It was June 2011, I was working in UAE. I was taking driving classes to obtain my driving license and believe me, getting a driving license in UAE is one hell of a task. I’d been taking classes for the last four months, failed three tests and was paying a sum equivalent of INR 10,000 every week to pay for the extra classes and take up the test again. One morning, I was waiting for my turn to drive for the road test to get my driving license. I failed the test yet again, but witnessed an amazing incident in parts for about 3 hours while I waited for my turn to drive. So, here’s how it went:
A guy of about my age entered the room wearing gray knickers & black vests, no t-shirt. With his long hair let loose, unshaved beard, Ray-Ban glasses, gold plated watch, a weird looking tattoo on his right wrist and his over confident attitude, it was clear that either he was going to give a lesson to the authorities or get one from them. I don’t know till this day why I named him ‘The Asshole’ in my mind, so I am going to address him by the same name while I describe rest of the incident. His driver sat at the last row of the chairs and kept an eye on The Asshole.
All of us were sitting in the waiting hall. The Asshole was sitting on the first chair from the entrance as if he was dead sure that the examiner will call his name first of all for the test. Examiner’s kept coming and going one after the other, calling names of three people who would go for the road test and The Asshole kept waiting for his turn. After a while, The Asshole got up in a hurry and stepped into the Examining Authority Office. Few people wondered what he was up to. The Asshole came out smiling after a few minutes.
I thought The Asshole has bribed the officials for getting the driving license as it was one of the practices to clear the test by paying the four times amount of the total fees to an official and he will pass you, no matter how you drive. Finally, an examiner announced The Asshole’sname and he stood up flashing his full set of teeth. The examiner saw him from top to bottom and said, “Have you come to the gym? What kind of outfit you’re wearing in public?”
The Asshole replied, “What is wrong with these clothes? Its so hot outside.”
(For the information, Arabs are very strict as far as the public clothing is concerned. Partial nudity is allowed only on the beaches. Arab officials don’t put much pressure on Europeans & Americans as its from there the major chunk comes in to help them maintain their hi-tech systems.)
“You cannot appear for the test like this. Go to your home and come back properly dressed.” The Examiner instructed him in a strict tone.
“My home is one hour drive from here!” The Asshole replied in even stern tone.
“What can I do about that?”
“This is not fair!”
“If you argued one more time, I am going to call the security. Please, I am requesting you to come for the test only when you are properly dressed.”
Witnessing the argument, The Asshole’sdriver stepped in and took him out.
A few minutes later, The Asshole entered the hall again and this time he was wearing his driver’s shirt. He was a little polite with the Examiner and asked him whether he was dressed well enough now to appear for the test. Examiner smiled at him and told him to wait.
I wondered what type of person The Asshole’s driver was! He gave The Asshole his shirt so that he does not misses a road test! The Asshole could have appeared for the test next week as well. He was an Arab, a UAE National and UAE Nationals do not care much about the money. They are rich, arrogant and proud of their system which is designed with the main motive of keeping expatriates on high heels all the time.
Anyway, I became curious in all this episode and went out to spot The Asshole’sdriver. I saw him sitting at the driver’s seat in a Silver colored E-Series BMW. His body’s upper half was naked. I walked up to him and passed my regards. He was a Pakistani man named Mohammed Reza.
I inquired him about the incident and he said, “I am a worker. I get paid for driving. I gave him my shirt because I know the value of 700 Dirhams, he does not.” (700 Dirhams are equivalent to approximately 10,000 Indian Rupees as on today.)
I said, “You are doing all this even when you know he wouldn’t give a damn if you are in need of 700 Dirhams and you couldn’t manage them from anywhere?”
“Yes, I know. But Allah says…”
I interrupted him, “Please don’t say a word about what Allah says or not. Is his Allah different from yours? Same rules apply to him as well, don’t they?”
He smiled and said, “He is blinded by the power of money. He is rich and he doesn’t hide his richness. He spends lavishly. He has tried to bribe the officers inside, they refused his offer and asked him to appear for the test. They will pass him because he is an Arab national. one of their own. But, I wish he fails today and is instructed to attend regular driving classes from a person like me. Only then he can understand what kind of life normal people live.”
“But that won’t change him too! He won’t respect you until he loses all his wealth and is forced to live on a monthly paycheck, like a normal man, like you!”
“God forbid, I always pray for his father’s wellness. He has looked upon me for a long time. I cannot think bad about him. It is sin.”
On this note, I took his leave and went back in. There he was, The Asshole, sitting on the first chair from the entrance. Examiner announced his name and he stood up. Examiner saw him and smiled, he smiled back. Everything was in order. Both of them left for the road test.
They returned after few minutes, and The Asshole was once again arguing with the examiner about why did he fail him! According to The Asshole, he drove so well, he drove so fast!!
The examiner told pointed out the mistakes The Asshole made in his driving. But his real mistakes were much different.
His driver showed him how to be faithful. The examiners & the authority too showed him how to be faithful with one’s job & responsibility, but The Asshole appeared to be one of those human beings who never give a damn about anything that comes with a tag of ‘Responsibility’.
All The Asshole wanted was to get that driving license, that day itself. He didn’t want to come again for the test or to attend any kind of driving classes, but he was forced to. He would have fired his driver if he had passed the test as the thrill of speed is best experienced when one drives himself. But Allah is also faithful with those who are faithful with their duties & responsibilities towards others.
All my worst wishes & bad lucks to all The Assholes like him around the world. I wish he never passes the test until he learns to respect the man who can remove his shirt for him. Or until he understands the fact that the so called Allah examines each one of us equally, considering the amount of wisdom in our minds, not by the amount of money in our bank accounts.