Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Spare me - Beggar buggers!


I did not quite know of Mumbai’s 180 crore/year Beggary Industry until I watched Madhur Bhandarkar’s Traffic Signal. The film-critics rant what they may, me thinks it was an influential work of art and whether it left a negative impact on the said industry – I don’t care and I refuse to partake in any argument pro-beggars.
Every day I go through the trial – 3 Traffic Signals on my way to office. There are more, but when I speak of it with a capital ‘T’ and ‘S’, I mean the one’s that matter to me most. And not because they remind of how I clung on to my boyfriend the last time we rode that road (I have never been that nostalgic thankfully) --- but because these Traffic Signals are plagued with beggars.
Skeletal forms of all shapes and sizes, clones, necessarily deficient of flesh (purposely or due to poverty I can no more say), shrouded in blackened skin (by birth or purposely, I can no more gauge) that sparsely covers that skeleton they move about in. I exempt from using terms such as ‘malnutrition’, ‘poor’ and other such words designed to create sympathy, empathy, whatever. I say it all with disgust and with so much of it that I don’t care if you think I am a brute.
Like their bodies, their parodies too lack variations. Unhealed scars, bandages taint in blood, acrobatic stunts, suckling babies (equally sketetal) – they come up with just everything targeted at the human ‘heart’. Heart will be too sensitive a word for that, for they will bug you so much that heart, half-heart or no-heart, more than often you end up taking out that wallet – just to get rid of them. Something that shoots my mercury level even higher is when on Saturdays they appear with little steel carriers with black oiled sheet of their Shani Devta. I am an atheist but I respect religion and using gods for begging is JUST NOT DONE.
A walk at popular hang-outs like Connaught Place or the Priya Shopping Complex would leave one flabbergasted by unending beggar beeline. I rate the CP one’s the smartest in the city – they actually have the audacity to specify what they want – pennies won’t do. The ones at the New Friends Colony Community Centre are smarter. They have not just cracked what it takes to get people get them what they want, but also how to strike up a friendship. Put in other words, the lot here make permanent clienteles. Whoa! Now look at what I have scanned for the blog. I got this while snoozing in the DTC bus. A beggar limps into the bus and hand over these leaflets to everybody. What business strategies man! And successful too, for out of the whole lot at least 50% gave him what he wanted – money!
I have fond memories of some of the people from my native town who would come begging at Sundays. I don’t even feel like including them in the same group as these out here in the metros. How simple they were and it felt warm to see their eyes glow when you handed them something – anything that might be of some use to them. They are all ‘parasites’ at the end of the day, I agree, but bugging the host to paranoia and when the host is me, us – no not done!
My wrath is against the industry, not against the humans who make it up. Such is the ‘pressure to perform’ that given a chance they would rip you naked.
Ok, let me talk man-on-man. I labour and every penny is hard earned, they too labour (all that acting, creating pitiable faces, running about under the scorching sun is labour nevertheless) and hence every penny is hard-earned, but they will never have the glitter, I have in my eyes on seeing the sms alert that my salary is transferred.
You know what I mean!
I thought, schemed many solutions, but none of them could clear the logic-cum-realistic questionnaire test I put the solutions to. It is plaguing, especially the metros and high time we STOP surviving them. Dishonesty, exploitation, emotional blackmail, living on another’s mercy, bugging others for your profit are vices in human beings, aren’t they! Besides, living with dignity isn’t that difficult, is it?

How to do it: STOP MAKING EYE-CONTACT WITH THE BREED…Try this till I come up with more plans!

3 comments:

Jagat Jyoti Saikia said...

Nice one... u are an observant lady for sure!!

There is always a fight within to give or not to give... and believe me it's not easy. Some pple donate a few loose change to gain some 'blessings' from the beggars and I just take the matter up on a case-to-case basis ;-)

Chalo... keep up the good work.

Btw issit ok to put a link to ur blog in my dukhiya blog?!

~jjs~

Needarshana said...

@jagat
Thanks for dragging yourself till the end of my posts...

You sure are fond of reading, aren't you!
And please go ahead..put up the link...bless my blog!

Jagat Jyoti Saikia said...

Hey ur blog is already linked!! Hope I can catch some reflected glory as an after-effect! ;-)

Keep writing & keep the faith

~jjs~