Effort is still being made to declare Taliban or terrorists the rulers of tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border. Most of the tribesmen ask the question whether they are not human beings. If they are human beings then why cruel animals are being imposed on them. Like other human beings the people of tribal areas are also human beings and have the right to enjoy all the rights as enjoyed by the people of other parts of the country. Pakistan rulers, corrupt to the core, always exploited these people on the name of religion. Now Taliban or terrorists are the criminals, therefore, they must be finished. Giving any relaxation to the criminals is itself a crime. Actually the rulers of Pakistan, close friends of US President George W. Bush have been creating justification for perpetual war. Bush and his cronies can only survive in war otherwise their future is bleak. But we must exert pressure on the rulers to show haste in war on terrorism and end this game as early as possible.
A Pakistan writer Ejaz Haider in his oped article discussed the situation in very excellent manner. Flies bother me; a lone fly that refuses to be swat agitates me unendingly until I can end the damn buzzer.
I am not a buffalo lying in a swamp with flies hovering all around me, landing on various parts of my body and taking off with the regularity of international air traffic at Dubai Airport. Neither am I a yogi who would think nothing of full-frontal nudity in a Hollywood film because that is the normal way of life, clothes being totally unnecessary to the state of nature and spiritual communion.
I am a newspaperman. I have to work and I have to smoke and drink tea at regular intervals to keep my thoughts flowing. I definitely can do without a fly buzzing around or one in the ointment and definitely one sharing the tea with me.
Now of course flies can’t drink tea, just like I can never be the president of Pakistan or manage to decide who can or should be in that hot seat. But what they can and indeed do is to reconnoitre the cup, especially its brim, manage multiple landings and take-offs and by that seemingly innocent act spoil it for me.
The whole point about the flies has to do with a paradox. Flies can’t do much and yet they have an annoyance level which can be maddening. There are days when a lone fly, the worst offender because it is so hard to take out, has made me go berserk. I don’t know how Zeno would have formulated this paradox but my own take is that the annoyance caused by flies is inversely proportional to the actual damage they can do.
So, then what’s the problem? Good question. It is the audacity with which they conduct themselves, their churlishness, which is so intolerable. Let me explain.
As I have mentioned, they can’t do much more than buzz around and sit where they are not supposed to including a gentleman’s nose and ears. A couple of such short flights in and around me would not get me into a rage. I am quite confident on this point. If they were to accept the warning which I generally give by trying to shoo them away through a hand-gesture and heed that, I could even tolerate their presence. I do believe in live and let live.
This is how it goes. I am here to do important work, including writing this widely-read column. A couple of hammerheads, barrel rolls, cravats and loops I don’t mind. The flies can make their presence felt; I’d acknowledge their presence, show generosity by having them around, even allow them their aerobatics every two hours or so... all this can be done without drawing me towards a swatter.
But I’d be damned if they knew the protocol of mutual existence. No sir, they don’t. They begin to come at me with a regularity that is unacceptable. I can’t sit in my chair; I can’t work; I can’t drink tea; I can’t talk to people without them coming at me, hot-dogging me, landing, taking off, spoiling everything and escaping the swinging swatter as if they are thumbing their noses at me and for every value I stand for.
That is what gets me into frenzy. So yes, I too could never hurt a fly. But if I do, as regularly happens, I want the world to know my plight and understand my point of view also. Problem is, the world seems to have more sympathy for the bloody flies than for me. As a friend said to me, “Don’t kill the poor fly; it’s so insignificant.” Precisely. It needs to be killed because insignificant though it may be and is, it acts beyond its resources and all because it thinks it can make me run away from whatever I am doing; my mandate, my tryst with destiny.