Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Two Things You Should Remember About Beggars

Two things you should remember about beggars.

First, they are filthy rich.
Second, they are bloody choosy about what they get.

Once, when I was on my way to Chennai from Pondicherry, the bus stopped at Mahabalipuram for a tea break. All the passengers had alighted, while I decided to stay put. A beggar approached me and asked for alms. I told him that I did not have any change. The beggar replied, "Amma, no problem. I will give you change"!

The movie, Pushpak or Pesum Padam, starring Kamal Hassan and Amala, has scenes where Kamal Haasan passes by this particular beggar on the bridge everyday. One day the beggar dies, and what does Kamal find hidden under the beggar's sheets - truckloads of money!!! (Of course, this is the edited version of the story. For those of you who may not be aware of this, the movie is a silent movie)

On another occasion, when I was waiting for my bus to get to work, an old woman suffering from elephantiasis approached me and asked me for alms. The first time, I did not budge. The old woman refused to give up on me and used her potent weapon, emotional blackmail. It worked. Being the good Samaritan, I offered to buy her a cup of tea and duly paid the required fee at the tea-shop. Instead of the usual, "God bless you", the old woman tells me, "Amma, I had tea yesterday, now I want Bonda. No tea."

So think twice before your emotions get the better of you.

In Pondicherry, I have been an eye-witness to the Beggar Association at the Pondicherry bus terminus. Once these guys have done their rounds for the day, they meet at the bus terminus to settle accounts. There is, of course, a leader who controls the entire show, and the rest follow or fall out.

This post was inspired by Soumyadip. His latest post addresses the "bikhari" issue that we are faced with everyay.

Image title: Honest beggar!


Accidental Fame Junkie said...

Hi AquaM, I agree with you. I wish there was a way around the beggar issue. I am always torn between believing them and not believing them!

aquamarine said...

u r not alone in this AFJ!!!

Aqua Femme

. : A : . said...

Very interesting. Didn't think of it this way.

aquamarine said...

Hey .:a:.

Nice to hear from you. It's bin quite a while now!!


Soumyadip said...

Recently there was a story in one of the papers about a beggar in Bombay who earns Rs. 1000 a day. I'm tempted to switch professions.

Rita said...

I agree with you completely.
Talking about getting into hilarious situations, you seem to have a knack for it. *Wink*. Lol, imagine a beggar telling you he will give you change!!

aquamarine said...

lol...:))) I know what you mean Soumyadip!!



still_figuring_out said...

hmm...i feel guilty if i don`t donate. so i just do.