Feeding the Poor

Ever since he was a little boy, my son Mihir has been a connosieur  and lover of good food. This could be partly due to his severe milk fat intolerance as a baby or due to the weekly eating outs we did for years in the best eating places due to my husband Lalit’s “Eating Out  column” in the Times of India.

Having moved to Europe, first to study and then to settle down and work, he always felt he could pay back to Society by feeding the poor. He made several rounds to the charitable Caritas foundation asking for an opportunity to work in their soup kitchens . But they said they had enough of volunteers for this and would love to welcome him as an English teacher volunteer in any of their branches. Being already a Professor, this did not interest him.

So whenever he received some bonus or unexpected monetary reward, he decided to feed the poor in India under his charitable Mitaroy foundation. He had a mental picture of ladling out food to the poor as they waited outside the Church. He was really excited when he came to know of the “Breakfast program” run by the Don Bosco priests in Matunga church, Mumbai. Having written to them, he wanted us to check it out and actually hand over the breakfast before we had our own” Five star breakfast” at the Sofitel. So one cold dark morning, we drove to Matunga. There we found the poor waiting with their tumblers in a queue. A volunteer would fill the tumbler with hot sweet tea and give out 6 Pav breads to each one. I requested the person in charge and soon started distributing the pav breads to the 20 odd people who came there every morning ,come rain, floods or scorching heat every single day of the year thanks to donors. I immediately handed out Mihir’s cheque for 18,000/- @ 1500/ day for 1 year to be distributed on the 10th of every month ( that being his birth date). This practice of annual donation has continued over the years whenever he received an unexpected monetary bounty.

Sometime later he decided he wanted to feed the poor with “ Bise bele bath” – a complete food of rice, lentils and vegetables. At first he wanted me to make it and stand at some poor street corner and distribute it. Realizing the difficulties involved ( not the  least one my being a terrible cook) we advised him to instead contribute and ask the donee to make it for their members. And so started a new phase- he has again started donating an amount every month on the 10th to feed the inmates of the charitable Jeevodaya Ashram, a home for runaway girls. This amount is for their month’s rations with a provisio that they make “Bise bele bah” every Sunday. And the girls are enjoying the special treat.    

Of course he has not given up on his original dream of feeding the poor with hot Bise Bele bath made by me and has even started searching different recipes which he wants me to try out and perfect.

Break your fast the Mitaroy Way

We have all heard it said-breakfast like a king,lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper but in practice it is impossible to do so.We barely have time to gulp down that scalding cuppa-coffee/tea as we rush to catch our transport to school/college/work.Nowadays with Coffee Day, Starbucks and others opening outlets at entrances of metro and other stations it is not only more convenient but fashionable to have coffee on the go-sipping it while you hang on with one hand in the bus /train.

No matter how many times my parents told me to get up a little earlier and keep the extra 5 minutes to have a sandwich/dosa/paratha all I could and still can manage is the bowl of cornflakes which thankfully comes in so many varieties these days.I have seen students and medical interns who are so stressed out that they make do with a bar or two of cadbury’s (one even offered to share it with me as we walked along).Although my granddad never left the house without his bowl of oats/wheat /semolina porridge,now we see even mothers dropping the kids to school while carrying their coffee flasks and munching on chocobiks early morning to get them through the stressful morning.

Even though most hotels now offer 2 or 3 or 4 courses for breakfast,I always hated it when we went for our annual holiday to the Taj Village or any other hotel,that the breakfast closed by 10/10.30am.So no matter, that I was on holiday or that I had sat up late watching TV or reading, I had to jump up latest by 9.30am groggily change clothes and rush for breakfast. There I hurriedly drank up my juice ,served myself the cereal and ordered the Indian/continental dishes before the counter closed and then ate a cold breakfast,never appreciating all that was on offer so tastefully displayed.

When I started my Mitaroy Goa hotel, I always promised myself , I would see that breakfast would offer all the courses piping hot at whatever time the guest wanted from 7am to 7pm. This has been really appreciated by all my guests.

Even though we are a small exclusive 4 suite property,my manager Jack seesthat the breakfast is different everyday,even asking the guest his preferences the night before, as is done in big 5 star hotels.Personalized service being the mantra, my man Shekhar stands discreetly around after laying out the breakfast so one can have all the privacy and yet ask for something like another glass of juice or a hot cup of coffee or a special herbal tea if one so chooses.

Now I have a gone a step further.Since the Mitaroy Goa is mainly a couples only hotel catering often to couples on their honeymoon or first or second anniversaries, I have started making the holiday really memorable serving an exclusive CHAMPAGNE breakfast.

The table is tastefully decorated with fresh red roses and a bucket of perfectly chilled champagne is placed thereon.The couple can start with it or maybe after they are fully awake and relaxed after their morning juice. Sipping your champagne,munching on the breakfast while soft jazz or Goan music /folk songs plays in the background,relax with your choice of newspaper,listen to the hustle of the early morning school and office crowd in the distance.-since my Mitaroy Goa hotel while being in the heart of Panjim,is so discreetly and quietly tucked away that one can appreciate one’s surroundings.

I am determined that at my Mitaroy Goa hotel, the guests can really break their fasts with healthy, tasty food in a relaxed atmosphere and all the privacy one desires.I am sure that all those who stay here will continue to appreciate this special service which will leave good lasting memories and hopefully be followed once they are back home…

Christmas / New Years Goa Holiday Packages

This holiday season, why not discover the magic of Heritage Goa and stay in a 100 year old Portuguese bungalow?

Each Heritage Suite is incredibly spacious, with a large living room, separate bedroom, bathroom and balcony or sit out. It also has nice colonial-style furniture & a certain olde world charm.

  • Complimentary Christmas Cake / Bottle of Champagne
  • Complimentary Full Goan Buffet Breakfast 
  • Complimentary Beer and Wine throughout your stay
  • Complimentary Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of the Latin Quarter of Fontainhas
  • Complimentary Late Check Out till 5 pm, subject to availability
  • Complimentary selection of daily Goan Newspapers
  • Complimentary Bottled Mineral Water throughout your stay
  • Complimentary Hand made Bath Amenities
  • Complimentary Welcome Cocktail on Arrival

4 days 3 nights Accommodation in a Heritage Suite: Rs. 37,000

Please make your reservations well in advance since we are a small Homestay and are often booked out quite early.

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