My dear friend Adnan used to say, "Saqib sahab, each man for himself" on certain occassions that he knows and I know, too. Something happened a few weeks earlier that reminded me of that saying of his, immediately. It also reminded me of what my Software Engineering teacher, Saima Sheikh often said, "You have to know when to put the foot down."
I was merrily checking my email in the academic block at the university on my laptop sitting on a bench using wifi. Along came a boy and asked me "Yahan pay wifi hay." I get asked that a lot by people who own a laptop and discover that they can actually access the Internet from on campus using wifi when they see me doing it. So, I told him, "Yes."
Now he took the next step, "Can I use your laptop for 'a minute,' I just need to update my address on LUMS admission system." This was kind of outrageous, but I thought, well, I just have to go in five minutes for asr prayers, let the boy use it. So, down he sat and went about his business.
Then he went off. A minute later, he returned telling me that the admissions office people were asking him to do something else, too, right away. That was irritating, but I thought, OK, maybe he really does need it, so I let him do it. During his use of the laptop, he kept chatting asking me whether I taught here or what etc, and I spoke only as much as necessary.
He received a phone call and guided someone to where he was sitting and told them that he'd be over a minute or two. A minute or so later, he then got up with the laptop and told me that he was going to the admissions office, which wasnt too far, for just a minute to show them his progress.
This is when I recalled both these quotes I have mentioned, and I decided enough was enough. I asked him to stop right there, return the laptop right away and that he could do whatever it is that he wanted somewhere else, because I had to go for the prayers and I had waited enough. Everyone has there limitations and he should learn to live by his limitations. If he doesnt own a laptop, he can not do what he was doing, period. Plain and simple. He needs to find a nearby cyber cafe or lab or something to do what he wants to do.
At that moment, I also made a mental note to add 'laptop' to the list of things never to lend out, which already contained, 'wife' and 'car.'
So, if you lend someone your car, your wife, or your laptop, expect them to be returned after identical treatment.
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