Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What can Rs.3 do?

Have you ever wondered what Rs.3 can do?

A smoke for the chimneys called smokers perhaps, a strand of flowers for the women folk, a sachet of shampoo for most of us and maybe a few toffees for kidos but am sure we don’t add up a few of these 3’s to make our livelihood!

Quite stark isn’t it? To think people actually sell various things for Rs.3 and try and eke out a living. We in Mumbai have these frail ladies young, massively malnourished kids trying to sell us the ‘nazar’ mirchi and nimbus for Rs.3! What an irony that they are trying to ward off the evil spirits while trying to resurrect their own – just for Rs.3!

Ever imagined how many of those ‘3’s they have to sell to make a living, to feed themselves, their families and their hopes?

I was quite stunned when one I saw one of these ladies come to me, in pouring rain, shivering and eyes filled with hope to sell me one of those, my belief apart, have never bothered to buy one till that time. Laziness to take my wallet out, indifference to the ‘product’ and sheer apathy never made me buy one of those, but that day somehow I managed to take a tenner and hand it to her. Having strung the ‘nazar utaru’ on my car she came to me and I handed over the note, imagine my utter disbelief when she was trying to add up all the little change she had to give me back the balance. Only a tyrant could have taken that money back. I closed my window and could catch a surprised, confused but am sure expectant look on her face.

They are so many kids around who sell peanuts for a pittance, gees how many packets they have to sell to even earn Rs.20 a day as commission, you feel so dam helpless, you feel so guilty for having spent more on a meal than it actually deserves, you feel fortunate that you can have meal when and what you want – gosh we are so lucky! Three bucks, in fact even ten often mean nothing to us but it means so much to them, it can mean a decent meal at least on that day. I keep poking at my pockets to give these kids some money all the time, never mind the argument of “don’t encourage begging” and all that bull, the fact is that there is a boy/girl(old man/woman) who does not have food at that point, does not have clothes to protect him and am very sure he’d be playing, eating Maggi or Kellogs or watching Pogo if he had a choice. To hell with these arguments, he/she’s a child and deserves ALL our empathy at that moment and they deserve to be given that.

It is sometimes so easy to feel happy and make others happy too! Like when you give a dozen banana’s to a hungry chap or buy up all the peanut packets he has in his hand or ask the rate of what he’s trying to sell give him the money and not take the product, or give a brand new t shirt to somebody, boy there are so many ways …….next time you see somebody in need try and discover a way to feel happy, you cant start with as little as Rs.3, trust me!

And yes Rs.3 has so much more value to me now!!

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