Mr Samuel was our form teacher in our secondary school days in 1977 and it was only in a recent gathering with some old classmates that I learnt the only one who has been maintaining contact with him all these years is Ragu.
Single and living mostly a reclusive life, he was soon swindled by a long time friend after getting a lump sum payout for his pension some 7 years ago. Since he retired from his only known profession – teaching and English language to be precise, he has been struggling to keep ends meet. His only kin is a sister is in Kuala Lumpur and she is already 85-year old.
After some effort, Ragu managed to arrange a meeting with him and I was eagerly looking forward to that day for I have not seen him for more than 20 years already. When I saw him, he is still as obese as before but the unkempt long white hair makes him look older than his 67 years. Due to his weight and coupled with poor health, walking a short distance is akin to running a marathon and it is really a pain to watch.
He still reads vividly and his only prized possession is the collections of books that can fill up the entire room. While his physical condition is waning, his mind is still sharp and active. I am flattered he can still remember my name and I have promised a retreat with him and some of us to a resort soon.