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.

I nodded and moved on as I grabbed the ticket from the man.

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.

He nodded.

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 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.


  1. I know how it feels...... It really touches..ones soul..... when one does it once, it becomes an least for me it is true... I feel bad when I am not able to GIVE somebody.... I would love to give what I can afford.... I love the feel & happiness it brings on my face, my heart, my soul.... It is an experience, that cannot be expressed by words...but can only be FELT!!!!! I love THAT feeling..... Feeling of being worthy......

  2. Nice stuff..... I have done something similar a couple of times (only), and I still recall those acts of 'good deeds', thus implying that acts like these are as enriching for us as they are for the recepient....

  3. @AshKuku & @Talking Skull - Glad that you have encountered such deeds of goodwill and compassion! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  4. nice.. the thing is that giving always makes one feel better

  5. @Uncommon Sense, You are right - giving makes one feel better. But donations made thoughtfully will really make things better for the recipient. Unlike casual and thoughtless donations will only encourage the practice of begging!

    For more...

  6. Liked it..
    The way u describe the scene is pretty good. Giving is always a joy, I also believe in giving deeds rather than taking always... These r the things which give u real happiness from inside... :-)

  7. doing good is always GOOD.. It always brings peace to the heart.. and a smile on someones face.. One shud not step back from doing good ...

    All our life we want this or that.. so its good to give once in a while tooo. :)

  8. You are right, Vipul & Bikram. Thanks!

  9. My goodness. This felt really nice. Keep writing. Most of all, keep giving! People are watching your good deeds. There's a lot to learn from observing.

  10. Aha.. This is so touching and beautiful!

    You said it right, Neeraj - "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?"

    Completely amazing.. It moved me! :)

  11. Phew! This is touching indeed!

  12. Very nice article Neeraj. I have not visited your site in a while. I will add you in my blog roll.

  13. @Parth - Glad that you found it worthy...

    @Rakesh - I agree, I urge you to practice it brother...

    @Hari - Thank you so much!

  14. Wow Neeraj, I loved your post. So well written! Congratulations on your Tangy Tuesday pick :-)

  15. Good thought,good action, nicely written. We crib so much about small things in life and hardly realize how unfortunate many many others are in this world... A small gesture can bring a big smile in many people's face and life IF we stop for a moment from our mechanical granted life...

  16. Is that you with that little boy in the picture? This was really heartwarming.
    I also feed little children, I never give them money because I fear someone might snatch it from them... but you bought him a toy too. God bless you Neeraj Shinde.
    I agree with you, giving is indeed an art.

  17. Hiii, Neeraj
    Me and sm of my frnds hv started an E magazine called Reader's Quotient, it is totally for a noble cause of funding education to needy children, I came across ur blog in my quest to search talented writers and felt worth to inquire if u shall be interested to come along with us
    If yes pls do contact us at
    Waiting for ur revert


  18. I think the boy will nev'r forget you.

    for the first time i felt it's worth following a blog..

    Very nice writeup you got.

    cu around
    Kerala photoblog

  19. "It is all about caring and nurturing your donations in the right directions"- how true! Most of the time, it's Mindless charity for the sake of charity, fame and tax-gains!

    No wonder Blogadda selected this post as the best! Truly excellent. Keep blogging.

  20. Nice write up! "The art of giving" as they say :)

  21. Giving Is An Art...very true and awesome Post!!

  22. The other day, I bought some toys (a small aeroplane and a bicycle) from a street kid. But buying toys for a street kid.. that's really touching.. Will give it a try next time.

    BTW, I had been thinking of reviewing your blog for a long time. Finally, I did it today. Here's the link:

  23. Yes I agree giving is a art and one need's courage to bend down to help. I am a introvert who feels shy to bend to help. Once I was in a railway station, There was repair work going on and the tiles where moved and a deep ditch was visible. I was cursing the contractor who has not bothered to even put up a sign and wondering what if some one passes by with heavy luggage and fails to notice it. Soon enough a man in his 40's rushed with luggage and did not notice the ditch and he fell down right in front of me. I wanted to bend to help him lift his luggage so that he can get up. But my shyness or lack of courage prevented me. I was the closest to him. Soon others on the platform ran to him lifted his luggage and helped him to his feet and guided him to the nearest bench someone brought some water and helped him relax and finally he composed himself and left in search of his bogie. I still feel ashmed of myself that I was not able to respond quickly and help him. When will I have "To hell with the world attitude". I hope someday before it is too late.

  24. I am touched. Thanks for teh nice post

  25. @Anonymous, I hope things will change with you soon. Just build some courage at such times and see how the world around changes. You would love the feeling - mark my words!

    Thanks All!

  26. Really touching, Neeraj!! God bless!! Thank you for sharing this post, and making us all realise there is more to life than living selfishly!! And congrats on winning the GiveIndia blog contest. You totally deserved it :-)

  27. This is quite practical example. This is not just giving, actully giving in the right direction and touch the soul of self.
    I think the next step is to bring such children to some education temple.

  28. hello...neeraj.....i happen to come across ur blog accidently...but cound'nt stop myself from reading it up.....ur words are really awsome.....and the above post grabs space in ones heart...

  29. Thanks Kuku! Thank you for reading...

  30. M really inspired....has put me on recollecting mode ..thinking of blogging my experiences too..gotta figure out how to start.