I chanced upon an old friend in the Mall yesterday. He looked pretty chic in his tattered jeans and Benetton Tee. I suspected that he had a tattoo of a snake somewhere on him, though I cannot be sure – but what I could see was that he had one ear pierced, and a diamond stud shone smartly from within that hole.
My friend has struck gold, I thought, for the last time that I had seen him, some years ago, was when he was looking for a job, and then he had looked much older and frailer.
‘What’s up buddy, how’s life?’ I asked cheerily, coming directly to the point.
‘Ommmkkksyy,’ he mumbled, his mouth full of Baskin Robins’ butterscotch.
“Got a job?’ I prodded, brazenly.
‘Job? What job?’ he answered with a frown, after finishing his ice-cream. ‘I am into my own business, my dear,’ he replied sourly, and with great difficulty, and with much ceremony, he fished out a visiting card from a very fat wallet, and handed it over to me, with an expression that said, ‘Behold, and bow.’
The legend on the card said ‘Mr So-and-So, CEO and MD, Ace Travel Agency and Real Estate Brokers.’
On coming back home, I instituted a discreet inquiry into the affairs of my friend- in other words, I called up a mutual friend.
‘His father died recently,’ the mutual friend said, ‘unlocking, as it were, the treasure on which his old man was sitting. The old man’s property sold for a fortune, and with the money our friend has brought a swanky office, funded a Mercedes and a trip to Switzerland, and now lives the life of a king.’
‘Why did the old man not sell the property for so long, and live a high life himself?’ I asked.
‘So that his useless offspring could live decently, even if for a while,’ said my friend, in the tone of a philosopher.
‘He did not sell the property’ he added, anticipating my next question, ‘in his lifetime because he said he would not be able to see his hard earned money being wasted.’
The incident made me wonder. Was the old man right, to live a life less comfortable? Will the good days last for my friend? Does it matter, who deserves what? Should I save or spend the money that I work hard to earn? Is life fair, or even logical?
Frankly I find it quite difficult to draw a moral from this incident, but since I have promised one, here is what I propose: Parents can be pretty illogical.