Sharjah’s world of words | Shaadaab S. Bakht - GulfToday

Sharjah’s world of words

Shaadaab S. Bakht

@ShaadaabSBakht

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

Sharjha-Book-Fair

A crowd browses through books at the Sharjah Book Fair.

Whenever I feel that I am being unfairly treated by someone, I don’t grumble or foul-mouth. I fall back on Immanuel Kant’s words. The German philosopher said, “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” Therefore, I never expect my tormentor to be different. His behaviour should reflect his origin.

Perennially drunk on Kant’s belief I don’t expect too many nice things from too many people. I have been using the argument as a weapon against any kind of personal anguish. In other words, it has made me hugely tolerant.

And what has added to my near-impregnable armour is Francis Bacon’s considered opinion that we should accept man as he is, not as he should be.

The 17th century English writer is asking us to leave an ideological quarter for human fallibility and accept human beings with their failings. Basically, ignore the dog’s bark, treasure its loyalty and ignore the tiger’s stench, respect its might.


The 17th century English writer is asking us to leave an ideological quarter for human fallibility…


I thought and thought about his suggestion and then embraced it. I have been a much relaxed person after I did that. I willingly, almost smilingly, made allowances for friends’ excesses. I must admit they did the same in return. Relationships flowed unhindered because they became undemanding in character. They became what they should be: heartwarmingly succulent and a wall against biting loneliness.

Well, the observations, that became pivotal to my growing up process, would have remained unknown to me if I hadn’t bothered to read, one of the four influences that make up our lives. The other three are our parents, teachers and friends. 

Therefore, the Sharjah authorities’ decision to hold the annual book fair is a step in the right direction.

It recognises that we are what we read and knowledge is power that can win wars without a bullet being fired or a drop of blood being shed.

It underlines that the soul of social progress lies in knowledge and not in material wealth.   

The 39th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) 2020, organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), under the theme ‘The World Reads from Sharjah’, brought together renowned Arab authors and intellectuals, who joined the fair virtually to lead a series of exciting literary and cultural discussions through the event, which started on November 4 and will end tomorrow. Regional and international literary luminaries spoke at the Sharjah International Book Fair.

Nothing keeps the universe ticking like the word does, the Sharjah event goes on to reinforce that invincible truth.

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