Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Inspired by a stranger!

And the man died….
It’s not everyday that we come across’ clients’ or ‘customers’ that leaves us with an impression. Even though I wasn’t regular at the office until January this year; I had had a handful of rude and insensitive clients to deal with. I do not particularly believe in the mantra of “customers being always right’. However, I know when the wish and demands of a customer should be paramount.
And so it was that, a couple of months ago, a gentle middle-aged man walked through the glass door, like every other customers; and asked to register a Church.
Even though am subjected to scrutiny and labelling, I have always been a tolerant person and do not treat non-Muslims with disdain or rebuke. Afterall, where I come from, extended families or even immediate ones always have a mixture of both faiths. In the end, we are all families!
The deceased, Mr. Brown Cassoma Anthonio was like any other client and I attended to him like I would any other…respect, courtesy and willingness to serve.
It is no gainsaying that, people have dragged the name of God along with their bad attitudes and have committed sacrilegious sins, in the name of God. This is particularly common in my home country. But why I singled out this customer wasn’t because he was representing’ decency’ or Godliness’. Anybody could have been so and yet be inconsiderate, rude and ill mannered. The man was simply being human, very mature and gentle. He could have been my father, or at most my Uncle.
Just yesterday, I was speaking to my hubby about his registration which is long overdue. I even mentioned it to the new receptionist that, the man probably wasn’t pestering me and bombarding me with phone calls because “he was a man of God”.
So, it was indeed a great shock when few minutes ago, his wife, whom I’ve never met in person came into our office to enquire about the status of their application, if they were still owing us any outstanding fees for the registration, and, ”to inform me that the man had passed away”. He had been buried on Saturday...he passed away last Thursday. I was shocked…there was no way I could hide the expression of utter shock on my face!
Even the student that was present while I got the news had to ask if I knew the man personally…Of course not! I had never met him before until the day he came into the office for registration. And had only spoken to him on the phone afterwards. About two weeks ago, I made a call through to him but never got to speak with him. From the few conversations we’ve had over the phone regarding this registration, I had gathered that the man was not ‘acting’ or ‘pretending’ to be cool, calm and considerate. He was truly a gentleman. Even his wife admitted to this when she came in a little while ago. She said the man had died from organ failure. His condition was worsened and compounded by wrong medication…God knows best!
Am still in dismay. It seems like I spoke with the man just yesterday. I do not know him from Eve, but was deeply touched by his demise. It just reaffirmed the already known fact that, it is a small world’ and anyone could die at anytime. The late Mr. Brown showed no sign of illness whatsoever when I last saw and spoke with him…





Death! Oh death! You strike with or without a warning!
And take your victim on a journey that knows no comeback!
You take the ill! The innocent! The young and the old!
Race or colour is no barrier!
Nothing can stop you even if your victim owns an Island or an entire town.
Riches cannot stand in your way if you so choose to strike!!!
We are no immortals and that is the known fact…
A reality that needs neither admittance nor denial!
Death! Oh death!
I pray that before you come for me..
My acts, I would have polished!
My thoughts I would have refined!
And my faith I would still hold on to!
For no one knows the hour or day….
Let’s live life with these thoughts at the back of our minds!

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