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Ali had a sort of an amused smirk on his wide eyed face, while he watched Rambo on TV. What else would you expect from an 8 year old child? Little Ali had already forgotten about the scrape he got on his left knee while playing with neighbor's children. How fascinating it is about children!? They could be crying with their whole heart this minute, and then they would have forgotten all about it in the next. Rambo was shooting, running and bleeding on the screen. Ali thought it was cool. He really didn't understand the story. In fact, he couldn't even keep up with the American dialogues. But Ali knew it was about a masculine man who was fighting for his survival. And that was enough to watch.


Although the ice cream had disappeared from the bowl, Ali was still holding it. Seems like he has forgotten he is holding the bowl. So engrossed was Ali, with Rambo, who was talking now to a old person in uniform. Ali is not quite sure, but seems like the old man is very close to Rambo. Oh wait! What's happening to mighty Rambo? Lo! He is crying!! Rambo is crying!!! Ali wasn't aware of his own open-mouth. Why is Rambo crying? Seems like Rambo is opening up his heart to the old man in uniform. At least that's what Ali could gather from the dialogues.


Scenes changed. More action, more explosions. Ali was still affixed to the images on the cathode ray tube. The old man in uniform was now talking to some one else. He was talking about Rambo. "This is interesting" thought Ali. Looks like this old man have trained Rambo. "...Trained to ignore pain...". That was one of the phrases Ali could gather. He wasn't aware of it, but that phrase seeped deep inside Ali's mind.


Alas, the movie ended. Ali went through the mundane rituals of brushing the teeth, changing in to pajamas and etc. He got into his bed. A kiss on cheek, lights closed, eyes closed. Mind's eye didn't close. Ali started imagining Rambo crying. It looked weird to see a grown man crying. Ali had never seen any other man crying before. Come to think of it, he didn't know that many adult men in the first place. Ali wondered how he, himself looked like when he was crying. Did he look foolish like the kids from school when they were crying? Does his face gets disfigured? Ali remembered him self crying when he fell earlier that day and scraped his knee. He could remember his own sound of wailing, and he could also remember the warmth of his own tears flowing on his face. "Why did I cry? It didn't hurt that much... did it?" Ali thought. Suddenly Ali started feeling sharp pain in his knee. He has forgotten all about the knee!

"What would Rambo do if he got a wound in his knee?"

"Rambo would not be bothered about it"

"Rambo was trained to ignore pain!"

"Why can't I ignore pain?"

"How... could... any one... ignore pain?" You would still feel the pain wouldn't you? Can you make the pain go away?..........................



Ali felt his mother waking him up. He could hear sounds of birds chirping. It was morning. Ali had to go to school. He again went through the mundane rituals of getting ready in the morning. When he pulled his shorts up, it brushed against his knee. Suddenly Ali remembered of his wound. But Ali couldn't feel any pain. "Strange", thought Ali. Usually brushing cloths against a wound would be painful. "Ignore the pain!" Ali reminded him self. Time to go to school.....





...As Ali was walking towards his desk, fat Asim lost his balance doing some thing stupid and unnecessary, and fell over Ali. Ali buckled under the weight and lost his balance. The result was Ali Jamming his left knee on the floor, making contact over the same place where he was already scraped. After other children helped Asim to get up, Ali felt able to lift him self up again. As he straightened himself up, he saw blood on his knee. Not only the wound was opened again, but it looked worst than yesterday. Pain shot up Ali's leg which made him to gasp. "Ignore the pain! .... "


Ali went to his desk, and sat down on the chair. He took his handkerchief from his pocket, which his mom always insists that Ali should take with him to school. Without thinking Ali made tied in around his knee, covering the wound. A clumsy bandage as you would expect from an eight year old.


Just then, the teacher entered the class. Ali looked up determined not to cry. All the children in the class sat properly on their seats facing the teacher, except Hamood, the one of the neighbor's sons, whom Ali was playing with yesterday. Hamood saw every thing from Ali getting knocked down, to, him tying handkerchief around his own wound. Hamood observed that Ali did not cry, as he did yesterday. And the wound seemed to be worst too! Hamood's gaze lingered for one more second before he turned his attention to the teacher as well. But not before admitting to himself about Ali's courage.










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mashaAllah!!!! This is proof that grammar has very little to do with powerful expression!

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mashaAllah!!!! This is proof that grammar has very little to do with powerful expression!


That was fascinating. Seriously.



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Ali's attention was momentarily broken when Yunus coughed, Ali's older brother. Ali again focused his attention to the two priests talking on TV.

"Remember always... the wise man walks with his head bowed." Said the elderly monk to the younger one. He continues, " ... Humble, like the dust" . The younger priest bows, elder one returns the bow. Then comes the commercial break. Ali always enjoyed such philosophical analogies these characters say in their dialogs. Ali was contemplating on the words .... "why like dust?"


"Don't just sit there like a STUPID!", Barked Yunus.

Ali and Yunus had a fight earlier that evening, because Ali had touched one of the crayons in the new set which Yunus got from his father.

"I am not stupid!" Ali replied, fighting for his pride. "You are the one who is s..."

Yunus cut into Ali's sentence "You Stupid Fat face!"

Ali tried to think of a suitable reply, but the TV program resumed again, and the two boys stopped their exchange as abruptly as it began. But Ali couldn't enjoy the rest of the program as he did just a couple of minutes ago. He was hurt. Thoughts were racing in his mind along with imagined dialogs where Ali would emerge as the clear victor in verbal warfare with his brother.


That night Ali laid awake on his bed for little longer than usual. His brother's treatment that day had left Ali with a wounded pride. Being few years older to Ali, Yunus had a distinct advantage when it came to fights between the siblings: physical or verbal. Ali could understand and accept his physical disadvantage. But the way his brother spits hurtful words!? Ali could not comprehend how and why Yunus could overwhelm him with mere words, though spiteful they are. But more importantly, why couldn't he himself speak back, with equal force?... To protect his own pride? Ali wondered how he some times left his fellow classmates wounded and defeated when it came to a hot argument. Ali had to accept that was because he had learned new words and techniques from his own experience with his older brother. Ali wondered if Yunus had learned these in a similar manner, by being abused by some one with superior 'skills' at school. A vengeful smile crossed Ali's face at the thought of that.




Next day at school, Ali was sitting in the English class. And the teacher was going through some proverbs.

'Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.', wrote the teacher on the black board. Then she went on to explain how true it was, and how wise people are not bothered by words.


"What a coincidence", thought Ali. "Only last night I was thinking about this..."

"But why could Yunus hurt me with words? How can I stop it? Why can't I hurt him? I must get back at him! For the remainder of the lesson Ali was simulating possible verbal exchanges between him and his brother in his mind, and ways he could produce arrows of words which could strike Yunus's right on target. The teacher did notice the stern look on Ali's face, but she thought he looked cute.




That night Ali's family were having dinner together as usual. Mom had prepared Ali's favorite dhal curry, and Ali was helping him self to a generous 2nd servings.

"Mom, look at his greediness", said Yunus addressing mother, but obviously directing towards Ali.

"DON'T SAY THAT!" told mother to Yunus, but that didn't wipe out the insulting expression from his face.

Ali felt the urge to defend his pride.

"You are having seconds as well!"

"Yes but, I am not greedy as you are..... fatty!"

"YUNUS!", one stern word from dad ended the conversation right there. But damage was already done. Ali didn't feel like eating any more. Mom seeing Ali's crestfallen face stroked his hair and gave a gentle pinch on his cheek and said: "Common Ali, finish up now... don't you have that TV show you like to see?"

That had the desired affect on Ali, and both boys were in front of the TV right on half past eight. And the shaolin martial arts, which captivates the boys resumed.



The elderly blind priest was directing a question towards the younger one.

'Where is the evil, Grasshopper? Is it in the rat, who's nature is to steal grain, or is it in the cat who's nature is to kill the rat?'

The younger priest answers: "The rat steals, yet cat is evil to him"

Master replies. "The rat does not steal, the cat does not murder. Rain falls, stream flows, the hill remains. Each acts according to its nature"

Student inquires: "Then each man tells to him self, that he is not evil. But if the man hurts me, and I punish him, wouldn't it deter him from hurting others in the future?"

Master: "And if you do nothing?"

Student: "Then he will believe he is free to do as he chooses..."

Master: "Perhaps! Or perhaps he will learn that some men return kindness, when they receive injury"

The young student on the TV smiled an enlightened smile.


After few minutes later a commercial break interrupts the program. Ali knew his brother would say some thing to hurt him. And Ali remembered his rehearsed responses. Sure enough, Yunus spoke;

" You have got fatter since dinner! Fat Godzilla! "


That got Ali by surprise. He did not anticipate such an attack. For a split second he struggled internally to find a suitable response. Then he remembered the words of the sage, 'Or perhaps he will learn that some men return kindness, when they receive injury'.

"Will it work?" Thought Ali. " If I stay silent, pretending not be bothered, will he stop?"


"Hey Stupid! Have you seen your face lately? " barked Yunus.


Ali kept staring at the TV although he could feel the urge to fight back building inside of him. Yunus tried few more unpleasant remarks. Ali thought they were getting increasingly weaker, and a smile appeared across his face.


"What are you smiling about stupid?"

"Nothing" , replied Ali, seeing himself as the blind sage. He could sense the hesitation in his big brother now. Next minute passed by in silence. When the TV program resumed, Ali enjoyed it whole heartedly.









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"Fat Asim?"

Was that intentional? Hehe.


This is nice... A kid getting positively influenced by TV shows. That doesn't happen too often. :) But I think your story is very thoughtful. Keep it up!

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"Ali", called mom. "We are going to Michelle's place... don't you want to come?"

"No, ..." replied Ali.

"Why not? Isn't she your friend? Common Ali, Michelle and her parents are leaving town next week. You have to say good bye..."


'Not really friends...', thought Ali. It's true that Ali, his brother and Michelle have played together in the past. But unlike what parents seem to think, all play mates do not become your friends. Some times your relationship with playmates are strictly professional. Besides Ali used to play with Michelle before,... before when things started getting a little awkward. After all... she. is. a. girl!


"Why isn't Yunus coming with us?". Asked Ali, being a little jealous about his brother being spared of the awkwardness.

"You know he have classes. Now come on Ali, get dressed. Clothes are on your bed."


That settled it. Saying good byes was no longer an option, but a mandate now. Ali sighed as he got dressed up. Things didn't seem to be fair. After about an hour, Ali and his parents were greeted by the Zilam's. The Zilam's were a Christian family who were friends with Ali's family.

"Hello darling... how are you ? Asked Mrs. Zilam. Mr. Zilam beaming behind her.

"Okay" Ali managed to answer. There was some thing about this plump woman Ali wasn't quite comfortable with.

After the initial pleasantries were exchanged, hosts lead the guests to the living room. Every one sat down and chattering ensued. Ali was grateful that not many questions were directed at him, but more importantly Michelle was not in sight. He heard some thing about Michelle getting dressed up inside and she'll be out soon, but he really didn't care.


Then he had to care! Because she had come in to the room and was saying hello's to Ali's parents.

"Hello" Michelle was addressing Ali.

"Hello" Ali replied back.

Michelle sat on the chair directly in front of Ali.


Now this was awkward! The very thing Ali wanted to avoid was now staring right at him. It's still alright thought Ali. At least she was not talking to him. Ali focused his attention to the garden beyond the window. Like children so often do, Ali got him self lost in a thought land, and became oblivious to the chattering taking place in the background.

A small bird was sitting on a bush. Looking around for some thing. "It's friends" Ali Imagined. They must be at least an hour late judging by the edginess of the bird. Another bird landed on the bush. First bird is ignoring the newcomer. Possibly because she is late.


The series of events which then took place happened so fast. So fast that, it look few seconds for Ali to realize what had happened.

Michelle had got up from her chair and had approached Ali while he was still looking out the window. Ali only saw a shadow when Michelle drew her face closer to Ali's. Just as Ali turned his face towards the figure to see what was going on, Michelle had kissed Ali. ON THE LIPS.

'Oh NOO! ' Ali thought and his natural instinct kicked in. Without thinking, Ali threw a punch at Michelle which struck her in the mid section. Punch of a nine year old boy should not be trivialized if the target happens to be a eleven year old frail girl. Michelle got thrown away from Ali due to the impact. Ali saw the body wavering away and dropping down, while he could still feel the sensation of her lips on his.


The parents got up. Few "Oh My God"'s and "Dear me"'s were heard. Some one helped the poor girl up and she was sat on the chair, still facing Ali. Ali could see Michelle sobbing.

Mrs. Zilam knelt besides Ali and said "Its ok dear, don't worry. We know it was an accident". Mr. Zilam also said some thing like don't worry to Ali. Ali didn't understand why Michelle's parents were being nice to him, but then again, he didn't know about the horror was so apparent on his own face. Both adult Zilam's then went to sooth the sobbing small Zilam.


While Ali's jaws were still hanging down, his mom got close to Ali. Instead of hearing a reassuring voice as he expected, he heard a stern whisper.

"Why did you hit the girl?!!"

Ali replied: "But she Kissed me!"

"So what?!", said the mother, again harshly, and went towards the still tearful girl.


Awkwardness was filling Ali, now at an exponential rate. After a couple of minutes later, the girl seemed to have stopped crying although she looked miserable. Attention of the parents was now back in to their usual chatter about worldly trivia. But Ali still was in shock, looking at the frail girl whom he inflicted pain upon.

"So what?!" His mother's words was now echoing in his mind. 'I didn't have to hit her! Why did I hit her?'

All sort of indistinguishable emotions were filling up Ali.


"Mom, can I go out side?" Asked Ali.

"Out where?!" Her voice still stern.

"To the car", said Ali thinking about the their car on the drive way.

"Ok! "


Ali felt a little relief when he stepped out the house. But the emotions of embarrassment and guilt were still flowing with tremendous force in his mind.

'What if other boys get to know about she kissing me?'


Anger was now filling inside Ali's heart.

'Why did she have to do it?

I hate girls!'




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Good Work !! Awaiting for the next episode..........May i know who inspired u???????????

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Wow I wanna know what happens next...

It was painful and slow,, but he got over it.


I'm outtof ideas.

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All the comments here are from females. Does it mean, women want to know how men think?

What are your thoughts on men's thoughts? Did you have a new insight in to it by reading these?

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