Wednesday, February 18, 2015

(6) THE REAL HAPPINESS

             Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

Many people collect a lot of wealth in this world. They remain so busy in accumulating affluence that they forget their loved ones and become selfish. On the other hand, many live a simple life giving importance to love and peace. Rani was one of those people who was not interested in money and material things.

Rani was the only daughter of Janzaib, who was one of the richest men in the city of Karachi. Rani’s father had disowned her from the day she had married an uneducated, poor and simple man, Rahat. He had come to Karachi from Larkana, and he sold flowers in a shopping mall.

On Valentine’s Day in 2015, Rani went to the shopping mall where Rahat worked. Rani purchased some clothes and books from the shops in the mall. When she was going out, she saw a flower stall. She came to the stall, and for a while, she looked at the beautiful flowers. “Which one would you like to buy, miss?” Rahat asked her.

“Yet, I don’t have anyone to give flowers to,” she sighed.

“Look this is a nice one. Your mother will like it,” he added.

“Yes. Well, my mother had died when I was three, and only my father is alive. He doesn’t have time for anything but his business.”

“I am sorry to hear that. Well, ma’am, today is the day of love, so here is a rose for you from my side.” he smiled warmly.

“Oh, thank you!” beamed Rani. She took a note of one thousand from her purse. “Here you are,” she replied as she handed it to Rahat.

“Miss, this flower isn’t that much!”

She smiled and said, “My father says everything has its price!”

“Yes, well, maybe but love has no price. No one can purchase love with money. One can get many things with money from the mall, but no one has the love for selling in their stocks.”

“You are right. I believe so.” After saying this, she took the flower and left.

When Rani came home, she wept a lot in her bedroom. She thought she had no one to share love with. She thought about the business of her father. He has wealth, but no love, care and feelings. He is too busy and greedy trying to get more money all the time. “I don’t like his principles and his life. I need to live my life according to my rules. If all people thought like the man at the flower stall, this world would be a better place,” she whispered as if reminding herself.

The next day, she went to Rahat. “You have nice thoughts. I want to listen more from you about love, care and life. What are you doing this evening?”

His eyes lit up with the sudden acceptance. “I will remain here up to the night. I am usually free on Fridays.”

“All right. Can we meet on Friday evening at the café?”

“My pleasure.”

So that Friday, Rani felt that the prince who will bring happiness in her life was Rahat. She started to go out with him regularly. One evening, while they were strolling along the beach, she asked Rahat to marry her.

“I am a poor man, and I have no degrees. What will your father say?”

“Rahat, I am an educated and assertive girl. I will not let anyone snatch my rights. Here in Karachi girls are not so much limited as in interior Sindh. We will do court marriage. After marriage, we will live wherever you will say.”

At night, when Rani’s father came, she said him, “Dad, I am alone. You are too busy doing business, and so I would like to get married.”

“Oh, that’s a good news! Who is the lucky man? Has he a big bungalow and what does he do? He must be a doctor, right?”

“No, father he is a poor, and uneducated man. He sells flowers in a mall.”

“What! The daughter of mine will marry an uneducated and above all a flowers seller? I will never allow this!”

“I’m sorry dad, but money is not important to me, and after marriage I will teach him reading and writing.”

“You still live in the thoughts of novels. These all are lies written by some foolish writers. You’d better be realistic. Think about your career and future.”

“Father, my happiness is with Rahat. I knew you wouldn’t like this. Tomorrow, I am going to marry him in the court.”

“If you do so, I will not give you a penny from my wealth, and I will disown you. I will not let you live in this house.”

“Don’t worry, dad. I will not take anything from you, and I will not live here. I just want you to attend the marriage ceremony.”

“Not at all. I don’t want to see you here anymore.” After saying this, he went to his bedroom. Although angry, her father also felt happy, because he would have a chance to marry for the second time.

The next day, Rahat and Rani came to the court and tied the knot. On this occasion, Rani wished that her mother had been alive and seen her as a bride. Rahat’s mother, Zulaikha, his younger brother, Adnan, and his sister, Malaika came from Larkana to attend the marriage ceremony. After few days, Rahat decided to leave Karachi and go to his native city Larkana. “In Larkana we will live a simple and happy life. I will open my own shop where my younger brother and I will work together and sell flowers.”

“I will live with you wherever you say,” submitted Rani.

After a week, they had come to Larkana. “Welcome, this is your house. Oh how lovely! Now I have two daughters,” Rahat’s mother spouted in joy.

At night, Rahat said to Rani, “I don’t know whether you will get any sleep on the cot or not because you are used to sleeping on the bed.”

“Rahat, in fact, I feel more comfort here on this cot and in this house. Here I have your love and your family’s love. I feel I have got my mother and siblings. Now, I will not feel alone. I will sleep well on this cot.”

“Thank you, Rani for coming into my life. I am so happy, too. You have brought happiness into our lives.”

“Rahat, why did you not go to school?” she asked.

“When I was in grade six, my father had died of cancer. At that time, I left school and helped my mother to earn money to keep the house going. Would you teach me reading and writing?”

“Oh, you took the words out of my mouth!” said Rani.

With Rahat and his family, Rani was happier than she was with her father and that big house. In the evening, she had started teaching English and computer skills to the children in their neighborhood. She had a good heart which found happiness in giving and receiving love, not in collecting wealth. Indeed, that happiness is the real happiness.
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Respond to the story:
What do you think is real success? Do you measure one’s success in terms of wealth, skills, character, or a good and simple happy life?
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