Skip to content

Of Beggars

February 5, 2010

I am sure all those living in Pakistan must have experiences with beggars. You go out in the market and they gather around like a swarm of bees. They don’t budge until you pay them ‘something’. At times some of them (especially the kids) don’t hesitate to pull a corner of your sleeve to get your attention. I have to say that I LOATHE it.

I have been noticing and observing beggars since childhood. They were of various types. Like the majority of them were Afghanis. There is a whole generation of beggars that grew up with me. I remember there used to be an Afghani kid who would always roam around in the market that we used to frequent for groceries. Sometime later he started selling sweets/chewing gums and would used to sell forcefully an item or two whenever he would see my brother. Then he disappeared and several months later when I saw him he had grown into a young man selling odd things.

I still call those kids beggars who apparently sell sweets etc. because they force things on you. So once I was in the market, waiting in the car, when a (beggar) kid stopped by. He was holding a worn out small carton, which had chocolates and chewing gums in it. He asked me to buy some. I said I don’t need any. He said, buy some for kids. I said I don’t have kids. He kept on knocking on the window and mumbling something. I got irritated and told him sternly that I don’t want to buy anything. He left murmuring; you would have bought something to please me. I was miffed. Like really why on earth I was supposed to buy sub-standard stuff from him just to ‘please’ him? And then it is not just about one kid, the others gather and beg you to buy something from them too. Sometimes I think it is tough for them but one can’t always buy things from them either.

Similarly, I think I have the maximum number of prayer books, Surah Yasin, how to offer Namaz, Hajj guides, special supplications etc. etc. The guys on Arbab Road (Saddar) would forcefully sell those books on people. I would tell them that I already have those books and they’d say you can gift them to dear ones. Those guys were really stubborn and would emotionally blackmail in the name of religion. Later on, if something would have gone wrong you would definitely think in your mind that it happened because you didn’t buy that prayer book which wasn’t a good omen.

I have seen many beggars with physical and mental disabilities, young and old, men and women but once I was totally bewildered to see a couple of young girls who were dressed in proper clothes, their faces were covered with the shawls they were wearing and one of them had a document folder – sort of folder that is used to carry around certificates/degrees/diplomas/transcripts etc. She had several medical prescriptions securely arranged in that folder. She showed me one, and asked me to help her buy the medicine. I had seen many men and women before who would ask for help so that they could buy the medicines. But they would always be filthy, dressed in rags and usually old people. These women were young and one of them was using English words too along with Pushto. Like she said, she would be grateful if I ‘help’ (English) her to buy ‘medicines’ (English) she couldn’t afford them because they were ‘expensive’ (English). My jaw dropped because no such person, using clear English words and holding a 150 Rs. document folder, has ever come begging to me. I did help her a bit. I don’t know what forced her to beg. I am certainly not one of those people who quiz such people by offering them to buy medicines instead of paying them money. But it did leave me in a bad taste for sure.

To be honest we all act like emotional beggars at some point in life when we beg for a little bit of mercy, some love and an emotional support from someone. But then whoever coined that maxim did great that ‘everything is fair in love in war’. Emotional begging may be acceptable. But financial begging… May God save us from that!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2010 2:53 am

    Ayesha: MashAllah a very good writing. Those Afghani that you said about Kids. They were not beggars. They had a beautiful houses in Afghanistan, yes they are suffer from war. someone lost dad someone lost mom. And still in my home place Hayatabad more and more day by day, They coming to my home every week and ask for old bread, bottles cans if we have for sell. So my grand ma gave to them for free because they suffer from war in Afghanistan and they need money for eating food… Beggars can be in so many shape as you said about those girls. The actually not beggars but they are those dirty girls. Who lost there identity. … I saw not only Afghani beggars but fore most I saw Paki lazy ass beggars too. There parents get them married in wrong time and then later they have so many bad habits like smoking charrs, shesha, naswar whatever may Allah save them from bad stuff. And then they go homeless… Even they can not support their wives… Afghani beggars begs for there family… Have you noticed them in Speen Jumat when they sleeping out side of the road path… They all are Paki beggar. Mostly beggar suffering from financial problems. In the very little age they go wrong and with bad friends they start bad things so that’s how they lost there self… That where I live in Peshawar Hayatabad are mostly my neighbor are Afghani and they all working in saddar, board bazar and Karkhano market. Even we have beggar in Canada too. I have seen so many white, Indian, Sri Lankan and The first nation that they go beggars. Why? Because they go bad in a very little time. They had bad friends and from bad friends they go beggars… So the point is that Beggars can be in every shape, anywhere… That is how Allah shows us the meaningless world that I can do anything to my people. So He said learn from the lower people and never do guror. In a very descent post. I love the last Paragraph… And that is what my mom said to me always…

    May Allah keep us in good health and save us from bad things and never ever fall us in the eyes of another person like for begging…. Ameen.

    • February 7, 2010 12:54 pm

      I appreciate your views but I have no sympathies with thankless, backstabber Afghanis! I, like many other people, believe that they not only crowded Peshawar but also increased the crime rate besides many other social evils.

      I know my views about them are harsh but look at the history!

      PS: We too used to entertain a poor Afghani woman who had lost her sons in the Afghan war. She was the only nice lady I know!

  2. zindagi-ki-diary permalink
    February 6, 2010 6:14 pm

    Is jahan, is nigar-khane main
    kaun bikta nahi zamane main
    Mal-o-daulat ka hai aseer koi
    Zahen beche koi, zameer koi

  3. February 7, 2010 5:40 pm

    It was written by Saifuddin Saif for Pakistani movie “Umrao Jan Ada”

  4. February 8, 2010 6:51 am

    hmmm. wonderfully written.

    Afghani kids begging example is not only in Peshawar, they are in huge numbers in karachi as well, i have seen them selling things on some of the markets in Jeddah as well, i don’t see any single stop in karachi where the beggar don’t come to beg, i really hate to give charity to kids because in my opinion it can harm them but as we all know mostly behind the scence there is a strong mafia who forces these children to beg and our police do take bhatta from them to allow them to beg, also one example of cleaning/dirtying car mirror without asking and forcing us to give atleast 5 ruppee, i had to be really alert and stopped them from cleaning/dirtying the mirror.

    On the other hand i would like to see child labour being stopped in our country, but who is going to implement this thing when Politicians are themselves begging in different n innovative ways, one of example of Jamat-e-Islami doing in Karachi for Dr.Afia and 10th Mohamrram bomb blast though they will not do anything in both cases whole Pakistan knows that, Though to Ponder.

    In b/w i always thank Allah that he has given us enough to give charity instead of begging charity which always forces me to give, may Allah accept all of our charity

    As mostly i say, wonderful post 🙂

    • February 9, 2010 5:25 pm

      Right! I did see those irritating kids in Liberty Market Lahore as well. See they have spread all across Pakistan which indicates a lousy policy regarding refugees!

  5. February 8, 2010 9:34 am

    That is really tragic; seeing the number of street beggars growing by the day which only manifests the failure of our socio-economic and political system. A Sharia based economic system could help us eradicate this nuisance but the question remains as to who will bell the cat.

    • February 9, 2010 5:26 pm

      Shariah based system is the deduction of zakat and then it’s fair distribution among the needy people. The government performs the first part efficiently but the later one! 🙄

  6. February 10, 2010 5:42 am

    Golden rule; No scolding whether one gives something or not. I so very much feel for the real needy ones who get overlooked due to the ‘professionals’… :/

    depends upon bmk’s mood to entertain the disable, weak & old folks, at times.

    • February 10, 2010 12:54 pm

      I liked the last lines! Same here in fact!

      I am also not in favor of scolding them… I just can’t do that unless of course someone is very intrusive 😐

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: