Society & Lifestyle
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|by Dr. Varanasi Ramabrahmam|
I live in Hyderabad. There is a tree in our housing colony. It’s a dead one. Under that tree I daily observe a beggar-woman. She is very old. Her clothes are worn out. She should be eating only once a day; sometimes once in many days. Thus she leads her life – begging, starving.
One day, as I was passing by, I saw a man speaking to her. He was very excited and was gesturing a lot. His conversation was melodious, like a verse in tune. I overheard it.
I could not make out how much the old woman understood. But the ‘poet’ wrote his ‘poem’ on a red paper, threw it into her bowl and walked away briskly. As usual I gave one rupee to the old woman. After some days a man in a suit was with the old woman. An assistant was recording the details about her daily routine. Then they left in a green maruthi. As usual I silently put one rupee coin in the old woman’s bowl.
Another day I saw the beggar woman in an ambassador car with a man in a khadisilk shirt. Immediately I remembered that polling was taking place that day. After exercising her franchise the old woman resumed her profession – begging.
A few months later, I had to accompany a friend to Ravindra Bharathi for a function Three eminent citizens – a poet, a film director and a minister – were being felicitated. I glanced at the three persons on the dais and felt that I have seen them earlier. Oh, yes, the three were the ‘poet’ the man-in-suit and the man in the khadisilk shirt, whom I had seen with the beggar-woman. The felicitation was a grand success.
I am silently greeting the old woman with my one rupee coin daily. She is lying there, like a lifeless chisel, converting the stony lives of some individuals into beautiful sculptures; unaware of how her miserable state is used by some parasites.
Sanskrit Original: Dr. Varanasi Ramabrahmam
Translataion: By the author
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08/02/2012 09:08 AM