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Once a joker, always a joker!

Tariq Khalique

There was a joker who was confident that no one in the world can match his skills and for several years he used to entertain public in a remote area. The area people highly praised him for his talent.

One day, some of his friends asked him why don’t he join the election race so that he not only keep entertaining them, but also make efforts to improve their living standards. They insisted that he would easily win the election due to his honesty and people loved him.

On the first instance, he refused and said he feels much happier in entertaining the people, rather than ruling them.





As time passes, the close aides keep insisting on him to participate in the elections, but he continues to focus on improving his skills as a joker. In the meantime, the joker came to know that an influential of the kingdom is visiting his town for some official work. The joker decided to meet him and tell him about his skills so that he might get some work in big towns because he wanted to show his talent to a larger audience.

Despite several attempts, he got disappointment. When he discussed his desire to meet the influential for some work in big towns and cities, his friends make fun of him and said, don’t you know these people don’t have time for common people like us.

After listening to this, the joker decided to run for the highest post in elections and conveyed this to his friends. They all expressed happiness and assured him of their support.

The joker and his friends started contacting people in the area for getting their support. Some of the people advised him not to indulge in political activities because this is not his forte and he will not be successful, but the joker insisted that if he can entertain people and get their praise, he can also serve them in a better way than others.

Months after months, he continued his efforts to get support of the people by highlighting the wrongdoings of the area managers. After sometime, people started getting convinced that he will be able to resolve their problems and they give their nod to the joker.

The joker was happy to know that his area people have shown their confidence in his skills and ideas and as the election process starts, he filed his nomination papers for the top slot.

Despite his confidence of winning the elections, he knew that he cannot face his competitors without the support of some influential people so he started approaching them and apprised them of his idea to join politics for the betterment of the area.

As the conditions of the area were getting worse because of the ill-conceived policies of the governing bodies, the most ‘powerful’ group of influential assured him of their support on the condition that he will never disclose their name to the people.

In the elections, the joker was elected as the head of the state, and in his maiden speech to the people of the area, he promised to serve them honestly with the main focus on resolving their problems.

Now, the challenge was to appoint people, who can help him in delivering the pledges he made with the area residents. As he was a joker by profession, and most of his friends were also from the same clan, he started giving main responsibilities to them with the expectation of getting desired results.

In doing so, he forgets that this is not an entertainment show, where jokers can bring smile on the faces of the people by their foolish acts.





This decision of giving major responsibilities to his friends costs him dearly, and within a short span of time, he had to face criticism not only from others, but also from his well-wishers and supporters for failure in fulfilling his promises.

Disheartened by the performance of his friends, he decided to take them to task and started monitoring their performance. In the process, he changed responsibilities of a few, but to no avail.

After getting the top level position, he found out that nothing has changed except that now he is playing the role of a puppet instead of a joker. He was not empowered to take major decisions on his own; rather some other powerful groups are taking them.

He got frustrated and started challenging these decisions, which annoyed the influential group and after few months they decided to change him, as according to them, he was no more useful for them.

After being removed from the top slot, the joker returned to his native town with the hope that the people of the area would again welcome him, as he was the best joker, but he had to face repercussions of his wrong decisions.

What this story tells us is that we should not judge a book by its cover. Being bold and confident is a healthy sign, but it is a fact that one should continue to focus on the areas of expertise; otherwise his fate will also be the same, as that of the joker. Once a joker, always a joker!

“A joker is a little fool who is different from everyone else. He’s not a club, diamond, heart, or spade. He’s not an eight or a nine, a king or a jack. He is an outsider. He is placed in the same pack as the other cards, but he doesn’t belong there. Therefore, he can be removed without anybody missing him.” (Jostein Gaarder, a Norwegian intellectual and author of several novels, short stories and children books).

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