By: Noushah Arshad
Traffic jams are a routine site in huge cities like Lahore or Karachi, they rarely happen in small cities. How we behave during a traffic jam depicts our complete persona. Sitting on a driving seat brings great responsibility on the person.
Some time back I experienced one of the worst traffic jams of my life at Sutlej River (Once that it was). A flyover and a Bridge were under construction that caused hindrance in heavy traffic during rush hours. It took us almost half an hour to come out of that traffic jam and that was just because Highway Police was manging it well, as much as they can. . . It was something I’ve also experienced before while travellling by road. What made this journey worse was another traffic jam waiting at a railway track.
A passenger train had to cross the track for which gates were closed for traffic. There were no police or government personnel to manage the traffic at that time. While people anxiously waited for the train to cross, they completely blocked the road on both sides without leaving any passage for the traffic of opposite side. . . Train moved with ‘great’ speed … I bet a motorcyclist racing with that train would have been faster.
As the train was crossing the gates, engines of cars were ready to move with their head lights on and vehicles moving an in inch or two after every few seconds. No one was ready to wait for the gates to open. No one was ready to give way to any one. Instead of one or two lanes, there was no proper lane at all. A single road for the two way traffic was stuck with every kind of vehicle ranging from cycle to trawlers, trucks, cars, vans, coaches and worth mentioning were goat carts and donkey carts. Fortunately, train crossed and gates were opened and what a great scene did our drivers create … Traffic moved from both sides presenting the scene of a clash of armies in a battle field. How can you go ahead when you are not ready to give way to others … Result was a complete jam for few more minutes. Every one was trying to fly over and cross the vehicles standing in front. And in such a mess a very intelligent old man on bicycle had a great idea. He picked up his bicycle, kept it on his shoulders and with several twists and turns, crossed all the obstacles and here he was seen on his way safely and calmly. At that moment I really wished to have a bicycle. This was an added benefit of bicycle I never thought of before!
And now what … As me and my family was learning some new aspects about psychology of our country men, there was a VIP movement. Some Mr. VIP was also blocked in traffic in his Black flagged car with two police vans for his security. Police men came out of their van and tried to manage the situation. Highway police was called and in few minutes traffic started moving on slowly. Thanks to Mr.VIP. If he was not there, there would have been no one to guide dumb headed drivers who never bothered to use their senses unless some one was their to order them and guide them. There were few guys who were trying to manage things voluntarily before the arrival of police but it was not turning out to be useful as no one was ready to listen to them… after all they were just some poor villagers and not wearing any uniforms … At that moment I thought why dictators have been leading our nation in past years.
There were two ambulances stuck in there. I saw the faces of two men in one of the ambulances, their eyes were just blank . . . not knowing what was going to happen in next few minutes. May be someone will care to give way to an ambulance. I knew that the long jam that I have crossed was waiting for them and they were sure to wait for at least 2-4 hours until the road was cleared. . . I hope those ambulances got their way earlier.
That was the time when I really thought that education doesn’t matter a lot to us. Im sure 80% of drivers would have done at least metric and most of them would have many degrees in hand including intermediate, graduation, post graduate and some PhD s too…. But who cares? No one… Every one had degrees, but no one had common sence, no one was educated. These schools, academies and institutions in every nook and corner of our cities are just distributing degrees without creating any awareness of what true education is. Villages are even deprived of it too.
We are very unfortunate as a nation that we lack the quality in teachers. Over the years Pakistan has produced many ‘Masters” who know how to deliver what’s written in books, but they never try to develop characters of their students. For them, what matters is their salary. That’s what a Master is, who bothers just about his salary. I’ve experienced such Masters who never even bothered to ask names of their students. When they don’t know whom they are teaching, how can they have a deep look into the personality of a student? I remember one of such Masters during my graduation. During our last month at college she asked one of our class fellows, “Are you new in this section? I’ve never seen you before in last two years.” … She was the girl who used to sit in second row, not even the back bencher …
We need teachers not masters… teachers who can develop our personalities, who can deliver some common sense into their students, even at basic level, who can work on personal growth and development of their students. What’s the use of a PhD if he lacks character and personality, if he abuses his road fellows, insults his students and fights with people if they argue . . . we don’t need such higher education. We need people who understand the true meaning of education, who are educated in true sense, who don’t have a bundle of degrees in hand, but who just have a bit of knowledge of living their life and guts to play a role in developing the younger generation to create a better nation over all.
“Give me good mothers and I will give you a great nation” … Nepolean said it right. His words are universal as I take them to be. My words may be hurting for some people out there but honestly, what I feel is that we lack good mothers today. When I see a woman leaving plenty of food in her plate at a function, I feel what she would be teaching to her child about it when she herself doesn’t clean her plate properly. Trust me, Ive seen it many times. Yes, there are many great mothers in my country and it is because of them that Pakistanis moving on but over all we still need more. Mothers, who can develop their children, educate them and make them proper and aware citizens for tomorrow. Mothers, who can give birth to Teachers not Masters.
I wish that one day we could just stop distributing degrees among people and not letting them feel proud of a heavy file full of degrees with a few foreign ones too. . .
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.’
Hungry not only for bread — but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing — but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks — but homeless because of rejection.”(Mother Teresa)