Hamid had grown up as a pampered boy. His father was frequently away on business trips and his mother had spoiled him to make up for his father's absence. He did not have to lift a finger in the house. His mother and the maid did everything for him. He always got what he wanted and sometimes he was rude to people.
One day his father noticed how pampered Hamid had become. Even though he was already 16 years old, he was still a spoilt child. During that same period, Hamid's grandfather who lived in the countryside was there for a visit. He noticed the same thing too. The two men agreed that Hamid should be more independent, and they felt that spending his month-long school holiday in the countryside might help him. When they told him about this plan, Hamid refused to go. But his father put his foot down and told him that he had no choice in the matter.
When he arrived at the village, his grandparents who lived by themselves told Hamid that he would have to help them with all the chores. They would be too busy to attend to him. So Hamid had to be taught how to wash dishes and other simple household chores. His grandmother told him not to scorn these skills. She said that if he were to go abroad for studies, he would be able to take care of himself.
Hamid still looked down at the villagers as 'country bumpkins. But he gradually realized that they worked very hard. They spent long hours tending to the padi fields. At first, Hamid complained about all the bending and the physical work. He also could not bear to be in the hot sun. But his grandfather told him not to be a 'softie'. and advised him to take it as a challenge.
The villagers also helped each other to build and mend their houses. One day, they gathered to help an old couple build an extension to their small house. Someone had shoved a hammer and nails to Hamid and told him to pitch in. Hamid did not know where to begin or exactly what to do. Some of the young boys noticed his confusion and laughed...