Once, a long time ago, when my dad was away on a trip abroad, my driver had to drop me to school.
My grandfather wanted to make sure that there were no problems whatsoever in the completion of this little task. So he decided he would wake up early in the morning, accompany me and then head on to the office rather than going back home.
I don’t remember whether this happened for the entire duration of dad’s trip, how long he was away, or any other detail.
All I remember is that one day, when we had left home, I could not find my lunch box in my bag. The obvious conclusion was that I had left it at home. But there wasn’t enough time to go back to get it and make it before the bell rang and the gates closed.
I remember him saying he’ll do something about it; send me my lunch box to me somehow.
I remember this was important because I was only in the first grade. The school being more of a nursery branch till grade three, there was no concept of a “canteen” or “tuck shop”. I don’t remember being worried though – he said he’d do something. He was a man of action and a man of his word.
I remember when lunch time came, everyone around me took out their carefully packed boxes and began munching away. I remember telling my group mates I didn’t have anything because I had forgotten. First-graders are nice, I remember. They duly offered to share their portions with me (ZZ, thanks so much!).
But, I remember, before we proceeded further, my teacher handed me a big shopper-bag.
My grandfather, the man of action, the man of his word, had delivered. Delivered a sandwich to me in school right at lunch time. Had someone buy a hot, fat, four-tiered delicious club sandwich and get it to me, right on time.
I remember it tasted excellent, even though it was too big for me to finish.
And I remember digging through my bag later for some book, only to see my lunch box lying there innocently.
But I remember and I will always remember…
Grandfather, I miss you. May Allah grant you peace and Heaven.