Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Love Story

There was a man just now. Clothes dirty with dirt and grime, hair mangy and unkempt. An Indian man, probably one of the countless homeless people wandering the streets of KL. I looked at him the same way I looked at pillars, or boxes, or pavements - with no emotions.

Then in an instance he changed how I saw him. He took out an RM1o note from his pocket, and looked at it long and hard. He rubbed his stomache, hungry no doubt. He looked at the food on display, and looked again at his money. All the while his hand was rubbing the grumbling tummy. He seemed torn. He probably wasn't sure whether should he spend the money on food now, or wait until he's desperate for it. The look on his face alone struck me like a hammerblow, displaying his unsureness and desperation all at once. In my mind, I'm almost sure he would just leave without eating a single morsel, saving the money for later. And perhaps that was what he was thinking too.

Just then the lady who owned the stall gave him a polysterene pack filled to the brim with rice, vegetables and fish. He quickly offered his note to the lady, and she just waved it away. She even gave him a can of Zappel for free, attending to him like he's just another paying customer like me. She treated him with dignity. This twist again struck me a blow, the kindness shown by this Malay lady really moved me. It was unasked, unforced. I thought this scene could get no better.

But it did. The man ate maybe half of his share at one of the empty tables. Then, probably sated his hunger pangs, he stood up and offered the rest of his food to the rest of us. Imagine that, him offering his food to us, the moneyed patrons who might not even blink an eye to pay Rm10 (or RM100 for some) for our food. The man who had least was the most thoughtful of us all, oh the irony of it.

I am terribly humbled. This is humanity at its' core. The hungry man who has nothing was offered salvation by the lady, a stranger who saved him the tough decision, money and dignity of not having to beg. Yet, he has the thought to offer his meagre share to everyone else, while we did not even think of offering ours to him. Both of them showed me what is it that's missing in our world. It is pure, unspoken and unheralded basic love for our fellow human beings. Happy Valentine's day, folks.

19 comments:

I said...

Pay it forward...

The Yoga Instructor said...

Haven't cried for quite some time, such a relief when I did as I read this. Thanks for the beautiful story and for sharing it beautifully.

Happy belated Valentine's.

The Banker said...

I: insyaAllah

the yoga instructor: i tried my best to convey the scene, even this is nowhere near the actual event. i still think about it even now. we all need a wake up call sometimes, huh?

AM said...

wow.

Baby Mits said...

oh kesiannya.

Thank you for sharing. Sometimes we take things for granted. We forget that we have everything we need, and forget our values.

I was particularly touched by the part you said that he offered the rest of his meal to ppl. We are often so selfish with what we have. The poor man had nothing.... but a very big generous heart.

The Yoga Instructor said...

Hi again,

Can't help to notice your live traffic feed and showering redirected visits from my blog! Kena belanja I tengok Incubus dengan Sunburst next month ni, he hee..

And keep on writing, Mr Banker. You touch hearts and inspire lives more than you know.

your girlfriend said...

the yoga instructor is right.

well, Mr Banker, I told you so. And many times of the same thing.

The Banker said...

am & baby mits: thanks guys

the yoga instructor: haha, at first i thought there's something wrong with my counter. suddenly i'm having way more visitors than i'm used to, haha. anyway, thanks for the plug. incubus? alamak, i only count other ppl's money unfortunately *lol*

kidd said...

bayangkan tulisanmu bertukar bentuk menjadi rakaman mini dv 3 minit...a potential petronas ad,bro...

imaginasi kidd. tuan2 dan puan2 sekalian.kembali membaca.

The Banker said...

my gf: =)

kidd: oi, x reti nak update blog sendiri dah ke beb?

aznie said...

hey actually it WOULD make a great petronas ad!

drama mama said...

Came here via The Yoga Instructor Diaries too...

What a moving and well-told story. Thank you for sharing. Certainly restores one's already fragile faith in human nature.

Perky said...

This was a beautifully written post (I was thisclose to tears).

It's rare that we hear about the good things that happen here and I hope that whoever reads this post will be inspired to treat the less fortunate with much more dignity & respect (I know I will! =) )

Glad to have clicked on your link :),
Perky.

The Banker said...

az: u were there yourself actually, just that you didn't realize what was unfolding behind you.

drama mama: it restored mine as well. sometimes we get sceptical whether there's such warmth left in our often cold world. they both showed us wrong.

perky: i'm glad that whatever i wrote managed to have an effect on you.

thanks for the kind words too folks

purplechoc said...

sangat touching.

a stranger love huh.

The Banker said...

purplechoc: yeah, you can say that.

NKxvii said...

amazing story!
would u mind if i tried my hand at re-writing it on my blog?

The Banker said...

nkxvii: sure, why not? =)

cik daun said...

arghhh!! nak nangissss.. nak nangisss.. insaf gue..