Little Drops of Water .........................

Posted by Lakshmi

1  May 2010

The other  day, I made a short tour to the 'pasar malam' night market at Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.  I had just finished buying some fruits and made a stop at the biscuit stall.  While my biscuits were being packed, a foreign lady with a 2 year  old in tow, stopped by the stall .   The child looked at me and I smiled at her   She was so waif like with curly hair and large brown eyes  The mother looked at the pre- packed biscuits , chose one  and in halting Malay, asked the seller  how much each cost.  The seller told her it was RM3.00 and the lady, after a slight pause, put   the biscuits back  into  the box.   I was sorely tempted to pay for the biscuits but was not too sure whether I should, for I didn't want  her to think that I was doing it out of pity.  After all, , everyone has their pride too and God Forbid,  I certainly didn't want to offend her dignity in public..... but  I soo really wished I could  have just paid  for her though.....

While these thoughts were going in my mind, ( 'to be do or not to be do , perhaps? ) her  two year old spotted a colourful packet of smarties like chocolate and took the brightly coloured foil disc  in her hand.  The mother quickly grabbed it off  her  tiny fingers and put it back into the box.  The child started to wail as any normal toddler would. The mother admonished the child and carried her off on her shoulder, trying to quieten  the child.  The child continued  wailing, turned her head to me and wailed even  more loudly !  The  mother kept on  walking, oblivious to the child's cry. I looked at the child and my heart  almost broke.   I was already itching to pay for it even earlier  and this was simply too much for me to take.... ....  I grabbed the foil disc, told the seller that I'd pay for the chocolates too, ran towards the child as fast as my  legs could  carry and gave it to her in the hand. .  She stopped crying.  And the passers by looked when I ran.  I felt so conscious.  Imagine them looking at a 52 year old woman with a teenage son in tow , running pell mell in a night market street with a chocolate disc in hand !  Totally, totally embarrassing........ but I simply had to do it.  The child's face said it all.  It was a ' wow' moment for me.

Oh, and I also tried to walk back  coolly,  pretended not to see any of the onlookers on my way back to the biscuit seller, who was very busy translating the episode in Chinese to her Chinese customers........

My second encounter was with the 'nasi lemak' seller in Shah Alam itself, Section 9, to be precise.  ' Nasi lemak' is actually my most favoured dish and this young man , Alif, who mans the stall located  near   the Secret Recipe outlet, , is the type every mother would be proud of ! Hardworking, polite,with a  pleasant  disposition and   pleasing manners.  Alif  puts up his stall every evening, rain or shine and  he'll usually talk to me about his growing up days as a 10 year old  in the kampung.  A very nice young man who makes an honest living with an honest days' work. A pity I don't see many other young man of  the same calibre.  Since I buy 'nasi lemak'  practically  4 days out of  7, I meet him quite often .

On my recent visit, as I was buying 12 large packets ( no, I don't eat all of them myself, they were  for my son's  school mates  too ) ,a  middle aged motherly Malay lady stood there waiting for her single order.  It was drizzling quite heavily and the lady had no shelter, no umbrella and she wanted just 1 packet of nasi lemak..... As I was paying for my food, I asked Alif   quietly to   include hers in my bill too . I  scooted  off as soon as I  received the change .

The lady didn't look destitute to me and I wasn't doing it for any self glory either,( how much glory can you expect for a packet of food anyway ?). Nor did I do it for her to convey her thanks to me.  It was just a  bond,  from one mother to another, one woman to another and one human to another.  Nothing more  

Have a beautiful day


2 Responses to Little Drops of Water .........................

  1. Pat

    Random acts of kindness, with no thought for thanks or glory - they are so good for the soul, no? I so know what you mean here.

    Besides just doing r.a.k. for no reason whatsoever, I have also learned to say 'thank you' graciously when someone is kind to me from out of the blue. That is the other side of the coin, and it does both our souls good.


  2. Country Arts

    We are all kindred souls on a journey together, seeking happiness and enlightenment along the way............. and I agree with you, Pat.

    It does wonders for the soul and spirit.


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