A new beginning is very exciting, it becomes more meaningful when shared with family and friends.
As our dear blog readers you all are our extended family members and we could not wait further to tell you about our new venture and the kind of experience it has been since last month.
Around a month ago, I had severe headache radiating to right shoulder to fingers. It was so severe that I could barely talk. One such afternoon when all the pain was getting settled, I went to Shrilekha’s place over a tea. We stay just a couple of KM apart so occasional tea is always welcome besides we consider it as a quick huddle over looming matters.
As we were discussing different things, Shrilekha being her usual very enterprising self came up with a thought that Chennai has very poor quality of Phulkas and we should certainly do something about it.
There was no further thought before we decided that we should do Phulkas.
Initially it just started with Phulkas and slowly, as per the demand we started serving dinner. Word of mouth was our main ally when it came to spreading word. We cannot thank enough to our friends who spread the word so quickly. As we were doing dinners which included One gravy and Phulkas, we slowly started getting requests for lunches too. All office goers needed a home cooked lunch, so that requirement was fulfilled. Recently, we completed one month of this endeavour called “Joshi Caterers”
The main mission of this venture is to reach out to people who need home cooked food. As people love pizza, they also love to eat Puran Poli. It is just about the right taste and on time delivery.
Most of the customers which we came across never ate outside because one can not eat food without onion garlic outside. Similarly, food we should eat when we are fasting like Sabudana Vada or Sabudana Khichadi is never served in any restaurant in Chennai.
We served it and people liked it very much, we are so grateful to each of them who encouraged us with their amazing feedbacks.
Having home cooked food is a bliss. I was outside for 8 long years of my life and I have always felt the dearth of good home-made food so much so that in the last 2 years I started cooking on my own. Even if there was food, it was not made with quality ingredients which is even more harmful to the body.
As every business has its challenges, we too come across some difficulties every now and then. But when priorities are set right and as a team when we work towards getting a solution it all falls back in place.
Apart from Shrilekha and Me, there is a team of 5 people who are constantly working at making this experience better with every delivery. Our families have been extremely encouraging, without them we could not have pulled it up.
Meal planning was being done at the micro level and now it is done at Macro Level. We think and plan all our meals carefully so that they are nutritious and include seasonal varieties of vegetables.
I would always say that nothing can be accomplished without collaboration.
My people Khaleel, Kamakshi, Vignesh, Murali Mama, Mr.Joshi have been an integral part of the whole process. They encouraged us to take a step ahead and are with us in this satisfying yet challenging journey. Deliveries and procurement is entirely looked after Khaleel, Vignesh and Murali Mama. Culinary doubts and issues are quickly sorted by Baba. Kamakshi is an efficient cook and an amazing help. These people are my people and as a close knit family would stand by each other in the ups and downs of the life, they have been there just behind us as pillar of strength.
Well begun is half done..the journey so far was satisfying and god willing, it would be so in future.
A place where you get to know what is the real PEACE. A place where you get to see “happy faces”. A place where you see kindness, compassion, discipline and the power of prayers. A place where you see all smiles and no frowns.
A Warm Welcome
The moment I entered the Sriperumbudur Premise of Society for Educational and Economic development (SEED), I was overwhelmed by the warm welcome of nearly fifty children (Age 5-10 years). And when they saw my 1.25 months old, well, everyone wanted to lift the baby in their own hands.
No wonder many did, with the expertise of a pro! After all the lives they have lived , they have mastered the art of loving others, taking care of others and living life with no complains.
The teachers cum guardians received us and I felt the warmth of the place at that very moment. The feeling of being one with them started sinking my heart.
A quick introduction of the children and teacher followed. Bharani, Niveda, Pavithra, Mohnesh, and Lakshmi and forty five more children along with the single parent mother and the teacher took us to see their classrooms. Well decorated classrooms loaded with information would make our urban schools go for a run. The children were enthused to show us the classroom,though it was a Sunday.
They quickly made us move to the new attraction in the projector room. “Wa wa Padam Pakulam”! One of them was heard inviting his other buddy.
I loved the way they quickly took their seats around the small round table without being directed and ordered by the teacher.All of them unanimously sang the poems together,and were happy to sing the songs learnt by them.
We were then taken to the prayer room, to their rooms and their locker rooms. One of the boys showed me his bag. A bag where he has kept his belongings. I thought to myself,”
Life is indeed great when you don’t carry the excess baggage of unnecessary things and memories”! Small things made these children happy.
As the food was getting ready, children assembled on the ground for the prayers. A prayer can definitely do wonders when the power fails. The prayer went on and these small children made a beeline with their plates to the dining room. One after the other, they took their places and waited till the madam gave them instructions to eat. Not a single eye was open when they again recited their prayers.
Standing there, I just wished and prayed for the welfare of these gems who were burdened with the sorrows of life.
Indeed life teaches in several ways. After eating their meals, the children showed their plates to the teacher one by one. The teachers have cultivated this habit to ensure that there is no wastage of food.Some older children were seen feeding the younger ones.What maturity I thought to myself. Nursing ability and affection comes naturally when one faces challenges in life and that too at such a tender age. The children ate the food well and after some time they waved off a bye.That was their sleeping time.
We happily took their leave and while returning home numerous thoughts came to my mind.
Somewhere I also knew that these children were extremely self confident and needed no pity.
The organisation is doing enough for them so that they can live a life with dignity by inculcating right values and morals. SEED is successful in lending them education, vocational training, technical training and the life skills. What they need is your support, your interest and your time.
What you can do for them?
- Create an awareness about the organisation.
- Motivate and support the children
- Sponsor meals/ Sponsor a child or more
- Help them in kind( stationery, clothes,bedding, books)
- Volunteer with SEED
- Or Fund their infrastructure
SEED is a home away from home to the needy children.This Non-Governmental Organisation has been functioning, from the year 1981, when it was established for the welfare of the miniscule percentage of underprivileged children.
1)Children with parents who are serving life term.
2) Children with parents who are suffering from ailments like Cancer, AIDS and leprosy.
3) Children with single mothers.
4) Children who have lost their parents to crime or murder and many more.
The smiling faces were flashing over my mind. I wish to go to this extended family of mine on and off. Visit them at http://seeduniversal.org/ or personally at
Society for the Educational and Economic Development (Regd.)
(opp.) P.W.D. Inspection Bungalow, Chennai – Bangalore High Road,
Venkatrangam Pillai Chatiram, Sriperumbudur – 602 105
Tamil Nadu State, India.