Sunday, October 16, 2011

This is kumaran, a beggar from chennai. You might have seen a lot of beggars here and there in chennai. You might be wondering how this man is different from the rest.  This is completely an imaginary write up that gives shape to every beggar’s thought, at least kumaran’s thought. 

Photo clicked by: SHAN (
I got up at 5:30 and ran to my usual spot where I usually sit and beg on Fridays. Tuesdays and Fridays I sit near Kabaleeshwaran’s (an Indian god) temple, as people crowd the temples on those two days. I went to a nearby tea shop and the shopkeeper gave me a sheet from the previous day’s newspaper. I spread the paper in my usual spot, sat on it and started begging. “Amma thaye” (The usual wayone begs in Tamil Nadu). 
There came the first person who was generous enough to throw on me a 25 paise coin. Didn't he hear the news that 25 paise coins are not valid anymore? I have studied till 3rd standard and I make it a point that I read the newspaper sheet; I get to sit on, every night. I did not say “Nalla erikanum (long live, you)” so he was just standing there looking at me expecting it. I did not even look at him, I looked down. He immediately took his purse and searched for something. He poured all the coins he had in his hand and selected only the 25 paise. So, he was not ignorant, he was throwing the unwanted coins, at the same time want people around to think that he was generous. He threw on me 3 more 25 paise coins that he collected, very carefully collected so that no other coin falls on me by mistake also.  I knew he demanded some feedback from me so I looked up and smiled at him to stop him from throwing more and more 25 paise coins. I respected the Indian currency. These 25 paise have also helped me get something to eat once so I did not throw them away. I knoted it in my lungi, a south Indian casual wear for men.

A girl came with a friend of hers and parked her scooty just few centimeters away from me. She took out a tube and applied something on her lips. She looked into the rear view mirror and adjusted her hair. She told her friend “Hey I bought this lipstick yesterday, its just 500 Rupees ya.” I starred at the girls lip as much as I could; I found no big difference in the way she looked. I was wondering how a 500 rupees was wasted, in fact she looked better before applying it. She crossed me and I shouted “Amma thaye” at the top of my voice. Both girls didn’t even look at me, I wondered if I was even visible to them.

The road started getting crowded, peak hours. There came an aunty in a black car. She looked like Goddess Lakshmi and I was very sure she was going to throw me something for my food that day. She went into the temple. From the place where I sat, I was able to see the sanidhi, the place where the statue of God is kept. She gave a bowl full of flowers, coconut and banana to the priest there and indulged in deep prayers closing her eyes. She then came near theHundi (a box kept in temples to offer money.) She picked a 1000 rupee note and dropped it in. I was so very excited to see that. I eagerly looked at her when she walked near me. She took a one rupee coin and gently gave me. I thanked her and she left. “1000 rupees for a rich robber who will loot the money in the name of Dharmagartha (Head of temples who manages finance) and a one rupee for a starving person like me.”
Few others dropped coins in my hand and I kept counting them. “One, one fifty, two, three……four, I need one more rupee for a tea.” I looked at the deity and smiled.

A girl came along with a guy; I guessed them to be lovers. Usually when lovers come, it’s like Diwali or pongal (Indian festivals) for me. Either the girl or the guy will give me 5 or 10 rupees to impress the other. I awaited their donation. The guy took out a 10 rupee note and I involuntarily smiled wide. “I just looking for a tea and here is a treat” my mind whispered into my ears. The guy was about to hand over the note to me but the girl stopped him from doing that. I was wondering why. She said “Why are you encouraging all these, Raj?  Baby, these beggars are lazy to work. Is there any problem with his legs or hands? No right? So let him start working” She pulled him off and took him along.

I ran behind her and said “I am not lazy, if we beggars are lazy how will we run behind people when they walk away? Are we not ready to work? If we get a job then why should we beg for the 50 paise? I am fit enough to work and that is the problem?” I stretched my legs on the road, in the heavy traffic. A lorry that didn’t have time to be stopped by its driver ran over my leg. The lovers were shocked. I looked at the girl with a painful smile and asked “Will you let him give me the 10 rupee note now?”

We can rarely see women cooking in the weekends. We make it a point that we try different cuisines, we try out different recipes posted in different foodblogs and those shown on the TV sets. But these people find it so hard even to feed themselves as well as their kids even once a day. What are we going to do for them; sympathize? 

11 Scribbles:

  1. Good one !! i quite like the way every incident has been narrated in a beggar's view..
    but, climax is unexpected.. :O and quite a horrible one.. :(

  2. Very sudden ending. It started with some promise. And infact that not-working-n-lazy stuff is fact to some extent. So imho, this was story with immense potential ended quite lazily. :-)

  3. @shanmugam-thanks:)
    @s014r1s-ya i agree..but wanted it to end abruptly. because if i had completed it with a conclusive ending that wont raise a question in u.. :)

  4. i like the pt u r trying to say :)

  5. i loved the way u worte it but hope the ending was done a diff way. if nt a diff ending it could have been told in a diff way.

    1. @rahul- thanks for the comment. I wrote the story from the ending nly and i'd say for the ending nly. But im really sorry that i disappointed u. Hope i make u enjoy the stories that i write in future keeping in mind ur suggestions:)


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