amruta suresh



amruta suresh


Philosophy Of Doing Nothing

Philosophy Of Doing Nothing

6 mins

Karthik drives twenty-seven kilometers to work every day in his Honda City. Most of the days when he stops by the signal right before the turn to his office building, he sees a beggar sitting on the pavement looking at the vehicles and people passing by, now and then reaching out his hand for money. Next to him, there was a ragged bag, probably his only possession. His clothes were dirty and torn. He had long hair and an even longer beard. God knows when he showered last. Every time Karthik looks at him he wondered why the man was unable to find some work? Is he physically challenged?, wondered Karthik. He didn't appear to be. Sometimes he saw the beggar engaged in a conversation with a man next to him, who sold lime soda and lemon juice on a cart. One day, one of his colleagues Prasad joined him in his car. When he saw the beggar again, he told Prasad,

"I see that man every day in the same place begging for money. Is it so difficult for him to get some kind of job?"

"Many are too lazy to work. Sitting there and begging is easy money. Some people are used to that and won't change", said Prasad.

"It bothers me, man, we get up everyday go to work, have ambitions and run behind it, set goals and strive to achieve them while people like him just live their entire life on the pavement with no purpose in life. Every day is the same for him, isn't it?

"Ha Ha, why so philosophical today?"

"No, every time I see that guy, I can only think of this. I feel sad."

"If it disturbs you so much why don't you go talk to him?

"Maybe I will someday."

The signal changed green and Karthik sped past the beggar, off to work.

One afternoon, Karthik and his team had gone for a team lunch in a nearby restaurant. They were all walking back when Karthik made up his mind to go talk to the beggar."You guys carry on, I will be right behind", he sent his colleagues off, went and knelt beside the beggar.

"Namasthe Sir", wished the beggar, like he would wish anyone one who went past him.

"Namasthe", Karthik wished him back."What is your name?"

"Muthu, Si.r"

"Muthu, I see you every day from my car and I thought I will talk to you today."

"It is so nice of you Sir, to come and talk to me. Very rarely people do that. You see him, the one who sells juice, he is Selva. He is the only company I have. He talks

to me every day. He gives me one juice in the afternoon for free". Karthik smiled at Selva.

"You don't have a family? , asked Karthik.

"No, I was married. I lost her to dengue. Now I don't have anyone", he said.

"Do you like this life? Can I ask you something, why don't you find yourself a job? I can help you."

"For what Sir? Why do you work? For the money, for food. I also get that."

"No there is more to it. It gives you some purpose in life."

"What purpose sir? You earn to keep yourself and your family happy. You buy cars, two-wheeler, a big house, accumulate all kinds of luxuries and one day die. I don't have any such ambitions in life. I don't have anybody who expects me to keep them happy. All I need is two or three meals a day and a place to sleep. I get that by begging."

"Then everybody can go beg like you right? Why are they getting educated and working hard and achieving things?"

"I have never understood that Sir. All these people who run behind money look like fools to me. My parents were beggars. Begging has been my life since I was a child. I know only this way of life."

"You don't have to be like this. You can change your life. Isn't any other job better than begging? These people who help you by giving money look like fools to you? Selva there, your friend, works hard to make a living. He helps you quench your thirst and he looks like a fool to you?"

"No Sir, I am thankful to all of them. In the past fifty years, a few people like you have come to me. They all preach like you and offer help to change my way of life. I have only one question for you. You and I have to face the same end. So what difference does it make? You go live your life, sir. Please don't try to change mine."

"It is not about the end. It is about how you live. There is so much in this world other than this road and this pavement, you never felt like experiencing any of them?"

"No Sir, never. I am happy here. This is my life and I am happy."

"Leave him, sir, poor thing, why are you bothering him?", said Selva.

Karthik was fed up and got to leave. "Sir, nothing for me?",Muthu reached out his hand.

Karthik shook his head, searched for a five rupee coin in his pocket, and placed it in Muthu's hand and left.

On the way to his office, Karthik thought, 'Why did I even bother to go talk to him. He is so adamant about staying lazy'.A minute later, he wondered, 'Should I give it another try?'

After Karthik left, Muthu told Selva, "All these years I have been living like this and I am happy. He comes now proposing a better life for me. These people think if they are educated, have a car and earn a lot of money life will be very happy. How foolish of them!"

The next day Karthik didn't see Muthu in his usual place. He couldn't find him the next day too. One week passed and still no sign of him. He stopped his car the next day and asked Selva, "Where is Muthu? I don't see him here these days".

"Oh, he died the night you came and talked to him. When I came in the morning, he was lying down there motionless. The corporation people came and took him."

"Oh dear God, this is sad", Karthik left completely disturbed.

After a few days, Prasad joined Karthik on his way to work. When they neared the office, Prasad remembered, "What happened to the beggar? Did you talk to him?"

"Yea I did", said Karthik

"And?", Prasad asked enthusiastically.

"He died on the very same day."

"Oh, that is sad. So what next, find another beggar and try to change him?", joked Prasad.

"Ha, maybe I will. But some things cannot be changed very easily I guess", said Karthik.

"That is true", agreed Prasad.

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