Silence is a wonderful teacher; you can learn a lot when you listen to and contemplate on the sounds of silence. I sometimes like to go out, away from urban areas, to natural surroundings, where I can listen to natural sounds and listen to the silence. It is a wonderful experience to connect with nature. I feel, if all the doctors prescribed their patients to regularly walk in countryside parks, this will have countless benefits for the mind and body and it will help reduce the increasing burden on the healthcare budgets.
One day while I was enjoying my moments of silence in the park, I heard the sound of some feathers ruffling in the water nearby. When I went behind the trees to inquire, I saw Mithu having a bath in a small stream. Mithu is an old friend, a beautiful Indian Ringneck Parakeet, a very intelligent parrot, and a proficient speaker.
Below is the transcript of the chat that took place between us both.
Me: Mithu? Is that you? How are you?
Mithu: Hello! Yes, I am fine. I am just having a bath, I am feeling so tired after that long journey.
Me: Journey? Where did you go?
Mithu: The people I am living with went on a vacation to Pakistan and decided to take me with them. I told them I will never want to go on any trip again!
Me: OK. Why never again?
Mithu: Long journeys tire me. However, I did get to meet the wisest Baba Ji during the trip. He is so knowledgeable and knows everything about everything.
Me: Wow! You seem impressed. Who is this Baba Ji? Where did you meet him?
Mithu: Well, I met Baba Ji on the outskirts of the village, where I was staying. Baba Ji is the oldest and wisest parrot in the village. He lives on top of the oldest and biggest tree in the village. He told me so much about the political games the Pakistani elite play on the birdbrained public.
Me: (while trying to control my laughter) I see. What does your Baba Ji say about the current political situation in Pakistan?
Mithu: Well, Baba Ji thinks that Pakistan’s problem is that it is, and always has been a colony of the West. When General Musharraf tried to improve the economy and pay off Pakistan’s foreign debts, the global financial oligarchs became alert to Pakistan’s desire for freedom from the debilitating debt problems. Thus, they forced Musharraf to abandon any policies that would make Pakistan economically strong. To constrain the patriots from repeating such mischiefs an agreement was made in 2003, , which included; (1) appointing a banker (Shaukat Aziz) as finance minister to disrupt any economic gains that had taken place, (2) disgracing a national hero and a nuclear scientist, Dr Qadeer, as the colonised are not allowed to have any heroes to inspire the population (3) school textbooks removing any references to historical heroes like Tipu Sultan and others.
Me: Where is the evidence to prove that all this happened? As far as I am aware, the media is silent on any such agreements.
Mithu: Baba Ji thinks media does not tell all truths. Baba Ji says media’s primary purpose is to make noise, and the noise confuses the mind. This is why Baba Ji does not like modern technologies. Baba Ji says the modern man has become too noisy and less aware of self because the modern man has stopped listening to self; hence he pollutes the environment with noise. Baba Ji is a self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist.
Me: Hmm. And you believed a conspiracy theorist?
Mithu: I am a parrot.
Me: (Laughing) True! That you are, no doubt about it.
Me: In my view, Pakistani politics is in the midst of a thick fog at this moment. I cannot understand it nor can I see towards which direction the nation is heading.
Mithu: Baba Ji says politics is a murky place and deception is the name of the game. The mist you are talking about is deliberately and intentionally created. Soon, this fog will be removed and then everyone will feel surprised. People like surprises.
Baba Ji says the final act of the agreement is being played out right now and the removal from power of Nawaz Sharif is part of the same drama, to create the fog.
Me: What do you mean by drama?
Mithu: Yes, it is all a drama. Baba Ji says this political confusion is deliberate. Part of the agreement Musharraf made was that the military will let corrupt civilian rulers stay in power for the next 15 years. President Zardari and his Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ruled for 5 years, and now Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N) has ruled since 2013.
Me: Yes. I know. But the present situation is not so clear and future seems obscure to me too.
Mithu: It is very clear to me.
Mithu: During the last 5 years Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N) became too powerful and undefeatable. The so-called ‘establishment’ decided to trim their feathers a bit, to weaken them. In the next general election, no political party will gain a majority. This will allow PML(N) to make alliances with other smaller parties to establish the next government as partners.
Me: You mean PML(N) and PPP. What about Imran Khan’s party PTI?
Mithu: Yes. Imran Khan’s party PTI will continue to play the role of opposition. As the agreement dictates Pakistan can only allow corrupt people in power.
Me: This is the funniest and craziest idea I have ever heard. What about the millions of people who are waiting for and expecting a change.
Mithu: The people have seen all this before many times, each time a ruling head is removed or brought to power. The people have been let down so many times now. Do you not see the rising and epidemic level of apathy and pessimism among the population?
Then again, I am no expert on politics or social sciences. I am only a bird.
Me: I do not believe in conspiracy theories.
Mithu: But conspiracy is not the exception in human behaviour, it is the norm. And Baba Ji is famous in the village for his predictions.
Me: I do not agree. I see Pakistan shifting its alliances towards China and Russia. This will bring huge economic progress for the region despite the rising debts of $89 billion accumulated by corrupt politicians. Pakistan’s geopolitical position makes it an ideal place for the transit of global commerce to and from Central Asia as well as to and from West China. Pakistan has a great future.
At this moment, I decided to go back to my meditation mat and relax, while listening to the sounds of silence. I could hear Mithu flying off to an unknown destination.