The car was waiting at the traffic signal. The windows were closed. Sameer had turned on the music channel on the radio. With the air-conditioning cooling the insides of the car, it was bliss and Dia closed her eyes.
There was a light tap at the window. Dia opened her eyes to look at a beggar child tapping at the window. In rags, the beggar was holding a naked child on her hips. Dia looked away in disgust. Sameer felt in his pocket for some change, rolled down the window and put it in the beggar’s open palms.
Emboldened, the beggar asked for the water bottle. Sameer gave it away. The traffic lights changed and Sameer started to drive the car.
‘Sameer, you are just encouraging these beggars. They will never work. Why do you keep giving them? They are a nuisance.’
Sameer concentrated on the driving, not responding to Dia.
‘Sam, why do you have to give money to every beggar?’
‘Dia, she is just a child. What did you lose by giving her some money?’
‘Can’t you see? She just cheated you.’
‘Oh come on. We would not even think about the coins we gave her. But this will keep her out of hunger and maybe even alive. She is just a child. She cannot be employed in our country. There is not much the government does. This is the only way she is useful to her family. She could be sold or even indulge in petty crimes.’
Dia thought about it in a new light. Maybe, Sameer is right.
**This has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2016. My theme is A to Z in the life of Dia and Sameer, a geek and non-geek couple. Short stories on their approach to daily life. Do you know people like them? Do share the stories with me. ***
The characters Dia and Sameer are fully imaginary. Any likeness to people is purely coincidental. The views are the characters’ own and light-hearted. They are not endorsements.