Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Beggar Stories....





I and Vipin have been friends from High School. We were bench mates and I don’t remember how many times I have been scolded and thrown out of the class just because of his pranks. He has a wonderful hold on his emotions after passing the stupidest joke you have ever heard and then give the expressions of the most sincere student any teacher would have ever dreamt of and me though the innocent one, always (winking) used to become the culprit for the teacher’s eyes as he left me laughing when the teacher turned around. But he has been the best mate I have or would ever have.

The roadside eatery stalls are the favorites of Vipin to sit and talk for free. Free as it is meant both the place and the food because he has a fantastic habit of not carrying money in the wallet. He carries the wallet though.

One such evening, me, Vipin and Pranav had been to one of the famous stall in Baroda to have yummy Dabelis (Indian-ised version of Burgers, you can say so!)

We had just ordered for ourselves when two girls, not more than 12 years came to us begging for food. One can notice the change in the pattern of begging in the city. Beggars have stopped asking for money or just anything else, they want to eat what they like and ask for it directly. The two girls pointed their fingers at the Dabelis and asked for them. Before me or Pranav could respond to them, Vipin went and ordered Dabelis for them. They both sat on the footpath waiting for their food to come.

The food was served and Vipin gave two of the plates to those girls. He was very happy seeing them eat. It could be seen on his face how content he felt by feeding them.

After we had finished, Vipin threw the plates in the bin and drank some water from a jar lying at the stall. It was heart warming to see the two girls imitating Vipin by throwing their plates in the bin as well. Then they took some water from the jar and washed their hands, which surprised us and then something happened which left all three of us wide eyed.

One of the girls took out some money from her pocket, bought a mineral water pouch and told Vipin, “Bhaiya, jug ka paani mat piyaa karo, woh sehat ke liye achaa nahi hai!”(Brother, Don’t drink the water from the jug, it is not hygienic)

All three of us were startled by her, Vipin ran after her and she kept on laughing all the way leaving us with a hygienic lesson of the day.