I still remember the day my parents told me I need to visit my grandmother and live with her for a few months while they sorted things out in their company. I was 10 and I didn’t understand why I had to move to Punjab.
But my grandmother, Dida, is a wonderful lady who was always smiling and had a kind word for everyone; so I agreed. Grandmother came to pick me up one day so I packed my stuff and left my beautiful home.
Arriving in Punjab was like arriving in a different planet. The farmland is vast and the whole village was so serene and quiet. Everyone seems to be happy, always laughing,
and they were friendly towards each other. The city I came from was noisy and chaotic. Additionally, my grandmother’s house is very small. She only had one room and had very few things in her house. I found this strange because we lived in a huge house with lots of rooms and fine things. When I asked her if she was poor, she said no but that she’d rather live a simple life because then she has more time to serve others. I looked at her, puzzled. She said, tomorrow, you’ll see.
The next morning, after breakfast my grandmother and I walked to school. She works in a free school called Harnand Foundation. The school helps the community by teaching children of less fortunate families so that someday they will be able to find good jobs and become good citizens. “I feel very blessed to be a part of an organization that helps change people’s lives. Nothing in this world is more important than serving others, Hardev.” She said sincerely. “That’s where you will be studying, too,” she added.
I wasn’t so sure about the in Harnand Foundation. I liked my old school. I liked my old classmates. I liked my old life. I attended classes anyway, because I love my grandmother and I didn’t want to disappoint her. During lunch, I ate alone. I didn’t talk to anyone. I kept to myself and read a book from the library.
“You can read!,” a voice said.
“Yes. You?” I asked lowering the book.
He looked down sadly and said, “No. But I really want to be able to.” Without thinking, I said, “I can teach you if you want.” He looked at me, grinning. “You would? Oh, I’m so happy!”
We spent the next hour reading from my book and after lunch break was over, Akal said, “Thank you. You are my best friend. Let’s read again tomorrow.” I’ve never had a best friend. No one has ever looked at me with such a grateful expression.
I felt something I have never felt before. It felt like I was sent here for a reason I felt like I was sent here to belong. Maybe my grandmother was right. Nothing in this world is more important than serving others.