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Short Story: Shadow

Written by Tayyaba Aziz & Saqib Hussain   After 30 minutes of struggling to focus on work, Moosa finally gave up. He stumbled in hi...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

My Idea of Teamwork

Today we were given a role-play to display an effective teamwork in the class. This activity brought back my experience of leading a team. Here is my idea of teamwork…

My cousins Zaib, Zohaib and I were looking forward to see our cousin Nida after a very long time. All of us girls were in college while Zohaib was in primary school back then. This was my team. I call us a team because we were always on a mission.
I was the accepted leader without a question. I knew how to lead so they followed with respect. OK I exaggerated a little; they love me for my compelling ideas of adventure. There was no hierarchy in this team based on anything, and everyone could come up with better ideas.

When Nida arrived we planned a party at Zaib’s place. We stayed up all night watching movies and eating delicious pasta Zaib made. Then at dawn we went upstairs on the rooftop to watch the sun rise. Watching sunrise had become our ritual since childhood and we wanted Nida to experience it too. We would sit in the cool breeze, singing our favorite songs and view our beautiful town at its best.

They were singing the song Crush by David Archuleta when I got up to look around the place. Next to Zaib’s house I discovered a deserted school building.
 “Who would be in there at this hour?” I inquired.
“Probably the watchman and his wife” Zaib replied carelessly and continued showing off how she knew every single word of the song. However I got her attention when I paused and gave her THE SMILE.
 “Don’t even think about it” she said firmly.  
“Just come here and look, it’s hardly a step away” I uttered excitedly.
It looked so easy from up there but there are always two sides of every story. Unfortunately we could only see one side of it.

The roof of the school was almost 5 feet below Zaib’s house roof. And around the house’s roof there is 3 feet wall. So the plan was to step on the wall and jump in the school territory. Once inside the school the person would touch a class room and come back. And that was all.
“One person at a time, but if you hear anything the two staying up here would pull this person back. So who is going first?” these were the cautions carefully implemented by their SMART leader.

Zohaib being the restless little boy insisted but I had to refuse. “If you go down there we would not be able to reach you and you might get stuck there forever!” I cried making a scary face. Well half of it was true but he didn't buy it. So I quickly made up some crazy geometry laws to make him believe. And it worked.
One thing that I admire about my team is they have always trusted me no matter what. Even when they didn't understand my messed up ideas of adventures they would still follow me with great loyalty and respect.

Then I turned to face my girls for a response. Nida who was a little suspicious about my plan, she insisted in a challenging way, “Why don’t you go first, you are the tallest after all.”
 That was fair enough so I agreed with enthusiasm; I was like Bring It On! Both my girls helped me climb the wall and jump into the school building.
Foolish mistake here was I should have added the 3 feet height of the wall into the 5 feet below it, making it a total of 8 feet. The jump gave me rashes but it didn’t matter, my team was happy and so was I. Once inside the school territory I watched all my cousins cheering and appreciating me, I waved back. Just when they calmed down I heard a sound behind me. Before I could think straight I heard an abrupt shriek from above, “I can hear footsteps climb back up now!” It was Zaib.
I replied relentlessly, “Ok calm down, I’m coming.”
It was then when I figured there was no way to climb back up.
“Just pull me up guys!” I yelled back, the ease in my tone has disappeared somehow.
 I stepped on a brick still my buddies could hardly reach my hands. Just when they started pulling I tripped over the brick. I quickly stepped back again displaying perseverance and tried to reach for their hands. Perseverance and tolerance is what it takes to become a great leader. 
Sadly this was not getting me anywhere as it became more of a tug-of-war. I realized there was no way I could ever climb up a flat wall. Yes this was the other side of the story. I looked at Zaib with intense anxiety on my face and said almost in a whisper “I can’t, there’s no way back!”
Zaib my childhood buddy did the most unexpected thing; she fell down on the floor laughing. She was laughing so hard rolling on the floor holding her stomach. She was out of sight but I could hear her laughter, crazier than that I started to laugh too. Zohaib joined us.

As it appeared Nida was the only sane person there, maybe because she was new to such circumstances. So she kept pulling me by my hands with deep panic set on her face. She realized the seriousness of it and how much trouble we could get in from here.
Nida was pulling me up and an eleven year old boy who didn’t make much of a difference. This was ridiculous, we needed Zaib’s help. All I could see from down there was Nida shouting down at Zaib, who was lying on the floor laughing. 
Zaib managed to rise up with tears in her eyes and started to help still laughing. The sun was up and we noticed a man walking on the road could clearly see all this fuss.
“Oh great we make the best awkward moment of this year” I muttered in frustration. Hanging in there I saw this man hiding his smile. “Just pretend you live in that School and right now shaking hands with your neighbors” said Nida. At this they both busted in to laughter and Zaib went out of sight again… 

“Oh Come on! Can you not hold it for a while so that we can help her!” I heard Nida shouting at Zaib. It was so messed up how do I get myself into situations like these? I thought to myself.
Few minutes later Zaib appeared again and started to help. We didn't have much time left then. Fortunately they somehow managed to help me climb up which I still wonder how. Was it them or was it my unleashed art of climbing up flat walls? Both ways it was amazing!
Phew! Once on the safe land we all fell down out of exhaustion and then followed laughter. I slapped Zaib on her head for her stupidity.  “I’m in the middle of a nightmare and all you do is laugh?” I demanded laughing.
“Oh the look on your face when you said it” Zaib cried out laud, all three of them laughed harder.

This is my wonderful team who taught me all I needed to learn about teamwork and leadership. The most amazing things in life are learned in the most astonishing ways.