THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Visiting the K’s

While I was driving back to Ipoh from KL last weekend, a text message came in from an unfamiliar number. Just a quick glance and I saw the message started with “kzh chtke”. I knew it had to be Mrs K with her sms language which I may not be able to understand without having to re-read the whole message again and again. And so I didn’t bother to read it there and then. I figured I might as well read the message when I get home.

And so I did. She was telling me that she had quit her job because she couldn’t stand working night shifts, especially since lately she had been going in and out of the hospital for high blood pressure. Her eldest son too had stopped working because his workplace was too far and he didn’t have transport. Mr K is the only one who works now, as a guard, but he too has to skip work from time to time because he’s always unwell.

Hmmm…. typical of the K’s. While I can understand the problems they face, I noticed that this particular family always come up with all sorts of excuses for their hardship instead of finding ways and means to overcome them.

Anyway, Mrs K was asking if they could get assistance for supply of groceries for this month. Wow… at least that’s an improvement. Usually she’d ask to borrow money. I guess by now she knows pretty well I don’t entertain any requests to borrow money and in fact I may end up not responding to her sms at all if she did that.

It had been quite a while since I last went to visit them, as a matter of fact, I had never visited them ever since they moved to a new home last year. If I recall correctly, this must be their 4th home ever since their case was passed to me. I had to ask Mrs K for the address, which she couldn’t give in full, and so she gave me directions instead, which wasn’t too clear either. She made it sound so simple although I knew it couldn’t be that simple. In the end she just asked me to get in a junction after a fast food restaurant and call her from there.

And that was what I did. Once I got to the junction I parked my car by the roadside and called her. After 5 minutes or so Mrs K came on her motorbike. When I got to their home, it was quiet. I told Mrs K to get her son to carry the box of groceries in my car. In the box there were rice, cooking oil, flour, sugar, biscuits, milk, canned food etc and so the box was rather heavy. her 2 younger daughters were in school, which is within walking distance (no wonder she didn’t ask for bus fares this year), the 2 older ones were still lying in bed. I could see their “muka bangun tidur” when they came out to see me. As for Mr K, he works night shifts and so he too was sleeping. Aiyo… everybody like this at 11 am, no wonder lah susah masuk rezeki!

Mrs K’s daughter, Ani, who sat for her SPM last year showed me her SPM results. She wasn’t too sure what courses to apply for. She seemed determined to apply for the Diploma Pendidikan Awal Kanak-kanak, but she simply doesn’t know what courses to put as her 2nd to 8th choices. With no computer at home, she has to go to a cyber cafe to submit her online application. But according to her most of those who lepak at the CC are boys, and so she doesn’t feel comfortable staying there for too long. So okay, I promised to look up for courses she qualifies for and give her a list for her to choose from so that the next time she goes to the CC to finalise her UPU application, she doesn’t have to browse through all the qualification requirements for each course.

As for Mrs K’s eldest son, Shah, who failed his SPM a few years back, had been working here and there. Way back then, I could see his interest in motor mechanics or electronics, and I had advised him to go for some vocational training but he came up with all sorts of excuses not to. Now he is beginning to show some interest and was asking how to go about applying.

So when I got home today, I immediately looked up for the courses suitable for both Shah and Ani. Once I got them all listed down I immediately called Mrs K to inform them. And whaddaya know… when I called Mrs K said she just got herself a job. Apparently right after I left them (ie after my short “lecture”), Mrs K immediate went out to find herself a job. And she got one. It doesn’t matter what kind of job she gets, as long as it’s halal.

Most of the families assigned to me at about the same time as the K’s are almost independent by now. But the K’s? Sigh… but I hope things are beginning to change for the better…


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