Work is a ‘four-letter word’

September 9, 2018

It’s more or less settled that we simply don’t work in Pakistan; we talk the talk

Work is a ‘four-letter word’

Never mind what the Quaid meant when he said, "Work, work, and work." That was another era, a time when all the action took place in the real world, not on the social media.

Our ancestors also did ‘strange’ things like, work. Yes, I know it’s pitiable; I mean, who works nowadays? If you belong to the upper- or middle-class you study for some years then you leave Pakistan for good, with the dream that you shall have your own little house in some western country’s suburbs. If you are a poor Pakistani, you do not till the land you have; you sell it and give the money to an agent so that your son could go (illegally?) to Europe.

So, it’s more or less settled that you simply don’t work in Pakistan; you talk the talk. Working is a social stigma thingy now (with or without pun). Well, for the sake of running ‘rozi roti,’ ‘daal dalia’ etc., you may get a job (yes, there are remote chances that you can get one here in Pakistan). But that does not mean that you should ‘work’ on job. I mean, if X does not do anything in his/her office why should Y.

One facility that our generation has is social media; you can look busy all day while liking adorable kittens licking babies, or vice versa, if that’s your thing. But that too gets on your nerves sometimes, and you need to unwind, relax, and get out of the rut. Ever so ingenious, we have invented the long weekend that becomes the whole ‘week ki chhutti.’

Let’s say that Eid is on a Tuesday and the official holidays start from Tuesday till Thursday. Not so long ago, you simply took Monday off and bunked Friday, and voila, eid ki dhairon khushiyaanm Mubarak! Now that Saturday is a workday, it’s a bit difficult to convince the HR people that your ‘Mamaani saas’ is on ventilator and, therefore, you need two consecutive holidays before the weekend and remain absent for a full week. Our fellows have invented a cure for that too: the whole office/department trip to the northern areas. (Besides bringing more holidays for you this is also an invitation to trash the scenic beauty.)

Still not satisfied with the arguments? We observed Ramzan in the months of May and June this year. We worked for half days and would be free. Then came eid on a Friday. Then came the elections, and after that the Eid ul Azha, and, again, the whole country partied.

Pakistanis are digging a hole for themselves. No, I don’t think we’ll strike gold, by remaining as unproductive as we do.

Is this how a country faced with security, financial and other existential threats behaves? Never mind this lecture(!) on propriety, but did all that effort on social media -- of sharing crass caricatures, silly jokes and even heavy-duty hate material -- did anyone any good?

Pakistanis are digging a hole for themselves. No, I don’t think they’ll strike gold, by remaining as unproductive as we do. Let me end with a quote from the Quaid, "No power in this world can undo Pakistan." Dear sir, with a behaviour like ours, we can. Period.

Work is a ‘four-letter word’