Sunday, December 27, 2015

(2) A HOBBY THAT MADE MONEY

Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

           
Some children like to have a cat; others want a dog. Every child has his own likes and dislikes. Raheel was fond of birds, hens and roosters. He would buy little chickens and feed them. When they grew and started laying eggs, he would keep those hens which laid eggs and sell the others. In so doing, Raheel made a lot of money. His hobby turned out to be his small business.

             Raheel never let his hobby disturb his studies. He went to school regularly and punctually, and he also did his homework on time. Feeding and looking after the birds was a time-consuming task, so his mother helped him with the birds. People came to Raheel to buy the birds and eggs. These were his customers! “Mom, did any customer come?” he asked his mother after coming back from school.

             “Yes, son. I have sold all the eggs,” she replied. Raheel would buy his clothes with the profit. After using the money for his basic expenses, he also used to put a little amount aside. Raheel was in the fifth class when he had collected a good sum of money, so he used the money to buy a bicycle. With his brother's help, Raheel found a bicycle he liked very much.

             When Raheel finished primary school and entered high school, he began to notice that his hobby was disturbing his studies. He developed a strong passion for English and computers, so he sold all his birds and devoted all his time to studies. Raheel bought his first computer with the money he got from selling his birds and his bicycle.

            Ten years have passed since that time. Raheel has become a good speaker and teacher of the English language, and he has a university degree in Computer Science. He believes that if he had not sold his birds, he would never have become a computer scientist today. In order to get something, we have to leave something, and we must leave something good for something better.
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Respond to the story:

What was Raheel’s hobby?
How did he manage to provide time for his studies and hobby?
Why did he sell all of his birds?
What did he buy with the money he got when he sold his birds and bicycle?
What is the moral of this story?
How does this story impact your life?

(3) DREAMS DO COME TRUE

Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

           Like every child, Reyan had dreams for his future. He pursued them and worked hard to make them come true. He believed that the way a person pursues his dreams decides whether they will come true or not.

          Life doesn't always turn out the way we plan; this is something he had often heard from others. However, he believed that no one knows what will happen in the coming time, so one must plan and try to live life according to one’s plans. Everyone has hope. Life can be better than our expectations, and it can be even worse, too.

           He often asked himself, "What is it that makes people successful: hard work, money, or luck?" The more accurate answer he often found was hard work because he had seen people who had lots of money, but they were not successful. Instead, they were aloof. Those who are lucky and get to be successful don't value their success. They don't feel the importance of hard work. This reminded him the words of William Shakespeare: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

            Reyan was in high school when one day his teacher asked him, "Reyan, what is your goal in life?" "Well, sir I don’t have just one goal," said Reyan, "I have many goals and I may have some more in the future. Let me tell you some I have now. Firstly, I want to get an MA in English. Secondly, I want to do social work. Thirdly, I want to be an actor.” “Oh, an MA in English! That is a good goal, and I like the idea of social work as well. But why do you want to be an actor?" asked his teacher. "Sir, I want to change the world,” replied Reyan. “I will perform in movies and dramas that will give the message of being a good human. I will play characters that will touch people's hearts and have impact on their lives,” he continued.

             Unlike other children Reyan analyzed his dreams now and then and pondered how they could come true. What steps should be taken, and what barriers were in his way of success? He knew that little decisions that he had to make for his future would have a great effect on his life. Reyan was not a pampered child. He had to work at his brother's shop in the evening. He used to look after the buffaloes of his other brother, too. Escaping all these responsibilities was not easy for him. His brothers, though supportive, never tried to help him get ahead in his education. They were happy with what they had given him to do. Reyan knew that this was not something he would do for his rest of the life. One day he said to his brother, “I want to learn English.” His brother helped him gain admission to a private institute in the city. This was the decision that would change Reyan's life forever. This was when he started the journey of his knowledge. Soon after enrolling in the English institute, he also found a computer center, where he decided to take a course in computers.

          Going from village to the city everyday was hard. He used to travel by van. Those vans were very broken-down, and sometimes when there were a lot of passengers, the driver made all the boys sit on the roof of the van or would tell them to hang on the backside of the van. After getting off the van in the city, the institutes were still at a long distance, so he had to go by foot. Out of his passion and eagerness for knowledge, Reyan put up with all those difficulties. In the morning, he took his computer course, and in the evening he studied English at the institute. He had a break at noon, so he would offer a prayer in a mosque and had something for lunch. He also worked at the shop at night and on holidays. Whenever Reyan crossed the street, he was bullied by country boys and even adults. They would say, “There goes the geek!” He didn’t pay any attention to them. They used a lot of derogatory words. One day while he was walking, a person said to him, “Hey boy, you are working hard, but there are no jobs in Pakistan!” “I am not studying for the job. I am studying for knowledge,” replied Reyan. After a year, Reyan had gained good knowledge of English and computers, so he started teaching. This was a step which would add to his knowledge and experience. Now he had left working at the shop and looking after the buffaloes. His brothers didn't say much because what he was doing was better than what they had given him to do.

          Reyan finished his matriculation. It was time to make another important decision for his future. What college to go to? Should he study science or business? He thought it all over and decided to go to the Arts and Commerce College to study business. His brother didn't like the idea of going to a Commerce College, but Reyan made him understand that this was something he wanted to do. During his college days, he made some other goals for his life such as doing bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from a university. He kept teaching, studying, and enjoying his life.

          After Reyan finished college, where he earned his intermediate degree in commerce, he prepared for university entrance exams with his friends at the library. He applied to three different universities. He got admitted to the undergraduate program in Computer Science at University of Sindh. The program at the university was quite tough for him, but he worked so hard and made his presence felt. While working toward his bachelor’s degree, he also pursued other degrees from other colleges. He earned an MA in English, too.

           Reyan now runs an institute named The REAL Learning CENTER, where he teaches computer skills and English. He thinks the best social work is giving knowledge to others and educating them. In doing so, he also earns his living. His dreams have come true except for becoming an actor. He still has a hope. He now has an online life list in which he adds new goals and marks the achieved ones. He thinks that as long as life goes on, there are dreams. Some dreams take a long time to come true and some very little. He says he hasn’t become an actor because he didn’t take this goal seriously. He still thinks he might go on screen and become an actor someday. Those people, who once made fun of Reyan, now call him ‘Sir’. He often tells his students that your dreams will only remain dreams if you don't pursue them and try very hard to make them come true. Everything that we want has its price that we have to pay.
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Respond to the story: 

What are your achievements? Write a story about your achievements. What plans do you have for your future? How do you struggle for your dreams?

THE BOAT BOY

THE BOAT BOY
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

Hoping to catch a big fish, young, innocent Ahmed threw his net into the river with his little hands. While he was sitting and waiting on the bank for the fish to swim into his net, he saw light across the levee coming from the city streets and houses. He had been to the city once. He had a memory in his mind of a school bus, which he had seen when his father had taken him to sell the fish there. Ahmed was still thinking about the city, when a fish gave him a start by jumping up and down in the net.

Running like the wind to his boat, he screamed, “Mother, mother, look, I have caught a big fish!”

His mother with a smiling face said, “Bravo son! You will be a good fisherman like your father.”

At supper time, when Ahmed’s mother served him his meal with fried fish, he inquired, “Mother, have you ever seen a school bus?”

“Um, well, I have seen a bus, but I really haven’t seen a school bus,” replied his mother. “I guess that must be for school children.”

Ahmed continued, “I saw one when I went to the city with father. There were children of my age in it wearing strange clothes. Father told me that it was a school bus. Also, he told me that school is a place where a man they call ʻteacherʻ instructs these boys and girls.”

“Really?” his mother queried.

“Yes, mother.” Ahmed replied.

Ahmed kept talking about the city. While Ahmed was still talking about the city, his mother drifted off to sleep.

The next day, when Ahmed’s father was preparing to take the basket of fish to sell in the city, Ahmed told his father that he wanted to go with him, too. His father told him to seek permission from his mother. At Ahmed’s constant imploring, his mother gave him the permission.

On the way back to the river, Ahmed said to his father, “Father, why don’t we live in the city? I want to go to school on that school bus with those children.”

Darkness was falling and the cattle, making noise with their bells around their necks, were moving toward the town. Ahmed’s father said, “See, son, it is now getting late. We must move fast to get to the river. We will talk about it tonight, when we are in the boat.” Ahmed’s father pondered the question as they headed toward the river.

At night, when the three of them were in the boat having supper, Ahmed’s father said to Ahmed, “Son, I want to answer your question now. God made this world. He made Adam, the first human on the earth, from the dust. Eve, the first woman, was Adam’s wife. All of us humans living in the world are offspring of Adam and Eve. If we all were rich, living in cities, studying in schools, no one would be doing the work, and the world would become unbalanced. So, God made some people rich and others poor to keep the balance of the world. If we are living here in a boat on the bank of the Indus River in Akil, it doesn’t mean we are inferior or that we are not worthy humans. No, we all are worthwhile humans. However, God has chosen us to be poor and play our role among the poor in His world which he runs solo. One cannot have all the joys of the world. We here living and working on the bank of the Indus are living our life happily. Our source of livelihood is fish, and we are thankful to God for this.”

Ahmed thought it was the will of God that the world is the way it is. He also believed that it is the will of God that people are the way they are; so he never thought about the city again. He lived happily and enjoyed fishing and playing with other boys on the river bank.


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Respond to the story:

Why did Ahmed want to live in the city?
Was Ahmed’s desire to get educated wrong?
Who do you think was right, Ahmed or his father?
One has more chances to earn money in the city, so do you think the decision that Ahmed’s father made was right?
How convincing do you think Ahmed’s father’s explanation was? Was it just an excuse to silence the child to get his basic rights?
What is the moral of this story?
If you were Ahmed, what would you have done differently? Would you have just played on the bank or you would have raised your voice against the decision?
You must have seen many children deprived of education, and engaged in child-labor. Have you ever tried to help them get education?

A FISH WITH GOLDEN GILLS

A fish with golden gills
 
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

There were different living animals in the River Indus, and they came from different parts of Pakistan and India. The river flowed far away into the ocean. In between many species were caught by humans for their food and other uses. Among those species was a fish with golden gills.

A scholarly traveler from Egypt had brought the fish, and he had thrown it into the River Indus. People say the traveler had been sent by God with that special gift which humans had lost.

One fine morning a fisherman was fishing, and he saw that something golden had come into his net. He didn’t notice it was a fish. He took all the other fish from the net, but he didn’t touch that golden fish. When he threw his net on the bank, half in water, the golden fish started to move. He then realized it was a fish. He quickly tried to catch it, but the fish was gone. At noon, he told other fishermen that he had seen a golden fish. At first, the sailors made fun of him saying he had gone crazy, but then after a few days one other fisherman saw it. They all decided to catch the fish and keep it separate in a pond where it might give them baby fish with golden gills.

All the fishermen gathered and threw their nets in the river from different directions. They continued their search for three days. The sailors caught a lot of fish and other species. They distributed a huge amount of fish among the villagers and sold everything in the city for a lower price. On the third day, a little boy, a son of a fisherman, brought a little net in his hands and said, “Are you searching for this fish? It is already dead!”

The villagers and fishermen thought that they killed the fish, and if they had not made any mess in the river, the humans would have gotten golden fish. They thought that God had sent them a gift which they lost because of their greed.
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Respond to the story:

If you were one of the fishermen, what would you have done?
What message has the author portrayed in this story?
In your life have you ever been that greedy about something? Share the experience with a classmate, friend or the teacher.
How many days did the fishermen continue their search?
What damage did they cause to the life of fishes, frogs, tortoises and other species?
Greed is a curse. Explain. Write a short essay and show it to the teacher, friend etc..
Tell the story to your friend, classmate or teacher in your own words.

Send your feelings, ideas about the story to the author at his email, RizwanAhmedMemon@gmail.com

BACHELOR'S IN LOVE

Bachelor's in Love
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

Charactors:

Rameez = A hardworking, gentle student.
Raheela = A beautiful, hardworking and sensitive girl.
Location: University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan


Act One
Scene One

Rameez, a gentle and hardworking student lived in Akil, Larkana, Sindh, Pakistan. On Friday, January 1, 2010, Rameez went to University of Sindh Jamshoro for entrance test for department of Computer Science. That is where his education what he calls bachelor's in love started.

On his first day in the department, he saw Raheela who was also in Rameez class. They did not talk to each other untill Raheela's pen stopped working. She asked for pen form her friend Samreen, but Samreen had no extra pen. Raheela requested Rameez to give her a pen if he had one extra.

Raheela: Excuse me. Do you have an extra pen I could borrow?
Rameez: Sure! Here you are.
Raheela: Thank you.
Rameez: You’re welcome.
Act One
Scene Two

Their class ended, and Raheela forgot to return the pen. The next day, It was computer lab class. Rameez was sitting in the front row, so Raheela saw him and remembered that she had not returned his pen. After the class she met him.

Raheela: I’m so sorry. I forgot to return you your pen.
Rammez: That’s okay. Thank you.
Raheela: By the way, I’am Raheela.
Rameez: I’am sorry, too.
Raheela: For what?
Rameez: I’m sorry because I forgot to tell you my name yesterday. I’m Rameez.
Raheela: Nice to meet you, Rameez.
Rameez: Nice to meet you too. I am sorry, I think I said something wrong. Why should I have told you my name.
Raheela: It is all right.


(Read the complete story at RizwanAhmedMemon.blogspot.com
)

A DRIED ROSE

A Dried rose
 
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon 

It was the end of Rizwan’s last semester at the university. He was sitting in the library. Looking at the huge shelves of books, he thought about what gift he should give to his fiancée when he got married.

The idea of a ring came to his mind. “But every groom gives a ring to his wife,” he said to himself. “What is something more special than a ring?” he asked himself. He was still thinking about the gift when his thoughts diverted to the first night of their marriage. He asked himself, “What will I talk about on our first night?” “I will tell her how difficult my university life was. I will tell her that I missed her so much," he whispered to himself. Considering the things he would say to his fiancée on their first night, he wondered if she, too, was thinking what she would say on that first night. “She might be thinking about me or she might not," he said to himself. “She is a shy girl, and we have never even talked on phone!” he said to himself. “Isn’t our love special? We have only seen each other two or three times from a distance. Our family customs don’t allow a boy and girl to be in contact until they are married,” he whispered to himself. Rizwan took his bag and started to put his books in it. A book fell from his hand to the floor. A dried rose dropped out of the book. He took the rose and remembered he had plucked it from the garden the day they were announced engaged. He had plucked the flower for Angly, but he was away from her at the university. He had kept it for her in the book. “Wow. A four-year-old rose smells almost the same as it did the day I plucked it! What can be more special than this rose which is as old as our engagement?” he said to himself.

Rizwan decided that he would give that old, dried rose to his fiancée, Angly. He put all his books in his bag and left of the library. On his way to the hostel, he kept thinking about the rose. “The petals of the rose have dried, but its fragrance is still there. As I have preserved my love for Angly, the rose has preserved its fragrance for her,” he thought. “A ring or some jewelry are man-made things, but I have something which God has made. A rose, a symbol of love.” He kept thinking, and when he reached his room, he took the flower out and looked at it again. Then he placed the dried rose on his shelf, his intended gift for Angly, which he would give her on their first night.
    
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Respond to the story:

In your opinion, what is more valuable the dried rose or the ring?
If you were Rizwan, what would you have given to your fiancée?
Do you support love marriages or arranged marriages?
Should a couple be in contact before marriage?
Do you think love can decrease while being in contact before marriage?

Do you agree that in true love; money, wealth or jewelry isn’t important?

The Parrot

The Parrot
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

Characters:

Pretto = The father of Parrot


Pretty = The mother of Parrot


Parrot = Little bird son of Pretto and Pretty


Joe = Hunter who takes away Parrot from his nest


Erik = Little boy who buys Parrot from the zoo


Angel = Young, handsome man whom Parrot is sold by Erik’s parents


Anglia = A beautiful woman who gets married with Angel
 



1. The Parrot

At the crack of the dawn, Pretty and Pretto left their nest to find the food. They discussed the coming of their first child. Pretty said now it will not be long before their little baby bird would come in this world. She further said, “The shape of the egg indicates that it will soon hatch and let our baby bird out into this beautiful forest.” Pretto added, “I am looking forward to seeing my first child. It would bring such happiness.” While flying, they bumped into a field and came down to eat some grain. Then they went back to the nest. Pretty set on the egg. There they thought of a name for their child. They decided that they would call their child Parrot.

2. Birth of Parrot

The days went by and the moment Pretty and Pretto had waited for finally came. The egg cracked and a little weak bird as tender as a bud appeared. Pretty and Pretto were on cloud nine to see their small lovely child. “Welcome, welcome to this amazing world,” they said to the little bird. The little bird saw them and knew they were his father and mother. Pretty fed the newborn bird with her beak. This moment was one of the best moments for the parents of Parrot. They both were thrilled to pieces. Time kept passing and Parrot was growing older. The parents of Parrot took great care of him. If Pretty went for grain, Pretto would stay in the nest to look after Parrot. If Pretto went, Pretty would stay. The feathers of Parrot were also getting bigger rapidly. It seemed he would be ready to fly very soon.

3. Time to Fly from the Nest

One night the parents of Parrot said to him, “The time has come for you to learn how to fly; tomorrow we will give you your first flying lesson.” After hearing that, Parrot became very ecstatic and anxious to fly. He said to them, “So, it will be my first attempt to touch the sky. How wonderful it will be!” Finally, that day came, and the three made their minds up to go in the early morning. They left the nest and came to an open ground. There Pretto first gave instructions to Parrot about flying, and then he said him to watch how he was flying and do the same. Parrot thought it was as easy as falling off a log. When he made his first attempt to fly, he fell down, he could not move his wings properly. Then he tried for the second time. Now he was a little more successful. He tried again and again and each time he performed better and better. Parrot became very tired. So, they stopped and said it was enough for today. Pretto said to Pretty, “Our Parrot would soon learn to fly.” She replied, “I think so.” Then slowly they came back to the nest. Late at night the three chatted. Pretty and Pretto decided to go to gather grain together early in the morning, and then they would go with Parrot for giving him the second lesson of flying. This was first time that they both were leaving Parrot alone in the nest. They thought Parrot now could take care of himself very well, and could stay in the nest on his own.
4. Arrival of a Hunter

In early morning Pretty and Pretto left the nest to bring some grain from the field. They did not take Parrot because they wanted him to rest and get enough sleep. It was a very fine morning. The drowsy breeze was blowing, which kept Parrot asleep. The birds in the forest started singing lovely songs. The shafts of the sun entered the nest and fell on the face of Parrot and woke him up. Seeing nobody around him, Parrot felt a little scared, but he took heart. Parrot added to the songs of other birds of the forest with his own melodious voice. Parrot’s voice was very pleasant and pure. Near that forest where Parrot lived with his parents was a small village, and there lived a hunter by the name of Joe. Joe made ends meet by hunting animals and birds in the forest.

He sometimes sold the animals and birds in a city or kept them for food. On that day, the hunter had also left to hunt early in the morning. He encountered a dense shadowy tree; it was the tree in which Parrot’s nest was. The hunter had a meal and some water with him. He decided to sit under that tree and have breakfast. While eating, he enjoyed the beautiful sounds of different birds in the trees. A sound coming from the tree under which he was sitting drew his attention. “That bird has the sweetest voice of all the birds in the forest,” he said to himself. It was the voice of Parrot. He liked that voice so much that he wanted to see and catch the bird. The moment he finished his breakfast, he climbed up the tree to the top, leaving all other nests until he came to the nest of Parrot. He saw Parrot and quickly grabbed him so tight in his hands. Parrot screamed, cried, and shouted. Parrot bit the hunter trying to escape, but the bird’s efforts were in vain.

5. Parrot in a Cage

The hunter took Parrot away to his village. He made his mind up to keep this bird at home to listen to his songs and beautiful voice every day. Parrot was in great trouble now. His wings were cut and he was put in a cage. Sobbing and crying, he bore all the pain. Would he be in the cage forever? This question revolved in his mind all the time. He had hope. He seemed quite optimistic. He thought someday he would be out of his cage.
6. Pretty and Pretto’s Sorrow

When Pretty and Pretto came back to the nest, to their surprise the nest was empty. They called for Parrot loudly, but received no reply from any direction. They looked for Parrot in every nook and cranny of the jungle, but Parrot was nowhere. They were filled with the fear that he might have flown for food and become victim of some giant animal.
The parents of Parrot were very sad and worried. They waited for Parrot for several days, but he didn’t turn up.

7. Parrot Learns Human Language

A year passed. Parrot was well fed and his feathers had grown again. Above all he learned human language, the natural language. Parrot used to listen and watch the hunter carefully when he talked to him or with others, and used to imitate the hunter. Slowly and gradually, Parrot became able to communicate fully in human language.

8. Parrot is Sold

Once the hunter Joe became so ill that he even couldn’t go for hunting for several days, and he ran out of money. He was in great need of money, so he decided to sell Parrot so that he could earn some money to fulfill his needs. Joe managed to go to the city and went to a zoo. There he talked to the owner of the zoo. “I have a Parrot, who can speak as we human speak, and I want to sell him. Would you buy it?” he asked from the owner of the zoo. The owner of the zoo saw and thought this bird would be auspicious for the zoo and will be great source of drawing attention of the visitors. So, he bought Parrot on high price.
9. Parrot at the Zoo

Parrot was put in a cage again but this time it was in a zoo, for the exhibition and entertainment of the people. It was almost the same for Parrot, but he felt he was better in the previous cage, because he had a peaceful atmosphere around him. Parrot was unhappy there he prayed God to get him out of the zoo.

10. Parrot Gets out of the Zoo

God listened to Parrot. One day a very rich family with a little, innocent and cute boy named Erik came to visit the zoo. When Erik saw Parrot and talked to him, he forgot to see other animals in the zoo and spent hours with the Parrot. When it was time to go, Erik told his parents that he wanted to take that parrot with him. Erik’s parents said, “You cannot take that bird home. It is for this zoo.” But Erik didn’t listen and kept crying for Parrot, and he even refused to go home without Parrot. So, Erik’s Parents had to buy Parrot and the owner of the zoo sold for double the price.
11. Parrot on Cloud Nine with the Boy

Now Parrot was in very big house, where every comfort could be found. Erik and Parrot were so happy with each other that they played together, they slept together, and they ate together. All the time they were together.
12. Parrot is Sold for the Second Time

Since the day Erik purchased Parrot, he stopped paying attention to his studies and complained about school. Seeing this, Erik’s parents decided to sell Parrot within a few days so that their child would study again. When Erik came to find out about this, he didn’t respond or resist; he told Parrot that his parents were going to sell him. Parrot said, “All right, but I don’t want to go back to that noisy zoo." Erik assured him that his parents wouldn’t give him to the zoo.
13. Parrot with a Young Man

Erik’s parents sold Parrot to a young, handsome and very kind man named Angel. In a very short period of time they became close friends. Angel was so kind that he felt guilty if he kept Parrot in the cage, so he let him move about freely all the time. Parrot could have escaped, but he considered that wouldn't be fair. Parrot didn’t want to break the confidence which the man had in him. So, Parrot never tried to run way.
14. Angel Tells Parrot His Love Story

One day Angel was so sad, and Parrot asked the reason. Angel did not say a word. After some days Angle grew even more worried and upset. Parrot kept asking why that was so. Finally, Angel told him and said, “I love Anglia, my classmate." And so Angel told Parrot his love story, sparing nothing. Angel loved Anglia with all his heart; he was now unable to live without her. Parrot could not bear to see the condition of Angel and decided to go to Anglia and tell her everything.
15. Parrot Goes to Anglia

The next evening in evening Parrot got a chance when Angel was out of the home, so he flew and went to Anglia’s house. When Parrot saw Anglia out on lawn of her house, he said she must be Anglia. Parrot saw her beauty. He flew and sat on a branch of a little tree beside her and said, “Good evening.” Anglia replied with great surprise. She couldn’t believe a bird had spoken. Parrot told her everything and requested that she marry Angel and said that she would be happy all of her life if she married Angel because he loved her so much.

16. Anglia Marries Angel

Days kept going by and Anglia was constantly in world of her own thinking of Angel and his love for her. It was not long before she also fell in love with Angel and made her mind up to marry him. Angel and Anglia got married. They lived happily together, and Parrot was quite pleased in their company.
17. Parrot Tells the Couple His Story

On one fine day they three went on a picnic to the beach. There they enjoyed themselves. After swimming, they sat together and ate the food which they had brought. While discussing several things, Anglia asked Parrot how he had learnt to speak and where he came from. Parrot told them the complete story of his life. The couple was so sorry to hear the tragic tale of Parrot.
18. Angel and Anglia Free Parrot

Parrot’s past was full of troubles and bad moments of agony and pain, knowing this Angel and Anglia wanted Parrot to live happily now wherever he wanted in full freedom. They asked Parrot, “Do you miss your parents?” Parrot replied, “Yes, a lot every moment!” “And do you want to go and live with them?” they asked him. Parrot became silent, and then he said a bird would be happy with birds! Angel and Anglia saw that there was a hidden wish in Parrot to live with his parents, so they said Parrot, “if you want to go to your homeland and spend your life there with your parents, we allow you with all our heart.”

19. Parrot Goes to His Homeland Forever

Parrot was happy and sad, too. Happy because he was going to meet his parents after all those years, and sad because he was losing good people and friends. However, they would always miss one another and would live in one another’s memories. Angel and Anglia felt sorrow too, but they understood it was better for Parrot. Parrot thanked them and couple thanked him, too, saying if he had not been there, they would have never met. Their eyes filled up with tears some tears were out of happiness and some out of sorrow, thus Parrot flew up in the sky and left for his homeland forever. Angel and Anglia kept watching Parrot until he went out of sight and kept saying Good-bye.

Moral: In life, you may face troubles, hurdles, or difficulties. You could become the victim of some disaster, bear some kind of pain, or experience some other torment. Remember to be patient; the day when everything will be all right will come soon. All these things are the plan of God to make you more efficient, experienced and skillful. Always be ready to face everything that comes in your life.

LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE

LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon 

Qasim, a ten-year-old boy, always believed in luck. In last five years, he had won many competitions at his school, including a marathon, singing competition, and a pie-eating contest. His father often told him to be optimistic, but also work hard.
            
One day at his school, the principal announced that there would be a quiz show. Hearing that Qasim whispered into his friend’s ear, who was sitting beside him, “And I will be the winner!” “I hope so.” replied his friend. Thinking that the luck would be on his side as always, Qasim did not prepare much for the show. His parents were looking forward to see another prize in his hands. “The quiz show is nearing. Are you preparing for it?” said his father. Qasim in an annoyed manner replied, “Oh, come on, Dad! Let me play the video game.” His father said, “What about the quiz?” “I will win. You will see,” said Qasim. “Well, son you better wake up and smell the coffee. Everything doesn’t come without hard work,” said his father.

The competition day came and all the students and their parents gathered. Qasim was nervous, as he was not prepared. The quiz show started and from two teams the team leader was supposed to answer. Qasim was his team’s leader. The questioner asked, “Who gave the speech 'I Have a Dream'?” Qasim had not studied his history book. He remained silent, but his opponent gave the correct answer: Martin Luther King. On most of the questions, Qasim remained silent, for he had not studied. The questions were from different subjects from his syllabus. Everybody laughed at Qasim, and his mom and dad were very disappointed. Qasim lost the quiz program.

At night, Qasim came into his parent’s room and said, “I am sorry.” His father encouraged him and said, “You work hard. Do not rely only on luck.” His mother further added, “Look son, life is not a fairy tale that has some magic in it, which will fix everything. On the contrary, life is all about action. If you rest, you rust.” Qasim gave his word to the parents and said he would always work hard and would not rely just on luck.
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Respond to the story:

Did Qasim believe in hard work or luck?
Why did Qasim lose the quiz competition?
What did Qasim’s mother say to him?
Do you believe in luck or hard work?
What is the theme of the story?
Does the story make you cautious in your studies? If so, what difference will you make in the future?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Dream that didn’t Come True

A Dream that didn’t come true
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

A true spirit of serving humankind makes one so brave that one fears nothing and nobody. People who risk their lives and do dangerous work to benefit human beings are real friends of God and His beloved mortals. Ronak, a social worker, had also put his life at risk. He worked for women’s education in Sindh province of Pakistan, where education was considered something that spoils girls.

Ronak started his struggle in Larkana. His target was the rural areas of Larkana. He took his necessary electronics, like a projector, laptop, mobile, and a calculator. He would conduct seminars at Otaqs (guest rooms in villages where people sit and chat in their free time). He would raise awareness among villagers about women’s rights and their status in Islam.

Ronak reached a village named Dahani, where people were not interested in education at all. The men would stay at home and make the women do the chores, graze the cattle, work in the fields, and look after the children. Ronak had never seen this kind of rule anywhere else before. He wasn’t even allowed to enter the village because no strangers could enter the village. He saw that most of the men wore Sindhi caps and had beards. He couldn’t find anyone who could understand or help him.

He was sad and tired. Around the village were gardens of olives, so he decided to go into a garden and eat some of the fruit. He plucked some olives and sat under an olive tree to eat and relax. He saw that some buffaloes were grazing, but there was no one with them.

“Hey, who are you? And what are you doing here?” asked a woman who was in the top of the tree under which Ronak was sitting.

Ronak got spooked at first. He looked around, but there wasn’t anyone to be seen. The women threw an olive at him.

“Hello! Look up.”

“Oh, sorry. I am Ronak. I am new in this village.”

“Go back to wherever you have come from! Strangers are not allowed here. If any man of this village sees you, he will kill you in the name of honour-killing. He will think that you were chasing me, and even he might think that there was an affair between us, he will kill me, too.”

“I am a social worker. I work for the education of girls.”

“Oh, really? I had a dream in my childhood of getting education, but that didn’t come true.”

“Oh, why?”

“That is a long story. Well, my name is Roshni. In our tribe girls are not allowed to go to school. That’s what I have been hearing since my childhood,” Roshni said to Ronak.

“But I can admit you to school.”

“I am now too old to go to school.”

“There is no age limit for learning.”

“Well, there must be different values in your tribe. That’s very contrary to the rules of this village. I will have to leave this place before anybody sees me.”

“Listen, wait a second!”

“Sorry. I cannot.” Roshni left with her buffaloes.

Ronak was facing difficulties in that village. He would go to Larkana where he had reserved a room in a hotel, and come to Dahani in the morning. It was not so far from the city.

The next day, Ronak came to the same garden to find Roshni. As he approached the garden, he could hear a sad song in a woman’s voice.

“Weak, powerless creature I am.
He says you were born to work.
My Lord is that true?
I don’t think so.”

Listening to these sentences sung in a heart-touching voice, Ronak got goose bumps. He traced the footsteps which led him to the same olive tree under which he met Roshni the day before. Roshni was sitting on a branch, and there was a cloth she was doing needle work with and was singing along.

“He shattered my dreams.
He snatched my childhood dolls.
And handed over me things
That I couldn’t do well.”

Ronak didn’t disturb her. He sat at a small distance and listened to what she sang.

“You have a beautiful voice.”

“Oh my God! You have come again! What do you want?”

“I want you to go to school.”

“You, a stranger, will send me to school?”

“Yes, I can.”

“See, I have already told you that if someone finds us talking together, he will kill both of us. You better leave.”

“I am afraid of nobody.”

Roshni was confused and afraid. She quickly gathered the buffaloes and left the garden.

Everyday, Ronak came to the garden, and tried to talk to Roshni. He somehow motivated her to attend school.

“But it feels very awkward to sit with little children in a class.”

“You want to get an education, right?”

“Yes.”

“So for that, you will have to attend the class.”

“My family won’t approve of it. They didn’t allow me to go during my childhood; why would they do it now?”

“You are now an adult. You have a right to make your own decisions.”

“In our tribe, girls do not make any decisions, not even of their own marriage. My father and brother didn’t even ask me whether I was happy or not when they decided my marriage. However, my husband is a kind man. He cares for me. He is very different from the men in our tribe. He respects women.”

“Will he allow you to attend school?”

“I am sure he will.”

“Shall I talk to him?

“No, it is not appropriate. Maybe he will not like this.”

“Look, dark is falling, and the buffaloes are moving to the village now. I will meet you tomorrow.”

“Okay. I will wait for you.”

At night, Roshni said to Muhammad Khan, her husband, “If we had children - a girl, would you have allowed her to go to school?”

“Why do you ask this, Roshni?”

“I just wanted to know your view about girls’ education.”

“My tribe’s view is my view. Our ancestors never sent the girls to schools. They have always opposed girls’ education. That’s the reason there is not any schools in our village.”


“What is the harm in getting an education? I believe an educated woman can look after her children very well. Education helps one on every walk of one’s life.”

“You may be right, but I respect the village customs and traditions.”

“With the passage of time everything changes, and I think it is time for our customs to change.” Saying this Roshni slept.

Muhammad Khan couldn’t sleep that night. He thought about the questions Roshni asked him. He also was sick of the traditions of his village, but he had always remained silent in front of his father, his uncles, and other elders of his tribe.

The next day, Roshni told Ronak about her husband’s view of girls’ education. Ronak asked, “Would you leave this village and stay in the city with your husband? There you can go to school.”

“My husband will not leave his village,” replied Roshni.

“It sounds like your husband is a rational man. He will understand my point of view if you help me in meeting with him?”

“This Friday evening, my husband will sit in the main Otaq of the village. You can meet him there, but do not mention the fact that we’ve discussed this and are in agreement.”

“How can I get into the village?”

“If anyone stops you and asks who you are – and why you have come, tell him that you are an olive trader and you have come from Quetta to meet with Muhammad Khan for olive deals.”

In this way, Ronak met Muhammad Khan, then confessed that he was actually a social worker, and was told how to enter the village under the guise of being an olive vender. He convinced him that education is necessary for boys and girls and asked him for his help to raise awareness in the village.

“Brother, I am with you, but it is very difficult to talk about girl’s education and rights here,” Muhammad Khan said.

“Can I arrange a seminar in this Otaq this coming Friday?”

“I will have to ask the elders.”

In the evening, Muhammad Khan talked to his father about the social worker. “Now a city boy will teach us the rules of living life!” Muhammad Khan’s father angrily replied.

“Father, he just wants to tell the people about the importance of education?”

“You know, in this village no one wants education.”

“Father that is because they have been told that education is something that spoils man. The people of this village hate western clothes, the English language, and education because they have always been told wrong concepts about them. Whereas, clothes are clothes; every nation has their own way of covering the body. In the same way, every nation has their own language, just as we have our own tongue, Sindhi. Plus if education was a bad thing, the Holy Quran wouldn’t have said that God instructed us to read by using the word “Iqra”, the first word revealed to the Prophet.”

“Your tongue speaks a lot.”

“Sorry, father. I cannot be a slave to these old-fashioned and useless customs anymore.”

“If you dislike our ancestors’ traditions, you do not deserve to live in their village,” saying this Mohammad Khan’s father went to his bedroom.

Roshni was listening to their conversation behind the door of her room. “I know that social worker,” said Roshni to Muhammad Khan.

“How do you know him?”

“Do you trust me?”

“Yes. I do.”

“So listen…”

She told her husband everything about the social worker.

“Why don’t we leave the village for the sake of the future of our children? I had a dream that didn’t come true, but I want all the dreams of my children to come true. If we remained here, it seems impossible.”

“You are right, Roshni. We will leave this village and its customs. We will move to the city forever. Our elders will never allow us to be independent and liberal here.”

Muhammad Khan talked to Ronak, and he helped them find a house in the city. There they lived happily ever after. Roshni went to school, making her childhood dream come true.

Many people stick to the traditions of their elders for entire duration of their lives. If the customs are outdated and worthless, one should always change them. If one cannot change them, one should change oneself.