The Girl in Pink Scarf

A familiar face. She had that distinct look. A look of determination in her eyes, lips pleading. Brown brittle hair and bronze skin. She wore ghagra, but what caught my attention was her pink scarf thrown over her head and then draped across her neck. That 12 year old (guesstimate) brown eyed beauty went around asking everyone alms. A very persistent girl for her age. By the time I was there, the fruit juice in my hand was almost empty. I didn’t have the heart to give the almost empty carton. Nor did I have the desire to encourage begging.

My sister, softer than me, gave me a different idea. We can treat them with eatables than money. That makes them real happy too. I wonder how they are treated,  if the story of “begging is also a business” true. If not, I didn’t want to encourage it because I do believe that they are capable of working and eating with the earned money with dignity.  Some hope in me that their parents might just do that and send their kids off to school, rather than seeing those young hands as an extra hand to earn.

A rich person was not born rich. And I’m not talking about the sons and daughter of rich people mind you.

I remember when I was about 10-11 year old, I had a red rose in my hand. I had asked papa to buy me one. We were in Nagpur, visiting my sister. We were walking down somewhere, a girl of about my age then came up to me. She wasn’t begging. She simply wanted my rose. I didn’t want to give it up, because papa brought it for me and because I felt it was mine. The sense of possessiveness.

I refused to give it to her. I was a kid after all, and the candy was mine. She was persistent too. I looked up at Mumma. She asked me to give it away. I refused again. She had now started encroaching my personal space by poking me. I finally gave in. She happily ran away with my rose, while I was left with almost teary eyes. I didn’t cry. No.

Few years later when I was mature enough, when I remembered her happy face I realized that this is what they want, just like every kid. I felt happy about my (reluctant) gesture, and glad that I wasn’t arrogantly stubborn till the end.

And making a small bouquet of small pink flowers and giving it to a boy of same age when he approached and in return receive his huge smile and then watch him shyly run away.

I love innocence. It is sad they are losing it very quickly.

I have ideas in my head. I do want to make a change. But I do not want to be one of those who speak for the heck and do nothing. I will keep mum till I do significant something for them. Maybe teach, if posted to my birth state. Language was a barrier here. And I hate reasons.

This blog was for that girl in pink, who I seem to see everywhere. She brought up my other old argument in me, to give or not give, to help or not help dilemma. (Also reminded me of those two kids.) I’ll make my legs strong first, I guess then I’ll be able to comment.

The x problems seemed nothing compared to this.


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