Dr. A Q Khan
Mohsin e Pakistan

When little stories are big Random thoughts

Posted in English Articles  by draqkadmin
May 31st, 2010

Random Thoughts
By Dr A Q Khan

I have a dear Sri Lankan friend named Adam Sadiq, whom I know since 1975 when he was a diplomat in Islamabad. After a stint at the foreign ministry in Colombo, he went on to become ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Over the years Mr Sadiq has been sending me messages of varying nature, the latest one being of such interest that I would like to share it with our readers.

The cleaning lady

During their second month of college lectures, a professor gave his students a pop quiz. Most of them breezed through the questions until they read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was some kind of joke! They had all seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would they know her name? Most of the students left the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count towards the quiz grade. “Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘Hello.’ Never forget that! We later found out that her name was Dorothy.

Pickup in the rain

One night, at 11.30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help the black woman, something generally unheard-of in the 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days had gone by when a knock came on his door. To his surprise, a giant-console colour TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away… God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.” It was signed Mrs Nat King Cole (wife of the world-renowned jazz pianist and singer).

Always remember those who serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked. “Fifty cents,” replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 50 cents. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip!

The obstacle in our path

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along, carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picket up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition!

(In 1976, when we were acquiring the site for the nuclear plant, we used to go to Kahuta regularly, park the army jeep at the entrance, where Gate No 1 now is, and walk to wherever work was going on. There were no roads there at the time, only footpaths through the fields. Like the king in the story, which I did not know until then, I wanted to test people and placed a big stone right in the middle of the main path. For three or four weeks nobody removed the stone and a new path was forming around it. I then removed the stone myself, remarking to Gen Zahid Ali Akbar, then a brigadier who was in charge of civil works, that this clearly illustrated the calibre of the people we had to work with to make an atom bomb. If I had read the story, I might have thought of putting a wallet with some money under the stone.)

Giving when It counts

Many years ago a girl worked as a volunteer at a hospital. During her work she got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year old brother who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. The volunteer saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying: “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as everyone else did too, as the colour returned to his sister’s cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice: “Will I start to die right away?” The little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her!

From the above we learn that attitude is everything, so be kinder than necessary —everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Live simply, love generously, care deeply and speak kindly. I hope the readers will pick up on some of the points raised in the above paragraphs. God bless my dear friend, Adam Sadiq, with good health and a long life. Ameen.

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