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The Two Brothers Written By: Arnav Gulati Many years ago, in the city of Mazar-E-Sharif, near the

ruins of the palace of the Caucasian Queen known as Alexandria, lived a merchant named Bakhu. His family lived happily, and he had been a successful merchant all his life. He was a supportive, confident, yet happy young man. Many years before he became a merchant, Bakhu was an intelligent, and studious child in his school. With his great intelligence, came the support of other people. His best friend, Angat, was one, who was always at his side. The two took many adventures, went to many places, and were almost like brothers. He began to understand that with work, came fun, and since then, he worked hard, and had fun. Bakhu praised Allah for all he had given him in life, and was always thankful for the many gifts he had been given in his life. In the hot summers of Afghanistan, one early morning, Bakhu went out for work. He set off towards his store, when unexpectedly, he saw a man, interestingly weird, although somewhat familiar to the eyes of Bakhu. He was very popular in the city, and seeing somebody unknown was very rare for him. He tried his best to remember the man, though the picture just wasn't coming to his mind. As Bakhu walked on towards his shop, he saw the man walk towards him. He could smell the beautiful aroma of the fresh grass and the foods that were being sold. The sun was slowly rising, as the man walked towards Bakhu. "Bakhu, is that...you!?" Exclaimed the peculiar man, with a smile, very clear in the mind of Bakhu.

"Angat! Many years have passed, yet you still remember me! Where have you been!" Bakhu did not understand how his old friend from his school still remembered him, yet excitement blasted out of Bakhu. Bakhu exclaims, "Why are we chatting on the road? Come to my house, I'll get you some Qabli Pulao as well." As they walked towards Bakhu's house, Angat dropped a small card, and Bakhu picked it up and slipped it into his pocket. Unaware of this, Angat walked on, not caring about anything, but a new beginning in their friendship. Excitement filled their hearts, and they were both inquisitive about each other, they just kept chatting on with each other. As Angat began to leave Bakhu's house, Angat realized that he forgot his bag that he brought with him, and his heartbeat began to pound, because he was fully aware that he had some confidential information left inside it. Angat reached Bakhu's house to find his bag, and thankfully, he took a deep breath, relieved. Angat was about to doubt Bakhu of stealing or accidentally taking his bag, but in reality, it was sitting there, the same as before. Relieved, he took his bag and walked home, feeling a little guilty for doubting such a great friend for committing such a ruthless crime. His heart suddenly sunk, and he turned around, looking to apologize to Bakhu for even thinking such a negative thought. Angat had the feeling of sorrow, and he knew that he had done something wrong. Bakhu was observing the little card that he found on the street, and found something very peculiar. He found an interesting piece of writing, in a language, unknown, and in an absolutely

unreadable handwriting, suddenly, he noticed that it was a sacred writing in Pashto, and underneath, was written: "Mebarek." Something was fishy, he knew that there would be no reason to congratulate someone for reading scriptures, though he didn't do anything, he just kept it in his pocket. "Bakhu, I deeply apologize for thinking so cynically about you, I am sorry for betraying you in such a bad manner. I am just wondering, but do you have any sort of idea as to where an important card of mine has dropped, if you do, just tell me." Angat finally felt a sigh of relief, knowing that his friend would support him, yet the emotion on Bakhu's face seemed to be nervous, yet slightly happy. "Don't worry, Angat. I accept your apology, and I have not seen any um..card." Bakhu suddenly felt the urge to tell Angat the truth, though his subconscious controlled him, and told him to keep it, and maybe earn big money from the card and scriptures. Angat was still worried about the card, but he left Bakhu, and went back to his home nearby. Bakhu was very excited to know what the value of the card and scriptures was, but the two voices in his head began to joust, and his head began to go in circles. Bakhu! You should not commit such a thing! He has been your great friend for years, yet you do such a thing to betray him, never! What are you saying stupid angel, Bakhu, obviously you should sell it, if you do, you will become the wealthiest person in Afghanistan, and then you can feed your family, do no work, yet still live a happy life. Because of this, Bakhu was lured into thinking about the joys of being rich. Bakhu walked up to his good friend, Awrang, a fellow salesman, and obviously, did what he needed to. The value of the card was huge, and without thinking too much, he sold the card, his heart stopped, and Angat walked up to him.

"Hi Bakhu, what are you doing here with Awrang the salesman?" "Oh, nothing. We were just chatting. RIGHT AWRANG?" "Oh well, I was just asking you to keep an eye out for that card, if you see it anywhere, just come over to my house." Bakhu took a deep breath, his heartbeat came back to normal, and finally he got the money, and left back home, excited to show his family the fortune that he earned. Angat was worried about the card, he knew it was an antique, and having it would mean he could submit it to the museum of antiques, as well as make some money. Angat could have made history, but as he sat at home thinking about the card, he remembered Bakhu's nervous attitude towards him, Angat went to Awrang to see what was going on, he knew something was fishy, and the secret of Bakhu was coming to an end. "Awrang, It's me, Angat, can you please tell me what you and Bakhu were talking about, did he sell anything, if so, what was it?" "I'm sorry, but the truth is that he sold a card wi-" "WHAT! BAKHU SOLD THE CARD THAT HAD THE SCRIPTURES, WHY WOULD HE?!" As Angat heard this, he left towards Bakhu's house. His face began to turn red, he knew that a friend like Bakhu would have never done that, but he knew Awrang was trustworthy. Angat smashed open the door, his eyes searched for Bakhu, and as Bakhu came out to welcome Angat to the house, Angat became furious.

"BAKHU! HOW COULD YOU DO SUCH A THING TO YOUR GREATEST FRIEND, WHY WOULD YOU!?" "What did I do Angat?" "Don't act like you don't know! You sold the card with the scriptures!" Angat hit Bakhu, hard, and Bakhu knew that he had done the absolutely wrong thing, he had lost the trust of his greatest friend, yet he had also cheated against his friend. Bakhu knew that he didn't deserve to live, he knew that he was guilty, and without further ado, he jumped of the building, and his life came to a sorrowful, but deserving end. Angat was weeping, tears dropped simultaneously off his cheeks, and he knew that he too, had lost his greatest friend. Anger, hatred, and sorrow filled his heart, but he knew that whatever happened, happened because Allah wanted it to happen. Soon, Angat would marry Bakhu's wife, and they would live happily, but Angat learned, that breaking the trust of a friend, is like breaking a bamboo stick, easy to break, yet impossible to truly repair. And the rest of the years for Angat were filled with happiness, yet sorrow towards his greatest friend, and brother, Bakhu.