Money is mere illusion, says philosophical Asad Umer after failing to shore up reserves


(Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.)

Twirling a still unlit cigarette between his fingers, creased at the center from the needless handling, Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar said that money is a mere illusion as he stared into the distance.

“Existence is pain” said the man who holds one of the most important offices in the civilian government and was supposed to hold the answers for the crumbling economy.

“Money? You’re worried about money? You think it matters how many dollars we have in our reserves? You think it really matters? Huh. Of course you would think that” he said as he struck a match, the burning sulfur whirring before being blown out by a gust of cold win just as he was about to light his sagging cigarette.

“Huh” he said, half scoffing, half laughing, the right corner of his mouth turning upwards in a wry smile.

“All the money in the world – all the dollars, every single one of them, is not worth more than this match” he said as he carelessly flicked it over the edge of bridge he was standing on in the middle of the night into the dark depths of the icy river beneath.     

“Look I know what money is about. I don’t know if you know this, I don’t really like saying it outloud, but I used to have a salary of Rs 70 lac a month.”

“All that money, it doesn’t fulfil you. Sure, a few billion dollars would really help the economy from collapsing and stop the process of basic necessities becoming harder and harder to acquire, but would it really make anyone happy??” he said before trailing off and staring at the full moon half concealed in a haze of fog.

“Cui bono” he muttered under his breath, “cui bono” he said again, shaking his head and breaking down into tears, unable to give any further comment on account of his sobbing.