Monday, October 16, 2006

Philanthropus Erectus ??

Banjara Hills Road No. 12, Hyderabad, India.

Me walking down a desolate street one evening.
A wretchedly dressed man approaches me and says.
“Sir ! Do you speak Hindi ??”
“Yes.” I reply
“Sir, I have arrived from Rajasthan this morning. I had come here to work in a factory. But the agent who had got me the job has disappeared. I am alone in this city, without a penny in my pocket. Can you please help me ??”

His words have me thinking inside.
Heart:- “Poor fellow, such things keep happening to poor laborers like this all the time.”

Head:- “How do you know that he is an unfortunate bloke, and not a scoundrel trying to cheat us?

Heart:- “Look at his dress.. Look at his face.. He really does look like he is in a very sorry state.”

Head:- “Many have been fooled by such get ups before. For all you know, this guy might be living in the next locality, and earning his living by cheating people this way. We read about this in the papers all the time.”

Heart:- “Remember, we met a guy in a similar state on a Railway Station few years back. He was a victim of the Latur earthquake, and had arrived in the city that morning, only to have all his luggage stolen at the platform. We gave him 50 bucks so that he could have his lunch.”

Head:- “How do you know he had lunch with the money we gave him? And not whiskey with his other swindle-mates?? Remember that other time, when an old man tried to pick our pocket by posing as a beggar !!”

Heart:- “OK! Let’s weigh in the options. Suppose we give him Rs. 50. If he is a crook, he would have succeeded in cheating us of 50 bucks. But if he is a man in genuine trouble, we would have helped him in his hour of need, and he would praise us for the rest of his life. Is it not a risk worth taking?”

Head:- “What if he has a knife up his sleeve. And as soon as we get our purse, he threatens us with the knife and runs off with our purse. What then?”

Heart:- “Er.. but.. Should we be that cynical??”

Head:- “Not cynical, but practical.”

I walk off, leaving the man looking for the next person walking down the street.


Nikhil Kulkarni said...

Heart: Even if he is a crook, he needs that Rs 50 - that's why he is trying to Con you isn't it? Can't I afford to to give him Rs 50 even if he is a crook?

Head: As if you don't need that Rs 50 - if he is a crook he doesnt deserve your hard earned money even if its Rs 50.

Btw - why were you roaming around alone in Banjara Hills? That isn't an evening park!

chaos said...

don't know abt hyd, but few yrs ago this was very popular in b'lore... infact they used to roam around in groups with kids and ladies ... and at very odd places... Qs! what the hell are they doing there(!) in the first place!!! (like b'jr hills - isn't it one of the most posh areas in hyd)!!!

i did gave 10 when i met first group... but the moment i encountered another and another (almost immediately)... i changed my stance...

Saurabh Shrivastava said...

I met one group similar to what has been mentioned in the post.

I simple said that I have one police friend who will definitely help you....after listening this he said that he has nature's call and then never returned surprizes...

Anonymous said...

Everybody seems to be blogging except me...:-(
Nice post dood...