“The money spent on this Black Friday weekend could feed all the hungry children in the world.” I read
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Shuntoo looked up from his magazine and asked.
“Nothing,” I explained. “Just reading a fact a friend posted on facebook. But if it is true, it is tragic isn’t it?” I knew I was stepping into dangerous territory but sometimes one feels like taking risks. Uttering such words in Shuntoo’s presence is bound to get you some adventure.
“Yes, it is tragic.” Shuntoo said with a smile. And I was taken aback. Had he agreed with me? More importantly, had he agreed with a facebook status? If that was true, this was a historic occasion.
“Really, you think so?” I had to make sure.
“Of course, it is. And at so many levels.”
“Will you explain?” I had to……..had to be sure
“Only because you ask. It is tragic that someone has posted this as a status for all the world to read without any knowledge of how many hungry children there are in the world, or how much exactly was spent on this Black Friday or what exact amount of money is needed to feed all those children. I mean, educated people saying such things is tragic.”
“How do you know? Maybe he knows the exact…….”
“Even if he does,” he didn’t let me complete, as usual, “and that is one of the biggest Ifs I have ever known, it is still tragic that he has either not realized, or chosen to ignore the fact that whereas one can easily spend money on Black Friday, there are a lot of complications if you decide to feed all the hungry children of the world. It is tragic that he was probably thinking about giving just one meal to all those children from this money, a huge task with all the logistics and stuff required; stuff that would cost many times more than the food.”
“And what about after that. Feeding all the children once and then letting them go hungry again…..till the next Black Friday?”
“I am sure he meant….” I couldn’t finish again
“He meant to write something that would generate responses like Ohhhhh and Ahhhhh and how sad and how terrible we are. Response from people who would then sign out and go have a dinner that costs thousands of rupees while hungry children roam outside their homes. It is tragic that we use such comments to enjoy the likes and responses. Whatever you do with your money or time, bacchay, there will always be someone telling you there was a better use for it. And they would be right. The time I have spent talking to you here could have been spent reading, or researching, or even praying. Does that mean that I should stop talking to you?”
“So, you think we should…..”
“I think if we are so concerned about the hungry children of the world, we should form an organization to help them or join one of the many organizations that already exist. Then we spend our time and money on it. We ask people for donations. And I am sure they will give, maybe even more than what they spent on Black Friday.”
“That’s enough bacchay. At least one hungry child could have been fed in the time we wasted here, or the time people spent putting up crap on facebook or commenting on it or discussing it.”