Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mind Reading

I read a lot about bipolar disorder. Although I did not fully under-stand the whole situation, but I always see them as people with an extra God-gift.

A man in his 20's resented me whenever he's down with the disorder. His reason - I influenced his auntie's mind being me as her idol. He can read others' minds and he saw me as a challenger to him. I've to reason to him why she had to be firm in handling situation like this.

There was once when he saw himself as a 'superman' and drove his sister's car into a private water irrigation canal. The other siblings had to fork out a fortune lifting out the vehicle, sent it for repair and reimburse the loss of the other's party income.

Once we were performing our haj in Mecca when he voluntarily pushed a number of wheel-chaired pilgrimers circumventing the Ka'bah for a few days continuously before he was picked up with great resistance for refusing his medication. Another surprise of his another gift was, he could converse in fluent Arabic when meeting with any Arabs.

On other days when he's normal, he respect his elders and would turn to me for advice.

A woman I know refused to stay in the mental institution claiming she's not mad as others. Her children will know when the disorder will come. Then they will place their mum with companions just to talk out her problems which she rarely did.

When the disorder hit, she sings rhythmic songs with a very beautiful melody. Conversation in time like this is like hearing poems flowing endlessly.

She knows what her husband did behind her back. Sometimes, she would relate all his doings without him telling her, while riding him on his piggy-back just to vent her anger at him. He would accept all humiliation without fighting back. Even the grownup children detested the father for ignoring their mother.

Once I visited a patient in Institute of Mental Health situated somewhere in Hougang, Singapore. The patients I saw there are all with a serene with no worldly problem-face.

The man whom I visited said, he saw many evil satans living around the water piping area. He cautioned me to be extra careful when nearing any watering places.

He was directly involved in an accident years ago but the court saw him as unfit to continue with the case.

Sad to say, all these people are under great surveillance and under medication to sombre their activities as they did not see any demarkation line to excercise control of themselves.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Why Smoke?

A wheelchair bound man told me, not that he wants to smoke, but he has to ensure that his hands are not feeling the emptiness of not holding anything.

I asked his wife if he really mean what he's saying. Her reply was, he used to smoke 2 packets per day but has since cut down to 1 and a half due to price increase and his pension of RM 400 per month is not even enough to sustain himself.

Coming from a family of non-smokers, I really did not understand why people smoke.

But since I knew this man from his bachelor days, I can see that his health is deteriorating. He married my friend after his ex-fiance called off their engagement due to an accident that paralysed him.

Yesterday, she bought another 10 packets of Indonesian cigarette for RM40 for a week's supply. It used to be cheaper before. RM37 only, she said.

That's cheap you said? His monthly supply takes up more than 1/3 of his pension.
His food?
His medication?

My, my, my...
Can anybody clarify to me why people smoke?
Why cigarettes take over food?
Why cigarettes are more valued than health?
Is cigarette really makes a man more outstanding???

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Pondering Moment

The bombing of Palestinians in Gaza continues into its 4th week.
A hospital was bombed with 500 people inside the building.
1,100 bomb deaths has been reported.
4,900 casualties is a number that is fast growing.
Tens of thousands of people are internally displaced.
At least 40,000 pregnant mothers are deprived of proper nutrition.

How many weeks more do the Palestinians have to be in living hell?
Where is the safest place to recuperate from the others' evil ambition?
How many hundreds more deaths can it justify the human sacrifice?
How many thousands more deformities needed to satisfy the lust of conquering?
How many hundred thousands more homeless required in the name of winning?
Are all the babies in the mothers' wombs are not worth living???

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Exploited Good Deeds

I was on my way to the neighbourhood shop last Sunday. Walking past the 73 year-old woman's house, I saw tears trickling down.

"Why are you crying?" I asked her as I entered her house without being invited to.
"No, no. It's just that my eyes felt warm." The childless woman replied as she wiped away the tears with a small towel in hand.
"It's always the case when my body felt the heat." She continued.
"How about I'll bring you to the doctor now?" I sincerely wanted her to have a proper medical check-up and rest in bed.
"Not necessary. I will be alright." I expected that answer from her. She always refused my offer.

I pressed the RM50 I had, in her hand, reminding her to call me should the need to the doctor arise, before I left.
That is the only offer from me that she never refused - Money.

I dropped by her place again the next day to see how she coped. She was preparing to go out. She had phoned her 'adopted son', whom she had known for the last 8 years, to bring her to pharmacy. He came with his wife and a child - All the way from Batu Pahat to Johor Bahru.
I did not want to probe further. Just hoping that the RM50 can stretch very,very far for them.

On Friday, I saw him again at her house. She must have money in hand that he's willing to stay for the night. Yes, I was right. She had just received RM300 from Social Welfare and SHE SPENT IT ALL ON HIS FAMILY.

When the old woman received compensation for being a flood victim just a year ago, the 'adopted son' was handed some money, most foodstuff and the new mattress.

I wondered how many more years can he rely on this old woman to feed his family members of 10. He would bring home most rice bags that this old woman received annually before each fasting month.

His explanation to me that he was being cheated of RM75,000 in a business deal did not move me to have sympathy on him.
Not having taken an offer, to be paid the next day should he work for his adopted mother's neighbour, showed his true laziness - And what an irresponsible husband and father he is.

This morning, I showed up again at the old woman's house. She sighed of difficulties of not having money in hand.
In fact, I cautiously give her money these past 8 years but I would stock what's needed in the kitchen.

Even then, once in a while, I would be trapped in a situation as above...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Living One's Life

Warmest greetings of a Very, Very Happy 2009 to all readers. A meaningful transition to Hijrah 1430 to all Muslim brothers and sisters and a belated Christmas Greetings to all Christian friends out there.

It has been quite sometime since I last blogged. I found out that I missed blogging very much and missed reading out others' mind. My New Year and Hijrah resolution would be to blog again. Even though I admit I can't be frequent as before but at least I'll try my best before the numbers of my fingers of both hands are up.

I was having coffee this morning when a man on radio 938 Live admitted that he proved to himself that being a real man is to go around chasing women for 2 years.
On the 3rd year, he realised that his wife and son had drifted very, very far from him. To make up for the lost time, he made effort to win back them and now, the 4th year, being a real man to him is all about strengthening the family bond. The good wife who once had to swollow the bitter pill of betrayal is now tasting the sweetness of her answered prayer for a responsible head of the family.

But one man I met in a neighbouring country did a very different way of being a responsible head of his family. He would rather have them sleep the whole day. He too would join them when not at work as a factory-hand. His reason is, they would feel the pang of hunger once they are fully awake.
Having 3 meals a day is impossible and is a great constrain to his already tight financial situation.

I did not believe the story when it was related to me. But understanding his situation, I admired Ana, my friend, who refused his down-payment in a business deal.

His monthly salary of rupiah 1,200,000 ( about S$170.00 ) is definitely not enough to pay for his rental and a wife with 2 small kids.
As the island of Batam is nearer to Singapore than Jakarta, our sadness seeing them shouldering their tough life is not anywhere nearer to them bearing the true meaning of toughness of life is all about.

God willing, I will be in Dabuk Island in a few weeks' time. Although I've never been there, but sensed that life for normal residents will not be much different.

Here we are all bracing ourselves preparing for the worst outcome of the worst world crisis ever happened.

The best lesson we can learn from our southern neighbours is how they feed their soul and mind and prepared to continue living in scarcity...