“Bhagwaan aapki jodi salamat rakhe”
“Madam ke liye phool le lo”
“Didi phool le lo,garib ko khane ko paise mil jayenge”
It had been a long hot day for Manish who had been running after one couple & another ,requesting them , pleading them infact begging them to buy a rose for opposite sex accompanying them.Some ignored him,some hushed him off,some threatned him,some even abused him, some ran away from him as if he was a dreaded monster,while even some made fun of him.He beared all,just in a hope that he will sell at least one to get some money.
He would wait anxiously for each metro train to stop after couple of minutes,for passengers to exit and also those who would be boarding it.Each passerby gave him a ray of hope,a little hope that the approaching couple would turn out to be a saviour for him.Meanwhile he could see the crowd of people swarming like bees around the momos counter at the station exit.People were literally fighting to get few peices of steamed momos.First he would stare them eating,then at the counter and finally he would rub hands on his stomach…He would think something for a while and then shaking himself off from the dream would get back to his task.
Few minutes later a “dude” arrived in his new Honda City.He was holding a costly cellphone in one hand and box full of imported chocolates in another.He would look again & again at his watch in despair.It appeared he was waiting for someone anxiously.
Soon the next train arrived and within minutes a lady in a red dress was walking down the stairs of the station.Both the girl and boy exchanged glances and gave smile to each other.Manish was watching all this and his eyes lit with hope again.As the couple were busy
chatting he approached the couple “Saaheb madam ke liye phool le lo…unko badiya lagega”.But the way he was shooed away by that spoilt brat would melt away anyone’s heart.Even uncaring people around there stared at him for a moment but then got busy with their usual routines.
But Manish was emotionless…infact expressionless.
The couple then moved on;they would have walked another 10 mts or so when a beggar approached him for alms,making the most pity expression on his face.
The girl made a gloomy face and holding the boy’s hand,looked at him and said something.The very next moment,boy took out his wallet and gave him a ten rupee note.
All this while Manish was watching this incident,the scene made his eyes moist.I could make out that hundreds of questions were storming inside him coz my concience was asking me several questions and jolting me from inside.
“Is living with dignity doesn’t hold any value ?”
“How can the world be blind to a dignified man ?”
“Is this the price of being honest enough to make a living ?”
I stood there motionless,watching his wrinkled face and crumbled rose in his hand.
PS: Most of us would have faced similar situation and would have got annoyed by these children selling flowers,but this incident made me think about some of these really unfortunate souls who have to undergo so much of pain to get 2 square meals of day.So a request to all,if you cannot help them at least don’t insult them;behave properly with them.Let’s be a little humane.