The enlightened call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.

— Krishna in The Gita

The mind is everything. What you think you become.
— Buddha

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Pay it forward

Just imagine walking into a restaurant on a weekend morning for a scrumptious meal which has already been paid for by a complete stranger!

While driving around town yesterday I was listening to the BBC radio and this is what they were talking about. After a week of depressing news it somehow cheered me up. Who said genuine charity doesn’t exist?

This restaurant is situated in Washington DC and is run by Polo Club, an Indian restaurant, which operates normally on other days, except on Sundays when it offers a taste in generosity for anybody who walks in. No prior reservation is required.

* There are no prices on the menu. All you would be given at the end of a lavish meal is a bill of $0.00 with a footnote that reads: "Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those dine after you."

* The meal is Indian (and I presume, vegetarian), with no alcohol.

* It is run entirely by volunteers.

* Diners may eat entirely free or if they like, leave some money for the next person. A new twist to “It’s on me”, eh?

An initiative of the nonprofit Charity Focus, originally the project started in California and they have plans to open similar joints in Chicago, Maryland and Virginia. The idea is to establish “giving back” in every city in the country.

Incidentally, the name of the project is, you guessed it, Karma Kitchen!!


  1. Thanks for visiting and learning your gracious comments. As regards your post - the free food idea at the Indian restaurant is great. There is a similar practice at Annalakshmi Restaurant in Coimbatore. They do not give a bill. you can pay whatever you like & the entire amount goes to charity.


  2. I usually find a few packets of cat food in a hole-in-the-wall eatery next to our office and always appreciated the guy who runs it for feeding the poor pet. Only yesterday I realised that it was actually a colleague of mine who buys packets of this stuff and leaves it for the cat. There are lots of such selfless people on earth, which is why we still get our daily bread, shelter and the rest.

  3. This is a great idea, knowing about it for the first time.

  4. Wow, I wonder if something like that will ever work in India :)

  5. that is so amazing.. wish there were more ppl like that