Saturday, January 24, 2009

The beggar

My sojourns in the local train everyday bring me close to different cross sections of the society which otherwise I would be deprived of.
One of the happenings yesterday…
We were three of us traveling together…my colleague, Sheetal and a friend of my colleague, Harini, (another Satyamite) & I. We were talking about, what else, but happenings in Satyam, when there was the usual sight of a ten year old boy come sweeping the train floor with a cloth. Harini gave him a rupee. This started the discussion about why we mustn’t give alms…her justification was that this was in exchange of labor and not free…but Sheetal and I still opposed her …
A little while later there was another beggar with (again, as usual, a child in her arms) begging. We shooed her away.
Later Harini was eating an apple and the boy to whom she had given a rupee, sprang towards her almost grabbing the apple from her hands… she was taken aback at his audacity!
After 5 minutes, we see that this boy had gone back to his mother…the beggar with a baby in her hands, clinging to her and about to get down at the next station.
Then the beggar’s mobile rang…
We stared at her, mouths agape. Harini had learnt her lesson.