Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I happen to come across two beggars on my way to office daily. I first cross the lady probably 65 years old. She used to beg alms by saying ammaaa....I gave her a coin and proceeded to office. Then there was a man of the same age sitting in a tricycle for the physically challenged people, had lost his one leg and a hand. He didn't beg alms despite his physical challenges, I was moved by his behavior. I went to him whether he had food and then gave him a coin and reached office. After half an hour, I wanted to pick a thing from the TTS hostel where I was living at that time, the lady again begged arms saying the same ammaaa....I proceeded with my work. This routine continued many days and even years rolled.

I stopped giving coins to the lady and give only to the man. Some time I used to purchase food and give him. As I was moved by seeing the man collecting polythene bags from the Kiruthumal channel (was once river with Vaigai water for irrigation), now it is a sewage dumped with solid and liquid wastes. Also I had seen him cleaning bushes in the gardens in that to get some money from the house owners, he tried to live with dignity. I never saw him begging. My marriage was fixed and I invited only 40 - 50 people for our wedding, I called him to join us in our important moment of our life. I was eagerly waiting for him, but he did not join us. Still we (I and my husband) have high regards and meet him whenever possible.

Like these beggars, there are two type of people and their attitudes. One type sees ways and means to get something from every one possible, where as the other does their their fullest possible honestly and help reaches them without asking.


  1. Interesting & self-touching reflections. Its very good to read amina. Please continue the same style. This will fetch you great recognition in long run.

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  2. Amina, I honestly don't know how to deal with begging. It always makes me a bit uncomfortable, but I do agree with you that there's a big difference between those who merely beg, and those who try to continue with a dignified life despite their hardships.

    In Santa Barbara, begging was even competitive, which was very disconcerting. I remember an incident where I watched two beggars having an argument. One of them was yelling at the other for "encroaching" on his stretch of sidewalk!