Sep 21, 2005

Why ????

I'm writing this article after a heavy dinner. A friends get-together. Had a nice, sumptuous Thai food with the usual giggling, cracking jokes and pulling each other's legs. When I just felt everything is going fine around me, this incident happened.

The auto driver was driving swiftly so that he doesn't get caught in the traffic signal. But to his utter disappointment, he couldn't make it. He had to stop for the signal. There I was, wondering how so many vehicles were there in the road at 10:30 pm when an old man came upto me, carrying a bunch of earbuds. He was muttering in Hindi "Khana nayi kaya, aap ek packet karedenge to mein jaakar kaoonga" (haven't had my food yet, if you purchase a packet of earbuds, I can go and have my food). I purchased a packet from him, it was worth 10 rupees. The signal turned green and our auto left. Questions started pouring in all directions into my mind.

An old man aged more than 60 years hasn't had his dinner till 10:30 pm. He is still selling earbuds to earn his daily bread. I feel deep reverence for him. He doesn't beg but he earns through a proper job. But what affects me is the vast difference between the lifestyle of people in this society.

Many a times, whenever I get stuck in traffic signal, the beggars throng the vehicles, asking for alms. I drop a coin only to children or old people. The one rupee I drop is a small amount for me but it makes a big difference to them.

When I talk about such issues to elders, they say it's all fate. Is it already written in my fate that I would be blessed with such good parents, friends and family? What is written in that old man's fate? Run around in traffic signals at such a senile age? Thinking about the patience those 4 wheeler drivers have, honking continuously when the signal count reaches 3,2,1..., I'm scared what's going to happen to that old man.

Bangalore is going rich,it's the silicon valley of India, all the best brains in the country live in this city - all these sound meaningless to me now. I feel ashamed, I wish everyone in this world can have a decent living. By decent, I mean they should be provided the basic amenities like food,shelter and clothing. Many of us go to posh restaurants, order food and then waste a portion of it. At that
moment, we should think there are so many people suffering from poverty. A full course meal is a distant dream for them.

In addition to thinking how blessed/lucky we are, we should also try our best to make sure that we can eradicate poverty in atleast a few people's lives. In this fast paced world, let's stop for a while and think where we are heading to. Instead of asking what the country has done to us, let's ask ourselves what we have done to this country, to our fellow countrymen. Let's make a sincere effort to bring light into a few people's lives. God has sent us to this world for a purpose, so let's not focus only on our family, our friends, our job and our lives. Let's give our time and effort to make this earth a better place for everyone.

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