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The sound of Silence

A short story by Hamdan Ali Khan, 1st Year MBBS

The old man sat on the beach, barefooted and alone. Silence reigned everywhere except the occasional thrashing of waves which disturbed the acoustic equilibrium. Night it was, the sky filled with a million lanterns, the birds dozing off quietly and the sea like an old pirate sang a silent shanty. Oh! He missed his youth, when he could swim to the Black Rock without drowning, when he could shout at the vast ocean, his resonant voice fading upon the edges of horizon. But all good things come to an end, the voice that once resonated; now a husky whisper. The man who was the fastest swimmer; now an ancient remainder of time and its echoes. The doctors said he had terminal cancer that he would die in a week. He didn’t fear death, he had no family, nothing to lose except maybe the sight when someone would break his 50 years old record. The silence of the calm sea nurtured in him a desire to swim to the Black Rock once again, one last time. He …

From Palace to Slums (2)

(Session 2)

By Sidra chishti, Waseem Sajjad
-Kemcolians Akhuwat Club 
Ramadan Ration Packs Distribution

I was so keen to join ration pack distribution. Was informed at around midnight (oops!). Couldn't join at 10 am due to my so called intrinsic theeta-pan (by friends :P) as i'm crazy to attend Dr. Somia's class in north medicine ward. Had to wait and it took about 2 hours to reach model town due to heavy rain.
Landed finally in Dr. Ismat Leghari's home where the packing of ration packs had been executed by volunteers of Akhuwat, Pakistan Youth Spring and Kemcolians Akuwat Club. People from LUMS,GIKI,FCU,GCU,UOL and my very own KEMU were there. They had packed some 50 ration packs. 1 team had gone for disbursement in Township.
I was a bit down, sleepy and really 'bhuki piyasi'.. :P hostilities's biggest tragedy of Roza without sehri.. :P Finally started the task! We packed the remaining ration packs. And seriously, all exertion was gone.. :P Work always fills glucose and may be ketone bodies in my blood. :P One ration pack contained:
20 kg flour
4 kg Ghee
2 kg Shakarganj sugar
5 kg rice
1 kg daal masoor
1 pack table salt
1 pack vermicelli
1 pack Lipton tea 195 gm
1 bottle of rooh-e-afza 1000 ml
1 pack dates, 800 gm
2 kg baisan.
3 kg cooking oil
1 kg dates
0.25 kg red chilli
Another group went to bata pur near wahga border. I wanted to join some team. A special place was made for me in the van going to taj company near baba sahbu interchange, by adjusting the ration packs. And i adjusted there quite comfortably. :P Just flour on my hands and dress but it was alright. I was happy as i wanted to go to some families (a naughty idea was that i needed to earn some prayers to pass the incoming tests..) :P
The correspondent there gave us photocopies of NIC of the identified poorer people.
AND THEN..........What i saw wasn't what i imagined! I had an idea but never so clear; i had seen misery, poverty and hunger but never in that way! There were many many many people (mostly women: widows, disabled). Poverty reflecting from each angle. I came outside but Waseem forced me in and then i got him! He was caught by his shirt, collar and sleeves. People literally begging for their share.
Hope in their eyes and hunger in their actions! Misery and begging! We started distributing. We gave a ration pack to 2 families just to give to as many people as possible. I filled the forms and required data and waseem distributed. Many of them told me that they were fasting; fasting without sehri, fasting with a glass of water, fasting with a chapati shared by 5 family members!! It was heart rending.
I gotta feel that words are not merely words. DARD, KARB, TAKLEEF!! May be i never felt that and i never knew the intensity of pain, hunger and helplessness. Ration packs came to an end. Had to refuse to many. Waseem managed to get in and we came from there. Nothing was harder than telling people to go and that they will be given ration in the next turn. Realized for the first time that when hungry, our cerebral cortex can't even think of others!
BUT... Lets have a view of the other side of the picture! It was narrated to us by Ruby Danial (Akhuwat Health Clinic) that she went for ration packs distribution in Township. A very poor family refused to take ration pack and mentioned one of their neighbors that they are even poorer!
I was thinking that Allah bless us with so much and a heart to give that we may deprive no one and refuse no one. But just then i recollected, 'PERCENTAGE MATTERS'...! The percentage of your income! A 5 rupee coin given by a poor laborer for Allah can be superior to one lac! Intention is all. Whatever you've, spare for others! Be it money, be it your time, be it your knowledge or be it any thing! Even a smile to a poor child!
And interesting is that, we got aftaar party at Dr. Ismat's home and then a dinner and a blue berry cake at Gourmett restaurant. Ibrahim munir from GIKI was the man of the day! I sometimes wonder that without sleeping how they all do untiring efforts just for others? Working like laborers, just to make others happy? Are they humans? Yes! They are the real heroes. Hats off to all the volunteers. Tou logu! Aakhrat me tou sila milay ga he i.A., dunya me b milta hy! :P
We know that on the magna scale, may be it's not going to make any difference in that intensity of poverty;but let us enlighten our souls by enabling some one, even one, to lit their stoves!
Its the beginning! But the most but the most luminous and fantastic with true spirits, of all what i'v can imagine the brightness of the incoming journey!! Good luck. Welcome to the path of selflessness and caring.. Doors of Allah's blessings are always open!!!
So much misery….
So much poverty……
So much loneliness……
So much depression……..


  1. (y) may Allah bless you people.

  2. well done sidra and waseem..

    you people did a great job :)

  3. great effort by whole team KAC, akhuwat & PYS..
    reality is more than does it look...
    keep the spirit kids


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