Mirza Shahnawaz Agha
LONG after we are gone generations will read and hear this tale of the three slobs. Once upon a time three siblings became rivals and peer rivalry could not get any worse! When the father went away these young people were left to seek their own fortunes and so they set about on their very secular journey. Being bone poor they still however lived in the same house each being a claimant of a right to be the boss! All these degenerated good for nothing people, devoid of any leadership qualities and with no social standing of their own, had to lean on something that would bring them respect and alibis to run the house. The one thing they did not consider was unity!
The eldest became a self styled representative and agent-in-chief of God. He declared that without him there is no hereafter and this world is doomed for all who do not follow him! Hell fire will burn everything and until he is followed and there will be no life and no redemption. He presumed himself as the best choice to be the boss. The next found an old gun and became a warrior and wanted to kill all to have his way. He declared that wisdom is for the fools to duel upon and the gun is all knowing and all being. Like it or not he openly and secretively declared and presumed to be the ultimate choice to be the boss. The last one became a manager of the two to be able to cook feed and manipulate the weaknesses of the other two by becoming a recipient of household expenses. He was like a rat in a warehouse knawing out of every bag to feed him and keep the house on a shoestring budget so that the other two could keep fueling his want. He never wanted to be the boss as he presumed he was the de-facto boss anyways because the other two would starve without him manning the house kitchen.
Then one day the cleric ran out of his following and the gunrunner ran out of an enemy to kill. Consequently they both ran out of money and resources and the house went dry with no food on the table for any of the three. It is here that a blame game came into play. Each blamed the other but what never dawned on them was unity to keep the home alive and afloat. They indulged in slander and mud slinging, abuse and confrontation. They desperately blamed each other for their plight but none of their indulgences could get food on the table nor could peace prevail within their ranks. Soon thereafter their energies sapped and they became weak and feeble. They were unable to preach, fight or cook. They lay back for charity and or immanent death what ever should come first.
Many a men passed the house to see the three die yet without any compassion. Some wanted the house, the others wanted all that was left within and there were yet others who wanted the dead bodies of the three slobs to sell for a profit. All that the others wanted was for free, because the three never did good for others, never believed in labor, never relied on each other to jointly make an honest living. They were all self-centered egocentric slobs and imagined themselves as God’s gift to mankind. They all wanted everything for nothing. They were all wrong with one common ailment – they did not want to understand that one has to labor to earn a living for life, respect and social acknowledgement.
Then one day a tired wayfarer was passing the house and stopped to see the dying end of the slobs. He asked what was the problem and got the obvious response. There is no charity left on this earth to feed us, cloth us and to assist us live in our ancestral home. The wayfarer found this hilarious and began laughing out in hysterics. Why should anybody help you lazy self-centered egocentrics, he asked? Have you not heard of simple hard labor for a living? They were taken aback and wanted to know more. The wayfarer invited them to view mother earth and said dig here and sell all that this will yield to you and you will never go hungry again. They resisted first as ego obstructed their desired indulgence but the hunger was so acute that they jumped onto the ground and started to dig. As they worked into the ground they discovered natural resources they could sell. It was pebbles at first, then large stone figures, then water, then marble, and it went on. The siblings lived happily ever after because they learnt the golden rule of survival – simple honest labour. Like all stories there are three morals we should derive from this tale of the slobs. First, that irrespective of what you imagine yourself to be you are nothing. That life is a trial, which is based on a struggle and the grand moral is that what one needs to rely upon is ones own self and others. Applied on countries and societies this tale is manifest with two golden rules, unity and self-reliance. The slobs that rule and have ruled the country so far must please exit, as their end is near, and unfortunately to the detriment of us the people. Countries do not need a boss they need a national plan and one that is in consonance with their culture, religion and unanimity of purpose.
— The writer is an entrepreneur and author based in Karachi.