Long live the kids…

The kid
The kid

It was a mid-term result day of my three kids, a few months back. I went to their school to collect the result cards. I had a little conversation with the kids’ teachers about their performance and the results, and then I left the school. No sooner did I arrive home that I got a call from the school asking me to go back to the school as the Headmistress wanted to talk to me. I wondered what could possibly be the issue. I suspected my son Moazzan might have done something as I already had been called upon to hear a complaint against him. Anyways, I went and met the Headmistress. She said she had received complaint against Moazzan. “Here we go, as expected.”, I said to myself. She told me that Moazzan had brought a condom into the class (my eyes rolled); he gave it to his friend and told him that it was a balloon. The kid took it home and his parents found out what he was carrying. When asked where he got it from, he told them that his friend at school had given it to him. The parents came to the school and lodged the complaint. The headmistress then advised me to keep our personal belongings away from kids’ reach, and we should know what things the kids were bringing to school.

All the way during her talk I tried to control my laughter, but at the same time felt embarrassed when she said to keep personal things away from children. However, I apologized and told her how Moazzan really got his hands on ‘the’ balloon.

Here is how he got ‘em:

It so happened that we had returned from a visit to our village only a few days back. Our village is very small, say with a fewer than 70 homes and all the villagers are related to each other in one way or the other. Literacy rate is 50% for men and 5% for women, the primary business of men is agriculture, while all women are housewives. There are small shops which sell groceries for everyday use and confectionery items for kids. At such shops, the cheapest rubbers in town are sold to the kids as balloons. The people in the village are familiar with the purpose of the raincoats though, but they are least concerned about these being sold as balloons to the kids. My son also bought a few johnnys and brought them with him here to Karachi. I didn’t know that till the time I was told by the headmistress.

 And then I told my kid to never play with those balloons again.  :-)

Farewell Letter by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

For reasons of health, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia’s illustrious Nobel Laureate for literature, has declared his retirement from public life. He has terminal cancer and sends this letter of farewell to friends and lovers of literature.

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability.

I wouldn’t, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful l of all I say.

I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express.

I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.

I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.

If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy.

To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.

I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.

To old people I would say that death doesn’t arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.

I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father’s finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.

Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.

If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say “I love you.”

There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you & that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them “I am sorry,” “forgive me, “please,” “thank you,” and all those loving words you know.

Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.

Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don’t do it today…tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn’t matter either, the moment to do it is now.

For you, with much love,

Your Friend,
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

RIP

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