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Two Sides Of The Same Coin

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 4 minutes read

By: Manmeet Bedi
It was a Wednesday afternoon; I was savoring the burger in my car parked in an open parking when I heard screams of a boy outside. I turned around hurriedly only to notice that one of the workers of the shop was holding the boy’s ear. People gathered around them, the boy started screaming with pain, the worker kept shouting at him. I instantly recognized the boy whose ear was being pulled, he knocked on my car’s door a while ago to beg for some money. I obviously wanted no interruptions and believing the fact they always beg, shunned him away. He then strolled around the other parked cars and tried to make the same deal by showering a few blessings in return of some money. While he was trying to collect a few bucks, the worker came running furiously towards him, held him by his hear, dragged him and started shouting at him for making all the car owners uncomfortable. All the people gathered around them agreed with him saying “Inka toh kaam hii hai maangana.” (To beg is their hobby). While it does make me feel uncomfortable to see a plethora of people including kids begging on every corner of my city, I cannot help but feel sympathy for them as a human being. It aches my heart to even think that someone has to spread their hands in front of strangers to make a living. But that does not stop me from living my life as lavishly as my pocket affords. I regard it as a privilege I have because of the kind of family I was born in.
Another similar incident intrigued me to put my thoughts to words regarding this topic was when my mother on this Sunday told me her morning anecdote. While I was sipping on my morning coffee and thinking of whether to read book or watch a movie on Netflix, Mamma comes and says, “Let me tell you what happened today while I was washing clothes.” I put my phone aside and she begins to tell me this interesting incident that somehow shed some light on the human behavior and the social condition of begging.
She continues, “So I was washing clothes when the daily beggars started ringing our doorbell.
They kept ringing it until I opened the door and asked me to give them something to eat or some money so they can buy some food.
I told them I haven’t cooked yet so there’s nothing I can give. I do usually give something to them if there are leftovers. They know that too.”
By this point I was hooked to the story.
They kept asking for money, so Mamma called one of the girls. She asked her if she goes to school. The answer came “I used to till II standard, but my parents told me I’m a grown up now and I should start begging as my other siblings do. So, I beg now.”
And why so? My mother asked her.
“You see aunty, that’s how it is on our caste and culture. We only beg and eat our daily bread. This is how everybody brings their dinner.”
My mother being the moral and nicest human being that she is, wanted her to stand on her feet instead of begging every now and then. Hence, she gave her an offer- “Alright do one thing, you can help me a little in washing these clothes and then I’ll get you whatever you want to eat.”
To me it sounded like a fair offer where she will work a little and get paid. That’s how the entire world earns a living, right? I also thought if she would have accepted the offer it would have slowly helped her to look for a permanent job.
But to our surprise, she declined the offer saying, “Ha! I’m here asking for some money and aunty is telling me to work. Why in the world would I work?” and she ran away to next house to find her breakfast.
I, Manmeet Bedi, hereby claim the article ‘Two sides of the same coin’ is my original content. This article has neither been published in any newspaper/magazine nor has it been sent elsewhere for publication. E-mail : [email protected]

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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