Sheeran and Rizwan waved for the last time to their mother who was waving back at them, smiling. Both the brothers departed from their home looking very happy as they were going out with their friends. They walked all the way to Nehru square where their five friends were waiting for them.
‘Assalamualikum’ said Talha shaking hands with Sheeran and Rizwan at the same time.
‘Wa’likum salaam’ replied the brothers.
‘We are going to have great fun today’ said Badar who was a funny looking boy.
‘Yes’ chorused all the friends.
They plunged all the things into the car. They had brought food, foot balls, cold drinks, juice, cameras and a lot of other stuff. It took them a long time to fit the things in the car as there were too many of them.
After putting the things in the back of the car all the friends comforted themselves inside the car. Sheeran the eldest at the front seat. Although three of the friends could drive, Aqib was the finest driver amongst them. Therefore Aqib started the car and they went off from their homes.
They had planned to go to Lal Dramman. The road was a rough one. Not so good to go at 80 kmph but Aqib with his fine driving managed to speed up the car to 60 kmph. Lal Dramman was nearly 30 kms from their homes. The road wasn’t a complete one. When they reached Bevli they stopped and took some pictures which they now have framed beautifully in their homes. From there they had a great look at their homes. All the housed together seemed a big photo framed nicely by the trees. They ate some chips and drank some water and then they resumed their journey. After they had covered a short distance they were delighted to meet their friend Arbaz. All of them got out of the car to meet him.
‘Hello, how are you Arbaz?’ asked Sheeraz hugging his friend.
‘What are you doing here?’
‘Nothing, I thought that I should have a long walk. By the way where are you all going?’ questioned Arbaz.
‘We are going to Lal Dramman’ informed Devashish who was not more than four feet tall.
‘Would you like to come too?’ Sheeraz asked politely knowing that there was no more space in the car.
‘No, you go, by the way I see no way by which I could fit in the car with all of you’ answered Arbaz.
‘So, you want to come’ said Talha.
‘If you don’t mind but the roof of the car is completely clear’ said Badar trying not to laugh but as all the friends can’t help but laugh he also started to laugh loudly. Arbaz was forced to join in the laugh.
‘Ok. But I won’t like to be alone up there’ Arbaz said to his friends.
‘Alright, Badar will accompany you at the roof’ Sheeran said looking at Badar.
After sometime Arbaz and Badar were sitting up on the carrier and the other friends inside the car had a lot of space to comfort themselves easily.
‘Let’s go then’ cried Aqib from the driving seat.
‘Slow please or you would throw us down the mountain’ Arbaz said to Aqib clutching the carrier strongly. Badar did the same but a little tighter as he was not more than 40 kgs. Aqib turned the key and the car came back to life. And then slowly and softly they started to cover the remaining distance. As they went up the mountains the houses started to disappear. After nearly twenty minutes the road came to an end. And now they had to walk all the way up the mountain to reach Lal Dramman. So, all the friends got out of the car except Arbaz and Badar who were already out. They simply jumped down from the top of the car. Their hair were as a cyclone had created a mess in them.
‘How much time would it take us to reach the top’ questioned Talha unloading the things from the car.
‘Two to three hours’ answered Rizwan.
‘A long way up there’.
‘Why don’t they complete the road’ asked Devashish.
‘You better put this question to the concerned authorities’ replied Sheeran.
When they had unloaded all the stuff from the car Aqib locked it and all the friends started to climb up the mountain. Everyone carrying something with him. Sheeran who was the eldest carrying the heaviest load. The sun was shining brightly , though there were some clouds floating freely in the sky. After covering a short distance all the friends got tired very soon as they were not accustomed to climbing mountains with all those things. So, they sat down to rest.
‘Water’ said Sheeran panting.
All the friends quenched their thirst one by one, Sheeraz got the bottle at the last.
‘Can you please tell us how far is Lal Dramman from here?’ Aqib asked politely as he saw a man coming downwards.
‘Thirty minutes’ he answered and went downwards with great speed.
‘Thirty minutes for him, not us’ said Talha getting up.
All the friends got up and resumed their journey. But as Arbaz started to move he slipped and rolled downwards. Luckily he was stopped by a tree.
‘Are you alright?’ shouted all the friends running towards him.
‘My back’ cried Arbaz holding it tightly with his both hands. All the friends helped him to get up and after some exercises he was alright. But the box Arbaz was carrying wasn’t so lucky to be stopped by a tree. It had gone nearly 50 meters down.
‘Sheeraz go and bring that box’ ordered Sheeran.
Sheeraz wasn’t used to be ordered in that way but he went to bring the box not so happy though. He ran downwards but before ever reaching the box he tripped and down he went rolling and screaming.
‘What a day’ whispered Talha to himself.
And all the friends cautiously went down to rescue their helpless friend. Sheeraz was lying on his back holding his left leg, groaning.
‘Is he alright?’ asked Devashish who was last to reach the spot due to his short legs.
‘No, he has injured his leg badly’ informed Badar examining the injured leg. Badar uncovered his leg and it was bleeding.
‘Give me that sheet’ said Badar to Arbaz.
He handed him the sheet and Badar tied it tightly to Sheeraz’s bleeding leg.
‘Not so tight’ said Sheeraz.
Badar loosened the sheet a little and then he helped Sheeraz to stand up.
‘Can you walk?’ asked Rizwan.
Sheeraz started to limp at first but after sometime he was walking with only a little difficulty. By this time the sun was over their heads and more clouds had mustered in the sky. After retrieving the box they started to climb up the mountain. After and hours walk fortunately without any more accidents they were nearly there.
‘Look! We have reached the top’ said Aqib delighted.
All the friends except Arbaz and Sheeraz ran to cover the remaining distance. All the birds greeted them by chirping loudly. As they reached the top it seemed that he sun said good bye to them and disappeared behind the clouds. And the clouds looked very happy as they had defeated the sun. The sound of the water running through the trees was like music. And the air gently passed through them saying ‘welcome’.
Sheeraz also started to run as the music form the trees took away his pain. They placed all the things safely at a place and started to run in circles. Then getting tired they sat down and ate some food and drank some cold drinks.
‘It’s beautiful, isn’t it’ said Talha to his other friends.
‘Yes, hear the music from the trees’ said Rizwan.
‘Let us go and explore’ Aqib was very curious to go into the forest.
‘Alright, let us have some fun’ Badar was already moving towards the forest.
All the friends followed him. The clouds were ruling all over the sky. But it don’t seemed that rain would come. So, all the friends entered the forest. When they had covered a short distance they came in sight of a pool. All the friends except Devashish and Badar were delighted. They took off their clothes and jumped into the pool. The pool was fed by a stream of water coming from some secret place.
‘Come down you two’ said Arbaz to Badar and Devashish who weren’t able to swim. As they refused all the friends jumped onto them and pulled them into the pool. Both of them started to scream violently.
‘Don’t scream. We will teach you to swim’ said Sheeraz who was holding Devashish. Devashish still refused but Badar was willing to learn. So, Devashish helped himself onto a tree with a camera. From there he took the pictures of his friends enjoying in the pool. When he saw that Badar had learned to swim without any difficulty, he also joined them and after sometime he too was swimming without any trouble. Enjoying in the pool they forgot about the time. They had been playing in the pool for nearly two hours.
After putting on their clothes they returned back to the open land. As they were feeling hungry they ate some more food. Now the clouds were darker and it seemed that rain would be coming any time now. The time was five O clock. All of them stretched themselves on the ground.
As they were stretching themselves on the soft grass they quacked in their boots as they heard a lion’s roar from the forest. All of them started to run in different directions.
‘Stay together’ cried Sheeran.
‘Come here don’t be afraid’ he said pointing towards a big boulder. All of them concealed themselves behind the boulder. They picked up the stones from the ground in their both hands to defend themselves, underestimating the power of the king of jungle. Everyone was shaking from head to toe as they could hear the lion approaching towards them roaring.
Now the lion was not more than twenty yards from the boulder and everyone thought that this day was their last day. Everyone sat still trying their best not to make any noise. Suddenly the lion jumped onto the rock which was concealing the friends. Badar opened his mouth to scream but Sheeran pressed hard on his mouth with his both hands. Only Rizwan, who was sitting in the middle, had a look at the lion. The lion was looking far away searching for something. All the friends were holding their breaths. Everybody was trembling. The lion roared violently and everybody screamed with horror. But fortunately the lion didn’t hear them screaming as his roar was far louder than their screams. After sometime Rizwan looked up but couldn’t see the lion.
‘He is gone’ he whispered.
Sheeran got up slowly and tried to look for the lion with eyes wide open. But he couldn’t see no lion.
‘It’s gone’ he said to his friends, relieved.
So, they came out form their hiding in open land. When they reached the other side of the boulder they were stopped dead in their places. On the other side of the rock the king of the jungle was sitting with his eyes closed. One couldn’t have said whether he was sleeping or not. All the friends dropped the stones they were holding with fear. The lion opened his eyes rather reluctantly. And saw all the friends around him. Everyone thought that in a minute the lion would tear them to pieces. They were standing in their places as they have been fixed to the ground, trying not to blink. The lion stared at them listlessly and closed his eyes. All the friends looked at each other in amazement. They ran away from the lion screaming. When they had gone about twenty yards, the lion woke up and roared and all the friends fell to the ground. The lion came running toward them. Everyone fainted except Sheeran who kept looking at eh lion. The lion jumped on Sheeran and tore him to pieces.
Sheeran was screaming loudly lying on the grass. All the friends ran towards him frightened.
‘Wake up Sheeran. What is it? Why are you screaming so loudly?’ asked Aqib pouring some water on his face.
‘Bad dream, bad dream’ said Sheeran who was now back to his senses.
Sheeran was trembling from head to toe. But after sometime he was feeling good. Everyone asked him about the dream and he summarized it to them.
‘Moral, don’t disturb a lion while sleeping’ said Talha at the last and everybody laughed. ‘We were playing foot-ball and you were sleeping. That’s why we didn’t disturb you. Now come on let us play’ he added.
They got divided into two teams and named them THE LIONS and THE TIGERS. Devashish, Aqib, Arbaz and Rizwan were THE TIGERS and Sheeran, Talha, Badar and Sheeraz were THE LIONS. By placing the stones at proper distance they created the goal post. Aqib and Sheeraz were the goal-keepers. In the first half THE LIONS were leading by 3-1, which was impossible if Sheeraz wouldn’t have made some great saves. In the second half Aqib made some spectacular stops. On the other hand Sheeraz let them go. On the completion of the second half the scores were tied 3-3. So, the bonus time started. But no one was able to score any goal. Therefore the penalty shoot-out was declared. At the end of the penalty shoot-out THE LIONS came out victorious.
The time was nearly seven O clock and it was getting dark. After sometime there was thunder and lightning. And as just they have packed up all their things the rain started to shower slowly and softly at first. But after sometime it became more and more wild. So, all the friends completely wet started to walk quickly but cautiously down the mountain. By this time the light had said good-bye and had gone. For the last time the air gently passed through them saying good-bye. It was completely dark so, they used the torches of their mobiles to lit up the path. All the friends’ parents were tense. After they had covered a short distance with rain showering over them one by one everyone’s mobile rang. Their worried parents were calling them. ‘Where are you? How are you?’ were the questions they asked to everyone. ‘We are alright. Just leaving from here’ were the answers they received. By this time the rain was getting more and more angry. All the friends cautiously went downwards as they don’t want any more accidents. As they were late and it was dark and raining heavily they took a short-cut path. All of them were walking slowly in one line. The short-cut path they had taken wasn’t a good one.
‘Where are we’ asked Talha.
‘No idea’ replied Sheeran.
‘Will the rain ever stop’ cried Badar from the last looking up at the lightning. Unfortunately he lost control and fell onto Aqib who fell onto Talha and so on and so on until all of them were lying on the ground. Fortunately Rizwan got hold on Devashish who was going to roll all the way down the mountain. Sheeran the eldest and Devashish the youngest had lost hold on their mobiles while falling and had lost them. Rizwan had cracked the screen of his mobile while rescuing his friend. And the torch wasn’t working. Now they had only five useful mobiles.
‘Everybody alright’ asked Sheeran.
‘Yes’ everybody replied in unison.
Now they walked more closely as the light from their mobiles wasn’t so good. Trying to be more careful than before. After waling some distance they lost the path.
‘What to do now?’ asked Aqib wiping the rain from his face.
But no one answered. Everybody was worried. The batteries of their mobiles were nearly dead. The time was about eight O clock. They heard the call from a mosque and everybody searched for it.
‘Look! There it is’ exclaimed Sheeraz who has got sharp eyes.
Everybody followed Sheeran to the mosques. The rain was slowing down now. As all of them were tired they walked very slowly to the mosque. It took them a long time to reach there. By the time they reached there their mobiles switched off as their batteries were dead.
‘God help us’ said Arbaz.
They placed all their things outside the mosque and went to perform their ablutions. The rain had stopped suddenly. Then they went in and offered the final prayer of the day. They prayed to God to take them home safely.
‘Can you please tell us the way to Bajarni’ Sheeran asked a man outside the mosque.
‘Go straight down that path and you will be there in half an hour’ he answered pointing towards a path which ran straight downwards.
‘Thank you’ said Sheeran and started to walk down the path, everyone following behind him. He stopped suddenly remembering that they have got no torch. He ran back to that man but was too late.
So, everybody sat down in the darkness, disheartened. Slowly and softly the clouds drifted away and out comes the moon, the full moon. It seemed that the moon was saying.
‘Don’t lose hope. I am here to light up the path for you. Get up and go’.
‘All praise be to Allah’ said Talha getting up. They went down the path happily.
‘Where there is a will there is a way’ said one of the friends.
‘Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are right’ quoted Aqib trying to please his friends.
By the time they reached Bajarni everyone was completely exhausted.
‘We did it’ cried Talha getting inside the car. Aqib turned the key and started for home.
‘Wait a minute, where is Arbaz?’ said Badar. Everybody looked at each other in frustration. They got out of the car and cried.
‘Arbaz, Arbaz where are you?’
Everybody searched for him. They went back up the mountain crying his name but were unsuccessful.
‘Look! The box Arbaz was carrying’ exclaimed Devashish pointing towards the box.
‘He should be somewhere near’ said Sheeran.
They made a thorough search once more and found Arbaz lying on his back, fainted. After sprinkling some water on his face he opened his eyes reluctantly.
‘Are you alright’ asked the friends.
‘I think so’ replied Arbaz, but as he tried to stand up his back ached badly. He couldn’t walk. So, Sheeran and Sheeraz helped himself to the car. Everyone got inside the car this time. It was a tight fit though. Aqib started the car once more and they started to cover the remaining distance. But that day luck wasn’t on their side. When they had covered a short distance the front left tyre of the car punctured. Aqib lost control over the car and it slammed into the ditch, not so fast though. No one was severely injured. Aqib was holding his head. Sheeran had just escaped form hitting the wind-screen. And all the friends who were sitting in the back seat were one over the other.
‘Everyon ok’ asked Sheeran.
‘No, my head is swirling’ replied Aqib. He was holding his head, groaning.
Sheeran leaned forward to scrutinize his head. It was bleeding. He tied a sheet around his head.
‘How do you feel now?’ asked Sheeran.
They were still long way from their homes. The left head light was broken. Everyone got out of the car to replace the punctured tyre. It took them a long time to fit the tyre properly as it had gone into the ditch. Sheeran sat on the driving seat and the other friends pushed the car out of the ditch with some difficulty. Sheeran turned the key after everybody had seated themselves inside the car and the car came back to life. So, they started to cover the remaining distance with the help of only one head light.
‘I will never ever forget this day’ said Sheeraz and everybody said that they won’t either.
Sheeran was driving very cautiously. When they were just five kilometers from their homes the car stopped in its place as the same tyre had punctured again.
‘What the hell is all this happening’ cried Talha.
‘Patience my dear friend, patience’ said RIzwan.
The moon was glowing high above the earth. It seemed that she was talking to the speckled sky. All the friends got out of the car, Badar nearly crying.
‘We are doomed’ Sheeraz got out of the car wiping the sweat from his face.
Now they had got not replacement for the punctured tyre. They were still a long way from their homes. Now they can’t do anything but walk all the way to their homes. So, they left the car behind and started to cover the remaining distance on foot. Suddenly the road lighted up and they heard a car coming towards them from behind. As the car reached near them everyone shouted together.
‘Stop, stoop, help’
The car stopped a few yards further from them. Everyone ran for it. But they were still some distance away from the car when the engine started and the car went away with great speed. All the angry friends picked up stones from the ground and threw them at the car. Sheeran had thrown the heaviest one and it did the work. The car stopped in its place and out comes a well built man with angry eyes. All the friends ran down a path which was unknown to them. But the exhausted friends weren’t so fast. The angry driver was gaining on them every second. When the driver was just a meter away from them he tripped and gave up. All the friends laughed and walked away from him, down the unknown path.
‘It seems familiar’ said Devashish.
‘Yes’ agreed all the friends.
After covering some distance everybody cried with joy.
‘Look! We did it we are nearly there’
Their joy knew no bounds when they found that they had reached Akramabad, from that unknown short-cut path. From there it was a short walk to their homes. Everyone ran as fast as his legs could carry him to covet the remaining distance. They reached Nehru square and after saying good-bye to each other started for their homes. Everyone was very happy as they had overcome all the difficulties.
All of them walked cheerfully to their homes where their worried parents were waiting for them. All the parents thanked God when they found their sons all in one piece. All the friends told their parents about the adventure they had had. After having their supper all the friends went to their beds and were soon fast asleep. That night they dreamt about the adventure which they would never be able to forget for their whole lives.