The Dasoha Deed
By: Apoorva Handigol
Ahh. . . the joy of helping others. The annual Dasoha, held on December 24, 2011 for Christmas Eve lunch, was for the shelter called Family Supporting House. We members met at Sangana and Madhu Asuti’s house to prepare the delicious food. The participants were me, Abhishek and Ashok Handigol, Aria and Rekha Shivappa, Shilpa Hanji, Ayush and Chandra Shirashyad, Thipps, Neha Gubbi and Sharmila Vidyadhara, Varsha, Varun, Sunitha, and Dinesh, Shreyas, Sada, and Vijaya Hebbal, Basavaraj Banakar, Viji, Renu, Sangana, Pavan, and Madhu Asuti.
We made fresh veggie burgers, three types of pasta with pasta sauce and a roasted-vegetable blend, and buttery, seasoned garlic bread. The adults boiled the pasta, in pot after pot, and adequately mixed it with the sauce and vegetables. They also toasted the garlic bread. The rest of us made burgers in an assembly line, each of us adding one ingredient to each sandwich. It was actually much harder than we thought, maybe even an art form. We individually wrapped them in foil to keep them from falling apart. When we were finally finished cooking, we carefully wrapped each tray of food and lined them up in the corner of the room. The entire process of making and packing the food had taken about 3 hours, like we had planned and hoped for. We loaded them into our car trunks and then adults earned steaming hot uppittu and savory jamoons as a surprise in the rushed minutes before we would leave for the shelter.
Once we were there, me, Abhishek and Ashok, Thipps, Chandra (with Ayush), and Basavaraj served the food to the people at the shelter. We kept the pasta warm in serving trays; Abhishek and I made plates of sandwiches, garlic bread, and cookies while the adults served pasta in bowls. It was great to be able to help others and as tempting as it was, Abhishek and I didn’t take any extra garlic bread—we wrapped it with the other leftover food for the shelter. Everything worked out and the shelter residents were happy to enjoy our food, especially the garlic bread.
Dasoha is one of the basic practices of Veerashaivism: the sharing of food, shelter, knowledge, and resources with people less fortunate than we. Preparing and serving food to the needy is how we accomplish this. This was a great learning experience for the youth secretary (yours truly) to interact with the shelter house in arranging this. It was really delightful to work with everyone in making such large quantities of food and gave me a satisfying feeling that I contributed, at least a little, to the world hunger and homeless solution.