People who know me can attest I am not a morning person.
I can be grumpy (more than usual, some would say) and find it difficult to get the day started. But there was something which made the start of my day brighter yesterday morning.
After whacking roti canai and teh-o, I noticed a sign at a restaurant in Bukit Jelutong which read “Free food for those in hardship”. As I was late for an appointment, I did not speak to the three Pakistani workers on duty (note to self, stop to smell the roses – or in this case, roti canai – once in a while).
But I made a mental note to frequent the shop whenever I go to that area and to skip the flashier more expensive eateries which do not give back. Of course, the fact that their roti canai was crispy, not oily and tasty, plus the curry was quite thick also helped in my decision.
As luck would have it, my appointment finished earlier than expected so I made my way back to the stall. It was then I discovered it was run by husband and wife team Ismat Abdul Rauf and Azrina Abdul Rahman who have five Pakistani workers-cum-chefs.
The couple took over the business less than a month ago, as published by Twentytwo13 yesterday. It is always good to help those who help others and sometimes it is the simple things in life which make a difference.
I admire Ismat and Azrina as they are not a big franchise but are willing to give back to the community.
I learnt from a friend there are several such shops around, one of which is Charlie’s Cafe in Taman Desa.
“They used to have a promotion called suspended meals whereby a person pays for his or her meal and adds an extra RM5 or more for someone else to use.
“Receipts (for the extra payment) are posted on a wall and anyone can pick one to redeem for a meal,” a former colleague Sujartha Kumar told me after reading about Ismat and Azrina.
“That is such a nice gesture.”
Separately, another friend, Pipa Arbee told me another heartwarming story.
“We were in Kuala Lumpur (Perkeso cafeteria) and when Negaraku came on (on very low volume) … everyone stood.
“I was wondering why the whole place was so still (until I heard the strains of our national anthem),” she said.
I always get a tingling feeling when I hear Negaraku, especially when I am overseas and more so if it happens during a sports event as it means there is a gold medal for the country.
Three small, separate incidents, but all gave me hope this country – so often divided by race, politics and religion – still has goodhearted people. There are many kind people out there but usually, are the silent majority.
Perhaps it is time for us to start making ourselves heard to drown out the hate.
This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.