We all look for inspiration, and sometimes it comes from the most gut-wrenching experience imaginable. Narayanan was a five-star chef, set to embark on a career feeding Michelin-caliber guests at high-priced tables when his life took an unexpected turn.

The 29-year old wakes up before dawn, and travels over 200 kilometers to feed people in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The people Krishnan feeds don’t have black Amex cards, nor do they stay in swanky hotels. They are all homeless.

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Narayanan Krishnan giving a homeless man a shave – ©T.Nazeer

This amazing man feeds more than 400 destitute people every day, often with his own, bare hands. He even offers those that need it a free haircut, and even a bath if they care for one.

His abrupt change in life plans all started when he visited a temple just before he was about to leave for Switzerland to work for a prestigious hotel as a gourmet chef. Outside the temple Krishnan observed a man eating excrement off the street due to extreme hunger, and he vowed to make a change however he could. This sight unsettled Krishnan so much that he brought the man a bowl of rice, and later quit his job at a 5-star hotel.

“I saw a very old man, literally eating his own human waste out of hunger. I went to the nearby hotel and asked them what was available. They had idli, which I bought and gave to the old man. Believe me, I had never seen a person eating so fast, ever. As he ate the food, his eyes were filled with tears. Those were the tears of happiness.” – Narayanan Krishnan

Since then, Krishnan has fed more than a million homeless people food which is likely good enough to feed dignitaries and the uber wealthy.

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Narayanan cooking for the 450 + homeless- ©T.Nazeer

Narayanan Krishnan feeding the homeless on the streets of Madurai- ©T.Nazeer

Narayanan Krishnan feeding the homeless on the streets of Madurai- ©T.Nazeer

“We feed the homeless, mentally ill, destitute, and old people who are ignored by society regardless of their religion, cast or any other factors, everyone is equal. To serve such people keeps me going day in and day out. They should feel psychologically that they are also human beings and they deserve human care. The food that we give them provides the physical nutrition, love, and affection shows the mental nutrition. The ultimate purpose of life is to give. Start giving and you will feel the joy of giving. This keeps me going.”

Once a rising star in the culinary world, Krishnan dedicates his life to feeding the ‘least’ among us. In India, the homeless and mentally infirm are considered untouchables, but he touches people’ lives every day. Where Krishnan lives and works, no man will go hungry.

What does Krishnan say about all this? “I am just a human being.”