Slick and Oily

Slick and Oily

In Mathnawi [the acclaimed anthology of Moulana Rumi] there is a story written of a conceited person. He was poor, but portrayed himself to be rich. He had some animal fat in a skin. Daily he would oil his moustache with the fat and appear before people saying: “Today I ate pilau,” “Today I ate qorma.” [In other words, with his oily appearance he wished to deceive onlookers into thinking that he regularly enjoyed rich and sumptuous meals.]

One day this person was bragging in his usual fashion when his son came running and shouting: “Abba! A stray-cat took away the skin and fat with which you oil your moustache daily.”

The son let the cat out of the bag and people came to know of that person’s lies. His slick look was on account of rubbing fat to his face, not as he claimed, “eating pilau and qorma.”

In short those who are pretentious never go far. A day definitely comes when their masks of deception are ripped apart. Then, instead of honour they are disgraced in the eyes of others.