Bhola, the Reader, the Practitioner

BY: Naeem Sulehri
Bhola is one of those friends of mine who regard themselves as greedy readers. They always claim that there is no book under the sky they have not gone through. But, the fact is that I can swear upon a pile of books, I have never seen any of them buying or reading any sort of book. Nothing can be said surely of the times when they used to be students.
Bhola is a bit different from others because he happens to be a curious sort of person. He does not only want to know new things but also acts honestly to follow them. A few days ago he came to me while I was reading Robin Sharma’s book Who Will Cry When You Die? He asked, “What this book is about”. “It tells how one can improve one’s abilities”. Listening to this, he was awe-struck and sank into the sofa beside me. “Infect, I have been searching for such a manual of self-help for quite some weeks, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it”, said Bhola. “Why couldn’t you find, while the book is very much available in the market,” I asked. Bhola, a talkative and inactively active chum, said. “Oh! Well, the matter of fact is that I visited nowhere for the purpose. You know, I dislike sauntering in markets in this humid weather under the burning sun. And further, I was pretty sure that I would find it nowhere but at your place.”
“But I am not going to give it to you at any cost,” I replied. “Oh! Come on buddy! You always say the same but you never disappoint me.” He said. My answer was, “This time you are destined to be disappointed. “Ok, I neither want this book nor I have time to peruse it. Only let me know one important thing you have learned from this. I really want to know why Robin Sharma’s books are liked worldwide.” Bhola said seriously and made me laugh. I laughed because he looks quite non-serious when he gets serious.
Hoping to get rid of him, I read two sentences from Chapter two of the book. They go as “In my mind, if you make even one person smile during your day or brighten the mood of even one stranger, your day has been a worthwhile one. Kindness, quite simply, is the rent we must pay for the space we occupy on this planet.”
Bhola, after listening to the sentences, sprang up, shook hand with me firmly, and rushed out to the street. I left with thinking that whenever Bhola shows that kind of enthusiasm, the result is always unpleasant. The same happened that day. In the evening my cell phone beeped. I received the call. Bhola was on other side. He was thundering, shrieking, abusing, and shouting at me. I tried to remind him of the lesson he learned only three hours ago that ‘Kindness, quite simply, is the rent we must pay for the space we occupy on this planet.’
At this reminder, Bhola yelled another stream of abuses and said “I uttered the same sentence time and again but the madam did not stop her slaps, fists, and hits. The more I defended myself, the more offensive she was. The more I cried, the more violent she turned. The more I shrieked, the more aggressive she was. To cut the long short, she thrashed me honestly and wholeheartedly. May God bless the customers who liberated me from the cruel clutches of that furious lady” “Who furious Lady, Bhola! Tell me, my friend.” I entreated but he dropped the call saying, “Fie upon thy sympathies, fie upon thy friendship.”
The reality dawned upon me very next morning when I knew that Bhola after listening to the advice of making even one stranger happy during one’s day, went to a medical store to buy some medicine for his already aching teeth, and, out of sheer simplicity, applied it to a newly divorced short-tempered young lady.

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