Over coffee cup, conversation, a few lessons on life’s priorities



Column by Waqar Khan. E-mail [email protected].

Some people are so pragmatic in their thoughts that you understand their wisdom when they are not around.

It takes a while for average people like me to get the insight into their thoughts. These people are so ordinary and blended in to the public that we don’t expect them to be having wisdom.

One day my friend and I decided to meet up to have some coffee. We started walking to the coffee shop and as dusk was approaching, it was almost dark when we reached the coffee shop. He ordered a hot cup of coffee, the dark one.

My friend said that a good way of knowing the coffee is its color; the darker it is, the more aromatic it is. We sat next to a table where an old man was sipping the coffee and leaning on the table in such a way that he was going to hit the table with his chin. He was reading a newspaper in the dim light of the coffee shop.

My friend has a habit of talking about random stuff, and as usual he started conversation about marriage.

He mused, “I am really curious about my marriage and am wondering, when I would marry?”

As I was thinking of mocking him and was ready to say something, suddenly the old man broke the ice, looked at my friend and said, “You are curious about marriage?”

My friend nodded his head in affirmation. I was now listening to the conversation wholeheartedly.

The old man said, “Everybody is obsessed with these small desires. Somebody is asking, ‘Who am I going to marry?’ Someone asking, ‘How can I get rich?’

Someone is asking, ‘How can I get famous?’ And students like you guys are curious about how to get a great job after completing education.”

The old man continued, “We spend our whole life searching these questions and we never get the answer.” “We marry, we get a great job, get famous, but the question of satisfaction still remains in the mystery.

“We humans are a naturally unsatisfied creation. We want more and more. This lust for more never ends until you discover what you are and what happiness means.

“The overall purpose of these questions is finding calmness and satisfaction in your life.

“Our purpose is not to get rich, our purpose is not to get marry and have kids and our purpose is not to search for fame. The deep thought behind all these things is that we are looking for happiness. We are looking for satisfaction. And if you can satisfy yourself with the common things and quench your thirst with ordinary things, I guarantee you would love your life and you would live your life in every second of your life. Believe me!

“The purpose of drinking water is not reaching water but quenching the thirst,” he said.

“Our purpose is not to get rich and fame but to get satisfaction. Your life worth is harmony in life; otherwise you might achieve the things you want but would not be happy with these things.

“I have been a student. I have married and have kids, and I have had a great job. I have seen everything I desired, but I never got satisfied with these things.

“I still miss the cup of coffee; I used to hang with my friends late evening. I miss sleeping through my classes; I miss the little joy of having free candies. I miss all these things. I don’t miss the big things I got, I miss the small things,” the man said.

“Make these small things as the worthiest things in your life and enjoy these small things the most in your life. All of your questions would be answered and you would find satisfaction and harmony in your life.”

At the end of the conversation my friend looked at me in the eyes as that he has been answered for every single question he had. I thanked the old man and we made our way back to our homes.