I Hate You

I hate parties, so why am I getting ready in the first place, I wondered as I applied some mascara on my eyelashes. Well, the answer was quite simple. If I didn't go to this party, I would never hear the end of it from my best friend. Jasmin loved parties and I'm suppose to oblige and accompany her whenever she decided to go to a party. Besides, she's the nicest person I've ever met and she has always been there for me, so I guess that explains it all.

As soon as we entered the party, I noticed him. He was involved in a very important discussion with another guy. As he looked up, he saw us at the entrance and his gaze lingered over us for a brief moment and his friend was bestowed with his attention once again. Jasmin was a professional at social gatherings, so she was soon happily moving in the sea of familiar and unfamiliar faces, nodding her head and saying exactly what was right, unlike me.

I smiled at a girl I knew from my school days and went over to the drinks table and reached for a glass when his hand brushed against mine. I looked up just in time meet his beautiful eyes. We smiled at each other and he introduced himself. 'Hi, I'm Shahudh'. What a nice name, I thought as I introduced myself. We sat down and started talking like old friends. Suddenly I forgot about my best friend and both of us drowned into a world of our own, as if the rest of the party suddenly disappeared.

After that night, we became great friends. Every morning he would call me as soon as he woke up and then gradually our friendship blossomed into something special, love. We started dating and I was the happiest girl in the whole world. My parents wanted to me to go abroad for higher studies but ignored them and started looking for a job. Since I just finished high school education, it was not so easy but still, I managed to get a job.

My parents and my friends tried to advice me but Shahudh was the most important person in the universe, I could never leave him. I even asked him what I should and he just shrugged and said in cool voice, “it’s up to you darling”.

As the end of year approached, everyone got really excited. Since 1999 was coming to an end, people all over the world wanted to celebrate the new millennium in an unforgettable way. I already knew what I would do, ofcourse, be with my sweetheart. Every time I thought about the approaching New Year, I felt delirious because I had a feeling that Shahudh was going to propose. I knew I was young but the last seven months with him had been simply heavenly.

On the last day of December, we went for a walk. As we strolled down the beach hand in had, he suddenly stopped. I looked up into his eyes and for a minute I thought I saw regret or perhaps sadness in his eyes. He then drew me into his arms and hugged me and lowered his head and whispered in my ears, “I know and I believe that you love me very much, don’t ever forget that”. He didn’t let me ask anything and said that he just wanted me to know as we continued our walk.

I watched him ride off in him motorcycle and wondered what he was up to. Was he going to commit suicide or was he really sick? No way I thought as I entered my house, he was just trying to be romantic but still I felt really uncomfortable, I had this nagging feeling that something terrible, bad was looming around the corners, waiting patiently to creep up on me and take me by surprise.

That night as the clock announced that it was midnight, I called Shahudh to wish him a happy new year. He sounded a bit distant and the he grumbled same to you, I think and then he hung up. He must be really tired. I thought and continued to watch Kaafage Vaahaka on TVM.

The next day I waited patiently for him to come by or call, but he didn’t. I thought that he was going to surprise me with a ring so I dressed with extra care that night. I waited for him to come, we had planned to go out. I waited in the living room and then suddenly the phone rang. I quickly grabbed the receiver and said hello. It was him, and then I felt like someone just stabbed a knife into my heart and left my there to bleed myself to death. He finished his message and hung up. I tried to call him but he didn’t answer my call.

How could he break up with me, I cried as I ran upstairs and got into my room. Nothing made sense. He had been so loving and caring. I cried and sobbed into my pillow the whole night. In the morning I tried to call him again, but he didn’t answer the phone. His last words brought fresh tears into my eyes and I felt my heart break over and over. “Look Hamna, I never loved you, I don’t think that we could be happy together, so don’t EVER call me again”.

By the end of January, I lost a lot of weight and looked like a matchstick doll. My parents and friends were concerned and they knew the reason as well. They advised me to move on since my efforts to contact him were fruitless. But I was worried about Shahudh, may be he was sick or dying, that’s why he might just let me go like that so that I wouldn’t be there to watch him suffer. I wanted to be with him no matter what.

My best friend agreed to go and meet Shahudh with me after I begged her about a million times. Since Shahudh refused to meet me or answer my calls, may be he might just show his face if Jasmine went instead. So we went to his house and I wanted outside. After about five minutes I heard his familiar voice. He was laughing at something Jasmine said and then he saw me. 

The first word that he uttered was “shit”. 

He looked as handsome as ever, I was glad to see him in good health. All this time I thought that he was really sick.

Finally I managed to say, “Are you ok”. 

He just shrugged his shoulders and looked really annoyed. 

“Look I told you to never bother me’, he said in a serious voice. 

"I thought you were dying, I managed to croak. He just raised his eyebrows. 

“The last time we..we went for a w.. walk, you said that y...you believes that I loved you very much, I stammered. 

He squared his shoulders and folded his hands and then started. “I really tried not to hurt your feelings, but you leave me no choice, I never loved you. I noticed you in the party when I was looking for a girl to date till the year ended. I wanted to break up with a girl on the first day of the new millennium", he finished off.

I stood there stunned and then I realized that he was telling me the truth. After all, on our last walk, he told me that he believed that I loved him, he didn’t say anything about his feelings. I started shaking with rage and then I walked up to him and slapped his face really hard and turned to go home. Soon, Jasmine joined me and we walked home in silence.

I thought of the year I have wasted for him, I could have gone to Malaysia to continue my studies and what right does he have to do whatever he wanted. While he has been happy about breaking up with me, I've been crying and worrying about this bastard. The man I loved most suddenly became the man I hated most in just a matter of minutes.


Try to understand

I looked at Yunus who was nodding his head, agreeing with our friend Shamail. Though we were all gathered to celebrate his wife’s birthday, they seem to be involved in a very important discussion that they have forgotten about the rest of the gang. As I continued to gaze at him, I felt the familiar ache in my heart, a desire that has to be ignored for now because the time and the situation does not allow it.

Words cannot describe the amount of love burning through my soul and eating its way to the very core. But I have to be in control because I knew what I was getting myself into form the very beginning. So I smiled at his wife Zulfa who was as huge as a house and looked like she would give birth in a matter of seconds. She spoke to the person sitting next to her and she rubbed her bloated tummy which housed and nurtured their baby.

I looked away as the huge wave of jealousy engulfed me, feeling lonely and slightly guilty. ‘I am a home wrecker’, I thought feeling miserable. That very moment I caught him looking at me. When our gaze met, I was reassured that I wasn’t a home wrecker and I felt at ease and tried to enjoy the party.

When I reached home, I slowly opened the door to the apartment praying that no one would be home. I was welcomed by pin drop silence. ‘They must have gone for a walk, I thought happily as I slipped into my room and dropped my bag on the night stand. I stood in front of the mirror and no matter how hard I tried not to think of Yunus and his wife, my mind hurled back to the thoughts that depressed me most.

“I’m in love with wrong guy”, I finally managed to tell myself. Just then the phone rang and I didn’t even have to look at the display, I knew it was him. As soon as his deep melodical voice reached my ears, my worries left my heart and once again, it overflowed with love and longing. We chatted for a while and then he had to say goodnight. I tried to sleep but my body refused to comply so I tossed and turned for a good hour before I drifted off into the dreamland.

In my dreams, I usually meet him on the beach on the day I was trying to decide whether I should get divorced. Since he had been my friend for quite some time, I confided him about my marriage, about how I married a man that I didn’t love hoping that I would be able to love some day. You see, my ex-husband did love me a lot but the feeling wasn’t mutual. My friends and my family members urged me to accept his proposal since he was a well educated man coming from a good family.

While I dated him even, I tried to like him but my efforts failed me. My heart refused to love him and I told him frankly. He said he didn’t mind, it would all work out in the end. My friends advised me to marry him, according to them, once I married him, I would fall in love with him in no time. However, it never happened and as we reached our first anniversary, my husband even lost interest in me and though we were married we were like two stranger sharing the same bed at night.

I knew that he would never divorce me and I had to face this on my own. But once again, my friends barged into my life with their advice list. This time, having a baby was on top of their list. I knew for sure that a baby would not be able to make me fall in love with a man that I didn’t even fancy in the first place but I didn’t have the guts to do it. That’s when Yunus came into my life and on that very first day, when I opened my heart to him, I fell in love with him. Yes, I knew that he was married and that his wife was pregnant. That’s why I kept my feelings to myself until one day, he told me about his life.

His marriage was the result of two best friends with broken hearts trying to help each other. Yunus and his wife worked in the same office, their lovers left them and they were heartbroken. They were just having a coffee in the office canteen when they decided that love was not important, a friend who they could trust would be more appropriate as a life partner and that was it, they got married the next month and tried for a baby. After celebrating their first month together, his wife gave him the good news.

So after that particular afternoon in the beach, we started meeting each other there, just to talk and then we fell in love each other. After my divorce, Yunus and I started meeting each more frequently but I didn’t ask him to divorce his wife for me. But as the days continued, I so desperately wanted him to. He told me that he would, once the baby was born, he would talk to his wife and then walk into my life forever. I felt delirious just by thinking about it.

In my dreams sometimes I saw myself seated in the beach, my feet’s buried in the pearl white sand and the waves creating a soft rhythm to sooth my heart. When I look up, I would see Yunus, tall and handsome, dressed in a white shirt and blue jeans, his straight hair falling into his eyes, walking with open arms towards me. I would jump up and run into his open arms, hugging him with all my might, to never let go. However, this time, my dream was different. I woke up and checked the clock and realized that it was just three in the morning. What an awful dream, I thought, but I must seriously think about it, I thought to myself as I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water. I flopped down on the sofa and thought about what I would do. I was sure about one thing, I had to do the right thing this time.

When I packed my bag and walked out of the house my mobile phone slipped from my palm and before it could hit the ground and break into a million pieces, Yunus caught it. I was grateful that he caught it and looked at him with an empty face. His eyes pleaded me, and even thought he didn’t speak, I heard his pleas. I tried to muster up every teensy weensy bit of courage that I had and faced him. We shook our hands for the last time and as the taxi approached my house, I got into it and never looked back, because I didn’t want him to see my tears, I didn’t want him to follow me.

As I sat in the small airplane, I looked out of the window for one last time before the plane took off to reach its destination, my island. Yes, I have done the right thing this time. I tried to smile bravely to myself, instead, I started weeping quietly. All I know is that a baby would need its mother and father, Yunus and Zulfa did get along well even though they were not in love with each other. My heart would heal and maybe I would fall in love again, time would heal everything. Yunus’s baby would have both parents to take care of him and that thought makes me happy no matter what and I hope that he would understand that I could never ruin an innocent child's life.


Pumpkin Head

It was a rainy afternoon, the roads were empty and looked as if it was haunted. The rain poured down as the strong wind forced its way through the empty streets. Everyone who lived in this small town were sipping hot tea and sitting in front of the fire.

However, Raiaan and Aiham were stuck in the rain. They both day dreamed of their cozy home as they waited in the small shelter of a little roof that extended just enough to keep them from drenching.

“Please stop raining, Raiaan said in a nasal voice.

“Stop that’, Aiham immediately shot back.

He was annoyed. After all it was because of Raiaan that they were stuck in the pouring rain. If it wasn’t for him, Aiham would be at home, drinking hot chocolate and listening to his grandpa’s story.

Suddenly Raiaan saw the lights of the corner shop light up. His eyes grew wide as his eyes rested on the humongous pumpkin that was placed in the center of the shop. A goofy smile slowly spread over his face and as if he was in a trance, he took quick little steps and broke into a run.

When Aiham saw this, he looked up into the sky, raised his hands and screamed, “WHY?”

When he looked down, Raiaan was entering an empty shop that looked as if it would fall down any minute.

“I’m not going in there Raiaan and when the rain stops, I’m going to go home”, Aiham said.

But Raiaan didn’t even seem to be aware of what Aiham have said. He just dashed into the empty shop, laughing like a maniac.

When Raiaan entered the shop, the door slammed behind him with a loud thud which shook the door frame violently. He quickly looked around to see whether there was anyone in sight. When he couldn’t find anyone, he smiled proudly to himself and all most screamed with joy as he skipped towards the humongous pumpkin. As he touched the pumpkin, the lights suddenly went out, leaving the place in an eerie darkness and he felt even more excited. He threw his head back and laughed straight from the belly. He stopped laughing when a yellowish orange light slowly started to spread over the whole place. He blinked his eyes to make sure that he was not dreaming and he thought of pinching himself too, but since he didn’t want to let go of the pumpkin, he kept on hugging it.

He stopped laughing when he realized that he was not in the shop anymore. He looked around and realized that it was a farm or perhaps a field. Just then he heard a wicked laugh of an old woman. He couldn’t find anyone and then suddenly a black shoe fell from the sky. He looked up and saw a witch in a broom flying over him cackling away like a mad woman. She was accompanied by about a thousand witches who cackled just like her and then they lowered their broom like an experienced pilot to land on the ground.

As soon as their feet touched the ground, they stampeded towards different directions screaming, "Lets find that boy".

"Ooooh, boy, boy...oooh', Raiaan cried unaware that they were looking for him!

He climbed the pumpkin and tried to get a glimpse of the boy the witches were looking for. They searched everywhere and then suddenly, one of the witches saw Raiaan standing on the humongous pumpkin.

"There he is", she screeched and all the witches rushed towards him.

"Oooh witches", Raiaan looked at everyone unaware of the danger he was in.

The witches zapped him one by one after chanting a spell. Just then , out of the blue, Aiham fell from the sky. He saw Raiaans head placed on top of a huge pumpkin. When he saw the witches chanting the spell and zapping him, he knew that they were turning him into a pumpkin.

He attacked the witch who looked really frail and took away her broom and magic stick. He just pointed the stick and zapped at all the witches who charged at him. After about five minutes there weren't any witches around. he looked at the pumpkin near him and lightly tapped his finger on it.

"Don't do that, it hurts", Raiaan cried.

Aiham realized that Raiaan was alive and he was so happy.

"I'll try to change you back', he said in a shaky voice.

He kept on zapping Raiaan and he managed to get his hands and feet but he was unable to get his head back.

"I'm so sorry Raiaan, I cant change you back", Aiham said sadly.

"Don't worry Aiham, you know I love pumpkins, I don't mind having a pumpkin for a head."

They stood together, holding each others hand and closed their eyes. When they opened their eyes, they were back in the old building.

From that day on wards Raiaan was known as the Pumpkin head and everyone loved him because he scared the crows from everyone's farm. For his great kindness, they all rewarded him with a pumpkin and he was as pleased as punch.

They destroyed the old building in the corner because they found out that witches from another dimension used that building as a station to lure kids to their world and practice their zapping skills. Aiham and Raiaan remained as best friends and they lived happily ever after.



Jazwa looked at the group of teenagers hanging out together and looked away quickly, to hide her disappointment. Her pet cat, Stella meowed and pressed her body against Jazwa’s feet and settled herself comfortably. 

“What have I done?” she asked Stella in a small voice as she carelessly stroked her head.

She closed her eyes and tried to block all the horrible memories that were about to spill out of the sack that she so badly wanted to seal. However, it was impossible. Soon she was engulfed by a tidal wave of the day’s incidents. She was so lost that she didn’t even notice the small crowd of boys and girls of her age, pointing their finger at her, at the same time trying to keep a low profile which surely would not have been successful if she had paid attention.

“Hey, where are you?, Jazwa said in a cheery voice. 

“Who is this?” replied her best friend. 

“Come on, stop pulling my leg, it’s me”, she tried again. 

“Look, I think you have got the wrong person, bye, Malsha replied curtly and hung up. 

Jazwa stared at the phone for several minutes and rang back again. Malsha didn’t even answer her call. She wondered what has happened to her best friend and couldn’t think of anything.

So she went over to her house and rang the bell. Malsha’s mother answered the door and said, "Well hello dear, what are you still doing here?"

“What do you mean’, Jazwa asked confused. 

"Well, your gang was here a few hours ago, they all were planning to do something extravagant, I suppose, from what I have over heard", she said and smiled at Jazwa kindly. 

Jazwa didn’t know what to say because her friends have never ever gone anywhere without her. 

“Well, I have to go now, b-bye, Jazwa stammered and ran down the steps. 

“Oh no, is it something I said, she said to herself and quickly went inside and dialed her daughters mobile number.

“Surprise", her friends screamed at the top of their voice. Jazwa was so startled that she nearly fell off the bench that was sitting on. 

“Hey silly girl, we were going to surprise you’, Malsha said. 

“Yeah, we were just buying a cake when you called", Neelam explained. 

“When mom called we all got so worried", Malsha said. 

“Thank god, I thought you guys deserted me on my birthday", Jazwa said. 

“Come on, we would never do that", Rifdha said in a happy voice.

“Now, lets go to your house and eat this yummy cake we bought for you”, said Malsha impatiently.

 “Oh, I have a better idea, let’s stuff our faces right here in this park", said Jazwa and they all laughed and went to Jazwa’s house. 

They sang the birthday song as Jazwa cut the cake and gave her the presents they have bought for the birthday girl.


The Party

On a cold morning, Mickey and Minnie went out for a morning stroll. They wore their favorite wellingtons and walked through the forest. 

"Did you hear about Tiaana and Prince Naveen?" asked Minnie. 

"Yes, I hear they are awfully nice and fun to be with", replied Mickey. 

"I’m dying to meet them, actually it’s been a while since we all got together and had some fun", Minnie said.

Suddenly Mickey had a great idea. "Lets throw a party and then we could have a blast together". 

"Yeah, that would be great’, Minnie said with a huge smile on her face.

So they rushed home and gave the good news to Donald Duck and Goofy who gladly agreed to help them. 

"I’ll decorate the hall", Goofy volunteered. 

"I’ll deliver all the invitation cards", Donald agreed happily.

They all sat down and prepared a list of thing they would need and a list of tasks that they had to accomplish to make the party a success. Minnie made a list of guests and then they all checked whether they have included all their good friends. 

"We don’t want to forget anyone", said Mickey in a serious voice.

They checked the lists and went for shopping. They had so much to buy and they had a great time in the mall.

The next day, they started to decorate the hall and Donald went off to deliver all the invitation cards.
By the time they finished decorating it was almost dinner time. They were exhausted but still they were excited. 

"I can’t wait for the party", Minnie gushed. 

"Me either", Mickey agreed.

“Hey, where is Donald?" Asked Goofy concerned. 

“I don’t think that he has returned home’, said Mickey. 

"Oh dear, did something awful happen to poor Donald, Minnie started to panic.

"Don’t worry, we’ll go and look for him", Mickey said trying to sound calm.

They all went out and walked a short distance and found Donald sitting on the side of the road. They all ran towards him to see what has happened to him.

"I just got tired and sat down to rest", Donald said sheepishly when he saw how concerned his friends were.

"Oh you silly little duck, Minnie said relieved and they went home together to have their supper while Donald told them about his day.

"First I went to the Hundred Acre Woods and delivered the card to Pooh and his friends", said Donald proudly. 

"They were having brunch and invited me to have some honey with them", he explained. 

"It was delicious and Pooh and his friends said that they would bring some honey for the party", he said. 

"That would be lovely’, Minnie exclaimed. 

"Mmmm, I also love honey", Mickey said in a dreamy voice.

"Next I met Bugs Bunny and his gang, they were so excited about the part and they promised to bring some carrots and chocolate cake", said Donald. 

"Oh that’s great", Minnie was pleased. 

"So everyone is coming huh?’ asked Mickey. 

"Yes, they all agreed and said that they were looking forward to the party", Donald said excitedly.

"Oh and you know I was very lucky today", said Donald. 

"Why is that’, asked Mickey? 

"I met all the princesses today, they were doing a photo shoot together, so I didn’t have to go to each castle. They even promised deliver the message to the Kings, Queens and their Prince", Donald sounded relieved. 

"Yes you are very lucky indeed", they all agreed.

Donald continued his tale as they ate their dinner. He was so excited. 

"I went to the Jungle, Wendy’s house, Neverland and so many places today’, he said. 

"Oh and you wont believe this, even the Hyena’s agreed to come", he said in a low voice. 

"No way’, they chorused together. 

"Oh, they did, when I reached Pride Rock, they were all resting after lunch’, he explained. 

"Wow, that’s really nice, said Minnie amazed. 

"They must have solved their problem’, Goofy said happily.

The next morning everyone woke up feeling excited about the part that they were all attending that night. At about six o’ clock in the afternoon, the guests started arriving.

First Jasmine and Aladdin flew all the way from Agrabah on their magic carpet. Mickey and his friends welcomed them and waited for the other guests to arrive.

Soon all their friends arrived and they started playing music for them. Everyone danced and had fun. They were having so much fun together.

They even managed to take a lovely photo of all the beautiful princesses!!!

‘This picture would hang on my wall from tomorrow on wards", said Mickey and they all laughed together.

Finally, Prince Naveen and Princess Tiaana arrived. They all rushed to meet them. They welcomed the newest couple of the Disney family and continued to have fun.

Prince Naveen and Tiaana were so happy to meet everyone. They have been so busy with Tiaana’s restaurant’s grand opening that they haven’t had time to meet all the characters properly.

They all had a great time, dancing and eating honey and other yummy goods they brought. Before they finished the party, they all agreed that they should have a party at least once a month on a regular basis because it was so much fun to meet all their buddies and have a great time together.


Cry for Help

I was going home with my husband when I suddenly heard a man crying out for someone to help him. I could feel the great pain he must have been enduring and the urgency of his message. I did not understand his language, but still I could understand his message clearly. Yes, it was scary, I gazed at the building that was being knocked down by some Bangladeshi men without taking any safety precautions for sure.

People rushed out from the shops and some men even stopped their bikes and motorcycles, left them on the road and ran to help the man who was screaming for help. A huge wall has fallen and a man was trapped beneath it. Some people pulled out their mobile phones and called the police and others even alerted the ambulance.

With everyone’s help, he was finally freed from the huge brick wall which had mercilessly fallen upon him and they carried him to the road. People gathered around, some in the hope to see the damage, others trying to help the poor injured man. He was bleeding and was unconscious, since the ambulance would take a while, a man offered to take him to the hospital in his lorry.

My husband and I were standing a bit far away and then continued our journey towards home soon after he was taken to the hospital. I wonder what happened to him and whether recovered. I guess I’ll never know but I don’t think I would ever forget his cry for help.


Special Day for Mom

‘Rise and shine sleepy head’ said my dad in a cheerful voice. As soon as I opened my eyes I remembered about our special plans for the day. I quickly jumped out the bed and dashed towards the bathroom. My dad reminded me to be quite and tiptoed into the kitchen.

I dressed quickly and joined him in the kitchen to help him prepare the special breakfast. Last night we went for shopping and our fridge was well stocked. We made coffee, an omelet and some sandwiches and carried everything in a tray. I followed my dad, proudly holding the bouquet of flowers and her special present.
We entered the room smiling like maniacs and screamed ‘happy mother’s day’. My mom looked so happy and was saying thank you over and over. I gave her a big hug and handed our present to her. We picked her favorite flower, orchids which she carefully placed on the night stand and opened the present like an eager little girl, opening her birthday present.

My mom looked so elated when she saw the gold necklace with the heart shaped locket. Inside my dad has inserted our picture and we love you was engraved on the cover. We could tell that she really liked our present because she wanted to wear it instantly and kept on admiring it.
As she had her breakfast, we told her about our plan for the day. Since it was mom’s special day, we were going to take over her duties and let her rest. She seemed to be thrilled by the idea but looked at us and said, ‘are you sure?’ ‘Of course’ my dad and I chorused together.

Since it was a Friday and my dad and I had to go for the Friday prayer, we quickly rushed back into the kitchen to prepare lunch. After sometime mom came into the kitchen with a worried frown on her face. ‘Are you sure about this, she said nervously. ‘Of course’, we exclaimed. ‘We have meticulously planned everything, don’t worry’, my dad added with a melodramatic expression for emphasis. She still looked doubtful and lingered at the door so we decided that she could give us company while we cooked.

My mom was very impressed to see me chop the vegetables even though I took twice the time she would have taken to chop one kilogram of carrots to chop a single carrot. Finally our cooking mission was over by eleven thirty. So we quickly went to take a bath and go to the mosque, warning mom not to lay the table.
After finishing the scrumptious lunch that we have cooked, we watched Heyanmbo together as usual. ‘I had no idea that I could cook like that’, my dad confessed after sometime. I thought I saw a secret smile spreading over my mom’s face and she said, ‘I think you should take over the kitchen from now on’. My dad quickly stood up and ran for the door, mopping his face furiously and silently begging mom not do so. Of course he was joking and we laughed and teased each other.

As usual, we went for a walk in the afternoon and went to Olive Garden for dinner. We had pizzas and milkshake. By the time we came home we were so tired that we wanted to sleep. But then we realized that we forgot to do the laundry and even clean the house. We were so tired after preparing breakfast and lunch we completely forgot about the other chores that mom used to accomplish by noon.

I realized how energetic my mom was and I my heart over flowed with gratitude and love for her. I was even more grateful for everything she has been doing for me now that I could understand to some extent how hard she worked. It’s amazing how she always had time for me whenever I needed her. I was even more mesmerized by the fact that she could juggle everything and accomplish all the tasks without much difficulty. I’m so proud of my mother and me my dad were glad to hear from mom that she really enjoyed her special day.

Before going to sleep I wished my mother happy mother day one last time and went to bed. As I slowly drifted into dream land, I started planning what my mother and I could do for father’s day to surprise my dad.


Letter from Genie

Silver Lamp,
Cave of Wonders,
Mysterious Sahara,

16th February 2010.

Hello Everyone,

On this special day where all you happy and bright not to mention intelligent students of Jamaaluddin School are celebrating your grand twenty fifth anniversary, I just couldn’t resist myself. So I’m here to join you guys to make it an unforgettable event.

Guess what, when I contacted the school, they were pleased to know that I would be joining the fun, being a past student and all!! However, they did ask me to dress in blue. I had a panic attack instantly. You see, I haven’t gone shopping for centuries. But then, I saw my reflection and I’m BLUE!! So my true colors do show that I belong to this school.

Oh and check out my lamp, I just got a new one to match the silver jubilee you guys are celebrating. Isn’t it cool? I’m just so excited. You should see the interior, I’ve got everything in my cramped lamp blue!!!!

Finally I would like to make the most exhilarating announcement. I know that you guys have so many wishes, Oh yes, I know all about it. So I’ve decided to grant you guys’ twenty five wishes, that’s right, twenty five wishes. So if you see a humongous blue guy with a silver lamp trailing behind him, let me know your wishes. Keep in mind that I’ll select the best twenty five wishes and it has to be related to your precious school and its development.

Once again, HAPPY 25th ANNIVERSAY. Let’s have a blast together and keep on wishing because I’ll be listening!

Yours friendly,


Inestimable Love

She was sitting at her desk and talking to someone. She looked up to see who came in and she smiled at me. Suddenly everything vanished and I saw the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. When she smiled, the whole room was filled with bright sunshine. Butterflies flew around her, playfully caressing her long silky hair. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. My new friend who was introducing me to everyone in the office gently tapped on my shoulder.

I shook her hand as Sham introduced her to me. As he went on introducing everyone in the office, I kept on staring at Naaisha. Her voice was like serene music to my ears when she spoke and I sank into an ocean of unknown feelings as the day continued. I watched her whenever she passed by my table. The way she walked reminded me of the beautiful princesses described in the stories, graceful and feminine.

As the days continued we developed a friendship that didn’t satisfy my rebellious heart. We talked and joked around but I wanted more. I wanted to know everything there was to know about her. I wanted to be there when she wakes up in the morning, tuck her in and keep her warm at night. I wanted her to smile all the time and spread the sunshine which no one else seems to see, except me.

She gave me her mobile number after one month. From then on, every night before I slept she would receive a text from me, wishing her goodnight and she would be greeted by my text in the following morning as well. She refused to go out with me. Her reply was devastating. She was in love with someone else and she didn’t want a relationship at that time. I was heartbroken but still I continued my quest to conquer her heart.

One day she was standing in the tea room when I went there myself. As I reached to open the door, someone suddenly opened the door. I felt a bit dizzy for a moment because the door slammed into my face. I touched my head and winced in pain. There was a large bump on my head like a humongous coconut. She was apologizing over and over. I don’t know what was wrong with me but when I realized that it was my Naaisha who opened the door, I didn’t feel the pain or anything else. I just waved my hand casually and told her that it didn’t hurt at all. I was mesmerized by her beauty and forgot about everything else I guess. As I watched her race towards her section, I saw the butterflies flap their little wings even faster, trying to keep up with her. I loved her so much.

I would never forget how we celebrated her birthday on 20th June 2007. We took her to artificial beach for a treat and everyone attacked her with eggs including me. She laughed and begged us not to put her into the water. I just picked her up and ran towards the water. As I ran down the steps and reached the crystal clear water, my friends kept on cheering me as if I was running towards the finishing line of a marathon.

She landed in the water like little pebble, dropping from a distance. Her tiny slim body was like a fragile flower. I didn’t want to drop her into the water. Instead I wanted to run away with her, to a place that I only knew about. It would also be a place where I would keep her safe and comfortable. Once there, I would love her forever. This would be such a special and sacred place that no one else could ever come. These were the thoughts that haunted me for many days after the incident but there was little I could do.

A year went by, I begged her to be mine forever. I promised to take care of her and love her immensely. I yearned for her day and night. However her reply left me vulnerable and weak. But I never wanted to surrender. My heart kept on telling me that one day she would be lying on a hammock and I would be there next to her. I would be looking at her lovely face and when she smiled I would touch the little butterflies that teased her all the time. We will watch the sunset together, but I would gaze at her gorgeous face. I would guard her with my life and love her till my last breath. My heart kept on dreaming and believing that this would happen one day.

However she got a scholarship from Malaysia and was getting ready to leave. I was devastated and worried. She still hasn’t given me a positive answer. By then I have even stopped telling her that I loved her. I stopped sending text messages as well. I was depressed and my hope to make her mine was like chasing a rainbow. But I continued to bug her and that was something I could never restrain myself from. She didn’t even get annoyed by my actions and she seems to enjoy it. I never understood why she enjoyed my attention and then refused to be mine.

A few days before she left, she came to my section and wanted me to take her to lunch. I was so happy thinking that she has changed her mind after all. But as we ordered and waited in the restaurant, she explained that she enjoyed being single. She even advised me to date and find another girl. I wanted evaporate into thin air and disappear, I didn’t want to live at that precise moment but I smiled at her. I made her laugh knowing that I would never get to see her like this, sitting so close to me for a long time. Every time she giggled I saw those beautiful butterflies hovering over her head and gently sitting on her soft curls. I looked at her in amazement. My heart was over flowing with pure love and I wanted to reach out and kiss her lips but I knew it would spoil everything.

My whole world collapsed when she left for Malaysia. I was lost, like a wounded animal. I knew that she didn’t love me but seeing her gorgeous face every day was enough for me to live. But when she left there was nothing for me to live for. However as I met her online a couple of times I felt better. I know I’m helpless in front her, I beg her to be mine but I’m more determined now. I will love her till my last breath and wait for her with open arms in the hope that one day she would come running to me. I would be the happiest man to be alive for sure. I pray every day and night to Allah, asking and begging to make her mine. For there is no human being alive who would love her like me.

However my friends and people who cares about me advised me to forget her. According to them she was just using me and only wanted to enjoy my attention. Instead, a girl who loves me would help me forget her and I might as well be happy. But I have my doubts. Maybe when I feel loved and secure, I might be able to do so. But will I be happy without my Naai. Can I love someone else? May be some day I might, but not right now. With time I guess the wounds in my heart would heal and I might even learn to love someone else. I know that the chances are slim but I like to believe and dream that my one and only love, my Naaisha, would be mine someday.


Pink Socks

As I stepped out of the hotel I was staying, the cool breeze of summer embraced me. I looked around at the unfamiliar environment. I decided to go for a walk, may be explore the new surroundings. I saw a big building ahead of me. There were lots of people gathered around the building. As I quickened my pace and came closer, I heard some of them even cheering. May be they were having some sort of religious ceremony.

Since it was my first trip to India and I was having a blast. I’ve visited lots museums and parks already. When I woke up that morning, I decided to just roam around without a particular destination to see what I could find. The huge house looks like as interesting place. I stood among the large crowd and I had no idea why they were so excited.

Somehow, I managed to squeeze through them and I saw cameras and lots of people busily rushing around. After a while they were ready and the legendary Hindi movie star Amitab Bachan took his place in the center. 

As the director said ‘and…..action’, he suddenly dropped down on his knees and started crying his eyes out. He looked up to the ceiling and raised his head and howled in a pained voice. 

‘My socks’, ‘my beautiful pink socks’ he sobbed. I can’t find them anywhere. He kept on crying and everyone watched the scene in progress, mesmerized.

A chill ran through my body as I continued to watch in amazement. I could boast for a month I thought feeling lucky. 

‘Cut’ commanded the director but still Amitab looked heartbroken. He is good, I thought with admiration. He still looks so sad and his emotions were so real. 

The director looked around his staff and demanded ‘bring the pink socks”. 

A timid looking girl stepped forward and stammered, 'I…er I forgot to bring them sir'. 

The director looked as if someone slapped his face. Everyone looked worried like someone died in front of them, even the crowd stood still. Everyone seems to know what was going on, except me. Since I looked puzzled, the woman standing next to me explained what was going on. 

She said in a hushed voice, Amitab has a little problem about crying scenes, you see he cannot stop crying until he gets what he wants’. I raised by eyebrows even more confused. 

She continued, ‘for example if he is doing a scene about his mother’s death, they have to give him a picture of his mother once the scene is over so he could stop crying’. 

So until he gets his pink socks he won’t be able to stop. The nearest shop to this mansion was about four miles away.Amitab continued his howling and the director looked around with pleading eyes. 

‘Is anyone at least wearing pink socks?’ he said in a hoarse voice. 

I looked down at my feet and realized that I was wearing pink socks and so did the people standing around me. 

‘She is wearing pink socks’, everyone chanted in a scary manner. 

I felt numb when everyone started to come towards me. I had a strong feeling that this won’t be very pleasant. But there was no way out, I was standing in the middle of the crowd. 

‘Get her socks!’ someone yelled from the crowd. 

‘Hold her tightly and get her socks’ commanded the director. 

I was so scared that I even forgot to scream.They started to pull my hair and clothes. Suddenly someone pushed me from behind. As a result I was lying on the ground and someone pulled out my shoes. 

‘Please don’t do that’. I begged and screamed but they didn’t listen. I opened my eyes and I saw my husband and I was so happy that I even started crying. 

‘Hey, it’s just a dream, he said in a kind voice. 

‘Oh yes, I was still in bed, thank god!’ I thought relieved.

We ordered breakfast and I quickly washed myself. He was reading the paper as I took a sip of coffee. 

“I think we should go and check out the mansion sweet heart, a very famous director is filming his latest movie there today’. 

My blood ran cold and I felt my bowels loosening. I quickly stepped out to the balcony and craned my neck towards the direction of the mansion. Oh no! I didn’t want this dream to come true!!!!!!

I ran into the room and quickly rummaged through my belongings. 'Ah, there you are', I cried happily. My husband looked at me as if I were a hooligan. I ran out to the balcony once again and threw my pink socks out.


Just wanted to.........!

She stood under the huge tree and gazed at the shimmering water. The cool breeze lightly touched her face and she inhaled the fresh air coming straight from the huge ocean in front of her. She closed her eyes and thought about her beautiful daughter at home. She thought about her husband who must be at work at that precise moment and her beloved in laws who would have been enjoying their lunch in their cozy dining room. She took a deep breath, like a warrior getting ready for a dangerous mission and quickened her pace towards the jetty.

Everyone was shocked when they heard the news. They wondered why she would do such a thing. ‘Why, she’s such a lovely girl, always happy and smiling’, they all kept on saying. Some even added, ‘she had such a good husband and not to mention all the comforts of life’.

Her mother in law called her mobile three times in a row, but she didn’t answer. Thinking that she was being kept by work as usual, she got on with her chores. Her husband came home and was greeted by his boisterous three year daughter’s hug. She smelled of baby powder and soap. Alaa was ready for bed. As usual, he dropped his socks, followed by his shirt and pants on the ground. Leaving the pile in the center of the room he headed towards the shower. When he came out, his clothes were on the very spot where he had dropped them. Where was she? As he was about to dial her number, his mother barged in with tears in her eyes, wailing like a mad woman.

He expected her to look scared, but she looked as if she was sleeping comfortably. He thought he was imagining it, but she looked blissful, like she would smile up at them at any moment. He wept for her and lingered near her grave when everyone left, asking himself, ‘why?’ ‘Why did you jump, when you knew you couldn’t swim?’ But she won’t be able to answer him now. On the way home he wondered whether she was unhappy. He even started remembering things that he should have noticed a long time ago.

He remembered seeing her lost and depressed face. Especially after the baby and when she had to go back to work after her maternity leave. He even remembered her confession and constant pleadings. She wanted to stay at home and look after their daughter. He also remembered that she had been sad, tired and stressed for quite some time. But she is such a nice and patient person that she would never complain. When she tried to talk he listened half way through, if he had listened to her seriously, his beautiful wife would now be recovering.

He thought of his needs, how tired he was after a day’s work and then how he took a nap when he came back after a heavy lunch. He needed to relieve his stress so he would watch a movie and stay up during the weekends. His mom was old, so there was no hope there for her either. During the weekend he slept till mid day and went for fishing with his pals. His wife did the laundry and ironed their clothes and took care of the house. She never got a break, never, she was always so busy. He never realized that she would also need to rest and relieve her stress.

He couldn’t sleep that night. He thought of his wife, how he met and how much he loved her back then. Did their love die after having a kid? No, of course not. He still loved her and he was lost without her. He was up all night, thinking about their happy times and their recent conversations. He regretted the fact that he hadn’t cared enough for his wife and finally burst into tears a few hours before the sun rose. He cried for a long time while everyone slept and emerged from his bedroom composed and guarded the next morning.

They all thought that Niyaasha committed suicide. They didn’t know that as a kid she used to sit at the beach and look at the crystal clear water when she was sad. She continued to spend time at the beach more often as she grew up. After the marriage she moved to the metropolitan city with her husband dreaming of a life where she would be happy and content.

As she stood under the huge tree for the last time, she thought of the clean environment back at home. Even though she was standing a few meters away from the water, she didn’t feel at ease at all. She wanted to see the crystal clear water so she walked towards the jetty. When she reached the very end, she felt a bit dizzy. She couldn’t hold on to the railing and slowly, her grip slipped away and she fell into the water. By the time they pulled her out, it was too late.

Yes, she was sad and depressed. She just wanted to feel happy so she headed towards the harbor instead home after work. She just needed sometime before she took over her duties at home after a hectic day at work. She never intended to jump, she just fainted. People talked about her for days. What no one knew was that she never intended to end her life like that.


Happily Married

When two people fall in love they would obviously want to spend their life together. Marriage is their ultimate answer. People in different societies and cultures have different ceremonies where they are joined together for life.

The first few months would be magical. The young couple would be madly in love with each other. They would go for walks, have romantic candle light dinners, go for breakfast, refer to each other with their own special nick names and would dress up for their spouse. Yes, the first few months are the happiest days they have ever experienced but why can’t it last?

Some people might say that it’s because they just finished their honeymoon and now it’s time to introduce or meet the real person. Does this have to be true, I mean come on? Just because you are married doesn’t mean that you have to stop dressing for your beloved husband or stop using deodorant. Of course you would stink and you won’t look like the pretty princess anymore! Then again people might say that you should love the real person for who he or she is.

Why do we dress nicely for our lovers when we date? It’s because we want to please them. We are not laying a trap for our pray and then wham! We nail them and get married. So afterwards we are bound to be together for life. So we just stay at home without even taking a shower or changing clothes until hubby darling comes home to discover a tramp! Lovely, isn’t it!

The sad truth is that some people do think that it is not important to dress up once we are married. This eventually leads his or her partner to lose interest in them. It would be so pleasant for the dear husband to see his beloved wife all fresh and dressed, opening the door to welcome him home with a melon size smile on her face instead of a grumpy nagging fish wife.

There would be a lot of instances where we would disagree on certain issues and have to compromise. Since life is full of surprises and the couple might have to work around the clock but still, they should have sometime for themselves and share their lives. They should support each other in everything they do, be there to share each other’s happiness, sorrows, success and even pain. The key to happiness is being loyal, kind, loving and respecting each other’s feelings. Do little things like kissing or hugging your husband or wife after coming home from work. Yes, we need to sustain the magic that once attracted each other.


New Year!

The old woman wiped the table with the sponge one last time and checked the kitchen. She was satisfied, I could tell by the toothless smile slowly spreading over her face. She switched off the lights and went inside.
Slowly I crawled out of my hiding place. Fresh water, yummy. I quickly drank water and signaled my family that it was safe. Everyone scuttled out and we started our feast. Humans are so dumb sometimes. They think that we come out of food, so they clean the floors and the tables before they leave the kitchen to keep us out. But we cockroaches love water and we cannot survive without it. The few drops of water that must have dropped from the sponge is enough to quench the thirst of our family of sixty nine roaches.

My wife Zoka found a grain of sugar under the table, lucky her I thought as I watched her lick it hungrily. 'Oh we are lucky daddy', my eldest son called when he found the goodies left in the dustbin. My kids raced each to the dustbin but they let the younger ones feed first. I watched them from a distance, teary eyed. I’m so happy and I believe I have done the right thing by migrating to Maldives.

I remember my life in Japan, we always lived in constant fear. Unlike the Maldivians they were not afraid of us. If a girl spotted us in Maldives, she would scream at the top of her voice and climb the nearest table or chair and continue her glass shattering scream. Of course a man would come to her rescue and kill or squash the more terrified cockroach. But the Japanese people like to eat us.

My trip to Maldives was difficult. I left behind my family who refused to join me. I spent about a month in a ship. Water was a rare commodity but I managed to get enough to survive. Since we roaches are omnivores, we could eat almost anything. If water wasn’t so scarce, a ship is not a bad place to live. You see the men in the ship didn’t even bother to get rid of us. We just scurry about without fear of being hit by a slipper. I met a cockroach who had lived all his life in that ship. He said he also got on the ship to travel, but since it was such a safe place to live he decided to stay. But sometimes it’s very difficult to get water. Well, I wanted to start a new life in a beautiful country, that’s why I ended up in Maldives.

As the hours ticked by my family retreated to our nests satiated for the moment. I think I heard a group of people shouting and then there were fireworks everywhere. The building started to shake violently and within minutes it collapsed. There was smoke everywhere and people were shouting and there were a series of explosions. I quickly looked around to see whether my kids were safe and crawled out to see what has happened. There was smoke everywhere and no buildings. Everything has collapsed.

After a month, the smoke did clear out and I got news from the other cockroaches. Humans have destroyed themselves. My great grandma used to say that and as a kid I thought that she was losing her mind with old age. How right she is. While they were celebrating the New Year, some of them drank too much and pressed a button that they were not suppose to press. Yes, the nuclear weapons were unleashed. When the Americans by accident pressed the button, Russians fired away in return. Indians, Chinese, Pakistanis and all the other countries who had nuclear weapons joined in thinking the world has gone into a war trying to protect themselves. Each of these countries had missiles aimed towards each and every single country that existed on the surface of the earth. So the crazy and happy New Year celebrations ended up in a war, destroying them forever.

As months passed by the smoke did clear out, we still have not come across any survivors. But we have met so many cockroaches from different parts of the world. It’s amazing how we have survived the time of the dinosaurs and the great big nuclear war. There are no plants or oceans yet, everything is destroyed but as it started raining the other day, we are hoping that the plants would grow back and we would have a safe and beautiful world to live, just for the cockroaches.