Listening to the Quranic readings from the radio reminded me of one person.
I remember those days when we used to go to the mosque for tarawih, and he’s the imam. His gentle voice ringing through the air.
He’s always kept it short. He understood that people were tired from a day’s work, and will need to get to work early the next day.
I remember his soft and tender love and the way he showed it to us, his grandchildren.
He’d smile at us from afar, and gently stroke our hair, kiss our cheeks.
With the same gentleness that I would imagine Rasulullah was to his grandchildren, Hassan and Hussin.
He was one of the most soft-spoken man that I have ever known.
He was so happy when I got a place in medical school. Although it’s so far away from him. But he never got to see me go. He left us first.
He was not a rich man. But he would share his blessing with his loved ones.
He bought us bottles of fizzy drinks for Eid. He knew we loved it, even when grandma disapprove.
He would buy things for grandma to cook, and share with all of us.
A few weeks before I left to Ireland, it was rambutan season.
He was eating rambutan when I came to visit. He said, “Come take these rambutans. There’ll be no rambutans there in Ireland.”
I’d remember that my whole life.
I used to walk to his house in the late morning, when I knew he’d be back from his daily work.
We’d take our morning teas together, with whatever that grandma has cooked.
Then he’d take one couch in the living room, and I’d take one couch. We’d take a short nap.
Grandpa worked very hard.
He worked extra hard when it was Ramadhan, knowing that he didn’t need to take breaks for meals.
He worked until he was very sick – that was when he was 81. And he was sick for only three weeks.
He’s a man full of love.
For his children, his grandchildren, and for nature too.
He would never litter.
He would not waste any food. Extras will go to his chicken.
In the middle of the night, when grandma is asleep, he would open the kitchen door. The cats would come to him when they see him.
He’d feed them milk and rice.
He was not a rich man. But he left us with a big durian farm.
He planted all those durian trees with us on his mind. When we have not even existed.
He was as peaceful as an early morning.
Early morning with its soft breeze, and quiet rustles of the leaves, birds chirping and chicken clucking away.
Leaves heavy with morning dew. The air cool and the ambient calm.
The sun begins to rise.
That is how peaceful he was.
He used to drive my brothers to the mosque on Fridays.
Once he said to my brother, “One day when you’ve got your licence, you can drive me to the mosque too.”
Well, he never made it to the day my brother got his licence.
But even though he did not say those words to me, I could really imagine his soft voice, his gentle words, and his tender face.
Because he’s my gentle grandpa.