Points of view


2. The Skeptic

Saw a woman on 8th Avenue, sitting on the sidewalk with a cup and a card asking for money. Need tickets to travel, it said. Didn’t buy her story. Bought myself a bagel with the money I saved.

4 thoughts on “Points of view

  1. A story that engages the imagination. There are questions — is it a true story told by the journalist, is it a true story told by the young woman, if not what’s the real story, if so what happened next.

    I have been reading your blog for some time. I lived in Germany for a couple of years in the 70’s, and your blog brings back memories. You write well, and you choose to write in English, though I suppose there are other languages that you could write in. Thanks for providing so much to think about.

  2. Thank you, Anne and Julia. Perhaps the questions are best left this way, so I won’t venture into the truth and falsehood of the narrative.

    Anne: I chose English because that is the only language I can write in! I am not fluent in my mother tongue (Kannada) and my German is just not good enough. Hindi could be a potential alternative, but the last time I wrote something was a school essay twenty years ago, and I’ve probably forgotten my grammar.

  3. Parmanu, I really enjoyed this exploration, not just for the quality of the writing and thought but because in my urban travels I’ve heard many stories, and wondered which were true and which weren’t. Some of the beggars in Montreal and London that I’ve encountered even told different versions of the same stories — is there a secret stash of the ones that work best? “My girlfriend is in the hospital here and I need money for a train ticket to get us back home” is one I’ve heard over and over. Such people often come into the cathedral because they know the priest has discretionary money to give; then we have to decide what’s real, and how to handle it. Fascinating. But I’ve rarely seen anyone explore the phenomenon the way you have here.

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