At first glance he looked like a polio stricken patient or atleast he pretended to be one. The boy was around 12years of age, kneeled on the floor of the train compartment. Dragging himself, unable to walk, he moved on the floor from one seat to another trying to gain some sympathy. He was begging in the ladies compartment in that train! He had bent his body in a weird way, so he did look quite sick, incapacitated. One or two women took pity on his condition, and threw coins at him. The rest just looked and turned away. Beggars being a common sight in these local trains, its better to ignore and avoid them altogether.

Then, a sudden sound of clapping came, as the train halted in one station. It was the typical Hijra clap. Eunuchs in India are famous for their unique way of wearing saree and clapping with both hands in a strange way, that makes a strange sound. This sound automatically indicates that there is an eunuch somewhere nearby.
The clap came again. An eunuch had entered the train. Hearing the claps, this beggar boy looked immediately towards the direction from where the sound was coming from. The eunuch had now started to ask for money from the passengers in their weird typical way. The eunuch would put his/her/its hand on each passenger's head as though blessing them, and if anyone gave any money then the eunuch would bless again before moving to the next passenger.

And many women did shell out money to this eunuch, who happily in a very feminine way would accept it and bless them. All these the young beggar boy watched with open mouth in wonder. He forgot his own begging. The eunuch had cut into his daily business and had managed to collect more money from the same passengers who had turned away from him and shooed him away. The boy was intrigued as the eunuch approached to where he was seating on the floor and collected money.
As the eunuch got near him, the boy suddenly jumped up standing, all his illness now forgotten. He then started to follow the eunuch, as the latter uniquely swung his( her ) hips and walked from one passenger to the next. Seeing that the young boy was following him, the eunuch made some weird, shy almost 'natkhat'(naughty) gestures.
While the passengers gave the eunuch money, the boy's mouth gaped wide open. He perhaps wondered that it was easier to be a eunuch and collect money than pretend a fake illness that nobody took pity on.

And now, it was turn of the few people who did take pity on the boy's illness ( and had given him coins ) to watch with open mouths as the boy got up so swiftly on his feet. He was perfectly alright; nothing wrong with his legs. He had clearly faked it and fooled them all. Realising that they have been fooled, those passenger shook their heads in disbelief. But anyhow they chose to ignore it as it was useless to scold the boy.
The boy meanwhile, followed the eunuch till the latter finished collecting money from the last passenger in that compartment. The boy had even started saying some 'flirty' stuff to the eunuch who reacted in their typical way saying,'hai daiya!'

A station came and the eunuch got down, his purse certainly a lot fuller by then. He had a good 'dhanda' day. The boy whistled as the eunuch got down from the train. The eunuch had clearly felt pestered by the boy who had followed him all the time earlier, because he made a final ( now obscene ) gesture at the boy from the platform below, before walking away again his head up,swinging his hips proudly.

The train started moving again. It had only few passengers now. The boy then started jumping and swinging from the handles above. It was obvious he didn't care that the passengers had seen through his pretence. What the hell, there were so many other trains, he would get up in any of the crowded ones and then start all over again pretending like a polio patient. Who will catch him after all? He can do dhanda anytime like that.

However, his only fear would be that another eunuch didn't come in and eat away his business and kill his 'Dhanda' hour right in front of him like this particular eunuch had done. Till then, what did he care!

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