Doing a good deed is not an easy task. I understood this sometime ago from a woman who I assume spent large part of her life on single footpath. Amidst the rubbles and garbage under Sirsi flyover near the traffic junction, seated was this woman. Shabbily dressed, hair in knots, wrapped in torn blankets in wind and sunshine; it didn’t bother her if there were ants or stray cattle next to her.
It always seemed her needs were different and the stares from motorists and passers by didn’t help much in life.
As I have always considered myself to be one of those who does not encourage begging, I never bothered about giving her anything though as a woman my heart would skip a beat whenever I saw her. One day I saw a rag picker giving the woman something as I was waiting for the signal light to turn green. This act made me feel remorse and guilty that as a much well to do person in life I hadn’t given the tattered woman anything and a rag picker gave something in her capacity. It was the same day I saw the woman’s dirty clothes which I thought hadn’t been washed for a year at least.
I rushed home and immediately dug out an old saree and blouse to give the needy woman Subsequently as I was returning from work on my two-wheeler I wanted to convince my soul that I too am capable of doing good. As I spotted the unkempt woman, I called out to her and threw the packet containing the clothes.
With the dirt covering her face and an expressionless face, I could not understand if she was happy receiving clothes and if it made any difference to her existence. She vigorously tried to get into the blouse and that seemed small for her, so she threw it. And as I was leaving the junction, I saw her holding on to the saree close to her.
After two days I noticed the woman was wearing the saree I had given but it did looked as though it had been worn by her for at least five years without a wash. The garbage, pieces of cloth, cattle and dogs next to her hadn’t changed and I was little disappointed that probably this was not that mattered to her.
That was the last I had seen of her. A week and a fortnight passed and my eyes would hunt for the woman on my way back home at the traffic junction. The woman had vacated that place or destiny had taken her somewhere else, hopefully to a better place. Soon enough, one day I noticed the torn blankets, the blouse and the saree that I had given and probably what she last wore were all lying there as bits of dirty cloth.
Somehow I felt the deed of giving her a saree hadn’t tapped her conscience neither mine.