As narrated by Aunty Salma
Naeem and Aara insisted that I join them on their spreading a smile mission at the hospital today and since Hassan had to fly back to Durban yesterday, I welcomed the opportunity and decided to spend some time with them before heading off to help Ayesha (Zainab ‘s mum) with wedding preparations.
I played photographer for the most part and revelled in their happiness. Watching them hand out chocolates in the children’s cancer ward,making all of them laugh and holding their “You’re Perfect “board while doing so, made me smile from within. These were two almost 25 year olds, yet they weren’t embarrassed to do this, much to the delight of the patients and the hospital staff.
My Naeem was breaking inside even though he tried to show everyone how strong he was and put on a brave smile every day. I wished that things could be different…Zoheb is a wonderful young man, but Naeem and Aara was an underrated story. Hassan would often tell me to let it go and just be happy for our daughter and I was happy for her, I really was. But how can I show it when a boy who calls me Maa is breaking for the reason of my daughters happiness?
I held back a strong urge to cry when I watched Naeem bend down and re-tie Aara’s shoe lace. She had insisted on wearing a shoe on her uninjured leg because ,and I quote Aara “Because I can “! And I turned around quickly when he began to wheel her in my direction…This was becoming more difficult every day…
“Mummyyyy “,she smiled as she hugged me around my waist “I love you and you’re perfect, you know that ”
“Both of you are perfect “, I smiled back, and from the bottom of my heart, I truly meant it..
As narrated by Laeeka :
This is why Aara asked us to come to The Zone! At this hour, we were on the receiving end of many smiles as lots of aunties passed us, some giggled, some pointed and a few actually came up to us and thanked us saying that we had made their day already!
A group of little kids literally ran into us and insisted on taking a selfie with the Uncle and Aunty holding the pretty signboard! And that’s when it hit me…
A child is a child no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you have given birth to them or not….love is love. There were millions of orphaned children across the globe who didn’t have the luxury of a home. And who’s to say that I would never have kids? Only Allah Ta’ala knows for sure, and if He has meant for me not to give birth to a child then I had full faith that He had greater plans for me…For us. After seeking permission from their mothers, I scooped up two little ones into my arms and instantly, a strange yet surreal feeling filled my heart. It felt as though something inside me had closed, an open wound perhaps, an emptiness that I had created perhaps. And Riza’s words started making more sense now than it did when he said it before, that it’s all a test of faith. I had been too hurt and blind to see it. I was ignorant and chose not to accept it.
When I said goodbye to these kids, I found Riza looking at me worriedly…I had hurt him so much. I had pushed him away when all that he ever did was stand by me and support me. Not just now, but for years. ..
“Laeeka, are you okay…”, he whispered , as his voice trembled. It hurt me that this is what I had reduced this amazing human being to…He was scared that I may have “relapsed” and the look in his eyes was the same as it was on the night that I had called off our wedding…
“I’m fine…in fact no, I’m perfectly imperfect “,i smiled as I hugged him “and I’m happy too…very, very happy ”
As narrated by Sahal
This was SO weird! I was mortified to be standing here next to Zoheb, while he happily held this You’re Perfect board and raised his hand at the many cars that hooted as they took notice of us while passing by! The strange things that people do in the name of love! Lol. ..uhuh I hope that I’m never in this predicament!
“I can’t believe that you’re doing this so candidly “, I said as I grinned at him
“At first I thought that I was doing this just for Aara, but I realise now how good it’s making me feel…and now I know that I’m doing this for myself and I figure that that’s what she wanted “, he smiled
“Soul therapy working then? “, I laughed
“I’ve had a somewhat hard personal life and ever since I met your sister I’ve learned to live…so I’ve been having soul therapy ever since this Aara phenomenon came into my life “, he said with an even bigger smile
“She is a piece of work, no doubt ” and that was something that I would never disagree with..lol…my loony sister had this strange way with people. My mind drifted back to when she was in high school and she went barefooted to school so that she could convince more students to join her raise funds for underprivileged students from underprivileged schools who didn’t have access to proper uniforms. I was in grade six and remember being very embarrassed by this act of hers and I didn’t talk to her for a week even though she had,along with a large group of students raised a substantial amount of money towards her cause. A small smile spread across my face as I realised how immature I had been…and well I figured the reason why she had paired me with Zoheb too. She wanted him to have a sense of family even though she pretended not to know him and irritated the crap out of us by calling him several wrong names! Aara…minus all the nuttiness, I was so lucky to have you as my sister 💜
“So what exactly are you trying to convey by holding this board? “, a voice said and I immediately turned to look at Zoheb…
Zoheb was surrounded by a very notorious looking group of bikers who crossed their arms as they spoke! They looked like WWE wrestlers!
All my positive thoughts were chucked out the window as I stood frozen to the spot that I stood in…We were out numbered and this was bound to be a major bust up!!
As narrated by Aara :
I had never felt this alive in a very long time and it felt soooooo awesome!
We had gone from ward to ward…Nemo had brought boxes and boxes of chocolates with him this morning and we handed them out while he pushed me around in my wheelchair . Tied to my wheelchair, might I add , were two large yellow helium balloons and at some point I couldn’t help but wonder if I would lift off! Lol!
But seriously, this was really just something else altogether! The message that we were trying to convey was not to make people think that they are superior, no, but as I looked at all these patients who were fighting with some illness or the other, it solidified the reason behind our actions. Because everyone is fighting a battle of their own, be it illness or heartbreak, financial or death. Every one is fighting their own war within themselves. But despite the circumstances, you’re still perfect! Because you really are perfect the way that Allah Ta’ala created you….change for the better is always good, but wishing to look like someone else, wishing your life was like someone else’s…There was no need. Every person, in Tarun’s words, is a one time phenomenon, there is no other you!
My mummy had gone to help Zainab’s mum and Nemo and I were almost done too.
“Wheel me into the garden please Nemo ”
“You’re out of your bed from this morning sweetheart, I don’t think that it’s such a good idea “,he said
“Just for a little while “, I pleaded
“Ooookay “,he laughed
“And push this wheelchair really fast !”, I said as a mad thought came into my head
“Lunatic! “,he grinned, as he stopped to make sure that I was properly secured “on the count of three! ”
And the run -wheeled -push down the long corridors made me feel as though I was on a roller coaster! Except that I couldn’t scream because. ..uhhhm. .hospital so yeah
But it was exhilarating!
People who saw us must have thought that we had just escaped from the psychiatric ward!🙈 not that it bothered us 😉
We were totally out of breath by the time we reached the hospital garden and Nemo threw himself onto the ground. After a few seconds of catching our breath, we looked at each other and burst out laughing!
This was the perfect day beyond doubt, and I got to enjoy this once in a lifetime task with my best friend 💛
Nemo. How do I ever hate him? It simply wasn’t possible, even after everything. And that is something that I myself couldn’t understand and I didn’t want to either. Everyone thought that he would use the situation to his advantage but he did the total opposite of it. The pain, the difficulty, whatever life threw at us, we faced it together. Maybe the end of the road was around the corner and maybe our paths would fork out in different directions. But that’s the thing about roads…They meet, they branch out apart, and they converge again at some point. Sometimes, we get stuck at a traffic circle, and because we don’t know which way to go or we are afraid of separation, we just keep going around the circle. .Over and over again.
We both knew that our paths were ready and waiting…It was only a matter of time. But I found myself at a circle when I woke up, and I chose to go around it one last time with him, so that when the time comes, both of us can go our separate ways with a smile in our hearts. I always loved him, and as much as it may sound wrong, a part of me always will. Not in the way that many may think but…In a way that was unadulterated. Something that had no name and didn’t need to either.
As I looked at Nemo smiling at me, I thought of our journey together. Nemo had made it. .He made it! Everything had been worth it, this was who I always wanted to see him as …The best version of himself.
“I need to come clean with you about something “,I said as I looked down
“Come clean how sweetheart? ”
I really hope that you’re enjoying the Spread A Smile Series as much as I am:)
A link to one of the many articles about the inspiration behind these posts , Tarun Gidwani: http://thelogicalindian.com/tag/tarun-gidwani/
This is the article that I had read and what started my attempts to get in touch with Tarun. This beautiful article is written wonderfully by Richa Verma.
Once again, thank you so much Tarun for allowing me to incorporate You’re Perfect into LLD. I can only hope that atleast one person’s life has been touched by these posts:)
I would also like to thank Rums for her input on the locations for the tasks. She willingly helped me and so quickly too, despite her busy life. Thank you so much Rums!