Friday, May 18, 2007

Poverty In The Land Of Plenty

I'd like to think I'm a person of habit. I often do things a certain way. Like for example I always try not to cut my nails in public (don't ask me why), I laugh first before telling a joke and I usually try to park at the same place everytime I go to my favourite mall. But today, I did something out of the ordinary. I didn't park at my usual place when I was at the mall at Sek 9 Shah Alam. And because of that, I was left with a very unusual experience.

It began when I was walking to the carpark after my grocery shopping. I was stopped by a scrawny young boy who asked me for 3 ringgit. Did he just ask me for money? He 's a beggar I told myself. At this point I could have done several things. One, I could have just walked away. Two, give him 1 ringgit or maybe 3 ringgit and then walk away. Or three, ask him what he needed the 3 ringgit for. I did just that and his response gave me a shock.

Apparently he had walked all the way from Sek 8 and was hungry. He hadn't eaten anything for lunch and it was already 4p.m . I was gobsmacked. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Here I was in swanky Sek 9, the Concorde Hotel just next door, and standing infront of me was an urchin that could have been Oliver Twist himself.

So I took him to a bakery nearby and asked him what he wanted to eat. I didn't give him the 3 ringgit, lest he blows it on some PS2 games at the mall. He pointed at a sausage bun and sotongball on sticks. From our conversation I discovered that he has 2 other siblings ( an older brother and a 4 year old adik), both parents are working, but has no idea what they actually do for a living and he is in std 4 but can't recall his teacher's name. Upon learning about his siblings I then filled the tray with an assortment of buns and reminded him to share with them when he reached home. After giving him 1 ringgit for pocket money, we then went our separate ways. Me to the carpark and he to the basement where the PS2 stall was.

My husband said I should have taken a picture of him. I don't think it would have been necessary. To this very moment I can still remember what he looked like. A wide-eyed boy in an old orange t-shirt perforated with holes, and trousers that's too small for a boy his age. I remember turning back to have a last look at him as he walked away wearing slippers that were 2 sizes too big.


5 comments:

noora said...

salam bluewonder lady,

sucha kind person u r .. i was almost in tears reading tht.
well done. how many of us wud do the same i wonder.. if it had been the real oliver twist, we wudve called tv3 n stopped the press :-)

but your true act of charity wudnt go unnoticed dear. Allah sees all n knows all n rewards accordingly. if he really spent it on ps2 .. so be it.. thts his portion n yours is already there in heaven.

this reminded me of wht frost had once said abt the road not taken .. or rather in your case, the spot left vacant..ahakss.. happy teacher's day BLUE!

u-know-me.

D said...

phewitttt.. kudos babe!

4xmom said...

my dear bluewonder..

this is so you..would have been very suprised if you had ignored him..
great blog...
keep on churning stories..
take care..

aunty..

Mak Teh/ kak teh/ fazah / your highness said...

(sigh)....All too true. Every effort, regardless how small it may seem will make a difference, believe me. What you had done insya'Allah may have a cascade of good events.

Dang S. said...

Hi,

I do not know which part of the world you are but you are an angel. I came upon your blog because I was googling for an image and the one I was looking at pointed me to your blog. The world needs more people like you. God bless you!

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