It sounded like flute music, Maha threw her school bag and went upstairs to see her dad. She was missing him for the last three days. She ran in the corridor while yelling happily Daddy, daddy!

Ebrahim put down the flute and opened the door. He took his daughter into his arms. Both of them kissed and hugged each other.

Why you took so many days to come back, dada?

Ebrahim removed her hair from her forehead, my love, you know I was too much busy there in helping the victims of the earthquake.

Maha mumbled sadly, Hmmm

Zoya called them from the dining room; Maha, Ebrahim please come down lunch is ready.

They went downstairs. During the lunch, Ebrahim told his family about the devastating conditions of the victims of the northern areas of Pakistan. The family was quiet depressed and prayed for the betterment of the people.

Ebrahim is a doctor and he along with his team went to Muzaffarabad after the earthquake to help the people. He came back after a week of volunteering.

Zoya changed the topic of the conversation as she saw Maha has become too much upset.

So Maha, did you tell dada about your speech competition?

Maha’s eyes sparkled and she tells Ebrahim about the speech competition that is going to be held after a month in her school.

Have you selected the topic, Maha?

No, dada. Please help me.

Focus on your surroundings dear and choose a topic.

Hmmm we will decide later dada. Come play with me.

As you wish my sweetheart. Let’s go!

The family spent two days full of amusement. Ebrahim got a call from the hospital to visit the emergency zone again. He didn’t refuse because he felt a sense of responsibility for his country. He was satisfied that he put his part in supporting his people and homeland.

Maha was doing her homework when she heard her parents talking.

Zoya, keep this envelope safely. It contains enough money for use.

Why Ebrahim? You gave me money before as well and I still have them.

Keep this as well for safe side, partner.

Maha was listening behind the door. She asked sadly, dada are you going somewhere?

Both of them looked back. Ebrahim picked her up and kissed her

Yes baby, I have to go. Dear daughter, there are many girls of your age whose parents are missing; some are wounded. They need our help. I am going there to help them to get back to normal life.

Will you let your father go?

Maha with tears in her eyes, yes dada and please feed those girls as well, God knows whether they have eaten something or not.

Zoya and Ebrahim hugged her tightly.

Ebrahim left the same night. Zoya took Maha to the park next day to cheer her up.

Maha was listening to the Goldilocks story while lying in Zoya’s lap at night; they felt some tremors. Zoya quickly hold Maha’s hand and went under the staircase.

Mama, what’s happening?

Maha pray to God, it’s an earthquake.

Oh God, please save us. Mama, what about dada?

Oh God, please save my dada also. Please save those little girls as well.

The shocks were felt for few seconds only. After ten minutes Zoya and Maha came out and Zoya immediately called Ebrahim but his phone was not answering. She turned on the television; news headlines were “An earthquake is felt all over the country, severe shocks are felt once again in the northern areas where as the shocks were minor at other places.”

Oh God! Have mercy on us. Zoya whispered.

Maha was extremely shocked. They tried to call Ebrahim again and again but didn’t get any response. The next morning Zoya contacted the hospital to know about Ebrahim and his team. The staff informed her

Madam, we are continuously trying to contact them but unluckily didn’t receive any response. It is said that severe shocks were felt there last night. We will inform you once we gather any details. We might send our representative there as well.

Zoya held up the phone, her heart sunk.

The same evening they got the news that Ebrahim has died and his body will be reached by tomorrow morning. That night was the worst of their lifetime.

They received his dead body the next day along with a letter in poor condition.

The letter was for Maha from Ebrahim

 

My dear lovely daughter Maha,

Hope you and mama are fine. Dada is missing you so much. As I promised you I have fed the little girls and I have treated their wounds as well. While helping those little flowers I missed you so much sweetheart but I am happy that you thought for them as well. Darling always remember that the pleasure we get by helping others is beyond limits. God will reward you for the enthusiasm you showed in serving others by letting me go. We human beings should love and care for each other rather than creating hatred among us. Life has to end a day then why don’t we pass it in a good and calm way so that people admire us and always remember us by good names after our departure from this world.

Lots of love to my little princess!

Yours Dada, Ebrahim.

 

Maha was standing on dice to give speech. She didn’t tell anyone about her topic. She began:

My topic for speech is Goodness! The pleasure we get by helping others is beyond limits…Maha was delivering the speech while the words were of her dada. Zoya was listening it with tears in her eyes, her voice was stuck in her throat. She understands what Maha has lost and gained and why she wasn’t telling anyone the topic of her speech.

There was a loud applause in the hall for Maha. Everyone was appreciating her while she stood silently with tears in her eyes and saying in her heart See dada! Your princess has learnt to sacrifice. Now I will always spread goodness. The journey will be continued.

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