From Einstein to Beggars


So, I was working on my next novel, ‘Doves in Flight’ (the second in my Prism of Truth trilogy) and I was doing some research – Sathi style, of course – and I was looking up the wave-particle duality of light. (Don’t ask. No really, don’t ask). I found this quote by Einstein: “We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do.”

And my brain just sparked. I like to believe that it sparked because it had just had a “Eureka!” moment and not because the first signs of insanity had come knocking at its door (surely I’d know the difference by now…?). Anyway, assuming that the former occured, I suddenly had this idea that Einstein might not have been just talking about light and physics – he might have been onto something bigger.

A lot of the time we are only presented with one version of reality, just one angle of many in the prism that is truth (insert a lot of exaggerated nodding and winking on my behalf here). Whether that information comes from newspapers, blogs or even Facebook posts the viewpoint of the writer has an immense influence on their presentation of a story, and hence on our reading of it. Let’s take an article I read recently about beggars, entitled ‘Beggars holding babies‘, which was interesting because the author refused to accept just one sliver of the truth.

The author describes how he/she used to walk past a woman with a child sleeping in her lap, watching people give her money even though it would only encourage the vicious scam that made children and others who were equally helpless to go out in the scorching sun and beg. Instead of making a better life for the beggars themselves, however, the money sympathetic passers-by bestowed on them would go to whoever controlled beggars in that area. The author knew this and refused to propagate this ruthless begging industry.

He/she also posed a disturbing question: why is the child on a beggar’s lap always asleep – when most children their age being expected to sit still for hours on end would be screaming and throwing tantrums? After investigation the shocking truth was revealed that children (who themselves are either stolen or “on rent” from poor families) are pumped up on vodka or heroin to make them docile (translation: comatose). And often they die as a result.

When you see a woman sitting by the road with a scattering of coins in front of them you probably first think, Oh that poor woman. What a hard life she’s got. Then you see that there is a child on the woman’s lap, and your sympathy doubles. Especially when you see the child is apparently so worn out it doesn’t have the high levels of energy children usually seem to possess. As you reach into your pocket for a particularly worn note, you might not know that it will ultimately end up in greedy hands that definitely don’t spend time begging. As you walk away, happy with yourself for helping out a tired-out mother and her hungry child, you might not know that the child is already dead from all the drugs that have been forced into its system.

  • Posted by  Shivon
  • Shivon Sudesh the Random
About the Author

Shivon is a young author in the process of writing her trilogy, Prism of Truth, a mystery series about a girl set on vengeance for her mother's death. Contact Shivon now at

Total 0 Comments