By Ali Ashhar
Mr and Mrs Faroqui are gearing up for the homecoming of their son. Mrs Faroqui is steaming the chicken curry in the kitchen. Today is her favourite day of the year as she will be meeting her son after eleven months who has just completed his third year of engineering. The clock tick-tocks eight pm in the evening and the flight is about land. Mr Faroqui eagerly drives to the airport to welcome his son.
Son enters, and they hug and greet each other.
Mr Faroqui: How’s my son doing?
Ayan: I am all well, Dad.
They reach home and finally comes the overwhelming moment.
Mrs Faroqui: How have you been my son? Aren’t you taking care of yourself well? You look so lean.
Ayan: It’s all workload and hustle of life, but I am coping well with all the challenges.
They sit at the dining table and discuss how life has changed for them. How much they miss these dining table conversations. How much they miss those good times when. Ayan tells them he feels the same.
Mrs Faroqui: Tell me how is the chicken curry?
Ayan: Yummy! Nothing can match the taste your hand holds.
Mrs Faroqui tells Ayan to go and check his room.
Ayan: Everything is fine here, Mom. Now, I will be hitting the bed as I am tired.
Mrs Faroqui: Take care, Good night!
It’s seven am in the morning. Mrs Faroqui asks Ayan to get up and come to the dining table for breakfast. Ayan makes his way to the table. Mr Faroqui leaves for his office in a hurry.
Ayan: Mom, why is he in a hurry?
Mrs Faroqui: We had kept it between us but since you are asking, I should tell you that we have become debt-ridden. There is a lot of pressure on your father for your studies as well as managing our finances. Before going to the office, he will meet a real estate dealer for he will be selling our flat to manage the expenses of your studies. Parents sacrifice every fibre of their body so that their children have a bright tomorrow.
Ayan (with tears in his eyes): Mom, you should have told me earlier. Since childhood, I have seen you both sacrificing a lot for me but today I feel what it’s like for parents to raise their children. Mom, I promise you I will leave no stone unturned to give back all that you have given me. I will work immensely hard and try to get a good job.
Mrs Faroqui: Yes, Ayan. Not only a good job but we also want to see you as a good human being.
Ayan: I promise you, Mom.
This incident changes Ayan completely. He goes back to college. He works immensely hard. The sacrifices of his parents revolve in front of his mind day and night. Armaan, who is one of the dearest friends of Ayan notices this sudden change in him and asks him the reason.
Armaan: Ayan, you look tense. I have seen you working so hard yet you are lost somewhere these days.
Ayan: Dude, I remember how my parents raised me. How much they have sacrificed for me and now they are selling our flat located in New Bombay. I want to give my best so that I may get a job and I could gift my parents all that they have sacrificed for me and much more.
Armaan: Look friend, children are like one of the greatest gifts of God to parents. With the seeds of sacrifice, they plant our tree of life. It’s good to see that you realize so much. Nowadays, there are children who don’t even care what all odds their parents have gone through to bring them up. I know, you will definitely succeed in your mission. All the best.
Ayan: Thank you, Armaan for your uplifting words.
Ayan hustles day in and day out. He establishes himself as one of the brightest students on the campus. He is hired by Google later.
He calls his mother to convey the news.
Ayan: Mom, I have great news! I have been hired by Google.
Mrs Faroqui: Glory be to Allah! I am proud of you my son. I have no words to express my emotions right now. You have done a tremendous job! Our sacrifices….They didn’t go in vain. I will convey this news to your Dad. When are you visiting us in India?
Ayan: Sorry, Mom. It will take some time, but we will meet in future.
Ayan wanted to meet them but couldn’t as he makes a promise to himself that he will only see his parents when he is able to gift them flat in Los Angeles. He works immensely hard and is keenly focussed on his work. He has a mission to achieve.
Two years later he succeeds in buying a flat. He now wants to meet his parents and give them a surprise. He sends the flight tickets to his parents and asks them to visit him. His parents affirm.
They are on their way to Los Angeles. Mr and Mrs Faroqui arrive at the airport.
Ayan drives his car to the airport. He warmly receives them.
Mr and Mrs Faroqui’s joy knows no bounds after seeing their son. It is an emotional meet-up. He tells them about his life here. He tells them that he has been running a philanthropic organization since he wants to give the underprivileged somewhat of what life has given him. Mom… Dad… I remember and adore your teachings. Let’s go to our place.
He drives them home.
Ayan: Welcome, this is your home.
Mr Faroqui: We are awestruck! I can’t believe it.
Ayan: This was my oath, Dad. Since the day, Mom told me you were selling our flat to meet the expenses of my studies, I realized how much you have sacrificed for me, and I know every parent does. So accept this flat as a gift from your child. This gift may be expensive but to me, you both are priceless and timeless gifts of Allah.
Mrs Faroqui: I can’t be more proud to call myself your mother.
Ayan: Come on. Let me show you our home.
With grit, determination and commitment Ayan achieved what an ideal son should achieve. He now resides in Los Angeles and does a lot of philanthropic work. He also teaches poor kids at his home for no cost. He believes if you are privileged then it’s an obligation upon you to give the world something and help the underprivileged. Mr and Mrs Faroqui couldn’t be happier seeing how well their son is performing. He is not only a good professional but also a good human being trying to give the world a little of what this world gave him. Their sacrifices paid off.- Total nr. of readings: 398 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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