THE BEGGAR I ONCE BEGGED



"What is the definition of rich?", I ask.



It was a warm, sunny, typically Indian day. One summers, when me and Amar, all packed up, were heading to Himachal Pradesh, to escape from the unbearable heat. Taking a bus, we started the journey. Being tired, I asked Amar to wake me up when we reached the place. "Get up sleepyhead, you are missing this!", I was glad I looked outside the window before giving him a punch for ruining my sweet nap, for all I could see outside was nature. Himachal is such a place, it turns even the non nature loving types like me into poets. 

"There was a heaven like this, o' i never did know, Please keep me here o' mighty, never let me go".



We had already got a hotel room booked, we felt asleep in a jiffy, being tired from the long hot journey. As such we had planned our outings from the next day only, so we didn't mind giving it a rest for the day.



Next day the very morning, we got ready and left the hotel. "Isn't he the same beggar we saw last night, while entering the hotel?", saying, I went to him, "baba, haath per sahi salaamat hain, kuch kaam dhandha kyun nahi kar lete (your body is well intact, why don't you do something for a living)? ", I asked him, almost mocking him. "Sab upar wale ka khel hai beta, tu ja, ghoom fir le ( it's all in God's hands, my son, you guys go, have fun)".

Irritated by his response, I left the place fuming. Amar tried to calm me down and he got pretty successful, making me laugh by calling DIBS on the girls passing by. The day went by, it was all going according to plan when it all went south. While coming back to the hotel, we got robbed, lucky enough not killed by some local thugs. We were out of cash, all alone, and foreign to the place. Asking for a mere 100 rupees from nearly a 1000 people and not getting a single buck may sound somewhat easy to some, but mind you, it is not. "Sir, you have to pay the next day's rent or I am afraid you will have to vacate the room.". So whoever says money can't buy everything, try to get robbed in a strange place and get thrown out of a hotel. Your opinion is most likely to be changed. While there were no signs of help available, as we sat outside the hotel on the curb, I felt a hand on my shoulder, "kya hua beta?".



It was the beggar who I had ridiculed that morning, too ashamed of my actions, I could not say anything to him. Amar gathered some courage and told him what had happened. The beggar didn't think twice, offered us a share of his meal first, and while I was too reluctant to eat it, out of shame or out of pride, I still can't make that out, we were too hungry to say no. We sat with the beggar and how delicious that not so royal food tasted. After feeding us, he gave us some money, sufficient enough for us to reach home, sufficient enough to let tears pop out of my eyes, sufficient enough to break my unnecessary pride for nothing, and sufficient enough to let me ask myself, "What is the definition of rich?".
Powered by Blogger.