It was one hot evening during the summer of 2006 in New Delhi and I was with my brother, a cousin and a childhood friend of mine at Paschim Vihar market, when it all happened.
We were standing in front of a sweet shop, actually discussing about what to eat. On the menu were, “ice cream faludas” or some kind of “chat”. A little kid, of about 9-10 years old came to us and asked for money. He was literally in rags and was looking quite distressing, and the fact that he was begging made him look sadder in my eyes. So yeah, he came to us and asked for money. Both I and my brother are staunch opponents of any kind of begging, we firmly refused and told him to go away. But that kid wouldn’t go away even after repeatedly being told by all four of us, he would just not go away. I was getting irritated and was about to drop a bombshell or something or maybe I was just preparing myself for a rude and firm yelling. My brother spoke up, he said, , hey kid look at my clothes, we don’t have any money and look at my pants, “does it look like we can afford to give you a rupee or something?” He added, I can’t even afford a decent pair of jeans for myself so how could I spare some money for you?
The little kid was in shock. He was literally in shock. He was looking at my brother’s pants and then at his face and then at his pants again and then he looked at us and then got back to looking at his pants and his face. The kid was dumbstruck. I am pretty sure he was confused; yes the fact that my brother was wearing those ragged, more like destroyed jeans with holes in them kind of proved his point of affordability.
This whole scene made all of us laugh so hard that we were literally into tears and were having hard time to breathe. We ended up giving that kid a 5 rupee coin, which I wasn’t really happy about. But my brother’s comment that after all the trauma that kid had to go through by dealing with us earned him that much of money, soothed me. And we moved on!