Illustration by Aamnah Arshad
Illustration by Aamnah Arshad

It was a cold Sunday morning, Sana was making tea for grandpa and her mother was preparing breakfast.

When the tea was made, Sana took it to her grandpa’s room where he was reading the newspaper.

“Good morning, grandpa!” Sana said while putting the cup of tea on the table.

Grandpa smiled and said, “Thank you, sweetheart, what a pleasant day it is!”

“Yes, it is,” Sana replied as she sat on the chair in front of her grandpa.

“Sana, what do you want to become in future?” Sana’s grandpa asked.

“I want to be a doctor, grandpa. I want to serve humanity,” Sana replied. “But I am afraid,” she added.

“What are you afraid of?” grandpa inquired.

“My friends at school say it is really hard to become a doctor. It needs one to study day and night, and there is a lot of hard work required. I think I am not as good in studies as I should be,” she answered.

“My angel, always remember one thing, if you want to achieve your target, you have to be persistent. Never fear the hurdles that come in your way,” grandpa assured her.

“Last week, we had a surprise test in one of our subjects, and you know I was not prepared for it, so I failed. Grandpa, I am ashamed of myself and afraid of failures more now. If I fail to achieve my life’s target, what will I do?” Sana poured out her fear of failure.

“It’s natural to fear failures. But all you can do is to think positive. You should have firm faith in yourself. Always encourage yourself by saying, ‘What’s the big deal if I fail once, twice or even thrice? It doesn’t make me a loser. I am learning how to overcome my mistakes. Don’t you think you learnt a great deal from failing in your surprise test?” grandpa suddenly asked.

“Yes, it made me more careful than ever, and now I pay more attention to lectures, and even revise the topics we study at school every day,” Sana said firmly.

“Grandpa, have you ever failed in anything in your life?” Sana suddenly asked.

“Yes, of course, I failed to achieve what I wanted many times, but those failures paved a way for a big success in my life. I learnt to keep trying despite hardships in my life,” grandpa said thoughtfully.

He smiled and added, “I remember, when I was a kid, I always wanted to become a teacher. My father was a farmer. He couldn’t afford the expenses of private schooling, so he admitted me in a government school, where hardly any teacher came for lecture. But I had made up my mind to work hard and study in the best possible way I can.”

Sana was listening to her grandpa intently. He placed his glasses on the table and took a few sips of tea and started again, “I studied hard and topped in every class, I was offered a scholarship by the school, and in this way, I completed my studies. I still remember, I had to walk for almost half an hour to go to the city as there was only a primary level school in my village at that time, and for the secondary grades, the school was in the city.

“Those were the days when there was no electricity in our village, so we had oil lamps and we studied late at night under the dim light of those lanterns,” grandpa said and sipped his tea.

Sana’s eyes sparkled. She was inspired by the struggle of his grandpa in getting education. She thought how lucky we are in this age, as we have everything that most kids in the age of her grandpa only dreamt of. She felt proud of being the granddaughter of a man who faced hardships, but never let those hardships hinder his determination.

So, dear readers, I want to add one more thing that if you don’t have opportunities, it doesn’t matter, but if you have determination, you can achieve everything. All you need is to be persistent and you will pave your way towards your aim.

Published in Dawn, Young World, December 3rd, 2022

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