Today morning I had to go to Koramangala for some personal work. I met Mr. Ram Mohan and came out of his house. My bike was parked over a cement slab on the pavement and I was having difficulty in getting it down on the road. Just then a woman came begging for some alms. She should be close to 50 and was looking like any other beggar that we see in India. Since I had already started moving my bike down the slab, it was difficult for me to get to my purse. But I usually try my best to give something to them. So I took my bike on to the slab again, parked it and then took a 5 rupee coin and placed it on her hand. I quicky turned to get my bike but what I heard stopped me.
The woman said ‘Thank you’. I was pretty shocked. It is quite rare that someone begging would know english here in India. Still its bangalore and may be she has been to places around and learnt to say ‘thank you’. I was still looking at her in total amazement. May be she thought that I didn’t understand her. She smiled and repeated, ‘Thank you very much’.
Now that was just too much. What was more surprising is the fact that she pronouned the words perfectly and there was that proper stress where it had to be. In fact many Indians would have been proud of that. She moved on but even as I took my bike and rode away I couldn’t take my eyes of her. I am not going to experience anything like this again. I am sure about that. May be she is a literate. May be just may be she was rich once… You never know !!