In a small town of Dreamland, there used to
live a little boy named Arif. He was in love with his uncle Khizr, who used to
take him to special places.
One day Uncle Khizr came for a
visit and told Arif that he would take him to the third most fascinating place
in the world. Arif got excited as he still remembered the first two fascinating
places his uncle had taken him.
The first fascinating place Arif
had visited with his uncle was a big garden, far away from their town where he
had seen hundreds of flowers. He was amused to see so many flowers with so many
colors and shapes and sizes. Uncle Khizr told him that all those flowers had
their own names. His uncle liked tulips but Arif fell in love with roses. He
could not believe that roses were also of different colors: white and yellow and
pink and red. Uncle Khizr told him that rose was the king of flowers and Arif
had to be careful to touch roses as they were protected by their bodyguards
called thorns. Arif had never touched prickly thorns before.
While Arif was enjoying looking
at the roses he saw a little colorful creature flying. His uncle told him it was
a butterfly. Arif had seen sparrows and pigeons and crows before but he had
never seen a butterfly. That day when he came home he told his mom all about
tulips and roses and butterflies he had seen in the garden. His mom was so happy
to see Arif so excited.
The second fascinating place
Uncle Khizr took Arif was a zoo that was in the next town a few miles away from
their home. Arif had never seen so many animals before. He spent the whole
afternoon looking at monkeys and zebras and elephants. He finally saw a lion.
His uncle Khizr told him that the way rose is the king of the flowers; lion is
the king of the animals. By the time their visit ended it was getting dark and
Arif saw little glowing creatures flying in the air all around them. Arif was
intrigued because they would light up on a regular basis. Uncle Khizr told him
they were called fire flies. When Arif came home that evening he told his dad
all about the animals and fireflies that carried lamps to help lost bids find
their way to their homes in the dark. His dad was amused to see him so excited
and impressed by his affectionate relationship with his uncle.
That day uncle Khizr took Arif
to the third fascinating place and it was a library. Arif had never seen such a
tall building with so many rooms and so many books. Uncle Arif showed him the
sections of poetry and fiction and plays. He showed him books which had pictures
of all the flowers he had seen in the garden and the pictures of all the animals
he had seen in the zoo. Uncle Khizr introduced him to the librarian and made him
the member so that he could borrow his favorite books that day. When Arif came
home he showed his parents the three books he had borrowed from the library.
After that day Arif fell in love
with story books. He would ask his parents every week to take him to the library
so that he could borrow more story books.
When Arif started school he told
his teacher about all the stories he had read and remembered from the story
books. His teacher was impressed by his memory and his style of reading. And
then one day Arif told his teacher that he had written his own story. The
teacher asked him to read it to his class. When Arif shared his story his
class-fellows loved it. The next month Arif created another story and his
class-fellows loved that one too. When other students found out in the school,
Arif was invited by the teachers of other classes to share his stories. They all
loved his stories.
One day Arif told his teacher
that he had seen a dream of publishing a book. He had seen his name on the cover
of the book. The teacher was touched by his dream and helped him compile his
stories in the form of a book. She wrote the introduction that was titled Arif,
the storyteller. The teacher contacted a local publisher who loved the stories
and decided to publish the book.
Arif was thrilled when the
publisher arranged a book launch and the journalists from local radio,
television and newspapers came to interview him. Arif felt honored when his
teachers asked him to autograph the book for them. Arif invited his uncle Khizr
to be the guest speaker for the occasion. Uncle Khizr shared with everybody
their visits to the three fascinating places: the garden, the zoo and the
library and Arif’s fascination with flowers and butterflies, animals and
fireflies. During his speech uncle Khizr also told the story of a famous
Argentinean writer Borges who was a librarian and loved reading and writing
books. He became blind at the age of forty when he was in charge of one million
books as a head librarian. Borges used to say that his image of paradise was
that of a library, rather than a garden. It was the happiest day of his life as
he saw his book in the bookshelf of the library next to other books written by
That evening uncle Khizr invited
Arif, his parents, his friends and teachers for a dinner to celebrate. He wished
him well and hoped that he would become a famous story teller one day and people
from all over the world would love to read his books. He saw a great promise in
him. Arif was so happy that evening that when he hugged his uncle he had tears
in his eyes.