10. The Meaning of Sharing
Why was Paradise alone not enough for you?
Why did you ask God for someone to share Paradise with?
Perhaps all just to lead to this moment?
Because, grandson, If I was contented,
Would you now be able to call me grandfather?
From relative poverty in rural Kuala Pilah, from a small village in Juasih, a young boy overcame his difficulties, with a single-minded focus and an edgy ambition to excel in all that he did. His beloved sister and kind Indian teachers cajoled and helped him with moral and financial support. A paternal government saw the promise in him and plucked him out of obscurity for scholarship in Medicine. A young pretty thing named Arbayah, noticed him walking around and clutching books under his arm. And above all, this young fellow carried around an English dictionary, keen never to let the mere exercise of words to stop his ascent. And ascent he did. The young boy is my father, Abdul Khalid, and Arbayah is my mother.
|Tepi kasi nipis sikit saja... (Just a little trim on the sides...)|
Yesterday my father turned 78, 2 years short of becoming an octogenarian. He is exactly now 70 years older than my son, Mikhail. Now that puts things in perspective, for he has seen, done and experienced a lot in his life.
|A cake? For ME?|
He celebrated his birthday in a low-key way. We went for lunch at a local Malay beriani restaurant in the nearby suburbs of Shah Alam. And after that we waited while he went for his haircut at his favourite barber. In the evening my eldest brother, Zahurein popped by with Desi, Aqheel and Bebita with a cake. Later they went out for dinner together. Earlier, Mikhail who was with his mum Gina, called to wish his granddad happy birthday. My father literally jumped (for a 78-year old) out of his sofa to get the call. He has a soft spot for his youngest grandson...
The above poem is in fact about Adam, Eve and their descendants. But like almost all stories about Prophets, it is a reflection of our own lives. Had our mother and father not decide to share each other's lives together, we would probably not even be here. We all originate from that sweet moment when two souls decide on each own accord to say to one another, "Come, share my life with me..."
I reckon that the little boy from Juasih never anticipated where his life would bring him. Thankfully, life has brought him here, 78 years old and living a quiet pensioner's life, in the bosom of a family that may never truly understand him, but loves him nonetheless, as a father and a grandfather.
Happy birthday, Bapak.
wa min Allah at-taufiq
Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way