This time I am inside a bus, moving towards Siliguri, a city in West Bengal India. The day was hot and bus was so packed and those on stand perhaps had not a space for the legs to keep them standing. It’s like this in India, I smiled to myself, but I have always loved Indians for their simplicity.
Sitted beside me is a man, he is a gentle man, quite talkative. In our brief conversation he told me that he was in Bhutan for a week on his business trip and even met some of the high Bhutanese officials and have memorized their names too. He had names of all the places that he have visited in Bhutan and loved visiting again
Not ending with it, he shared with me some of the books he had read, and knowing that my interest in Philosophical volumes, he talked about some of the nicest books he had read with some quotes of His Holiness Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekkhananda and some quotes from Robin Sharma’s The Monk who Sold His Ferrari as well.
I enjoyed his talk, not of much words from my side, but I gave him a listening ears and open heart. Tall and giant man, instead of some kind of materialistic talks as usual business man does, he shared with me all the talks that I liked as if he had already read my mind.
While I was quietly listening to him, a small boy crept inside and stood begging beside me. Poor little creature, he wore a black shirt with hundreds holes in it and a half pant that almost leaving his waist to drop on to the floor, eyes sunken and fleshes merged inside bones and his limbs not bigger than a stick, with some words on his vibrating lips he begged.
These are some frequent scenes in India, but I am sure we cannot resist their request, they are poor, thrown in street, uncared and unloved living in poverty of love in slums.
While I took my hand to pull out my wallet to offer some penny to this poor boy, the man stopped me.
“You see man, there are thousands such children in India, one cannot help them at all. Look he is young, his limbs are perfect, he can work to earn his bread, but people like us tend to be so kind and indirectly spoil them. Finding this, a way of easy earning they become lazy and unproductive, do not give, let him work”
I was touched hearing his words and even he started to scold him. The boy stood still now with tears rolling down his sunken cheeks.
I have expected the man would be more kind and being an Indian would love this poor son of India, and as well I couldn’t take him wrong and remembered a Chinese saying “Don’t give fish but teach him fishing”.
Joining his palms and bending to me, he cried pouring his sorrows and said, “Who shall in this earth give me a job?, I am Dallit, I am discarded, even if we are met in early morning people beat us thinking we bring them the bad luck, we are not allowed to walk the path they walk and get water from the tap from where they take theirs. We are untouchable, what can I do? I’ll die if I do not beg for living. My family were tortured and assassinated by higher class neighbours, while I escaped from that death to suffer this fate.
Perhaps in the eye of GOD we are human so I came to beg from you and I believe one doesn’t become poor by offering a penny to a poor”.
It was unbearable, I offered him some money and he thanked me and left quietly wiping off the tears from is checks…..