Thursday, September 10, 2009

Of Beggars

I was standing at a road-side shop with a few friends who can’t survive without smoking. Yeah they know smoking is injurious to health, but they are into social service. Think about the huge losses the cigarettes manufactures will suffer, be considerate about the sufferings of the small children and the families of the roadside vendors who would have to be content with just selling tea or might have to shut shops, and the huge dent in the government’s revenue which might result in an economic instability in the country. All this and a lot more, only if these smokers quit!

So anyways, instead of making myself a victim of all this loud talk, I rather let them smoke a few. Ok, continuing with what I wanted to tell you, as we were chatting, sipping tea and smoking, this beggar girl came to us asking for a penny. Humble, hungry, poor and in such a tender age – watching her condition I was a bit moved and took pity on her and before the above social service men could shoo her away, I gave her a few loose coins. She went away happily and things would have ended there and I might not have written this post hadn’t she, to my consternation, bounced back and went to that tobacco shop and asked for supari. I was so surprised by this act that for a moment I just watched her mocking us, as she gave those coins to the shopkeeper and got what she want. I asked her to return it and get a samosa but she kept mocking me, smiled, opened the packet and emptied it in her mouth. Then she just ran away, leaving us all standing stupefied and feeling cheated and guilty.

I don’t want to give a moral out of this story, because there might be someone in real need. But before your act of kindness, just trust your inner instinct and go by your gut feeling. Because you might unknowingly be promoting something very ugly (I was just fooled into doing that).

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