A Cup of Chai

The man was on the ground. It was a messy sight: blood and dirt had coagulated all over his face. Spittle and flesh raced down his left cheek.

Twenty meters down the road was the rickshaw driver who minutes earlier had run over the man on the ground. The crash left his vehicle’s front wheel bent and crooked, but that didn’t stop him from attempting to flee the scene.

Aghast by the lack of concern from the small crowd that gathered around the body, I asked the young man standing next to me for the number of the local police station. He pointed to a police officer standing by the chai stand a few feet from the scene of the crime.

I ran over to the officer and begged him to do something, anything to help the man. He looked at me, smiled, and assured me that help was on its way. He cheerfully wished me a pleasant stay in India before quickly returning to his cup of chai and his chat with the street vendor.

I waited for forty-five minutes before deciding to leave. The man still lay there on the ground, the police officer still there by the tea vendor, this time with an empty cup of chai.

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