What is the Most Ideal Life ? My Ancestor Suggests One

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

The tale of my mother’s maternal grandfather, Syed Aulad Hossain, a mellow man who never knew his limits for being generous, is unavoidable when the topic of a cozy family story arises.

They say that wisdom has its way through the rough edges of senior personnel’s lives. Indeed, Mr Aulad was dubbed a local celebrity back in his days, back when the air wasn’t so polluted, and when the countryside of Bangladesh was an arcadia. His morning routine would involve heading out to the village market. Over there, he would observe the core interface of trade itself. He would take his time to have a glimpse of everything within reach of the human field of vision — perhaps even beyond the average capacity. He would ponder over at the fishermen quarters, bargain on behalf of a friend at a travelling merchant’s outpost, prospect around the vegetable grocers’ and even volunteer to run someone’s shop for a temporary amount of time.

Hospitals, mosques, schools, etc. were established atop his plots of land. Parts of his own land were also donated to those who hardly had any estate properties in their possession.

He was an adept conversation starter. No matter how big or small the crowd or how young or old the people, he would get the tongues rolling. As if by magic, he knew the most applicable topic to discuss about in every situation possible. From children to adults to men older than him, a person whose ears experienced his words of magnificence and loyalty would fall entranced to his oral skill. Unlike the vague acts of verbosity, Aulad’s words were deemed pure, honest and concise down to the last syllable.

Nevertheless, the chief reason behind Aulad Hossain’s fame relies on part of his personality. That clearly points to his unabridged habit of kindness. He was not just kind. He was a shade too kind.

No doubt, the usual pack of followers who followed him knew the promise he was prone to make. If he entered a restaurant or a tea stall, Aulad would charitably pay the bill for everyone who was in that building before he left. Not because anyone forced him to, simply for the voluntary pleasure of benevolence. Any other person could never be kind to that extent.

Events grew even more ‘interesting’ when, for example, he bought a big, rare fish. En route to his home, whoever had seen him walking with the food item(s) received a free invitation to dine at his house for the day. And when he caught his own fish, they were gifted to the poor for free.

They say Syed Aulad Hossain owned an elephant. Ofcourse, this was not spared from the clutches of his altruism, either. He would grant free rides for everyone (who was willing to risk climbing up the behemoth creature’s back)!

“This life,” Aulad Hossain would explain, “is temporary. Pay heed to your actions and purge your sins. Spread your love for people, and God will love you even more.”

True to his words, what Aulad Hossain had demonstrated back in his era was a worthwhile example of how the squandering of wealth can result in an invaluable reputation. Even while blowing the money away, he did so with a smile floating on his face as well as on others’ faces. At the end of the day, he may not be the richer man stepping off the red carpet. But he was perceived as a ‘king’. Every day, his fans and friends would shower him with the royalty they believed he deserved. Furthermore, thanks to his impartial and munificent profile, he never had any enemies plotting for his downfall. No one would ever bother rooting for harming such a person.

He doted on his granddaughter, i.e. my mother to such an extent that even to this date, my mother often brags about him. That her grandfather had treated her with such care and affection that it overshadowed the amounts laid by her own parents (i.e. my maternal grandparents)!

Eventually, as the days passed by, so did his monetary accounts. In synchrony, fragments of his wealth, his time, and his life separated and fluttered into the void like an endless swarm of butterflies.

Syed Aulad Hossain passed away with the proudest and most satisfied life a human could ever afford.