Since I last wrote about the pitiful old man who tramped the trunk roads of Dunearn and Bukit Timah on Sept 19, he disappeared for several weeks.
I grew a bit fearful that someone had taken him off the streets: Death, a do-gooder or the “beggars” squad from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.
Yet, part of me hoped that someone — even Death — did render him permanent assistance. His disappearance allowed me to go about my life in peace, without him hobbling into sight now n then and I would be forced to worry about how it must feel to be old, hungry, thirsty, sick and not knowing where your next meal would come from.
I guess animal lovers must have similar emotions when they run into strays. Still, I think it’s a lot easier to deal with strays. At worst, if I’m at my wit’s end, I could call the SPCA or the NEA and be done with it.
Not so the human poverty stricken.
Call me eccentric but once poverty has a face where I’m concerned, my imagination tends to work overtime. I think that’s what is behind my compulsion to give the down and out the price of a cheap meal whenever I run into them; for my sake, rather than for theirs, mostly.
Back to the old tramp.
As weeks had already passed, I had all but forgotten about him till this afternoon on my return home from lunch and shopping.
Oh no, there he was tramping along Bukit Timah Road, a plastic bag in one hand, as usual.
But thankfully, he was wearing a shirt that seemed new or if a cast off, then still good enough for several weeks of continuous wear.
(Followers of this blog may remember that I last wrote about this tragic case on Sep 19 that “he looked even worse for wear: his tattered shirt looked even worse than in my last post. Any minute, every semblance of what was once a garment is going to disintergrate into shreds, if not dust.”)
Someone had obviously given him the shirt!
Now for my peace of mind, I hope that someone would give him a home too.
Is that too much to ask from a country that seems to be spending million$ left, right and center?