Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I pull my car off the highway at the exit and stop at the traffic light before I merge with a local road. While waiting my eyes wander to the side of the road and I am immediately met with two pairs of eyes looking at me in a pleading way that is very tough to describe. One pair of eyes catches the curiosity and surprise on my face and the looks on his face become more pleading. The other pair playfully gets distracted by something else, the head turns around and the eyes shut as if they were in deep sleep all this while and had never seen me approach. The beggar's dog curls up beside his master and tries to shield himself from the cold wind blowing in the morning. No doubt the sleepy eyes will become curious and pleading again as soon as the next car rolls in. A strange sad feeling from nowhere grabs me and I hurry to get my wallet out before the light turns green again. I get some cash out from it and hand it to the beggar. He thanks me and it is time for me to pull away.

But the morning's thoughts haven't left me yet. Why did I feel sad and why did I help? I come from a land where beggars and stray dogs are as common as land, air and sky. Still, I have never felt this bad like I felt today. Is it because in a land full of opportunities I did not expect to see someone begging or were it those pleading eyes belonging to the man's best friend that turned my day upside down. He was looking as happy as content as any domestic dog I have ever seen but then he wouldn’t know that he could have had an equal chance of being somewhere else, much warmer and with a full stomach. But then, I guess, if I was ever able to tell him this, he would prefer his beggar friend to all the comforts anyone could offer.

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