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Karma Kitchen: Sharing & Serendipity

Dear Friends,

When people bring people close to them over to experience Karma Kitchen, that's a real testament to the space created here -- and a reflection of the spirit that drives this experiment:

When you stumble across something special -- you share it.

This Sunday that kind of sharing showed up at the door many times over (we served a total of 90 guests!)

  • Sharanya, a bubbly Karma Kitchen volunteer whose mother has just flown in from the East Coast brings her in at 9am to help with set up. Together they fold napkins, set tables, roll inspiration scrolls -- part way through her mom asks if they can sign up for next week too :)
  • Another volunteer comes in as a guest with her parents visiting from Southern California -- she doesn't tell them anything about Karma Kitchen but lets the surprise of it unfold on its own -- eventually blowing them away :)
  • A renowned professor from Columbia Business school rolls through in between lectures to share the KK experience with a couple of colleagues -- one of them is moved by the end of it to run to her car and bring back a Trader Joe's gift certificate, " I thought this would be the perfect place to pay this forward.
  • A family of eight show up -- a couple of them have volunteered here before, the others have just heard of it and were wondering what they were in for. But the palpable energy of Karma Kitchen takes over. They engage in wide-ranging conversations with their servers in the midst of a delicious meal and an exquisite dessert selection. "What you are doing here is noble work," says the father of the family, as they prepare to leave.

And then there's the serendipity factor...

  • Two friends walk in, one of them visiting from Ann Arbor. Neither of them has ever been to KK before. As they browse through the abundance of wisdom and inspiration on the kindness table, they can't help but share heartfelt appreciation for this space.
  • Five friends come in just before closing time -- they have no idea what they've walked into but very soon their resonance is palpable. A Kodak moment: All five heads bent earnestly over the step-it-up activity of the day. "Share what you are grateful for."
  • The very last guests we seat are two women from out of town, one from Sacramento, the other from Atlanta. They were just, "looking for some place to eat." At the end of their meal they want to know if they can find an online copy of the Commonly Asked Questions on our menus. "We want to send this to all our friends. This is Amazing.

Another Once-in-a-lifetime Crew ...

Dipa and Susan's artistic plating (that even includes a special arrangement of spoons!) evokes gasps of admiration from several diners. Tom and Kye's steady, unassuming and hard-working presence helps a leaner than usual crew function smoothly. Vishal does two straight shifts of dishwashing with a constant smile, Radhika brings a special warmth and grace to the role of interface and a crazy flood of naan orders. Hafeez makes the time to try and truly connect with each of his tables. Newly married Shireen finds Karma Kitchen online and convinces her husband Edgar to sign up with her -- their sincerity and warmth was evident through the day. And we can't possibly forget Eva, Jazz and Myles who came in as guests and seamlessly slid into various volunteer roles when we most needed the extra help!

Attached is our crew picture. Sign up for future weeks is online as usual. Thank you all for the unique opportunity to serve in this space together -- have a wonderful week and --

Happy Thanksgiving!

In service,
Pavi & Viral

Karma Kitchen Coordinators

--Pavi on Nov 23, 2009

Share Your Own Story

If you have a Karma Kitchen story to share, please email us. We'd love to hear it, and spread the inspiration!