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Friday, June 21, 2024 08:42
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Hilal Kids English

Beginning A New

February 2024

Hasher stepped off the bus into the warm embrace of a January afternoon. The sun shone brightly overhead, but a crisp chill lingered in the air, setting the scene for a perfect outdoor picnic. Despite the excitement buzzing around on the first day back at school after the winter break, Hasher felt a heaviness within. His thoughts weighed him down, a mix of disappointment in himself for his underwhelming Biology midterm, the guilt of missing Fajr prayers each day, the realization of not spending enough time with family, and the silence from the prestigious sketching competition he’d entered.
    When he reached home, Hasher quietly retreated to his room, lost in his thoughts until summoned for lunch. But even then, he’d excuse himself shortly, slipping away while the rest of the family engaged in their chatter. Days passed with this routine, his absence during meals became a noticeable pattern, especially to his 88-year-old grandfather. Despite the age gap and their distant interactions, his grandfather keenly observed Hasher’s behavior and discerned the root of his troubles. 
Concerned, his grandfather devised a plan, confiding in Hasher’s father. They decided to relocate Hasher’s room to the ground floor, opposite to his grandfather’s room, enabling him to take charge of waking Hasher at dawn. Initially resistant, Hasher found the change unnecessary, however he reluctantly agreed, unaware of what lay ahead.
     Mornings transformed for Hasher, now beginning at the break of dawn with his grandfather. Starting with Fajr prayers and breakfast, this new routine marked the start of a significant change in Hasher’s life.
    Hasher’s life after school became a whirlwind of activities. His time was consumed by homework, assessments, and intense study sessions for upcoming tests. Evenings were dedicated to walks with his grandfather, followed by Maghreb prayers and a family tea session. By nightfall, drained of energy, he only had enough time to pack his bag, pray Esha, and collapse into sleep, preparing for another early morning. Life felt like it had been thrown into fast-forward, leaving Hasher feeling overwhelmed and drained. He confided in his mother, seeking comfort, but found himself only pacified, told that this busy routine was for his betterment. To him, it seemed like a plan designed to punish him for his past failures.
    Weekends, which should have been a respite, turned out to be busier than the weekdays. His mornings were occupied with reading the newspaper for his grandfather and attending to any mail, adding to his frustration as it reminded him of his distant passion for sketching, something he hadn’t been able to indulge in since the new routine took over. While life seemed to smoothly continue for everyone else, no one delved into or showed interest in Hasher’s struggles. Meanwhile, the plan executed by the elders seemed successful, evident in Hasher’s improved academic performance.
    In just a month, Hasher transformed. He managed to religiously perform all the five prayers, with Fajr becoming a cornerstone of his routine. Apart from school, he dedicated himself to his grandfather’s schedule, finding a sense of purpose in running errands for his family, something he rarely did before. This newfound responsibility changed how his family treated him — he felt valued, heard, and consulted in everyday matters. His grandfather’s friends embraced him as their own, and Hasher basked in the attention and affection lavished upon him.
    One evening when they were out for a walk, his grandfather handed him an envelope. It contained the news Hasher had been anxiously awaiting – the results of the Sketching Competition he’d entered months ago. To his astonishment, his sketches were nominated as the finest among all entries, offering him workshops and the opportunity to showcase his work in art galleries across Pakistan. Overwhelmed by the sudden turn of events, Hasher hugged his grandfather; tears of joy streaming down his cheeks. Alone in his room later that night, everything that had felt senseless and absurd suddenly fell into place. Opening the envelope again, he read his name a million times before joining his family downstairs to celebrate.
    As it turned out, Hasher’s mail from the competition had been misplaced at the post office but was later found and delivered to his father. The plan devised by his elders inadvertently guided Hasher towards fulfilling his resolutions and restructuring his life. His passion for sketching bore the fruits of success, marking the beginning of his journey in the world of arts as the new year started. 
    Hasher’s story teaches us that each day brings new opportunities, reminding us that it’s never too late to pursue dreams, adopt new routines, or explore newfound passions. Let us strive to become the best versions of ourselves.