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Beggars @ traffic signals

Everytime I wait at those traffic signals, shiver run through my spine to see those kids – burn marks all across their faces, bruises here & there, impaired limbs, weathered out clothes, tears running down from their eyes… oh god, what a agonizing scene it always is…& the worst is many a times kids carrying another infant in their laps & pleading that if you don’t give money that poor kid will die because of hunger!!! Yeah I’m speaking of kids begging at traffic signals in all major Indian metros & in such a poignant condition how can you stop yourself from paying some bucks to those poor souls?
Howmuchsoever I’m aware of forced beggary racket & the need to discourage it strongly, I still can’t sometimes control myself from giving away money to these kid beggars. It happened with me yesterday as well…one girl with completely bruised face & with a crutch walked upto me & pleaded for money. Initially I ignored her, but she kept on persisting me, one look on her again & oh gosh…so many contusions on her face!!! Looked like somebody had beaten her badly, for maybe not earning enough money last night by begging, maybe for not revealing the actual money she earned to the begging racket leader or maybe…oh before any more dreadful thought could have come to mind, I just pulled out money from my purse & handed it over to the little girl. Well, I know I again did wrong, I’ve again contributed towards the dirty begging industry, but…
Here are some quick facts about begging in India:
? Begging has actually been coined as one of the industries!!! Yeah “Begging Industry” so to say…
? Begging industry pegged to be more than Rs. 200 crores in India.
? A child beggar earns only Rs. 10 to 20 a day & rest all the income is being taken by the racket leader!
? Majority of the kids who had been rescued from begging last year & kept in children home preferred to go back to begging as they were not able to earn & feed themselves on their own.
? Analysts have even come out with results that begging sometimes work out to be more lucrative option than a low-wage job.
? There has been enough number of messaging & coverages asking common public to discourage begging by not providing any money to beggars.
Well, I guess most of us are aware of the above mentioned facts but despite the knowledge & our rational minds which say that we should dissuade begging, is it possible to ignore the bruises & tears & hunger of all those kid beggars who just stand in front of you during those red lights? Is it possible to ignore the cries of small infants who are supposedly howling because of no food or extreme weather conditions? Hmmm…atleast its not possible for me, as honestly speaking I keep on getting disturbed by seeing those kids & I either end up paying money or end up thinking about them all my way…and even after thinking a lot I don’t know what’s the solution to it!

Joker in the pack - Book Review

Just finished reading this book yesterday. I had picked up this book while traveling at some airport. Well, the cover design as well as the line “An irreverent view of life at IIMs” were self explanatory & it was no-brainer to guess that its another one after “Five Point Someone”, “Mediocre but Arrogant”, “Anything for you ma’am”, “Above Average” etc etc. I still picked up the book as I wanted to read some light stuff.

After Chetan Bhagat’s huge success I guess it has almost become a trend to come out with some novel with theme around “Life at IIM/IIT/X/Y/Zs…”. Surely five point someone was interesting and I personally had enjoyed reading it but similar theme of campus fiction repeated over & over again… ummm nah, I guess its too boring now L.

Joker in the pack written by Ritesh Sharma & Neeraj Pahlajani is all about Shekhar Verma (the main protagonist) & the great Indian middle class dreams. Its about Shekhar’s run in the same rat race of performance & excellence in education so as to get a good job with lots of money & foreign placement. Its about all the extras in life who take so much of interest in your performance and the world where performance doesn’t meant your own performance but performance as compared to others, well as you say typical RG (relative grading) culture!!! It surely gives a detailed view of life at IIMs, hostel life, summer placements, final placements & professional-personal life balance. Well some of the things like summer placements, hostel-life etc are so relatable to not only IIM guys but to other business school pass-outs as well. The hostel life description & Shekhar’s encounter to reality during summer placement days definitely made me nostalgic J. The summer placement part & placement description created some excitement in me as reader but rest all other parts were too predictive. Hmmm and like a general happy-ending plot this book also ends with Shekhar realizing his ultimate dream of job, foreign placement & money. The only sentence which touched my heart was the last sentence “I realized my dream but in all this never realized that I’ve lost the main force who was the motivation for my dream”. Well, in this performance obsessed world I guess this is happening with many professionals of our generation.

To sum it up, I will say it’s an average book with some interesting plots. Its one of those books which you can read casually, finish up fast & forget it immediately. Positive points – light humor filled language & effort of the authors (I must say it’s a commendable job to write a whole book with full time jobs) & Negative points – Too predictive & repetitive plot, well old wine served in a new bottle.

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