Children of Ganges

When we visit a place, there are random of memories that stuck down in our head. I am about to express one of my experience to which I came across few months back when I visited Varanasi with my childhood friend Kumar.

It was just another day at Varanasi, or for us it was “the” day at Varanasi, it was a cold day and our very first day. We were roaming near the Ghats, were being stunned by the sites, the people,the rituals, the environment, the ‘Masala chai’ and ofcourse the ‘Pan Banaras wala’.

I don’t remember when and how, but someone gave us the change of ₹40 of ₹10 coins, the new coins, and what we didn’t knew was that these coins weren’t accepted by anyone as everyone believed that these coins were fake,  now we had 4 coins which were valueless. No one was accepting them, everyone was like “these are fake”, “we won’t accept them” blah blah. We were confused and were thinking what to do with these coins. We can’t throw ’em away, we tried buying random things but no one was accepting them.

After some time we found two little kids following us, begging, they weren’t speaking anything they were just gesturing asking us for money. We decided earlier that we will not give money to any beggar as it encourage them to beg around , unless if it’s an old one or disabled one than we’ll give. Anyways, these girls weren’t leaving us alone, so, Kumar got an idea to get rid of the coins and those girls. We made a “deal” with the girls that we will give them one ₹10 coin and in exchange they’ll have to give us ₹8. They didn’t understood at first what we were trying to say, it was simple but they were kids, we explained it to them. Than one of the girl took out her money and started to count and also asked Kumar to count it for her,
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but something was holding her back from giving us the money. As Kumar reached out for his pocket to take out the ₹10 coin, the girl said stop and she went like “kuch to gadbad hai” (something is wrong). “Why are you giving us ₹10 coins?” the girl asked, “everyone gave us only a rupee or two” she continued. Before seeing the coin she said “I know you are giving us one of the fake coins.”  We were shocked by her reaction.

These kids were grown up on the streets, begging around, probably never went to school but still they figured it out that we were trying to give them fake coins. They have seen people, they have experienced people’s behaviour so they knew no one would give them money more than a rupee or two. This is what they are taught of from the beginning onwards , We really don’t know what their future will be, how will they survive, all we hope is that they get what they deserve.

So we didn’t forced them to take the money, instead they gave us an idea to get rid of them. Funny how street kids are taught of such tactics. They weren’t educated but they were smart. Well known of the world.

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Is this what their childhood is all about? Or is there any childhood at all?

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