Monday, March 3, 2008

The blind beggar

It was a small Vinayaka temple in a not so busy lane. The temple was not crowded at this part of the day. It was past 10 a.m. The temple would close in another thirty minutes. There were about a dozen people in all with some before the sanctum sanctorum and some going around the temple. Even the girl selling the flowers at the entrance had closed her shop and had left. There was a lone beggar sitting at the entrance. He was lame and appeared old and blind with a stick by his side. It was then one elderly lady and her daughter in her early twenties came rushing to the temple. When the beggar heard the rushing footsteps he begged for alms telling “Amma, I am a lame man and have no vision. Please help the blind man.” Even as the girl opened her hand bag and dropped a five rupee coin, her mother was pressing her to hurry before the temple closed. Suddenly one young man in a black leather jacket got down from the pillion of a motorcycle that just stopped then before the temple and snatched the bag from the girl before making a quick escape. It all happened in the matter of a few seconds. Both the lady and the girl were wailing inconsolably that the bag contained a gold chain and that they are too poor to bear the loss. It appeared that they purchased the chain only the previous day and wished to seek the blessings of the God before wearing it. The girl’s marriage had been finalized and that with great difficulty they bought this jewelry. The people who gathered around them could do little to help except taking pity on them and consoling them as the culprits had sped away. Slowly the crowd melted away.
It was then the blind beggar who was silent till then asked them to come near him and told them very softly to lodge a complaint immediately at the nearby police station. He also advised them to tell the police men that he can help them in tracing the culprits. Both the lady and her daughter wondered what help can a blind beggar render when the able bodied men and women who were in the temple could do nothing except commiserating with them. Even the girl and her mother could not remember the face of the young man as it happened so suddenly and quickly. How a blind fellow can know the chain snatcher, they thought. He persuaded them not to waste time but to rush. With no other option available, they did go to the station to lodge a complaint. Luckily there was a kindly young sub inspector to listen to their woes. After noting down the details, he asked them to go home and rushed out in his motorbike to the temple.
The blind beggar told the SI that he was not actually blind but faked to elicit sympathy. The moment one of the youngster snatched the bag he had mentally noted the number of the bike and saw the motor bike with its fancy fittings.He furnished him with details. Both the men had helmets. The SI by the end of the day traced the culprits at a bar and also recovered the chain from the pawnshop where they had sold. The men were kept in lockup. Before midnight the local big wigs approached the higher-ups and got the duo released as they were highly connected. The SI was shifted within a week to some god forsaken place.
The story unfortunately did not end here. The beggar had not heeded the SI’s advice to shift to some other town but continued to beg from the same place. After a couple of months one morning when the temple was opened, the temple priest to his great shock found the blind and lame beggar hacked to pieces. Being a beggar there was no hint of any enquiry and body was silently disposed off without any commotion..When months later the chain was restored to the girl and her mother,they went to the temple to thank the beggar only to find him missing.

1 comment:

  1. even though the beggar had a cruel end to his life, he had done a good deed before his death. moreover, this post also shows that underestimating someone for his lowly circumstances is not usually right.