The Beggars

Arrive they in this world,
With folded hands and screams
As this world hears them in its craze
Leave them we on their own
Like unwanted clothes,
As they rot, as they dwell,
In misery, not of their own creation
As the society brings them the justice
From ignorance to indifference

On these streets, as we walk past
With our conscience asleep
The extended hands and those stories
We don’t hear and we don’t see
As we forget in our convenience
The misfortunes of time,
It may happen to us one day
Duty we have forgotten,
Message we have neglected
Let them on the streets,
Ingenious ways to clean our conscience
From folded hands to open hands,
This old journey of our existence

Quick we are to depart
From scenes of distress and pain
As we drink coffee and tea in comfort
From these reflections of our society
Do not we understand, burden upon us
Of responsibility and of our conscience
We will be questioned, we will be reminded
As we see these neglected souls,
Some call them beggars, and some actors
On the streets, through pain and conflict
In their lives, out in the open,
Like a wound, unhealed , deep

We walk past, it will never happen to us
We think to ourselves
So fragile these thoughts,
So delicate this issue
We walk past, as it may never happen
The forgotten humans, the forgotten people
In our emotion and in our logic
The old reminders of responsibility
Burden to us, their lives and stares
As we forget the justice and its faces
The human expression of old days
Free they were when borne into this world
Now stifled and suffocated as they depart
From folded hands to unfolded, our failings!



7 thoughts on “The Beggars

  1. Sensitive!

    We have too many beggers here. If you pay to one all of them encircle you. Most of them are either young kids or women who are healthy and can work. Our society need to make them useful people instead of beggers. Sometimes I feel that we make them beggers by paying them.
    Once an Indian industrialist commented that we should teach people how to catch a fish instead of feeding them.
    There is no system, nothing for them in our country.
    I do feel bad for old beggers nonetheless and we should pay them. At that time I feel we should have old homes or shelters for such people who are on the roads and beg. But again I know one such old begger here who begs all day and then go back to his home. He has a huge family sons, daughter and grandchildren. But he is addicted to begging.

  2. Hi Ayesha, thanks for your detailed reply. In complete agreement. It is this gap that has been widened within our society.

    This is what we should do “how to catch a fish instead of feeding them.”

  3. Beggers and juvenile criminals are the “end product” of what is going on in our country … Corruption , illetracy , political instability , feudalism , nepotism , injustice , unemployment , poverty ,high inflation rate ………. when we have all this in our society , we cannot blame any begger for his “bad” choice of “proffession” .

    Need is to perform our role individually unless we get a charismatic leadership .

  4. What we ought to do is to try and empower the beggers for something dignified to earn their bread with respect and pride. The incident when the Holy Prophet(SAW) bought an exe for a begger and encouraged him to earn his livelihood with dignity, is a prime example of that. Yet we ought not to look the other way when someone is genuinly in need of charity.

    A very nice poem!

  5. A lot of crime is also starting at the level – their need for money drives many in that level to commit sad crimes – and also to resort to drugs to bear their reality.

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