Every fibre of my being was screaming out for some sort of stimulation other than the normal, boring stuff we had to endure during this lockdown. I wanted to be out and about, doing the things I loved, but I realised the importance of social distancing especially as we had “the pensioners” at home. I would never be able to forgive myself if they were to get sick because of my selfish need to go out.
My phone was blowing up at 10 am this morning, and although I was really siek en sat with the lockdown, I was not really in the mood to chat either. But the incessant messaging went on and I eventually decided to check on who needed my attention so desperately.
Almost twenty text messages and all from Papa! What was he up to now?! Maybe this is his version of sending me Morse code using text beeps! I eventually call him. “Sofia, why you called, just wait for my text. Now, listen here, this is between you and me, right?”, he whispers urgently and cryptically.
I am not sure what to make of this cloak and dagger game Papa has decided to play. “Listen, Sofia, meet me in five minutes at the vegetable garden and make sure you are alone.”, Papa begins giving me instructions, whispering urgently into his phone.
Man, please not another escape plan I pray silently. Why does he not call his other grandchildren to help him in his little schemes? Nani has her eye on me ever since his last escapade and Daadi will slaughter me if she knows I was helping him after I had turned her down. This was a catch 22 situation for me.
Papa stands near the potatoes looking rather suspicious. He has his tasbeeh in his hand as if he is making dhikr, but he still looked like he was up to no good!
He keeps looking at the potato plants, whilst whispering loudly to me, “Do not look at me. Make like you looking at the corn.” I am not sure if he has lost his marbles or playing at CIA agent just for kicks!
Glancing around suspiciously, he says, “There is money under the rock take it and go buy a house broom. There will be a guy waiting a few houses down the road, he will be wearing a red jacket, go to him and collect the loose he will give you and bring it to me.”
Suddenly, I start questioning my own sanity. Is this my grandfather going cuckoo on me? Must be the effects of prolonged detention or the nagging inflicted by Daadi daily! I am very confused as my grandfather does not even smoke.
What was I to do? Intrigued by the mystery of it all, I go ahead and follow his instructions praying I do not get caught.
That evening, having done as I was asked, I still had no clue as to what my grandfather had wanted with the assignment he had sent me to complete, but I soon found out.
“It’s no use hiding from me.”, says Daadi as I finish my Esha salah and prepare to leave the room. “I know what you did.”, she says accusingly.
She starts laughing softly and explains what had happened earlier in the day. My grandfather had somehow broken the new broom that she had bought a few days ago. He did not want anyone to find out, so he got me to get him a replacement. Well, I have no clue as to what the cigarette was for, and I was certainly not telling anyone about it.
“So, how come you’re not upset with Papa?”, I asked. Smiling, she explained that in marriage is about turning a blind eye to the little things and smiling at the many blessings.
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him said, “When a wife and a husband look at each other with love, Allah looks at them with mercy.” Bukhari 6:19 & Tirmidhi 14:79