Reading Pakcik’s reminiscence (Pt 14) my No 3 was reminded of an uncanny incident, noted it down and passed it to Pakcik as part of his comments. I am inclined to post this as a new entry. Here is what he wrote to Pakcik:
Seventeen years ago in 1993, Mdm Quah, who came from Penang, was in London for a short stop-over whilst on the way to the US to see her daughter. In London, she went to Flat 5, Queensgate Terrace to drop off a package for one of her friend’s daughters. When she arrived at the ground floor apartment, she found nobody home. So, she went up a flight of stairs and knocked on the door of the first apartment she saw. A malay boy happened to open the door. Mdm Quah explained to the boy that she was there to leave a package for someone living on the ground floor.
“ I wonder if I could ask you to pass this to her,” pleading for a simple favour.
“ But of course, Madam. That’s no trouble at all,” replied the Malay boy, picking up the small package from the Chinese lady. With a smile she looked at the boy’s face and thanked him earnestly.
That evening the boy dutifully passed the package to its owner on the ground floor.
That was a little incident, an insignificant footnote in both Mdm Quah’s and the boy’s life; in anyone’s life for that matter. Two complete strangers meeting for a very fleeting moment, both in a place far far away from home
Fifteen years later after a normal family dinner I was having a casual conversation with my mother in law. I had just returned from Chicago on business and so we were exchanging travel stories. She was reminded of her trip to the US many years ago. She had had a stop-over in London.
Then she began to reminisce of what she did in London, including a visit to a block of flats on Queensgate to pass a small package to a friend’s daughter.
“Oh,” I said, “what a coincidence, I used to live there when I was studying at Imperil College.”
She said that her friend’s daughter was not in. As it was not easy to get there again, she walked up the stairs and gave a knock on the first door she saw.
“Oh, “I said again, “I used to live on the first floor.”
She then said a Malay boy popped his head out. So, she thought it was safe to ask a fellow Malaysian to hand the package over to the girl, she went on to relate her story.
At that instance, it all clicked – London … Queensgate ….1993 ….. a Chinese lady from Malaysia …. a package … for the girl on the ground floor … ?”
Oh, I said ….. My mouth went agape as the realization hit me. “ So it was you, Ma! “
“ ..and you, Amran!” was all that my Chinese mother in law could say, realizing too what truly happened fifteen years ealier.
We looked at each other silently for what seemed a long few minutes. We both realized, at the very same instant, that we had met before.
I met my wife’s mother even before I had met my wife! I only met my wife-to-be a good two years later after I had graduated and returned back to KL.
Is there such thing as coincidence, that a thing happens without a reason?
Here I referred my No 3 to the Quranic Surah Yunus in connection with the creation of the planetary system (ayat 5 , part of which is shown below ).
Muhammad Asad’s understanding of this was :
“ …………. None of this has God created without (inner truth). Clearly does He spell out these messages unto people of (innate) knowledge.”
Mohammad Asad added the following explanatory notes in relation to the above Quranic verse:
“ …………. implying that everything in this universe – whether existent or potential or abstract – is meaningful, and nothing is ‘accidental’ ……..”
Unfortunately, we do not possess the faculty to understand all the “messages”, but that should not stop us from thinking.
No 3 met his wife’s mother years before he met his wife-to-be and Pakcik met her much later. And all these ending with Malcik and Pakcik acquiring a charming daughter-in-law from a Chinese family, one I never dreamed of and bargained for but one we are all very grateful to Allah for. Who can we account for all these to have happened?
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan