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Another Lesson

And yet another time, we were seen walking out together. This time, it was the SAT exam which me and Junaid dreaded since a long time and now that we had written it, we were both wondering how tough University education would be if the Verbal section of English was considered a mere entrance test to make into one. Well that was the issue we were dealing with. For some strange reason, it appeared a little different to people. They thought there could be some other possible reasons that always kept Junaid and me together. Oh well then, my reputation amongst girls was a proof enough to wipe out all such suspicions.
Junaid and I were straight men that had instincts no different to that of a normal man. We were close since we shared the same dreams, same aspirations, same goals and same ambitions and we had been good friends since years now. He was head over heals in love with a girl who appeared to be a great  support to him in all his odds. We both wanted to be something in life and ever since the time of our selection in O-levels, we were determined for a sound career life. We weren't any different to the people of our age, same dreams, same ideals, same plans but probably a little more enthusiastic. Especially Junaid! I used to derive my motivation from his over-optimistic approach in life. He always sounded so sure of things and most of the time, he was right. If there was one thing I admired the most about Junaid was the fact that he always taught me something new and I always told him that he
was great source of learning.
Sarah commonly referred as 'Mrs.Junaid' by me was doing her O-levels when my dear friend Junaid decided that she was the woman for him. I did try explaining it to him that maybe he could wait another two-three years to see if his priorities change and should make a decision then. And on this, we normally ended up in an argument, which proved my suggestions absolutely futile. I did later accept that he was right.
Heading right to the cafeteria, Junaid started with his usual exam-after-exam trait where he asked me how I answered a particular question on the exam and this is what I hated the most about him. On top, he even knew that I hated it but he would do it to irritate the hell out of me and we both burst into laughter at the end of it. "We cross another step today"
Junaid said, taking a bite of that unique Hotdog which was the specialty of our college. "Yes," I said, "but how many are left?"  He kept on eating ignoring my question. That day, we left for our homes and I cant tell you how relieved I was since I didn't have to look at those SAT books again.
Next day, Junaid's younger brother called me up to inform me that Junaid was  hospitalized and that he had a major food poisoning. Pretty shocked to hear that, I left to see him and it wouldn't have taken me more than 20 minutes to reach the hospital, only to discover that he had passed away!!! Its so simple to write it down but here, I do fall short of vocabulary to explain my sentiments. It all happened so quick that I didn't even get time to absorb this and by the time I accepted the brutal fact, it had been a year. The mystery of the food poisoning remains a mystery today.
The winds of time blew and days passed by. One fine morning, I received a letter from one of the good Canadian Universities saying that it had accepted me as an Undergrad student. I was so over-whelmed with the excitement since I could see the fulfillment of a long dreamt aim. My parents were happy, friends were thrilled, siblings were amazed and there I was packing for Canada. Last two weeks were flooded with dinners from family friends and relatives and never had I felt so good before.
Finally, I was all set to leave. I was onto my last minute packing and there as I was almost going to zip up the bag, I saw one of my favorite books left on the shelf. Keeping the efforts in mind that I had made to get all this stuff into one bag, I was really not encouraged to get hold of this book and make space for it. Divided in my opinion I did get hold of it to fit it in
any possible empty slot of my bag.  In my efforts to do so, a card suddenly slipped down which caught my eye. I anxiously opened it; was an old writing from a dear friend. "Best of Luck for your SAT buddy! I hope you do great.
Oh well you better do good or else you will be left here and I will be gone to Canada. You don't want that do you? So do well! Your bro... Junaid"
Strong man that I was expected to be, couldn't deny being a human and there I had tears slipping down my eyes. It left me in a strange dilemma. Why do we dream so much? Sarah was now referred to as some other Mrs! Junaid's parents were occupied in their other children. His friend was all set to head for a long dreamt life. The rest of the world was lost in itself. Where was Junaid in all this? Merely a history!
My struggle to move ahead in life remains unchanged but I have learnt that if I die, I will have to leave everything here. No one will go with me, no degrees shall help, no friends will support, world would be the same and everything would remain unchanged, except me! Sometimes, we take things for granted and we never know what lies ahead. Junaid left, and here, year after, taught me another lesson!


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