Hey friends, Sara here. We have all faced a dilemma and pangs of guilt when we are approached by a beggar on the road. 13 year old Vatsal Jain from Delhi weaves an important story around the choices we make in that moment.
Vatsal is a student of The Heritage School, Rohini.
The educated beggar- Story
“Goodbye, I am going to work,” said Kabir, as he staggered off to his office on that humid day, just like he did everyday while going off to his industries headquarters in Dwarka, New Delhi.
Kabir Sharma, a senior manager at the headquarters, lived in a small apartment in Pitampura, with his wife Riya and two children. Living a simple yet complex life, Kabir was a conscientious worker, a loving husband and a compassionate father. He lived a life nestled in simplicity and garnished with love.
One day, while returning from his workplace, beaming with happiness, he came across a beggar with her young daughter sitting helplessly on the pavement. The mother hopefully stood up, and clutched Kabir by his hand. “My seven-year old daughter, sir. She-she-she wants to become a scientist and work at I-I-ISRO. We don’t have enough money to support her education. Please give us some money. Please sir!” pleaded her mother wistfully.
Suddenly, a rush of selfishness came over him and Kabir shook her hand off his arm, and lied to her by saying that he was penniless at the time, though he had just received his monthly payment that day and the money was visible dangling in his bag. After saying these words, he stomped off the place, and forgot about the incident altogether.
Next day onward, he started ignoring the beggars and their implores. Dissolved in anger and filled with despise, he never stopped by them, and he didn’t even care to grace them with a look. Over the years, in the mirthful environment of his home, he forgot the occurrence. His life retained normalcy.
His family had grown, as he became a middle-aged person and his children entered teenage.
Forgetting all his worries, Kabir was once again traversing down the riverside pavement, returning home as usual. While going, he again passed those beggars, and as usual ignored them.
Suddenly at that moment, a large white Porsche bumped against him, and Kabir tumbled into the river nearby. The driver rushed away, leaving Kabir to drown helplessly. Kabir restlessly called for help, and on seeing the beggars, bellowed for help. On seeing Kabir drowning, the mother beggar disregarded his cries, as she couldn’t forget his selfishness that day. Her daughter, seeing her mother ignore the person hanging between life and death, shook her mother and said,” Mother, we should help him.”
Her mother was shocked and replied,” What are you saying? Don’t you remember how his selfishness had got the better of him that day! We will not help him. This will be our revenge.”
Her daughter was astonished at her mother and said, “Mother, if we don’t help him, then what will be the difference between us and him? First and foremost, we are humans, and forgetting our personal grudges, for the sake of humanity, we should help him”. Her mother’s head hung in shame, and they both quickly acted and dived in the river and saved the drowning fellow.
Kabir didn’t know how to thank them, and in this flurry, tears came from his eyes. His selfish thinking had stopped him from helping them that day, but they still saved him. He thought to himself, that had he made a different choice that day, the humane girl would be studying right now, and not sitting helplessly on that sidewalk.
On that day, he realized that choices govern us and the world around, and that he should have made a better decision that day for the benefit of the educated beggar.
“Our present relies on the choices that we made yesterday, and our future is defined by the choices we make today.”