“May I have Bisleri, please?” I asked.
“Yeah, sure!” replied shopkeeper.
I went to submit documents for Non-Creamy layer Certificate for my brother at Municipality Office which was near to slums. Because these offices are so crowded these days & we have to get in as early as possible to save time. In that hurry I forgot to get water bottle from my home. I was in the shop near the office which was actually in slums.
“20 rupees,” he added.
I paid 20 rupees & when I saw the price tag on the neck of bottle. It said 20 rupees only. I wondered how it was possible. That bottle was taken out from fridge & if it is from fridge, shopkeeper charges extra 2 rupees. This is an usual practice in cities, in so called hi-fi areas. But the kind shopkeeper from slum didn’t charge me any extra though it was from fridge.
* * *
At the municipality office:
“Please, do me a favor. I can’t afford that much,” said a man, in his mid-forties, wearing untidy clothes, beard fully grown with a 16 year old kid.
“No, No! We can’t do it. We do not get much profit in that. We have to give some of it to our seniors,” replied the agent.
The man wanted a certificate with which tuition fees of the college can be reduced to half according to Reservation for Backward Class category candidates. The state board pays half of the fees if necessary documents are submitted in college in specified time. So it was urgent & very important.
“Please, help us out. I don’t have enough salary, then how can I give that much money? I live in one room in slum, I’m a worker at MIDC, I am not well educated. The things which I don’t have, the suffering, the poverty I’ve experienced, I don’t want my children to do the same. I want them to be educated & lead a better life. So, please try to understand.”
But the agent was adamant. The man left, scolded his son for the careless behavior & not waking up at the right time.
I was perplexed by what I saw. They are the same kind of people. On one hand, the people didn’t charge me any extra penny, on the other hand, they were refused to compensate for their mistake because they couldn’t give away enough black money.
The crazy fact is, there comes such experiences in life when we do not have any explanations for some circumstances & events. We have to live just as it is.
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)