A friend had asked me, some days back, whether it was not difficult to eat.
I had just returned from Sheopur, having met starving kids. And parents of starving kids. And parents of dead kids.
Kids that couldn't stand upright. Kids that could only move very, very slowly. Kids that were too tired to cry. Kids that went hungry for the first three of four days of their newborn lives because the mother hadn't eaten enough. Kids who'd been so starved that when they were given food, their bodies rejected it.
And it should have been difficult to eat, after that. Such stories... you never quite escape unscathed.
Nevertheless, it was not diffcult to eat. On the contrary, I found myself eating twice as much as I usually do. Eating without complaint, eating food I dislike. Eating without stopping to think.
And finally, understanding what the ancients meant when they said that it is a sin to refuse food.
It is a sin to waste food. And it is a sin to build a society which creates conditions in which some of us starve.
And if there is some such thing as a day of final reckoning, a lot of district collectors, a lot of ration shop dealers, a lot of doctors, a lot of lobbyists, a lot of forest-produce-traders, a lot of people who destroy/buy forests, a lot of journalists too, are going to fry in the eternal fires of hell. Or maybe, eternally starve.