I reached my seat on board a flight. Next to me was a man very brown and reddish at the same time. He had thick gray hair with silver gray hair on his temples. Had two remarkable thick eyebrows as if they were an umbrella for his eyes. His eyes were the most striking thing about his personality. They were unusually wide with the rare color that is common in India; the color of fluid gold in the dark honey.
They were surrounded by a reddish color. Even the arteries that drew a net around the eyes could be counted. His face ended with a wide jaw, a thick beard with light, gray hair and the remains of a mustache hidden under a huge nose. He looked glorious, strict and handsome despite his old age.
I started talking with my fellow traveler on the air, Professor "Satish Matthew" (Indian Catholic), and I knew he had the British citizenship. He enriched my knowledge and thought especially with regard to human and civilizational changes since he had a degree in history and anthropology, "A discipline of knowledge concerned with human developments." He had submitted an application to the representative of his constituency in Birmingham to provide budget for a documentation office concerned with recording the Indian human phenomenon in Great Britain (as the professor prefers to call England) since the first Indian group reached Britain to stay there until today. That representative had promised to work on that once he wins the elections. Later, I sent a mail to Professor Matthew and asked him what had happened to the documentation office issue. His response was short and decisive “Mr. Najeeb, a politician is someone who promises you to build an arch over a river when there is no river!".
It was a short answer that said everything. This is what many of us feel about as we read and listen during election campaigns especially of municipal councils and chambers of commerce where promises are made about building millions of arches over millions of rivers that do not exist. However, we participated in that because we took the bait and put them on their honorary chairs (which have so far proven to be an honor rather than an assignment). As their tenures are about to end and they have earned fame while the people of the areas, districts and cities are raising their eyebrows out of surprise, not only because of the candidates’ ability to make promises, but also his great ability not to fulfill them.
But I feel pity for them because they will go as they had come without leaving an impact that can testify they had ever held those positions. I do feel pity for the rest of us because most of the problems we face in cities are still there. It is strange that although a lot of mails and messages are lost due to the confusion of addresses in our cities despite the efforts of Saudi Post, the complaint mails are the ones that reach our doors accurately without the need for an address or a mail box. It seems that the complaint mails are the only ones that fulfill the promises.
(To be continued next Saturday.)