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Inspiring / RodinStar

Karma Dosa – A small act of goodness



Awarded the

“RodinStar” Post 

of the week!!


It was almost 10 in the night and I had to wait for a client to pick up his order. We finalized that we will be meeting in Borivali West (Mumbai). As a founder sometimes you have to become the delivery boy, peon and even a driver. I left my office quite late in the evening, handed over the orders for the day to the courier guys and left from the office.

It was almost 10 and the client told me that he will be an hour late. Realizing that it will get quite late when I reach home for dinner, I started looking for a Restaurant. The worst thing about living in Bombay is that there are no Dhabas unlike in Delhi where every next Nukkad had an amazing Punjaabi Dhabha. But then we have small roadside stall of food which are a little unhygienic during Monsoons but otherwise quite good.

I saw a small stall of Dosa and Idli while I was searching for a small Restaurant. My friends in Bombay generally taunt me of playing too safe when it comes to experimenting with Roadside food, so I thought it might be a good option to try the dosas here. The place was not crowded so I went ahead and ordered one.

This small stall was run by a wife and husband who are originally from Tamil Nadu. A bulb lighting on the top which was taking its power supply from a small Chemical Battery.  There were just two small Tawas, few plates and couple of containers to store Idli, Masala for Dosa, Chatni and the Dosa-Ghol. A very small stall from the normal standards of Mumbai. I was a little sceptical if the food with be good or not.

While I was served the hot Dosa, a Broom Seller who was carrying all the brooms on his cycle was passing by with his small daughter who was sitting on the cycle while he was walking with it. The Dosa guy asked the ‘Jhaduwale Bhaiya’ – Idli khayega? The guy stopped and said yes. The wife took almost 6-10 idlis from the container and started frying it with Masala and asked the ‘Jhaduwale Bhaiya’ to give her a carry bag or some container in which he can carry the food to home. The broom seller unfortunately didn’t have any. I opened up my bag, took a carry bag out and handed over to the women making the Dosa.

After the broom seller left with his dinner, I asked the man who was making Dosa for his wife – Why didn’t you ask for at least half the money? The guy replied, “Sir, If he would have something to give back he would have given it to me himself”. When I asked that if he give food for free on daily basis he replied, “Din mein ek toh acha kaam karun. Waise bhi aaj ka idli kal thodi naa use karunga”. I was surprised to see that how a small guy who runs a small stall of Dosa in this Big City of Dreams take care of the small goodness he can infuse in this mad world where we all are running behind money and nothing else.

I ordered one more Dosa after the incident I witnessed and thought I would chat a little more.

But a lady came with her daughter to have Dosa. The lady was quite overweight and was afraid to sit on the small wooden board the Dosa guy had kept near his stall. The wooden board was kept on two big concrete block and the lady was afraid that it might get damaged with her weight. Scared she sat and fortunately it didn’t broke.

The wife of the Dosa guy was having her dinner sitting on the same plank – Few idlis and a Dosa.

The lady asked, “Do you guys eat Dosa and Idli on daily basis?” Obviously the answer was yes.

While the guy was making the dosa for the lady and her daughter, she asked, “Do you want 2 heavy wooden benches for your shop? There are kept in my house and are of little use to me. If you want them come and pick it up tomorrow morning for free.” And she gave the address and phone number to the wife who was having dinner sitting near her.

This all happened in 20 minutes. I was certainly not shocked but really happy to see that this world still has wonderful people who believe in the random act of goodness. I have practiced it many times in my daily life after listening to Nipun Mehta talk about ‘Designing for Generosity’ and practice it often in 21fools too. The results are amazing. But for the first time I saw how Karma works and that too within 20 minutes.

A man who must not be earning too much to save for his family on daily basis is taking care of him and his family by doing one act of goodness a day. What can be more wonderful than feeding a hungry soul with Fried Masala Idli before he calls it a day? What can be more wonderful than giving away something for free to people who need it more than you?

Let’s keep the goodness alive!


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  1. Wow!! Goosebumps.

    After reading your post, I am making it a point to do one daily act of goodness.

  2. LOVED IT!!! Thanks for sharing Divyanshu! 🙂

  3. i so love #karmadosa and the pic divyanshu!

    keep writing and keep that storyteller within you alive…

    next time i’m in town let’s go for a dosa – what say??!!


  4. Storytelling comes from the life you have lived and the people you meet. Since a long time I started feeling that I should focus more on ‘living’ right and storytelling can wait a little. That’s why writing gave a break to itself. Was not a conscious decision but that’s how I evolved as a person.

    Do more. Talk less. That became the Mantra and I didn’t resist. Believe in living like a river.

    Storyteller will live on its own. I hope! 🙂 Eagerly waiting to have a Dosa with you..

  5. If that happens, you will change the world every single day. Please do that!

  6. awesome…a similar kind of thing happened I do not know how….on election day I had gone to see the film Jal(water)…all about scarcity of water in the Rann and what it does to life of people….while I was coming back in the afternoon…generally I dont keep water bottle in my car but my wife told me too do so that day…..on a traffic signal a small girl came and asked my wife…please give me water…dont know how she knew we had it striaght headed to us…calmly said I want only water…my wife poured it into her hands and then came the unexpected answer…Thankyou Didi….I was astonished….

  7. Simply amazing story! Feeling good 🙂

    Thanks a lot!

  8. Obo. Jgd.

    Thats all i can say…

  9. Absolute Gems!!

    Action + Sense of Doership = Karma
    Action – Sense of Doership = Dharma
    Nithya Shanti~

    When something “Bad” happens to someone we like, 
    we call it “Unfortunate.” 
    But when it happens to someone we don’t like, 
    we call it “Karma.”

    An unselfish Gesture and action to call for a Help, is Something which Goes around, Definitely Comes around too!! Kindness Boomerangs!! It’s Infectious too, keep passing it on!

    Have Personally Experienced this many Times yet 🙂  God Bless!!

  10. I shared this amazing story with my mom.. She loved it!! Very nice Divyanshu… loved everything about this post, particularly the title and the pic!

  11. Thank you Anamika! 🙂

    The pic is of the same stall on which I have written the article. 

  12. Have seen that video and also experienced the same so many times but this experience will be special because all of it happened within 20 minutes.. Amazing!

    P.S You are the Dosa guy of the Rodinhood 🙂

  13. This says it all. 

  14. One ounce of #KarmaDosa and One ounce of Freecycling. 

  15. Story like this make one forget one’s pains. Such people sustain humanity.

  16. another wonderful account. Give Give Give

  17. This is what the world should be like. Thank you for sharing this.

  18. Awesome! Divyanshu I love reading your stories, some of them are going to be with me all my life.’atman to Radhika’ being one of them. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  19. This means a lot. Thank you! 🙂

  20. I remember watching this video. Its amazing! 🙂

  21. Divyanshu Bhai….This is a Wonderful Write up.
    LUCKY are those in whose life moments like these come…
    LUCKIER are those who Notice them and Learn…
    And LUCKIEST are those who Share the learnings with others and make their Life better. You belong to all three 🙂

  22. Amazing story.

  23. oooops sorry divyanshu! i really messed up the top of your post :()

  24. Hahahaa.. I like the way you messed it 😛

    Thank you everyone for loving and sharing the story! 🙂 I was just the medium. The story has to be told..

  25. What a refreshing read!. 

    feeling great 🙂

  26. Wow! what a touching incident…

  27. Divyanshu, your post resonated hugely, got goosebumps while reading your post. I also often try and feed people I meet on the street: An old lady begging for alms, beggar children who look hungry or even ragpickers but I have never seen such beautiful serendipity happen. Wonderful, please keep up your storytelling – was moved and also humbled. In fact this year, I have not been able to distribute the blankets that we usually try to do each winter. I must do that… your post reminded me that only giving keeps us sane.

  28. Day before yesterday, was something very different.. completely bowled over by the unexpected things that surprised me!
    I was in middle of some work when a friend called me up.. her brother had been not well.. some sort of health thing he had been facing.. that would mentally make him disconnected, suspicious about everything.. My friend was worried. She wanted me to be there.. to be besides her.. She was desperate for me to come and talk with her brother.. I had to go very urgently on that Call.. Somehow I was stuck in middle of work and had could not leave immediately.. I had to complete the very essential stuff and leave. So I left Thirty minutes after call came.. I had to reach early so I boarded a taxi..

    I was now in a taxi with a man who seemed like any other guy.. He started, “I am from Mankhurd, I had come here to seek money from a trust here.. I was rejected because I am a Muslim! I was disappointed..If somebody is in real help why they distinguish btw Hindu and Muslims then? Any way let it be.. I came here to ask money for my kid’s school fees.. I lost my one hand due to accident ( he was driving me single handedly which I did not notice when I boarded taxi ). My money was spent in my treatment.. Now school gave me a termination notice.. that if I don’t pay off the money they will grant a leaving certificate the very next day.. I have to pay 8000.. I requested so they waived off 2000.. I have to now pay 6000.. I decided to go trust then to seek money..everyone was given money.. some 10,000 some 5,000 and so on.. I needed 4,700 only.. but they refused to because I am Muslim.. I was waiting since long time but when my turn came I was told I could not be given.. I had to go back.. ” Then he shifted his topic.” I never understand this idea of people who go to masjid do namaz and then don’t follow the things HE said.. They don’t value their parents and so on.. Same applies for temple too.. Your God is also at home.. ” I nodded yes..He shared” I have given free rides to people.. I never thought twice.. I have done good whenever I could.. Today I need help.. but never mind I have full faith in Allah.. HE will do good to me..I will continue to help whenever I Can! I need money i tried my best…. one person finally had confidence and agreed to help and lend me his taxi so that I can earn money and pay off the debt.. I am driving now with one hand.. Do I look like One? ( I was amazed he drove awesomely.. ) I said No.. But people with two hands also cannot drive today at times well.. Then he asked me.. “Mind you if I ask u one question, do u travel via taxi everyday?” (There was a reason he asked) I said, “I don’t travel.. but today is super urgent, my friend is very ill and I need to visit him.. I had no choice but to reach as soon as I can and so I chose taxi..” He said, “What is the name of your friend who is unwell. I will pray to Allah he becomes well soon.. YOU don’t worry he should be fine soon” ( I was amazed.. He had a great issue to deal with but the human inside him had never died or lost hope in the Universal Power for even a second) I smiled and said thank you..

    Then he said “You know when I got the taxi I thought how I can earn money via this.. I thought of having fixed bhaada, Where I tel passengers that I will pick up and drop you everyday and you give me a fixed amount in advance ( He thought i could be that potiental bhaada).. but that did not work out.. the daily wages does not suffice.. But I know goodness gets back.. I will continue to help.. ” He changed the tone..” I called my daughter, she asked me if I could go to school and had the money been arranged.. I told her no.. she was dejected and hung up.. I don’t know what to do.. ( at this point he almost cried in desperation and helplessness) Can u please keep my belongings my license my things and lend me money? I promise to pay back soon when things get stable at my end.. Also whenever u need a ride just let me know I will not charge you.. U just call me before I will come for you.. ” I took my hand over his shoulder and said don’t worry things will be fine.. He cried thinking of his kids.. He did not want them to leave education simply because of his accident.. Meanwhile I got down for something.. when I came back he told me,why did u get down I could have got things for u.. ( Even at this point he refused to let go off his human side) I reached the place.. I gave him the fare.. (Meanwhile I got down to extract money from Atm)
    I told him.. Achhai ka koi mazhaab nahi hota.. Goodness has no religion.. That all the good you do never goes in vain.. Don’t ever you hesitate to do any good!” With this I handed over 4,700 which I withdrew from atm..
    I told him this is for u.. He broke down literally.. with his one hand he held my hand and touch his moist eyes to thank me in gratitude.. “Today Allah has listened to me.. Aap Farishte ki tarah.. aaye ho.. Inshaallah.. Aaj mai aapke liye dua mangunga aur aapke Dost ke liye khaas mangunga..” I had tears In my eyes as I felt that Today I am powerful.. I can help.. I did not want to regret to give, when I could earn that money back..

    I knew it was my money.. but I thought he needed it very so much than me at that very moment.. I gave because I wanted him to know and not lose hope.. I wanted to emphasize that Goodness begets.. That it does gets back to u when u need it the most. I also felt that when u give your hundred percent then HE listens.. I literally saw that. When you do the possible, HE does the impossible!!!! The driver did what he could.. with all lost hopes.. he felt tomorrow his kids might not go to school!! But HE did the impossible!! I would like to tell.. when you have the power to give, give it!!! You will get back whenever u require it and In a manner that is best for u.. 🙂
    There is a Universal Power that listens and values the good you DO!! Be Good and Do Good!

    Honestly I do not expect him to pay back.. I want it to remain as a constant reminder to him that he should continue the good work.. That today I am powerful.. tomorrow u will also be like that.. When u are powerful u do things u can.. Change the suffering and misery to gratitude and a feeling to contribute to do good.. Meanwhile I am still wondering why did my friend fall sick that day only and called me so urgently out of the blue ( I did not even expect call from my was so long we spoke) ? Why did I leave a little late? Why his number came so late at the trust that he had to be there at that time when I was to board a taxi? I am amazed!! What happened and how HE made it all happen !!!! :))

  29. swapnil

    my gosh. am so touched by this story. pls pls post this as a separate story – i would love to share it with everyone else.

    we rodinhooders have a strange connection with taxiwalas…. seriously 🙂

  30. :)) 

    since you insisted.. i have shared.. and also added a few lines here and there 🙂 

    Do check it out .. it awaiting your moderation :)) 

  31. As its said ” More you give, more you have” Very good coverage Divyanshu

  32. Great Writeup! Feels good to read too!

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