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?