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Monday, November 28, 2005

After thoughts.. Genuine or not?

Compared to the weekends, the crowd would be less on a weekday in Little India. Last Friday, I had taken off from my work and was there with my wife.

While we were walking on the platform, this guy stopped me. My first impression was that it was a normal address query. He asked me if I have few minutes to spare. OK..that didn't seem to be an address query, as I thought. I nodded, inspite of my wife waiting for me.

It seems he was from Trichur, Kerala. In a mixed accent of Malayalam & English, he mentioned that he arrived here few weeks back and had got a job in a Chinese Finance Co. He expected to get his Employment Pass within a week's time, since it has been applied for already. He added further that he was from a poor family and the money he had, had completely drained, with none of the shoppers giving him temp jobs during his visit visa period.

He hesitantly asked (with moistured eyes) if I could help him to survive for few days. That was a tricky situation for me. By the look of it, he seemed genuine. But, I didn't know how to help and was not fully convinced. I could have suggested him to approach the nearby temples, since there was a possibility for them to help. But they might also be seeing 'n' no. of people like this regularly. So, I didn't suggest that idea.

When I suggested him to approach that Chinese Finance Co. (his prospective employer) to get an advance for his survival, he mentioned that he didn't approach them since no Indian faces were there. Since I was hesitant to come forward, he offered to show his passport to prove his genuineness. He showered me with some jargons saying that my face looked so helpful(!!) and that's why he approached me. He added further with an innocent face, that it would be OK even if I don't trust & help him.

Now, I didn't want to go further on that talk, since my wife was waiting. So, I just managed to pass on some money to survive for two days. He just accepted it and left the place, thankfully.

Normally, this type of situation used to happen in India very often - when people migrate from villages to cities. Sometimes, it would put us in an awkward situation to evaluate the genuineness of those persons. This was the first time, I had encountered a similar situation on the Singapore roads.

After leaving that place, I had several unanswered questions -

Was he genuine?
Should I have enquired more about his educational background and checked his passport?
Did I encourage him to go around like this further, to earn more?
232nd post

14 Comments:

Blogger TJ said...

Ram,
This is a situation which is very tricky. This is what i would do. I would try to find a tinge of genuinity in him, and if i find it, i offer him minimal help. The reason is that, in no time we[or our kith n kin] could also land up in an unknown place, with nothing in hand [even to proove a genuinity], where even money for one phone call would give great relief to us.

All these minimal help are a selfish insurance for the unknown incident to us or dear one in the future, for it is always Reap as you Sow.

Monday, November 28, 2005 3:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

Ram,
I don't understand how temples provide temporary jobs to people who are on EP or tourist visa. I think it is illegal for temples to engage these people. If somebody knows about this, the temple and the person in question will be taken to task.
I think it is better to pay something to help them out.

Monday, November 28, 2005 6:09:00 PM  
Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

ram, maybe there is a situation where the local people have to do something for these guys, guys who come to work these, especially guys from rural areas. some sort service where they ll be provide these guys temporary shelter till they get their work permit.

ram, inda madri vandu kasu ketta, romba think panna kudathu, if u think they are genuine, just give them money, its the best way, i do that. at the same time i don like encouraging beggin, so i somehow try and keep track of the faces

Monday, November 28, 2005 6:45:00 PM  
Blogger tt_giant said...

I think I would have done the same. You handled it well.

Monday, November 28, 2005 7:55:00 PM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

I feel that you have done the right thing Ram. One can't always be right and perhaps, you could have checked his passport - to put yourself at peace later. But then, its not a big deal.. i really feel sorry for those in that kinda situations.. its indeed tricky.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 2:55:00 AM  
Blogger Cogito said...

These kind of situations are always tricky.Having been fooled once, I am quite suspicious of such situations.You handled it decently .

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 5:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Raju said...

Romba dhaarala manasu ungalukku.. i am not sure how I would have behaved.. really tricky..

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 8:42:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

TJ.. What you are saying is possibly true? That's what our ancestors used to do, isn't it?

Kaps.. I wanted to suggest approaching the temple for his hunger.. definitely not for job. I knew that it is not possible.

Vatsan... the problem is there are 'n' no. of guys who may be like this, around this place. If they are identified, they will be deported. so, they don't come out for help voluntarily.

Deepak.. u r right.

Chakra.. anyhow, I have forgotten the whole incident after sometime. it didn't bother me too much...

Cogito.. Still, I don't know whether I was fooled or not..

Raju.. :-):-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 3:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gladtomeetin said...

Hi, I remembered a similar situation which happened to me in Bangalore. It was late night and a lady was saying she missed the train which was supposed to go to North and she has come with her dad and she is alone left here in bangalore with her Child. I was thinking of taking her to Police station n helping her out, but she was confident that they won't help, as she has already approached them....then even i left the place, leaving some money with her for her to get food and tickets for herself and her child.

She just wanted me to do only that much...We cant help few situations...Jus think the person you met was genuine and you have helped him in a better wway :-))
That will give us sort of satisafaction !

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:27:00 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Ram, I understand your concern. I've been a victim once. That was on my trip to Thrissur (yes, I live in the same place :-) ) from Bangalore. A man and a boy came to us and said he was pick-pocketed and dont have money etc. He even wrote down my address and he said he would send me the money through Postal Money Order. I said no need, but he kept insisting and then I gave him my address too. To the date, I haven't received anything.

But still, I think when such a situation comes again, I will definitel think twice but I may do the samething. Coz its hard to judge the genuine people in need. :(

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 5:02:00 AM  
Blogger Jayan said...

I had lost some money the same way. Only, the same guy came to me after a week and narrated the same story (never realizing that I was among the 'repeat audience')

Thursday, December 01, 2005 8:00:00 AM  
Blogger Chennai chatter said...

Guess the best solution is to go around the same way and retrieve wat you have lost!

Moist eyes and a waiting wife - all it takes!

Thursday, December 01, 2005 8:17:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

GTM..i agree with u. I got some satisfaction, eventhough I was not convinced for sometime.

JO..u r right, that genuine people should not be missed out. all depends on our judgement.... :-)

Jayan.. that was funny. meeting the same guy, who narrates the same story... :-) :-) hope you didn't fall for the second time.

Chennai.. welcome. I had never thought about the solution what u had suggested...

Thursday, December 01, 2005 2:49:00 PM  
Blogger macmohan said...

Ram.. You have decided to give money and you gave it. Fantastic. Its nothing wrong in giving. Ram, you believed his words in that moment and helped him. Great Ram. Do not analyse. If you give money on right hand don't let it know to your left hand.

Cheer up Ram. Good U helped some one who wanted the most.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 4:35:00 AM  

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