Compassion

Few days back I was in Kolkata,  my sister wanted to have breakfast at Flurys , the legendary tea room in Park Street,  when we reached the place, there was a queue outside,  generally I hate waiting for a table, but since my sister had never been to Flury’s , I  decided to do it for her sake.  There were many people around, some waiting for a table like us, people just walking ,  tourist, locals  it was a  nice Sunday morning  and also the magazine vendor, it was fun browsing through the latest fashion, there was also a small boy , must not be more than 8 years old, selling chewing gums for Rs. 10/-. He kept on requesting everyone there to buy at least one pack of gum, but everyone was shoving him away, myself included, the expression on people’s face saying “how dare he touch us” , the one that is reserved for street urchins.

There was a family with a small child the boy was almost the same age as the urchin, and that is what made me think  how unfair can life be,  two small kids , one waiting to have a bloody expensive breakfast, and the other begging us to buy gums for Rs.10/-, I went and bought the gum, if everyone of us waiting had bought a pack of gum each he would have done  good business, but no one did,  we all were ready to spend 1000 rs on breakfast ( two eggs with a bits of shredded chicken cost 300), but could not  spend 10 rupees, which could have maybe helped the little boy buy something to eat.  Why is it difficult to feel compassion, to be more understanding? Why has our hearts hardened?

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6 thoughts on “Compassion

  1. Well done….Vidya…proud of u.

    “Why is it difficult to feel compassion, to be more understanding?”

    Actually most people have become too self-centered to worry abt others…….its all abt “me me me” nowadays…….

    Anyways great to see you back after a long time…..hope everything is well……..

    • hey IP great link.
      Its the me syndrome which is really dangerous.
      I’m glad that even after a break of 6 month there was someone to read my blog , thanks mate.
      I’ll try to be regular with my post, but i’m lazy 🙂

  2. When i went to Sikkim last year , i stayed in a hotel near paljor stadium in Gangtok. Lovely stadium in a beautiful city. But the roads near that stadium was sloping or slanting. It was really a lot of hard work walking on those sloping roads especially when moving upwards.
    Many other roads too are somewhat sloping.
    So its really surprising that someone from Sikkim is “lazy” 🙂
    how do u walk on those roads????LOL

    i am sorry if it sounded stupid……haha

  3. Vidya,

    A very touching post. I was really moved – and I don’t quite know whats the answer to your question. I grew up in Bombay – and the pace and way of life is such that people appear quite heartless – especially to beggars and street urchins. I guess it is to do with the enormity of suffering around us. You grow up seeing so much suffering and it hurts – but at some point you can not bear the hurt so you begin to rationalize – you begin to convince yourself that India’s problems are too big for you to make an impact. The best you can do is look after your family. And slowly the conscience that once bled for every urchin tear hardens and people become stone faced. It doesn’t justify what happens – and I don’t know what will change it.

    I guess as India prospers and people become more educated and wealthy – they will start to do more for the poor. No one loves being stone hearted – but the one thing I have learned is that you can not help others if you yourself are starving – the middle class in India still has a lot of hardships and frustrations to deal with before they can soften and heed to the poor.

    – Sanket

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