A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Papa's Midnight Watch...


Last night GG asked about my Papa. I said that I would be calling him this morning and I did.
After the usual waffle about the weather, he gave us both one of the best laughs in ages.

Ever since he retired as an ambulance driver, after my dear mother passed away, he began devoting his spare time to the mosque.
My father is the kind of person every human being should be. Worship inside your heart, be honest, love everyone and do not judge. He has never, ever forced me to follow Islam. I have had my own opinion about religions ever since I can remember but this is not the time to expand on the subject. Maybe another time, another post.

At around the tender age of 75, he began being trusted to open up the mosque in the morning for the early prayer. Then, he slowly edged his way up to top of the minaret until he was given the chance to call the faithful to prayer a few mornings a week.
Last year, while on holiday in my hometown, I suddenly woke up to Papa shouting in my ear: "Prayer is better than sleep!" I realised he was half a mile away at the top of the minaret, blaring through a crackling Tannoy. I went back to sleep while he cleared his 85 year-old throat for another verse.

When I called this morning he recounted, in between bouts of laughter that, two weeks ago, he got up as he usually did, got washed and changed before heading for the mosque.
He checked his watch, tuned his vocal cords and began chanting.
A flashing blue light appeared and the local policeman hurried up the minaret to tell Papa that he was two hours too early calling the faithful to their first prayer of the day!
Papa checked his watch, lowered his head and went home back to bed, vowing never to open up again.

We laughed so much that the international operator insisted she would not charge me for the call if I translated the joke.

GG, thank you for reminding me to ring Papa. He made my day!

22 Comments:

Blogger iluvnyc said...

it's always good to be able to chat and joke around with parents, huh? :) especially when they're wiser, more open and more relax compared to when we were small.

27/11/05 1:19 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Iluvnyc, when I was a kid, I really was frightened of Papa because he was very strict.
You are right because as I grew up, I realised what a great guy he is! And I really love him very much!

27/11/05 1:30 AM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

what a cute story of your dear dad But he will still open up right? He was just taking his job very seriously. So sweet! I had a pretty strict upbringing and in retrospect it makes for good people, no?

27/11/05 2:40 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

He looks like a real character. I guess you were glad that he wasn't standing over you when you heard him tell you that prayer is better than sleep. Even as adults, it's so easy to fall back into the habits of childhood obedience (or disobedience!) but without him actually there you could grab a few more winks. Good story.

27/11/05 3:28 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

I agree with Andrea, he does look like a character!Did he return to open up?

27/11/05 3:57 AM  
Blogger Ale said...

that's really hillarious!! reminds me of my two great-grandmothers (sisters) that would call each other everyday at the same exact hour, but than they time change happened--

(but wait, you still have to use an international operator?? isn't thats like 20 yrs ago?)

27/11/05 4:10 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Ale, the operator bit was just to spice up the story, really!

Val, he's not opening up any more. He said he was getting too old for that! But he still goes the mosque many times a day.

Andrea, after that morning, I jokingly asked him to turn down the volume, he gave me one of those looks I remember from my young days, when I just shut up and changed the subject!

Janet, he is great character! But he definitely has decided not to open up anymore. I think he's glad he can grab a few more winks.

27/11/05 9:01 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Cream great story - but always the cook who can't resist adding spice...

What a great father to have. You are lukcy!

27/11/05 10:26 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Thanks, Caro! No, I can resist... And I am lucky, he is great!

27/11/05 11:05 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Hahahaaa that made me laugh as loud as...

I just love Papa, there's something about him that's adorable. Look at him, how young he is!

Please tell Papa salaam for me.

27/11/05 12:06 PM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Papa's early wake up call reminds me of a friend who likes to go for morning walks.

Friend asked his dad to wake him early one morning. His dad woke him early.

He went for his walk. And he wondered why the world was still asleep, the moon was still shining bright.

Anyway, he walked and walked.

When he went home, he discovered the clock in the hall was saying 3 am!!

27/11/05 12:07 PM  
Blogger cream said...

GG, thanks very much! You DID remind me to ring him and I am really glad I did!
He is a great guy with a heart of gold. I honestly have never heard him say anything bad about anyone or anything. I will say Salam from you the next time we speak.

Your friend's story reminded of once going to the vegetable market one hour early,(4am) to find that all the warehouses were closed. But I enjoyed watching everyone arrive and set up!
Thanks for sharing!

27/11/05 12:16 PM  
Blogger VespaRosso said...

i was wondering about the international operator as well. i was going to say that if all IO were that pleasant, perhaps there would be less use of calling cards. sweet story!

27/11/05 4:18 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Vespa, I am glad you picked up on the operator bit. As I explained to Ale, it was to add a bit of humour to the story. Thanks for reading.

27/11/05 6:48 PM  
Blogger Ale said...

i knew it! ;)

i did have experience with calling through them at one point, and they totally do feel intitled to join the conversation hehe

27/11/05 6:59 PM  
Blogger cream said...

I remember when you had to call the operator for inland calls. And if it happened to be someone you knew, a long conversation usually ensued before he/she connected you to the number you requested.

27/11/05 7:03 PM  
Blogger DCveR said...

So will his Xmas present be a new watch?

27/11/05 9:01 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Hiya, DC! So happy to have you back!
Yes, that could be a good Xmas present, although as reported in an earlier post papa a hoarder of old watches...

27/11/05 9:23 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

What a great story to read to start off my day

28/11/05 11:55 AM  
Blogger cream said...

I hope your day gets even better, Julie!

28/11/05 3:13 PM  
Blogger LDahl said...

Respect to your Papa. Quite a fine man one can tell, special.
My father too was a horder of watches, my son's now treasure the ones he left to them.
Beautiful story! God grant him many years:)

30/11/05 1:44 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Thanks, L!
He hoards watches so that, whenever one breaks down, he can repair it with spare parts from others.
Shame the watch he had one didn't work properly!

30/11/05 10:28 PM  

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