Back in 2003, my dad lent me one of his company car (I was also a trainee there). I used to stroll around up and down town. You know young adults, going out (dating) was the way to go.
Jalan Tun Razak is a busy trunk road, bad traffic during waking hours. Whenever I got stuck in traffic, I’d look out the window, searching a familiar homeless man. He’s always there, day, night, morning, evening. I nicknamed him Razak.
Whenever I pass the road, I’d show him a thumbs up. On good days, he’d wave and smiled, bad ones, he’d lift his middle finger.
One day while I was eating at Semarak Food Court, I saw him. He was jumping from one stall to another asking for food. He was constantly being dejected. No one wants to feed him.
I pulled out a chair and asked him to dine with me. I wanted to know Razak personally and see him up close. He could entertain my lonesome lunch.
His cloth and body looked like it survived World War 2, he stinks like a rotten rat, he has only a few tooth left and long white hair covered his face. He’s just like any other homeless man, scary in many ways.
Once he’s done with lunch, we started talking.
He told me that he used to be rich. In an unfortunate event, his wife and kids left with all his money. (Of course I didn’t buy the story, he’s not exactly a sane man).
I asked him whether he has gotten any help with his daily living. Unfortunately, non. Somedays he eats, somedays he doesn’t. He sleeps at the back alley, card board as his matress and his cloth as his blanket. It’s a pitiful sight (if you can ever imagine).
After an hour long conversation, I told him, I’m leaving.
He pulls out a discolored and eyeless teddy bear from his cart and handed to me, a sign of gratitude. I insisted he keep it. He nodded in agreement.
That was the last time I saw Razak. If I recall, there was a crack down in 2005, to shelter all homeless people. I guess he’s part of the plan.
Every now and then as I pass Jalan Tun Razak, I think of him. Has he eaten? Did he sleep well? Can he survive the monsoon rain? I can only hope he’s fine.
I wish I could’ve done more.
ps: Heading to Kuale Kangso tomorrow!
pss: To that person, don’t miss me too much