I was waiting at the bus stop, one evening, for mu usual 4 o’clock ride. After a long exhausting day, I can only think of the refreshing shower with cold water once I reach home.
Since it was a Friday evening my thoughts went to the weekend movie plans with friends. That is when I saw him. He looked like a well-fed and pampered adolescent boy like me. He was dressed like a boy from a well-to-do family. He was holding out a polythene bag and trying to convey something, through hand gestures, to a gentleman standing next to me.
Although he had a confused look on his face, he reached into his pocket and took out a ten-rupee note and put it in the polythene bag. I realised that the boy could not speak. He then approached me with a smile. Pointing at something on the other side of the road, he then held out the bag. I could see some ten rupees and twenty notes in it. Although I could not understand what he was trying to say or what he was pointing to, I thought he must have some genuine reason for asking money. I too dropped in a twenty-rupee note. He thanked me with a smile and went on to the next person.
Almost everyone present there gave him a ten rupee or twenty because he looked decent and I observed there were only 10s and 20s in his bag. He thanked everyone with the same smile. He then crossed the road. All this while everyone was observing him. He then took out a 20rupee note, from his own pocket, put it in the bag and gave the bag to a physically disadvantage woman sitting on the footpath on the opposite side of the road. Even from a distance I could see that her face lit up with absolute gratitude. And then he walked away gracefully.
I was absolutely dumbstruck, so were the people around me. These people who would have, at the most, given her a rupee or two, gave the boy at least a ten-rupee note. And, as for me, I may not even have acknowledged her presence and may have been engrossed in my own thoughts. The boy’s action gave every one of us something to think about the way we treat others who are less privileged than we are.
———— Avinash Vijjapu
To give and then not to feel that one has given is the very best of all ways of giving.
—– Max Beerbohm.