Yesterday, after I came out of a shop, some elderly woman was begging. Near that shop, it is not uncommon.

She did not look like a beggar. Yet she was.

At first, I gave her Rs. 50 - which maybe more than what people usually give beggars (I think).

I was surprised that she said I don’t want money, I want rice and daal (lentils) instead. I was positively surprised. Not many beggars ask for things. I told her to buy grocery herself. There is a grocery store next door.

She said, the shopkeeper won’t let me purchase stuff.

This wasn’t uncommon.

So I went with her to grocery store, and asked the shopkeeper to get her rice and daal as she had asked. I didn’t want to get into the transaction, I just wanted to make sure shopkeeper does not shoo her away. Also, Rs. 50 won’t get her the stuff she needed, so I wanted to also pay for groceries.

When shopkeeper was done packing rice and daal, I asked him how much I owed him.

At that time, the lady said : “I also need sugar”

I was taken aback, but didn’t say anything.

Shopkeeper went to pack sugar.

and then she said “cooking oil” as well.

Shopkeeper was now wondering what to do.

At that time, I told him whatever he has packed is enough.

I ended up paying upward of Rs. 300

As soon as I got my change back, I left.

I kept thinking :

I did notice when I left that even though she mentioned that she did not want money, she kept the initial Rs. 50 I gave her 😆