We all love the weekends, don’t we? Don’t need a scientific research to tell us why, it’s simply because we could sleep longer than usual, as simple as that. No matter whom you ask, where you ask and how you ask the answer to the question – how was your weekend or what’s your weekend plan, sleep does feature in their response. Well ok, there could be other reasons such as shopping, movies, events, parties etc. Occasionally we might also hear someone say they spent a few hours in the old age home or cleaning up the neighborhood or painting the walls of a school. But very rarely do we hear someone say they spend their weekdays and weekends helping out those who can’t help themselves and in the process help them become independent. That’s their full time job, a full time job with no pay.
These few individuals, few very rare individuals are part of a very small tribe. Unlike other tribes, this tribe doesn’t fear any expulsion but the tribe has its own challenges. There is no organic growth for this tribe and sustenance is a major problem. The members of this tribe wake up everyday around about @ 4:00am rain or shine, summer or winter and no they don’t go jogging or for morning yoga, they instead get ready to cook. Cook for those people who may have families but are left alone on the streets, who may look normal but are mentally unstable, who do breathe to live but for most of us they don’t even exist.
The team from Madurai or rather the Akshaya team is part of this tribe, actually it is the tribe, who have been cooking 3 times a day for hundreds of such homeless for the past decade or so. But when do they wake up and when do they go to bed? How do they go look for the homeless? What’s the motivation for them to do this every day? Where do they buy the ration? How can they maintain the kitchen? What does a day look like in Akshaya – how many hours does the team work or even better how many hours do they sleep?
Let’s get some answers, who better to ask than the Akshaya Time Machine itself. The time machine that helps them manage a hectic schedule starting from 4:00am to 12:00am almost everyday, that not just guarantees that the team feeds all the homeless people within their reach three times a day but its also ensures it does with compassion and love. As Krishnan often says, food is for physical nourishment, love is for mental nourishment. The Time Machine also accounts for daily clean ups, daily grocery shopping, daily maintenance, paying bills, running errands and the list goes on.
We can look at the schedule for how the Time Machine is able to do this
4:30 AM : Wake Up for break fast preparation
6:30 AM : Ready with food for distribution
9:00 AM : Finish the morning rounds
9:30 AM : Vegetable Market
10:00 AM : Lunch Preparation
11:30 AM : Lunch Distribution / Akshaya Home/Admin work
3:00 PM : Back to Kitchen
3 – 4 PM : Akshaya Home
4:00 PM : Start the cooking
6:00 PM : Food Distribution / Akshaya Home/Admin /Attending specific donors based on their request of meeting me in person.
9:00 PM-10:00 PM : Akshaya Kitchen briefing & Grinding Idli / Dosa Maavu
10:00 PM – 12:00 : In Office – attending important emails, accounts, admin activities etc..
Phew, all this in 24 hours. Or is the Akshaya time machine operating on a schedule that has 48 hours in a day. If we go by the saying “Time is Money”, then the time machine would be the most valuable possession anyone can dream of, for it can squeeze 48 hours out of a day. We have all experienced how excruciatingly painful a day gets when it gets longer. But for the team, it’s the joy of giving that keeps them going minute after minute, hour after hour, from early in the morning to the wee hours of the next day. Even a time machine could run out of its batter life or if it was mechanical then the gears would worn out and the time machine would stop ticking, but not the Akshaya team.
The battery that keeps the team going gets charged with every smile the homeless give them, with every meal they cook for them, with every shower they give them and with every word of encouragement from the well wishers and with every bit of support from the donors & the sponsors.
Oh, btw, there is no time machine 🙂