I walked on footpath casually as I was two hours ahead of my class time for the first time in my life. He was clad in tattered cloth. The clothes he wore were probably unwashed for years. I wish Indian too observed Blessed Rainy Day so that beggar can wash atleast once in a year. He was man in early forties. Atleast that is my assumption. But he looked older than he is. As I strode towards him, he coughed painfully just like guy starving out of starvation. “sahab, do din sai roti nahi khaya, dho ruppee dhijay.” He was literally begging just like hundred of other beggars. He was older than father I have never seen. I checked my pocket for change but the lowest note was 10 ruppee not. I wasn’t ready to part with whole ten ruppees. Finally, I found 50 paisa at corner of my thin purse. I threw on his spread cloth.
“Sahib, 50 paisa Noida pai nahi chalte, Delhi pe chaltihai,’’ he was returning my small gestureof sympathy. I looked at him studying for long. He was not as dirty and starved as he seemed. He had painted with some black paints. “Sahib, -” he watched my reaction as I felt my pocket. He was smiling with anticipation. I coolly picked up my 50 paisa and walked out. I heard him calling, “Sahib, sahib, 50 paisa rak dhi, hum koshish karenge.’’ I didn’t looked back and walked on till I was bothered by another beggar. I didn’t give shit to second beggar too.
30 minutes later, I sat in library and picked Hindustan Times to kill my time. I scanned the paper till something caught my attention. “what is salary of beggar?’’ it was deliberated in Lok Shaba that a beggar earned atleast Rs.500 per day. It was 1500 thousand a months which was more than IAS officer’s salary.
Following day, there was photo of arrested beggar who was carrying four lakhs of money in his dirty clothes which according him was honest money. I was shocked, I have seen one lakh bucks in my life but these guy has four lakhs. Worst, arrested beggar looked just like one who refused 50 paisa one day before.
On the right side, there is another tittle which read, “former model begging…. Former model who walked ramp with Susmita Sen was found begging at Delhi road.” I didn’t know what to think. Since then, I stopped giving alms to beggar unless they are physically crippled. After all, beggar have choice to ask for what they wanted plus they earned triple than what I get.
However, as for former Model, I felt pity.