The beggar woman


It was already quite dark. I looked at my watch.. only 6 pm. Another half hour to while away, until hubby came to pick me up from the mall. A steady drizzle had begun, so I didn’t have a choice, but to remain where I was.

Then I saw them…three young girls/women, with a skinny half-naked baby. They sat in a corner of the footpath, chatting animatedly. A young couple passed by them. One of the women grabbed the baby into her arms, and begged the couple for alms. They shook their head and went their way. I decided they were selfish. Ofcourse the beggar woman caught my sympathetic gaze, and quickly headed towards me. She held out a packet of earbuds and asked me to buy the pack for Rs.10. Now that was exorbitant, but I was impressed by the woman’s industry. Atleast she wasn’t just begging. So I bought the pack, and watched her walk away triumphantly. Hell! I didn’t mind, I might have been duped, but it was for a good cause.

Then came another girl in the dirties of rags. No alms, I was determined. I shook my head sideways, indicating that I wasn’t going to humour her! She didn’t budge. She looked right into my eyes and confessed she hadn’t eaten in two days, and if I could just pay for her meal, she would be most grateful. Hunger pangs are something I don’t want anybody in the world to go through. Especially when I was myself in possession of a nice, hot takeaway of burger and fries.

”How much for a meal?’, I asked her. ‘Only Rs.40’, pat came the answer. I suspected she was taking me for a ride, but nevertheless decided she would be fed well. I opened my handbag quite cautiously, and searched for a note. The girl peeped into my bag quite audaciously. The first note that came to my hand was a Rs.100. Too much…way too much! I still gave it to her. She thanked me profoundly and walked away.

In a jiffy, I was attacked. From all sides. By the rest of her gang. Of beggar women.

They swarmed around me, and demanded more money. I asked them to share the cash I’d already given, but they claimed it wouldn’t suffice. I was getting scared now. So I hurriedly pulled out another note from my bag. Rs.10. The vultures grabbed the note, and demanded more. Passers-by actually stopped and stared… savouring the free entertainment for a few minutes. I was at my wits end, not knowing how I would escape the fierce mob of beggars, unscathed. After the two minutes that seemed ages, I noticed hubby driving towards me in an autorichshaw. I managed to break free of the circle and literally ran towards him.

The group of women chased me, as I ran tumbled into the autorickshaw. They tried to grope me and continue demaning their ransom.

I tightly clutched onto my handbag with all my might.

And begged them – to let me go.

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12 thoughts on “The beggar woman

  1. These are the same woman who steal or hire babies to roam around in the sun hunting for alms… loved the last line ,btw when you became the person begging to be let go:)

  2. Dhanesh & I have had plenty of discussions about this…whenever i melt, he will scorch any sympathy out of me with his little lecture on beggar mafias in India

  3. They can be quite scary…i have even had a really old lady give me back the two bucks i gave her. But someone told me that when its obvious you have more, it seems okay to give them what you can without judging them. Am actually kinda pondering over that still 🙂

  4. OMG, yes this can happen and I get very mad when they try to grope you or try to touch your feet when you dont want them to. makes me uncomfortable but then, I guess its stuff they have to do to get some money. I absolutely hate it when able bodied people beg and dont even try to work 😦

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