JournalismPakistan.com November 24, 2013
I have no problem with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet having all those billions and if Carlos Slim has more, hey man, good luck to you. It is when your type do the dirty on you that it hurts.
Few things are worse than having to congratulate people who have just been kissed by good fortune. Kissed? It is more like a drenching. Like these good friends of ours who have been with us through thick and thin (mostly wafer thin) these past 15 years and the wonderful times we have spent together moaning and groaning about our two ends never speaking to each other and isn't it incredible how other people are so well off and have no problems about paying their bills and going on holiday while we get into the throes of ecstasy finding an overlooked 20 dirham bill in an old coat pocket.
Anyway, after all these years, these close friends of ours sailing along on the seas of common misery, nearly always in danger of becoming fiscal wrecks, have gone and knifed us in the back. They made some deal that worked out and then they sold their business and now they are rich. You know, that overnight rich thing you read about in the papers and how they go out and buy new furniture and a house on the Costa del Sol instead of worrying about paying the Choithrams bill and now they are thinking of buying into a boat because they can afford it.
I do not like people who can afford it. Especially people who could not afford it just the other day and shared this kinship with us. That was our common ground. Now, his wife buys diamonds by the carat.
I am miserable, I say, traitors, that’s what they are.
Nonsense, says my wife, we should be happy for them. You be happy, I say, I don't feel happy, I feel totally betrayed and all those latent hostile feelings have woken up and are cantering around in the corral of my mind.
You are simply pathetic, says my wife, who looks genuinely happy that our friends (ex, ex, ex) have been slapped with all this good luck and I cannot understand her joy because I am going ballistic with dismay.
We have to go and congratulate them, says my wife, it doesn't look nice, what will they think?
They'll think we are jealous of them, I say, which is absolutely true, I am green with envy and I am miserable and upset and if you ask me, it is a rotten thing to do to your friends.
Le nouveau rich former friends who never had a buck in their pockets and were kindred spirits even borrowing a hunner near the end of the month and my wife is saying, now look cheerful and don't ask them how much they've made, just tell them it couldn't have happened to better people.
Gag. Feel ill. Park car. Put on brave false smile, yell hi, hey, how about that huh, isn't that just terrific, we were so excited (ha) abs great news, slap slap, thump, thump, oh you are leaving for a Canary Island cruise next week, how nice for you (and these were people who backed out of a weekend in Fujeirah because it was too close to the end of the month and you remember how we went to sales together) no, no, we aren't going away anywhere this year, plan to stay here and soak in the sun. We haven't met since.
There is this big chasm, like a broken span on a bridge after a flood. And I'll never forgive him for this because now I can't call him and do my woe is me stuff since woe is not one of the current commodities in his basket and this is making me very angry. I don't wish this on him but if the waters get rough as they cruise the Caribbean I won't lose too much sleep. It is so unfair, isn't it, when this happens to your friends and you feel like one of those long distance runners who have been lapped and are not quite sure why you are still in the race.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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