Reminiscing my childhood life, grandpa used to cycle 8 miles to his plantation every other day, weekly, carrying his vintage metal canister filled with black coffee on his ancient bicycle. At the plantation, he would cleared up tall grasses, dug soil to make space for new fruit trees and harvested oil palms – all by himself. Often, he would come home with a huge basket of tropical fruits at the back of his bicycle. Jack fruits, durians, rambutans, papayas, you name it..
He was tall, well-built, and fit for an 82 years old man. He was extremely tanned and has almost roasted rough and tough skin for working tirelessly under the sun. Thankfully, there was his brown cowboy hat that protected his head from torrid heat. He had impaired hearing, and so chatting with him wasn’t that easy. All his life was dedicated to working.
I was too young to understand his persistence, but I surely felt his commitment.
Even though life was like a playground, I could vividly recall my first job as a little sales girl – helping my grandpa to sell jack fruits in the morning market at the age of 12. Sometimes, my brothers came along. ‘The old man and his granddaughter‘ was what a few used to address us. Sometimes, to earn a little more, he would take me on his bicycle around the neighbourhood – me being a mini loudspeaker, calling out for sales as he cleared up the unsold balance. To call it a day, he gave out some jack fruits to customers as complimentary. “Sufficient will do. Some side income to spend.” – he said. My grandpa incentivized me 10 bucks for each day that I’d worked.
Once in a lifetime childhood experience, my grandpa taught me generosity, persistence, boldness, and entrepreneurship. Most of all, passion droves his persistence. Whilst he is no longer in this world, I kept these values at heart.
Despite hardship, he was a very happy man. All because he enjoyed what he did. He made me believe that we will earn what we deserve and it is only meaningful when we work hard for it.
Photo by Persnickety Prints