Drapery

Abdullah Naeem

uring the Wat Tyler's Rebellion of 1381, a monk, a lawyer and a physicist were sentenced to the guillotine. The monk told his executioners that he had spent his life in the service of God and begged for mercy on that account. However, the executioners had to do what they were told to; up went the blade, but as soon as the blade was released, it stopped in the middle.
 “Dieu a parlé! Le moine doit vivre!”
 The monk could not possibly get up before offering his gratitude to his stars like never before.
The lawyer was queued next. He, too, implored the executioner, reminding him of his earnest attempt to absolve the miscarriages and travesties of justice, but in vain did the executioner pay heed. The rope was pulled down; up went the blade and was released in a swish but – clank! – got stuck in the middle as before.
“Pardieu! Justice a parlé! Justice a en effet parlé!”
 And so, he, too, was set free. Up came the physicist clumsy, alarmed, hasty, autistic, uncomfortable and careless as always. As he lay his head on the lunette, the physicist told the executioner as calmly as he could, with his diligent, prude eyes, “Before you begin, you might want to look at the frame. You see, there is this piece of iron stuck which hinders a smooth fall of the blade.”
 A person should know when he ought to stay mum.
 Now, I incite my reader to open a dictionary and ascertain the meanings of 'check' and 'self-check'. Whilst one is at it, it may do some good by revisiting the meaning of 'sagacity'.
Every Pakistani has conformed to the ever changing winds whilst every curious citizen has become aloof and numb to vicissitudes. I attribute this to civilisation which has caused mankind to suppress itself, cognizant, perhaps, of the devil that brews within, curtailed with glimpses of the abstruse dimension inside that is sure to give shudders to the curious.
In a gallant attempt to prove a fanatic his fallacy, the presenter of an argument slips into an abyss of a fallacy himself – the fallacy of confidence, and that is a devil. The debate is then merely related to a dismal, hypocritical defeat. Neither one of the debaters come to a single agreement, let alone accept what the other has to say. We are a nation that has enough time to read an idea for a minute and force it down the throats of others in the next hours until we find a better, more attractive visage. I have seen a mate shout all his hate out to another, cleverly concealing his frustration with his tone, whilst holding his heart with one hand and using the other to add a non-verbal character to his argument. In a society mingled with cultural vacuums such as ours, with such utterly chaotic and crushingly diversified opinions, scepticism is inevitable for the curious.
Sextus Empiricus must be ashamed.
A man who knows what his desires and needs are is a dangerous man – the curious are different. Let that be the business of the chosen enlightened souls. The modern development has sent shockwaves to the unprepared and innocent minds of this nation, senile for mental maturity. For the part of the growing unrest in consumerism, our capitalists have shrunken the virtues of the masses to the furnaces of their markets – and thus there is a mental and physical monotony of pessimism. Such a mindset in a society of collective souls is no better than a herd of sheep, mark you! That, in the first place, has had only one consequence: Darwinianism devoid of the delicacy of a living standard and tastes for the palette of opinions. Let no man be forced to believe that the empire around him stands with him.
It is also a duty of the foolishly energetic newbies to keep to themselves.
Has it never occurred to us to confront ourselves? Ah, more arm-chair philosophy, you say! But this is the mother of them all. It is to inform those messrs Whims, gaining momentum as a wave with its mighty crest from the revolution of Middle East as I write this, about the reason why Signori Loafers exist – that the unaided, downtrodden intellect we as a nation are inflicted with deserves no more credit than a wisecrack – that we are beyond our senses to include thoughts that reflect our national character, condoning – nay, burying! – our real inklings. Perhaps it may be that this is not the time to doubt but to act but pardon me, our swift decisions will not give us an El Dorado. Our renaissance will be hijacked only because we will allow it to – that is a concern and a grave one, indeed.
If one thinks, one must end up with conclusions which are mostly not pleasant – so said Hellen Keller.

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