..Pin at her gift shop..
..unlike her brother, who is married with two daughters, Pin, in her mid-forties, is a spinster..customers will normally find them cheerful and easy to deal with..as with most Chinese in Kelantan, both speaks Malay with a heavy Kelantanese dilect..
..Chuan, the goldsmith..
..whilst Chuan commutes everyday from Kota Bharu, where he has a home, Pin makes the little shop her home.. and home is where she takes care of her 74year-old father..who remains motionless for the past two years..on a bed and at the back portion of the shop...senior Chuan is totally paralyzed after a stroke that he suffered in early 2007..fed through a tube, and on schedule every day by Pin, only his eyes move..
..but his hair grows...
..every now and then, my wife will be asked to crop his hair.. the first time the request was made, she called me to ask whether it will be alright..the terms of her opening the little shop was unequivocal..no men..I pondered over it when she called.. Chuan Senior is a friend..we used to chat and joked over stuff and damsels during his healthier times..so I said ok..but I want to be there when you do it..
..not used to cropping hair in bed to a motionless head, my wife struggled..I helped lift his head..all the while avoiding his eyes..but it met, nonetheless..for a moment there, it was like staring into a bottomless pit..as a tear welled in his, mine filled..I murmured something to Pin..but I know he was trying to say thank you..
..later, that night, after Isyak prayers, I gave my thanks to Him..thank you, O Lord, for Your little mercies..if I must die, for I know I must, let it be with iman.. and let it be quick..let me not suffer, O Lord..for You are the Most Loving..and the Most Merciful...