For upholding kindness in the state of penury, Ahsan ended up reaping gold in life.
Ahsan lived in an age-old kaput house with an unkempt courtyard. The ambience gave away the destitute vibes. But the headman always tried to tackle poverty and pathos with his day and night slog. The onus lied on him to strike a change in his family of six.¬†
But mostly, his neighbours, relatives and well-wishers would help his family to deal with destitution.
Ahsan, however, had a good habit of feeding the birds and look after them with utmost care and patience. He would remain hungry for days, but loved to feed the birds.¬†
The birds too loved his family. They usually came in the wee hours of the morning and woke them up with their melodious chorus.
‚ÄúDid you feed bread pieces to birds,‚ÄĚ Ahsan‚Äôs wife, Sara, would often enquire upon the arrival of avian guests.
Birds used to sit in their courtyard to eat whatever Ahsan could feed. This relationship grew stronger over the years.
But amid his kind act, things became worse for the headman. As the state of pathos persisted, the size of the flying flock shrank for the want of bread crumbs.¬†
And then there came a time when the courtyard suddenly looked deserted. Poor Ahsan had nothing to feed the birds.
‚ÄúTry some other job, we shall overcome,‚ÄĚ Sara would tenderly tell him.
But these words were hardly ending his woes. With the result, Ahsan‚Äôs six-pack plunged into pennilessness.¬†
Even in those terrible times, the headman kept thinking about the birds. Away from his distressed dwelling bereft of bread, he assumed, the early birds might‚Äôve found some other nest before he spotted the one atop his house.
‚ÄúRemove it,‚ÄĚ Sara tersely responded to his excited call. ‚ÄúIt gives shabby look to our home!‚ÄĚ
For a minute, he decided to break it, but stopped when he suddenly found a progeny of the pigeon there. The mother bird had apparently gone to find some food for them. She never came back.
In her absence, Ahsan treated the young pigeons well and fed them till they were about to fly.¬†
Soon after their departure, he decided to dismantle the empty nest, but stopped short when his eyes shone with a shimmering object lying inside.¬†
To his elation, Ahsan found a precious golden bangle in the nest. He had no idea where from the pigeons brought it and kept it there.¬†
But certainly, following his good gesture, the gold changed his fortune a bit. He used the money wisely and spent most of it in business to improve his condition day by day.¬†
And since then, the birds are back with their melodious songs.
Umar Hayat Hussain has worked with Kashmir Life, Kashmir Impulse, Kashmir Times, Kashmir Reader, among other publications. He is currently an editorial intern at the Mountain Ink.