Please join me in welcoming today's guest poster, Lubaina Ehsan of Pakistan. She blogs at When it Rains, and took time from her studies to share this story. In her words, “It's about something that typically happens in Pakistan as the youngsters shift to cities our go abroad to pursue higher education, leaving their parents behind.” Enjoy.
The mud-bricked homes set as close as Lego pieces, illuminated by the full moon, it was a quiet tribe in interior Sindh, known for its date supplies to the city of Karachi. A short owl hoot could be heard in the stillness of the night, a sudden chirp of the crickets breaking through the quiet that engulfed the area, one could see stray dogs roaming in the fields surrounding the living quarters as everybody slept soundlessly. At that moment, it did not matter to him what place or time it was, he did not notice the fireflies in the bush next to him where he stood, all that mattered to him was the money he was clutching tightly in his fists. His earning for the month after working at the tribal elder’s home as a cook, this money was the concluding piece to the mighty tower of sending his son to the city for his studies.
His son was the only one he could call is own, his sole support. He lost his wife and two daughters in the flood that hit their tribe’s village two years ago in the year 2010. Now, his son was old enough to fend for himself in the city of Karachi and pay his tuitions for pursuing his Bachelors from a renowned University in Karachi. He was glad that they had a college and school near by where his son had completed his intermediate education and he had to part with him not sooner than the coming week. Now, he had the money to pay for the fares of his son’s travel and his initial accommodation and semester fee. The thought of seeing the light of his eyes all settled comfortably in Karachi and calling in his father who has always wanted to experience city life made the man smile as he pulled aside the curtains to his entrance and stepped in. His son will soon hear the good news.
“I’ll let you know the specifics for the seminar by tomorrow, only the timings have to be sorted out”, I answer my assistant over the phone as I speed towards my bungalow situated in a comfortable town of Karachi. As I park the car in the porch I can see Hassan, my two-year old son, peeking out the window. It’s his birthday today and he knows that his dad will come home with presents. I pull out the wrapped boxes from the trunk of the car and enter my home. “Daddy!” cries Hassan as he jumps at the sight of all the gifts. A suddenly nostalgia grips me; Hassan’s happiness reflects my joy as father had entered home with the money to send me to Karachi eleven years ago and I probably have the same special smile that father had that night. His smiles were mainly lost after mother, Aliya and Aisha passed away. He must be really alone these days. I make a mental note to plan a visit to the village pretty soon, I take out my cell phone to call father but just then my wife calls me in the kitchen to finalize the guest list for Hassan’s birthday party. Call to father can wait.
Thanks, Lubaina for being with us today. We look forward to seeing you in the 2013 challenge!