Monday, February 26, 2007

You Have Not Seen Begging

In India the begging is intense and quite often most of the money you give will actually do harm. It is actually against the law to give to beggars, but the same is true in the United States, but I have yet to see someone stopping a toruist from giving money. My "avorite hustle"that I have seen is called Baby's Milk. This involves a little child or a woman with a child convincing you that the baby needs milk. Anyone with any sense of compassion would immediately walk over to the drug store and buy them their Nestle's baby's milk. I was in the process of doing just that and then I thought. Why would anyone want this crappy skim powdered milk? She looks reasonablely healthy why doesn't she just give the child her breast milk. Something did not seem quite right and I pulled away and bought them a bag of rice instead.

Basically what happens is that they keep reselling the same Baby's milk and they get paid by the store to guilt you into buying Baby's milk. In some cases the only two words of english they know is Baby's milk and in certain places the beggars make more money then the workers. India has an intense street grift and everyone has something to sell you around every corner. Being a person that does not desire more possessions I did get convinced to buy one flute and the salesman actually had reasonable musical talent though buying the flute did not seem to mean I would possess his talent as well. But even the sales people here beg and plead with you to buy there stuff in way that I have never seen. Take the most incessant and desperate beggar and that is par for the course when it comes to begging in India. Yet India is not a country of beggars, but when they do beg it can be a bit overwhelming at times. It is much worse in large cities. I hAVE NOT been to the country though Goa is my next stop on this adventure. Miss you guys much. I was thinking of a Jay-Z song "i'm a hustler baby" and Baby's milk is certainly my "favorite" hustle that I have seen though there is one hustle around every corner. In many cases this money will go towards things that do not benefit the family or towards helping the men get drunk. I am learning about things first hand which is one of the best ways to learn and it will force you to see the Heaven and Hell. One does not exist without the other.


The Sage said...

Not only are they good at what they do, but there is rumor from many Indians that they are also organized. I've heard things ranging from "slum ladies" who are like pimps for babies, and tell the women which baby to take ( or how much each baby costs for a day ) and where to go beg. Then all the women return with their take and they split it up, mafioso style.

There is one woman in particular who is no more than 25 but is probably closer to 17-18 who prowls are very busy intersection w/ a bandaged baby at all hours. She can cry at will, is very persistent ( will walk along side the car even after it's moving ) but has the most startlingly pure features. If she were to be cleaned up and properly dressed she would be a truly amazingly beautiful girl.


dr john bender said...

The homeless in Ann Arbor are organized like gangs. They have territories and heirarchies, almost always possesing some form of central leadership. I studied them quite closely during my time there and discovered another startling secret about the Ann Arbor homeless...

They are actually not homeless. They all live in houses, many of which were nicer than the 720 Arch St house.

One night, drunken Johnny Ghosh was accosted by an Ann Arbor homeless, and Ghosh proceeded to kick the dude in the knee, dropping him. The relevance of this story is: John Ghosh is Indian, he attacked a beggar, and you blogged about Indian beggars. The circle is complete.

one l said...

i love hearing about your spiritual journey in india. i hope you continue to trust and follow your intuition. great things happen when god mixes with us.

tell stephen i say hello!

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