You might want to read Part-1 first.
Manojavam and Manjula had decided that after their marriage they must, limited to their capacity, contribute to the society. Manojavam always remembered what his father had told him,”It is the failure of a nation if any of its citizens could not afford a good meal once at least a day”. He had taken this to his heart. One day while coming back from work he noticed a set of young rag-pickers loitering in the streets. His inquiry led to the fact that they were from the nearby orphanage which could not even manage their basic needs due to poor funding. He got an idea. But never did he take any step without consulting his other half. He came back home and while having lunch brought up the topic. “I saw a bunch of four very young boys from an orphanage loitering in the streets in the name of rag-picking. They are lacking basic needs and their thin frail bodies are a result of malnutrition. I know the person who is running the orphanage. Can we at least support them with one good meal a day.” Manjula remained silent for a while, which he misconstrued as her disinterest and understood that he was asking for a bit too much. But when she spoke he was pleasantly surprised. “Janu, God has given us so much. It is not a problem even if we support them with two meals a day. I don’t mind it. But I am interested in food for the brain more than the food for the tummy. I am free the entire day once you leave for work. I am a B.Com graduate too. Can I give them some basic education during my free time.” His eyes was almost moist. He felt annoyed at his narrow-mindedness and was blown away by her progressive thinking. He thanked God for the best gift he had received in the form of his wife.
The four boys readily agreed to be educated. Manojavam, due to the good name his father had, readily got permission for them to take up the annual exams in the Government School. The boys enjoyed food for thought and food for the tummy. Manojavam and Manjula both made it a point that they will have at least one meal a day along with the boys. Manjula loved cooking. She made sure she served as many varieties of food as possible to the hungry kids. Masala Dosa, Onion Dosa, Rava Dosa, Uthappam, Rava Idli, Chow-Chow bath were among the top of the mouth-watering delicacies that were served. She loved teaching them too. You need to have a hungry tummy to respect the food you eat and at the same time you need to have a hungry brain to respect knowledge that comes your way. In this case the boys had both. The couple got so much involved with these sweet kids that they postponed having kids of their own for some time. Four years rolled and these kids were ready to go to high-school. Manojavam, again due to the good name his father had, made sure these students got into a decent school in a nearby town. On the day when the kids were leaving, both Manojavam and Manjula dropped them off to the bus stand. The kids waved good-bye with heavy hearts and along with the bus their journey to the next phase of education began. Manojavam and Manjula returned back home. After an year their first child was born.
The doctor was surprised as he came in to find out how Manojavam was coping up. Manjula could read the surprise in his face and asked as to what was it due to. He said the he saw four distinguished gentlemen waiting outside as he went on with the check up. He took a pad and wrote down some new medicines and then remarked “IAS officer, ACP, Lawyer and a famous Doctor” from the town are waiting to see sir. There are many people in this part of the world waiting to meet these distinguished men, but they are patiently waiting to see sir. Is sir such a big person?” Manjula smiled and briefed about the four rag-picking boys story. The Doctor was overwhelmed at what the couple had done. He accompanied Manjula outside to the corridor and at once all the four stood up and fell at her feet. The Doctor was shocked at their gesture. The IAS officer noticed the shock on the Doctor’s face and remarked ” Doctor, this is the lady who gave us food in more than one ways.” Manjula was overwhelmed to see her four god-given kids. She held them by hand and escorted them inside. Manojavam was awake and readily recognised his rag-picking boys. They together presented him with his favourite book. This took Manojavam down the memory lane………………..
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. I have chosen to narrate a single story in parts and each part would be in response to that days prompt. Hope all of you like it.