Saturday, December 15, 2007

Half an Egg for a Meal

Students nowadays are very fortunate in that they are provided with all the comfort, from what goes into the mouth to what takes them to school besides having quite big dough to be spent. If you are a student and you read on, you can count your blessings.

During recess, most boys and girls in a school will make a beeline for the canteen but not for Aru (not his real name) in my story. He would put his mouth under the tap, turned it on and gulped down as much water as he could. I had been observing him for quite some time. Then out of curiosity, I approached him and he looked shy and apprehensive. From my conversation with him, I had the shock of my life. Aru might be one of those rubber estate boys in Sungai Petani who were deprived of many things in life, food included in the late 70's. According to him, he shared an egg with his brother for two daily meals because his father was too old to work and his mother, who worked as a rubber-tapper, took home only RM90.00 per month for subsistence. With six mouths to feed, the clever mum thought of a way to feed them on a very tight budget. Since talking to him, I felt pitiful for him and so bought him some food during break whenever I saw him.

I share this true story with readers to show how difficult life was for certain groups of people who were exploited by their unscrupulous employers who gave them very meagre pay. The condition there must have improved tremendously by now.

So much for the unfortunate lot mentioned in this blog.

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