Friday, December 15, 2006

Lucky Scrooge

Lucky Uncle Scrooge (Fred's uncle, though it would be just as true for Donald's or anybody else's uncle for that matter). He didn't live in Bangalore. Because if he did, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future would all have visited him on the same night. And I say this because I know from experience.

Earlier today I was in Tippasandra, treating myself to an ice cream after lunch when this gentleman walked up to me asking for alms. He was followed by two children, one about 9 or 10 and the other in his early teens. As usual, I refused. Definitely don't want to encourage begging and particularly so if it involves children. After a few requests, the man left. But the 9 year old didn't. He stood there with his partially stretched out hand. And I still had the ice cream in mine. Certainly not a comfortable position to be in. For a second there I wasn't sure what to do. Should I just give him some change and get back to my ice cream. Or should I stick to my stand. Still not sure if it was the right thing to do, but I chose the latter. The child stood there for some more time. As he finally left, there was this look in his eyes. Despair, disgust, anger, frustration, pain. Or maybe it was just my imagination. Not really sure what. But it won't be easy to forget.

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