An Incredible Exit

Esther David recounts how a young boy from a different faith came to live in their home and became an integral part of their family.

He came to live in our family home when he was six years old. His father, our plumber, left him with my grandmother, as he could not feed a large family. He suggested that the child could do odd jobs in our house and all my grandmother had to do, was feed him and give him a place to sleep.We could see the anguish in his eyes. Besides the household chores, soon the child learnt to wash bird cages and groom the dogs. I was closer to his age, so we grew up together. This was in the mid- 50s and it never bothered anybody that he was a Muslim living with a Jewish family. Once a year, he was sent home for Eid. In his growing up years, he learnt to cook from the women of the house by assisting them and became our cook, which gave him a respectable position in the house. Eventually, my father got him a job at the zoo; later he was married and returned back to his family.

Then, he rented a room and lived a comfortable life with his own family, but as a rule, on Sunday afternoon and every evening after work, he came to our house, helped in the kitchen and set the table before returning back to his own home. Even after he retired and was employed as a peon in a school, he continued this pattern and was always there for us, often helping me with the children. It was an unspoken understanding that on Eid, lunch came from his house. This continued, till recently, when he suddenly decided to go on Haj to Mecca and wanted to be known as Haji Faiz Mohmed. Before leaving for Mecca, he came to meet me and sat reminiscing about our happy childhood in the family house. Then, last week, I received a late night call from his grieving son that his father had suffered a heart attack in Mecca, had left for his heavenly abode and was buried there. I mourn his death, but I do feel, his story has an incredible ending.


Courtesy : Speaking Tree


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