Thursday, January 18, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
All the cars waiting had their windows up, mostly must have had their heaters on and hardly bothered about him. Some didn't even notice him, their attention was focused on the signal, waiting for it to turn green.
I was farther off in my car, windows down, enjoying the feel of the winter and watching this old beggar go from one car to another... Before he came to me the signal turned green and I too like others sped away.
This beggar however left me unsettled and triggered some questions:
- What would I have done if he had come to me?
- I generally don't give money to beggars but what would I have done to this one who was shivering in cold?
- He genuinely was shivering out of cold or was pretending?
- Would a rupee or two have been of any use to him or should I have taken off my warm sweater and given to him?
- Would he have survived yet another day to be back at night begging again?
- Is it right to not help beggars by way of giving them a rupee today and then letting them be like this forever?
- Does a one rupee clear my conscious and can I still go to bed and sleep well?
- Does that beggar think of all these things or is it that for him its a business...
As I write this I remember a joke told to me by my grandmother, long back. She once scolded a beggar begging on the traffic signal,"Why are you begging, why don't you do some work?" He replied, "that's what I am doing, can you beg on the crossing in this heat? Try it" My grand mother did not know where to look.
Just a passing thought...