Friday, March 25, 2011

Reach Out Your Hand

                    Sickness is one of the worst fears man has had to face from time immemorial and in India we are very much sympathetic for the sick, the poor, the needy, the old, etc... The Indian beggars have this trend of becoming sick and exploit the softness of Indian housewives. But last day I met a lady, who came begging for her mother-in-law while she slept. And the request was for sarees. Well, that was innovative. I asked her what will happen when she wakes up? And you know that there sure is an answer.
          But the most funny experience came when my house owner, a very devotional and generous person gave a lady beggar a very good saree fit to wear for marriages, another cotton saree and Rs. 100 as part of the help extended to marry off her daughter. She was glad that she was able to help a poor girl to get married off. One month later, a lady beggar came to me with the same request, but I didn’t feel like giving anything. I just said, “Sorry, I don’t have anything”. She went and within seconds our house owner came running and asked, “Meena, did you give anything to that beggar?” I replied in the negative. Then she opened her wrapper of misery that she was hoodwinked by the very same woman a month back and this time she came for marrying her younger daughter. Just imagine the guts of that lady?
          One day a well dressed lady came asking for some money as offering to a church as she was going for pilgrimage. I gave her Rs. 5/- and immediately she started foretelling our future (myself and two sons) and she said that I’ll give you an information which is very important to you but you’ll have to give me something that piqued my interest, I really wanted to know what it was, so I gave her Rs.10/- She looked and asked me, only 10, can’t you give me Rs. 100/-  My thoughts really got stuck. I said, “Sorry I don’t have it.” To tell you frankly, I really didn’t have a penny. She replied, “The information I’m going to give is worth more than Rs. 1000/-. For that I replied, “Well, that’s worth a lot, but really I don’t have money, so you can leave”. Then she changed the tactic, she said, “If you can give me a saree for my daughter and pants and shirt for my grandsons, I’ll say to you this very important information. And my sympathetic and curious heart consented and I gave her a very good saree and 2 small pants  and 2 t-shirt which was good for functions. But I do not know whether you would believe me, she asked, “Don’t you have anything better than this?” Well that really got me angry I replied, “Look,  if you didn’t like it, give it back”. She really had a nerve. And as if to pacify me she passed the very expensive information. And do you want to know, what was the important information?
          “ You will construct a house within 3 years, it would be a foreign design and took refuge of Virgin Mary (Mother of Jesus Christ) to reinforce her statement. My heart broke, because I have an option to change house whenever my family felt uncomfortable with the house or the of the vastu (proper position of the house)part or the settings, etc.. and I felt like laughing too as she had duped me just like the other lady did to the house owner. Thank God she didn’t say that I’d have a house within a week or else I would have to take a lottery to pool out all the money for a foreign designed house. Its indeed a very funny incident.
          But one woman made me very sad. I think she really moulded my attitude to beggars. One day a lady came and begged for something to eat. You know hunger is one thing man can’t tolerate and we all work hard for our grumbling stomach. So I gave her food, with fish curry, a vegetable curry and pickle in a plate. She extended her tiffin box and asked me to put the food in that as she had to share with her children. I did as she told me and put some more to suffice her kids too and she thanked me profusely and went to my neighbour. Its not an odd thing. But on the way, she just threw all the food, which I had given in front of me with not a second thought or any care that I would be watching and asked my neighbour the same request “Can You Give Me Some Food?”
           In Indian culture we don’t throw food or disrespect food. It was instilled in us from a very young age and the people whom we think that they are poor, they need our help does this, then what is poverty? Who needs help? I think we need help from these persons.  I have thought that Woman is the lamp of the family so if she has to stoop so low as to come outdoors with a begging bowl, then she is in real need. But after this incident, I knew, just don’t help blindly everyone, there is a heart within us all, just hear it. It would help you give the right decision.
          I really pity the one who extend the helping hand because they are the exploited ones. But, one thing is sure, “What You Sow So Shall You Reap” I have given a help wholeheartedly, and I’m entitled to the very best because Jesus had said, "Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me." So I’m contented for whatever I have done. But stilllllllll? At least I saved a saree from my first beggar and the second one too, thank God.
                              Bye for now and see you tomorrow.
Meena    

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