Monday, 12 October 2009

Beggars and tears

Logically speaking, it's not easy for a man to lose his wallet in the ladies compartment of a local train. But a thin, frail man from Pune knows that rationality is a rare resource in today's times. That's why, everyday, this man enters the ladies compartments of Dombivli locals in the afternoons and immediately starts searching the floor. He looks everywhere, under the seats, on window sills, negotiating his way through the crowd of freshly curious women.

After five minutes of nautanki and this desperate exercise, he excites sympathy and interest. "What are you looking for?" A tall woman asks. "Didi, I've lost all my money and have nowhere to go," he croaks in Marathi, almost on the verge of tears and continues his routine. "Please let her not fall for it," prays another woman passenger not very far away. She is familiar with this beggar's moves, but before she could warn the lady, the damage was done. Hydraulic force prevails over logic. The desperate man in tattered clothes steps down slowly with fake gratitude and a hundred rupees.