A Pact with the Sun

A Pact with the Sun
By Zakir Husain

This story demonstrates the importance of nature's healing power. It tells the story of a girl whose mother is ill, and how her prayers to the Sun help her mother recover from her illness.

This storey is about a girl named Saeeda whose mother has been suffering from fever, body pain, cough, and joint pain for a long time. She was not receiving proper care. Normal food, sunlight, and fresh air were all denied to her. Her illness was relapsing despite various treatments. She then sought treatment from a specialist, who examined her and recommended some effective medications. The specialist also advised her to spend time in the sun on a daily basis. She then moved her bed to a larger room in order to get more sunlight.
However, the Sun did not appear for a few days and the sky remained cloudy. Saeeda prayed for the sun's rays to arrive the next morning because her mother needed the warmth of the sun to recover. The sun's rays agreed and agreed to assist her. The sun rays broke through the clouds the next morning, lighting up Saeeda's mother. Finally, Saeeda's mother recovered by getting plenty of sunlight and fresh air.

SAEEDA’S mother had been ailing for a long time — fever, cough, body-ache, painful joints and what not. Treated by a variety of physicians for weeks, she often showed signs of improvement but soon relapsed into her old, sick self, one complaint substituted by another. Though weak and colourless, she was forbidden normal food and was under strict orders to remain perpetually confined to her small, dingy room with doors and windows fastened, deprived of sunshine and fresh air.

  • Dingy: dark and dirty

Saeeda's mother had been ill for a long time and had not received proper medical treatment for her illnesses. She had been treated by several doctors, but her recovery was only temporary, and her illness was relapsing. She was denied nutritious food, sunlight, and fresh air. She was gradually confined to a small, dark, and filthy room with closed windows and no access to sunlight.

When she became critical, her relatives and neighbours persuaded her to consult a specialist even though his fee was likely to be high. Life is more precious than money, they said. Saeeda’s mother was poor but she heeded their advice and sold a few trinkets to pay the doctor’s fee and the cost of medicine.The doctor came in a few days and examined her and prescribed effective but costly medicine. To the question as to what she should eat he said, “Anything you wish to eat — chapati, vegetables, milk, fruits, etc. In addition to all this,” he added emphatically, “leave this dark hovel and occupy a bigger room with doors and windows open. Sit in the sun every morning from eight to nine. Sunshine and fresh air,” he concluded, “are more important than medicine.”

  • Persuaded: to move someone to believe something by arguing
  • Trinkets : piece of jewellery
  • Hovel: a small dirty place

When her condition worsened, her loved ones insisted on seeing a specialist despite his high fees. Life is more valuable than everything else. Even though Saeeda's mother was poor, she paid attention to what they said. She sold her jewellery to pay for the doctor's fees and medication. The doctor examined her and prescribed appropriate medication. He also advised her to eat a healthy diet and to move out of that dark room and into a larger room with windows and doors, where she could get sunlight and fresh air.

The doctor and his advice became a subject of noisy commentary among all present. Some favoured while others opposed it. Exposure to sun and air for someone afflicted with chronic cough was dangerous, an experienced lady declared. A younger neighbour nearly quarrelled with her over this. Too exhausted to participate in the debate, Saeeda’s mother remained quiet but determined to follow the doctor’s advice.“Forget the consequences,” she said at last. “I’ll carry out his instructions to the letter. Move my bed into the next room and let me sit in the sun on my charpoy for an hour daily.”

Everyone in the room began to make comments about the doctor's advice. Some spoke in favour of it, while others spoke against it. An experienced lady objected to sun exposure because she had a severe cough. One of the neighbours began fighting. Saeeda's mother was unable to participate in any of this, so she remained silent. Finally, she stated that regardless of the outcome, she was determined to follow the doctor's instructions. As a result, her bed should be moved to the next room, and she should be allowed to sit in the sun for an hour every day.

It so happened that the sky remained overcast the next morning. The same was the case the following day. Saeeda’s mother was dejected. She muttered, “O Lord of mine, why have you ordered the sun to remain hidden? How will I ever be cured?”

However, the sky was now cloudy for a few days. She asked God, in hushed whispers, where he had hidden the sun.

Saeeda was playing with her doll nearby and she heard her mother’s lament but kept calm. Later in the afternoon, when she stumbled on a spot of pale sunshine in the courtyard, she ran to her mother to say the sun was there. “No, no”, said everybody present. “It’s too late and chilly. Your mother can’t sit out there.” Disheartened, Saeeda returned to her doll. There was no sun really except for its last remnant entangled in the top branches of the family mango tree.

Saeeda was playing near her mother when she heard her mother's words. After that, as she was about to fall in the courtyard, she noticed a tiny portion of sunlight and ran to her mother to ask her to be there. But everyone stopped her because it was late at night and cold. Saeeda returned to her doll, depressed.

When we wake up, our temperature and blood pressure rise to normal. Our heartbeat and breathing also become normal and we are fully awake, and have forgotten most, if not all, the dreams that we had while sleeping.

When we wake up, our body temperature and blood pressure return to normal. Other phenomena, such as heartbeat and breathing, return to normal, and we forget most, if not all, of our dreams.

What is a dream? It is an activity of the mind that takes place when we are asleep. Some dreams are probable while others are not. That only means that many of the things that happen in dreams could happen when we are awake. Others could not. 

Dreams appear to be significant for a variety of reasons. One benefit of having a dream is that it can help us sleep through noise or other disturbances. For example, the alarm clock goes off, but our minds trick us into believing that the phone or doorbell is ringing and that we are awake and answering it.

Now, children have at their command a secret language, foreign to grown-ups altogether, in which they fluently communicate with trees, flowers, animals, the sun and the moon, perhaps even with the Almighty. Using that special language, Saeeda addressed her remark to the last departing ray of the sun. “Dearest sister, do come tomorrow with lots of warmth and brightness. You see, my mother is ill and needs your help.”

The children have a unique communication language through which they communicate with trees, flowers, animals, the sun and moon, and even God. Saeeda prayed to the Sun's rays to come tomorrow with more warmth and brightness because her mother was ill and needed their assistance.

“Surely,” answered the light, “don’t look unhappy. We’ll be here at the fixed hour.”

The Sun's light rays responded to her prayer, assuring her that they would arrive on time and asking her not to be unhappy.

Next day, early in the morning, when the sprightly sunrays embellished themselves for their journey down to earth, the sun said, “It’s our day off again. We’re staying up here. The road to earth is blocked by an army of thick, mucky clouds.” The little rays so much wanted to go down for a lark but they remained quiet. One of them, though, who had made a pact with little Saeeda said, “Sir, I can’t stay back. I’ve given my word to Saeeda whose mother is ill and needs our help. I’ll pierce through the clouds to reach Saeeda’s courtyard. How else will her mother be cured?” Hearing this, all the rays nearly staged a revolt against their father, the sun. “Fancy staying back again,” they said in a single voice. “What will the people of the earth say about us? That we of the heavens have turned liars?”

The next day, as bright, energetic sunrays ready to come down on the earth, The Sun declared that they would not go because the path to the earth had been blocked by clouds. Hearing this, the rays remained silent for a while, but one of them informed their father, the Sun, that they had made a pact with Saeeda, as she had promised. Her mother was ill and needed their assistance, so she would cut through the clouds to reach Saeeda's courtyard. Otherwise, her mother would not be cured. To this, all of the rays united in their opposition to the sun. They claimed that if they stayed, the people of the world would regard them as liars.

The sun relented. “Please yourselves,” he said. “Mind your clothes, though. The clouds are mucky.”

  • Relented : to get soften in feelings

The sun had softened a little and told them that the clouds were very heavy and that they needed to keep their control. He even asked them to look after their clothes.

“Never mind our clothes. We can always change. But go we must.” And the rays rushed towards the earth. The clouds stood guard between them and Saeeda’s courtyard. The little rays focussed their heat — and they had enough of it — on a battalion of clouds, which had to flee from its post. The rays got through, shooting past the bewildered clouds. They were already late.

The rays rushed towards the earth, saying they didn't mind their clothing because they could always change it. The clouds stopped. The small rays concentrated their heat, which caused the clouds to flee. The rays reached the earth, leaving the clouds puzzled.

Saeeda saw the whole host of them approaching and her heart leapt with joy. She shouted, “Amma, Amma! The sun is here. Come out.” The old lady’s eyes welled up with tears of gratitude. Her charpoy was placed in the courtyard and she sat on it for an hour reclining against bolsters. It had been months since she had felt the sun on her hands and face and breathed in fresh air. She thought she was in a new world. Though pale, her face glowed and her eyes shone bright. She saw her child too bathed in sunlight and kissed her. The morning air brought in a new fragrance from nearby flowers. The birds chanted a new tune. Saeeda’s mother felt better already.
She is fully recovered now, but she still follows the doctor’s advice — an hour of sunlight and lungfuls of fresh air every day.

  • Bolsters: pillows

Saeeda jumped with joy when she noticed them reaching. She called her mother and informed her that the Sun had arrived. The old lady was in tears of joy. Her bed was set up in the sun, and she sat for an hour, leaning against pillows. It took months for her to be able to feel the sun and breathe fresh air. She felt as if she'd stepped into a different world. Though she appeared weak, her face and eyes sparkled with hope. She kissed her child, who was also basking in the sun. This new morning brought new hope, a new fragrance, bird chanting, and all of this made Saeeda's mother feel better and she recovered completely from her illness.