Being fascinated by Greek and Hindu mythology since my toddler days, I am often found reading a myth and even that day I was reading an interesting story and according to this Greek legend, when men were created, the great god Zeus gave each one a gift of two bags, one bag was full of man’s own faults and the other full of everybody else’s faults. But when the moment came for Zeus to give man his two bags, each one hanging at the opposite end of a carrying pole, by mistake he put the bag with everybody else’s fault in front, whilst the other bag with one’s own defects finished up behind his back.
I was so engulfed reading it that I didn’t realised my phone was ringing until, the poor soul gave me a call back without patience of waiting or even imagining that I might be in toilet and may need time to wash my hands, pardon my wild imagination because in Pakistan reading is considered to be a waste of time and probably that is the reason that many book shops has been turned into cafes or something more lucrative. Well, I will blog on it sometimes later, let me continue with my story,
“Salaam, how are you?” I asked answering the phone and explaining myself although there was no need to it, “Sorry for late answering the phone, I was changing clothes!”
“Oh no, no problem at all, I just wanted to inform you that I am in town for a couple of days, I am pretty much free, so thought of meeting you” my friend who had come down from Lahore explained himself in one breath.
“Why should I meet him now, after all what I can do, if he is free now, I am not, after all I have been reading a book” this and many other thoughts sprouted in my mind, but…
“Oh, wonderful,” I said coyly, “Should I pick you in an hour?”
“Why not, I’ll be ready, hey can we go for burgers? He asked me in his modesty,
“Oh sure, pin me your location please, will see you in an hour”
Saying I hung the phone and started to get ready. At the end of the day, he comes only once in three to four months, so avoiding him for a book that I could read later would had not been wise. After, I arrived at the junction I knew and, from there, fixed the location on Google map. A beautiful polite voice in full swing initiated to guide and navigate me.
“Ok Google, I am ready, what’s next?” I said it loud so that the Google map may initiate.
“Head straight, and head north, then take a right”
I was following the path that The Google Beauty was guiding me, very attentively, however, my bad luck would had been, I was distracted by to a new path that my instinct said to take, and I started to miss her commands, deviated from my straight path under guidance, I took to the route my drive made me fall for and I was altogether on a new track. This road seemed to be a shortcut, and more promising, but in reality, thanks to my distraction I was almost lost, on a lane where I had no idea should I go forward or left, whether turning right be right or I may go wrong again, I was in a lane that had a dead end, and in my vulnerability I was quite sure that even the Gorgeous voice of Google Maps will be confused and would not be able to guide me further. But been lost in my own bewilderment, I took a chance, and I approached Google maps again, trust me, just like a true leader, calm and poised, drowned in all her huskiness, The Google Beauty with all the patience tipped me to take a U – Turn and then a left from the next interchange and drive another 150 meters before I may eventually arrive at my destination.
After the basic salutations and greetings, I initiated a conversation with my friend while driving towards, the burger joint,
“What a stunning idea it is to develop Google maps… you may stray from your path, but upon touching base, you will get the right guidance!”
“So True, especially when driving in old city…” my friend wanted to add more to it but I cut him in between…
“No dear, you didn’t get my point”
“Certainly, what is your point?” he got inquisitive
“Don’t you think, that our politicians, capitalists, preachers, educationists, and holy man, should be doing what Google Map does?” I asked him
He looked at me inquisitively, as if I have gone mad, or my metaphoric mind has been a victim of a bomb blast. I felt so like Aristotle, I am sure I would had been his most praised student, had I been born in his era.
“No, I am serious, isn’t it a duty upon these people, that they keep guiding us about our nearest exits and possible U – Turns and lefts and rights?”
I continued, while he kept staring at me, certainly not in love, but trying to digest what I was saying, I am not sure whether he had constipation that night or not…
“Why are we even bothered in passing our judgments, declaring anybody we like as a pagan, the other as an apostate?” I asked him, “When we are not satisfied by doing that, we come up labeling anyone we like as a heretic…”
My speech was cut short, as we arrived at the burger joint, getting off the car I asked valet to park the car. After settling down and placing the order, I was again distracted onto another topic when my friend got me back to where I left,
“So, you were saying that labeling anyone is not our job, what actually are you trying to say?”
“Nah, nothing” I replied calmly, “All I am trying to say is, our most merciful Allah the benevolent, has dedicated a day, that would be equivalent to 50,000 earthly years, for the same, punishing those who go astray or rewarding those, who kept the thread of communication between them and the all compassionate and blissful Lord.”
“Aah, now I actually know, that where you heading for…” he said smilingly as if he has conquest Everest.
“Don’t you think, our work is to guide with compassion and patience, any sinner that comes our path and help him show a route that leads him far away from the path of sins, instead of accusing him as a transgressor or as a licentious?
You are very right, I agree to your point, because if we insult him with labels like dissolute or an infidel, he might transgress more”
“We should consider, that if he is keen on seeking our help, it is none but Allah, who has enlightened him, and made us his beacon, who are we to wash his sins, we can just guide, when Allah decided to guide him through us, I am sure all his debauchment absolves”…
“You are right,” he smiled at me “we should help him rather not accuse him”
“If we accuse him, there may be a time when he may be again lost at a dead end where he tried to begin his new journey from…”
I wanted to say a lot more but our roast beef and double patties cheese and beef sandwiches were served. However, while eating the story of Zeus came again in my mind and I thought that perhaps this is the reason that it is so easy to see other peoples faults and so difficult to see our own.