Pending coffee…

As a student filmmaker there are many things you shamelessly do to save on the budget… one of them is hunt for free food for the crew. You can get folks to work for free on a film set but you gotta feed them well! Our film school was at Covent Garden, London and we were fortunate that some local shops were willing to donate their unsold food at the end of the day, due to their “fresh food everyday” policy. Please note that these were places like Pret-A-Manger ,Food for Thought which served great sandwiches and delicious meals to their loyal customers. So very often as a rookie assistant, I found myself waiting outside these outlets for closing time to pick up the packs. Sometimes I’d find homeless folks picking out their sandwiches alongside me! The ones I’d pick would soon end up garnished on foil plates with generous potato wafers and fresh drinks for a hungry film crew, while the ones they picked would be devoured before they reached the street just outside the shop . Truly humbling experience. Later in winters, when we needed hot meals I started to cook Indian food in large batches for the crew. The crews loved it and as they hugged me for it, I’d remember those other faces who might have also liked a hot meal then. Looking back, I should have packed some for them too. Regret it. Today I came across this online… starting in these monsoon swept months, don’t we have the room for some pending coffees in our part of the world?

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Pending coffees

38 thoughts on “Pending coffee…

  1. Such a beautiful system..i had read about it a while ago. so good to be reminded of it again. In India, the biggest problem is getting a system in place and also there are trust issues. how do we know the cafe doesn’t just pocket the extra money😦 sigh pardon my cynisism. I really wish we could find someone to mobilise such an intiative…

  2. That’s wonderful. That’s the best kind of charity. One that is done silently without show.

    I wish they did this in Washington DC where there is a Starbucks on every street corner and many homeless on the streets.

    I heard a historian say that during the Ottoman Empire, there was a mosque where people who had extra change would simply leave it by the mosque and those in need would go and pick it up. But people who didn’t need it never touched it. Similarly, the queen of Sultan Suleyman, Hurrem Sultan, built a soup kitchen in Jerusalem during her time. I heard that that soup kitchen is still running today. Can you believe that? She is still getting people’s blessings hundreds of years after her death?

    Didn’t the Nizammuddin Dargah in Delhi have a similar custom? I think they still give out food there don’t they?

    Today, even when we do charity, we question whether it’s going to the right hands or whether we are being taken advantage of. The world used to be such a simpler, more honest place. Sometimes we wonder whether one person can still make a difference in the world. I think a person can make a difference but if people came together, something even bigger can be achieved. I mean, it’s great to give free food and drinks to the poor. But what about eradicating poverty altogether? I don’t understand why in countries where everyone pays taxes for social services, why are there still hungry people? If nations were managed correctly, a person getting a single meal or a cup of coffee in a day, wouldn’t depend on the conscience of others.

  3. hi Anjali!! watched ur movie Bangalore Days ….it was superb!!!!!!!. both the story and cast was awesome…same goes for the songs too……mangalyam was coooool!!!! cant wait for ur next film……plz direct more an more films like these!!!
    and btw…I hav seriously got a story to tell you…cud u please set aside a moment to hear it? it involves a place and school we both are ‘familiar’ with….OOEHS-DXB. it wud great for me if u had given it a try. thanx😀

  4. Dear mam, my name is salman. iam a big fan of you,
    mam nte films okke kanaarundu, enikum ente
    ammykum valare ishtaanu mam nte films, mam… ente
    velya oru aagraham aanu mam nte assistant aayitu
    work cheyyanam ennu, i like very much film industry,
    work cheyyunnenkil mam nte koode cheyyanam ennaanu njan karuthunnathu, mam next work start
    cheytho? im 21 years old, njn oru story
    ezhutiyitundu, athu maatrame eniku parayaan ulloo..
    mam ee msg vaayikumo ennu enikariyilla, vaayichaal
    please oru rply….. valare aakaamkhsayode
    kaathirikunnu, valare nalla nilayil film cheyyunna mam nu ellaa vidha aashamsakalum nerunnu,
    Salman.
    1993salmankhan@gmail.com

  5. I know of one place where we do a variant of this well. In Haridwar, you are always accosted by beggars. The accepted thing to do is to walk up to the myriad food stalls there and pay for one or more meals to feed them. You tell the stall owner to give a meal to this, that, and the other person. Since there are always more mouths to feed than you can pay for, there is no question of having a pending list! But this is robus, practical charity, desi style and people do it all the time.

  6. This idea might be new, but there are practices in the villages in our part of the world also that they are so kind enough to give a meal for them who come home looking for money or food at least on the lunch time. It could be the remaining but they are not been denied.

  7. That is a lovely concept Anjali ma’am, thank you so much for acquainting us with this.

    I have watched Manjadikkuru, Ustad Hotel and Bangalore Days (The only film I have watched twice in the theatres so far!). Love the amount of detailing found in your scripts… Very few films leave me overwhelmed while leaving the theatres and I must say yours are some of them. I read in one of your interviews that you are planning to publish a collection of English short stories- I’m looking forward to it and I’m definitely going to buy a copy when it comes out.🙂 All the best for your future ventures.🙂

  8. Good One… This kind of service needs man kind and humanity… We wont find such mentality in people here… Esp in Kerala most of the Business are for profit, nobody does any help without benefit… Hotels in Kerala will for such make “Who can’t” wash dishes or tables or any kind of work before offering him/her anything for free…

    The social society is filled with money minded people… No one has any care or thoughts on helplessness of the hunger man.. The aged people should be helped for sure… Its their last stage of life why make them work… They should enjoy free food without efforts…

    But help to the people “Who can’t” should be provided as material ( food, cloth) rather than money… Money is not used is right form.. Maybe they would spent it for Liquor… I have some experience where I stopped money & provide material only…

    Anjali great to know you thoughts… Happy to know your social thoughts… Hope when u grow high in this industry still the Thoughts remains in you… All The Best

    Thanks for sharing this one…

  9. Such a noble thought. Giving and sharing should always come naturally from heart. Proud of you Anjaly for everything you have managed to do🙂. Sometimes jealous.

  10. my morning coffee tasted differently bitter, while going thru these words… Thank u mam.. for spreading the message of sharing and caring which will obviously influence your fans and followers very positively. You are genuinely humane and u can be a great healer.. this world need’s your writing’s…keep going…god bless.

  11. As a zero budget music video maker I and friends didnt even spend a penny for food.I already ask them to bring food.or my ummachi sacrifise alot for the whole crew.still i didnt find the stars at the sky.still in the search of.🙂

  12. Such a lovely concept. Should definitely imbibe this into our way of life in India, too.

    Btw, Anjali…loved Bangalore Days! Can’t wait for your next. You go girl…more power to you!

  13. I saw myself during my PG days in your story. I had read about this pending coffee sometime back back. Wish every other shop had it and every other person did it, so that there will never be a hungry person🙂 . So heartwarming to even read it again. Thanks for reminding me again of this.

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