Monday, October 01, 2007

Mr. Yogi and the 2 rupee coin

Mr. Yogi squirmed. He was standing behind 19 people in the queue to buy train ticket from Pallavaram to Saidapet. The railway station was as usual crowded and the heat wave just made it worse.

The railway track was littered with cups, plates, frooti bottles, left overs and smelled good enough to puke your stomach out. Some characters who were anxious enough to get to the office stuck their neck out to watch the train arrive, spit on the tracks. Mr. Yogi who was once a co-offender for the same offense, now felt like throwing them down on the tracks. Some things never change.

The train arrived and it was crowded as usual. It was so crowded that one guy was checking an sms in his mobile and the person next to him was reading it along with him. It was then that Yogi realized that he was the inhabitant of the second most populous country on the face of the earth. It seemed as if one person was breathing air released from other person. Inspite of the space available inside the compartment, romeos preferred to hang outside to lure the juliets and do acrobatics which one day was sure to land them in hospital beds (or worse mortuary wards) rather than their beloved's hearts.

Almost 75% of people inside the train either seemed frustrated, impatient, bored or angry with their life with the exception of the lovers at one end of the train, the 3 year old kid seated on his mother's lap enjoying the company of the mute bear and the bum seated near the exit who either knew nothing or knew everything. Most of them seemed like a mountain waiting to erupt their emotions out. Mr. Yogi just prayed that he better be not the pin to prick anyone and get their lava of anger all over himself.

And then it happened. He entered singing some song in some language with a harmonium around his neck followed by her. He was wearing an old worn out white shirt with a tattered lungi with a towel around his shoulder. She was about 6-7 years old wearing an yellow tattered frock and was sweating profusely with lot of innocence and pain in her little eyes. As he sung, she went around the compartment with her little arms asking for help. The gentleman at the end of the compartment who nodded in the beginning then began fiddling his pocket and put something in her hands.

Her little hands were full of 1 and 2 rupee coins. Mr. Yogi wanted to get up from his seat and grab that singing bastard's collar and ask him why was she begging for alms when she should have been in the school singing "twinkle twinkle little stars". She came near him and just raised her arms without speaking a word. Mr. Yogi searched in his shirt pocket and found a 2 rupee coin which he thrust in her little arms. How he wished he had all the money of the filthy rich, corrupt politicians, extravagant socialites, overpaid cricketers and could help these kids restore their world with innocence instead of such wickedness and pain?

His heart yearned to take her out in the next station, feed her fully, admit her in some destitute home and arrange for her eduction. Alas it was the stuff that was reserved for cinema heroes to perform in the movies. Yogi was just a common man on a day's work who could just dream of reforming the society but could do only as little as 10% of it in ways that he knew. He felt numb and helpless that he did not have the power to reform anything and everything. Everyone of us on earth have to bear our burden of sorrows and that was the way the world worked.

As the train stopped he realzied that the train had reached guindy. The man and the girl walked out of his compartment and rushed to the next compartment. Just then Mr Yogi's mobile confirmed that it was alive and it was just another stupid Airtel promotional message asking him to check his future for a few bucks. Just when Mr. Yogi thrust his mobile back into his pocket, his hand stumbled on a coin. It was a 2 rupee coin. Mr. Yogi could still hear the man singing in the alien language and could imagine the girl innocently begging for either her food or her father's liquor or maybe both.

Mr. Yogi looked at the 2 rupee coin. Maybe it was destined for some other kid in some other place for some other time......

18 comments:

Aparna said...

Hey good one as usual :)

Aditi said...

well written as always

Ms.Congeniality said...

have seen and felt the same during some of my frequent suburban train travels :)

u've brought it out live :)

Dreamzz said...

hmm! as usual deep and disturbing truths.

priya iyer said...

brings out the pain and the desperation beautifully!

KK said...

Very beautifully written Boss!
I felt the same many times when I see children asking help like this or working for their food.

prithz said...

Very well portrayed idea!

Its pathetic to see small kids begging. More so, i hate to see young boys clean up tables in hotels.

Uttara said...

very good one.....
pathetic situation out here....its seriously awful to see, children begging....damn idiots..can stop bickering over god n bridge qand better start looking at these

Anu said...

wow... that was so simple yet so deep. so natural yet so strong. i have no clue how you come up with these things!

it was so realistically portrayed...this is how everyone of us feel when encountered by such a scenario. we want to make a diffrenece but alas we are all alone

kudos!keep them coming

Karthik B.S. said...

paavam... :(

N!kh!l said...

I empathize. I felt the same when the 20-20 cricket champions made a fortune.

Vidya said...

Hmmm...You brought it out so realistically!

Vidya

Deepa said...

I dont know if its a good one or not. But its good enough to force one to finish reading it.

Padma said...

hmm..... i don't know somehow i don't feel like giving money to the child beggars.. for that matter any beggar. probably i feel that giving money may encourage them to beg more sorts..
anyway should appreciate for thinking to change the kid's life.. i hope someday or the other this will change..

Karthik B.S. said...

BTW who is tha Yogi? Periya yogyana avan? :D

Marutham said...

Hahaaa....
Anaachi :D
Super ponga..

Otrai nanayam/ oru roobai- peru sariya gnabagam ila apdinu oru story very famous. Idhu adhai beat panidum parunga ;)

As always typical harish touch :)


Cheers,
Maruthu.

dakaltiz said...

Thatz Reality! nice one da..thought provokin!

Lavs said...

Sir, when are you going to do my tag?