Hands That Feed

While browsing my albums for some food pictures — again! — I came across these portraits. And I wondered why is it that the men and women who feed millions every day are not half as instagrammable as their food?

And so, for once, I decide to sideline their food, and bring them to the forefront. No, they are not the high flying chefs, neither are they food critics and restaurateurs, they are just ordinary people leading ordinary lives, feeding millions in the process. 

But why not, for a change acknowledge them instead of their food?


Jamaluddin, the man behind Old Kheer Shop in Lal Kuan, Old Delhi.


Two men at Rahim, gali Qasim Jaan, a pilgrimage for Muslim food lovers in Delhi


Moinuddin, the man known to make the softest Kabas in town.
Smothering butter, facing smoke — and fire, this unnamed man can be seen here at Aslam’s Chicken Shop every evening.



When I asked him to hold the trays, he did. Only later when I see his smile fade did I realize that the trays were scalding hot.



Nawab Bhai, he smiles and cajoles me to have a glass of his magical concoction, and even though I fear death by gastroenteritis, I drink it every time. I am still alive.


Abdul, rahim, karim, Afzal, he could be anyone. I see him making sheermals by teh dozen every time I am in Lucnknow. And everytime he smiles.


Smile, I said, and he obliged. Although in another picture.


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