“One plate idly-vada”..

Mr.A saw the person next to him ordering his plate of dinner. He was a shabby with unruly hair that has never seen oil in its lifetime, thick beard that was full of dirt and uncouth and torn dress. Mr.A was sure that he was a beggar and his face shrunk out of disgust.

“oh, why in the world he comes to eat at this fast-food joint. He is going to make faces shrink and the people will give a second thought to revisit this joint”. He thought. The beggar who turned casually gave him a smile. He forced a smile and then turned towards the counter. “This country is full of beggars. Lazy fellows. Why can’t they go and work somewhere instead of begging”. He thought. His thought train was stopped by the counter person who called him out to collect his orders. Mr.A occupied a table and while eating, he was glancing the beggar now and then and seemed not so happy. He was hoping that the beggar should not come and share the same table with him. To his relief, he saw the beggar get a take-away.

While he was emptying his plate, he saw the beggar being stopped by the joint owner. “Why don’t you eat here? Why are taking parcel everyday and sitting in the roadside platform to eat?” – the beggar was questioned. The beggar replied “thanks for offering to eat in your joint but i can’t eat here. Though I am fellow-human, people eating here may not take it so well. They may dislike sharing the place with a beggar like me”. he moved on. Mr.A felt abashed and wondered if the beggar could read minds.

2 thoughts on “Beggar…

  1. Reminds me of one thatha in our area – the same description u gave. He reads the whole newspaper, and keeps scribbling in english all over. Some used to say he was a scholar once, but we would never know. He used to get idly from aradhana and eat in one of d tables. The owner never once asked him for money. Once i offered to buy him, and he said ok. We sat at the same table and ate, he did eat in a terrible way, I could’t concentrate on food. Nevertheless, the satisfaction I got that day was priceless.

    We tend to be hard sometimes on beggars, and soft at other times. It is what we are at that moment.

  2. True.

    But hey, when I posted it this i did not think about how it is going to affect the audience. But when somebody comes back saying that they are able to relate it to their real life incidents, it makes me happy.
    (PS: Read the above para in Gautam Vasudeva Menon’s style reply to VTV response.. hehe.. 😉 )

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