THE IDEAL LEADER
BY HASSAN MIR
Interviewer: “This is Tonight with Hamza Sheikh and today it is my greatest pleasure to host one of the youngest Prime Minister of Pakistan!”
*Audience claps and whistles*
“Well Mr. Prime Minster it is my privilege to have you on our show. You have been the absolute choice in this election and have such an over whelming support, it’s simply unbelievable!”
“The pleasure is all mine,” the Prime Minister replied. “I think it was a tough journey, hailing from a middle-class background and being elected by the people, it just shows how much they trust me and I will not let them down. It is also about the values that were instilled in me and the conversations I had with so many people and the passion for a better country which forced me to come forward and when you come forward you come forward gallantly.”
“Of course, sir,” the interviewer smiled. “We really do not know about your story and we are dying to know!”
“Of course, I can understand, but it’s a very long story, a story of struggle and scuffle. I had rather tell it to you some other day, shall I?”
“We have got all the time in the world,” he smiled.
“Today’s going to be a big day.” I smiled.
“Is everything alright Asad?” Hamid asked.
“Well of course,” I replied. “It is my son’s tenth birthday! I can only manage a little surprise, but a surprise is a surprise, no?” I added thoughtfully.
“Of course,” Hamid replied. “Salam to Bhabhi.”
I started my bike, a dusty old thing but very loyal. It didn’t start at the first kick which didn’t come as a surprise. I hurried on to the main road, trying to reach my home early but the roads of Karachi proved to be a hurdle as usual. I tried snaking through them trying a few trusted shortcuts but all in vain as I could not reach my home on the desired time. I hurried forward checking my reflection in the battered old mirror which reflected a man nearing his forties, with dark black hair and a clean-shaven face along with tanned skin. It also reflected dark black eyes and an average height but all in all a very impartial personality. I knew Farida would be distressed and I treaded forward praying she would not get upset.
Only Farida’s brother, Ahmed and his wife Anjum were present. A young couple madly in love with each other, they were always a source of competition for me but a healthy one. There was no one else as we didn’t have many relatives or rather I didn’t have any relatives. Once a huge joint family with an even bigger ego only a few members remained as regrets of it refraining from meeting each other.
Taimur was sitting happily staring excitedly at the little home-made cake in front of him. He was wearing his favourite shirt with a crocodile printed on the front along with contrasting sneakers and shorts. He was a handsome boy, inheriting the same silky black hair from me, but he was fairer, his looks on his mother.
He had just cut the cake and Farida was on the verge of serving it when the power went off. I sighed as my eyes snapped to the clock, it was a quarter to five, not even five. The UPS which was newly bought supplied the power and Taimur’s birthday proceeded with me and Ahmed having a deep discussion about politics.
“This government is on a whole new level of corruption Bhai.” Ahmed said, lighting a cigarette.
“They can only get worse, check the temperature it’s almost 40 degrees Celsius! The Sun is taking revenge from us or something.” he joked
“Worst,” I agreed sipping a cup of tea. “But I think we are all corrupt in our own capacities. You are smoking this cigarette, it contains around four thousand chemicals, now just think for a moment what are you releasing in the atmosphere, 10 times? Yes, 10 times a day.”
He looked at me obnoxiously giving a sarcastic expression at the same time, I was familiar with that expression of sardonic mocking because people tend to give me that expression so often, the expression of knowing too much.
“Well I will take my leave Bhai,” he said. “But at least I have something to ponder about while I fall asleep tonight, four thousand chemicals.” he chuckled shaking his head.