Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ousu's Chat Bandar

I made my first investment in a business venture last night. Not in plantations nor animal husbandry, as one would have thought considering my likes in life and also my lineage. I am the financial partner of a business concern, a chat shop, a tiny weeny one at that.

I was driving back to my apartment from office, it had been a long boring day and I was numb to the world. I was on auto-pilot and was expected to navigate all the curves and traffic without much hardships. It was dark and he stood under a lamp-post, right before a curve, with arms out-stretched, pointing my way. I don't ever stop to pickup strangers, always have this fear of some serial killer hitching a ride with me, but this time, I dunno, what made me, but I stopped.

Was he happy to have got a ride? Gleefully he jumped behind me, probably must have been 12 or 13 years old and started on with a short biography of his life. The usual story of poverty, famine, migration, death and slums in a big city. But the difference was, this 12 year old boy managed to work his way through or maybe manage to steal a push-cart and arrange a make shift chat-shop and business was good in his words. He could attend to his mothers and a younger sisters hungry stomach and also afford to pay for a roof in the slum. That is when, the long dirty hands of law in the form of police constables, forced him out of his money at the end of a day when business was good. Leaving him with not a penny for even supplies.

He was not embarrassed to ask me, whether I have an extra 500 Rs to loan him. It was a business proposal, not a plea. If I gave him the money, he would get the bhel and puris and all other stuff and start with business as usual the next day and give me 50 Rs everyday for a month. Not a bad investment, I definitely knew it. The boy was smart and I think he will make a living out of it and in the end I stand to get a profit of 1000 bucks. Not a great much, but definitely a profit and the best part a profit out of a good deed.

Then there is always this other being inside you who questions  your every decision. Maybe this was a con and I stand to loose money. Reason my brain did, but my heart had made its choice. I stopped at the next atm and gave the boy the money and the only security I asked the address of a slum where he is living and the name of the junction his chat stall stands.. sorry, our chat stall stands.

I found a dream in him, a dream to take care of his loved ones, a dream to wake up tomorrow, a dream to inhale the next breath and my loan was for that dream. The dream might fail or maybe the dream was never there, only a projection to fool me, it doesn't matter. Because in my heart I helped a dream :)

1 comment:

  1. Keep us posted and don't lie if he just makes away with the money. That being the default guess, it'd be quite a surprise if he really follows the idea through.

    I still remember one time when an elderly couple asked me for 500 bucks through the train window at some station while I was on my way home from Delhi. Told me they got mugged and lost everything. They looked decent too. The trouble is that I had just about 800 bucks in my purse and lots of questions in mind. By the time I took the decision, the train had started moving.

    Still regret that.


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