AS I reached the main gate of my residential colony after an evening stroll the other day, I was approached by Naseer Ahmed, a septuagenarian security guard. He looked cheerful. ‘Could you please click pictures for me with your mobile phone?’ he asked.
‘Whose pictures do you want me to click and why?’ I enquired discreetly. Instead of replying, he walked up to the other end of the premises and returned quickly, holding a kids’ bicycle. ‘Click pictures of this cycle, sahib,’ he said.
A blanket of darkness had enveloped the colony. Naseer swiftly switched on the floodlights so that the pictures would come out bright and sharp. My job done, he asked me to send the photos on his son’s phone number so that his granddaughter could view them. I wasted no time in sharing the pictures of the second-hand bicycle, clicked from different angles.
Later, an ecstatic Naseer told me that when his granddaughter saw the pictures, she and other family members, based in a sleepy village in Uttar Pradesh, had erupted in cheers. He revealed that the girl was delighted to catch a glimpse of her birthday gift from her doting daadu (grandpa).
Naseer was quick to add that a colony resident had gifted him his daughter’s bicycle that lay abandoned for months. ‘My granddaughter, Ramzan, all of three, was so happy that she didn’t sleep a wink the whole night,’ he said.
He was in tears when he told me: ‘I had promised to gift her a new bicycle on her third birthday, which coincides with the festival of lights, but a financial crunch had constrained me. But Allah heeds our silent prayers, provided they come from deep within our hearts.’
Naseer’s granddaughter now wants to know when the bicycle would reach her. ‘You will get it by Diwali,’ he has promised her. Her classmates are also excited as she has told them about the birthday gift of her choice.
The incident reminded me of a richie-rich family. The son lost his pricey mobile phone and all-out efforts to trace it went up in smoke. His father bought him a new phone worth more than Rs 1 lakh. It caused no excitement among members of the family. There was no visible spark of joy on their grim faces over the new smartphone.
There are people who enjoy happiness, no matter how minuscule it might be. They nurture no grouse against God or grumble about what destiny has in store for them. They offer gratitude to Him as and when joy comes knocking at their door.
Naseer and his granddaughter show us how we tend to miss the little moments of joy coming our way in small measures during our lifelong pursuit of big-time happiness.
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