Far away from the hassling life of cities, in the shadow of lush green trees, where dawn was alive with chirping birds, fragrance of roses spread all round the vicinity, lived a Sheikh Sahib in a small but gorgeous looking house. Sheikh Sahib was neither an orthodox nor a hip-hop guy; rather the word “moderate” would personify him quite suitably. Observing the people of the society and scrutinising their psyche was his favourite hobby. But he never gave vent to his notions in front of the world outside. One day, all of a sudden, when as usual he was entangled in his world of thoughts, he took up the pen and paper and started to release all those feelings that were ensnared in the cage of his heart and mind for many years. And it was the day, when pen and paper befriended him eternally.
“Sarfraz Bhatti” remained on the top of Sheikh Sahib’s good books. He was his companion since the early days of childhood. Bhatti often used to say his friend, “One day these papers will divorce you, Mr Sheikh.” But Sheikh Sahib always reciprocated in his witty style; “Sarfraz sahib, papers are not treacherous like human beings.” Although papers could never respond to his sentiments, they were among his best chums, his best pals. He shared every single moment of his life with them with a good grace.
Being the best pal, it was a norm for Sarfraz to visit his friend’s place quite frequently. The minds of both these fellows were closer to each other more than their own selves. And the second thing which brought them closer was their craze for latest designs of spectacles (as the eyesight of both these guys was weak and weak enough that they even could not recognise each other without the support of their elephant sized glasses). Albeit, Sheikh Sahib was a serious looking person but witticism was a major facet of his personality. His puns always amused his colleagues.
One day Sheikh Sahib was in a jolly mood and as usual Sarfraz Bhatti was there to gain something from his wise company. He asked him, “What do you think about today’s educated generation? They seek knowledge in most reputed and famous colleges and universities but still they lack in morality. Why is it so?”
“Today’s generation… and education… that’s also in college…! Bhatti, are you in your senses?” Sheikh Sahib responded in his conventional style and continued, “Is there any linkage between today’s student and books? Bhai, it’s the blessing of our Creator, which brings in the students, especially boys, into the ramparts of a college. Otherwise, what’s the attraction in fat books with hideous looking pages! Neither they do make-up (to beautify themselves) nor do they own cell phones to chat with…!” Bhatti smiled at such an expected answer of his intellectual friend.
Sheikh Sahib resumed; “Today’s students merely require a “degree” which promises a ‘bright financial future’. It is the dilemma that boys and girls don’t concentrate upon the real purpose of education and neglect the moral values utterly. Telling lies, deceiving the teachers is a child’s play for them. Abusing each other is a part of their language. Even some fellows call it an element of modernism. They don’t bother to observe that when they abuse someone, in reply they are also honoured with the same words.”
While applauding the uphill struggle of media and mobile phone companies he added. “Few years back it was a bit difficult and expensive for boys to get hold of girls’ numbers and phone them furtively but let us give a round of applause to mobile phone companies for launching the ‘mid night rates’ and ‘chatting rooms’, providing an assistance for moral devastation of this nation. Ab karo baat, sara din saree raat! And what to say about our beloved freedom fighter media, it is also lending a hand to strengthen the roots of immoralities by broadcasting indecent dramas and vulgar stage shows.” Sarfraz Bhatti once again nodded his head in agreement with a bright smile on his round face. He as usual was really impressed by his friend’s foresight.
Both these friends were having a decent conversation that a young lady with long curly hairs and beautiful almond eyes entered the room. Sarfraz Sahib got frightened as a goat does, when it sees a knife coming towards its neck. She was “third Mrs Bhatti”, a well-educated girl. After a little introduction, Sheikh Sahib wanted to share his views with her too. At first, she listened quietly and pretended that she wasn’t interested at all in such a boring conversation. Nevertheless, when Sheikh Sahib started criticising her favourite TV channel of neighbouring country, she became red more than red colour itself and started arguing with him in such a way which duly proved that she was one of today’s “educated generation”. After a pause, she stood up, gazed at her husband (Sarfraz Bhatti) furiously, and left the room at once. Bhatti just like a bheegee billee had to follow the steps of his third Mrs. And after both of them left the room, Sheikh Sahib along with his desperate smile, started concluding his article in such a way…!
It’s a bitter reality that we just focus to attain a so-called “degree” through education. We are making our new generation mere ‘literate’, not ‘educated’ if we are unable to infuse moralities in them. We look ahead towards a kind of education which promises a bright future loaded with bundles of money but has nothing to do with moral values. And whenever someone tries to point out this great dilemma and criticises the youngsters, they get exasperated at once. They should try to develop the ability to face the fingers rising against them and then try to resolve the situation by bringing a positive change in their personalities.
Let your hands to be joined in seeking and practising a kind of knowledge, which may build up the strong roots of morality in your personality along with the latest methods of money minting.
(DAWN, 12 July 2008)