There are days when I see or hear something that fills me with despair. Yesterday was such a day. I'd been invited by a close relative for lunch at his house. Among the guests was a renowned banker as well as a filthy rich Memon who has never done a day's work in his life, nor read a book, but considers himself an authority on every subject under the sun. Of course, being acting as if he's deeply religious (like most Memons), he couldn't refrain from lecturing us on his version of religion. I had a hard time diverting the conversation.

The Memon, who has skillfully avoided paying his due share of income tax, reacted visibly when the banker said that Bangladesh has progressed due to having 65 percent of its women in its work force. Obviously this was anathema to the heavily bearded guy, after which he said that Pakistanis don't know much about Sharia. I could have told him many things about the subject which he'd never heard, but having been taught to be polite and not argue about religious matters, I held my tongue. 

I'm despondent that the majority of my countrymen are just like that Memon. They think women being allowed to workos the reason why the country is so backward, that watching TV and films should be banned, women should not be allowed to venture out of their houses and a man is not a good Muslim unless he manages to make his wife produce fifteen children.