I am seated in my comfortable leather chair, looking out the window from my plush office. A few moments later a knock on the door disturbs my reverie. It is my secretary who reminds me of an important meeting in half an hour. I am about to sign a deal for a few million dollars. For a moment my mind wandered back to two years ago when I were bankrupt and almost on the streets.
I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth but over the years I gradually climbed up the corporate ladder. I had friends and acquaintances in high places, a steady source of income and a beautiful house in the suburbs. Having my cup more than half full lured me into a false sense of security. The more successful I became the more I distanced myself from my financially constrained relatives and friends. I had a reputation to uphold and spending too much time with such people seemed distasteful.
One day fate decided to turn tables on me when my own business partner shrewdly managed to take over the business, leaving me penniless. I was hardly prepared to lead a pauper’s life so I decided to seek the help of my wealthy friends. None of them returned my calls. A few even told their secretaries to inform me that they were out of town for a few months even though I knew they had no such plans. It seemed as though the milk of human kindness had turned sour.
The misery of my situation led me to consider taking my life. I decided it would be best if I jumped off the Alam Memorial Bridge into Chashma River. Sitting atop the bridge I was about to let go when I heard somebody loudly call out my name. It was my old friend Mehmood. To my horror, I burst out in tears in front of the man who I had earlier refused to give time because of his lowly status. He calmly waited till my tears dried up and then took me to his home.
He told me that he had read about my plight in the local newspapers and had been concerned about me. However, he had been unable to contact me until now. He reminded me that I had once helped him by loaning him some money. Now he wanted to repay my favour. I felt a cold slap of reality. The people with whom I had spent far more time and money had abandoned me in my time of need. On the other hand, Mehmood for whom I had done very little was offering his help selflessly. I hung my head in sorrow and vowed that I would return to my former position but this time I would remember who my sincere friends are.