That Amazing Little Kid – Shabbir

Shabbir is a young lad of 12, sells balloons after 5 PM to support his family and his own education. He goes to a local school in the morning (student of 7th class) and works in the evening. I have often seen him selling his beautiful balloons around Barkat market and sometimes near Muslim town. Batman, pink panther, bugs bunny, mickey mouse, planes, babbar sher, cheeta, gainda – you name it and he has it for you.
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He usually hangs around Barkat market but sometimes when nobody buys anything, he moves to muslim town area (by foot), hoping that he would be able to earn atleast something before he returns home around 12 at night. If you try to give him money without buying anything, he will move one step back and tell you “nai ji, mein is tara paise nahi leta. meri amma ne mujhe qasam de rakhi hai”.

Since it was just 3 days to go before independence day so I asked him if 14th of August meant anything to him. He didn’t reply for a second and then said, it’s usually not a good day for him since everybody buys flags or jhandi’s only, and he is hardly able to sell any of his balloons that day.


4 Comments so far

  1. Jangli Jagga (unregistered) on August 12th, 2005 @ 3:50 am

    I’m touched! It’s a pity that we’re getting so materialistic everyday that we don’t bother to give a begger a five rupee note even. And Lahore is I guess the city of beggers. So many poor people are surviving here in lahore which would not have been possible otherwise. Some are so-called professionals as you say – if anyone has ever lived in outskirts; they actually assault you, pulling your shirt, pricking you again and again. Even though I’m pretty humble and very vocal about giving charity, but still I find this annoying. But I guess, they deserve some small charity.

    And I loved that ‘babbar sher, cheeta, gainda’.. gainda is actually my favorite animal name in Urdu. Love you for saying that farhad!

  2. nausheen (unregistered) on August 12th, 2005 @ 4:26 am

    you know, for the longest time, a lot of people told me never to give money to beggarchildren – because ‘oh, it’ll only set them down this road for life’…

    but …you know, you not giving any money won’t help them, only get them beaten up, or injured… there’s really no way out..

  3. Ali (unregistered) on August 12th, 2005 @ 7:05 am

    Thank U 4 sharing this story. Its such a harsh reality that people tend to avoid it. That kid may never proceed further in life because he is caught in a bad cycle. ? is – how many people R willing to help?!

  4. maleeha (unregistered) on August 12th, 2005 @ 4:38 pm

    i agree.

    if you can help somebody, do so. we need to help others more than we need others’ help. and maybe we were put on this side of the car window for a reason, to be able to help those on the other side.

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