Giving Is An Art...
I felt a tender pat on my back as I presented the exact change to the man on the railway booking counter. It was kinda a sigh of relief after wasting more than a fifteen minutes in the queue and I was in a no mood to respond to a stranger's taps from behind. Instead, I had a look at my watch and then at the man at the ticket counter. I waited anxiously for a ticket and continued staring at him who was still busy counting my change. Just then I felt those annoying taps back, this time they grew more intense than the previous one. In a frustrated mood, I looked back. It was a small boy about a decade old anxiously waiting for a rupee from me.
This must be a bad day for me, I thought as I realized that I had just missed the train. The fact that the next train is expected after an hour made things even worse. I must be the unluckiest man in the world, I thought as I cursed myself for being late.
The railway platform was sparingly crowded and it wasn't too difficult to grab an empty seat. I decided to grab a newspaper from the nearest book stand - what an awesome way to kill time, I thought.
I was not more than a half way reading through the cover story of the newspaper when I noticed someone standing right in front of me. I lowered the newspaper giving myself a room to see the person standing in front of me.
"You again?", I asked as I noticed the boy again begging in front of me.
This time I was able to have a clear look at him. A moderately muddy shirt and a half sized trouser. Black hair that had turned muddy brown due to lack of proper care. I decided not to guess the last time he would have had his bath cos' I knew that my every attempt would have failed to get it right.
I waited for an answer but all I got were stares.
"What do you want?", I asked.
"A rupee!", the boy said.
"I can't give you a rupee my friend; I can feed you some snacks if you are hungry. Are you?", I interrogated.
The boy seemed uninterested in my offer and immediately left as he realized that he was wasting his precious earning time before a weirdo.
Smart professional, I murmured as I saw him sneaking away.
I began searching the last sentence that I had read in the newspaper article. I like reading articles about President Obama. I had just resumed reading when I saw another boy standing in front of me. He seemed almost half the age of the previous one.
"Now what do you want Barack?", I asked the little boy as he looked into my eyes with immense hope.
"I want a wada-paav, the one which you were about to give to him!", he said.
"Oh! Did he send you?", I asked in dismay.
"No! I heard you", he said honestly.
Sometimes it is not very difficult to spot the truth; especially when words come out straight from the heart, they possess a spark. Just as the eyes of the little boy had. I knew he was too hungry. I folded the newspaper and kept it in my bag.
We walked a small distance together until we reached the nearest snack corner.
"A tea for me and a wada-paav for the little one", I ordered.
I instructed the little boy to have a seat. I noticed him as he kept on moving his legs to and fro on the chair.
"Where are your parents?", I asked him anxiously.
I learnt, he must be an orphan. That's just too much to handle for such a tender age, I thought. If I thought it was a bad day for me today and that I am the unluckiest man in the world, the little one must be way beyond it all.
I came back to my seat but was unable to concentrate on the article. I decided not to read. I looked around and noticed the little boy sitting just besides me.
"Well Barack, what are you doing back here?", I asked.
"I like you", he said.
"Is that why you are here again?", I asked as I touched his little cheek.
He smiled as he asked me to follow him. There was a small garden beside the railway platform developed and maintained by Indian Railways. He took me to a toy seller who was sitting in the garden.
It wasn't so hard to study the little chap's intentions behind bringing me there. I bought him one.
I was moved.
I was able to feel the happiness spread all around his face. It wasn't about money rather a lending of a caring hand, to someone who really needed one. It's all about those little gestures that touch and impact lives. Imagine if a few minutes of such caring gestures can turn a bad day into one of the best days of one's life, how positively far it would help building up a society free of poverty and illiteracy?
Shedding a rupee to a beggar is not Giving. It is all about caring and nurturing your donations in the right directions.
There are numerous such little boys who are less fortunate in their lives. To be able to touch even one of these will make all the difference. Imagine, had it been otherwise...
Accolades: This post was chosen as the Best Post from the Indian Blogosphere by BlogAdda - their best pick on 23rd March, 2010
Who : Neeraj Shinde
What : Giving Is An Art
Tangy : We have been always taught the power of Giving. ‘Giving is an art’, says Neeraj and has this post on what he feels about it. A must read post.
This post is a winner at the Indian blogger's contest held by GiveIndia.org in the month of March 2010. GiveIndia’s mission is to promote an efficient and effective giving culture that provides greater opportunities to the poor in India.