This afternoon I bumped into a guy who came up to me and greeted me with Assalaamu Alaikum. I returned the greeting. He spoke to me by name and asked me whether I knew him. I told him that I was trying to recollect where we have met and who he was, with a Smile.
He then asked me whether I know where I am from, and I told him yes! He said that when we become Male’ians it would be difficult to remember our roots. I told him it wasn’t and that I was still trying to recollect who he was.
He told me that he was from Hithadhoo (which is my home island) and said that he is a cancer patient. He showed me some scars on his hand and legs. He also said that he has come to Male’ to go for treatment abroad and that the person (he told me the name too) who sponsored his treatment had told him that he would have to board in Male’ himself while waiting to go to India.
This person (let’s call him Wisham) told me that since it was difficult for him to fend for himself in Male’ he has decided to go to Addu and he has come up to me to ask for assistance to pay for his passage. I asked him how much it was and he told me that it was 265.00 Rufiyaa. I asked him which boat he was going on, and he told me he was going to go on Aagalaa Boat.
At that point, I told him that I would arrange to pay Aagalaa Boat. I told him I will call them and that he could go. He then told me that he had a bad experience before where a person told him to stay in a guest house and when he had to leave this person was not there or could not be found to make payment.
I explained to Wisham that I have had similar bad experiences in the past and I cannot trust strangers to give them money. That I would be more than willing to help a person in need, as much as I can. He then got a bit upset and said that he was not comfortable taking money from a person who cannot trust him, and it would be alright even if I did not call Aagalaa to make payment.
He went unhappy and upset.
On my way back to office, I bumped into the businessman Wisham had mentioned. I shook hands with him and asked whether he remembers this person. After a while he asked me about the appearance of the person and the following is what he had to tell me:
One day Wisham met him by the mosque and he asked for some assistance as he was stuck in Male’ and did not have any means to look after himself, and was fighting cancer. This gentleman had given him 500 Rufiyaa that day. He said he had known him from somewhere with others he was friends with.
Later on another day he had again come to him and told a long story and had said that he was going for treatment abroad and was badly in need of money. He needed a few thousand dollars. The businessman, who usually did not take much money around with him, had a thousand dollars in his pocket that particular day and he had given Wisham the 1,000.00 US Dollars. He came across Wisham a couple of weeks later, and he asked how things were, and he was told that everything went well and that he was going back to Addu.
Then, much later he got a call from another friend, who inquired whether he had given a particular Wisham a thousand dollars for treatment. He said yes and he was told that this person had come to the other businessman saying that he had lost the thousand dollars and the ticket and the passport in the mosque and had come for assistance.
Wisham is going around with this story and it may be you that he will come to next!