“….anna, okka ruppe ivvu,” I heard a feeble voice; while juggling one of my favorite songs on a Monday morning. I turned aside and saw a small kid of hardly six years of age looking right into my eyes asking for a rupee. I’m not one of those charitable souls who would give alms to someone; but this was not usual—sultry brown eyes, puffed hair and an unusual calm face made this kid look very different. I looked at his face for a moment and then drove away with the signal going green, however, I kept thinking about the boy…”I should have given him something,” I reprimanded myself. The incident made the not so exciting Monday little grayer.
The next day at around the same time when I waited for the ‘Jublee check-post’ signal to turn green, my eyes were scanning the whole area looking for the timid soul, and momentarily I saw him at the far corner. I took out a two rupee coin—probably wanted to make up for yesterday, and waited for him to come by. In anticipation of the signal going green, I shuffled to and fro hoping to see the kid and give him some money, but he wouldn’t be seen. Anxiety grew as if a terrible mistake is going to happen but couldn’t do anything about it. “Damn! Where did he go?” I irked, and slowly drove off through the green light while still looking for the boy.
This wasn’t something very pertinent that I should be gasping all around, but kind of felt void inside. Thousands of time, I have ignored many such ‘alms seekers’ but never felt this heavy. The week passed away and I never got to see the little kid again. I had by this time got over the feeling; though not completely. One lazy weekend while lying on the bed I gazed the blades of the moving fan. I was lost deep in thoughts and they kept unfolding like an enigma without beckoning. I remembered my mom, dad, brother and other family member; friends, colleagues and the even recent acquaintances. I was entering into a sort of ‘plasmatic state’ where boundaries between emotions, logic, and practicalities become impalpable. I felt my heavy heart and wished to move away, desperate efforts were disdain. I’m neither a fundamentalist nor belong to one of the philanthropists but just an ordinary man with common feelings. The restlessness triggered anything but gratification; there was a sense, a meaning to all that passed. Time went by and after a couple of weeks, I once again saw the kid in the same signal. God knows why I felt lighter while reaching for that five rupee coin in my wallet. Vociferously, I called out, “Chhotu, here”, raising the coin pointing a gesture; the child rushed. He came, stretched his lean arms puffing a rare smile. Dropping the coin in his palm I gently asked, “What is your name?” he replied, “Bhanu” and walked away. I looked at the pale shadow crossing the road with some fulfillment and drove off. That evening I wasn’t my usual cheerful but definitely felt calm. The reckoning was emotional, awakening soulful.