The Mufti of Mukti: by Vinayak Gole
The Mufti stood by the bus stop as he waited for his daily transport. He felt great this morning. He felt great to be a part of this fantastic country called Mukti – the land of the free. He felt proud. As he gazed around he was amazed by the freedom, this country enjoyed. The cars were allowed to run at whatever speed they desired. The pedestrians were allowed to walk on the roads. School children jostled with the grown-ups for standing space under the dilapidated bus stop. Where else could anyone enjoy so much freedom he thought? This country has it all.
The learned Mufti’s gaze fell on the road opposite where the loyal supporters of a political party were putting up a huge hoarding wishing their leader a very happy birthday. The Mufti beamed a proud smile. Where else could people have this freedom of wishing its leaders publicly, he thought. Suddenly, he felt a tug on his finger. A tiny tot barely able to stand was looking up at him. Stark naked, her hair a dirty mess and the look of hunger imminent on her face, she kept tugging. The wise man pulled out a coin from his pocket and put it on her tiny palm. Well, he thought, if it wasn’t for this great country, I wouldn’t even be able to help these poor children. Recently he had read an article about how a famous nation in the West had taken steps to abolish poverty. What nonsense, he mumbled to himself. If they eliminate the poor, how are people like us going to get into heaven? The poor are our chance to get some virtuousness added to this sinful life. And this great country, the land of Mukti had given him that chance, that one chance of getting into heaven.
The bus arrived.
After jostling, pushing and nearly falling over, the great Mufti was able to find a place to stand. Well, everyone had a right to get in. Everyone here was free. Though some non-believers would be found complaining, it was the way of life here. On the front row, a youth was refusing to vacate a seat reserved for the old. The contestant, an octogenarian, would not give up. After all, if the young man was free to occupy his seat, he was also free enough to fight back. The Mufti marvelled again, as a young lady gave up her seat for the old man. This was the great thing about this wonderful country. Everyone could do as they pleased. With the leaders setting up examples of themselves, the people were just too happy to follow. It was the land where even the law came after Freedom. The Mufti was just too grateful to be born in this great land.
It was time to get down and get to work.
The court, where he worked was facing just another normal day. The police were trying to prove some people as criminals while the lawyers tried to prove them innocent. And in this land of the Free, almost every time, the supposed criminals walked free. A very normal day, he thought, as he waited for the clock to tick on and wind up the day. As he closed the last of the files and walked down, he saw a man in an animated discussion with his lawyer. The tobacco in his mouth made the conversation a bit slow and so this man decided to simply spit it out. On the wall. Well, he had to find a way to dispose of the tobacco, the Mufti thought. And the red stains on the white walls were nearly creating a design. All the more colour to the monotonous walls.
It was time to head back.
The Mufti was pleased to look around and feel proud of this land his forefathers had built. There were rumours everywhere that this land had become corrupt and had been vandalised by the criminals who had assumed the face of leaders. But he believed in what he saw. It was the land where people had the right to make as much money as they wanted, in whichever way they liked. It was the land where people could do whatever they wanted, in whichever way they liked. It was all part of life in this great land. It was all part of the day in this great land. It was a great day to be in such a great land. It was a day to be free. It was a day to feel free.
Rather, it IS a day in OUR great land, the land of Mukti, the land of Freedom.
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