That day, I felt very tired after coming out from the office. So I decided to sit for a while. The chairs in bus stand offered a better option as I could see different kinds of people rushing here and there. Occasional overhearing of gossips came as additional benefits.
I was so involved in observing people around that I didn’t realized when he came and sat in chair next to me.
I always see him sitting there in all those dirty, shabby clothes. Whether he was actually mentally retarded or kept on acting like that, no one was sure of. Some gave him money, some food and some preferred taking out their frustration at him, by presenting him with occasional kicks and slaps. No matter what, he maintained his turf, his turf of living life in his own way. He was a dedicated soldier and never left his position though the situation sometimes came with real hardships. Somehow he was winning his battles.
I thought, if he is a soldier, I am too. I also know to fight my own battles. Why should I change my position? Turbulence cannot easily change me. So, as a mark to my protest, I kept my chair too.
I was sure he was going to beg me and ask for some money. So, I was just waiting, but instead, after few minutes he started blabbing. Most of things didn’t make any sense, but one of line caught my interest. “You, you, and you, all of you are just beggars like me. You just beg bigger things”
I was shocked. How dare he call me a beggar or even anybody else around? No wonder he gets occasional slaps and kicks.
I stood up to present him my share of beatings. But then, a thought struck me.
Am I also a beggar? Do I also beg?
Of course NOT, that’s foolish. I work and earn my living. I get money and I buy things. I have family and they love me and we live along happily. Now where the question of begging comes here?
I looked towards him. He started laughing. Then he folded his hands in a ‘namaskar’ position and looked towards the sky.
I guessed what he meant. My day starts with my religious prayers to the god. And I truly believe that he is almighty. What if I fold hand in front of him and ask him something? C’mon that is not begging. We don’t beg god, we make a humble request. He is the one who understands us, our internal desires and has extreme powers to fulfill our wishes. And we always need an almighty super power to look after us. I even don’t ask him to give me anything. I just tell him what I wish for. And if he is happy with my belief in him, he fulfills my wishes. How can that be termed as begging. Of course not? May be he is just an atheist otherwise he will not even signal me that. I should not even think about it, after all he is just a mad.
After having a satisfactory explanation to the question in my mind, I looked at him again. He was still laughing. This time he took out a paper and mocked as if he is reading it. Now, what he is trying to tell me, I thought.
I don’t think he knew anything about my application for a loan. I work in that office and I just asked for a loan, which will be deducted from my salary on a monthly basis. Now that’s not remotely begging. I am just asking for what I deserve. Salary is what I earn after working hard.
Then why I need a loan? Well, I could not manage the extra admission fees of my son from my existing salary. So, it’s just a temporary requirement. Sometime my salary is not enough to meet these types of extra requirements, so I do need extra funds in those occasions, but that’s normal. Now, if I ask for a loan to meet that requirement, that can’t be termed as begging? When we are in a family, our requirements are not constant, but our salary remains fixed. So, just in order to meet such temporary requirement, we ask our friends, colleagues or may take loan. Now, that’s understood. It’s not begging, may be just adjusting our finances a little bit, kind of give and take.
Again I gave myself a convincing explanation, and with a smile I looked at him. Strange, he was still laughing. Now, I was getting angry. And this time he started caressing his hair and face. It looked so irritating.
Now c’mon, Loving and caring has nothing to do with begging. So what if I had to run after her for two years, and had to propose her for ten times, but that is love. And such things are okay in love. I loved her, and I wanted her to be with me for whole life. We didn’t have anything like love at first sight, so, I just tried to convince her that my love for her is real. Initially she didn’t accept, but as I was persistent, and my love was true enough, She also fell in love with me. And now we are happily married. Asking for love or running for it can’t be begging, the thought itself is ridiculous.
His laughs were louder now. I could not stop myself, it was really irritating. I got up form my seat, went up to him and gave him a tight slap. He looked at me and ran away laughing. I wanted to catch him and beat him some more.
No wonder people think he is mad. How dare he think I am a beggar like him?
His laughs kept resonating in my mind.