#Art + Culture

‘Never Judge A Book…’ Ragpicker Woman’s Fluent English Stuns Internet: Viral Video

ragpicker woman speaking english
The video of a ragpicker woman speaking English has captured the internet’s attention in what netizens are saying comes as a pleasant surprise, and also a reminder to steer clear of pre-conceived, prejudiced notions society ingrains in us.

First shared by Instagram user Shachina Heggar, two reel videos of the woman show her as she converses with the person behind the camera, dressed in a green saree, a bag across her shoulder and a red flower behind her ear adorning her look. As per the videos, the woman was moving about in Sadashiva Nagar, a posh neighbourhood in Bengaluru.

Identifying herself as Cecilia Margaret Lawrence, the woman breaks into song in one of the clips going viral on social media. She claims to have spent seven years in Japan, regaling the video recorder with her stories.

Lawrence’s jolly personality and charisma seem to have won thousands of hearts, with the number of shares climbing and people reaching out by the dozen, asking for more details on her in a bid to offer any monetary help they can.

Who Is The Mystery Ragpicker Woman Speaking English? Internet Speaks

As the videos reach wider online, people in Bengaluru are trying to identify her and her whereabouts. A user commented they had seen her around Holy Ghost Church in Richards Town, while another wrote she never misses the first mass at Church on Sundays.

Interestingly, an Instagram account created in Lawrence’s name as part of a ‘Public Art Project’ shows she has graced the pages of several top publications that have featured her. ‘Cecilia of the Streets,’ a feature calls her. Another identifies her as the face of an art venture that “disrupts gender notions in public spaces.”

ragpicker woman speaking english

Image: @ceciliaed_always / Instagram

The project on its website names Lawrence as “a local figure of emancipation and bravura.”

Last year, a similar incident had surfaced online wherein a woman fruit-seller claiming to have a PhD in material science was captured conversing in fluent English on camera. Named Raeesa Ansari, she was among those protesting against municipal corporation authorities after they asked vendors to clear streets citing COVID-19 restrictions.

Image: Shachina Heggar / Instagram