It had been raining heavily the whole of the last night and the morning too was a dark one. The rains had not concluded yet, but had turned into a light drizzle. It was 9 in the morning but everyone was at ease, it being a Sunday. I was standing in the balcony of our house, sipping the morning tea and looking over the drenched street, when I saw a middle-aged man in tattered clothes with a polythene carry-bag on his head, his only shield from the rain. He held the carry-bag ‘raincoat’ from one hand, preventing it from flying off, and had a sack in the other hand. He was probably a rag-picker.
The man was looking all around as he walked to see whether there was something on the streets worth picking. As he reached near our building, he stopped walking and then, again, walked towards the side of one of the buildings to shield himself from the rain, but continued looking around for something worth picking.
The building just in opposite of our house has a little covered space in the front where two kids were playing. The man after looking in their direction for a few seconds started walking in the direction. I had been watching all this quietly from the balcony and as he reached the covered space where the kids were playing, my mind decided on itself that he is going to harm the kids in some way or the other. I thought of shouting at him, so he would go away. But just as he reached the opposite side of the road, he stopped and bent down to pick up a bottle lying down there and then again carried on walking, not in the direction of the kids rather ahead on the street looking for more rag to pick up. Then I realized that he wasn’t even looking hat the kids, his eyes were transfixed on the bottle that lay there. I felt like, someone just pinched my brain, kicked me in the guts and jabbed my kidney all at the same time. I cursed myself for judging the man on how he appeared. What I had done, maybe on a sub-conscious level, is not what I want to be as one of my character traits. Just because he appeared wretched from the outside, didn’t meant that he was the same from within. And, the worst thing about it was that I knew he wasn’t, and that made me the ‘wretched from within’ here. I don’t know, why I thought what I thought? But I take a positive out of it that I realized my mistake as soon as I did it and I’m willing to better myself. I hope I succeed.