This is a video which I personally enjoyed doing. I didn’t go out to film and interview the people. I only went to the Buddhist temples in Perak Road because I wanted to take some shots of the colourful Wesak celebration for my travel blog.
Somehow, divine intervention gave me a lot of courage. I was there alone and I really didn’t plan to sit down with the beggars to chat with them. But somehow, my heart breaks when I see the three month old baby being cared by his little sister. Of course, people will say these beggars are hardcore beggars out to suck our dollar and cents. They are putting on a show to get our sympathy.
Yet, that doesn’t make it any easier for them. They still feel the hot sun, the stares of the crowd and they still suffer like us. So, I sat down on the mat and chatted with the baby’s mother, Mariam. She had a UNCHR card which is the identity card for refugees. I told her I am a citizen journalist and whether I can show the world why she is begging on the streets, where she comes from, what sort of future her children have etc.
Then, I went into the temple and got very curious with the ‘lift the sampoh statue’ and the caretaker gladly explained to me how it works. It is rather confusing to me because you need to ask the questions to get Yes answer and the second round, you need to twist your question to get another Yes again. Frankly, eventhough I am now a Catholic, I do get very tempted to check how authentic it is but I dare not, of course. I was born a Buddhist and I won’t play around with the faith.
While on my way out, I stumbled on two handsome Indian men who are volunteers with the Hare Krishna group. I am sorry but I am not sure if Hare Krishna is part of Hinduism or not (I haven’t find time to research yet) but they are awfully nice guys who provide meals on wheels. Krishna gave me a packet of rice after the interview with him. I told him we will visit the Hare Krishna center one of these days.
As I was holding my packet of rice, with the curry smeared on my hands, I was happily walking out of the temple because I have a few interviews which I can turned into a documentary. That’s when I saw this old, albino woman sitting under the hot sun at 12 noon. She was sitting outside the temple, with a walking stick, an empty container and oblivion to the heat.
I asked her if she had eaten and like all old ladies, she started talking non-stop….So, I sat down down with her, gave her my rice and became her partner in crime in begging. I too became oblivion to the heat and started asking her questions. When she told me ‘loket hor wa RM200’, I quickly grabbed the opportunity and asked her if I can video her. She couldn’t care less and kept talking. You see, I know opportunity when I see one. I have been doubting if the Penang State Government zero hardcore poverty really reach the people and here I am, with one who is a recipient.
So, I rephrased what she had told me earlier and took the video. Guess how I took a video? I extended my hand as far as I can and film her. I am pretty amazed that my hand, inspite of being stretched out like Mrs. Incredible, still doesn’t shake much. There is no time to set up my tripod and anyway, there is no place by the drain to set my camera on tripod.
I asked her to approach MCA and Gerakan to ask for more financial help because with only RM200, she could only afford to pay the rental for the lodging she and her father who is 99 yrs old is staying. (She said Mah Wah si peh kiam siap, bo lor ueng eh LOL) She has nothing left for foods but she get her meals from a church group. She told me she is a Christian! So, after the camera is off, I had a chance to talk Yehsou with her. I told her, “Mai huan lor….IaSor (Jesus) eh kor lu eh, u than chiak, u than chu tua, sim hua hee liao” (don’t worry, Jesus will take care of you, got food to eat, house to stay, have a happy heart.”) She said the Buddhist group (not sure which one but it is near the Hongkong school, not sure where is Hongkong school either) helped to pay for her eye surgery.
That’s where I decided to make a video on the unity in the diverse faiths.
P/S : I will have new posts but it won’t be on the top, for the next two days. Don’t ask why.