Sunday, August 27, 2006

One final incident I forgot

I forgot an incident in the city of Ahmedabad! We were out shopping on foot through the markets. I never realised how huge the market areas were. It just went on and on.

As it was near the end of our holiday, mum wanted to give some money to the needy, so she went to a few of these cheap food places that provide food for the poor at really low prices and basically gave them a wad of cash and told them to feed however many people it pays for. It’s a common thing to do I was told. I wasn’t quite prepared for the scramble straight after though! I remembered to stand back at the next place.

There are a lot of poor people around, beggars, homeless etc, and Mum is a sucker for people with disabilities. This teenager approached her, showing off his single arm, asking for money, and mum just emotionally collapsed and gave him 150 rupees. That’s like giving 20 or 30 pounds to a beggar here. Don’t get me wrong I wasn't complaining, I think its great, except she did it front of about 15 other child beggars who all started salivating.

They followed us for the next 20 mins wherever we want. We walked fast, we walked slow. We walked high, we walked low. We hopped, we skipped. Yet they were behind us all the way. Prodding us now and again and asking for money. They were really annoying me, especially this one kid who grabbed my elbow gently to get my attention. But they eventually got bored. Mum made a big mistake in giving it out in front of everyone :|

I hope I didn’t offend people with my “showing off his single arm” comment above. I think I’ll be serious for once. Being a fairly hidden person, it’s not something I like to do very often in something as public as a blog. I don’t tend to feel sorry for disabled or the homeless etc, unless I sense they feel sorry for themselves. Isn’t all that everyone is after is a vague sense of happiness? How is that happiness any different whether you can walk or are in a wheelchair? Its all a state of mind and anyone can achieve (although the wheelchair would be an obstacle for most people). We all know the man who has everything may be depressed. I would feel sorry for that man more than I feel sorry for a happy leg-less man. The body is but a shell and temporary, so why focus on it :) I guess if you believe we are nothing more than our bodies then you are entitled to feel sorry for them.

Another important point, if you had a disability, you wouldn’t want people feeling sorry for you. Using that insight, why feel sorry for them?

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