Bazil was 13 years old. His father was on a very good position in a private firm, while his mother was a housewife. His grandparents lived with him in house.

Bazil was living an easy and satisfied life with his family. He was going to a good school and every year he used to visit the northern areas of Pakistan with his family.

Everything was going smoothly and he was enjoying his life until the March of 2020, when his life started experiencing many ups and downs. The Covid-19 pandemic had shaken the world terribly. It was just like when you throw a rock in still water, creating new waves.

Bazil was attached to his grandfather and he loved him a lot, but he contracted Covid-19 and died within two weeks. Bazil become distressed and his despondency increased day by day.

The pandemic had brought more adversities. Due to the strict lockdown in the city, his school was closed. His football and cricket clubs were also shut down, which made him even more depressed and also irritated.

At this point of his life, his grandmother started consoling him. “Beta, this is God’s Will and a test for all humans. God has hidden a positive aspect in everything. Even the worst calamities have a positive side in them which we fail to perceive.”

“What kind of positive aspect, dadi? At first there were no restrictions, everything was open. Now it looks like we all are prisoners in a cage. We are restricted to our homes and everything is shut down,” Bazil complained.

“Ok, now I will tell you some positive aspects about this current predicament,” dadi said while asking Bazil to sit next to her on a vacant seat.

“Have you noticed that since this pandemic, your father is working from home and he is able to give all of you more time? Similarly, you help your mother in making delicious food for all of us while you also get ample of time for doing your favourite hobbies. You are also managing your garden and flowers along with your father. See so many good things have come about from this pandemic.”

“Yes dadi, I agree with you and I think that I have become a quite good gardener,” Bazil proudly responded with a broad smile.

“And the most important thing is that, along with your parents, you are able to support the needy in this testing time. This is the most positive part of the pandemic,” Dadi told him energetically. “That is why Bazil, I always tell you to have a positive mindset.”

“Yes dadi, you are right,” Bazil replied happily, surprised that the reality was right in front of him and he was not able to see it.

His dadi was referring to an incident that had recently taken place and a good deed that Bazil had done.

In Bazil’s house, Khan Baba was working as a gardener for quite a few years. He had a son, Mansoor, and two daughters. Mansoor’s mother had died two years ago. Mansoor was a responsible boy who was very inclined towards his studies.

After witnessing Mansoor’s love and devotion towards his studies, Bazil’s father had put him in a small private school and decided to bear all his expenses. Sometimes Mansoor came to Bazil’s house with Khan Baba. Bazil and Mansoor were almost the same age and were good friends.

Mansoor’s school was also closed for a long time, finally after four months his school started online classes. Khan Baba took a loan and managed to buy an Android mobile phone. Mansoor was jubilant to start his online classes.

But after sometime when Khan Baba was going for some work, some crooks came and snatched all the money and even the mobile phone at gun point. During this encounter, Khan Baba injured his leg, making him homebound for two months. This was why Mansoor had to do all the housework, and could not take his online classes anymore.

All the expenses of Khan Baba’s illness were taken care of by Bazil’s father. But the already embarrassed Khan Baba did not disclose the mobile phone snatching part of the incident to Bazil’s father.

Bazil noticed that Mansoor was always very depressed. Bazil was also surprised that despite working hard continuously, how was Mansoor not focusing on his studies? Finally he asked Mansoor about this matter.

At first Mansoor was very evasive, but finally he narrated the whole episode to Bazil. Mansoor strictly instructed Bazil not to share this incident with his father as he had already done so much for them.

Bazil became worried; if he would share this to his father then he would immediately buy a new mobile phone for Mansoor. Bazil knew that now he had to help Mansoor, but still keep this secret from his family members for the sake of his friend. Bazil remembered Dadi’s words about helping a person in need, so he decided to buy a secondhand laptop for Mansoor. Bazil needed Rs 25,000, but even after compiling all his savings, he was Rs 13,000 short.

He had almost given up when he suddenly remembered the new sports shoes his uncle had given him on his birthday. He handed the shoes to one of his trustworthy friends so that it could be sold. After the sale, there was still not enough money.

His dadi sensed that something was worrying Bazil and asked him what it was. He initially didn’t tell her anything but after a little persuasion, he told her everything.

His dadi told him not to worry and gave him the remaining amount to buy the laptop. Bazil was very happy and also at ease that he was able to share with an adult what had happened and what he wanted to do. Bazil then asked his friend’s father, who had a computer shop, to get a secondhand laptop for him.

After receiving the laptop, Bazil quickly broke the news to his dadi, who praised him. “When a human makes a good intention, God makes ways for him.”

When he went to Mansoor he surprised him with the laptop, saying, “This is a gift from a brother to his brother.”

When Mansoor unwrapped the present and saw the laptop, he burst into tears. Mansoor spontaneously hugged Bazil and said, “Bazil bhai, you cannot imagine the excitement I have received right now. For me, getting a laptop is like I am standing in the scorching heat and suddenly there is rain in the sunshine.”

Bazil was also experiencing great happiness, one that you can only get by helping someone in difficult times.

Published in Dawn, Young World, November 20th, 2021

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