Every day when passing through the metal detector at the entrance of my work place, i used to hand over my lappie bag and hand bag ( for further security checking) to a gentle, old man who was working in the premises as a security guard. His chirpy and shafqat bhari ( paternal love imbibed with kindness and compassion), “Assalam o Alaikum betay” (Peace and blessings of Allah be on you, child) was truly the highlight of my morning. He had such a pure and genuine smile that i always responded back with an equally spontaneous,”Wa’alaikumu salaam. Aap Kaisay heine” ( peace and blessings of Allah be on you too. How are you doing today? ).
Then one day , there was a new guard at the entrance. I immediately wondered where the previous grandparenty guard went, but i am ashamed to admit that i did not ask around.
Today though, i saw him. Just after entering i saw him pass by and i called out to him. “AssalamoAlaikum. Aap keisay heine? Ab aap kahan chalay gayey heine? ” ( Peace and blessings of Allah be on you. How are you? Where have you gone? “
He gave me the familiar shafqat bhari smile and told me that he had resigned and that he is moving to Islamabad with his family. I told him that i was glad for him and that Islamabad is a much safer city. He got into the elevator with me and wished me well and told me that he spent a good time in the building with us. He asked me for prayers and then added, “Bachi-on ki duaein qabool hoti heine” ( prayers of daughters are always heard).
I requested him to remember me in his prayers too. With that, the elevator reached the desired floor.
“Allah Hafiz”, ( may God be with you) we said to each other.
As i made my way to my workstation, i realised that my eyes were laced with bitter sweet tears.
Why, you ask?
Because, kindness and compassion are values so dear to me. Because, he asked me to pray for him- as a daughter. Because he gave me the grand parenty smile.
Because- we all need a bit of humanity in this world.
I hope where ever he goes, he finds peace, contentment and success. I hope that his family stays safe and that he faces no hardship, financial or otherwise. That he plays with his grand children and that Allah blesses him with all the true goodness life has to offer. Ameen. Summa Ameen.
Please pray too.