After many painful weeks of starvation, a generous man, the owner of a small cookhouse in the area, gave me something to savor upon. A big, hot, steaming bowl of rice. All for myself to enjoy.
As I held the bowl in my hands, the heat from the rice passed through the bowls and into my hands, warming them in this crippling December night. With every breath, the steam filled my lungs. I dug my fingers in the bowl to pick up a small lump of the snowy white rice. I feasted on them with my eyes. As I finished thanking the One above, I started moving the lump of rice towards my mouth. Just as the first grain of rice touched my cold-bitten lip, a sudden push knocked me off balance. I saw the bowl flying off my hand. I fell on the cold sidewalk. As I got up, I saw the last few grains of rice go down the drainage stream beside the sidewalk. I stood up to see the man that pushed me, walking away, swaying from side to side. I was too afraid to confront him. So, I let him go.
I picked up the bowl. It was washed completely. Not a single grain left. Cracked a bit. I kept it. At least, I can use it to collect alms.