The Big Nap (Short Story Book 144)

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Awais was very close to his mother.

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He went to see the plot of land the family had bought t construct a home on, the day before his passing. He had asked his mother when the construction would begin, to which she said "after Ramazan". At the time Awais said he may not be alive to see it.

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Be it a Spelling Bee or excellence in Arts, Baqir was an extraordinary student. He had a superb memory and wanted to put it to good use by becoming a doctor. Unlike other children his age, Baqir was a serious child. His father says he did not crack jokes and had a mature personality. His siblings describe him as a child who was always curious about knowing more. He was dear to his parents and siblings as he was the youngest in the family. Fahad was killed the day of his birthday. The night before the attack, he had invited his friends and cousins to celebrate his birthday at home.

His friend Rehman describes his friend's bravery on the day of the attack. When militants entered the classroom and opened fire, Fahad opened the door and asked all his friends to run out. He stood at the door and made sure his classmates evacuated the room. It was then that he was hit on the head and leg.

He called out to the others to tell his brother Ahmed, also a student at the school, to come help him. But it was too late.

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He enjoyed cricket and often played against his brothers on the roof of his house as their father forbid them from playing in the streets. He also liked horse-riding and often went to parks for the very purpose. Fazal was also a skilled guitar player. He was closest to his mother. All the children in the family were given a weekly allowance of Rs50 but Fazal, according to his father, finished his pocket money in a single day and would come asking for more.

During that time he lived with his uncle in Peshawar, whose eyes fill with tears as he remembers his nephew. Even if somebody spoke to him harshly, he would never lose his patience or smile, his uncle says. Furqan was fond of babies and often took care of his younger siblings and cousins. He also loved baby chicks and would often bring them home. He enjoyed watching and playing cricket.

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Son of Mr. Hamayun was a naughty but loved student. At least once a week, his father would be called to the school due to this trouble-making boy. He says the minute he would reach the gate, the gate keeper, watchman, gardener, teacher and head teacher would start off, full of complaints about him. But because he was a good student, no one ever became angry with him. He was close to his father and had a special bond with his grandfather Haji Saddar Azam.

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The son of a soldier, Hamid was a star student. He was given awards and prizes for best English vocabulary and essay writing as well as best picture memory and earth day poster. He also won a Best Young Journalist certificate. On the day of the attack, he had prepared a presentation and asked his uncle to pray it is the best in the class. His teachers said he had leadership qualities as he was parade commander at school and was also selected to be proctor.

He used to joke with his father and lovingly call him by his first name, a gesture his father says he will never forget. Hamza was a studious child. He had held several positions in his class and had also won many awards for sports and other activities. The only brother of two sisters and close to his mother, Hamza would eat whatever meals were cooked at home but did particularly enjoy burgers and karhai gosht.

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His parents recall how the one month the family spent together during Hajj last year created fond memories for them now that Hamza is no more. During Hajj, Hamza looked after two old ladies, helped them with their wheelchairs and made sure they were comfortable. Haris and his brother Ahmad were both targeted the day of the attack.

While Ahmad was grievously injured and later treated at a UK hospital, Haris lost his life. He was an intelligent child and bagged top positions from nursery till class eight. His room is full of certificates and medals. His parents describe their boy as an obedient and respectful child. He wanted to grow up and be a doctor. He dreamt of opening a hospital that treated the poor free of charge.

Hasnain was an only child. When asked to talk about his son, his father says he is unable to express his sorrow. He had big dreams for his son.

He hoped that Hasnain would complete his studies and work hard to make a mark in society. Hasnain loved to visit his village, where he played for hours with the baby farm animals. He was quite particular about his clothes and would often ask his father to buy him new outfits. According to his father, Rana was a brilliant student and had excellent oratory, reading and writing skills. Rana wanted to become an army engineer and serve the nation. He idolized cricketer Shahid Afridi and would try to emulate his style. Among politicians, he liked Imran Khan and would often do a parody of him.

The family finds it hard to accept that their son is dead.

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They say it is still hard to eat or laugh the way they did when he was alive. Although a child, Abdullah could not really enjoy the carefree days of youth; his father died when he was just He did not play pranks or act naughty like most other children his age, his mother says as she describes how he looked after the family.

When everyone slept at night, Abdullah would wake up and make sure all the doors of the house were locked. Aspiring to join the army, Abdullah was also a position holder and would always remain among the top five students in his class. Not only was he bright, he was also creative in his thinking and had made a mathematical formula for his studies. Known as the young scientist of the school, Ghasaan was a bright student and a position holder in his class.

He was fond of writing poetry in both English and Urdu languages. For his parents, it was the second time they had lost a child, as their son Faizan had passed away at age three. His mother describes Haris as an obedient child who did everything for her the moment she asked. She says he was a responsible boy, who took care of her after the death of her first son. She adds that they were more best friends than mother and child. She says that while she kisses her children goodbye before they leave for school, that fateful day she did not kiss Haris as he was running late — something she deeply regrets.

The eldest among his siblings, Muhammad Salman aspired to become a doctor and his father was prepared to send him abroad to study medicine in case he failed to secure a position within Pakistan. He enjoyed playing cricket and was good at the game. However, riding bikes was his favourite past-time. His father remembers how Salman would look for any opportunity to go out on the bike. A jovial child, Salman cracked jokes all the time and would do parodies of famous actors and celebrities.

A position holder in his class, Tayyab was not only bright when it came to studies but was also a very good volley ball player. He had won several awards.

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Tayyab lost his mother in and at a very young age after which his grandmother looked after him. He learned many things by himself, such as riding a bike and using the computer. His family misses him.