Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Winter

For the past week I have been moving around Patna by rickshaws. The chill in the air has steadily increased. I always ask the rickshaw pullers how they manage to survive the winter. Earlier they used to speak about sleeping under the flyovers or near the ATMs. Lately, there is an awkward silence that follows my question. It is almost as if they are dredging their souls to come up with an honest answer.

Gareeb hain sahab..... they murmur pensively. The older ones clam shut. This might be that one winter where the frost will finally snuff out their little remaining life of strife and struggle.

I called the district magistrate on his landline. I then went on to speak to the most insensitive arse hole I have had an occasion to speak to. I told him that the homeless are going to drop dead any day now. I asked him to inform the magistrate that blankets need to be issued on priority and firewood supplied for bonfires. He asked me to write an application and submit. He said that blankets will be given once the National Disaster Management guys have supplied them.

Sir...the poor are about to die. Sir......

My fellow readers, please remember that your country is full of incredibly poor people and their plight rarely gets heard among us. We are busy talking about Khobragade and her cavity search. Try in your own little ways to change the conversation.

Blankets and firewood is cheaper than digging graves and paying pandits.


  1. My Monday morning to work and like every day I started with some little stories here and there. I'll be honest with this, you've made my eyes moist. This is touching.
    Thanks for what your effort to get them blankets.

    1. Beyond, for the privileges this life has thrown upon me, most days, I am rather ashamed. One cannot have this level of disparity.

      Shame is upon all of us.

    2. I completely disagree. Though there are times when I feel bad about the disparity but we should not be ashamed rather be thankful for what we can do with our one life. If we are really privileged, why not extend our help to others. We should be only ashamed if we are indifferent or mean.

  2. grim side of not just winter...but brighter side is one person can bring waves of change