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‘Hey, the Mike’s Comin’ !’
Kamran Bashir Sheikh


(The author can be contacted at


The whole town was excited and so were ‘The Rings’. Originating as a youth club from a campus in the suburbs, ‘The Rings’ was found at every place where there was an activity to enjoy. Kim was somebody special out of the group - a leader leading from the front on every occasion. Be it a concert or a cricket match, he could move the masses like anything. And these days, Mike was coming. It wasn’t the ordinary Mike in the street like every Tom, Dick and Harry. It was the celebrated Michael Jackson -- the heartthrob of the millions. ‘The Rings’ was part of the whole entourage that was to welcome Mike when his plane would land.

In the wake of all the hustle and bustle, the clamour of news magazines, and the romance of the youth groups that goes with such events, the day came -- Mike’s day. Amidst so many excited people, Kim, with a look of a ‘mod-squad’ guy, was waiting for the greatest hero of his age. The crowd was getting restless. It looked as if it would give a tumultuous welcome to their dream-man.

And then the voice of the airport staff mesmerized the air: ‘Attention please, the plane with Michael Jackson has landed’. And the crowd went wild.

The place was reverberating with the roars of the people. In a few minutes, the hero was there to be seen with blinking eyes… ‘Yahoo! Here he is!’ one voice was heard. ‘What a star he is!’ the other added. Overawed, Kim went ahead to embrace him. He was about to touch the superstar when suddenly his eyes caught sight of someone whom he could recognize in millions. He was his father’s mentor who was on the same flight. But that was too superficial an introduction of a person whose learning and knowledge could move the intellectual elite, a rare specie belonging to the world of wisdom and scholarship. Had he been born in the times of the great Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd, he would have adorned the throne of the emperor. But alas! He was living in the twentieth century, a soul entrapped in an age when artists and sportsmen are the stars of all human activity. They are the ideals of the new generation -- rather the choice of the new generation.

Kim, though raised in a learned family, somehow couldn’t follow the footsteps of his father -- a father for whom the tradition of learning was something very sacred. But at this very moment, his soul had unknowingly made him face the greatest ordeal of his life. On one side, he was seeing Mike with all his glamour and on the other, he was beholding the epitome of learning, the revered Kandhalvi from Delhi, whose glowing forehead was relating a different story. In Mike was the rare opportunity to revel in the joys of this world. In Kandhalvi was something invaluably antique, a once in a lifetime feast. O Lord ! Show me the right path. He had to decide on his destiny, he had to choose his fortune. To be or not to be, that ‘became’ the question. He struggled against the winds. And then he chose him. Yes, he surrendered himself, surrendered himself before the truth. He moved to embrace him -- embrace none other than Kandhalvi. He was free from the bondage, the bondage of the lures of the world. Congrats! My Dear Kim. ... and this was the last time he was seen with a pop mob.



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