One of our favourite places to have chaat (Indian streetside snacks with a myriad of tastes – sweet, sour, salty, spicy) is at a shop in Pali Village – Punjab Sweet House. It has some of the best and freshest chaats we’ve tasted in Mumbai. Whenever we bring friends there, everyone gets hooked. Everyone.
We recently stopped going due to our self-imposed dietary restrictions plus our regular chaatwala hasn’t been around. But last night, the hubs had a HUGE craving for dahi puri (a yogurt-heavy snack) and we decided to give the new chaatwalas at Punjab Sweet House a chance. This youngish chap prepared the chaat and my goodness, it was awesome. But the best part of the evening came when a female beggar loitered in front of the stall and reached out her hand to ask for some food. Now, there are usually a number of beggars lingering around the shop and they’ve often been ignored. Naturally, I was expecting the lady to be ignored as usual, but to my pleasant surprise, the guy who served us took a small paper bag, put in some food and handed it over to the beggar. It was such a heartwarming moment to witness this simple act of generosity. I gave him a big smile and thanked him as we left the shop.
And this encounter is not singular. I’ve seen such acts of sharing and caring around, even at pet shops. Most of the pet shops feed street animals outside their shop and even “adopted” some, allowing them to sleep inside the air-conditioned shop. :) Which makes me wonder, would Singaporeans and Singapore businesses act in such a manner, or are we are largely self-centered and profit-driven (albeit beggars are few in Singapore and street animals especially the cats are generally well-taken care of by the community)?
Aside, the hubs and I had a giant grilled sandwich by the roadside yesterday. A child beggar came by and I asked the hubs if we should give a piece (we are against giving money, and often give food instead). We gave, and then to another child beggar. Moments later, I turned around and saw the two child beggars happily sharing their food with their mum. We’re glad we shared.