The quiet man

November 7, 2014

There is a quiet man who lives not very far from where I turn the wheel of life. He came here just around the same time as me, very little is known about him, other than the fact, he once worked as a banker in Singapore. These days, he runs a small, but highly profitable mushroom farm that caters for the lucrative Dubai market.

The quiet time doesn’t venture out into the village very often and on the rare occasions when he shows up to stock up on sundries. He goes about his business quietly and discreetly.

From time to time during the afternoon just before the sun slips over the mountain ranges. The quiet man can be seen leaning on my fence line lost in thoughts as he looks out at the birds flying around my bird house. Like me I reckon he likes birds as well. Most of the time, we just smile and wave at each other from a distance where I can just about make out his reserved features. Never ever once exchanging a word. It’s been like this for over four years.

At other times the quiet man leaves a basket of mushrooms at my gate….the quiet man never leaves a note.

The quiet man is always alone. All by himself.

One day when I saw him walking my lands. I smiled and waved to him. The quiet man look visibly distraught, but nonetheless waved back.

Soon rumors started circulating in the kampung grapevine that only the quiet man is permitted to roam freely in the land of the devil. When the matter was brought up to me a few times by others who asked, why can’t we enter your lands….what is so special about the quiet man that you even accord him such privileges. I merely told these Kay Poh fucks that…it is my land to do as I please.

One evening while the quiet man was strolling on my lands, he asked me in a stammering voice whether I would like to visit his mushroom farm to see some of his new crops. He mentioned he has plans to start an enterprise back home and would really value my inputs concerning this new business proposal. After that the quiet mention, we could enjoy a meal together and some fine cognac that he has been saving for such a moment.

I shook the hands of the the quiet man for the very first time in four years….it mentioned…it would be a rare privilege.


‘Let me tell you this: if you meet a man of few words, who much prefers his own company to others, no matter what he tells you or write, it’s not because he’s trying to find himself in solitude or he’s trying to fashion a temple of contentment thru some great exploration of loneliness.

That’s all bullshit!

Let me tell it as it is. It’s because once upon a time somewhere in this quiet man’s life – he tried his very best to make things work in that world that he has now shut away from himself like a man who takes all of who he once was, puts it all in shoe box and slips it underneath his bed…and that has to be an incredibly sad thing…to watch yourself die and to know that from this point onwards…you are nothing more than a shell of a man….damaged goods….because no matter what you say of this quiet man. Even you cannot deny he must have once tried so bloody hard to hold it all together that he probably gave it his all….but somewhere in that great personal battle, maybe a combination of people and circumstances probably hurt and disappointed him so much this that he simply had to run away like a wounded animal and hide in the jungle.

So when one comes across these quiet souls… must always be very gentle, quiet and never force the moment…..and providing one respects their space, dignity and give them the benefit of good light….one day it will all come together very nicely and the quiet man will begin to regain his faith in himself, humanity and the world that he once turned away from.

The greatest gift one man can give to another man is botherhood. Do not ask of me how I know about such things. I just know.’

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