There are many things about Railways I love. One thing I hate is the beggars, eunuchs and unauthorized hawkers.
I might buy things from hawkers but I wont give a rupee to those beggars.
Yesterday was a bit different day. While I sat with my friend in the comfortable 2 tier compartment, an old men entered the bogey with bunch of magazines and newspapers. I had no intension of buying any of these nor any other passengers bought anything, the old men asked everyone if they wanted newspapers, magazines and so on.
No idea why, when I refused to buy with a negative nod of my head, his facial expressions changed. He looked at me for a while and said “Jara madad karoge beta?”
Now I dint really get him. Generally hawkers ask for help to lift their big basket and keep on their head or from head to down. (Something very common in Goa).
I looked around him to wonder what kind of help he expected while he stood their looking helplessly. He said in the most helpless tone “Madad kar sakoge saab?”
Something happened to me. I said “ha mein madad karunga”. I took out my wallet, asked him to have a seat and then bought almost every kind of magazine he had except Grahshobhika.
While I sorted those magazines, he started talking about his business. He apparently worked with the famed Wheeler Book store on the station and for last so many years he sold books and newspapers roaming around the station. So he earned commission on whatever he sold.
“These days it is very difficult to earn Rs 5 selling this stuff, no one buys this stuff.” He said.
He was clueless about why suddenly no-one buys these magazines and papers and this man had not learnt any other skill.
I asked him to keep the change which he refused, when I insisted he gave me a newspaper for free. He thanks me and left.
His helpless face was something that I will not forget for a very long time to come.
Its really bad to see so many helpless people around. Most of the times we cant blame their for their own misfortune. They are kept in that extreme poverty and ignorance by over policymakers.