Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
This video inspired me.
And I decided to follow this example.
Today as I left the Calangute Panchayat office after struggling with some electricity-related work at noon, I saw an old man walking past me with his cycle overloaded with old packaging / cardboard scraps. Before I could gather my thoughts he had walked away. I was shy, but decided that that was not important, found some words to say – I did not want to use the ‘God’ line – and ran after him on the Calangute-Candolim road, difficult as it was for me. Stopped him, chatted about where he came from, how long he had done this & what exactly he was doing. He said he picks these discarded boxes up from the beach areas and collects them every morning and then goes to the ‘raddi’ wala [used papers trader who buys old packaging magazines etc and sells them to recycling firms] to sell them by kilo. That way he makes about a hundred rupees [US$ 2] on a good day. He was from a village in Zilla Kanpur and had been doing this in Goa for 2 years. After chatting I gave him 500 rupees.
As expected, he had tears. And he blessed me. And then I had tears too.
How did I fund it?
These past few days I have used Goan buses and paid for rupees 20 in bus fares instead of Rupees 700 for a rented self-drive car that would have been convenient but a bit of a waste.
Giving it to the man was certainly a more satisfying way to spend that money!
Some say it is a way of paying-it-forward. I see it as a way of expressing gratitude for all the chance circumstances that put me in this position of the donor instead of the other way round.
Feb 24th 2015, Calangute, Goa.
This story happened yesterday. Today once again, as I still continued to struggle with my electricity admin issues, I was once again in the same vicinity. And unexpectedly I found the man again. Yesterday I did not feel like taking pictures in that emotional moment. But today, as soon as I saw him busy in his work, I decided to click first and then chat.
Here he is:
The man who made me feel very useful yesterday and today.