Waiting in the sun for the shade to come
Dzul, a farmer and part-time fisherman, is born to work the land, with the merciless environment swirling around, above and beneath him; he does what needs to be done to grow his crops and make an income.
Times are tough for him and many like him who have chosen a life away from the luxuries of the city, and feed their families from what they can grow with their hands.
With his dirt-covered rubber boots and a sharp knife, Dzul walks the terrain, pointing out to me nature's might and the bounties offered, at a cost of sweat and hardship.
He offers some suggestion on sustainability in a roselle farm, and barks harsh words of dwindling benefits that farmers, like himself, face in a country that seems to pride the corporate work culture rather than those who toil in isolated places. Labor work is quite unpopular in Malaysia, particularly among the younger blood.
Not many Malaysians are willing to nurture the land, and with that, agriculture becomes a burden to societal whims. Hard work is frowned upon, while boastful mannerism gets one everywhere among urban folks.
In Malaysia, urbanization has left many in a vicious cycle of stigmatized professions, where the poor are ignored while the rest kowtow to the elites.
Dzul, my brother, describes to me the urgent need to escape poverty is always riddled with challenges, created by the many who favor comforts of urban life.
He simply said, "Trying to make a decent living is like using an iron bar to crack a boiled egg."