“Mum! Where is my doll,” asked Asma, immediately after coming from school and searching her own room.
“Which one?” asked her mother from the kitchen.
“The one that dad recently gave me on my birthday,” replied Asma.
“It must be with your other toys. Look carefully, you will find it,” replied her mum, still busy in preparing lunch.
“It is not there either. I have looked everywhere. I am sure Huma has taken it,” exclaim Asma.
Huma was their maid’s daughter, she was the same age as that of Asma and sometimes accompanied her mother to play with Asma.
“Have you looked in your cupboard,” her mother asked again loudly.
Asma searched again and then replied, “Yes, I have but it is not here.”
“What about underneath your bed? It may have fallen down.”
“Not there,” replied Asma, now frustrated. She continued, “I am telling you she has stolen it.”
“Don’t accuse anyone without any prove. Let me look around. If it is not here we will see,” explained her mum.
After listening to her daughter’s ruckus for five minutes, Mrs Shazia went through Asma’s things but her doll was nowhere to be found.
Seeing her mother unsuccessful, Asma said, “See, I told you. It’s not here. She liked that doll. She must have taken it.”
Mrs Shazia ignored her daughter’s comment and asked, “Where was the last time you saw it?”
“Yesterday, I was playing with it in grandma’s room,” replied Asma.
“Have you looked there?”
Asma shook her head. Mrs Shazia checked in grandma’s room and finally found Asma’s doll there. When giving her doll back to Asma, she explained, “It is easy to blame others. But have you thought how Huma would have felt when you would have asked her about your doll? How her self-esteem would have been hurt by this false accusation? Her mother works here and she comes here to play with you, that does not mean that she will steal your stuff. Your first thought, when you were not able to find your doll, was to accuse her but it is wrong. Never reach a conclusion in haste and without proof. If anything is lost, look around carefully and then reach a conclusion.”
“Sorry mum, I was wrong. This won’t happen next time,” said Asma, feeling ashamed of herself.
“Good. Consider it as a lesson learnt,” replied Mrs Shazia.
Published in Dawn, Young World September 16th, 2017