Of course I’m going to heaven; I forwarded that SMS to 10 people!
The message blinked on my computer screen – large, bright red letters of warning.
“Do not delete this message or you will be permanently banished from paradise. Just send it to 10 people and find a place in heaven!”
I scrolled up only to find that the sender was one of my friends, who I used to consider ‘a very sensible’ person before this email.
The sad fact, however, is that we always seek shortcuts, even for paradise!
Such type of chain messages, outrageous emails and SMSs are very common. They are nothing more than a mere form of religious blackmailing and believing in them is worse than believing in numerology or palmistry!
I doubt that there is a verse in any holy book, stating that just pressing a ‘send’ button will liberate us from all punishments, no matter how perfect of a devil we have been in the past.
The irony is that educated and sane people are also becoming victims of this contemptuous blackmail.
Our shortcut loving nature is providing numerous people means of earning their daily bread. The biggest opportunist is our popular Aamil Junaid Bengali whose magical powers are advertised on various walls citywide. He claims to bring your ‘mehboob’ (lover) to your feet just in four days.
Wow! Just four days?
That’s not even shortcut; that’s the shortest cut.
While watching TV the other day, I discovered another ultimate way to success. A beautiful locket was glistening on my television screen and it was supposed to bring me luck, wealth and whatever else I wanted in my life.
Isn’t it a euphoric idea to just sit back and relax on your couch, do nothing and still be successful in life?
I wish I knew the contents of this miraculous stone.
Another product that caters to our ‘quick-fix’ nature is a weight-loss belt. The advertisement claims,
“No exercise, no dieting; just use this belt and lose 10 kilos in just 10 days!”
While discussing shortcuts, it will be unfair if I don’t mention the most innovative one in this regard (no, I am not talking about our government officials.)
Let me explain; today, anyone who believes that the only way to pass an examination is to study hard is perceived as idiotic by our nation builders, the students.
They have many more interesting ways to pass examinations – question paper leaks, for example. Other techniques of cheating in an examination hall range from innocent pharraas (hidden chits) to bribing the invigilator.
Even if that doesn’t work, no worries! They can always rely on result alterations. Our educational system has been shattered to the smithereens.
A student enrolled in a well reputed government college is unaware of the colour of his college building, just because he never goes there. His excuse is that he doesn’t have to because he can ‘pass’ the exam without setting foot in to any of his classes.
So be it a student or teacher, Aamil Junaid Bengali or Rafeeq doodh-waala, a beggar on street, or our leaders – we all love shortcuts!
We want to achieve the most that we can whilst working the least possible, and in the ecstasy of being able to find a shortcut, we often forget that the gains acquired by shortcuts are mostly short-term.
As stated by an American writer Henry Miller in his book, “The Books in My Life”, the real fact is:
“In this age, which believes that there is a shortcut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.”
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.