Three weeks ago after a wonderful family gathering we were on our way back from Wanstead village when I saw a elderly lady on her own pleading to motorists as they drove past. I had seen her from distance and noted that no one had stopped. It was dark, dusk and a warm late spring day.
I stopped my car, got out of it and spoke to her, she pleaded for food. She claimed that she did not have any money and that her last penny was recently stolen. She wanted me to go and buy a meal for her and to deliver it to her house, which was in a cul-de-sac some 50 yards away. I offered to drive her to the takeaway nearby, as I did not have any cash on me, but she declined and insisted that she will return home.
I left her at the scene and drove down to the nearest takeaway and bought food and drink for her.
I was troubled by this unusual request, so when I saw a police car nearby on my way to her house, I stopped and sought their advice. I was told in no uncertain term to go home particularly as I had my family with me.That I should not deliver the meal to her and that, I was courting disaster.
On further reflection I decided turn back and go home.
This played on my conscience for several days. I picture this lady dishevelled, lonely and pleading to motorists as they drove past and perhaps going hungry. I still wonder whether I should have ignored the officer’s advice and gone to her house.
Abdul Hafezi10th June 2011
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