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Hemani Jain


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By: jains24 Posted Jul 19, 2010 my experiences 1194 Views

If wishes were horses then all men would ride; If turnips were watches I would wear one by my side

If is a two letter word, but is very strong.

When I was very young, I supposedly asked some acquaintance something, which my parents didn’t like. They came home and told me, asking things from strangers is a bad thing. Whatever you need, tell us and we will get that for you.

IfI would have listened to them, then I wouldn’t be writing it here.

Obviously I didn’t listen. I ended up embarrassing my mother, at some other place. She was quiet angry with me, gave me the warning, if I will repeat it she would tell it to my father.

If I would have listened, then the next incident wouldn’t be imprinted in my mind for a long time.

I repeated it. I could not resist the temptation and asked something else in presence of my parents.

This time my mother was furious. Since my dad was there, his one raised eye brow gave me a shiver. We came home, and as promised my mother told him that I have committed it once before as well.

So, he gave me the concept of begging and beggars. How lowly it is, to ask for something before someone. I remember, the gesture of opening your hands, is a sin. Always try to give, never take anything from anyone. If you want something, the hands should only open in front of god or your parents. He reminded me of the begging kids, and asked me, if I am like them? I remember how I hated that comparison.

That one lecture corrected me but if a pampered child is scolded, those words are imprinted in font size 50, bold and italics in the memory.

After that I never looked upon on anyone for anything. But that comparison sowed a seed of bitterness towards the beggars.

I remember the ads on TV which asked us to discourage begging. And the rest was filled by movies, which depicted the negative shades of beggars i.e. alcohol, crime etc.

By the time I was in tenth, I had a strong feeling of hatred for beggars. I not only use to raise window pane of my side of car but also look away from them, with a very disgruntled look.

Once I was sitting next to my dad, and he observed my looks.

If only he had not seen those looks…

He said nothing to me.

After a few weeks, he asked me to accompany me somewhere.

We reached a busy crossing. A lady with infant in her lap came towards my side and as always I looked away from her. My dad, signaled her to come to his side. He slide down his glass and said something to her. She went away.

I was clueless. He crossed the signal and stopped the car. He got out of the car and waited. I was not sure, what is he doing, but as an obedient kid, was in the car. Suddenly I saw a big group of beggars coming towards us. Oh my god, what is this! I was scared.

Suddenly my dad started walking with them and they all crossed the road and went to a local dhaba. Once everyone was settled, he looked at me and asked me to come there.

As I reached there, I saw all of them having a meal. I looked at him questioningly. He smiled, and then told the dhaba owner, once they all wind up, give him the bill.

He smiled and said “I do this occasionally. There are a few people, who are not as lucky as we are. If someone is begging, it is not out of pleasure. You may be right; they misuse the money we give them. At times they are forced to beg and someone else takes the money they manage in the whole day and they even don’t get one meal in a day. I am not encouraging begging, I am not promising them, that I will come here daily or even on a particular day, but whenever I feel, I come here and feed some hungry people. They have their own destiny, but if god has given us fortune and better living, we must show our gratitude by serving humanity. I think he would be most pleased if we follow humanity.

If my dad had not shown this to me, I wouldn’t be what I am today.

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