I would say my father is a charitable person. He definitely derived this character from his mother a.k.a my grandmother i.e. Tok. My Tok is now 90 years old. She is a very generous person when giving out food/clothing to the needy ones. So thoughtful, sampaikan I can describe her as “Kera di hutan disusukan, anak di rumah mati kelaparan”. I can recollect in those days during Raya time where all her children brought cookies for raya, she would be giving away those unopened cookie jars to the neighbours pagi pagi Hari Raya. We didn’t even get to taste the cookies. Its been that way every Raya at Sg Petani.
After TokNek (Tok’s mother) passed away, my auntie brought her to KL, she continue doing her charitable act. When she cooked lunch or kuih for makan petang, she will distribute semangkuk to the neighbours. Semangkuk, usually can cater for 4 person. She will cover at least 2-4 houses in the surrounding area. The routine goes on for years, I’m not sure how my auntie felt since she needs to fork out more on her groceries. My Tok’s motto was plain and simple “Kalau makanan tak habis, rugi”. Even clothes, if she sees they seldom wear she will quietly keep in a bag and pass to my mom to be pass down to my maid. Some of the clothes are brand new with tags attached. So my mom will check and pass back to my auntie. Hehehhe..funny and the routine continues. Every Saturday, my auntie would go to Pasar Chow Kit and would come back with a hefty portion of veggies, fishes and meats. By Wednesday, if Tok sees a whole lot of veggies, she will secretly pass the veggies to my house. I think she doesn’t understand that my auntie bought that much of food to keep from running out when needed.
Tok would make blankets and pillow cases out of unused cloth. Whenever she hears any of her children/grand children going north to Kedah, she would pass these to her neighbours or relatives back in kampong. She even dried up nasi yang tak dimakan to be given out as makanan ayam to the villagers. Anyway I believe because of those act, her ‘rezeki’ always there. People loves to drop by her place, even now when Tok can no longer can cook, my aunt still gets numerous visitors. There’s always food on the table.
My dad following his mother foot steps, did the same thing. These days he dried up “daun misai kucing” by himself. These daun normally taken as tea by diabetic person so these days when he stumbled upon a diabetic person regardless whether he’s a total stranger, he’ll give the ‘daun ubat’. And he’s not a diabetic at all! Every Saturday when he came back from Pasar Tani with my mum, he’ll be waiting outside our kitchen to pass some of the fruits to the wreck collector. Even those who comes to clean the drain gets a treat from my dad. He once said “Nasha, you don’t have to be rich to help others”. I remembered well after he retired, my dad venture into ‘nasi lemak’ business. He would be sending his nasi lemak to few restaurant around KL and each morning he would put aside few packs to be given to the guards. I think he feels content just making people happy.
Just 2 weeks ago, we had a sembang session like always. He told me few stories and one of it goes something like this…..He told me that one day he passed by this boy and his mother. The boy was asking his mother whether they can eat at KFC. But the mother shrugged off the request because she got no money. He felt a burst of emotions but sadly he only got enough cash to go back home. So he returned to the ATM to fork out some cash to give to the mother. Upon returning they were gone. And he said till this day he regretted as he could give them. My father was holding his tears while telling me this story. He goes .. “So Nasha, whenever you have more, give out to the needy ones. Macam bapak, I really felt till this day as I cannot give to the boy. Because for RM10, I’ll finished off in a day just buy buying rokok so why can’t I give out. Sometimes with only ten ringgit, you can help change a person’s life”. And at that moment, I felt tears running down my cheek. I get what he means.
Bapak reminded me, if ever a beggar/disabled person hold out hands for money and if I felt like giving, just give. Don’t question the receiver’s intention whether its genuine or not. Its your intention that counts.
Now I have started off with my son. I made him give away some of his toys. He still couldn’t figure out why we need to give but I feel in time he’ll know the reason.
I am grateful for I have someone to remind me that along my journey, I need to stop and look at my surrounding and see what can I do to brighten up the roads along my journey.
Love you Bapak.
“Tidak akan miskin seseorang yang sentiasa bersedekah” ~ a promise from Allah.
India, children lining up for for food