In my review of Theroux’s most recent novel, I had said that Theroux’s story about a posh nanny who flaunts i-pods, drugs her young charge and makes money begging with the child at a traffic intersection when the she is supposed to be walking the child in the park, doesn’t ring true to an Indian ear. I doubted if any Indian beggar, even one with a drugged child drooling at the lips, would make enough money from begging to buy an i-pod and drugs.
Well, I just read this news item on Times of India. Titled ‘Nanny sedates baby, 'rents' him out to beggars,’ it says a nanny earned Rs. 100 a day renting out her charge to beggars. This story taught me that:
1. Beggars (or their controllers) make a lot of money in India, much more than Rs. 100
2. Drugs are quite cheap in India
3. I am totally out of touch with Indian beggars!