Thursday, 29 September 2011

One Coin Please, Hey I am not a begger

While going through one of the comments of my previous post (I am sorry), one incident happened in my life flashed through. This is when I was 10 years old. I was studying in fifth standard. One of my hobbies was collecting coins of different countries. Being a small child the only option was to get it from the foreign tourists or by exchanging coins from others who collect it. Alappuzha, being a tourist place, there were lots of foreigners in the city. Some of them would take Indian rupees and give coin of their country. But some of them would not even talk. This used to happen for a while.

One day, near to my school I saw two foreign ladies. I checked my pocket. I had five rupees in my pocket. I thought that I could give five rupees and get the coin of their country in exchange to add coins to my collection. I did not want to miss the chance I ran to them showed them five rupee note and asked, "Could you give me some coins of your country please". The lady without saying anything frightened me away. I felt so insulted and walked back to school pushing five rupee note back into my pocket. I was very angry with the lady. One of my teachers found me and asked me what happened. I explained to him why she was frightening me. He took me to the staff room, gave me a glass of water and told me "Listen Joe, all white people are not English, many of them do not even understand English". He continued, "There are Finnish, French, Dutch, Russian, Swedish and so many. But people were from all over. " 

What happened was that those ladies who I asked coin for didn't knew English and thought that I was begging for money. I felt ashamed of being frightened away by a lady thinking that I was a beggar. From that day I stopped collecting coins.

As a child I assumed that all white speak English. So never understood why they behave so until this incident happened to me. I felt sorry and realized that I should not judge people by the way they look.

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