Illustration by Aamnah Arshad
Illustration by Aamnah Arshad

It was a scorching day, when Laiba accompanied her mother to the lace shop to procure laces for her aunt’s clothes. Living abroad, her aunt was to receive the clothes through a relative who would soon be traveling.

The urgency was palpable as they raced against time to have a number of clothes tailored for her aunt in just a few days. Shopping in extreme weather conditions is always challenging, and the relentless heat caused Laiba’s blood pressure to drop suddenly, leading her to faint.

While her mother was engrossed in the shopping, Laiba collapsed, prompting her mother to swiftly attend to her and seat her in a chair provided by the shopkeeper. A compassionate salesman promptly fetched a bottle of cold juice and a pack of biscuits for her, aiding her recovery.

Upon regaining consciousness, Laiba felt immense gratitude for the kind-hearted man who provided the cold juice that helped alleviate the effects of the heat. Later that evening, she shared her reflection with her mother, expressing her belief that those selling cold treats in such weather are deserving of great reward, as they are essentially aiding people in enduring harsh conditions, irrespective of their profit motives.

Laiba, a sensitive yet practical individual, aspired to make a positive impact on the world and contribute meaningfully to society. This incident proved a big lesson for her, she recognised her intolerance to heat and took measures to ensure her own comfort, such as wearing breathable fabrics and sneakers to protect herself from the scorching sun.

Additionally, she attempted to extend this comfort to others by preparing homemade ice lollies for her family upon their return home during the summer. This thoughtful gesture earned her the affection and heartfelt blessings of her family, who affectionately referred to her as ‘Laiba — the lolly maker.’

Laiba soon got the idea of distributing her homemade ice lollies to passers-by during hot weather. Laiba entrusted an icebox filled with her ice lollies to the watchman, requesting that he distribute them to anyone passing by. This act of kindness benefited numerous individuals, bringing her a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

Laiba fulfilled her role and encouraged others to reflect upon the purpose of their lives and consider how they can enrich the lives of others through their acts.

Published in Dawn, Young World, June 8th, 2024

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