Today I am roaming the streets of Delhi and known as a beggar and a street dweller. Life was not always like this for me. Believe me dear friends, I was also a happy man living comfortably with my wife and children in a small one room apartment in the neighbourhood of Delhi. I earned my living as a rickshaw puller and was quite satisfied with life and what it had, to give me. I was content with the little I had but even that was grudged by people of this land and one find day I do not know why, some people cam with huge machines and other paraphernalia and broke my little house to pieces. Within a twinkle of an eye I could see my pucca home being changed into dust.
For this catastrophe the poor man that I was, was not prepared and, out of nowhere I was converted from a respectable poor man into a beggar. I had absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing to fill the gap of poverty and so the only way I could fulfil the basic requirements of my family was, by begging. I knew no job or rather, I would say I could do no job except driving a cycle rickshaw so, I was thrown on the road to look for an alternative and what I found myself worthy of, was just begging.
I have a wife and two children what can I give them nothing except a few morsels of food. My daily routine is to sit as a beggar in front of the Hanuman Temple near Connaught Place. This place I choose for my work because here, I felt that some food or income is assured. Daily I used to sit here for about ten hours and then go to rest on the street with my wife and children. My imagination came to be true that at the Hanuman Mandir I would be assured of at least a minimum daily and that it turned out to be. I do manage to take out a bare subsistence for my family.
My routine life was drab and dull till one day lady luck smiled at me. I was at the temple with my son. One fine gentleman had come to the temple with his wife and daughter. I do wonder what they saw in us that, they asked me if I could send my son with them to work in their family. I had no time to ask my wife but the temptation was too great. It occurred to me that, if I would send my son, for one thing, I would have one person less to feed and secondly he would have a good comfortable life. At the spur of the moment, I thought nothing and gave instructions to my son to go with that gentleman. My heart beat fast for, how would I ever know how my son was being kept and what he was being taught. Demand of fate urged me to send the child. That day was a fateful day for me. My son got urged me to send the child. That day was a fateful day for me. My son got a home to stay but the pangs of separation could not be borne by my wife who fell ill.
My tragedy knew no bounds, now how could I get my son back, I fretted and cried but what could be done. However, God is really great, for, one day when we were fuming about the lost son, the same gentleman came to me with my son. My eyes could not believe what they saw, for, the child had become so sweet within fifteen days of stay with the Sahib. We met the boy and seeing him, my sick wife was cured as if by magic. This time the sahib asked me for my daughter. Though I did not want to part with her, viewing her future I gave her also to the Sahib. This time, I was more intelligent and took the Sahib’s address so that whenever I would like to meet my children could go.
So my children are settled but me and my wife still beg for alms and manage a sustenance. We thank God that at least HE thought of the future of our children, so many of my brethren rot here and their children follow suit.
I feel that, inspite of being a beggar myself at least I could settle my children for a better life, it is just an existence because we cannot help living. When we see others enjoying this same gift of life we feel so depressed and do wonder why we have had to face this life of neglect and insult. Anyway that is in our fate we must remember, “beggars cannot be choosers”. Let’s accept whatever we get that is all that can be done.