Saturday, May 17, 2008

Have You Ever Been In WL's Situation?

Marinie, or Water Lilly, my friend and also an adik angkat, went ranting today about the unfairness of fellow human beings, or rather their insensitiveness to the wellbeing of WL and her friends. Reading her post, I sense anguish and frustration boiling and I feel for her. Maybe, to many of us, life has been easy. And by many standards, it has.

I am not a good writer. But if you would bear with me, let me try to give you a glimpse of a day in the life of those who not as lucky as many of us are. And what I will be attempting, it may not even suffice to raise the consciousness nor the hardship WL may face each passing day.


Waking up early morning to catch the bus to school, I walk the dark streets to the bus stop. The school bus had come by earlier than normal, and I had to give it a miss. Its either that, or missing Subuh.

I have to walk fast or miss the 6.15am bus to KL. But he road is uneven and barely 200 meters walking, my left leg began to feel pain along the calf, so I slow down my steps and begin to hobble. No matter how I try to hide it, some people began taking notice of the awkward steps I am making. Due to the extra energy I have to use, I begin to sweat. By the time I reach the bus stop, my forehead and hair is wet. A smart looking guy at the bus stop could not help himself with his words "Hai...main hujan ke?", when the nights has been dry for many days now. I look at him and just smile in return.

The bus stop is full of people, and I can only lean on the stand, lifting my left leg a tad above ground to rest it, and putting all the pressure on my right. My face must have shown a grimace of pain or two, as another guy keep turning and looking at me. I begin to feel awkward, like I am the butt of a sick joke, and the feeling of awkwardness shifts to embarrassment and soon, humiliation. Luck was with me as the bus arrive and all of us clamber aboard. Yes, clamber. For this is still a trait in this self declared (by that toyol) Developed State of Islam Hadhari nation, passengers jostle with each other boarding a public transport - a scene quite like any 3rd World Country.

Afraid of having my foot stepped on as it already has a pain of its own, I wait. Soon as the last few is in, I climb aboard. Expectedly by then, all the seats have already been taken. With my bag slung across my shoulder, I clutch the rubbery handhold dangling from a metal bar. I then notice the man who was looking at me at the bus stop, is sitting right in front. I ignore him as he is similar to the pain on my left leg that refuse to go away.

The pain in both legs now begins to throb even more as my body sways with the bus movements as it negotiates corners, bends, and even when it stops to pick up more passengers. With more people, the bus becomes crowded and I stand almost rigid, adding yet more pressures to the left leg. For 40 minutes, I endure the ride to KL.

In KL, I begin the treacherous walk to the school. On mornings such as this, I am faced with a dilemma: either use the road which has a long steep staircase, or use the further route where the gradient of the hill is kinder to my legs but not the distance. Several times in the future of this past, I decide not to use any.

I am now in my classroom with my shirt soaking wet. A mindless schoolmate pass a remark similar to those at the bus stop earlier. Again I choose to ignore. And slowly as the hours pass by, the pain subsides and I can now move around, but as normal as any cripple would. For some reasons, some other mindless students would let out a jeer or two. Later in future life, the jeers would be like 'cendana', quite like Allahyarham Nordin Ahmad's character in the Patung Cendana movie some very many years ago. Sometimes, the pain of these name-calling can be worse than the physical pains of my left leg.

At 1.10pm, the school bell begins to ring, and many of the lower form students begin walking out; their school day has ended while for several others and I, it is time to rest. At 2.30, each of us who have not walked out, will begin our extra curriculum activity.

Even as a toddler, I was fascinated with the Army. Back in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan, the road in front of our house was regularly used by soldiers from a nearby camp en route to their foot patrols at a secondary jungle a short distance away. Perhaps, the sight of those soldiers later enticed me to join the School's Army Cadet Corp, thinking my leg condition is as normal just as anyone.

For 3 years, another friend and I had to endure the taunts and shouts of especially a certain senior who was a Sergeant in the Cadet Corp. And because the 2 of us could not execute the 'pacak' drill without the military boots, we became the target of more verbal abuse by the Sergeant and several NCOs. But time pass by too fast, and before we knew it, both of us became 5th year seniors and outlasting many other 'fit' cadets.

Still, the adult life was not kind enough for both of us.


As I mentioned in the beginning, I write this for my friend and 'lift' sister (adik angkat), WL. The pain she and many other people similar to her has to endure in their daily lives may not be visible nor felt by other people. They ask not for pity, but the simple courtesy and kind thoughts one would bestow upon another. Are we, the physically able, mentally handicapped not able to do so? (This is meant for those inconsiderate people mentioned in WL's entry.)

WL, Muha, kerpie, and even Pak Kassim, forgive me if I am unable to portray the true situation each of you face daily.

14 comments:

mOEha Aziz said...

salam ya akhi,

u potrayed it well enuff..

we r not asking for sympathy.. we are asking for considerations and understanding.. we want not to b treated as a king (still personally i've always wondered whether the VIPs are physically handicapped, until everyone would so careful around them)

all we ever ask is to be treated fairly.

thanks akhi... u have said it well enuf..

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Muha, adik ku.

I hope I have.

As for the VIPs, yes, I too believe they are handicapped people - mentally, that is.

jaflam said...

Salam Shah,
Thanks for highlighting the plight of WL and other friends in facing inconsiderate society.

Hopefully it will strike their conscience to be thankful for what they have and be more considerate to others. It reminds me of my late mother words regarding the less fortunate among us. Those who are fortunate with health, fortune and happiness should be thankful because they could be easily on the other side of the fence if God choose otherwise. They should not only be thankful but start helping the unfortunate or at least be considerate to their plight. Some how the moral values of many in the society is not very high, that why we see lots of blunders and crazy happenings in the news everyday.

To our friends WL, Moha, Kerp and many others be strong and may God bless you always.

Kata Tak Nak said...

It's easy to build a skyscraper because its a matter of fiziks. It's easy to lay out a strategy to be a developed country because it is a matter of economics but it is tedious to develope a man because it is a matter of humanity.

Our leaders left humanity behind when they took us on the speeding bullet to development.

edelweiss said...

Shah,

WL, Moha, Kerp and many others are very lucky to have a gud & understanding friend like u :)

Snowflake said...

Assallamualaikum
It is a rat race. Survival of the fittest. It takes civilisation to build a soul to overcome the animal instinct of mankind. It starts with you and I in developing and spreading human decency. Hopefully it will create a fairer world.
As for WL, I felt sorry for you as I learned from your post, no silver spooned leads a happy life okay. Please believe me.
Wassallam.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Dato',

Sadly what you mentioned is true...about those able body people. Thank you for being supportive to their cause.

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

Precisely. Many PAS leaders and even ordinary citizens have been lamenting this fact. But the Sarkas people, they live in a world of their own. They are not our leaders at all! How can they be when they cheated their way through.

Thank you for your support to WL and friends.

cakapaje said...

Salam edelweiss,

Glad to see you here. But perhaps, it is I who is lucky to have them as my friends. Thank you :)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam snowflake,

True. It is up to the individuals in us to make the significant changes in the society. InsyAllah, though we might not do much on our own, collectively, there will be some telling effect.

Thank you.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

ahh, this is a post i shouldnt miss, but almost missed it!

you know, Moeha has saidly nicely and rounded it up even before others could give their feedbacks!

reading his, an incident some 2 years ago came to mind. in an event, a certain VIP was given the best spot for lunch while those on wheelchair were told to have ours in a cramped-room 50meters away. it was supposed to be our day (OKU's) and yet they treated us like some pariah.

well-written from you btw. the stare from the public is the least i should bother but its the awareness thats been lacking. a curious lot would understandably, look and lookaway but a sick-in-the-head would look and drool. i mean, err...why the hell la?

cakapaje said...

Salam kerpie,

Bro, if a drop dead deliciously sexy 20yr old girl with long dark-hair and long legs were to look and drool at me, I would be happy to oblige her sexual fantasies, lol!

waterlily said...

Salam,

Shah,

Saya ingin ucapkan terima kasih, kerana memaparkan "amokan" saya di sini. LOL

ps: Muha dah cakap apa yang saya ingin sampaikan .

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam WL,

Sama sama :)