The hailstorm turned into a thunderstorm while I was preparing dinner. I sat on my rocking chair and grabbed a cup of tea. What an exotic combination- hot beverage and cold weather! I was absorbed in my chain of thoughts when she came in- my best-est friend. In spite of our years of friendship, we share some conflicts too, and are still struggling to resolve them and gather on the same page. There she was- lying comfortably on the comfy sofa while gazing here and there.
Me: What are you looking for?
She: Where is birdy?
Me: Must be playing outside with him.
She: Do you remember what is coming up?
She gave me a stern look
Me: Oh ok I get it, charity month.
She shook her head in disgrace.
She: Can you ever in your life, just once, behave like a normal person?
Me: Now what?
She: Dumbo! Its birdy’s birthday.
Birdy was my one and only daughter born after years of anticipation and was turning one year old that month.
Me: Oh that!
She: Yes that! And, I am here to plan with you and we will throw a mind-blowing party for her.
Me: What is so good about birthday?
She: Don’t be ungrateful; after such long wait and prayers, you got her. Don’t you want to celebrate? What kind of a mother are you?
Me: I have my set of belief.
She: Yes my religiously scholar sister, do share your old dated belief and enlighten our ignorance with your deep knowledge
Me: When we conceive, three things are decided at that very moment. First, life span; second, the gender; and third, whether one will be fortunate or unfortunate. Do you agree?
She: Hmm, so?
Me: Each passing year (for you, each birthday) is marking one year less to your total lifeline. What is there to celebrate about it? Celebrate your approaching death or wasted life?
She: Umm hmm..
Me: I am that kind of a mother who would not waste time, energy, and money on things that are of no importance. Instead, I will put in my efforts to earn for birdy’s life in the hereafter. I would rather invest in the later life which is eternal. I am that kind of a mother, who will try her best to make her daughter earn good deeds and the pleasure of her Rabb so she can celebrate with joy in her grave and hereafter.
She: Okay, but it will not cause any harm in celebrating a little bit? Your parents celebrated yours too.
Me: Birthday celebration is innovation in religion. It was originally celebrated by the non-muslims, and we will be among those whom we used to follow when alive. Islam does not teach us any of these rituals and celebrations.
And, it is not necessary to follow the same path of ignorance that we had once lived. We did celebrate birthdays when we were unaware.
She: I agree. But what will birdy think when she would see birthday celebrations of other kids? She will feel bad.
Me: Imagine what I now say. Consider yourself a kid and your birth date is approaching. You are waiting for the day when you are treated special. When you cut a cake, you receive gifts and privileges. The other kids around are not getting anything. They look towards you and crave to be in your place. They want to feel special and want those fancy wrapped gifts too. But they don’t. Will you share your presents and offer the same place of yours to be?
She: No not at all. Kids are kids. Why they would let other kids step in their zone of specialness and undivided attention.
Me: Exactly my point. Through this we are instilling selfishness in them. It is the time when every birthday child is just thinking about himself.
She: So what else can we do? We can’t have same date for every kid around?
Me: We can celebrate our two big festivals with fervour i.e. our Eid. We can décor our homes and invite guests and have food and fun. It is the right time to exchange gifts, and to create sense of communism and unity. Shared happiness, and shared love. It will be more encouraging if we present them with board games which require more than one player. This way all will be united.
She: Wow, I never thought on these lines. You nailed it sister.
This concluded our discussion and with this discussion, I finally got one conflict down between us. Smilingly I looked outside the window and I realized that continuous water drops can make a hole in a stone. Can’t we penetrate in ones heart with softness yet strong determination and commitment? When there is a will, there is a way.