A cup of tea

“Sir can you please spare ten rupees, I would like to buy a cup of tea”, a young man in his early twenties asked me as soon as I came out of the parking area of the Pune Airport and was about to cross the road.

I ignored the young man’s request and started walking towards the arrival area. I had some work at the airport and thought of returning to the city as soon as possible before the roads to the city get clogged with late afternoon traffic.

As I approached closer to the arrival area, my eyes suddenly fell on the “Sugar Dough” restaurant on my left. Even though I had no interest to take any food at the restaurant but out of curiosity I walked near the door of the restaurant to take a look inside. I saw the restaurant was almost full with customers.

But at the first glimpse I also realized that people, who were eating inside had one thing in common, none of them appeared to be hungry. It seemed to me that food was not being pulled inside their stomach rather they were being pushed. The reason they could be eating at the restaurant was because they had surplus money with them as well as they had some spare time. We see the same thing every day in all the big restaurants in all the big cities everywhere.

I immediately remembered the young man who had asked me for ten rupees to buy a cup of tea. In Pune a cup of tea will cost ten rupees if it is served by a road side tea seller. In any small restaurant it would cost at least twenty rupees. Probably the sugar and milk of the hot beverage would have given the young man energy to keep him going for an hour or so. I was sure that the tea would have tasted infinite times more than the food tasted by the lazy eaters in the “Sugar Dough” restaurant.

I quickly finished my work at the airport and started walking towards the parking area with a hope that I could still find the person on the street.

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