On Dec 18, 2021, tragedy knocked on our door. The river, which used to flow gently, grew and mutated into a ferocious variation of itself.
My family – five of us and our large dog – became victims of the floods. We lost a lot of our possessions, including furniture, stocks of medication, and precious photographs that no amount of money could buy.
It is only during times of distress that we can truly identify the authenticity of those who claim to be our friends.
Subsequently, hearing our neighbours mention evacuation being the only option to survive in the coming days, our heads started to spin.
Evening was approaching and, after moments of deep helplessness and wondering who to call, we resorted to calling my mother’s best friend.
Earlier, we had refrained from calling her because we didn’t want to burden her, but now she was our last hope.
With her handphone battery dying and weak WiFi signals, my mother rang her.
The concern in her voice made my heart swell. “Come and stay with me,” she said.
Without any hesitation, she said she and her daughter would drive down to Taman Sri Muda.
After safely evacuating, we went to the nearby shop lots, to wait for their arrival. We waited for several hours, and dusk soon became nightfall.
We later found out that they’d been going around in circles due to the blocked roads, whilst attempting to drive to our destination. Along flooded streets in an unfamiliar place, they pushed through and went to great lengths to come and get us.
Eventually, before midnight, we managed to get into their cars and were taken to safety in their apartment in KL.
They welcomed us into their cosy home. Our family and hers, along with each of our furry friends, were reunited between the walls of safety and peace.
Like our own fairy godmother, she took care of us all, making hot meals and endless cups of coffee. I was so touched to see how kind she was. I recall her saying, “It’s not a problem at all,’ throughout our stay.
When we got news that the flood waters had subsided, she offered to drive us to and from our home every day to clean it. She did this until we had the green light to move back in.
In my mind, I play back her words that portray such benevolence. “The only reason why I’m driving today is because of your mum. I’ve never driven a car in several years.” I recollect the moment she insisted on driving down from KL on the day of our evacuation to rescue us.
To add to her acts of succour, she helped us clean our damaged house. She was our source of comfort and pillar of strength.
As we threw out pieces of ruined things into disposable bags, washed muddy items and discarded wrecked furniture, she never left our side. Throughout the cleaning process, she reminded us that we can slowly and eventually restore our home to what it once was.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt from this tragedy, it is that we learn the depths of people’s love and care for us only when a storm hits.
The lengths one person goes to for another truly proves the warmth of their heart. I can confidently say that my mother’s best friend has the warmest heart of all. So dear aunty Kumutha, if you are reading this, I sincerely thank you for everything – for your help, for being you and for being our angel of aid.