Archive for September 23, 2003

Have not been posting for some time. The reason ca…

Have not been posting for some time. The reason can be seen from the following story.

Me, my cousin and a friend went for tea. We were sitting in the tea shop. Just ordered. My cousin had just lighted his cigarette. We had ordered three “doodh patti” (extra milky tea). Suddenly I saw there was someone standing right besides me. I looked up. There was a man standing there. The waiter who was passing by told us he needed money. We were confused.

He suddely started speaking. I usually avoid such encounters because generally people who beg arent worthy of the money and I dont want to say no. But this was no general case. My cousin suddenly something that caught my ears. I cant understand English to him. I looked up. The guy was looking at me and started talking in English. “I am a Mechanical Enigneer. I have been in the Army. I dont have a job. I have to feed a family”. Although heavily accented, but, grammatically correct English. I was shocked.

Only educated people know English in Pakistan. A mere 3 % of the most educated people can talk the way he did. I was shocked. Is Pakistan really gone to this level of poverty, destitution and social destruction. Has it come to this that people with a bachelors degree in engineering, not the liberal arts, engineering have to go begging for tea and a biscuit or a little money. I mean what is this coming to.

While he was asking for money he broke down and started sobbing. Every sob hit on my nerves like a hammer. Every sniff was an explosion in my thought. I have no idea how I sat there. I have no idea how i got the audacity to ask my cousin if I should give him money. I have no idea how I could have possibly sat there and been so cold and steely.

Well we gave him some money. Came back home. I was quiet in the tea house and on the way back home. The others didnt even stop for that. But as soon as we were home. There was a lot of merrymaking.

That is how we feel about this. Surrounded by abject poverty and destitution we have become used to it and do not even pay it heed for more than 15 minutes. But one thing is going on. For the last 2 days I have been hearing a poem written by faiz and sung by iqbal bano in my head.

Hum Dekhain Gay

Lazim Hay Keh Hum Bhi Dekhain Gay

Sab Taaj Uchalay Jaen Gay

Sab Takht Giraey Jaen Gay

Bas Naam Rahey Ga Allah Ka

Aur Raaj Karey Gi Khalq e Khuda

Jo Main Bhi Hoon Aur Tum Bhi Ho

We will see

Imperative that we will see

All the crowns will fall

All the thornes will fall

Only Allahs name will remain

All Allahs beings will rule

That I am and that you are

Let up hope and pray for the best.