Standing there at the traffic signal waiting for the lights to turn green, my eyes impatiently stared at the digital display showing the time remaining for the signal to change. As the countdown started, I could hear the engines of the vehicles gearing up fiercely to rush ahead of the masses. How strangely our lives have transformed into a racing track. While the struggle for survival continues, this race never lets our soul take a breath and respite & even if you don’t want to be a part of it, you find yourself amidst the rush leaving you wondering what was it supposed to be and what it actually is!!
My ramble down the pensive lane was interrupted by a knock on the window pane. It was a eunuch who was knocking repeatedly and clapping together her hands asking for the money. I turned away my head grumbling about the increasing number of eunuchs in the city to my brother. You name any major or minor signal and you will, more often than not, find these begging and asking for the money, at times making lewd remarks to the person denying the demand. The problem with the ever increasing number of these is that amidst the flurry of requests at times the genuine ask goes unattended.
However, as an after-thought, I think I am wrong in using the word ‘begging’ for their ‘asking of money’. There is no denial that these as a section of society are always given a raw deal and are being considered as unsocial. Those sophisticated genres of the society (to which, unfortunately, we too belong) have always ostracized them shunning them off from the very society they live in. At times, I do wonder whether we have given them a fair deal, a fair share to lead a normal life? Be it the opportunity for an equal employment or a chance for fitment in the social cadre, they have always found themselves struggling.
Now when I am scribbling all these, I realise that to a great extent I am also to be accused of being too judgemental at times . . . the incident which forms the soul of this post, further accentuate this feeling.
As the car moved on to the next signal which again was red (there is some peculiar thing about the traffic signal, if the first signal you counter in your journey is red, the probability of finding green signals ahead is low), I saw one more eunuch seeking money from various four wheelers and two wheelers in the similar fashion. Needless to say, most of them didn’t oblige and for a change, she was neither rude nor dissenting. Further, few cars away there was a small girl who was also making repeated unsuccessful attempts of asking money from the people around. . .the disappointment of the refusal was easily visible on her face. It was a depressing sight for anyone, more than that it reflected the differentiation that demarcated the society and the people dwelling into it. I am sure at times, the God (up there) would also find himself wondering about the state of affairs of the wonderful world HE once created. HE created HIS best creation of all – the human. Then HE created the land so that HIS human never starves for the food to eat, next came the streams which HE created so that HIS human never thirst for water, then came shelter to give home and so on. Little did HE realized then that all HIS effort would go in vain and this very human would create layers amongst themselves to deprive his own kith and kin off the food, the water, and other basic necessities. Something, for which we owe an apology to the Lord!!!
I made up my mind to give some money to the little girl and pulled out a currency note from my pocket. Suddenly the signal turned green and the cars started honking badly in a bid to outsmart each other. As they started moving, I noticed that eunuch holding the little girl’s hand, taking her to the footpath; and for some strange reason, I was scared and concerned. However, what I saw next left me bemused and perplexed. The eunuch cuddled the little girl and gave her one currency note from the little money she could get from the people, something which cheered the little girl and made her smile.
The incident remained afresh in my memories even after I reached the home. I kept on thinking about the whole thing and the urge to meet that eunuch once again to offer her my words of apology, a note of thanks and to be compassionate on my part, persistently burnt inside. In a bid to quench that burning desire, I went through the same route for next two days, crawling my way slowly and slowly through that signal in a bid to catch hold of her. But I couldn’t find her again. The panoramic smile on both of their faces is still alive in my eyes emitting two distinct emotions converging into one universal joy – The Joy of Giving!!!
Life is strange and stranger are its ways as it throws back the lesson at you when you least expect it. The similar thing happened with me that day. While I was pre-occupied with my own fears and apprehensions about what the eunuch would do to that little girl, she (the eunuch) taught me the important lesson of life - the lesson of being compassionate. We, in the normal course of our life, don’t realise the power and impact of touching others’ lives through small gestures like lending them smile or ears, extending a helping hand, giving that warm promising touch or doing that small bit which will change their life. And the big part remains - You don’t need the means but the intent to be compassionate and it helps you more than it helps others. As Dalai Lama says, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion . . . If you want to be happy, practice compassion”.
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~Shubh Life . . . Om Sai Ram
© 2015 Manish Purohit (Reserved)
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