Life As We Know It by Bisma Jamil, Third Year

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 Sania Tahir 0 Comments Category : ,

The 21st of May seems happy and harmless. Roses, chocolates and flowers! Candy hearts and balloons. Lots and lots of pink and purple. The whole atmosphere of Ushna’s house was giggling and dancing because it was the 21st birthday of Ushna’s daughter – Ayesha (an undergraduate of John Hopkins University). Ushna herself was a rich business woman and a beautiful person, both inside out.
Ushna’s life had never been easy for her-multiple times , Ayesha asked her about past life to which she replied, “I shall tell you all when times come.” Today she felt like telling her story to her daughter.
“Mom, what is life?” asked Ayesha as if a question popped in her mind all of a sudden.
“How can I tell you the meaning of this meaningless word-life? I think it is both beautiful and miserable at the same time. That is what I have learnt from my journey of life,” answered Ushna
“And what is that?” asked Ayesha.
“My journey of life had been characterized by highs and lows. First, there had been a traumatic childhood filled with an unquenched thirst for love. My heart aches began early on. During the first years of my life, my parents died in a car accident. I had no siblings.”
“I had to live with my grandparents. At least they were the only one who were ready to keep me in their house. It was about the time we used to live in Pakistan.”
“My grandfather was a very evil, vindictive person. His sexual abuse only compounded the trauma and added further layers of pains and suffering that haunted me in my adult life. I had to bear it all in order to have a shelter and to keep going with my studies. Despite my personal problems, I managed to excel in my academics.”
“Which school were you from?” asked Ayesha.
“I had been a Grammarian. Life at school till O-Levels was all fun. We had friends and moments of happiness and sadness. Now, I just have memories of that good time,” said Ushna with tears in her eyes.
“Memories play a confusing role in our life. They make us laugh when we remember the time we cried together and that make us cry, when we remember the time we laughed together”
“They are beautiful things to cherish. Aren't they?” asked Ayesha
Ushna nodded.
“But those good days did not last. I had to face same insurmountable challenges that filled my adulthood with depression and long-lasting scars.”
“I still remember the day when I was going to examination center for my final CIE. On my way I had a serious car accident. I had severe injuries and fractures.  I was hospitalized for a year. Life hit me hard. All my friends were way ahead of me. I had a nervous breakdown. I was fed up of my life. I wanted every person on the face of the earth dead.”
“I was not well. It was in the deep trenches of a burnout, breakdown. I was dealing with my own demons. Life had not been nice to me. I had been a victim of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. My so called friends left me. I was discharged from hospital after two years. That was the time when I committed suicide. I attempted suicide, perhaps a part of me was alive,” said Ushna.
“You are strong, mother, very strong,” said Ayesha.
“At that time, I was not. I was wounded and I realized that the wounds that happened to me in my soul could only be healed by the Creator of my soul. I realized that suicide can never be a way to make your life better – it is just a way to end your life,” said Ushna.
“I pushed myself to religion. That was the first time I prayed to Allah. That was where process of healing started. Very soon, I realized that we in this world rely on supports which are themselves standing on supports. I feel like, if I take support of little ones, already dependent ones I shall fall soon. I had to take the support of the mega power – Almighty Allah.”
“I took a brand new start of life. I left O-Levels. I opted matric, I chased education and I was successful at it. I made an empire. It started from a little brick and I made whole empire. I moved on to America. I adopted you from an orphanage. But I have always loved you more than a mother,” said Ushna.
The doorbell rang and Ayesha wiped her tears and went to open the door for the guests who had arrived for the grand birthday party of Ayesha. She introduced her friends to her mother – Ushna, who was more than a mother to her. Ayesha realized that beneath every strong little girl who had learned how to get back up and to never depend on anyone.

Alina was so proud of Ushna. She went and hugged Ushna.The laughter echoed in the house as they celebrated Ayesha’s birthday.