Mangoo stood at the corner of the alley waiting for me to give him his daily rupee.
He was in tattered clothes and his hair was dishevelled. He had only one eye. The other one was damaged.
“Thank you” he smiled as I placed the rupee on his outstretched palm.
Then he walked away from me towards a beggar who stood a short distance away from him. Later I was too learn that some beggars owned taxis and other wealth also which they had accumulated from begging. Mangoo and this other beggar went to a stall and bought cigarettes.
I thought twice over why I gave the money to Mangoo if this is what he did with it. The next day as I left my house, I found Mangoo standing at the coner with his one eye.
“In God’s name, give me some alms”; he pleaded and again I felt sorry for him and gave him a rupee. An item had appeared in the newspaper that morning which said, they were recruiting beggars and setting them up in camps.
When I asked Mangoo why he did not stay in those camps he told me that he had tried and stayed in one, but the conditions there did not allow him to stay longer.
Mangoo was so regular that he even came on Sunday’s to beg.
Then when he did not come altogether for a stretch of a week, I thought maybe he had taken ill. After a week I spotted him near my house. I asked, “What happened Mangoo?” He told me with dignity, “Sahebji my children had started to beg. I wanted them to go to school like other respectable children. What better way to go about it then quit begging myself?”
So now Mangoo had given up begging and led a respectable life. I am glad that he had given up begging and now I felt better about helping him whenever I did.