This afternoon, I was hunting for hotels for my luncheon. As there are not too many options at Royapettah, Chennai, the area where I dwell, I decide to have my lunch from a hotel which is nearby where I reside.
As I progressed to the entrance, I see an old man approaching me and mumbling something. As he appeared extremely ugly, shabby and malodorous, I decide to give him an ignore and went in to order food as nothing came about.
But then, I knew from within that my conduct was inappropriate, considering his age factor. When this thought started pricking me, I decide to approach him. As he saw me approaching, he got down to talk to me in English and politely requested me to buy him some food. This behavior of his intrigued me. Somewhere, I felt, he may have been cast out by his family members. First time ever, I decide to buy someone, who is neither my friend nor family, something which he had asked for, and, that too for a homeless man. I ordered food for him, got it parceled and I paid the bill for the gentle old man.
I became busy with munching down my lunch and by the time I was done, I could see him nowhere in the vicinity. He had already left.
I walked down the junction, crossed the lane and I hear a weaker voice trying to reach me from far behind; “Saar, saar. I bless you from bottom of my heart. You have provided food to an orphan a homeless”.
I could very easily relate to the word orphan and the emotions attached to it. My eyes got all teary. I requested him for a photograph with him and he replied with a smile “with all my heart, and with pleasure”. (in English)
What could be his story?
I could be that homeless man tomorrow, who knows. Despite we cling on to our family and friends, we live a farce life, where we make ourselves believe that we are amongst those fortunate who are bound by all family and friends. Maybe, this gentle old man, also had the same feeling, until life knocked him down.
Copyright @ Ajay Pai
August 12th 2017
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