Karachi Portraits – Muhammad Fareed

I met him at Avari Towers chowk. I thought he was trying to sell me morning newspaper. I told him that I am not interested. He did not mind and requested me to drop him at the next stop. I hesitated. Even newspaper hanging in his hand were full of kidnap and ransom stories. I looked at his attire. He looked like a street romeo, wearing skin tight jeans and shirt. He could not be hiding a gun, I was convinced. I opened the door, he thanked and settled in the passenger seat.

Muhammad Fareed has been selling newspaper at Avari Tower signal for ages now. There is a stall near hotel metro pole from where he gets bundles of newspapers on commission. He gets couple of hundred each day for selling a stipulated quantity. He told me that he had six dependents. He thanked me so many times that I started looking sideways. He believed firmly in God, life hereafter and destiny. He confirmed his conviction time and again. He told me that he lacked working capital otherwise he would have ‘owned ‘bundles of newspaper so that he could have earned better margin.

I wondered if he was telling me all to get something out of my pocket. I was hesitant again to move first as if giving him few rupees would have changed my lifestyle or his.

Categories: City Portraits

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2 Comments on “Karachi Portraits – Muhammad Fareed”

  1. Shahid
    August 1, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    One really has to think a gajillion times before opening a car door these days.

    I was coming some six months back from a village and just before getting on the M-1 and old man was looking for a ride. I stopped to listen to him but got suspicious and when I opened the door, I felt as if I had signed my kidnapping warrant (as opposed to a death warrant).

    Babaji slept like a baby during the next hour (I feared he might have died in his sleep as well).

    Felt good and bad about myself.

    Wicked days. But I’m in Pindi and you’re in the leading city of kidnapping-for-ransom (and most other crimes as well). I won’t ever give anybody a ride in Karachi. Way too dangerous.

    • farooqsoomro
      August 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

      True. wicked days!

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