Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mencari sesuap nasi

On Monday afternoon, I had to bring Waz1f’s bicycle for repair at Centerpoint, Bandar Utama. The bike had been in my car since Sunday. Luckily the car’s heavily tinted, none of my officemates noticed I brought a bike to work.

The sun was scorching hot when I set out that afternoon. When I reached Centerpoint, there was no available parking space near the bike shop, so I had to drive down to the basement and found an available spot that, to my opinion was rather ‘challenging’. For those who know me pretty well, I’m famous for my 16 points turn. Yeah, I like fast cars, but I suck big time at parking.

Then I saw an Indian man with a wet cloth in his hands approaching my car. He helped me park in the difficult space with hand gestures and of course, his confusing head-shakes. When I got out of the car, I saw that he also had a pail of water and other car wash equipment on his bicycle that was parked near my car.

Then I had to get Waz1f’s bike out of my tiny Jazz. I struggled with the handles that were suddenly stuck with the head rest. The Indian Man offered to help and managed to get the bike out of the car safely, no scratch on my Jazz (that’s very important!). Having a closer look at him, I noticed his under nourished look and the very old pair of slippers he had on.

He offered me to ‘walk’ the bike to the shop that was one floor above. First, I declined and tried to ‘walk’ the bike on the ramp, but when you’re in your 3” heels and have a tight skirt on, it’s quite impossible. So, the Indian Man helped to carry the bike.

At the bike shop I thanked him profusely and that’s when he asked,

‘Mau basuh kereta?’ from the accent I knew he’s not a local Indian. I knew my car was rather dirty, but I was skeptical to let him touch it.

‘Kakak mau basuh tak?’ he asked again. Thinking of his assistance, I felt indebted, so I said ‘yes’.

‘Kalau mau, bayar sekarang.’ He held out his bony right hand.

‘Berapa?’ I asked while taking out my purse.

‘Berapa-berapa kakak biasa,’ he shook his head.

I took out a RM10 note and gave it to him.

‘Dekat rumah saya selalu lapan ringgit,’ I waited for the RM2 change, but he continued shaking his head.

‘Dua belas la kakak,’ he showed the RM10 note plus his two fingers.

‘Cinabeng, tadi cakap berapa-berapa. Ni nak demand pulak,’ I swore silently. Isy, bulan-bulan puasa pun nak kena menyumpah jugak.

‘Okaylah, nah lagi dua ringgit,’ I decided not to bargain. He helped me with parking and the bike; maybe those were chargeable, too.

‘Terima kasih.’ He smiled widely, showing a line of his yellowish teeth. Then he quickly left, I thought he was going to wash my car straight away. To my surprise he ran towards a ‘nasi campur’ stall nearest to the bike shop. I watched him buying his lunch and he paid using the money I just gave.

That was when it struck me that he could be one of the people who ‘kais pagi makan pagi’. That could be his first meal for the day, or worse, could be the first after a few days of starvation. I’ll never know.

Some 30 minutes later, when the Ah Pek was done with Waz1f’s bike, I brought it down the ramp (with great difficulty, I tell you….) I half expected to see the Indian Man washing my car. He could have fled, who knows. He was polishing the rims when I unlocked the car and opened one of the passengers’ doors to put the bike in. The Indian Man signaled me to step aside and he placed the bike properly on the folded seats.

Noticing his packed lunch on his bicycle, I asked:
‘Dah makan?’ he shook his head again.
‘Belum …. Belum….’

Before long, I was already speeding along Sprint Highway heading to Jalan Semantan. Frankly speaking, I was not satisfied with his workmanship. The car was far from clean when I inspected it. Many spots were missed. He didn’t even wipe the number plate and some parts of the skirting. Maybe it’s because of Ramadhan, or maybe I was so in touch with my softer side that day, I was not feeling angry at all. Maybe that afternoon I realized that I helped to save another human being from hunger. We, Muslims are fasting for about 13 hours daily this month, but there are people who are fasting until they get their next food.


Spena said...

dnas - Halal je.Dia dah tolong angkat bike lagi. At least dia tak sakit hati that you refused to wash after he had helped. Or else, you might not know what will happen. Maybe a tiny , scratch, somewhere on your precious Jazz. That would be a no-no.

che' nah said...

hello d.n.a.s. :) -- first time leaving a comment here, altho' you've prolly seen my nick in someone else's kejap-ada-selalu-takde-entry-punya blog. :P

i just wanted to say, very well done. because you know what? he probably rushed to buy the food only to have it packed because he wanted to bring it home for his family...

it is good this. the fasting month.

akula said...

Tak pelah tu kira sedekahlah tang tak basuh. Dia tak lari pun kira ok ler.

Anonymous said...

kalau u drive proton saga sure dia charge RM8 aje.

Cosmic_GurL said...

Dah 50 thn merdeka ada jugak yang kais pagi makan pagi kan? And we call ourselves a develop Nation..tsk tsk tsk..

Byk pahala u that day :)

AM said...

"there are people who are fasting until they get their next food" kan? bersyukurnya rasa.

tapi haahla, mula-mula kata berapa-berapa, pastu RM12 la pulok. hahaha!

D.N.A.S said...

itulah pasal, aku halalkan aje lah. kalau harapkan aku nak basuh kereta sendiri, berzamanlah agaknya.

Che' Nah,
ter'syahdu' kejap I that afternoon.

dia basuh, tapi macam tak basuh lah.

D.N.A.S said...

x-eyed jules,
Proton Saga lagi besar drp keta I, mesti dia charge lebih.

orang yg siang malam makan kangkung rebus aje pun ada. Bila dah jadi fully developed nation, agaknya ramai lah yg homeless. Kais pagi, makan lusa.

ok, next time, kalau car washer kata berapa-berapa, kita cakap kat dia 'Kat area rumah I selalunya bayar RM5 aje...' Sure dia mark-up dalam RM7 aje kot.

Nour said...

hey you,

Good for you. Brsedekah di bulan ramadhan yg mulia ini.

Agaknya dia lemah sangat tak makan sampai cuci kereta pun tak larat.

D.N.A.S said...

I tengok masa dia terbongkok-bongkok cuci the rims, memang nampak macam orang dah tak makan 8 hari je.

UglyButAdorable said...

halal kan jer la beb...betul cakap you..memang hangin kalau kena con camtu..tapi pikir pikir balik kalau dier mencurik lagie hangen!!!

at least he did work for it..

Da Winged Acrophobic said...

You could've given him his entire day's income there and then. Warmed my heart, sistah.

east43street said...

RM12.00 you gave him probably be rewarded 100x later. He did his service for the price. If it is over price, it just your affectionate to other human being. :)

D.N.A.S said...

mencuri untuk sesuap nasik, lagi sedih, kan?

En. Wingy,
Come to think about it, RM12 boleh beli beras berkilo-kilo jugak, ye?

I was just so glad he could buy food that day.

WANSHANA said...

I agree - at least he worked for it (even though his service may not be RM12 worth). As you mentioned - he probably didn't have the energy to give his 100% that day.

I am always put in a dilemma if somebody comes up to me claiming to make collection for certain orphanage la, rumah kebajikan lah, etc., by showing me just a photocopied piece of paper 'verifying' their legitimacy. If I wake up on the wrong side of the bed that morning, these people would not be layaned by me. If I'm okay, I sedekahlah apa yang termampu.

If they're conmen, they all tanggung dosa. If they're genuine, kita dapat pahala, insya Allah...Itu aje I pikir.

Niat sedekah di bulan Ramadhan aje lah, kan? Insya Allah, the reward lagi berlipat ganda. Ameen.

D.N.A.S said...

Kak Shana,
samalah dilemma kita. When these people approached me at eating places, I don't usually layan them because I think it's rude to disturb people who are trying to dine peacefully. If they set up booth at shopping complex, usually I hulur lah apa yg termampu.

Azer Mantessa said...

very nice :-)