Krishna waited patiently. It was usually Suresh saab who came first. He loved Krishna and dropped in a tip along with the meagre fee he collected. He loved his job, it was his pride. Krishna always came very early and grabbed his spot to not miss any early birds. He came in earlier than usual today, he had missed a day due to fever and was eager to start work.
He saw Suresh saab walk from his car. Krishna took out his best brush, swiped a generous amount of polish from the tub and waited eagerly.
“No need, Krishna. I’ll be fine without it. Here you go.”, he said as he dropped the tip and smiled, making his way to the elevator.
Krishna was dumbfounded. He wondered what happened. True, he had missed a day, but saab’s shoes were dirty today as usual! He felt low, it wasn’t a good start.
Many of his regular customers walked by, dropped into his hat a few coins and walked away with a wave. The others merely rushed in. Krishna couldn’t understand. He had collected a very, insignificant sum by doing nothing and it was nowhere near the sum he hoped to earn today. He badly needed his daily wages.
His wandering thoughts were interrupted by the security guard.
“A new machine has been bought by the company. It polishes their shoes for free. But it’s okay, some of them like you. If you hang around like usual, they might drop in a few coins.”, he explained casually, as he went through a register.
Krishna looked at the coins everyone had voluntarily dropped into his hat. He had been turned into a beggar in just a day. Tears of shame brimmed his eyes instead of joy, as he counted the coins for the day.
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