Thursday, October 07, 2004
Livinghigh was here at 6:03 PM /

I beg your pardon?

This city has taught me how to beg nicely. Startling revelation that struck me today, as I begged my flatmate to repay me the money he owes. And then, of course, I remembered the coying, execessively sugar-coated wheedling I had tried on my next-door maid-cum-neighbour, to coax her in my 'employment' for Rs 400 a month. Please, aai, we are poor boys - first job - big company, but no money we get - understand our situation, aai ... understand...

Or the nonchalant begging whenever I get off a cab or a rickshaw in this city. That is a class act, of course - the trick is to beg without seeming to - look at the cabbie/rickie as if he's an insignificant creature, but still hold out your palm for the small change he owes you - it's your birthright, and you don't even notice that your palm is outsretched.

Whenever I visit my brother's place, I employ a devil-may-care type of a beg posture. Yes, I'm going to eat the imported chocolates you keep in your fridge, so what? Yes, I want you to take me out for dinner - at least I'm being considerate and saying I'm too tired for a 5 star tonight! But the underlying theme is always, always, always: please, please, please, PLEASE don't tell me to get back to my crummy hole in the city! Please, please, please let me come and visit your place and eat the chocolates and have dal-sabzi-rice-roti for dinner!

It's all in the posture. Whoever said beggars can't be choosers obviously never lived in this crappy city.


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