The boy who sells car perfumes, and ME.

I must admit, I have been uninspired for the past couple of days. Its like I’m slowly slipping down, and down and down… despite everything else around me seems fine. I could not think, I don’t have the desire to do things. To move on. Its hard. When I am away from my family (husband and children, and home) – its hard. And when I am with my family,at home, its also hard, because I could not do (much) PhD work. Due to my nature of PhD (experiments and simulation), I have to be in a specific working system. Its sad to realise that until I finish my PhD, I could not stay with my family for a duration longer than a week, else I will start to have anxiety pangs for not being able to focus on my PhD. Its a mental and emotional torture, and at times like this, I just wish I could pull the plug to stop the misery. 

This morning, like the past few days, I woke up with a heavy mind. I sort the kids before going to office (cook meal, sort out things for them to do, etc). I don’t feel anything, cannot think of what to do next but I force myself to drive to work. I am literally a walking zombie. But I do know that I need to fix myself as soon as possible – I need to get away and shake off this misery and get my head straight again, quickly. Before I drive to office, I stop at the fuel station to withdraw some money and to fill in the tank.

Walking out from my car, I saw a boy, and Indian boy, walking from one car to another, trying to sell something. Poor boy, I thought. If he happened to come to me, I was prepared to give him some money. As I withdrew my money at the ATM machine, that’s when I came to one realisation. I have a lot of things. Allah has bestowed upon me a lot of things. I have money in my bank. I have four, adorable, healthy, clever kids at home. I have a wonderful husband. I have a job, I have a house to call home. I have my parents, siblings and family. I have a (brand new) car. It just happen to be that at this point in my life, I am facing a really hard time trying to make things work with my PhD. I could fail my PhD, I might as well quit. Yet, I still have a lot other things. I can still live. Live calmly, not like a zombie. But how many people out there are feeling, walking and living life like a zombie right now? Waking up to nothing, really. I looked around me at the petrol station, there are people with real hardship – people who has nothing to eat, who has to do anything to get by in life. Suddenly it came to my mind that perhaps Allah wanted me to know and experience how it felt to become a helpless person, feeling nothing to look up to, to look forward to. To feel down in despair. And I have to learn, how to get back up again from the misery. again, and again, and again… So then perhaps one day, I could help these people. Perhaps…

After re-fuelling my car, I was already buckled up and ready to start my engine when the Indian boy came and knocked slowly at my car window. I rolled it down and very politely he said that he is selling car perfumes. I asked him, “Adik tak pergi sekolah ke?” And he said, “Cuti sekolah. Jadi tolong emak jual barang”. (Off course, cuti sekolah. My kids when cuti sekolah is happy at home playing games and having fun…huhu). I asked him again, “Adik dah makan?” Dia senyum sedikit sambil geleng kepala. I handed him some money, “Adik ambil duit ni, adik beli makanan okay”. He smiled and thanked me. I rolled up my window again, and drove to office.

I know that right now, the only One that can help me is Allah. Hasbunallahu wa ni’mal wakeel. To help me move on and go on. Not even my husband, my family nor my supervisor, or anyone else for that matter. I need to keep walking, even if sometimes I’m walking like a zombie. May Allah also guide, protects and help that young Indian boy to keep walking.

Keep walking, dear boy who sells car perfumes