Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year Message

December 31, 2008 4.00 PM IST. There we were standing outside a teashop in T Nagar planning for the celebrations on New Year's eve. There were many venues under consideration but all plans ran into the same problem. Money. Or rather the lack of it. There were about five of us and we needed close to 11,000 INR. So we planned to fool a friend into "sponsoring" a friend and me. He would provide us with 3000 INR. The rest would be "obtained" via contributions from ourselves. We had more or less convinced ourselves as to our astuteness when a ragamuffin emerged from almost nowhere and waving a plastic bag filled with ear buds begged us to buy them. Now we know that the authorities have cautioned us from buying and using such cheap buds because they are most likely made from recycled cotton, i.e, used cotton from hospitals. So we said no. But he persisted, so we asked what do you want now? He said ONE TEA and A BISCUIT. So my friend signalled the tea shop owner to give the kid ONE TEA and ONE BISCUIT. Receiving it thankfully, he sat down to that meagre meal with a gusto that moved us. Seeing this my friend signalled the tea shop owner to give him one more biscuit. 

After sometime my friend went to pay the shop owner. The shop owner said give me four rupees for the tea and one rupee for one biscuit. Surprised, my friend asked what about another biscuit? The shop owner said, "THE BOY PAID FOR IT." 

11.00 PM, New Year's Eve. We were at a rundown shanty awaiting the arrival of the new year. That boy, that ragamuffin, had taught us what honesty was. And that when we were contemplating spending of thousands on something as trifle as a party, millions were going without food and water. God willing we will never do something as stupid again.

1 comment:

1234 said...

Did it really happen Frederick ? I'm really amused.