Irony of modern life

Read a very thought provoking article published in an Urdu daily written by redoubtable Hassan Nisar. It’s title read “ Sab kucch hai or Kucch bhi nahin” loosely translatable as “ there’s everything yet nothing”. As I have maintained, capturing the spirit of any story or article originally published in another language while translating the piece into English is not at all easy, especially given my limited knowledge of the beautiful Urdu language; but as the country celebrated its 72nd Republic Day yesterday and there was unfortunate incidents of rioting in New Delhi yesterday, the relevance of the article assumes added importance. Of course, the article is long and I am translating only a part of it, but hopefully, it conveys the sense by capturing the spirit.

There’s everything yet nothing

Is it all a scam, a forgotten dream or a mystery? There is boat but no oars and oars but no boat; If both are there, there’s no river and if river is there it’s totally dry! Night is sleepless and even if one sleeps there are no dreams; dreams, if there, are inexplicable! Government is there but no rulers and if rulers are there, where is government? Patients are there but no physicians attending to them and if doctors are there, there are no patients; if both are there, where’s the medicine and even if medicine is there, it’s spurious! Eyes are sans vision, brain sans insight! Track is there but no train, train is without track and if both are there, where is the station? Heart has no empathy, eyes no shame, head no ideas and tongue is speechless! Market has no customers, customers have no money and money has no buying power! Path has no destination and if both are are there, no one is traversing that path! We live but where’s life and we die, but death eludes us! Child has no childhood and young are deprived of youth! Wires have no current, taps run dry! Governor is doing no governance, sugar has no sweetness ! Sun has no rays and moon is without moonlight, rain is sans showers and trees are no longer providing shade!

The article goes on to describe a few more haves having have nots and towards the end the author picks up folklore of Heer Ranjha, shirin Farhad and Sassi Punnu to conclusively bring out the irony of today!

I found the thought to be highly coaxing and provocative when on the face of it, we seemingly have everything yet in real sense are bereft of all due to our preoccupation with material assets and rat race to rise higher and possess more! We need to just look around feel the warmth of the sun and appreciate the beauty of moonlit night and leaves of tress shining in it!

4 thoughts on “Irony of modern life

  1. Sir, the phrase “There’s everything yet nothing” is so meaningfully put up in your above article.

    Truly, what’s really valuable gets the least attention.


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