Wednesday, August 17, 2005

9 bucks??

Had gone to Thane to get the forms for CAT. Reached at 4:30.. only to see that the bank closes at 4! Couldn't have made a completely pointless trip, so got together with a friend.. to go walking near the lake.

Was indulging in my usual philosophies when a kid came up, his hand outstretched in front.. gesturing to indicate that he was hungry and wanted to eat!

I candidly asked him,
'kya chahiye?' (not an angry tone)
he didn't respond, just gestured!
I asked, 'kuchh khaane ka hai?' He nodded in agreement!
There wasn't anything except a Bhuttawala around! so,
'Bhutta Khayega?'
another polite nod!
'kaisa diya bhaiya??'
the bhuttawala responded-- 4 ka hai, 5 ka hai, 6 ka hai!
The kid ought to make this choice..so I asked him.. and he plainly pointed at the 4 rupee thing!
'kya naam hai tera'
first time i hear him speak!-'krishna'
'kal koi khilaane wala nahi milega to kya karega?'
no response
'zindagi bhar bheek hi maangta rahega?'
I suddenly realized, he was too young to probably even understand what he was doing!
Didn't bug him anymore.. he walked away with his bhutta... and me with the wanderings of my mind!

some time later.. another little girl came up.. i thought it unfair to spare this one! so asked her if a bhutta would be okay.. only a nod! I asked the bhuttawala to give her whichever she wanted! and almost instantly..her partner.. another little one.. who had earlier crossed over.. seeing her with me... came over and looked at me quizzically! as if asking what's this happening... why this injustice to me!

and almost naturally.. without me saying anything.. the bhuttawala smiled.. handed a piece each to these two! and they happily walked away! i paid him.. 5 bucks.

the calculative mind was at this moment doing a cost benefit analysis.. 30 bucks spent on a chocolate milkshake.. compared to 9 bucks spent here!

my wanderings and seemingly overt benevolence irritated my friend.. and we made a move.. so i wouldn't end up feeding half of Thane!

On the way back, some thoughts from the thane lakeside lingered on..

those three kids..right from birth.. they'd probably never had an introduction with our favorite uncle.. the concepts of dignity or feeling ashamed in begging... while living on the same planet.. not so far away, we are buried rather deeply in our self inflated egos and glorified self respects seem to be driving us crazy.. including often seeking revenges for so called moral offences!

wanderer

1 comment:

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