What you are seeing may seem like an ordinary plastic crown that a while back, bakeries used to offer free with birthday cakes but it’s very dear to my heart as its very special for me. There’s a whole story to why it’s so very special. I am a firm believer of ‘little things matter’. So, let me tell you a story about an ordinary looking crown and a great man.
I am not a person who looks forward to their birthday. For me it’s always a bad day that always end so bad which only makes me hate it more so it’s a day I wish never to come but since its my nephew’s birthday too, my love for him makes me bear the day just for him. 5 years back, on my birthday this crown came to me with a surprise birthday cake by a couple of close classmates, my friends. The cake was bought with contributions made by them but a huge contribution was made by a man who never in his entire life bought a cake for anyone, not even his only son he loved with his whole heart. The man was my very good friend’s father but he barely knew me. Now you may ask, “Why make a contribution for such a girl?“
He did it that out of kindness and merely because he wanted to give me something for I was his son’s very good friend, he always found me very kind to everyone, and that I respected him and always greeted him with a smile, head bowed down and “Assalam o aleikum“, every single time he came to either drop or pick my friend from our university.
So there I was, coming out of my class, heading towards the cafeteria to grab a quick cup of tea before the class resumes when my friend said, “you know what, let me come with you. I too can use a cup of tea“. Even though it was my birthday but I was still not expecting anything since everyone knew how I don’t like my birthday and want no celebrations ’cause the day would end up bad anyways. Despite my believe, reality had something else waiting for me. I was welcomed with my friends holding a cake, singing, “Happy Birthday”, placing that crown on my head. My instant response was, “I appreciate the kind gesture. Thank you for the cake and surprise but I will not cut the cake and I am sorry for that.”
I turned around to leave but my friend was blocking my way. He said, “You are not going anywhere until you cut that cake. We all made contributions to get it for you but the biggest chunk of the contribution was made by my father who by the way has never in his entire life bought a cake for anyone, not even me. So you’re damn lucky. Just like us, he too wants you to cut the cake and that you will.” (He saved he why his father did that for me part for later when we were alone)
later on my friend told me why his father made the contribution and his words made me speechless but his father’s kindness left me in tears ’cause I, never in my wildest dreams thought he or anyone would do this for me. His kindness raised the bar of respect I had for him. I never got a chance to thank him personally for I couldn’t find the right words every time I met him, I just couldn’t say a word. After that birthday of mine, we celebrated several birthdays but he made no contribution to any. That man is no longer among us yet he holds a very special place in my heart and is always remembered in every prayer I send heavenwards because he, without a spec of doubt, was a very kind and a great man.
A year and a half later, his death came to me as a surprise too. He died of a severe heart attack (May his soul rest in peace). The time he was having that heart attack, my friend and I were talking to each other. I misread his disappearance as a sign that he fell asleep but when I woke up to a message saying, his father had a severe heart attack and is in an ICU in a very critical condition, I did not know what to do but to pray for him. Within few hours the news of his death came to me and I, for the first time in 3 years, didn’t know what to say to my very good friend with who I’ve never had to find words to say anything. I literally had to borrow words from my mother to console him and that’s when he shared a memory with me which I couldn’t help not capturing in a sketch. I never could muster the courage to give him that sketch. 3 years down, still have that sketch, also I still haven’t told him about it either.
My purpose of sharing this was not to brag about myself or make myself look like a better person. I shared this because the other day a colleague and I were having a random conversation which drifted towards the serious side and we started talking about life, moments, friends & family, and people in general. He said something that made me think how ungrateful we are to forget, deny, never appreciate the little things people did or do for us, which in past has either moved us or touched our hearts, one way or the other. That same day when I came home drained of all the energy I had when I left home, I would have went straight to bed but as soon as I entered my room, My eyes went straight to this stuffed teddy bear I got on the same birthday as the crown and there it was, sitting on its head. I took it off and it instantly reminded me of how 5 years back it left me in awe.
Every single day, someone do a little thing for us which we either fail to notice or ignore it just ’cause its NOT a BIG THING. What we forget is that, “It’s always the little things that come together to make something big”