Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, March 29th, 2020




The day was like a normal day on the streets of Kabul. It was morning when everyone was in hurry; students to their institutes, employees to their offices and shopkeepers to their shops or workplaces. When I got into the taxi, a passenger was already present in it. I was really surprised to see the driver. He did not look like typical of the drivers; dirty, untidy and careless.

He had nicely dressed his hair and the shine in it looked really good with the rising beams of sun. Especially, he was muscular and strong. It looked as if he regularly did exercise to keep his body in shape. His shirt was white and neat and the jeans he had worn had just made the perfect combination with it.

I always have an admiration for people like him. They are unique in a sense that with their new or rather positive approach, they show us a new and bright face of life; the face where only hope survives and where disappointment and sorrows fail to falter ones smile and gleam of hope.

Now driver was anxiously waiting for remaining three seats to be filled. He often got out of his cab and yelled 'Shahr, Shahr', the destiny of the taxi, trying to catch the attention of passers-by. His every movement showed that he was full of life and energy. He kept shouting for another 7-8 minutes and two more passengers had got into the taxi in the mean time. Now, he looked more violent and angry. He had waited for long and passengers in taxi had also started muttering, presenting an indirect demand to start the taxi and move forward.

He sat in taxi and shut the door with a bang. Now he had to bear the loss of 20 Afghanis, a fare of one passenger. The anger and agitation on his face that was not much evident earlier had at once got fierce and violent. He drove fast, almost hitting a pedestrian and a car coming from the opposite direction. Horns honked and our driver uttered some words in the honor of the driver of the other car. I hope, driver of the other car might have said, more or less, the same.

Outside, there was dust on the road and sun had just started heating up. The gentle cool breeze of morning had dissipated and now the heat of the sun had taken its place; with a slight air of discomfort.
I kept staring the driver. I was at one of the rear seats. Our journey continued. The views outside passed by quickly but I was not free to look at anything outside, I was all alone with my thoughts.

I was thinking how one's thinking approach can build an entirely new life for a person. No doubt material possession counts a lot but it is not everything. In fact, life is what we feel now and how we pass it. It often happens to me to notice these differences on the road, while going to office or coming back.

I notice a school boy who is walking home. He does not have enough money to take taxi or buy anything from the stalls by the side of the road. But he is a child in all senses. He forgets his empty pocket or the long way to home or the scorching heat of the sun. Rather, his every action gives a message that he loves the time and the place he is in.

He jumps with a pleasure over a road side ditch, he crosses the road as playing tricks with the roads and he smiles at when an angry driver warns him with his loud honking of horn. At times, I see him to be tired after the long hours of classes. But in this case, he bends his head and walks gently, with humming of a song, totally indifferent to his surroundings. I bet that there would be many to buy this innocent happiness, even for a single day, with a big sum of money.

Along with this child, I also notice a young man, who is exactly the opposite of this child. He has just finished his studies and has started his new job. The job conditions are not according to his wishes. Moreover, the worries and expectations of future take him away from present and he lives with the worries and dreams of future. He fears that, with his limited salary, how he would be able to buy a car or a house for his family and meet other needs. Then he dreams of all those things that he wants to have in actual.

But when he comes out of this day-dreaming and faces the present realities, he gets really disappointed and sad. He is walking to home or office now. He is going through a vicious cycle of living in future. He fears, dreams and gets disappointed and this happens repeatedly. As he is busy in his own thoughts, few things slip out of his attention. The cool breeze of morning, the chirping of birds in the trees, the gentle rustling of the tree leaves and the innocent laughter of children or pedestrians.

Yet, another thing happens wrong with him. While his day-dreaming deprives him of the small joys of present day, it never allows him to forget those facts which are difficult and disappointing. The heat of sun makes him feel uneasy, the dust on the road disturbs him and the stream of traffic and pedestrians block his smooth walking. These things always disturb him greatly. Disappointment never comes alone, it always brings with it some of its similar companions, which are false hopes, rude attitude towards others and side-lining the moral or civic norms.

Then we come up with a fact that, however we feel and think, same we exhibit from our actions and as a result, the feelings in our life are adjusted. It is a fact that life is not the same for all. Some may be having comfortable life while others may face difficulties. By thinking negatively and feeling depressed, we will never be able to change the present situation. I have never witnessed a person who should have reported positive results out of negative thinking.

On the other hand, it deprives us of so many small joys of present day; the joys that make our lives more meaningful and make it worth of living. It also makes us vulnerable to fall into the strenuous grips of disappointment and sadness that in turn make us fall into the hands of corruption or any other illegal or immoral ways, when we fail to find any legal or proper way.

It also makes us fall from the grade of humanity. Humans are humans as they have some great qualities that have not been bestowed upon other creatures. We develop and retain hope, we fight and defeat difficulties and hardships of life, we look for a ray of hope in the bleak of disappointment and there are many more. I don't know how many of us do preserve these qualities to be called a human being.

Muhammad Rasool Shah is the new emerging writer of Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He teaches English at Afghan-Turk School, Kabul. Email your suggestions and opinions at seventurkseas@yahoo.com)

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