Some things happen in your life for a brief moment and it leaves you wondering. Could it be true?
I was with a friend at a lunch appointment couple of weeks back and in the middle of our discussion, this Indian guy walks up to us, and gestures an apology for interrupting. We both stopped and turned to look at him, expecting him to ask for directions or something along those lines. He was pretty young, probably in his mid 30s. Tall, well dressed in a short sleeved shirt and a pair of khaki pants.
All of a sudden, he bursts out in tears, and starts asking, no begging us to help him. In between tears, I could make out that he was from India, couldn't get which part, and that he came to Singapore to find work not too long ago. And then he's stricken with kidney failure. At this point, he lifts up his shirt to reveal a urine bag with a tube that leads to I don't know where. He kept asking us to check him because he's genuine. And then he shows us this medicine pack from Raffles Medical Hospital, saying that he cannot afford the medication. It's too expensive and he doesn't know what to do. Then he tells us he needs money for medicine, while chocking back his words with his tears.
I didn't know what to say. I looked at my friend and my friend looked back blankly. Then I started to tear.
There have been cases where people have come up to me and asked for money for food, and when I tell them to sit with me and order what ever they like on my tab, they leave. So is this genuine? Fortunately, the friend that I was having lunch with was a doctor, and he told this man that he can't offer him money but he could offer him a packet of the medication that he needed. The man told us, he doesn't need money. He needs money for the medication, and that if we could get him the medication, he doesn't need money from us. I felt it was a genuine case. Is it? So we told him to wait outside the restaurant because we were in the middle of a business discussion, and that we would take him to get the medication when we were finished.
Intermittently, this man would walk into the restaurant to look for us again. I'm not sure he understood that he had to wait till our discussion was over. Maybe we didn't make ourselves clear enough, that my friend was a doctor and if you could just wait, you could have your medication. When we were finally done with our discussion about another hour later, he had left. Very unfortunate because my friend had already called in and had the medication prepared already. So, was it genuine? He was okay not to receive money if he had the medication.
I don't think I'll ever be able to find out, unless I meet this Indian man again. If I ever do meet him again. I'm not sure if this was a set up or a hoax, but I'm sure that there are genuine cases like that with people who really need help but are not receiving the help that they need, and just knowing this fact breaks my heart.