I look at the old woman with her bags, and the tattered sari drawn over her head, standing at the door of a shop.
I look with pity for a moment, before catching myself and looking away, lest she should see the pity in my eyes and come near.
I tell myself there are other claims on my purse. And feel slightly guilty.
She comes over eventually. I give her two stray coins lying before me. I try not to meet her eyes.
She touches her hand respectfully to her forehead before walking away.
And I wonder about the life of someone who feels grateful for two rupees.
I'm always torn between the guilt of not giving and the worry that I am encouraging begging as an activity.. You've put it in words very beautifully :)
That is exactly what I feel - I don't want to encourage them yet I feel guilty looking away.
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