The Balloon Seller - Sabir

 It didn't bring him much money, but it brought him a lot of joy. Sabir was reflecting upon this as he determinedly made his way to the Eid bazaar to find more potential customers. He always made the most sales during Eid.

His hand clutched the strings of balloons, bunched around his fist, ensuring they would stay put. The balloons flailed over his head in the wind, glinting with their different colors in the sun.
He looked up at his balloons as he walked, smiling at the beautiful contrast of the transparent colors against the vibrant blue sky above.

His work brought joy to others, and it kept him happy. Sabir was the one the children would run to in delight when they saw him. His floating balloons sparked interest in the eye of anyone he walked past, the colorful orbs being a welcome change in scenery against the otherwise dull beige colored background of the streets and houses.

Kabul was not a safe place anymore. He had grown up with war as bleak thematic curtain over the other aspects in his life, but things had become different lately. There were more bombs, explosions, blasts, attacks, assassinations, and everyone was worried . He had always felt safe, knowing that no one would come after a simple balloon seller but it was different now. In those days, the attacks and explosions were between the politicians.

But lately, the targets had become the youth. The educated. The journalists who weren't afraid to speak out. Sometimes even young children, on their way to school. Sabir shivered, thinking about the all the children who had gone that way, with so many dreams, so many aspirations left incomplete.

But that was why Sabir loved what he did. One glance at him and his balloons could procure a smile from even the most stern-looking kaka (uncle). He brought color and joy into the lives of his people.

Perhaps this was his calling, his duty, his destiny. He would spread his joy for as long as he could. And as long as him and his balloons roamed the streets of Kabul, there would always be a glimmer of hope, flickering from street to street, reminding the Afghan people of their strength and courage, giving them a smile to hold on to.


Story and illustration by @rasmorawaj ©

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