On life and its vagaries


with 6 comments

I had a pretty hellish scare the other day.

I was standing outside a hospital complex and trying to wave down a taxi to get to some place and that too quickly. It was noon and there was a lull in the air.

None of the wicked fellows would stop. I would wave at them and they would wave back dismissively. Perhaps they were on some errand or something.

There was barely a thousand yards to walk.  I thought about hitching it and was about to do so when I saw a lady coming out of the hospital complex with a child. She directly made a beeline for me. Now you don’t need to be a psychic to know that what was coming was trouble. I did not know the lady.

I did not wait and tried to scoot as a matter of self preservation. But there was no escape, the lady jumped in front and addressed me.

The matter was she needed a few bucks to get to her home. She had come to the hospital to have her child examined and had to spend everything there for the services and medicine. Now she is without a sou. Would I help her to reach her place as she knows nobody in this locality.

The baby was cute but was tiredly dozing off on her shoulders and she looked respectable too. I was in a quandary. These are the times of fast communications and cell phones. By the look of it she did not have one. Couldn’t she have phoned her house and called up some one?

She had only demanded the bare minimum amount to get to her place, though it was in another district. I felt a tremendous commotion inside me.  Though I try to project a bold front I have the softest of hearts around in the world. But at the same time I hate to be fooled by people.

How can I decide what she was saying was true or not. What if it’s her way of making a living? But when I looked at her I felt a pull inside my heart. How can I be so despicable as to think that of a woman I know barely of? What if she is for real, what if she is not so intelligent and has actually landed herself in the situation?

I felt a struggle inside me. I could not think straight. I did not even realize that she had not offered to send the money back once she reaches home. But even if I had, I could not have held it against her. For I have also committed blunders under stress, everyone does.

She was patiently waiting with that little child lying limp on her shoulders. Weird thoughts began to assail me. Has she made the child take anything to knock it out as a method of extracting money from others? Good god what am I to do. I knew everyone would laugh at me if I give her money.

I felt my blood pressure going up. There was no escape, either I should bluntly deny her assistance or I should give her the amount she asked for. I was feeling tongue tied too. I could not put myself to ask her any questions to verify the truth of the situation.  I felt that if she was genuine it would hurt herself respect beyond repair. As it was she was already in a demeaning position.

Hating myself for the weakness of character I finally gave her the money she asked for and saw her depart towards the nearby bus stand. I did not see her get on a bus; the stand was at some distance from where we were standing.

I had to forego catching a taxi anyway and had to walk to the place I wanted to go.  All the way I was struggling with the problem. At some time I would think she had fooled me sound and proper at others I would remember the kind of scrapes I got into occasionally.

Well there are scares in life which threatens you morally sometimes.

Well did I do right, what do you think?


Written by Sam

August 2, 2009 at 8:53 am

6 Responses

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  1. yes certainly, i always do it and never regret it. if someone cheats you thats his/her problem not yours, but if a really needy person begged you for help and you mistrusted him.. who will suffer that pang of conscience, i will rather be called a fool.


    September 7, 2009 at 4:55 pm

  2. Its a fine line isn’t it! I have often had to face such dilemmas in life, the problem when your emotions( especially compassion) start to work is that it clouds the reason and you can’t assess the situation in its proper light.

    Anyway the best option is to be a fool rather than regret your actions later. What if that denial turned the life of that person into hell? Even that could be possible. And that would be unforgivable.


    September 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm

  3. precisely.. people have often preached me for giving too much money to beggars.. but i play deaf. i know some of them are business men and have lot more money than me.. but the same fear works, what if the person i denied was looking for a bread.. 😦

    its always better to be a fool and sleep peacefully at night.


    September 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm

  4. Lovely thought.


    September 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm

  5. wise too..


    September 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm

  6. Yep


    September 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm

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