Ziaul Haq and Mad Hatter in dialogue
by, Naseer Ahmed
Zia: Asslam O Alikum, Mad Hatter, I thought I must give you company as you obviously seem a bit distressed.
Mad Hatter: Hello, Your Darkness, cheers for company but it seems you are here to put some salt on the wounds.
Zia: Verily, Man is ungrateful to God. I am here only to show you how world works. The world you are in is my world. It is not any wonderland. No Alice here, it is just malice around.
Mad Hatter: Oh Zia you stupid fool. It still is wonderland and it still has so much compassion in it. You are long dead and nobody bothers whether you ever lived. Bye the way how did you manage to come here? I thought it was tough to return. Please, don’t recite the sacred words if you want to talk to me. These words don’t suit you.
Zia. Ok, I won’t recite, my special charity to a mad hatter. Who is fool here, Mad Hatter? You know compassion is weakness as a genuine feeling but it is the most effective tool to dodge people. You go for genuine feeling and they hurt you with tools. Here lies your damnation. I am a good manager. You have to be a good manager on the way up. I died but I live. I left but I am here. I am nowhere but I am everywhere.
Mad Hatter: Your charity. I see it here every day. They open up a charity and people begin to die. Again, you are full of double speak and dodgy deals. You would have to kill all the mothers, fathers, lovers, brothers, sisters, friends and dogs to suppress that genuine feeling. Besides, you are a crap manager. You could not overcome your fears, insecurities, jealousy, hatred and a sense of worthless. In spite of all your evil deeds, Life flows like a river. By the way, why are you here?
Zia: I killed as many as I could with pleasure but killing is not the whole thing. The point is to corrupt people and not only corrupt them but corrupt them totally. Corrupt them in a way the compassionate person dies within. And, this is a process, you start it, it becomes a way of life and relations lose whatever good they have in them minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day and year by year until there is nothing left their to cherish, enjoy and celebrate and love. This corruption goes deeper and deeper. It becomes a criminal gang who nobody could leave because all are criminals. Yes, life like river goes on but the river you have here is a contaminated river which makes everybody sick. They have to live this sickness and they die sick while believing they are perfect and healthy. I am here to enjoy my achievements and to tease a mad hatter who refuses to submit to this sickness. Who is worthless here? I died a president and I live as way of life here and you live a life where nobody gives a monkey about you.
Mad Hatter: Oh Zia, You are really worthless. Your world is dark. There is sunshine, there is light. Yes, too much load shedding another of your gift, but there is light. And there is hope. I know those people who live and work honestly. People still love their parents and their kids. People lose sleep when something tragic happens. People still speak up for one another. There are poets who write wonderful poetry. There are lover boys and there are lover girls. There are friends who would support their friends .There are drunkards who swear at you when they are high on stuff. There is a broken and mutilated democracy but it still gives hope and there are people who speak up for the downtrodden. There is no absolute and complete breakdown you rant about. Not everybody is sick and there are people who work to stop this spreading sickness. You lived and died a law breaker and your way of life is a way of gangsters. What you call achievement is still not that big success you drill into my Gogoosh- listening ears. Bye the way, she also sings again in even bigger concerts these days. Your friends in Iran are also not having it all. Zia, you fool, nobody could ever have it all, it does not matter how low they go. Besides, I have friends too.
Zia(his face darkens):You are missing all those money and interest links on purpose, just to wire me up. You present these people in good light to torture me. You are mad, this can’t be true. You have no friends; you just think them up to hurt me.
Mad Hatter: You know, I don’t tell lies to hurt and harm. I tell sweet little lies at times and I tell lies to protect privacies. Zia, it really is not that dark.
Zia: You loveless, moneyless and faithless liar. How could that be? I have set them on one another. They tear apart one another like vultures, wolves, dogs and lions. They kill young children. They kill whoever they could. They have no shame. They are corrupt. I have corrupted their faiths. I have made laws which throw people into furnaces of evil. They scream, they howl, they growl and they hunt one another. There is no tragic poet in their city. If there is one, nobody honors him. The lover girl sells her lover for thirty pieces of silver. The friend betrays his friend for convenience. An abuser is the best person here. A criminal is powerful man here. A nobody from nowhere receives bravos and kudos. There is no democracy. There are just tyrants who just change names. There is greed, violence, obedience and inertia. There is passivity and diffidence. There are rivers of blood. I have corrupted laws, I have killed morality, I have destroyed society, and I have demolished love within hearts. I have erased memories of good days. I have murdered love. I have eliminated reason and experiment. You just deny my achievements for a life supporting lie. There is nothing left. It is field of dead where they hurt, abuse, damage and destroy. There is nothing. Look what happened to you? Do I need to tell that?
Mad Hatter: I am all right, I am ok, I am fine. You are right. All these things happen but good stuff also happens. There are still honorable gentlemen and ladies around. There are lover girls who die for lover boys. There are people who smile; laugh, play and they still have fun. There are those people who won’t betray their principles for comfort. There is Asma Jahangir still fighting against spreading chestnut tree. There are people who build. There are people who think and there are people who create. I told you to turn everything into nothing is an impossible project. It won’t happen. It never did. And Children still go to school. You dodge truth by getting personal but you cannot erase truth. You cannot rehabilitate yourself. Even, your son does not talk about you much these days. In addition, they have started to think to undo all your evil deeds.
Zia: (laughs) you love to go up the hill and watch things from there. I will break your legs like I have broken your heart. You are good for nothing broken Mad Hatter. They cannot undo anything because from my evil money and power come and people go after money and power. Just wait a few more years; you would see my evil turning things upside down. People like you are nothing.
Mad Hatter: Zia, I have hopes. Your evil could not kill hope. Millions of them have hopes. Someday they would detach your evil from their hopes.
A Soldier: Mr. Ziaul Haq, you are under arrest. You would be presented in the court of Mr Francis Biddle,Colonel Sir Geoffrey Lawrence and, Major General Nicholai Nikitichinko)
Mad Hatter: Here comes Judgment Day. I would be in the court.
Ziaul Haq: Nobody could take me in any court. I am dead president of Pakistan.
Mad Hatter. You said that you were alive, Zia. Don’t feign as you are dead.
(They all disappear)