and pickles and gave all the proceeds to charity -- we donated around 25,000 Rupees just like that.
To understand more about food, I cooked in the Akshaya Patra kitchen in Thane. When I served these hungry kids their midday meal -- their expressions were priceless. These meals were the only reason they were living. I knew then that I had to do more for these kids.
So mum and I decided to write a cookbook of all the recipes we’d tried over the years. I was juggling my 12th boards at this point, but I knew that the marks had their own place … this was something I just had to do.
Finally we self published our book and so far we’ve sold over 200 copies. By February we will be making a donation of 3 lacs to Akshaya Patra which will feed 90 children… for the entire year!
I’m 17 today and I feel like I’ve already found my purpose. I want people to know, that if you ever think that what you’re doing for society won’t make a difference, remember that the sea is made up of drops of water. If we all do a little bit, it’s going to be a lot one day, and that’s the only thing we need to focus on right now… one step at a time, one drop at a time.”