Beggars are Scary

Since the start of Ramdhan, the very first thing that you’ll notice “en abundance” in Islamabad roads and markets are beggars. A day before Eid I had the chance to visit Jinnah Super. Even before the car is parked, beggars in all sizes are already by the window. Not only the sizes vary, the tactics and begging techniques are different too. The most common are the white-collared beggars (no offence; white-collar is an act that they play); dressed nicely and asking for some financial “help” after a long narration of sufferings.

Anyhow, I experienced a completely new thing in the world of begging on Saturday. In the Chen One enclosure of Jinnah, a woman clad in a malang-ish dress, with lots of beaded strings around her neck … acting as if mute and dribbling a lot too, was literally clutching every passer-by’s arm. If not that, she would just enter in a shop, supposedly asking for money through her gestures. The sketch of her appearance may sound not-so-bad, but she certainly had some scary aura.

Seeing her there, we moved on towards the Gol market area, she definitely was not following but BINGO a look-alike of her was near jewelry shops in Gol market too. Begging in completely same attire, drooling all over her face, the same sharpen sightedness despite acting as a mute.

Moving forward towards the next destination (read shop), taking long strides we were at at the back of Kabuli Restaurant. Oh my GOD, she was there too. (No following this time for sure). By this time, a friend of mine went pretty scared of her. I wanted to take a snap of her but was afraid what if she or many other beggars roaming around will snatch it and run away :| (they looked capable enough).

From there on, within five minutes we saw here again in the 7th avenue enclosure. This one was a bit different but the “make” was completely the same.

I was totally shocked at this concept I never noticed before. Look-alike beggars created and spread along in the same market (or maybe in others too). People would give them off few notes just to hush them off since the looks were so eerie. Another thing that I noticed was the sharp sightedness of all these beggars. Twice, I myself did sense them watching carefully when I was giving money off to the shopkeeper; a very disturbing factor.

I hope with the advent of Eid now, these beggars go back to their places, and the city is clean enough. We are quite content with the straight forward beggars and not the ones who can’t leave your memory even after days :-)


3 Comments so far

  1. binary-zero (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 7:07 pm

    @AFPA: Would you believe, in my college days around 1998 i spotted one lady begger around FC College and i remmember i gave her some money and from that day i still see her in Lahore at different places, in different acts – sometimes with Glasses, sometimes with Kids, sometimes wearing some medical certificates. I was shocked to spot her after gap of few years in Defence and lately on Eid, after some year or so i spotted her around cavalary :-|

    i usualy don’t give any thing to these people but not sure why my mother always gives to them and says its not allowed to send any one empty handed from door.

  2. nhs (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:06 pm

    There are needy and poor people who deserve charity.
    Others are professional and habitual beggers.
    Just because of habitual beggers, the charity should not stop. We may need to use common sense to pick and choose.

  3. Sajjad (unregistered) on October 19th, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

    It could be the same woman, but I often see such a person around F7. She’s supposedly mute, wearing beads and has a freshly bandaged, amputated arm. Funny thing is, the wound, bandage and blood stain ALWAYS appear to be fresh.

    I posted about these beggars some time back (link) and they are a menace to society that harms the real people in need. The only solution appears to be to make it less profitable for them to beg, i.e. stop giving in. Though since they prey on people’s religious beliefs, there’ll always be someone to support this trade in our society.

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