Jul 29, 2011

The jig

A few days ago, I was commuting to office in a train in the Ladies compartment. A eunuch (honestly, I don't like using this term but is there an alternative that is better and more respectful? If yes, please feel free to correct me.) entered the train. Nothing unusual there. (He or she? I am just going to use it for now even though I don't prefer that) started begging. Nothing unusual again.

For the initial moments I ignored as is the habit. But then I noticed. This was probably not a eunuch. It was probably just a guy in woman's clothing. Someone who looked about 18 to 20 years of age, chubby and more like a big baby.

Then I noticed something else. Something was not right. The guy (I shall not refer to the person as male, for it seemed like a male), seemed mentally challenged. The expressions, the way he behaved, all reminded me of someone who could be much much younger. Maybe a child who had just learnt to beg. And I decided to just give him some money. The moment I called him and did that, to my surprise, he did a little spontaneous jig. It was no mad jig, neither intentional. It just reminded me of how a little child would just do a jig if you hand it a toffee. There was this innocence in his happiness at getting the buck. It was just one rupee, but he seemed overjoyed.

Many may say it is probably just an act. But my mind does not believe it. Maybe because I was there and they weren't, and there are definitely things I cannot describe in words. I even remember, some ladies asked him to get off by violently pointing at the door. And as he looked at the ladies, he made a mock sad face (again, like how kids do) and imitated their actions. It was surely not something out of lewdness or anger or evil mockery. It was childish. Really childish.

And that was one of the moments when I felt, I wish there was something that could be done for him. But we humans (me included) are primarily selfish creatures. We want to survive, and we spend our lives trying to live well. We struggle to get a good life. Very few can manage to touch other lives in that duration. And that is just the sad way it is. I can help, to a certain extent. But I can't give people a home, I can't feed them for life, or teach them till they graduate. I can volunteer in a small way. And just hope that helps.

But I am digressing. I don't mean this post to be social. I just meant to narrate something that touched me. And it also reminded me of a previous encounter, again in a train. Here is an account of that in the form of a poem I had written -


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