Published: August 10, 2010

If paparazzi can take photographs of celebrities than surely beggars can too?

Anyone who has visited Pakistan can’t help but notice the multitude of beggars. It may sound callous but their constant prodding for money can grow tiring.

Sometimes we acquiesce, sometimes we ignore them and sometimes we have the urge to curse them (we rarely do – this entails lowering the windows of our air conditioned cars and no one wants to waste cool air, its bad for the environment.)

But I think we should be constructive and find a solution. None of the lame, pay the kids to go to school, give hand outs, or make the government give them jobs. Everyone has tried yet it hasn’t work. So I have come up with a uniquely awesome solution. (Disclaimer: this is a satirical piece)

Turn the beggars into paparazzi. Yes, I am serious. Think about it. They have all the qualities to be successful great celeb hunting, Diana murdering photographers of lore.

1. They are masters at making people look at them with pity (I’m not sure how God would feel about someone being paid for praying).

2. Inconspicuous….when is the last time you remember what your local beggar wore? Whatever actual color the clothing was is now hidden by dirt and grime, they also have the scary ability to blend in with their surroundings….perfect for stalking a would-be celeb.

3. Completely thick skinned. They don’t mind being despised by their bread and butter. The international paparazzi all have one thing in common. Everyone hates them, (well except for publishers and editors). No one wants to associate with them, share a meal with them and want nothing better than to have them out of their daily lives….sound familiar?.

4. When celebs see these dirt poor people with cameras they can’t help but feel sorry for them. After all, what celeb would (with cameras present) curse a poor destitute struggling to make ends meet. Traditionally vile paparazzi yes, no one likes them, but the ‘beggarazzi’, would have their sympathy.

5. They are hungry…for success. (well, in all likelihood they are probably physically hungry too.) At least this way they have an avenue with which to make money and not annoy common folk.

Now I can see why some members of the Bleeding Hearts Club might see this as cruel and exploitative, and the current paparazzi mish mash might feel a little territorial. Fortunately, I have prepared some fairly simple response.

Dear poorly satisfied Bleeding Hearts,

Please explain to me why it’s not better for beggars to earn an honest wage, rather than live off the generosity of others.

This way they are able to live with dignity, I’m not saying that they’ll be particularly well loved, but it’s not like they were adored to start with.

This way they can afford to feed their families and have a realistic dream for a better life, as well as a real future.

Dear Paparazzi,

Digital camera’s do all of that composition, light and angle stuff automatically … Your talents are now technologically antiquated. Even if they didn’t your editors care more about the content of the picture rather than quality. If you see a picture of Tiger Woods making out with Jude Law, you are less concerned with the perfection of the shot, rather than the fact that two of world’s biggest womanizers are making out. Sorry to bust your ego’s about how you are all artists, but, well you’re not. Your job is to chase people with cameras and I’ll bet that the beggarazzi can do a way better job than you can.

It’s a whole new world. Deal with it. However, in case life becomes too tough in the face of the severe competition remember there is always a begging spot open.


Murtaza Ali Jafri

A Karachi based banker who writes cultural satire

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Alina K.

    LOL well that was pretty funny and I think one point can also be how they have the ability to make up things about us such as any young man and woman have to be a couple and everyone woman has a son that needs to be blessed. The paparazzi is totally good like that with making up or assuming stuff :PRecommend

  • Ghausia

    I loved this, it was better than the piece written a month or so back promoting child labour. Beggers mostly make me angry, some of them are pitiful, the ones missing limbs, and I always do give them money, but people that have two hands, two feet, and are perfectly healthy can easily get a job and earn an honest livelihood!Recommend

  • USL

    Oh for Pete’s sake? What was this? :/

    Lame attempt at satire, Sir. Recommend

  • Lady X

    After ‘Beggarazzi,; it stopped being funny.Recommend

  • Shumaila

    I didn’t really like this. When people are dying of hunger, it stops being an issue you can make fun of, imho.

    If your satire was amusing and thought-provoking, it still might have been acceptable, but I found it neither; rather, it was actually slightly tasteless.Recommend

  • noreen mumtaz

    i think it was creative but not very entertaining through out!Recommend

  • Shamsunissa Khatoon

    Did anyone ever tell you how lame you are?Recommend

  • Bilal Naeem

    This isn’t funny or ironic or sarcastic. Given the reality we live in it betrays the author’s inability to understand that comedy means more than just being shocking. It requires context.

    Please. Stop. Trying. To. Be. Funny. Recommend

  • Sahar

    haha. kind of funny but i must concur with ms. khatoon – kind of lameRecommend

  • Sakina

    hahahah…i loved it.. :P
    ignoring the above comments* i think ur really talented and creative… hats off bro! i like the way you think…so out of the box..hehe! nice job! :)cheers!Recommend

  • Mahreen

    I am all for funny pieces. But this is just insensitiveRecommend

  • Amna Kausar

    I enjoyed it!! Recommend

  • Farhat


  • Amir Rashid

    Fantastic! And scarily, you make a good point!Recommend

  • Asma Qureshi

    LAME… fantastic? are u kidding me.. its childish and humorless.Recommend

  • Sahar

    I have to agree with all the other people that thought this was pathetic. This reminds me of beggar day when kids in my college dressed up as beggars and thought it was hilarious to go around begging for money. We had foreign diplomats over for a seminar, the fools thought it was a good idea to beg them for money too. Pakistani students representing their country begging for money from foreign diplomats. Smart. They also thought the diplomat who was black was also really funny because they’d never seen a black guy before. Just goes to show what kind of humour people with low IQ have.