Ek Ka Dum at Eat On Biriyani, Civil Lines Prayag

The day, as usual, started at Eat On where I got hold of Nafees and told him that my team of boys will be collecting Rs 1 from everyone who eats here including his staff and cooks. He gleefully agreed.

Meanwhile, Tiwari and I drove down to the Food Processing and Horticulture seva tents in the Kumbh where all sorts of jam, jelly, honey, pickle and ketchup were at display. There was a whole lot of processed food displayed on the table. We were served sandwiches as I ventured around the tents interviewing staff and unit heads about what this department actually does. It helps farmers, I am told, it buys their crops and gives them fertilisers and other farm goods at highly discounted prices. There were vegetables and tulips on display with an array of flowers fashioned into fancy bouquets.

The drive back to Prayag was tiresome as huge crowds and lots of traffic began to crisscross. The Shahi Snan was about to start as the 4th Feb was Muni Ama Vasya, the most sacred of times to have a holy dip in the Sangam. I tried an idli and vada plate at a local Bangalore outlet selling South Indian grub but was not satisfied.

The evening was our big night. We were to do the Ek Ka Dum event with Eat On Biriyani and so we did. A team of ten descended on the outlet with clay round gulaks collecting one rupee from all who came to have a plate of biriyani. We distributed t-shirts to the cooks and all the staff of the biriyani outlet. I lead the entire pack around the outlet and then across the entire market collecting Rs 1 from all the shopkeepers and bystanders alike. All the while, we chanted ‘Ek ka dum, ek ka dum’ and jumped about as Tiwari took a video film of the live collection drive.

We took many photos and walked up to the cinema hall to collect money to keep the Triveni clean. Everyone was happy to give Rs 1. After all, it is nothing, just a token of your love. I was clapping my hands and dancing around egging the crowd to donate as we explained what we intend to do with the money collected. Everyone gleefully gave and even took some selfies with me. I kept saying my two bits as I ventured around the entire market egging people on and handing them over my card. I explained our mission and how it was great to give for a larger cause that too related to the cleanliness of their own city.

I ventured inside the Eat On Kitchen. The waiters were serving the biryani as they took chunks out from large steel pots placing one whole piece of chicken in the middle and lacing it with green chutney and think onion rings. The event went on for more than two hours until we were satisfied. We had collected enough for the day. Now, even the Eat On bouncer and guard were chasing us for a free t-shirt, which we duly gave to them. The team was energetic and in great spirits as they ventured into crowds without care to collect the money. We asked everyone in the area and many people gave one rupiyaa for our Ek Ka Dum cause as it was in the famous Zeenat Aman song Dum Maro Dum.

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