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The Vicious Cycle

Dr.Muhammad Ismail Wali

Once there lived a population of ants in a sandy part of a desert. Ants know how to use their herd instincts. They work in a long line but in opposite directions. Stray ants were sometimes trapped by ant lions. Once some ants escaped the sand traps of the ant lions. They had lost some of their smart organs during the desperate struggle while escaping from the slippery slides of the trap. The special ants made a group and lodged a complaint with their queen as to why the ant lions were allowed to engage in their nefarious activities. After a long series of consultations with her ministers, the queen decided to constitute a commission for a judicial probe. The commission comprised three retired ants which had safely escaped the traps.

The queen arranged to provide the commission with every facility. The special ants were asked to carry the three members on their backs to see around the area for investigational purposes. The members met the heads of all departments of civil and military institutions, not only those of ants and all other insects, but never went near the sand traps. The special ants repeatedly complained against this behavior to hear “such visits go against our mandate.” The commission returned with a huge loads documents for scrutiny regarding the history the evolutionary past of the ant lions. At the end of exercise, the commission submitted the following report to the queen:

In view of the above findings, we recommend to institute another commission for investigating the matter and with more powers to resolve the issue through negotiations.

The queen and her ministers agreed to the recommendations and issued the following order: “ I am pleased to institute another commission for probing the issue and make recommendations for fool-proved security measures.” The members of the second commission were serving security experts and judicial professionals. This time the special ants had to carry two members each. It took longer time to visit the targeted areas, and the exercise was more troublesome than death through the slippery walls of the trap.

The process ended with the following conclusion: “ In view of the above findings, we strongly recommend to constitute another commission to probe into the activities of the previous commission including riding the special ants one each. The queen held meetings with her ministers and the meetings led to the following decision: “ the queen is not sad to constitute another commission with the mandate to confine the enquiry to the activities of the previous commission .

This time the members of the commission decided to use the special ants in threesomes. It took years to visit the targeted areas for investigation. Many special ants lost their lives under the burden of the overweight champions of the commission. During this period, some proactive members of the commission conspired to trick the queen herself into a trap laid by the king of the ant lions. After her death, a democratic member of the commission succeeded in securing the throne for himself. On being elevated to the highest position, the member used all his verbal and non-verbal skills to blame the queen and her forefathers for the death of all the ants in the traps of the ant lions. He further announced to constitute an extraordinary commission for probe into the matter and make recommendations for effective security measures. According to the official notification, the members of the commission shall be dumb, deaf, and lame; and a group of technocrats would help them in evolving effective strategies for completing the mission.

The technocrats were proved sharp enough to trick the members of the commission into the traps, and entered into a clandestine agreement with the king of the ant lions for providing him and his select group of ant lions with fresh meat every day. The final report submitted by the “extraordinary commission,” inter alia, contained the following:

The members of the previous commissions were corrupt and this corruption must be probed before a state policy would be declared. As the members of the EC were super-intelligent, having the potential to conspire against the state; because some of them nursed some soft corner for the queen and her house. Hence it is recommended that another commission might be constituted for a fresh enquiry so that an effective foreign policy would be adopted for providing security to all in the country.

After being briefed by the technocrats, the democratic leader made the following statement:

We have successfully shaken off the shackles of autocracy. We are committed to the noble cause of providing security to all ants in the country. The technocrats are elevated to higher positions for the duties they performed during the probe. All probes in future would be conducted in consultation with them.

The most senior technocrat, named “Ant Lion,” was assigned the task of searching for less intelligent people to form the next commission. Days passed and fresh meat was provided to the king of ant lions under the cover of “Top Secret.” One day, the dead body of an ant lion was found in the premises of the ant republic. The king of the ant lions sent an informal note to the democratic leader to compensate for the murder. The Ant Lion made some verbal changes in the note before passing it on to the leader through proper channel. Now it read: a commission must be constituted for probing the matter and the enquiry must be submitted to the foreign office within three seconds of its completion.

The leader fell ill. His doctors advised him to eat the heart of an ant lion for boosting up his health. A team of engineers was assigned the Herculean task of trapping an ant lion. After many failures of maneuvering shrewd experiments, they devised a human of trapping an ant lion. A young female ant, a celebrity in its finest sense, was hired for tempting a young male ant lion and sucking him to death during the instinctual orgy. The celebrity came from a family of the special ants and was waiting for an apt opportunity.

All arrangements were made for their union in a small cave in the ant country. The lover ant lion was fed with enough ant meat so that the hunger instinct would remain satisfied, the sex instinct, dominant. The beauty of the celebrity turned out to be more alluring than its meat after being trapped. The lover ant lion decided to remain in the ant country, like Antony, and to enter into life partnership with the celebrity. The masculinity of the young ant lion was so tempting that the celebrity forgot her mission. They eloped to a distant cave for cross-breeding a new race.

The Ant Lion blamed all this on the leader in such a way as to secure the secure the top executive position for himself. He also conspired to hold the leader responsible for all the damage to ants. He also succeeded in appointing all near and dear ones against high and powerful positions with the authority to constitute commissions on their own in public interest.

One day a new breed, half ant and half ant lion, appeared in the street of the ant kingdom. The new breed was equipped with the intelligence to escape from sand traps and to eat other ants in emergency. The whole population of ants turned fans of the new breed. The members of the new breed worked for drastic changes in the country. At last, they gained victory. A young ant-lion was elected to the highest position. Their previous problem was to escape the dangers of being trapped by the enemy. Now the problem doubled: when and how to eat the weaker ants in emergency? Now commissions were ordered to be constituted for making recommendations in this regard.

Dr. ismail wali chitral

The Author

Dr. Muhammad Ismail Wali is a Chitrali scholar, whose main field is English Literature. He has done his Ph.D. from the University of Peshawar. He has been teaching English Language and Literature in the colleges of KPK, Pakistan for more than two decades. Now he is a professor at Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar. Besides teaching and research, he has been regularly engaged in creative writing. He writes poems in English, Urdu and Khowar.
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