After a mindless travel for 2½ hours,I reach home,tired.It has been a hectic day in college (as usual).A part of my brain asks me to let myself fall on the bed and doze off,but the other part alerts me about the fresh stock of assignments gifted to me by the college professors.So I can’t even think about a nap for now.After having my daily dose of evening tea,I decide to go on a short walk,hoping it would act as a refresher to my tired mind and soul.Good that my “smartphone” didn’t have any charge left and is now on charging mode,or else I would have immersed myself reading another pdf or exploiting my neighbours Wifi,thus straining myself more.I notify my ever caring and too much obsessive Mom that I would be back in 10 minutes and leave.
As i leave home,i look up at the rosy sky.The Moon has already turned up,the stars are slowly becoming visible too.Every now and then I notice a horde of birds flying together to their home.
I reach the street,which was crowded with school children returning to their home as well, like those birds.The only difference was that the birds will now rest and these kids would have to complete their homeworks before sleep!Poor kids overloaded with educational assignments.
After walking for a couple of minutes, I decide to sit for a while on the bench that had been installed near our building 2 years ago during the election period, with the name of the sponsor clearly written.Although it’s now in a visibly bad condition,I decide to be seated on it,since I felt is better to be seated there than on the street that rarely gets cleaned up.
That’s when I notice a beggar sitting besides the bench, looking at me with prying and hungry eyes.I had noticed him 2 days before too.
There lies a small plate in front of him which acts as his “Please help me” box,which only had a couple of coins in it.
I feel pity.I look at him.His rugged face which hasn’t been shaved since weeks,the shabby clothes all make me feel sorry.He wasn’t too old either,in his early fifties perhaps.I couldn’t see him in this condition.I search for some coins in my pocket,but in vain.
I rush back to my home and take out some old clothes which Dad no longer wears and a pack of biscuits and return to the bench.His eyes beamed with joy as I gave him those clothes and the biscuits,and that reflected in his smile.A smile that made me smile in return.But there was something intriguing about him,a kind of mysteriousness that urged me to talk to him and ask him how he ended up in his pitiful state.I was unsure at first,but my curiosity took me over.
I wanted to talk with him but couldn’t find how to start the conversation.He noticed me searching for words and to my surprise talked to me in English!
“Thanks a lot for these.I would be indebted to you forever.”
“Oh!What’s a big deal in that?
You are a human.Iam a human.I helped you out.Simple.Humanity” I responded,still not believing his fluent English.
“Oh ya.Humanity right?That very trait that humans have forgotten a bit?” he replied in a philosophical tone marked with sarcasm.
I keep silent,not knowing how to react.
“Thanks again”,he thanked me again and began to leave.
“Can you please tell me how you ended up here?” I say in a nervous tone,unsure how he will respond.
He gazes at me and then flashes a short smile at me.
“Actually I’m curious about how you ended up here and….and if I could help you in any way,I would be glad to do so.”
“Well,I don’t need any help as such for now.I’m happy with the way things are going now….” and he stops in between.Tears trickle down his eyes and his voice cracks down.
Moments later,after regaining composure,he agrees to tell me his story.The way he ended up here.What life taught him in these difficult times.
“Be ready for a boring yet a bit thought provoking story my boy!” he said in an exciting tone.
“Sure!” I respond in equal excitement.