In Search of a Better World

In Search of a Better World
Soul Searcher

Monday, March 9, 2009

BACK in MUMBAI- Reality Check

Back in Mumbai after a long gap and if things work out the way I have planned. Hopefully I should be here for 3 -4 months and this will give me time for a lot of long pending catch up work…

Within days of returning, I was treated to a really harsh dose of “Reality Check”. I was driving listening to ‘JAI HO” with the RJ on going about AR Rahman and how much Slum Dog was doing to focus on the lives of the less fortunate in Dharavi.

Just the I stopped at a busy traffic signal where two beggar women with a child were squabbling over a child. Soon a man joined the fracas and before you could say “Slum Dog Millionaire” they were beating each other and even started throwing stones..

Normal eh!

What shocked me even more was my own reaction. I ensured that I moved my car out of the way of the stones being hurled and saw in my rear view mirror that the good Mumbai cop had stepped in to separate and mollify the combatants. Seeing that peace was about to prevail I just drove on about my normal business.

I guess it is the callousness of guys like me which aggravates the situation. Suggestions from any of my fellow bloggers on a more humane reaction to the situation would be welcome


  1. You must be happy to return to India. Welcome!

    We, normal people, cannot do anything at this situation. Yes, we can feel sorry for them. I read an article in 'Junior Vikatan' about these beggars begging at signals with a baby sleeping on their shoulders. The reporter went after them in the evening to their homes (?) and enquired why they take the babies in the scorching sun for begging, when their limbs were OK and they can even work as maids in some houses. The woman replied laughingly that the child was not hers, she had taken the child for rent (Rs.25 per day) and people give her money because of the child. She comes home with the money and feed her children! She could never think of getting so much money, by working as a servant maid, it seems. Some of them drug the baby also.

    This also is like the 'slum dog ...story' in a different way. OK, we can take the child, after fighting with them and admit them in an orphanage. Nothing else can be done.

  2. Option 1: Stop you car at the busy traffic signal, get down and play a good Samaritan. The cars behind you honk their lungs out and their drivers let shout out their choicest expletives. To top it all the cop accuses you of causing a jam. This definitely is humane.

    Option 2: Do what you did and everybody lives in peaceful escapism.

    Choices, of course, are always there but we are not always strong enough to take the right one.

  3. thinking or caring about unruly beggers by the roadside(which are there at almost every damn signal) is merely a waste of time.. but ya it does give some fodder for the thought process of compassionate and introspective bloggers..

  4. heyyy so u r back in mumbaiii..amchi mumbai.must be feeling gr8..stay connected..wishes for Holi..

  5. I would have behaved in the same manner. But it's good to know that you want to act in a more helpful manner.

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