The Unfortunate Beggar – True Inspiring Tales, India
This is an incident I remember from my childhood. I must have been 5 or 6 years old. We used to live in a large, 3 storeyed house on Landsdowne Road in Kolkata, then known as Calcutta.
There was a small garden which led to the main gate of the house. A guard or darban as he was known then was always at the gate. As I stood on our verandah, I could see vendors stopping at our main gate selling all kind of wares while calling loudly.
An ice cream man came everyday selling Magnolia Ice cream. As soon as he used to see me, running towards the gate with some coins tucked safely in my fist, his weather-beaten face used to break into smiles of joy.
He used to ask me, “Kya khayegee aaj bitiya rani”, and I used to ask for my favourite chocobar.
Every afternoon, a beggar used to come to the gate begging for alms. No one used to give him anything since he was mentally deranged. He used to keep muttering to himself but seemed harmless enough. He always had a garland of genda flowers around his neck.
Every afternoon, I used to look out for him and as soon as he appeared at the gate, I used to run to him with some coins to give him.
The guard at the gate was busy showing the poor old mad man away, but I used to stop him and not let him go till I had placed the coins on his outstretched dark and dirty palm. He used to thank me and go to the next house.
Once or twice, I used to ask mom to give him dad’s old clothes, shoes, etc and some food.
We all are so busy with our lives that we don’t have time or the inclination to worry about the less fortunate. Only if each one of us could help the needy once in a while, the world would become a better place.
Contributed By: Latika
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