“Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little…” My Samsung cell phone played this alarm music at 7:00 am as I woke up to a new Saturday morning of my life. Mom yelled from downstairs, “Sohail, have you woken up yet? You have to go to your tutor’s home today!”
“Yes Mom, I’m up,” I responded but with a low, weak voice. I felt like staying home and playing my Xbox or listening to songs on my newly gifted, precious iPhone.
However, when I realized that today is Saturday, and I am supposed to visit Salman bhaiya, my tutor, all my sleep vanished. I left my bed and went straight to my bathroom to freshen up. Within 20 minutes, I readied myself and went downstairs for my
At the round dining table, my mood did not allow me to eat my food. I felt bored and irritated at the mundane morning meal. “Life is so boring!” I said to myself.
The surrounding felt trite and lifeless. I lived most of my life without a certain goal. I did not enjoy going places and meeting people, even though I did have curiosity over particular gadgets. However, these interests lasted temporarily. Studies failed to
provide satisfaction. Even sports or media entertainment pleased me temporarily. The only thing I truly enjoyed was visiting Salman bhaiya. I didn’t enjoy learning, except
when I was with him. Among all these feelings, however, I lacked ambition; but still, I lived life as much as possible.
After finishing my meal, I set off toward the nearby street to catch a taxi for a ride to my tutor’s home. Luckily, I found one and set off to my mentor’s place. My digital wristwatch read 8:17 at that moment.
As the taxi rode down the street to Lalkhan Bazar, where Salman bhaiya lived, I thought about this great, talented, spiky-haired man. Salman Akram Islam, my mentor and physics tutor, has influenced my life in various ways. Not only has he helped me improve my physics grade in school over the last four months, but he has also given me numerous console games to play and interesting books to read.
Standing around six feet tall, my tutor always finds interesting ways of teaching physics. That is why I never feel irritated visiting him to learn physics. After arriving at his home from Mehdibag, where I lived, I found my tutor waiting outside his door, smiling broadly at me. “What’s up, young man? Had a rough day? Feeling bored? Don’t worry, after today you will forget the word “boring”. I guarantee that!”
At that moment, I felt something unusual, something extraordinary. When I entered the blue-walled study room, I was surprised to see his desk. There were no books, and the laptop he used during tutoring was not there. The only thing on top of it was a large map and a wooden, red box. The map showed all the roads of Chattogram, our beloved city.
Significantly, the route from CRB Hill to DC Hill stood out with dark, red highlighting. Salman bhaiya brought his HP Pavilion laptop to the room when I was staring at the map. What I noticed on the LED screen confused me even further. I saw the CRB Hill to DC Hill route zoomed, labeled, and marked as if indicating a location for a mission.
“Salman bhaiya, what is going on? No books on your desk but only a map; your laptop with a special map; and most importantly, this unusual smile on your face? Please, explain!” I almost shouted out in extreme confusion and curiosity.
“No worries, young man,” responded my tutor. “Relax! It’s pretty good that you are already feeling excited because your excitement is going to increase like never before! You won’t be bored, I promise.
You see, you always complain about the boredom of life. You feel aimless and lost in total darkness. However, because you trust me and believe I am the most interesting person on the planet, I have planned a special task for you. As you can see already, it will take place from CRB to DC Hill. I know you have never traveled this route, but that is what is going to make your journey worthwhile.”
“What task? How can I be involved in a task via traveling?” I anxiously asked him as he typed his final directions on the laptop.
“Well, there you go. Okay, now listen to me carefully, Sohail. Your goal is very simple. You will have to carry this wooden box on this mission to DC Hill. You will walk from this house on CRB [pointing to a yellow dot on the map] to the foot of DC Hill.
Someone will be waiting for the box.” After stating that, he looked at my pocket and said, “Can I have your wallet? You trust me, right? So, don’t worry. Everything will be intact after your return. It’s just that I don’t feel like trusting you. No offense, but who knows, you might use your money to get a ride between the two hills. Now, give me your wallet and take the map and box to my desk. It’s going to help big time!”
Stuck between confusion and trust, I surrendered my wallet (which contained just two taka at that moment) and grabbed the map. I put the small box in my bag. We got out of his home and walked to the indicated house on top of CRB Hill. The two-storied, light yellow house offered me some time to regroup my thoughts and get set for the most unexpected and mysterious walk of my life. The housekeeper, Salman bhaiya’s friend, provided popcorn and drinks. After eating the snack, I initiated
During my initial steps, a shiver ran throughout my body. I looked at the map and the road simultaneously but walked slowly. Then, after walking down the hill to a turning point on the road, I saw a small girl smiling at me. Her smile created a new
hope inside me. I suddenly realized that I had a task to complete. I took a peek at my watch which indicated 10:46 AM. Restlessness captured my mind and I increased my walking speed. “Come on boy, don’t give up. You can do it.” I said these to myself as I trotted to the bottom of CRB Hill.
From, there I turned left and continued my expedition. As I walked past the MA Aziz Stadium, I looked carefully at the map. I needed to know which direction to move. As I walked past a few sports equipment stores and a couple of grocery stores, a medium height, dark man called out to me, “Hey there, are you lost? You seem lost. Come to my store. Have some drinks and we will play together. “
“Sorry, but who are you? Never seen you before,” I replied.
“Oh, I’m Jafrul. I own this sports store. I believe you are new to this area and need help, right? Don’t worry, I’ll help. But let’s spend some quality time playing games.”
“No, I can’t! I have a task to complete. My time is short and I get tired very quickly.”
“Oh come on now! Don’t be such a bore. Let’s have some good time together.”
I felt tempted to relax. I took a step toward the store. At that moment, the box inside my book bag shook with my movement. I remembered my duty and successfully prevented myself from going toward the store.
“What happened, why did you stop? Come inside boy, quickly!” demanded the storekeeper.
His forceful attitude scared me and I sprinted. As a result, I lost track of my direction and route. Thankfully, when he was nowhere in sight, I managed to recollect my route, courtesy of the map. Sometime later, when my watch read 11:15 AM, I arrived at Naval Avenue. A mini-market, three textile shops, and an artificial model of a ship caught my attention. After taking a few leisurely steps, a group of boys playing soccer grabbed my attention. Their skills and enthusiasm shifted my thoughts away
from the journey. “Wish I could play with them,” I dreamily said to myself. Suddenly, a black-skinned dog started barking. I thought he was barking at me, so, I ran. To my horror, the dog actually ran behind me. At that moment, I sprinted and also looked at the map. Luckily, I was running in the right direction. I passed a cultural center from which a group of children came out. They laughed at me. The reason was perhaps that the dog that I was running away from actually chased a cat a few yards ahead of me.
When I realized that, I took a sigh of relief and sat on the sidewalk. I called a cute child passing by and asked, “Can you please tell me where DC Hill is?” He gave me a teasing smile and replied, “You are in front of it. Haha!”
I turned straight around and saw the hill, D-C Hill. Even more surprisingly, Salman bhaiya was standing at the foot of the hill. He came jogging to me, laughing proudly. “Finally, my boy, you have achieved something! You feel tired, eh? Sure you did not feel bored, did you? By the way, the storekeeper near the stadium, is a close friend of mine. I told him to tempt you a little to deviate your progress toward your target. Never mind, let’s have some drinks, and here is your wallet.”
Half shocked and half joyful, I struggled to find words to express my feelings on this whole situation. When I opened my wallet, I found two taka, plus a hundred more!
Salman bhaiya asked for the box. I took out the box. To my astonishment, my tutor handed me three Xbox gaming DVDs and told me, “Keep them in the box. These are your rewards. This whole trip was to make you learn the true art of living: enjoying and living every moment with an ambition.”
These last words would live with me for the rest of myself.
Two years have gone by. That amazing journey erased the word boring from my mental dictionary once and for all. From that day onwards, I lived every moment of my life with a specific goal, hoping to reach small destinies before hitting the big one – GRADUATION!
Quazi Sameer Salman
Quazi Sameer Salman, a passionate writer since schooling days, likes to play with vivid words. Currently working as a communication and content specialist in Bangladesh, both in a full-time capacity and freelancing, he mainly specializes in various types of content writing but enjoys short story writing as well to express his creativity. His ultimate goal: to create content that redesigns human imagination .