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When life was all gloom

I met her in Ipoh -- my hometown -- when she begged for money two years ago.

Nini -- my niece in Ipoh -- called me a minute ago to say that she had died.

She had been infected with HIV for many years but the details of her death are sketchy.

I, like many in Ipoh, don't know her name.

She had approached me at the Central Market in Ipoh on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr in 2008 and asked for money. I gave her RM20; she thanked me profusely and went away.

That was my first and last encounter with her.

She was a beauty in her teens but her tragic life turned her into a demented soul, by all accounts.

Apparently she was raped repeatedly as a teenager.

Some allege that the perpetrator of the crime was her father; it is unclear whether he was her biological father or stepfather.

The disappointments and betrayals in her life later forced her into prostitution.

It appeared that everything had conspired to make her life a misery.

I don't know if she had sought medical help for her condition.

According to the Malaysian AIDS Council, an average of 10 people are being infected daily and there are some 87,000 HIV-infected people in Malaysia.

I believe that life's not all gloom and despondency but how do you describe hers?

The brevity of human life. It's a terrifying thought.

But Rumi reminds us that "everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannises their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl".

Al-Fatihah.

Comments

justmytwocents said…
Whoever raped her should be shot in between the eyes. The evil does not deserve to live for his action jumpstarted or 'helped launch' her prostitution 'career'. I know many assholes with narrow minds would say that life consists of many decision-making processes so SHE made that choice to become a sex worker, nobody put a gun at her head and forced her to be one. How I'd love to see these unappointed moral advocates deal with this issue themselves if their daughter followed the same footsteps as this poor woman.

If life's many bitterness can simply be solved by thinking rational thoughts and taking sensible steps, there would be no traumatized victims of rape or any other forms of abuse that would choose to succumb to 'What's left for me to do now that I'm worthless?'. Life isn't easy because it's not a walk in the park. Not every one can see things from a clear and sensible perspective because we respond to and deal with tragics differently.

This poor woman had to pay a dear price for someone else's sin. I am not sure if she's aware of her health condition. Maybe she just thinks she has other types of STDs and not the dreaded HIV as many sex workers have such mind set that actually helps them from losing their will to live.

Maybe she knows she has HIV and, out of anger and frustration, wants to spread it to as many men as possible. If she's that mad, you can't blame her.

She deserves to be treated no differently from a bank manager, say. The point is, screw the fact that she sells her body because she has feelings and needs just like us.
Faezah Ismail said…
Thank you very much for your concern.

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