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What it was like to work altruistically all your life for your siblings

July 25, 2013, 11:09 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 655

By riazhussain

The world does not lack in unsung heroes. There are people who advertise and monetize their efforts for others. But, there are those who work silently and don’t want any acknowledgement from anyone. This story deals with an unsung hero who has silently worked all his life for the betterment of his siblings. 

It was Saturday afternoon, the children would wait for this moment for six long days every week. They were waiting for their father to bring their weekly gifts. At last, they could hear the old rattling sound of the bicycle bell and so threy ran to the main gate of their house. Their father, Mr Fareed, a senior clerk in a government department, had arrived from his office with his bags full of gifts, fruit, sweets, cheap toys and eatables for his children. The bags, as usual, were hanging from the bicycle's handlebars.

It was routine that every Saturday afternoon, when returning from his office, he would bring sweets, fruit, eatables and cheap toys for his children. He would give all the bags to his young ones, and see them shout with joy. The delighted faces of his children made him forget the daily worries of his life. He would feel energetic and enthusiastic enough to carry out his labourious work for another week. This is how Fareed’s family used to celebrate their weekends. He had nine children. The eldest child was Babar. I personally wonder at how enigmatically different things are connected in life--a clerk’s performance as a professional in his office should be associated with the joyous faces of his children.

Fareed could not afford expensive toys for his children; therefore, he would go to cart vendors and buy cheap ones for his them. On Sundays, the kids would play their own simple games with the toys and the bicycle. One of such games was ‘father and children’. In this game Babar would become ‘father’, he would drag his father’s old bicycle and play the role of father and the rest of his siblings would play the role of ‘ father’s children’. He would hang empty bags by the handlebars of the bicycle and enjoy making the rattling sound of the bell by using its thumb-operated lever.

Years went by. By then, Fareed was 52-year-old. He had to retire from his job after eight years. His eldest son Bababr had grown into a well-built and handsome youth. He was doing his graduation at a local college. His father bought him a motorcycle.

In order to meet the growing financial demands of his family, Fareed had to work extra hours in the evening with a private firm. He ignored his diabetes and high blood pressure for the sake of his family. This helped him generate more money for his family, but it left adverse effects on his physical health.

He began to lose energy and weight. Then, after some months, dramatically, he was beset by acute elimination problems along with shortness of breath. His son took him to hospital on a Sunday. The doctors told Babar that his father was suffering from renal failure. They explained that his kidneys were unable to filter waste properly from the blood. They recommended long-term renal dialysis—filtering the blood through machine. So Mr Fareed had to frequently go to the dialysis clinic. At home, he would remain confined to bed. The treatment started, however, the intensity of the condition did not alleviate. His renal insufficiency had caused the development of other complications such as itching and vomiting problems. In addition, swellings appeared at his ankles and legs.

In the meantime Babar passed his graduation. He could not get admission for higher studies due to the serious illness of his father. He and his family tried to save his father but the disease was too complicated and deadly. With the passage of time, he became more and more lethargic, sleepy and lost his appetite altogether. At last, on a morning of 1995, Mr Fareed gently succumbed to the unwelcome visitor-- death, leaving behind nine children. 

After his father’s death, Babar took charge of his father’s clerical job. Now, Babar had to take care of his younger siblings. He had six sisters and two brothers. He worked hard day and night, helped his siblings get education in order to secure a better future for themselves. He himself upgraded his own qualification by doing an M.A. He got a promotion in the department. The wheel of time kept moving. He made arrangements for the weddings of two of his sisters. His mother was happy that his son was effectively carrying out his familial duties.

After the wedding ceremonies of his sisters were over, he got engaged with his first cousin Sarah, whose’s father wanted that his daughter’s wedding with Babar should take place as early as possible, but Babar’s mother had in his mind the marriages of his remaining four daughters. She told Sarah’s father that she needed some time get her four daughters married and told that Sarah’s marriage would take place after the marriages of her four daughters. But, Sarah’s father was not happy with this delay, so he got his daughter married somewhere else. Babar remained quiet at this sad news. He began to feel lonely but he continued to generate resources for his younger siblings. He started smoking and he developed complications of high blood pressure, or hypertension. He had to take pills regularly to bring his blood pressure down. 

With the passage of time all of his younger siblings got married. He began to treat the children of his younger brothers as his own children and the children used to call him 'grandfather'.

One day, Babar was celebrating the birthday of one of his nephews. They had fast food and lot of fun at the party. At night when the celebration was over and all his siblings had left for their houses, Babar began to feel severe headache and anxiety. He went to his mother’s room, gave her medicine and said good night to her. He went to his own room, took his pills and fell asleep.

The next morning, his mother went to his room to wake him up. She loudly gave him a wakeup call outside his room but he did not answer. She went into the room and discovered him cold and motionless. He was taken to the hospital. The doctors told her that her son had had his last breath one hour ago. 

Perhaps, his premature death was caused by high blood pressure or a heart attack. It seems he came to serve his siblings in this world. Thus, Babar left this world when he had done his job. We cannot blame his mother for keeping him single. Actually, parents are better aware of the abilities of their children and accordingly rely on their them for various jobs. When she asked Sarah's father for some more time, she might have been under the impression that among her three sons only Babar was selfless and devoted enough to work for the marriages of her four daughters. Therefore, she relied so much on Babar and the latter realized her expectations by sacrificing his time, energy and precious years of youth for the members of his family. In addition, some people are altruistic by nature and Babar's altruistism foreshadowed itself in the games he played with his brothers and sisters in his childhood when his father was still alive. For all his altruistic efforts, he has received nothing but a spiritual bliss which comes to all those who work for others selflessly. For volunteers, philanthropists and people working for humanitarian causes, this spiritual blessedness is so unique a pleasure of the heart that it obliterates all desires for worldly possessions and advancement. This is why we see that there have been people who gave themselves all their lives to others.

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