The word filthy reminds me of a beggar lying in the dust in the backstreet of a market which was known as Zunjeer Bazar in Peshawar.  Zunjeer means chain. A long chain hung at the entrance. To enter you climbed over it. 

My (late) husband would drop me at the entrance, and gave me an hour to shop for whatever I needed to buy. He would then drive to the car park across the road. He would wait in the car, reading the newspaper till I would finish my shopping. 

Some passerbys stared while many averted their eyes from the filthy mound of humanity. A large bowl was there to collect money from whoever cared to give alms to the poor creature. Come summer, or winter, the beggar would lie face down. Flies buzzed around him, trying to get a bite, perch on him, or crawl inside his clothes.

Seeing him always reminded me how fortunate I was that I wasn’t that helpless person. At that moment any troubles I carried with me seemed insignificant in comparison.




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