Begging or Art?

I’ve seen this man plenty of times enthralling (and annoying a few too*) by playing harmonium in Islamabad. He has an art and he want to live by playing his art for people around. Can you guess the place??

It’s the corridor adjacent to MCB in Melody Market. I saw the picture and liked it instantly … for many amongst us, it’s just another begging tactic … but he plays well and you can feel the purity of his skills deeply if you stand for a few minutes and listen to what he has to offer. Begging, may be, but I personally feel he’s better off than those who’ll roam around and will annoy you so much that you hand over few coins just to shun them off – give something and here comes another. Poverty is prevalent, I know, but not once or twice many a time, I’ve felt that for road beggars it’s more about asking and not doing any physical work at all. Offer them work they’ll move to next person.

The asterisked annoying in first line is for people who think he’s just another beggar.

What do you think?? Is he just another beggar?? Or you see him in different light??


14 Comments so far

  1. Talha (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

    I guessed the place.

    And this case is no different to the guy playing sitar or something like rubab @ Daman-e-koh.

    You know my opinion! :)

  2. Talha (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

    The case is difficult to gauge, but I think it’s begging nevertheless.

  3. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

    The guy appreciating his *art*- Which art, you know better :-)

  4. JayJay (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

    Begging is asking for money for nothing; while street entertaining or busking is considered a sort of profession, although a lowly one, in the West. Even busking is regularised in some countries where a busker is required daily or monthly license from local council/townhall to perform in a designated area or street at nominal charges.

    Busking is by far better than begging as a busker earns money by performing for passers-by.

  5. Zios (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

    Been years, but I still remember this place:). Melody market…on one is British Council..and an old book shop…I still remember those pipes and ‘bijlee kay meter’ :-D.

    About picture…it is begging I think but has anyone tried to give these people a chance to play somewhere else or do something else to earn his living? if not, then we can not be sure.

  6. JayJay (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 5:25 pm
  7. Opee (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 5:51 pm

    Art for Food!

  8. Opee (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

    … btw, what was he singing?

    .. it might help us judge what’s deep inside!

  9. hira khan (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

    if hes good at it and is getting money out of it…which means he not begging but is actually earning money..

  10. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on September 1st, 2007 @ 12:24 am

    I already posted my opinion as part of the post :-)

    Love reading varied opinions on stories of life, people we see and then pass on with our own lives to cater.

    A friend shared this interesting image of such a person with better clothes on and instruments entertaining a crowd on a roadside… What if this man can be provided with some means too?? Can he earn better??

    Anyone noticed the mere 2rs or 1 rp coin being given to him … dress well earn more … is it the rule of life??

    Seems like Yes it is.

  11. Pak_Stallion (unregistered) on September 1st, 2007 @ 2:03 am

    This man must be helped supported and promoted. He is pioneering an unprecedented school that is missing from our society.

    Calling it begging is a huge mistake. In fact this could be one of a major “cure” for the menace of begging. Street musicians are not only part of the environment in the developed world but they contribute in improving it. Please do not insult a talent by calling him a beggar, even if he is not so good at it.

    The man had the option to just come and ask for money BUT he is singing songs instead, and you label him as a beggar?

    Some links for our wisdom:

  12. Mohammad Akram R (unregistered) on September 1st, 2007 @ 11:32 am




  13. JayJay (unregistered) on September 1st, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

    Why do we have to have Mohammad Akram’s non-sense in every post?

  14. emran ashraf (unregistered) on September 5th, 2007 @ 8:25 am

    selling skill is not begging. if performing art is begging, what will you say about stage performers? That corridor is his stage. Let him perform if you can not appreciate

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