Jawaria could not develop friendly terms with Mondays all through her life, no matter how hard she tried. The more she disliked Mondays, the more dreadful they appeared. She would start feeling restless come Sunday evening. Sometimes, her symptoms worsened so much that she would not be able to enjoy her weekends at all. She would get goosebumps at the very thought of the upcoming Monday.
Jawaria tried different techniques she found on the Internet to self-treat her phobia. After every try, her fear would go away for a temporary period, only to bounce back with a greater force, like a ghost staring right into her eyes with its fiery eyeballs, terrible face and sharp teeth. It had stayed with her all along her school, college and university years, and now with her job routine, too. She was working as a sports teacher in a prestigious school.
She would openly say, “I hate Mondays. I’d kill them mercilessly if I ever come across them.” On one such thinking-aloud occasions, her grandma who was staying with them those days, overheard what she had just said. She advised her not to mention Mondays with distaste, and told her that our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) used to love Mondays, so much so that he would fast every Monday.
“How? Why? I can’t believe anyone can love Mondays.” she wailed.
“When our Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked why he loved Mondays, he said that he was born on a Monday, and he wanted to show gratitude to his Lord by fasting on his ‘birthday’ every week.” Grandma explained.
“Oh God! Really! No one ever told me about it, and I realise that voluntary fasts are also a way of showing gratitude! Okay, Grandma, I will not use the word “hate” to describe my feelings for Mondays from now on, but still, I can’t start liking them. It is the main culprit that starts a whole new hectic work week.
Grandma laughed out loud. “Is it the reason you hate Mondays, Jawaria? It reminds me of a joke. Once a girl shared her disappointment with a friend, “Whenever I make chapatis, the first one never comes out fine. Either it deforms, or sticks to the griddle, or simply burns out.”
“The solution is simple,” replied her friend. “You just start with the second chapati, and skip the first one altogether.”
Jawaria could not control her laughter.
“By the way, do you know what this fear of Monday is called?” Grandma wanted to check her knowledge.
Jawaria moved her head sideways.
“It’s called Lunaediesophobia.” Grandma responded.
“Wow, my smart Grandma, how updated your knowledge is! I never knew my phobia has got a particular name, too.”
“It’s just one of the many perks of leisure reading. That’s why I always told you to do extracurricular reading. Well, Jawaria, work is, in fact, a great blessing. It gives your life a purpose. Mondays kick-start your opportunity to return to the society all the good that went into your making. It’s a kind of payback. Every one of us owes a lot to our people, our society, our country and the world at large. Plus, work makes you financially independent which, in turn, gives you a lot of confidence. It’s a two-in-one offer, a win-win situation.
Grandma flew back to UAE after a brief stay at their place, but what she said that day acted as food-for-thought for Jawaria.
Days went by, and Jawaria’s dislike for Mondays decreased until she developed a neutral attitude towards them.
And it was only after the outbreak of Covid-19, and the implementation of lockdown when all days appeared the same. Jawaria was bored to bits! She had got only two things to do: sleep or eat. Had she been an avid reader like her grandma, she could have killed this killing boredom easily.
The monotonous routine, with no particular physical activity, made her mental condition pretty miserable. She started praying after every salah for the virus to go away, and the educational institutions to re-open, so that she could go back to her job as soon as possible.
Thank God, after months of a standstill, the government is considering to re-open the educational institutions and with SOPs in place. Jawaria is anxiously looking forward to a Monday that would bring the lost charm of her life back again...