The lands seem to have become barren. All my hardwork and toiling yields no outcome. My seeds are going waste. Oh how I wish for even the scantiest rainfall.
I am tired. I sit at the corner of my land and stare at the unending dryness. Not a hint of greenery. Alhamdulillah for the little water that my village gets. Warm water and sugar suffices as supper many a days. As long as my eight year old daughter gets a handful rice to eat to survive her days in school, Alhamdulillah I feel blessed.
A bright one she is. I don’t understand her books but I feel elated to go to her school for meets. Her teachers helped me get her scholarship. Alhamdulillah, one day she will grow up and be a madam In Shaa Allah.
Days pass this way until I see the last bit of grains in my tin. I look around and find nothing. I knew this day would come one day and I had nothing to do. Allah has provided me for this day, only He knows whether we are destined to have morsels tomorrow. It is He would fills every bird every day before they return to their nests in the evening. In Shaa Allah, He will take care of my daughter too.
Bismillah. I prepare the meal that day and with joy watch her eating. I pretend as if I had a heavy meal already and wish to sleep early. I remembered the days our Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) tied stones to his stomach after prolonged days of hunger. Tears swelled up my eyes.
I woke up apprehensive the next day. I made an intention to sell a piece of my land. That was all the asset I had and could give my daughter as an inheritance. But who would buy that barren earth? A long disappointing day and my heart clumped inside as I was walking back home.
I thought I would have to boil stones in a pot till my daughter went off to sleep. The old story that my mother had once told me.
My daughter leapt into my arms instantly as I came.
-“abba, you look so tired!”
I smiled and hugged her back. Sitting on my lap she started narrating me all about her school, friends, teachers etc. Soon it was time for supper. With hopes some miracle from Allah, I opened the tin make duaa for even a fistful of grain.
Alhamdulillah! Was it a dream? Or was yesterday a dream? There was a fistful grain indeed!! My heart was filled with thankfulness. I made a little for her, saved some for tomorrow and ate a little myself today.
This too would end. After failing to sell my land for two days, I again returned disappointed. My tins were empty again. This time there was no doubt. Allah works in His own way and I didn’t have any explanation when I again found a little grain just enough for the evening.
I couldn’t sleep that night. This kept on repeating. All the time when I was tilling my land, I kept wondering about the rice miraculously appearing everyday. Until I started wondering whether my daughter was getting it from somewhere.
I followed her to school yesterday and sat outside all day awaiting her. She must come out at 03:00pm. Half an hour beyond that, she is still not come. All the kids have left. Where is she? I rush to her classroom to find it vacant. I check every classroom, fanatically running down the corridor until i come across her teacher.
-” Madam, Madam.. where is Mehnaz? I cannot find her”
– “She left long back. Have you checked your home?”
I rush towards my home, only to be stopped by the school watchman.
-” are you looking for Mehnaz madam?”
-” yes my daughter. Mehnaz.”, I was scared now. Has something happened to her?
The watchman held my hand and guided me to the school backyard. When we stopped, he pointed at a banyan tree. There in the shade of the tree was my Mehnaz with two children in front of her holding books.
-” Your daughter is very kind babu. We cannot afford to get expensive tuitions from the school madams. My children are six and four. They were constantly failing in their subjects, and being illiterate I couldn’t teach them. Mehnaz madam once heard the principal complaining to me about them and offered to teach them.”
Tears started streaming down to see my daughter. She already became madam.
– “Alhamdulillah, what a kind girl you have babu.”, the watchman continued, ” All she takes is a fistful of rice.”
#A fictional tale
I would like to thank sister Fatmawaty has selected me to participate in this “Five Days Challenge”. I’m supposed to post a picture each for five days and write a story keeping the picture as the theme. It may be a fiction or non fiction of any length. Each day I also have to nominate a fellow blogger to participate in this 5 days challenge.
My nominee for today is Um Ibrahim.There is no compulsion for you to accept it but it is a fun activity and will get your brains racking! So go for it :-*