Traffic signal, C-scheme. Posh locality, smooth road flanked by malls and banks. A very poor, old, hunchbacked woman dressed in rags, shivering in Jaipur winters..unable to speak through clattering teeth..gestures for food and holds onto her stick lest she falls.
Us. In chauffer driven cars. Some on two wheelers. Wrapped in latest winter collections, murmuring of “business of beggars.” I judge others and rummage in my bag for change, worthy of this lowlife. Crisp 500/- notes, 2 credit cards and a cheque book can’t obviously feed a beggar. I look the other way.
A dirty child in torn sweater selling colouring books drums his knuckles on my window. My driver shoos him off, looking at the frown on my forehead through his rear view. Asks me to relax as it is “common business these days around every government vehicle”. I pull the white curtains on my window.
I squint through the curtains. The dirty child in torn sweater walks around the bonnet of my car, passing the national emblem and भारत सरकार painted in bold red, gives few coins to the old shivering lady.
He saves my dying country. And my soul dies just a little more.