Regulars at Nagathamman temple may have spotted Vijaya near the temple before – a lady with packets of food feeding the 10 or more stray dogs there. To Vijaya though, these are not dogs, she talks about them like they are her friends ‘avanga ellorum enakku friends’, she says (They are all my friends).
These ‘people’ get a royal treatment from Vijaya. She cooks food specially for them at home, makes individual packets, and brings it here. ‘Their tastes differ – some don’t like heavy masala, some prefer lighter portions of meat – so I make packets accordingly’, she says.
There are 2 dogs at home and it was while feeding them that Vijaya was motivated to adopt these strays as well. Initially, she would bring them biscuits but she felt that biscuits were not healthy and started preparing meals for them. ‘When I make non-vegetarian food at home, I also make that for them; otherwise, I mix pre-made dog food to the rice and cook it like that’.
In addition to feeding these dogs, Vijaya also helps the old man near Kalyana Nagar Association. It has become a daily habit to get some tiffin for him. ‘Whenever I make a special meal at home, like on Amavasya days, I make extra food and take it to people on my street’, she says. The flower seller and fruit vendors around her house get a dose of Vijaya’s hospitality on such days.
Vijaya is a resident of T. S. V. Koil Street.
Based on the story sent by Bhagirathi Radhakrishnan.