Beggars ARE Choosers

Sometime ago I had the pleasure of spending an evening with our Man in the Uniform , the suave Mr. Musharaf . As I passed the shrimp sauce , I asked him , what bout poverty Sir ? . He smiles . Says he’s seen poorer rich . Im like …ummm.. Ok .. so … ?? He seemed more interested in his food . I refrained from saying anything and that was the end of that . But his smile reminded me of the time when I wrote something about beggars in Karachi . You see , as someone who has grown on the streets of Nazimabad , I know for a fact that the beggars of Karachi are the choosers . They choose to Beg and live a life of luxury .Let me share with you an excerpt from that published piece ..

“ … There are zillions of beggars in karachi but they all have one thing in common. They all make a lot of money. They either do it themselves or have many people under their “able guidance” to accumulate the wealth for them. Either way they earn at least 8,000 – 9,000 a month !!!!. Then there are beggars who are categorized on the basis of the area they use as their target vicinity .for instance a beggar from gulshan iqbal would be happy if he gets 5 rupees but if he dwells in Clifton he’d probably give you a disgusted look when you give him anything below the denomination of 10 rupees which would make you want to go drown yourself in a small pool. You might actually contemplate engaging in the same profession seriously when you see the bundle of 5’s and 10’s in his hand and you should be confident that with a little luck plus your University degree, u can earn at least Rs.25, 000 – Rs.30, 000 per month. Furthermore your presentation skills and projects would amount to good PR and next time you are passing a cross- section, a man stops you and hands you a 100 rupee bill .it is only after he leaves,u realize he is the same person you cursed brutally the very first time you went out on streets. Since then he has been your avid disciple. Then there are always those wearing that carefully sewn kurta with those Lilliputian colorful motifs which if otherwise bought from tariq road would cost around Rs.1500/- and definitely cost something around Rs.6000/- plus at any designers outlet or the likes of Aamir Adnan or aaijaz. . The dexter bum carries the burning charcoal, and sprinkling god knows what over it, trounces our defenses without wasting his precious time .he comes and start smoking your lungs out and as soon as your tears start to run, you realize that resistance is futile and you find it comfortable to give him some money than to sit back and tell him to look for work for he is not handicapped or something. Plus you don’t want to die of suffocation at such a ripe age .you noticed the lust in his eyes when he parted but you pretended that you didn’t notice the look .The scarlet evil look betrayed his disposition as if to say; “ this should be enough for today’s dope ”.

1 Comment so far

  1. zayn (unregistered) on February 19th, 2005 @ 8:32 pm

    Interesting piece of writing. Having spent quite some time in Karachi (and Pakistan in general), I wonder if beggers get so rich. Are or you being ironic? The text was so sly, it was hard to tell.

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