Friday, October 24, 2008

In a Quandary...

I do crazy hours at the Office. One of my most regular times to return home would be at 11.30 in the Morning after a night shift. And almost everyday I see an old woman sipping tea at a tea stall near my house.

She seemed to be from a well to do family and who had recently fallen upon hard times. I didn't know much about that old woman. But I did know people who knew her. I asked around. What I learnt was quite depressing.

She is  a Jewish Lady, very educated and is a retired employee of BARC, Mumbai. (Bhabha Atomic research centre). For those who don't know, an employment at BARC is something most Indians would give an arm and a leg for. Her family members abandoned her and moved to Israel some years back. She now survives on a paltry pension and is in a deplorable state, both financially and  physically.

I have been thinking about her for quite some time now. The reason I am talking about her today is because I am very worried about her. She is too old and frail to find work anywhere. Maybe she is losing her mental balance as well or the hardships of the last few years have taken it’s toll upon her. Her dress is so worn out and dirty that you cant help but feel sorry for her. When it rains, she carries an umbrella which is in such a pathetic condition that it makes no difference. Still, she tries to lead life with dignity.

I wish to help her. The problem is that she has never asked for help from anybody and I don’t know if she would accept any help from me or not. I am thinking of providing her with some clothes for the winter. I don’t know how would I approach her. I don’t want to hurt her pride. But I can’t even let her to live this way either. I asked my Mom if she could do something for me. My mother has agreed to approach her, but the problem is that my Mom has never seen her.

And the bigger problem is that I am not sure of what’ll happen after that. The last time I tried tried to do some good was when I donated some money to CRY. It was very upsetting. I was not that happy then and am not too keen to experience the similar emotions again. But then, the lady too, can’t be left alone.

 

So reader, what do I do? I am in a quandary.

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An Update :-

When I mentioned my upsetting experience with CRY (Child Relief and You) , it had nothing to do with the organisation. CRY is one of those organisations that I would trust with my money. My turmoil was MY turmoil entirely. Many would understand what I mean.

6 Grumblings:

ketki said...

about 2 years ago, i was faced witha similar situation or as u say, I too was in a 'quandry'
(you may refer to my post- In the Vale of Tears)
however I went ahead and helped that lady, whatever little i could do.
she didnt survive for many days ...
may be it was her sorrow that killed her more than her bad health
even today i feel guilty that couldnt help her survive...
may be u too should go ahead and help in every possible way, to evite the guilt later...

ketki said...

i m associated witha group called the banyan which helps such people
if there is anything i can do, i'll be happy to help.

ayyo.... said...

@Ketki
I am afraid of hurting the old lady's pride. Or I am plain scared of approaching her. Maybe, her illustrious past is intimidating me... I dunno. But I guess you're right. :)

Sikander F Khan said...

Try and talk to her for a few days before you actually offer the help. Make her comfortable, make her feel as if you belong to her.. a week would be enough... I guess.

Don't just 'act' a helper.. act a 'son'.

ayyo.... said...

@Sikander
Maybe that'd be the best approach. I was thinking on some similar lines. She needs emotional support from a son.
You're right. :)

kunwar said...

bro here's what i have to say...
after i read your post i was about to write exactly what siku bhai said... but i'll tell you in detail...

obviously you feel sympathy towards her...
isf she knows that, she will never accept your help...

as sikander bhai said...
approach her and talk to her for a few days... when she grows affectionate towards you...

then you try to help...
first try to gather more info about her...
like her bday and all....
if it'ssomewhere close by

u can give it to her as gifts..
you wouldn't hurt her pride then..

after u hv known each other approach her like this....
"mei aapke bete jaisa hun na... app mujhe pyaar karte ho na...to mera ek kehna manoge..."

you know force her by words to accept it...
it always works...

just wanted to tell you in detail

hope it helps...