A huge thank you to Swami ji, the whole team and especially the ones who clicked the “Support” button under my name. I cannot thank you enough for your kindness, I’ll be eternally grateful.

Different people have different definitions for success. For most of the ones I know relate it with how much money a person makes. If someone is earning more than the threshold limit of their perceived amount they make it to the ‘success’ list. To be honest until few years earlier this was true for me too. May be because of upbringing, may be surroundings and may be because we live in a society that keeps money over everything else.

But now, For me success means to be best in industry at what I do and here is the catch- there will always be someone better. That way I’ll have a goal forever and my growth and learning will never stop. And secondly and more importantly, I’ll consider myself truly successful when I will be capable enough of  “not saying no” to anyone who approaches me with a hungry stomach. If you have read one of my previous articles Seva , then you know that how hard it is for me to turn those hungry people away. I really don’t get it, how can people ignore hungry children asking for food? It had killed me whenever I have had to put myself through the pain of “saying no” and it still does.

My friends have given up on me after telling me hundreds of time to not to pay any head to these kids. But how can I fill my stomach and go to sleep peacefully knowing that I could have fed someone and I didn’t? Being a student wasn’t easy on that front – I did buy them food whenever I could but feeding one doesn’t make up for the ten others I couldn’t. But all thanks to the almighty that I have just recently been blessed with financial independence and an opportunity with one of my dream companies .If we look at it from the societal perception what I earn is still not in the “successful’ bracket but given my student status I am very grateful that I will no longer have to depend for my little expenses and even great- I’ll be able to feed more people now ! yay!  😀 

I had made up my mind to give back my first earnings back to the ashram itself-whenever we visit ,I thought, I would use it for bookings and offerings. But Covid seems to be having such a  wonderful time that it doesn’t want to leave our land and that led to aashram not opening anytime soon. After giving it a lot of thought I withdrew the minimum amount and fed 22 people with it. The most amazing instance? I was not sure if I had enough and that what if more people turn up ? but there were exactly 22 needy ones.We  (Mom and I) distributed the last piece and that turned out to be the last person.

I cannot express in words the satisfaction I felt that day-like Sri Hari had accepted my offerings with a full heart. Even though I am far away from having any sort of motherly feelings ( honestly, my facial expressions and way of operating are like that of a toddler), I felt like a mother that day. As I have written  before in my article- Seva, I promise you there is no other feeling like this. No amount of money can give you the satisfaction that this one smile can.  Whenever I feel down I feed people. Once I did’t have that kind of cash at the moment so I donated some of my clothes instead, (fine ones); my heart which was heavy that day found sudden relief. 

My heart bleeds when I see people making fun of these kids or behave rudely with them. Sometimes I wonder about their humanity. Not giving them money is understandable but making fun of someone because they asked you for food with teary eyes is something I will never understand. Reading Mohit Ji’s article today about how he was beaten up for prasad I remembered one of such incident 3 years ago. We were at a popular food complex and this kid was begging around- We gave them a slice from our pizza and he moved away. A few seconds later we heard his cries and saw the security guard beating the 10 year old with a long stick.

Such things are beyond my tolerance level. There were hundreds of people and nobody was objecting to it so I did. I bluntly asked the guard if he would take responsibility if anything happened to the kid with his harsh beating. Was feeling hungry a crime? I even scared myself with the voice that was coming out of my throat at the time. xD He could have shooed or even scared the kid away but beating was not acceptable under any circumstances. I was sad to see the sorry state of our country- A complex full of young, educated college kids from reputed colleges and none of them spoke a word. I request all of my os.me family members to stand up whenever they see such things happening. Giving or not giving your money is your choice but beating someone up for asking food should be a zero-tolerance zone.

Once again, Thank you so much dear family and Swamiji, I always wanted to feed as many people as possible within my means. This platform gave me an extra source to do more of it. I am forever grateful for all the love, emotional and financial support that I have received.

Coming to procedures for withdrawing:

I had made a request within my os.me portal for withdrawal and received a mail from the team within 2-3 days asking for the bank details. The money was transferred the next day. There could not be a simpler and smoother process.  

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Supriya Patnaik

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