NK was the man. After having completed his graduation in Hotel Management and having specialized in cooking, he had managed to snag a job with the Taj Hotels group. The fact that his employers had properties in almost all the renowned hill stations and popular tourist destinations in the country also meant that NK was having a ball of a time, cooking for his guests and moonlighting as a traveler during his free time. Given his love for traveling and trekking, this job afforded him the luxury of indulging in his passion for cooking as well as nurtured his hobbies to a very large extent. And as the saying goes “If you really love what you are doing, then your job will not seem like a job, it will be more like fun.” And nowhere was this truer than in NK’s case.
As if life was not good enough, NK also managed to get a job with a leading European Hospitality chain which had properties all over the world, specifically focused on Continental Europe. It was headquartered in Switzerland and had operations in all the cities that Indian movies usually shot their song sequences in – Holland, Germany, Latvia, Iceland, etc. This opportunity was a dream come true for NK and he was eagerly looking forward to taking it up. NK was as happy as a man in his position could be, he had everything going on for him in his life.
He had approximately two more months to go before he took up the Switzerland job when he decided to take a vacation and spend some time with his parents at Madurai. After all it would be some more time before he could see them again as moving to a completely different country and settling down there would take some time. One fine day, when he was on his usual early morning jog in Madurai, he saw something that would change his life forever.
At the junction of the KK Nagar Walkers’ Park where a lot of early morning walkers were performing their early morning exercises, NK noticed a frail old man huddled in a corner of the park where the waste bin was kept. While the man himself was unremarkable, what he was doing shocked NK to the core and changed his world-view forever. Unable to bear his hunger, the old man was actually eating human waste.
NK quickly went to the closest restaurant and bought some idlis and gave them to the old man who devoured them as if he had not eaten for more than a few days. This incident shook NK to his very foundations and he realized that all that he had taken for granted in his life – food, shelter and clothes were actually not so readily available for more than a few people in this world, more so if they were mentally unstable as this old man was.
It was at that moment that NK decided to break up all his existing dreams of moving to Europe, working for an employer of repute and seeing the world. Instead he dreamt of and nurtured a more ambitious and fulfilling dream – that of being of service to the mentally unstable and destitute people in Madurai.
He quit his job with the Taj Group, rejected the European offer and decided to feed the old man and many others like him in Madurai. Initially he did this using his own personal funds and all by himself, but as word got around of his noble endeavor, more volunteers came forward to assist him. In less than a year, he founded the non profit ‘Akshaya Trust’ to assist and feed the homeless and mentally retarded people in Madurai.
In the nine odd years that the trust has been in existence, they have fed over 1.2 million meals to countless number of destitute in Madurai. And if that is not noble, then what is.
This post was written for The Queen Creative prompt : Kintsukuroi where the post had to refer to Kintsukuroi, a Japanese noun which means “to repair with gold” – “the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.”
While NK’s European dreams were broken, he repaired the same with his golden dream of forming the Akshaya Trust and helping the homeless people in Madurai. Now if that is a classic example of Kintsukuroi, if ever there was one.
This post has also been written for Sugandha’s wonderful Blog for a Cause prompt where we can write a post about a cause that we hold dear to our heart. The post speaks for itself.
This post is a mildly fictional account of how Narayanan Krishnan founded the Akshaya Trust in Madurai. The website of this trust is http://www.akshayatrust.org/ and it contains multiple options of how we can get involved with the activities of the trust in a manner that is most convenient to us.
Please do a google search with “Narayanan Krishnan Madurai” to get more information about this wonderful man and his noble endeavor.