After suffering for 3 days with bad cold I’d been for a check up to my Doctors clinic and took an auto on my way back. I got down to from the auto near the vegetable shop to make the weeks purchases. As I was leaving a shriveled old lady in tattered cloathes came begging, without a second thought I fished out some coins and handed it over to her and the shop keeper gave her a banana.
After another stop at the Bakery to pick up some bread, I proceeded towards my house, 3 shoddily dressed teen age boys, ribbing each other noisily, were walking just behind me. The boys seemed to be working at a construction site, and seemed to speak in a dialect of Tamil. I noticed the beggar lady sitting on the pavement counting her coins – obviously the day’s collection. Just as I passed her a thought crossed my mind – what if the boys take her coins forcibly, to prove me right I heard one of them comment, “Aai coins, coins’. In the split second, my thoughts raced, should I try and stop them from taking the old ladies coins or should I just walk away. I will never be unable to contain them and no one else was in sight!
Though one part of me said walk away, my conscience made me turn around to see if there was anything I can do to prevent them from stealing from this poor frail lady. I should say, I was ashamed of myself – the street urchins dropped a whole lot of their coins into the ladies extended palm and continued on their way, boisterous as ever. I’m sure their contribution was much higher than mine.