Koi Sadqah Khairaat?
So I’ve been curious about the different types of beggars around the city. It seems they all attend beggar academy and belong to one or another school of thought. This is evident from their begging style.
First, and most annoying, is the loudspeaker pitched, dark colored, short bearded (may be white), blind (not really) man accompanied by a young girl or boy. You can hear their very strange chants from the other end of the street. They can be found roaming the streets everywhere.
The second frequent one to run into are the boys with the shoulder bags. They are fairly well dressed, and all seem to have gelled hair. They all have the same sales pitch, which starts with ‘asalam alaykum aik baat kehni hae’, and can even instantly start weeping if you ignore them. They are mostly found in the 7th Avenue store parking area and whereabouts. I wonder what they carry in those shoulder bags.
And then there is the couple with the shopping bag full of clothes. They have come from some distant village and have somehow run out of money. So, in order to help them get back home, I gave them some money. An hour later, I saw them begging again in another market and I had to ask why they didn’t leave for home already. “O ji un paeson sae tu ham nae samosay shamosay kha liyay” was the smirking reply.
Another type is the one that asks for a lift in your car. He’ll soften you up with his crutches, and as you approach the destination, he’ll tell you the story that destroyed his life and about his children starving at home. I remember I used to see the same person everyday using the same technique.
Lets not forget the old short men around the Gourmet bakery area. I’ve been seeing these same faces for decades, as have my parents before me. These are the true masters of the weeping face.
And there are many many more (the pathans with the tools in Blue Area), but I’ll just mention a relatively new one. These are found in the F-11/G-11 areas. A couple, with their kids, on a donkey cart. The last one even deliberately parked in front of my car to make sure I glance at his begging gesture.
I suppose this practice seeps down from above, and for what its worth, at least these people are not stealing.