I walked from on end of the pedestrain bridge to the other. There he was, sitting on the steel bridge, right where two staricases on his left and right, bring up a traffic of potential donors.
I had no intention to photograph him. I reached into my pockets. There was 10cents. I gave it to him, smiled and squatted next to him. A few pleasantries later, I shot a question about his artificial leg. (My eyes zoomed into his artificial leg…hmm good quality…looks like carbon fibre material, light and durable, unlike the metal, wood or plastic ones i've seen in other asian countries) He says it happened 13 years ago in a motor accident. He lost his job as a security guard. And its impossible to get work with one leg he says.
"Siapa nak tolong?" (Who will help?) " Siapa nak bagi kerja?" (Who will give work?) Then his eyes swell up. He looks directly into my eyes. He puts his hands on my shoulder and he begins his story. His wife left him after the accident and ran away with her uncle. Her uncle? Yes, they became lovers and took off. He's got 5 children. All neglect him. I wonder why? what did he do? surely its not so simple. That was when the whiff of cheap whisky became more noticeable. (see how past impressions ignites ones judgement). Anyway by now he is sobbing. What kind of person would do that to me, he says. Then another tragedy. He went on to tell me that the uncle his wife ran away with raped his daughter!
" Dia lagi kongkek saya punya anak!" (He then fucked my daughter!) Well you can then imagine the emotions. He says his wife reported the incident and her uncle in now in jail. Welfare pays him rm150? and has rent and bills to pay and he can't make a living cause no one will hire him. I thought of the network of people he knows. Probably insignificant enough to help him. He is only 43. Surely something is out there for him. But it seems, no way out.
This as we all know, is only one side of a multi-faceted scenario :-O