A friend of mine used to say "In Pakistan the phrase 'do you know who I am?' should be read as 'do you know who I think I am?'"
Falsehood has crept so deeply into our society that we can't even stop lying to ourselves. The lie of who we think we are gets so distorted with time that even we lose track of who we actually are.
The false persona that we create about ourselves is necessary in a society where one constantly has to oversell one's self to stay relevant. A society which focuses on optics more than substance; a society in which appearing a certain way is more important than being that way. But all these fake facades leave our egos extremely vulnerable. The persona that we create needs to be kept in extensive care -- even a slight whiff of truth can be fatal for who we think we are, and we don't want to know that we are not what we think we are.
I see that all around me irrespective of profession, age, colour, gender and background. The fierce protection of our alter-egos. I see it on roads when our alter-ego of Micheal Schumacher refuses to accept that someone can overtake us. I see it in offices when perfectly nice people conspire against their colleagues to somehow protect their own alter ego of 'best worker'. I see it in colleges when an argument turns into a physical altercation because the alter-ego of Aristotle couldn't tolerate being outwitted. I can see it in the broken arms of underage domestic help, who inadvertently made the alter-ego of Raja Inder question the validity of their arrogance.
But what happened yesterday at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology should be a wake up call for all of us. We all saw the overwhelming power of the death of the collective alter-ego of lawyers. Don't get me wrong. Some of the best people I know are lawyers, some of my best friends are lawyers. I am talking about the fake persona that the black coat has come to represent now. The persona which forces a perfectly nice person to not wear a seat belt and refuse to accept a challan because of who he is made to think he is once he is in that black coat. The alter-ego of Goliath, which couldn't sustain a slight from the video of an unknown young doctor addressing his colleagues. Defending the fake persona became so important that the human inside forgot that it was human to begin with. The black coat successfully killed the last strain of humanity in those donning it, to attack and fiercely protect the alter ego. We didn't comprehend the full...