Sunday, 13 January 2013

A blind couple who made me see



This entry is in a way an attempt at my already failed challenge with Datin Rosmah Yaakob.

Makan Cafe, right in the heart of Portobello Market, is the place to be on Saturday - or any other day.  The atmosphere, the people and of course the food. Yesterday, a little late, the children decided to have their favourite all day English breakfast of toast, halal sausage, baked beans, fried eggs.  I had my usual laksa lemak and Hulaimi ordered satay.  I have always wanted to be a fly on the wall in Makan Cafe.  Ani and Azhar - the owner have what it takes to attract all kinds of people to their popular eatery in one of the most popular street markets in London.  It was made even more popular by the film Nottinghill with its blue painted door.  

Yesterday, the crowd at Makan Cafe was a mixture of the usual tourists to the area and regulars like us. Ani, after making whatever she had to do in the kitchen, came out and talked to her customers, chatted with her regulars and even sat down with them for a natter.  She is the magnet to Makan Cafe, apart from the food.  She listens to their worries, shares their good news and generally a friend to those coming in from the cold.

An old man, sat at the table by the toilet - I couldn't see him at first, but heard his booming voice, sometimes agitated , sometimes, bursting into a song.  Ani told me he was one of her regulars - perhaps a singer in his younger days and now a little confused and in his own world in his advanced life. He found sanctuary in Makan Cafe, he found someone who accepted him for what he is, or what he has become.

As one by one customer left to see what was left of the market, a couple walked in. They held on to each other - each with a white walking stick. Both, visibly impaired was the proverbial blind leading the blind.  Obviously regulars too to Makan Cafe, they found a table opposite us.  The man, perhaps in his sixties, and blessed with a better eyesight then his wife, adjusted the chair for her to sit on. She is hijabbed, and kept her dark glasses on, whispering constantly to him and he responding back.  

I couldn't take my eyes off them and felt so much an intruder into their private space.  All around me , couples , families, groups of friends were communicating and getting connected - but via their gadgets; whatsapping, sms'ing,, bbm'ing and what not.  But this couple, though blind were looking at each other and communicating.  The husband would only look away from his wife when he cut and diced the food on her plate.  He guided her hand to the cutlery and with saw that she ate her food.

For once I didnt finish my laksa lemak.  I watched them enviously.  How beautiful is their way of communicating with each other.  How connected they are without their Samsung S3 or iPhone or the latest gadget in the market.  

When we were done, I took a snap of them together but mysteriously, there was no trace of that picture.  Perhaps I wasnt supposed to intrude into their private space.  Perhaps they were not even there - but others with me saw them too.  Perhaps, the blind couple were there to make us see what we have lost.  Yes, perhaps.

We left Makan Cafe, after a rendition of My Way by the old man sitting by the toilet. The cold evening air greeted us and I left Portobello Market with memories of the couple who have more sight and insight then us with 2020 vision.

27 comments:

Uncle said...

Salam Kak Teh.

Mann...where have you been?

Uncle said...

Laaa.....Kak Teh pi mana?

Kak Teh said...

Salam Uncle, kak teh ada di sini tapi sibuk dan sememangnya banyak yang nak ditulis tapi entahlaa - dari satu hari ke satu hari nak mulakan blog. dah hampir setahun!! Apa khabar?

Al-Manar said...

Lamanya tak nampak. Tapi ada dengar. Katanya ada balik. Cuma tak melekor ke kampong keropok.

Salam dari kami berdua. Orang tua. Macam dalam cerita!

MrsNordin said...

What's with this challenge with DSR?

Kak Teh said...

Abang Ngah - ya , tersibuk sikit and memang niat nak update blog tapi ...sigh!!! Love to both of you too. Recently anwar datang pun tak sempat jumpa.

Kak Teh said...

Mrs N - the challenge was to kickstart our blog on New Years's day - I dilly dallied while she started her blog! hehe! tak apa - i still sapu sawang my blog in January of this new year.

ummisara said...

Salam Kak teh,

lamanya u menghilang....rinduuuu1

tersentuh hati i baca apa yang u tulis pasal pasangan tuh...

take care kak teh.

edelweiss

Kak Teh said...

salam edelweis!! kak teh pun rindu pd pembaca2 choc a blog - dan rindu nak berblogging tapi...aah, tapi apa ya? hehe! anyway, its good to be back!

ninotaziz said...

Oh Kak Teh, how beautiful. I I can imagine all the people you described at Makan Cafe in the middle of Portebello Street.

Your narration reminds me of the French movie Amelie, one of my favourite.

Salam and take care.

Kak Teh said...

yes, I watched Amelie too!! Like I said - I felt I was intruding. It was such a private and special moment for just the two of them.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Yeeha! You're back!!! Errr.....would you tell a certain "uncle" I know to also clear his cobwebs? I really miss your celoteh. purrr...meow!

Kak Teh said...

Cat i Sydney - will do - he is in the same hybernating mode.....winter, kan? hehe

MrsNordin said...

Ayy.. she has a blog? What is it called?

Kak Teh said...

kak teh rasa the ceramicdesigner.com

Temuk said...

Assalam Kak Teh
Cantik kisah yang dipaparkan itu! Ada orang yang bahagia dalam kekurangan seperti adanya juga orang yang menderita dalam kemuncahan. Semoga tak putus-putus entri Kak Teh seterusnya nanti.

Sue Hussain said...

what a touching story. luv it.

Kak Teh said...

Terima kasih Temuk kerana sudi membaca dan terus membaca walaupun jarang sekali saya menulis.

Kak Teh said...

Sue - it was a touching scene that spurred me on to write this post.

Zubaidah Arshad said...

Hello Kak Teh. Lama senyap sepi. Hehe

Kak Teh said...

Hello Zubaidah, thanks for the visit...ya, I know i have been quiet and I notice that you are still prolific. I will find time, I miss blogging BUT there are some other priorities.

Nasriah Abdul Salam said...

Kak Teh, just read the entry and it's beautifully written. It brought me again into Makan Cafe, wish to visit Kak Ani.

And how true, the gadgets and all the touch screen equipments are sometimes like a 'pick pocket'...:)

Chahya said...

Salam Kak Teh,
it's soo touching...
The communication tools help us to connect online but regrettably detach from those in close proximity offline. Not the tools fault, obviously. They just require a different kind of handling I think.

Chahya said...

Salam Kak Teh,
it's soo touching...
The communication tools help us to connect online but regrettably detach from those in close proximity offline. Not the tools fault, obviously. They just require a different kind of handling I think.

2langkahdibelakang said...

Thank you Aunty.. post ni buat saya berfikir.Thank you

kacang buncis said...

salam perkenalan...first time singgah sini..moga berjaya dalam dunia blog dan menghasilkan karya2 yang terbaik

cik mah said...

Salam! Baru menjengah2!