Aayan Aamir is the student if Creative Writing Program by Author Ayesha Marfani. The author conducts online classes for the kids and this is what they have written during the class. The kids also practiced the art of storytelling. This is the original unedited work of the kid.
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WRITER: Aayan Aamir
Age: 11 years
The City school, Dera Ismail Khan
MAIN IDEA OF THE STORY
This story revolves around the toxic issues of jealousy, rivalry, intolerance and arrogance in student’s life.
It’s an eye-opening story not only for those parents who push their children into the unhealthy competition by putting undue pressure on them to achieve top position but also for those topper students who suffer from superiority complexes and then face serious consequences in the end.
Dressed in his night suit, Usman came out of the washroom and stood in front of the dressing table in his beautifully decorated bedroom. Looking at the mirror, he saw the reflection of a 12 years old boy with a muscular body, short and well-trimmed silky hair, sparkling brown eyes and fair skin. He smiled proudly to see his perfect image in the mirror and thought arrogantly,
“Oh Gosh! I am so lucky to be such a perfect boy, having attractive looks with an extraordinary brain”
He then moved towards his writing-table, sitting on the chair, he took out his diary and started writing.
“Tomorrow is the result day of midyear exams and I am sure that most of the students won’t sleep peacefully tonight due to the resulting anxiety, but I have no worries, in fact I am waiting eagerly for tomorrow because I am sure that once again I will secure 1st position with the highest percentage as usual. I believe that no one can ever beat me in studies because I am a gifted child and I work extremely hard to fulfill my parent’s highest expectations. My parents always tell me that they can never compromise on my academics and they only want to see me on top position. Honestly speaking, sometimes I feel over-pressurized due to their high expectation but then I work even harder to make sure never to disappoint my parents. My smart brains and my hard work has made me such a student whom none can ever defeat”
Next morning Usman woke up early and got dressed in his neat and clean school uniform when he went downstairs he saw his mom and dad were also ready wearing their branded attires and waiting for Usman at breakfast. They all started their breakfast and then left for school.
While on way to school mom and dad kept talking about how lucky they are to have a son like Usman who has always made them proud with his marvelous academic achievements and they were sure that once again they are going to get the special protocol at school being the parents of Usman who is the star student of the whole school. Usman was listening to their conversation with a proud smile on his face. When they reached school, soon the resulting ceremony started and all the position holders from all classes along with their parents were called on to the stage to collect their result and then the time came for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT which was to announce the name of that High Achiever who got the highest percentage in the exam. Usman was confident to win this title and he was absolutely right because when the principal announced the name of High Achiever with Highest percentage, it was none other than Usman. Usman and his parents smiling big and wide went towards the stage and Usman with his chest sticking out and shoulders arched back, received his High Achiever prize.
After the ceremony, many students congratulated Usman but he just responded with a cocky smile on his face, without even bothering to talk to them and kept thinking “It’s only me who deserves this title, none else can ever win it”
(Usman writing his diary before going to sleep)
“Today was another fantastic day for me. Yes!!! One more time I have done it, I have made my parents and teachers proud of me. I won the High Achiever award once again leaving behind all other competitors disappointed who can just dream of winning this award.
Khadija, my class fellow, who studies day and night and has become a bookworm in order to beat me someday and secure 1st position, but that poor soul doesn’t know that she can’t get the brain like mine. Umar, another bright student of our class, is also considered as my competitor but he is just a carefree fellow, who is a genius but he doesn’t take his studies too seriously, rather he is more into sports and extra-curricular activities, I heard him calling me “ARROGANT” while talking to his friends. It really made me laugh out loudly in my heart because I know all students are jealous of me. They can’t ever reach the level where I am standing. They want to befriend me for their own mean reasons but I know how to keep such losers at a distance.
I am happy that I haven’t let down my parents expectations and I am sure I will always make them proud of myself.”
Usman’s mom was sitting in the lounge with her friend Mrs. Marina, who had come to visit her after a long time. She was actually a psychologist by profession and has come back from the USA to settle back in Pakistan. The phone bell rang and when mom picked it, it was Usman’s classmate Umar on other end and he wanted to talk to Usman. Mom called Usman to attend Umar’s call, Usman came, picked the phone but just hanged it down after 2 minutes. Then he greeted his mom’s friend Mrs. Marina. Mom inquired Usman that what was Umar saying to which he replied that Umar has invited all the classmates to his home for the New Year party tomorrow as they all wanted to chill and enjoy before the winter holidays are over and start of 2nd term in school. Hearing this Mom immediately said that “ I hope you have already refused to Umar for attending the party as I don’t want you to waste your time in such silly parties.” Umar replied,” Yes mom, I had told him that I won’t come to the party.”
Here Mrs. Marina interrupted and asked Usman’s mom that why she didn’t want Usman to attend a party at his friend’s place. Mom said, “You know my dear friend, Usman is very studious, genius and hardworking child and I and his dad never allow him to waste his time in such things. We both want him to excel in life and it is only possible if he values his time today. As you can see that these days there is very tough competition in each and every field and a student can enter into a reputed college only if has a bright academic record. Usman is our only child and we want the best for him and expect him to always do his best”
Hearing all this, Mrs. Marina smiled sadly and said that this is actually the dilemma of today’s parents as they have put such undue pressure on their children in order to secure top position, which has many adverse effects on child’s psychology. She added that Usman must spend his free time as he wishes and must be allowed to enjoy with his trustworthy friends. But she was surprised when Usman said, “Oh No aunty, I myself prefer to spend my time in something better than to waste it by attending parties and chilling out with a bunch of stupid fellows”. Saying this he left the lounge and went to his bedroom where he took out his Science book and started reading it, thinking that only two days are left for reopening of school.
It was the 1st day of the new term after winter break; all the students were sitting in the class in a relaxed way, chatting with each other. Then their teacher entered into the classroom along with a new boy who was holding his shoulder bag on his side and stood confidently beside the teacher. He was a good looking boy with a very pleasant personality and a friendly smile on his face. The teacher introduced him to the class that he was Muhammad Hadi, who was being migrated from the capital campus to their branch due to his father’s posting. The teacher added that Muhammad Hadi has been the brightest student throughout his academic career and he has won’t many titles for his previous school in different co-curricular and extracurricular activities.
Then the teacher asked Hadi to take his seat and he started his lesson of the day.
At break time, many students came towards Hadi welcoming him to their school and introducing themselves but Usman didn’t even bother to introduce himself or meet Hadi. In fact, he got jealous when the teacher was telling the class about Hadi’s excellent academic record and his achievements and in his heart he was meanly thinking that may be Hadi has never had a competitor like ME, and now in my presence securing the first position would just be a dream for MR. Hadi.
But in the coming days, Muhammad Hadi proved himself to be the true competitor for Usman but unlike Usman, he was not a proud and arrogant boy. In fact, everybody at school liked him due to his friendly and down to earth nature. He was very helpful towards others and never refused if somebody asked for his support. He was excellent in his studies but at the same time, he was very good in other activities like debates, sports and quiz competitions etc.
Soon all the students who were fed up of Usman’s arrogant attitude started admiring Hadi and even sometimes they used to appreciate Hadi in front of Usman in order to irritate him. Even the teachers who once used to admire the intelligence of Usman had also started appreciating Hadi’s superb performance and above all his conduct too. This situation was quite unbearable for Usman and he developed extreme hatred in his heart for Hadi. He always kept on thinking how to degrade Hadi and spoil his image. On the other hand, Hadi tried his best to befriend with Usman and despite his extremely rude attitude, Hadi never misbehaved with Usman.
The situation got terrible for Usman when the midterm assessment’s result was announced and it came out that Usman and Hadi had got the same percentage in the midterm assessment. This was a big shock for Usman and his parents were also very disturb and even they did not bother to hide their feeling from Usman. In fact, his mom kept asking Usman that “how come a new student can get the same percentage as yours? She added,” I must tell you that now you have to work even harder and you must get a higher percentage than Hadi in the final exam”
This made Usman very depressed and that night he wrote in his diary.
“Today is the worst day of my life, my mom and dad are sad because of me. I have lost the honor to make them proud of me always. It is really very painful. Muhammad Hadi has become a headache for me. I don’t know how he manages everything so well, he is not just a bookworm like Khadija and neither is he a carefree fellow like Umar who despite having smart brains, never takes his studies too seriously. Initially, I didn’t take Hadi’s achievements very seriously, when he won the debate competition and when he was selected as the new caption of the football team as well as when he won the general knowledge quiz. All these achievements seemed not that BIG to me because I kept thinking that whatsoever he can never beat me in academics. But today he has proven that he is excellent in his academics too.
Now I must study harder because I can’t bear to see Hadi come equal to my position. Yes I just can’t tolerate it, it’s really very painful”
Then Usman started spending even more time in studying but at the same time, he was very stressed because he could not snatch that fear of BEING DEFEATED BY HADI from his mind. He used to sit all day and even till late night revising all his subjects again and again but his mind was not focused like before. His concentration in studies was badly distracted because of this fear that what would happen if Hadi would get a higher percentage than him and what if Hadi would get the Higher Achiever Award instead of him, he used to keep thinking of all this which gave him panic attacks. He had lost interest in all other things. Slowly he was losing his appetite and sleep. He used to spend all his time surrounded by books and seeing all this, his parents were satisfied that he is working very hard to remain at the top position. But in fact, Muhammad Hadi had become Usman’s worst nightmare, which was badly affecting his life.
Soon the date for final exams was announced and all the students started studying seriously, keeping aside all other activities. But this time Usman had quite a different feeling while taking his exams, he was not at all confident like always. He had the best preparation but he was very nervous, having severe exam anxiety for the very first time. But he did very well in his exams and was hoping that Muhammad Hadi won’t be able to get some percentage like his.
Then the result day arrived, Usman along with his parents were on way towards the school to collect the result but this time Usman was very nervous, unlike all the previous result days when he used to be quite relaxed and confident of his excellent result.
When they reached the school, the result ceremony was about to start so they went to the auditorium where the principal soon started announcing results of all position holders from all classes. Then came the turn of announcing Usman’s class result and at that moment Usman’s heart was beating very fast and his nervousness was clearly revealed from his face. Before announcing the Topper from class 6 the principal looked at the audience with a smile on his face and said,” Now I am about to announce the result of that class about which we all always used to be certain that who could be the topper and high achiever from this batch, this is indeed one of the best classes as since past few years THE HIGH ACHIEVER AWARD with the highest percentage has always been won by Usman of this class BUT…..”
It was the time when Usman felt like his heart is sinking, his face turned pale and sweat appeared on his forehead.
The principal continued,” BUT this year I am proudly announcing that we have got another bright student in this batch, who is a true ALL ROUNDER. He is a gem and star student just like Usman. Yes, Muhammad Hadi and Usman have a very minor difference in their overall percentage as Muhammad Hadi got 97.5 and Usman got 97.35 percentage in the final exams, so I proudly announce that this time our High Achiever Award goes to Muhammad Hadi of class”. Hearing this there was cheers and a big round of applause in Auditorium. But then everybody was just surprised to see Usman standing up from his seat, his legs trembling, tears rolling down his face, he seemed to be completely unable to control his feeling. He rushed out of auditorium followed by his parents who were trying to stop him. But he went out of school and there his dad just grabbed him and made him sit in the car. Usman was crying loudly repeatedly saying, “I am failed… I am a loser… how is it possible that someone can beat me… I am failed…let me die… I should not live with this disgrace…I am the loser”. His body was shaking badly and completely soaked in sweat. His mom was in a shock to see her beloved son’s condition, she was crying too and trying to comfort Usman by hugging him tightly but shortly he got fainted and his mom started screaming asking her husband to rush to the hospital.
When they reached the hospital, doctors urgently started checking Usman and gave him treatment but he was still out of senses. After an hour the doctors told Usman parents that their child had a mild nervous breakdown and he seemed to be in extreme depression. The doctors told that his condition was then stable but they had given him some relaxants so he was sleeping. The parents were also told that their child would be kept under observation in hospital and he would need psycho counseling session to overcome his depression.
It was such a terrible situation for Usman’s parents because they never ever imagined that their high expectations from him would put such undue pressure on their only child that it would have such devastating effects on his mental health. They were completely broken to see their child in that condition.
In the evening Usman was back in his senses completely but he still seemed to be in great shock, neither talking to anyone nor opening his eyes. He was just quiet not responding to whatever his parents and doctors were saying to him. But the doctors consoled the grieved parents that it would take some time for him to accept the situation and after counseling, he would be alright.
Usman was kept in hospital under observation and during all this time his school principal, teachers, classmates visited him but it was only Muhammad Hadi who daily came to visit Usman and spend time with him. Hadi was trying his best to heal the pain of Usman in any possible way. After one week doctors discharged Usman from the hospital because he was improving gradually but his parents were advised that he must be treated by a psychologist.
Usman’s mom contacted her friend, Mrs. Marina who by then had established her own clinic of mental health with the best possible facilities in the town. It was decided that Usman would have pyscho counseling session with Mrs. Marina in her clinic until and unless he would be cured completely.
Gradually Usman was coming out of his emotional meltdown condition with the support of Mrs. Marina, his parents, and Hadi who never missed a day to visit Usman and tried to stay by his side in this critical phase of his life.
Mrs. Marina held one on one counseling sessions with Usman and also combined session with his parents. She guided his parents, not to over pressurize their child by expecting too much from him and telling him always that he must be on top always. She told Usman and his parents that being Muslims we should be moderate in all our deeds and that we should try our best to achieve success but must leave the result to ALLAH.
After two months-long sessions with Mrs. Marina Usman was finally back to normal life and his parents had also learnt a life lesson and they firmly decided that they would never put their child under pressure for the sake of 1st position.
It was the last combine session of Usman and his parents with Mrs. Marina and when they came out from the clinic they found Hadi waiting for them in the car parking. He tightly hugged Usman and congratulated him and his parents for safe and complete recovery of Usman. Hadi told Usman that his mom asked him to take Usman’s study pack too when taking his own from school. Hadi added that now he would accompany Usman to his home and there they both will label all their books and notebooks together as summer vacation were about to end and the new academic year was to be started in just two days. Usman hugged Hadi and told him that he was just short of words to tell him how thankful he and his parents are to Hadi for all his support, sincerity and kindness. He said, “ Hadi I am lucky to find a wonderful friend like you and we would always stay together all our lives”.
Hadi replied with a sweet smile on his face,” Insha Allah my dear friend”
The new academic year started and all students were back to school with new hopes, new dreams and new plans and the best thing of this new academic year was the much better version of Usman who was no more an arrogant fellow but a very friendly, polite, humble and ambitious boy with his best friend Hadi by his side.