Was waiting for my overpriced chicken the other day. It was to be my dinner. The video screen on the wall promised great taste and the specially flavored graphics was quite enticing. Was looking forward to the great meal. One wouldn’t dare think of the meal as anything less after watching the video. The queue was long and the ad was well placed and repeated like 4x; What I imagine to be in the likes of Prof. Dolores Umbridge’s thought process: “…to ensure maximum retention”.
Outside, a tiny creature of a kid in ragged clothes was chasing after a fast-moving SUV on foot in the busy intersection. One sees these things on TV btw; Heart warming stories of the kind-hearted folks who lookout their wagons to
see the poor folks in the Indian streets suffering from the latest economic depression or whatnot and they try to reach out to help them when asked. Begging near the traffic signals is a familiar sight. No intro needed there; strategic placement with multiple moving targets and continual replenishment naturally increases the chances for maximum hits (one guesses ;-)
Well, in this case the kind-hearted person was this foreigner lady with concerned look on her face (why wouldn’t she be!?) trying to fend off this begging kid with something clutched in her hand out of the passenger side window.
All this while the traffic lights were green and the intersection buzzing with terrific traffic. The kid’s running was amazing and his grasp was successful to say the least.
My chicken was now ready and I got distracted to notice what happened after that.
Later, from my vantage, I could see him rendezvous with his teammates: the familiar sight of a lady carrying a starving child, who were handling the rest of the traffic and when that became too fast; the pedestrians. The beggar lady directing the begging efforts with great command potential.
Risking lives – both theirs and others’ in an effort towards what end?
What we learned many years ago in a story written by some long-forgotten Hindi author was that when the real beggars do show up; people will stop caring for there were just too many impostors conning people.
In all fairness, the chicken actually tasted good.
(not great, but good)