Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An Encounter

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.


Moonstruck Girl said...

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 :)

Unmana said...

That is exactly what I feel - I don't want to encourage them yet I feel guilty looking away.