The 4th week, and I still find this place very interesting. Full of life, even in the early hours. I started today a bit earlier than usual. I started my walk from Jalan Bunus and headed straight to Masjid Jamek KL, hoping to catch something there. And. Something very compelling happened. Before that, these are the seven photos for today. Read on to know the whole story.
These are some of the people behind Unggas Kuala Lumpur. A group of people who dedicate their life every Sunday morning preparing, packing and distributing foods to the poor and homeless around the area. Unggas Kuala Lumpur is the only team allowed to use Masjid Jamek as its base. And in collaboration with Masjid Jamek itself, they had held several activities there. One of the prominent members of the team, “Mami” said that the foods are mostly prepared with their own budget and some comes from the regular contributors. They are seriously looking for volunteers to help them with their activities and also welcome generous contributions from the public. The team had volunteers from Nilai University and IKBN Sepang this morning. When I reached Masjid Jamek, most of the food have been distributed by the volunteers. If you are interested to be part of the team or know more about them, do check out their FB page Unggas Kuala Lumpur.
This is someone, homeless (gelandangan) I assume, whom I met while on my way to Masjid Jamek. When I managed to catch up next to him, I asked, “Abang nak pegi mana?” “Nak pergi Masjid Jamek. Mereka ada bagi makan-makan pagi ni” he said. “Oo saya pon nak ke sana jugak, saja jalan-jalan ambik gambar, untuk projek sendiri”. Then he replied “Saya pon tengah buat research sebenarnya ni. Pasal gelandangan di KL. Dah berbulan-bulan saya jadi gelandangan. Tapi dah nak habis dah research saya ni, lagi 2 -3 hari je”. Then things start to explode in my head. “What? Are you sure? Biar betul dia ni?” On our way, he shared a lot about the homeless, from the government effort, to the relief provided, the problem with homeless themselves and what we can do to help them. Some of them are unruly and will stay the same way even there is help provided he said. In few minutes, we reached Masjid Jamek where he helped himself to the packed meals.
We sat at a corner and continued our chat. Then boom again! He said he got an offer to be a Dean in one private university, somewhere in Bestari Jaya and continued “Saya akan sambung phd untuk retiree di NSW, Sydney lepas pencen.” I was like “What the heck?”
Then I discreetly look at him up and down. You know la, a photographer have to pay attention to details. Yup, true enough, he is a true gelandangan of how a gelandangan should be, I concluded to myself. I am somewhat still sceptical about what he had said. Then after a while, I asked him his name. He said “Amin”.
Moments later, I found myself chatting to Mami, we talked mostly about Unggas KL and her own experience doing soup kitchen. And at that juncture, I also asked her about “Amin”. And Mami’s reply caused the third explosion in my head.
“Yes, he has been doing his research for months and yes, he is a Professor!”
Note to self – Lain kali jangan pandang orang tak ada mata.