May 11th, 2009
Few days ago, myself and few of my friends met in Besant Nagar beach. After talking for sometime, we headed to a bajji shop on the beach. There’s nothing to beat the combination of hot bajji with a fiery chutney and cool sea breeze. It was around 9.30 PM. Not many people were around. The lady of the bajji stall served us and went about stacking the chairs so that they could be packed for the day.
As were eating, someone stumbled about 6 feet away from us, near the bajji stall. He appeared to be a middle aged man, with a long thick beard, dusty shirt and a torn lungi … carrying a ragged bag. Some dogs started barking from the distance. He was a rag picker. As he stumbled, he almost fainted. No one noticed it until now, except us. As we got up to see what he was up to, he slowly ambled to a bowl which had water. He held the bowl with this hands, bent down and licked water from it. I had a lump in my throat when I saw that.
By now, the dogs had come near. Hearing the commotion, the bajji stall lady came near and shooed him away, giving him some water packets. All along this episode, he had been mumbling “pasi … thanni … pasi … thanni”; roughly meaning, “I’m hungry. Please give some water.”
Then it dawned upon me. He almost died that day or at least fainted. What prevented him? Is it the will to survive or is it the fear of death? But whatever it is, it remainded me that everybody is born on this planet to fulfill a purpose and we need to find what that purpose is!