Silence in the hospital was broken by cries of pain; deep unbearable pain. Rehma was brought to the hospital in labor. The pain was unbearable. Her husband wiped sweat off her forehead as she waited to be admitted. Doctor examined her and was quick to take her to the labor ward. The baby would be here any minute. Any minute? It seemed like ages.
Unlike her first pregnancy this pregnancy had been tough. It was not the pregnancy symptoms which made her life tough. It was cough. Yes! Cough. Being pregnant she wasn’t prescribed strong medicines and it made things worst.
She had promised herself that she would take great care of her unborn child. She had planned a list of things to do once she was pregnant.
- Go on a morning walk.
- Pray more voluntary prayers
- Recite Quran daily after fajr
- Eat healthy balanced food. (no junk)
- Spend more time with elder son, helping him memorize
Alas, now she could do none of it with her deep coughs. While walking -Where could she vomit? Forget the nafil (voluntary) prayers, she found it difficult to utter surat ul fatiha (opening chapter of quran) in fard (obligatory prayer). Getting something on the plate for her family to eat was her biggest challenge of the day. And her poor son, she could do nothing more than to smile with difficulty. This adversity could purify her – this was her only consolation.
Cough would start somewhere deep within and wouldn’t stop until she had very hot water! This cough wouldn’t let her sleep or eat well. It made sure that she vomited what little she ate. And at its peak won’t let Rehma utter a word. Due to this she didn’t even go out. It always occupied her thoughts and made her sad.
On Sunday Feb 15th, Farha was sitting alone on her hostel bed with a diary on her hand. She was reading her diary with whom she shared things she wouldn’t say to anyone else.
Feb 1: Dear Diary, It would be my first Valentine’s day in the college. Girls are buzzing about it. Now is the time to shine. I hope I’m popular too. I guess – there is no fun in the college without some attention.
Feb 2: OMG. Some of the girls made most of the week end – did shopping and went parlour. They look so special. Beep beep – I’m lagging. Next year I’ll be prepared.
Feb 5: Pretty Rehana confines her fears to me. She is scared no boy would give her a card or a rose. She scares me of, what will happen of me?
Feb 7: Week end – Postponed my trip to home. Now I can shop high heels, fancy mobile accessories and other cool stuff with friends.
Feb 8: LOL. What has Rehana done to her hair?!! Is it a Rainbow or did she get stuck by a lightning. If I was a boy I would run away from her. My heels and accessories are in no match to other’s attires. Do they book these dresses before actresses even try them on?
Feb 10: I should have seen the beauty contest coming – will it be Sara or Rashma who would get maximum roses? Hope at least some sweetie spares me a card.
Feb 12: Caught by seniors – Such a waste of time; Hours spent wrapping gifts for their valentine! Gifts for their mom dad uncle and aunts too! Why? May be they hope this will make their parents overlook the expenditure on their BF. Or, is it mere guilt?
Feb 13: All my roommates are sending friendly messages to boys on WhatsApp! The boys were first to attract them with jokes and other silky messages. I would never give my number to any boy. Too shy for that!
Feb 14: SOS SOS… The day is her -CAN’T decide what to wear. Every colour dress has a meaning. Traffic signs are so much easier to remember. I hope what I select gives no special signal. Rehana in Green! – Is she that desperate? Even rose colour means something! I just don’t want red – don’t wish to break anyone’s heart.
Feb 15: ________________
Farah’s face is red and swollen. Few hours of tears would make any one red. She picks up her pen and writes, “Who knew Rehana would win the contest? Roses of different colour- more vibrant than her hair adore her table now . She has pasted all her heart shaped cards on her closet. The teddy bears look cute on her bed. Dear Diary, Anyone can easily count all the stuff I got – Zero. Am I not pretty or friendly? Then why am I not a part of group lunch parties my friends are in even on Sunday? These girls didn’t even bother to say me a bye. So we are back again as best friends my ever reliable diary! You shall always remain my best friend. Well, my only friend.” Farha drops her pen down and starts crying again.
She hears her name being called. “Farha, Farha, where are you?” Before she could rise up her lecturer Dr. Yasmin enters into the room. “Yah Allah. Did a bee sting your face? What have you made of yourself? You just missed a call from your parents. Weren’t you lost in your thoughts to hear the announcement? I guess your mobile is silent too.“ Farha quickly closes her diary and wipes her tears. Too late, it was as though Dr. Yasmin could see through her. The strict lecturer was standing next to her inspecting her room. There were valentines gifts all around except in her place. Next to her was her gaudy diary and on the floor was a shoe box with untouched flashy heels.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Welcome to the world of stories, stories that portray women in different stages of life.
Life is full of unexpected turns, some sweet and pleasant while others not so pleasant. Did you ever wonder in spite of your best efforts why things don’t go as you had planned? Is someone else manipulating you?! You are right in a way! He is the best of the planners, Wise and extremely Powerful. You guessed right. He is the Almighty Allah. Every blessing and trial could be a step towards paradise, if we are thankful and patient. Unfortunately, we are not always grateful and obedient. Let us learn from our past mistakes to make most of our future.
Stories here are inspired by incidents in our life or some person we know. I hope these help you to turn over a new leaf and see things in different perspective. Remember, Allah knows everything. Even our slightest effort to change could get rewarded.
May peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.