Thursday, March 1, 2012

Life's contrast

'Sakinah' Yacht for charter at Telaga Harbour

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, my holiday continues from Langkawi to Penang Island - my hometown, a UNESCO World Heritage City. But a holiday is not just about putting one's feet up or having fun.

I saw a myriad of His manifestations, from the most luxurious of lifestyles to that of a meagre living. At Telaga Harbour Marina in Langkawi one gets to see yachts of the mega-rich berthing on one side and fishing boats on the other side of the beautiful harbour. It's both a playground for the wealthy and a place where fishermen could only dream about earning as much as the yacht's monthly berthing fee.

Telaga Harbour Marina, Langkawi

On another side of the island, I met a school boy working as a part-time waiter at a seaside stall. On his naive and boyish face I could see a fire of determination. Hence, I was overcome with both pride and sympathy. I hope and I think he must have heard about the owner of The Danna Langkawi, a 5-star boutique hotel at Telaga Harbour Park, who was once a meat seller. 

Seaside stall near Langkawi Airport
At the Langkawi Airport, I met a 60-something woman working as a janitor. I asked Makcik Zaleha how long she had been working there. She said, "Long time...the management has changed three times and I am still here."

Today, in Penang my gregarious mum chatted with a woman who invested the RM500 government bonus she had just received to start a curry-puff stall. "It is my second day doing this. I have six children in boarding school to look after," she said matter-of-factly.

No matter what our profession or lifestyle is, may we remain a  servant who is grateful and God-fearing. Oh, surely, it is for a good reason that Allah will let the poor be the first to enter the heavens.

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