Habib Khan: There is No Free Lunch

“Oh my God,” why did he do that?, I asked Aziz who with a sarcastic laugh replied, “probably because of the Free Lunch.”

Engr. Habib Khan from Quetta: This story is from a “walknic,” which of course is not an addition to the English dictionary but a combination of two word “walk” and “picnic”.

Experience has already proved that the attendance or participation in a walknic is inversely proportional to the number of kilometers set for walk.

So, in one such walknics in 2003/2004 where the walking distance set was 25 km, the attendance turned out to be 1 out of 20 and yet, since the beauty of walking lies in the fact that you need only a pair of willing legs, the walknic wasn’t aborted and in fact turned out to be a memorable one and indeed at the end an educating one too.

Me and my friend Aziz, (whose Suzuki pickup was used to carry the refreshments ) had some good time on the beach and consumed the ration of at least four people each, but there were still lots of coke and fruits and chips and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates left when we set off back for home in the same truck.

Just a couple of kilometers ahead, a young boy of around 14 or 15 years of age waved us for a lift, and Aziz gladly stopped, gave him a lift and asked him in “Lasi” to open and enjoy a bottle of coke, and then a mango and a chocolate etc.

Some 5 or 6 km short of Hub, there was a levies checkpoint with a makeshift speed breaker, and the guard on duty started some conversation with me in “Brahvi.” In the meantime, a bigger truck passed and though I did hear Aziz scream at someone, I didn’t pay attention and then when we resumed our journey, I looked back and not finding the boy in the truck, worriedly asked Aziz, and he said, “didn’t you notice? at the speed breaker, the boy jumped into the larger truck, and the truck had almost run him over but luckily he managed to cling to the truck (and to dear life) and finally somehow managed to get in.

“Oh my God,” why did he do that?, I asked Aziz who with a sarcastic laugh replied, “probably because of the Free Lunch.”

Since then, whenever the narrative “There is no free lunch” comes about in discussions, my point of view is that you don’t need to train the youngsters on this, as evolution has probably wired our brains in a manner that we automatically tend to avoid the consequences of a free lunch to the extent of even risking our lives in the process.

Aziz has since become the General Secretary of the Cadbury’s Labor Union, and hopefully, this experience has taught him much to understand the difference between a true welfare program and a free lunch.