Zaheer and Tanveer were two little boys like any others. They were brothers, four years apart in age. Zaheer, the elder one was more responsible but as full of fun and life as his younger brother. Both went to the same school and were very close to each other. As they lived a little away from town in a bungalow on a sprawling estate, they used to be quite lonely during vacations and most of the time had only each other for company. To the east of their house, past some fields, was a brook that always babbled merrily as it flowed over the pebbles. They loved to go and sit beside it, wetting their feet in its fresh cool water. Sometimes they would sail paper boats in it and sometimes try to catch the fallen flowers or leaves that floated past. Rising from the shore of this brook was a little hillock with some peach trees. When they were bored playing near the brook they would explore the knoll.
One morning both of them set out for this hillock. They were armed with a kite and a spool of ‘manja’ to fly the kite. They walked through the fields towards the brook, laughing and shouting, running and skipping. Zaheer pulled out his kerchief and held it at arm’s length to check the wind direction. Actually there was just a mild breeze, good enough to make the kite fly. They climbed up the hillock and got their kite ready. Zaheer held the string while Tanveer walked some distance with the kite in hand and then with one lift of his hands he let it go upward. Zaheer was quick to take control and deftly guided the kite till it began to soar. Sometimes he would pull the string taut then slacken it as required. It was a beautiful yellow and orange kite and looked gorgeous in the blue sky. It flew higher and higher and with it zoomed the imagination and the spirits of the two young brothers. It looked like a very colorful bird trying to touch the sky.
“Don’t you wish you too could fly? How lovely it would be to go up and play with the clouds”
“Or bring back a star, bhai jaan!”
“Yes and we could even go with the birds and see other cities and countries.”
“I wish I had wings. Bhai jaan, why don’t you attach a string to me and make me fly like a kite?” And they both roared with laughter which could be heard way down in their backyard.
After a while, Tanveer took over the string and was as good as his brother, but to his bad luck the breeze had suddenly fallen and the kite began to tumble. As he started pulling it in, it got entangled in the branches of a peach tree. Try as they might they could not get it out. They could not tug too much on the string for fear the kite would tear. It was too lovely to be destroyed that way. Think of the pleasure it had given them half the morning!
“Bhai jaan, why don’t you climb the tree and bring it down?” suggested Tanveer in a hopeful voice. Zaheer walked over to the tree but to his dismay, even the lowest branch was out of his little reach.
What could they do now? Let’s pray, they both said together, remembering what their parents had taught them.
“If you have enough faith, you can achieve anything under the sun,” their father had said once when Zaheer had complained that he just didn’t like History and couldn’t be good at it.
“Do you mean if I have faith I will score good marks in History too?”
“Sure you will. But first you must have faith in yourself, work towards it and then God will surely help you achieve your goal. ”
“Yes,” they both agreed. “Let us pray. We can make it happen.”
So they prayed earnestly and long for a wind to set it free. At first nothing happened. Then a gentle breeze began to waft the branches but it could not free the kite. So they prayed till the breeze turned into a wind and they still continued to pray, till the wind began to blow real hard. The kite spun dizzily, but the string attached to it was so caught in the branches that it just could not come free. Now the wind was turning ferocious.
Then they saw their father below, shouting and waving to them to come home. They ran down the hill and across the fields panting, heaving, laughing. Their parents asked them why they had stayed out in that perilous wind.
They looked at each other with conspiratorial smiles and said to their puzzled parents “We lost the kite but we brought the wind.”
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