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The Gold Heart and the Plate of Food

Yesterday was one of the most memorable days of my life. It is the eve of Ramadan ongoing and I came out of office by 4 pm, the usual office closing time. But the jam was so severe that I failed to reach my home before the beginning of the time to break my fast and suddenly, I found myself in the middle of the road, dehydrated and thirsty, and craving to grab one mouthful of something eatable. The situation became even worse when the CNG (Compressed Natural Gas)-run Taxi I was riding on, collapsed and I had to evacuate it promptly.

When I got down from the taxi, I saw that all shops around were closed, except one small grocery. I was sure that I could buy a bottle of mineral water from there. As I entered the shop, I saw the aged shop-owner was having "Iftar"(the fast-breaking meal) with his employees. I, at instant, thought of not disturbing them and decided to get out of the shop but was called from behind. The old shop-owner was waving his hand and only then, I thought of asking him for a bottle of mineral water. But, to my utter surprise, he denied to sell me one, instead he offered me his own glassful of chilled juice. That was not even enough, he passed me his own plate from where he was eating and urged me to taste from there.

Though, I am usually very concerned about personal hygiene, and the condition of both the plate and food that was offered to me was not up to the mark. But, at that moment, I was so taken aback by his generous act that though I, at first, thought of denying the glass of juice and persuade him to sell me a processed mineral water bottle instead, I could not do that and accepted his offer to share food from his plate. I don't know whether it was his generosity or the food itself, I felt like having the best meal of my life and I'll never forget the experience of having a "life-saving meal" (I must say) with a person who has a rare "gold-heart".

---Tanzina Ahmed Choudhury

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