My dada: My Hero

My dada: My Hero

Grandchildren of Mohd. Zeyaul Haque (Aniqa Anjum and Manaal Anjum) fondly remember him as their role model.

My grandfather, Mohammad Zeyaul Haque, was a very grounded but proud man. He was always very particular about working out, building muscles both body and mind, reading and offering Namaz.


It was his way of living, food for mind, food for soul and food for body. A couple of years ago, he mentioned he was not concerned about his own children at all as all three of them are well settled and on the right path, heading down the path he guided.

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Manaal Anjum with her dada

He did however think about his grandchildren a lot. He wanted us to thrive, be successful in whatever we chose to do in life, but most importantly he wanted us to be happy with ourselves. He’d often tell me he could never see me or any of his grandchildren (Aniqa Anjum, Manaal Anjum, Maaz Ahmad, Kulsum, Aariz Zeya, Aayat Anjum) upset. That always broke his heart.

Handling two grandchildren (Maaz and Manaal) while excercycling

Some days, he’d drop the politest knock on my door, asking to come in and have a chat.

He’d ask about my day, if I ate anything or not. Dada was always very sensitive about the changes in our moods, I don’t know how he did it but he always knew whenever something was up with me.

Aniqa Anjum with her dada

Chhoti Baba (my uncle) had decided to buy an android touchscreen phone for dada, I taught him how to use that phone. He was very fond of online shopping, especially Amazon. Both dada and I would go through Amazon and add various exercise equipment we liked to our wish list.

Zeyaul Haque, 72, journalist, weightlifter, voracious reader, polymath

He thought his legs needed some more work out, so he was looking to buy equipment that would help him build more leg muscles. There was always scope to improve.

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In 2019, when I started working out, dada came up to me and gave me a hand towel which was meant to be used in the gym. It was his way of saying how happy it made him that I was taking care of my body.

Whenever my elder sister (Aniqa Anjum) would choose to lose some weight and get back in shape, he’d not only guide her every step of the way but also give her his own equipment. It made the two of us really happy, getting to keep his things, it was part of his legacy.

Dada was very fond of Decathlon. He often used to tell me that he will take me to Decathlon one day so that we could buy clothes/gym material from there. We were all specifically instructed to mix protein and milk for one minute only.

He had his separate knife for cutting of fruits which was kept away from all the crockery at a height.

One of my worst fears was losing my grandparents and now that I’ve lost both of them, I realise that I was scared to lose them because nobody could ever give me that kind of love, attention and care that my grandparents gave me. They played a truly irreplaceable part in my life.

Dada never wanted to cause any trouble to any of his children. Even during his last days, he was very patient and never said a word to me about his difficulties even though I could see his discomfort.

He led a life of serenity and died peacefully. He was beyond and above money/power. My grandfather was a legendary gentleman and led an exemplary life. He guided not one but many young people. I wish I could have learned a little more from him. You will always be in my heart because you were my hero. Rest easy, Dada!

(Aniqa Anjum is pursuing MBBS from Kazan State Medical University and Manaal Anjum is preparing for her 12th board exam)