Friday, February 27, 2015

(8) QUICK DECISIONS

             Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

In life, we make many decisions. Some for our career, some for our relationships, and some for our education. Decisions that are carefully made, and considered with consultation from our elders, parents, or friends, often prove to be right. We sometimes make quick decisions which, later on, we regret. Rameez had made the quick decision of getting married, which he regretted later on in his life.

Soon after graduation, Rameez had tied the knot with his cousin, Jugnoo. She had not attended any school or college. Still she read and wrote in her mother tongue, Sindhi. Jugnoo and Rameez were engaged to each other since their childhood. After the marriage, they soon had a son. It was a tradition in many families in rural cities of Sindh to decide who will be married to whom. This tradition of early engagement had been the cause of many problems in the province.

Having no proper or consistent source of income, Rameez faced financial problems. He could barely make four or five thousand rupees a month, which was, by no means enough. Due to the lack of money, Jugnoo often complained and quarreled with Rameez. “Why did you get married if you are unable to run a house? First, you should have gotten a job. Because of your quick decision, our child is suffering, too. I could starve, but I cannot see my three years old in this state,” she cried.

“Jugnoo, wait, everything will be fine,” pleaded Rameez.

“That is what you’ve been saying since the day we got married. I can’t wait anymore. I have to do something for me and my son’s futures,” Jugnoo stated.

“You think I don’t love my son? Am I not trying my hardest to find a good job?”

“See, Rameez. I can’t believe your explanations anymore. Tomorrow, I am going to my parents, and I’m taking Rambo with me.”

“You’re not going anywhere. Please try to understand. Just wait, everything will be all right,” he implored.

Jugnoo was determined to leave the house. With Rameez, she thought that their life was going to worse, day by day. The next day, as Rameez came home in the evening, he found a letter hanging on the wall of the bedroom. The letter read, “I am sorry, Rameez. I am going to Karachi with my parents. I will return when you have a good job and a house of your own. If you ever try to come after me, I will get a divorce. I can take better care of my son than you, and my parents have enough money for us. You have nothing to give me. Good bye.”

“May you always be happy wherever you are. I am an unlucky man,” he lamented.

Jugnoo was happy with her parents. Rambo was getting an education, and his grandparents were delighted to have him. Poor Rameez continued to work in the factory, and live in that rented house for 25 years.

By the time Rambo was 20, he had become a good officer. One day, he said to his mother, “Mom, I want to see my father. I think you made an impulsive decision when you left him.”

“I don’t know whether he’s alive or not,” added his mother.

“He is our family. How selfish are we, that all this time, we never tried to contact him.”

“You are right, and it is all my fault,” agreed his mother.

“Tomorrow, we will go to Larkana and bring him here,” said Rambo.

Thus, they decided to visit Rameez. The next day, they left for Larkana.

When Rambo and his mother reached the house, they were surprised to see a new house, full of decorations. It looked like a bungalow. Jugnoo couldn’t believe it when she saw a beautiful woman coming from the kitchen. It was Rameez’s second wife, Samreen.

“Who are you and how did you get in here?” Samreen asked them.

“You tell us who you are. This is our house,” replied Jugnoo. While they were talking, Rameez returned from his office in his big car.

“Rameez, is that you?” Jugnoo asked, surprised.

“Yes, of course. Who is he?”

“This is Rambo, our son. Rambo, meet your father.”

“Oh, my son! How long it has been since I last saw you and held you in my arms. How tall you have become!” he murmured, as Rambo hugged him.

“Samreen, she is Jugnoo, my wife, and this is my son.”

“Hello. I am sorry, I behaved rudely. I didn’t know,” she apologized to them.

“Rameez, how did this happen? How did you build this house? How did you become so rich?”

“It is a very simple story. The year after you left me, I got a good job! I didn’t try to come get you, since you had left me. Above all, you left me in my hard times.”

“Yes. I am very sorry for what I did. But why did you get married?”

“I am a man. I need a wife at home. Simple!”

Jugnoo became so ashamed, and realized that, instead of leaving her husband, she should have stood by him in those difficult times. Jugnoo had to put up with Samreen. Rameez’s second wife was a lifelong punishment for her impulsive decision.

Jugnoo and Rambo decided to live with Rameez in that house in Larkana. One day, when Rambo and his father were out for a walk, Rameez said to Rambo, “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you love like a father should. I am sorry I couldn’t buy you gifts when you were a child. I am sorry I wasn’t around when you had missed me. Oh, I wish I could have seen you grow up. I wish I could have played games with you. Oh, my dear son, I have always loved you and missed you. When your mother left me, it didn’t mean that I didn’t love you. Your mother always quarreled with me. I was between jobs and was going through tough times. I tried to make your mother understand, but she wouldn’t listen to me at all. One day, when I came home, I found a letter where she threatened to divorce me if I ever came after you in Karachi. Fights happen between wife and husband, but when these quarrels grow into big conflicts, the children are affected the most. I am sorry for all that.”

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Respond to the story:

Have you ever made a quick decision in your life that you regretted later on?
What did Jugnoo write in the letter she left for Rameez?
Should Jugnoo have stayed with Rameez? Or was she right to leave him?
Was Rameez’s act of marrying another girl right?
What did you learn from this story?
Who are more quick and impulsive men or women?
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