If touched, a naked live-wire shocks. If touched an electricity bill shocks these days. Why does a live-wire shock? Only Nature knows. Why does an electricity bill shock? Only the rulers know. The electric shock is Nature's creation. The bill-shock is our national creation. Had nature liked, she could have created shock free electricity. But no Likewise, had the rulers liked, they could have created shocks free bills. But no According to a news, a resident of Faisalabad received his monthly electricity bill. He was shocked. He had never known this brand of a shock before. He did not have the means to pay the bill in money. He decided to make the payment with his dead body. He sprinkled a combustible oil over this body and set himself ablaze. According to the news, eighty percent of his body was badly charred. Logically and morally, the government should exempt eighty percent of the bill. Our load-shedding on a massive scale is a new technology of physical torturing. Especially in summer, under high temperatures, breathing becomes an ordeal. The poor old Pakistanis, with weak lungs, keep miserably looking at their stationary electric fans. They keep requesting the fans: "Please Fans, grant us just a little bit of relief." But the fans are cruelly stubborn. They retort: "We can't move. Why don't you move out of the country?" Sometimes, because of prolonged load-shedding medical aid can't be delivered in emergencies. In such cases, load-shedding is not load-shedding. It is blood-shedding. In most of the countries, the masses are phenomenally poor and the rulers are phenomenally affluent. In such countries, the masses regularly starve. The rulers know it. But they do nothing about it. They do nothing because they don't have personal experience of starvation. Having a mere knowledge of starvation and having a personal experience of it are two radically different entities. The starvation of the masses can be exterminated only if the rulers are forced to undergo starvation courses for a fortnight or so. Our rulers have a knowledge of the misery which load-shedding has been inflicting upon the masses. But they don't have a personal experience of it. Just subject them to load-shedding for a fortnight or so. They would become furious. The moment load-shedding looked at the ruler's fury, it would be horrifically terrified and flee the country. The rulers would buy electricity from all over the world on a war basis. Pakistan would become the most 'electrified' country in the region. Because of our war with the Taliban, Pakistan has contracted financial diabetes. We have been begging at the international level for relief. Despite our begging, the financial crunch is getting severer and severer. We desperately need whole tankfuls of dollars. But we are getting only spoonfuls. Our past history has convinced the world that we are professional beggars. In addition to the Taliban war, we are having another war. It is our war with electricity. It seems that the Taliban and electricity are in league with each other to de-Pakistanise Pakistan. Normally, if you touch a naked live-wire, you get a shock. But things have become phenomenally abnormal. Let alone a naked wire, if you touch an electric switch it shocks. If you are worried about the electric shocks here is a remedy. Get your residence completely de-electrified. Obviously, the de-electrification would put lots of switches and wires at your disposal. Present these wires and switches as gifts to the electricity authority. Inflation is more violent in the country than the Taliban. It is flinging more and more Pakistanis below the poverty-line. The capability of the masses to buy electricity is declining at a shocking rate. If electricity keeps becoming more and more expensive, the time must soon come when a poor Pakistani would look at the skies and beg: "Please Heaven I can't buy electricity. Can't you bless me with the owl's eyes?" Our survival depends on our exports. We expect industrial goods and fruits. The load-shedding is playing havoc with our industries. Our fruits are a gift of nature. We export various kinds of fruits. Probably, mangoes top the list. If our industrial exports keep declining, we will have to depend largely on mangoes. In Central America, there are some very poor countries known as Banana republics. They survive on their banana-exports and foreign aid. Let's pray that Pakistan does not become a mango republic. According to a report, electricity in Pakistan is the most expensive in the world. If the report is correct, we must be proud of it. At least there is a technology in which we have beaten the entire world. We deserve a huge pat on the back from the United Nations. Prolonged outages at night create prolonged darkness. Prolonged darkness is a godsend for the robbers. It is a guarantee of their prosperity. Probably, the robbers' character is that they are not ungrateful. They are praying for the prosperity of the authorities which have created outages for them. The writer is an academic