Written by: Rais Muhammad Umar
The police dragged Salman alias Salloo into the court of law. As soon as Salloo's eyes fell on the judge, he felt the earth slipping under his feet. He rubbed his eyes and shook his head to confirm that he was not dreaming. Seeing the judge sahib, he became lost in the events of twenty years ago. That was the time when the cable network had no existence. Films lovers went to a hotel or cinema to watch films or they hired a VCR for the whole night to watch films. Salloo was extremely fond of watching films. Salloo's friends were also very fond of watching films too. Salloo, being the only son of his parents, was a pampered and spoiled child. His father was a Wapda employee, a lineman, with a low salary. But he earned a lot of money by illegal means. He sold electricity illegally without a Wapda meter and collected the monthly illegal bill which went into his own pocket. He had some other ways to earn black money too. That was the time, when a Govt. High School teacher's salary was less than one thousand rupees per month. It meant an HST (High School Teacher) earned around thirty rupees per day but Salloo got fifty rupees pocket money from his father daily. He spent all his money on watching Indian films along with his friends. He took books from his home, went to school but he absconded from the school in break time and went straight to a hotel to watch films with his friends. It was his daily routine when he was in primary school. His father never tried to find out what his son was doing. No wonder Salloo was zero in studies. He could not pass even primary school. As he grew older, he became worse. He took a VCR on rent for the whole night and watched films with his friends in the Otaq. He also started smoking cigarette. In spite of huge amount of pocket money, he started stealing just for kicks. In the beginning, he stole money and other valuables from his own home, then he stared stealing things from neighbuors' home and shops whenever he got a chance. He also took cigarette packets from mosques when the smokers put their cigarette packets near the ablution area of the mosque. He sold those stolen things at throw away prices.
An intelligent boy, Noorudeen, lived in Salman's neighbourhood. He was Salman's classmate in primary school and obtained first position in the examinations of every class. His father was a poor labourer. One day an orchard owner asked his father to pluck his mangoes for him. He climbed up a mango tree but the branch which was thin and weak could not bear his weight and broke. Noorudeen's father fell down from the top of the tree and his spinal cord was damaged badly. As he was very poor he could not afford the treatment and his condition deteriorated day by day. At last he died after three months. When his father died, Noorudeen was in class three. He became an orphan when he was only eight years old. He had two little sisters and a widow mother. His mother began to earn livelihood by stitching peoples' clothes. She made spicy grams and gave her son to sell them outside in the street in the evening. When Salloo and his friends saw Noorudeen selling gram, they made fun of him. Poor Noorudeen had no basic necessities like electricity, gas and water in his home. He had to fetch water from the well and bring fire sticks from the jungle. After school he had no time to do his homework or to revise his lessons till sunset. He always did his home work and revised his lessons in the street light under the electricity pole. Salloo always ridiculed and teased Noorudeen whenever he saw him studying under the street light. "O pauper boy, don’t you have electricity in your home? Why are you sitting here in the street? Why are you hurting yourself with such a hard work? Studies will be of no use to you. There are no jobs for the poor. Jobs are only for the rich. Don't waste your time. Enjoy life as we do. Look at us how we are enjoying our lives. You have made your life a hell. Don't you ever wish to laugh and play? Poor Noorudeen." Salloo always insulted Noorudeen and made fun of him. He hurt Noorudeen but he bore all the poisonous sentences patiently and said nothing in return. Sometimes he felt like bursting into tears but controlled himself. He always prayed to Allah سبحانہ وتعالی humbly and earnestly to help him. Allah سبحانہ وتعالی accepted his sincere prayers, his hard work bore fruit and he passed the Commission examination and became a judge. On the other hand Salloo became a professional thief and robber. One day he tried to snatch a motorcycle from a gentleman on a deserted road. He threatened the motorcyclist with a pistol and motioned him to stop. But the motorcyclist, instead of stopping, accelerated the speed of the motorcycle. Salloo took aim of the motorcyclist’s leg and pulled the trigger. The bullet hit its target and the man he fell down on the road, hurt badly. Salloo snatched the motorcycle and disappeared in the wink of an eye. Luckily a kind hearted landlord was coming behind in his car just at that moment. He saw everything. He stopped near the injured person, took him in his car to a hospital and informed the police about the robbery. He told the police that Salloo was the robber and had shot the man. He also told the police inspector that he was ready to give evidence in the court of law. The police inspector lodged an FIR and ordered his subordinates to arrest and bring Salloo into the police station. Salloo was arrested within a few hours with the motorcycle and brought to the police station. The police inspector locked him in a cell. The next day Salloo was presented before the court of law. That was why, he was brought before the court of law Salloo was extremely astonished to see the judge who was none other than Noorudeen! He was the same Noorudeen who had become an orphan, who had studied in the street light, who had sold gram in the streets. When Salloo saw Noorudeen he said to himself, "Noorudeen, how lucky you are! You have reached the rank of a judge. You used to study in the street tight under the electricity pole. How I wish I had not been so fond of films! How I wish I had not wasted my time in useless activities. How I wish I had studied like you. But alas! Now it is too late. I have ruined my own life." He began weeping bitterly. But now it was useless to do so.
Noorudeen heard the case. The landlord gave evidence before the judge for Allah (Subhanu wa Ta'ala's) sake. According to the evidence, Salloo was found guilty. So the judge sentenced him to ten years imprisonment. Salloo was thus handcuffed and sent to jail.