The Panda and the Smartphone
Sayyid Adeel Shah
“السَّلامُ عَلیکم” said the teacher as he entered the classroom.
“وعلیکم السلام” replied the students, loudly.
“How are you, children?”
“We are fine, Sir. How are you?” the children enthusiastically replied.
“By the grace of Allah, I am fine too. Now we will start our lesson. Today’s lesson is called ‘The Panda and the Smartphone.’”
There was a young panda whose father had a smartphone. One day, his father went out and left his phone at home. The panda took the smartphone and eventually discovered games on it.
“Wow! Games!” he exclaimed, “Dad has games on his smartphone! I’m so excited to play!” So, the panda started playing games on the smartphone. When his father returned, he was surprised to see his son playing on the smartphone.
“How did you know I had games on my phone?” his dad asked.
“I was using your phone, and then I saw a game and started playing. It’s so cool!”
“Son! Firstly, when you want to use someone else’s things, you must ask them. You took my smartphone without asking me. Secondly, when children play games on a smartphone, it affects their vision and imagination. You are not allowed to play games on the smartphone from now on.”
“But Dad! I was having a lot of fun playing that game!” the panda replied stubbornly.
“Exit the game and bring me the phone!” scolded his father.
“Here, take it!” said the panda, as he walked away upset.
The panda sat on the sofa, thinking about how he could play games on the phone. Suddenly, an idea came to his mind.
“I know! Mum has a smartphone too. I’ll just play on her phone” he said to himself.
Seeing his mother reading in the study, the panda rushed to the living room, took her phone, and raced to his bedroom. Jumping onto the bed, he settled down and started playing games. But this time, he had planned that he would put the phone back before his mum returned. That way, he could play games without his mother knowing.
So, the panda would play games in the morning, after his dad went to work and his mum got on with her schedule. This continued for some days. But the panda wanted to play more games. So, he decided to take his mum’s phone even when his parents were sleeping at night. However, after a few days, his eyes began to hurt. Despite this, he really wanted to play games and never told his parents about the pain in his eyes.
One day, the panda woke up and screamed.
“Mum! Mum! Come here quickly!”
“What happened, son?” she asked concerningly.
“I can’t see properly.” Answered the panda.
Worried, took him to the optician. “It appears that your son spends too much time on a smartphone,” the optician confirmed. “This is why his vision has been affected.”
“Son! Do you use someone’s smartphone?” his mother asked.
“Yes, Mum. I use yours. I play games on it secretly when both of you are asleep.” The panda answered truthfully.
“I already told you, using a smartphone is bad for your eyes and mind. If you had followed instructions, this would not have happened,” said his dad.
“Forgive me dad. I made a mistake. I won’t use the smartphone anymore.”
“If you continue using the smartphone, your eyesight can get even worse,” said the doctor.
“I won’t use the smartphone anymore,” promised the panda.
In the end, the panda had to wear glasses to help his eyesight.
At the end of the lesson, the teacher looked at the children. “We have learned an important lesson today,” he announced. “Using a smartphone or other device too much can damage our eyes and mind.”
The children promised, “We will not use smartphones and we will protect our eyes and mind.”