(For her , whose name meant 'Lily of the Valley' : See Image on right)
The final year of our school life was filled with obstacles in the form of assignments , labwork , revision tests , observation book correction , recordwork submission , projects ; the list went on. Most of the time , when not busy completing ever-incomplete work , we would be talking about how we were going to finish it. The rest of the time was thriftly spent in last minute bursts of intellectual learning - before a major test. We were machines pre-set (sometimes , re-set) to produce an expected output.
Time and opportunity to truly relax , converse and connect as friends needed special effort (also read 'cunning').
A friend and I saw less of each other due to our separate subjects ; phone calls became rare (or came to clear doubts ; further discuss how much work we had to finish ; talking about 'so-many-things-to-do' needs to be checked strictly - its a foolish waste of time that could be used to 'neither-think-nor-do-work') . Living in different areas , made it difficult to catch time to drop in home and have food ( the eternal solace ) together.
Instead , we had developed a habit. Into the class , at the start of the day - a smile , a hug and 'As-salam alaykum'.
' Salam ' literally means 'peace'.
'Al-Salam' is one of the names of Allah in Islam. Hence , the Islamic greeting 'As-salam alaykum' translates as 'Peace be on you' and is responded with 'wa alaykum as-salam' meaning 'And peace be on you too'.
Sometimes , I forgot to wish her ; she wouldn't ; vice-versa.
Once , while I was pouring over homework (finished in school), a classmate seated in infront of me , teasingly inquired , "No hugs today ?!"
I replied with a grin , "Thanks for reminding."
Take time to smile and greet ; even those who are strangers to you.
Do it often , everyday ; spread 'salam' and feel the joy...
"Smile and greet each other , it has the reward of charity."
"Do not underestimate any good deed (no matter how small it is) , even if that deed was to meet your brother with a friendly countenance."
- The Prophet Muhammad
Reverie says : Girls cannot be 'gay'. Nowadays they are labelled as 'lesbians' .
Our hugs drew some rather dubious looks ; I don't know if it was my imagination or the gossip I heard by the grapevine , but I sure feel like being catty to the sniggering.
Nowadays , it makes you squirm , even to hug your own kind ....
And I thought , it was the opposite sex you needed to 'keep at arm's length' ....