I missed my van in the morning and was frustrated with myself for not getting up on time. Now i had to travel all the way to Defence Phase 2 (Ext) from Plaza quarters changing two buses on the way.
Cursing, I got ready put on my sweat shirt and made my way towards the bus stop, the U-1 bus taken ages to come but when it did I was happy that there was a vacant seat available. I reached saddar in less than 5 minutes courtesy of the bus driver who I reckon was inspired by The Need for Speed game series, and then got in the second bus which would have taken me to Akhtar colony.
It is in this bus that an incident taken place which really had me thinking the whole day. A girl climbed up the bus at the Kala pul (black bridge) stop and started distributing some cards. My understanding of stuff written in Urdu is quite weak and it taken me sometime to figure out what the card said, but after sometime the girl was back demanding the card back.
I figured out then that she was begging here in the bus for money and the card had a message which she wanted to deliver. Confused I just told her “maaf karo” (forgive me) and she shot out furiously saying “subha subha ka time hein aur koi kuch dehta hi nahi hein” (it’s the morning time and no one is ready to give anything). I started to judge her instantly that here she is begging and instead of being humble this girl has so much pride and arrogance, this then further led me to judge her even more that she seemed well fed and was doing this as a business.
The whole way from there till the Akhtar colony stop I was thinking about this incident and it was getting really disturbing, to make worse a chacha ji (old man) sat beside me in the bus and out of the blue started speaking about the inefficiency of the government etc.
I whispered alleluia when the conductor scream “Akhtar colony walen” (all those to get down at Akhtar colony) but while walking to the office I was thinking about the incident with the girl. It got me to think about why was she begging, was she forced to beg by her parents? Did she enjoy such a life? These thoughts gradually removed all my judgements against her because in reality I did not know what life that poor girl was going through.
I was ashamed at myself for not helping her out with what I had, even if it was ten bucks which really is of less value in these rough economic times in Pakistan, yet it would have made a difference to her. With no other way to approach her all I could think was to close my eyes and pray to God to be with her and ease her difficulty.