Maria Khushk is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad Sindh. She is author of a book titled ‘‘The Cage of Innocence’. She also contributes articles to Sindh Courier.
Bad Company Corrupts Good Character
Ahmed heard someone was calling early in the morning. He realized, his mother was calling him from downstairs, as he and his little brother Muneer were soundless dead to the world. Slowly the voice was coming near.
“Son, get up and revise your work. Hurry up.” Muneer got up and brushed his teeth and Ahmed revised his annual test and waited for him to come out. He got ready and sat on the dining table. His mother served omelet and slices of bread. Ahmed was so anxious about what will happen next in the exam hall!
Ahmed’s father gazed at him and said: “Do not fret. Do your best.”
“I’m running late as I’ve to drop Muneer to his school. Could you drop Ahmed off at his college?” his mother asked his father.
“No! I cannot because I have lots of work to do.” Ahmed’s father said, while taking a sip of tea.
“Amma, do not worry about me. I can go to college by myself.” Ahmed replied with a confident smile.
“Are you sure?” mother asked for confirmation.
“Yes! He is my boy and I trust him.” Father answered.
When Ahmed reached at college, students were not allowed in the classroom. His eyes were looking for his friends and found Alisha and Asad who were reclining on the pillar. Alisha’s lips were moving soundlessly as she was revising the whole years’ notes under her breath. But Asad was smoking, chilling and had no worries about the annual test. Asad noticed him and said, “Hey Bro!”
Ahmed said “Hello!” to both.
‘Hi!’ Alisha replied in a cranky way.
“I am feeling butterflies in my tummy, but how do you enjoy the exam day?” “Ahmed asked.
“Test it bro. You will enjoy it too.” Asad replied proudly.
“No! I do not smoke.” Ahmed replied.
“Chill bro! Take it.” Asad insisted.
“What if teacher saw us doing this?’ Ahmed inquired.
“No one has seen me in this whole year. Taste it.’
Ahmed took a filtered cigarette and tried to inhale, but unlucky the teacher crossed the way. He tried hard to hide the cigarette but failed. He bent down to act like he was retying shoelace. He hid the things well and became more confident about lies and bad things.
“Do not smoke.’ Alisha said. “It’s not a good habit.”
“I didn’t. Asad did.’ Ahmed lied.
“I saw you.”
“I thought you got confused between me and him.’ Ahmed tried to hide the truth.
Alisha ignored him however decided to inform his dad about bad habits of Ahmed, as he was one of her good friends. After a few days, the result was declared and Alisha topped, and Ahmed had just passed and Asad failed the exam.
Soon after results were declared, Alisha went to Ahmed’s home to tell his parents, what he has been doing.
“So you were cheating your benevolent and sybarite papa.” Alisha asked. “This is the actual result of your exam. I’m here to tell your parents about your result.”
Alisha told Ahmed’s father about his bad habit of cigarette addiction and white lies.
He was feeling ashamed in front of his mother and younger brother.
“My child, I trusted and allowed you to go alone but it doesn’t mean you take the advantage and choose the wrong path in your life. I thought my son would make me proud one day.” His father sat on the sofa, his eyes become bloodshot. “What are you teaching your younger brother that bad things and lies are nothing?” he said.
“If you do so, what will your younger siblings learn from you?” his mother said.
Tears began rolling down from Ahmed’s eyes and he thought how wrong he was?
“I am sorry Baba and Amma, forgive me.” Ahmed said in a whine way.
“We will forgive you time and again, but think of your brother too. As you are his elder brother and elder one is decision-maker after us.” Father guided him.
Ahmed repented a lot and decided not to smoke and speak lie anymore.