suryanarayanan k
4 min readJan 13, 2022

Is there a difference between Working & Begging?

As the vehicles slowed down and stopped at the traffic signal junction, a swarm of beggars in various attires (attire here = sympathy simulator)

Converged to launch their street show of sympathy, a well-rehearsed drama that normally never falls to rise the empathy in the motorists

The replay of the scene at the traffic signal did reveal a remarkable difference in the facial expressions of those motorists who handed over a tenner to the line of beggars

It wasn't a display of empathy on their faces rather appeared more like a ritual in action, yes most of the sympathizers had parted with the money just out of sheer custom

Many of them were seen cursing inside their breath after donating since their action seemed involuntary and kind of a forced one

Few of the motorists who ignored and refused to part with the tenner despite the repeated pleas from the beggars were heard being audibly cursed by the beggar's clan

As the motorists shifted their vehicle gears at the sight of the yellow light and got ready to roll the vehicles

The team of beggars also began to move towards the other side of the X road where another set of motorists was piling up at the sight of the red signal

A similar street show was staged again and this drama was repeated several times across the road at the four stop signs

It was almost lunch hours and like how the lightning appears and disappears at a fast pace, these beggars were nowhere to be seen

A curious onlooker (journalist by profession) who was researching on the lives and styles of the begging life began to search for the team of beggars

The journalist succeeded in spotting the clan crowding around a discreet looking motor van and each of them was holding a paper-wrapped parcel in their hands

The team of beggars descended on the close-by traffic park and began to devour on whatever the paper parcels contained

The supposed to be mothers who had dearly held the infants close to their hearts during the begging episode

Paid scant attention to the hungry and wailing kids who were all found dumped at the far corner of the park

Few burly looking middle-aged women walked up to the kid's section and forced a feeding bottle that appeared to contain a white liquid

Somehow the very sight of these large-framed women brought pin-drop silence amidst the adults as well the kids

The journalist was a seasoned professional hence patiently waited for the beggar's team to return and resume their drama

The journalist was taken aback when the entire team after their lunch began to board the vans that were parked at discreet spots

The journalist ran to start the two-wheeler and started to follow the vans, well after an hours ride, the journalist traced the vans parked next to a famous shrine

Like the magic wand that swipes and changes the scene, the beggars who were all walking, talking and begging at the traffic junction had suddenly become handicaps

Few went blind, many were limping, a couple of them had lost their hands and most of them had gone deaf & dump

As the evening prayers started, the devotees in large numbers began to visit the shrine to offer their prayers or to plead with the Lord

Though the core value of begging remained the same only the street show and the costume varied near the shrine

Around 8 pm as the shrine and the devotees began to end the day, the team of beggars also walked (no limping seen) back to the parked vans

The burly women directed the team to file in a line and handover their respective collections to a well-dressed person with the scarface

After a thorough body and apparel check, each of the beggars or should we say "the workers" were given their daily wages

The team members greeted each other, said good night and boarded the vans that would drop them at their homes, a service for which the entire team felt thankful

Because a beggar can also be waylaid and robbed of their possession and physic

They also prayed before retiring to bed asking the Creator to show mercy on them by influencing the motorists and His devotees to generously part with their wallet contents, the next day

The journalist sighed, kick-started the bike and began the return ride back to the den where the laptop was awaiting to store the day's contents

The journalist typed the last words "begging is a profession and beggars are workers", hit the save option and yawned

The journalist mind said, tomorrow is another day, another story and for now put your mind and body to rest since it's been a long day & night

Good night said the mirror image and that part of the world put the light off for the day

Next time we come across beggars let's recognize the worker in them since begging also had turned into a profession 🙏🏼