Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The one-legged man

A few days ago when I was going for lunch at Serangoon, I met a man who has only one leg. He had a pair of crutches to help him walk. Surprisingly, he could speak good English. I thought he must be around my age.
He moved over to my table and asked politely whether he could share the small table with me. I nodded my head in approval and he smiled and thanked me.

Out of curiosity, I asked him about his other leg. He told me he lost it in an accident many years ago. He is jobless and does not have a family. He lives with a friend in a HDB 3-roomed flat. He survives on the $200 a month paid from his CPF retirement account.

I offered to buy him lunch and he agreed. I ordered 2 plates of rice with fish and meat plus some veggies from a Malay stall. He ate like there was no tomorrow. He must be hungry, I told myself. Poor fellow. I ordered 2 cups of kopi O for him and myself. He told me I made his day. He introduced himself as Mark.

Mark was from an upper middle class family. His father was a school principal back in the 1950s. When his parents died, Mark and his siblings inherited a few proprieties. They sold them and divided the proceeds. However, Mark squandered his inheritance money in the stock market. He was a remmiser and was made a bankrupt because he gambled away his clients' money. He spent a few years behind bars for the crime. Today, he is penniless.

He asked me what was I doing in Serangoon and I told him I was actually going for reflexology (leg massage) after my lunch. He envied me as he has only one leg and not worthwhile going for reflexology, he jokingly told me.

All in all, I found Mark a nice person to talk with. He was knowledgeable about many things. I enjoyed him company, I confessed to him.

Before we parted, I took out 2 pieces of the fifty dollar notes and shoved them into his hand. He was pleasantly surprised. At first he refused to accept the money but I was insistent.

We bid farewell and I drove home without going for my reflexology. Why didn't I go for the massage? Well, after giving Mark the $100, I had only a few dollars left in my pocket.

BT: Why did I give Mark the money? I did for two reasons. He has only one leg and no money. Meeting and knowing Mark makes me appreciate the things that I am having now.


Anonymous said...

Bravo Boh Tong!

Eagle said...

The Good Samaritan! Very few people can and will do that.

Anonymous said...

A 1-legged Man is anytime better than a 3-legged Frog !

Edmond said...

You have fulfilled the Platinum Rule: Do to others as you would others do to yourself.

Anonymous said...

God Bless Bt