Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It has been almost two weeks into the Ramadan. Ramadan used to be magical to me, a spiritual experience but now, I do not feel it much. Perhaps, I have rusted or perhaps, I have gotten old and matured and have lost the innocence to feel spirituality. Or perhaps, I have changed quite a lot these past few years, leaden with anxiety, depression, anger, hatred and contempt. Perhaps, the heart has built too many walls with which to shield itself from the outside world that it has grown sceptical of the world. Perhaps. There are too many perhaps. Perhaps and maybes. Those are the only two major words I use in my mind nowadays. 

Life is a lot like jumping off an aircraft without a parachute. The moment one steps off the door, the only way to go is down. The eventuality is a certainty. But what gives the illusion of float is only temporary. Some people step off and never got quite used to falling off, so that they fall ungracefully, screaming even, turning round and round. Some fall in grace, seemingly to fly like a bird, winds on their faces, smiles all round. I would like to be like them, but as it is, I am struggling to keep afloat with some control. The ground is there, down there for sure and every second and minute count, to make this temporary fall, a good one. Because it is the only one. There is no returning to the aircraft. I like this flow of thought though. Everyone falls, everyone dies.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The E-mail

The e-mail is so much a part of getting things done now, so much so, it is the necessary gatekeeper for information to be requested and information to be provided. Nowadays, it is not sufficient to just meet with the specific person who holds the information. Information can only be provided when an e-mail is forwarded, signifying a formal request even though the person is sitting next to me. I must be from the old school where words will just suffice to instigate an informative response. I feel like a corporate hillbilly now. Times have changed. I wonder where I can find another company which does not need the e-mail correspondence. The e-mail is an added bureaucracy. FOS at most times.

It rains outside. A second time, this week in Kuala Lumpur. The rain will help to reduce the prevalent dustiness in the air. It does not matter that much to me. I go in and out of air-conditined spaces. The only negative thing is its effect on vehicular traffic movement. KL roads are like clogged intestines during and after a downpour. I cannot really tell where the rectum is actually. I have always avoided peak traffic hour but yesterday, I had accidentally dropped my keys at the PJ Secret Recipe. Silently brooding, my wife (on her birthday) had to drive me to PJ through the thick traffic and back again to Bangsar through the thick traffic. It was no fun for me either when Secret Recipe still registers a telephone nuber which is no longer valid. It was no fun to walk from the office to Bukit Pantai, amidst the dirt and dust and the uncomfortable heat. It was the repercussion from a shallow pocket and a low sofa chair. I had mulled over how not to lose the keys. Hang around neck, insert in hankerchief, hang on chain to trousers and even hang on those places that only see little of the day. What to do. Life is like that. Sometimes we lose things and we get them back and sometimes we don't. I don't mind losing the bad ones, though.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

On birthdays and the parting of ways

Today is my wife's birthday and  I was the fiftieth person (so she said) to have wished her a happy birthday. I was not late on the day but rather on the hour. As for myself, I frown on my own birthday. If immortality is what I seek, then I would not care much about the birthdays. However, as it is, we are all mortals and so, the birthday is like the milestone on the perilious journey towards the end. I wonder if everyone else in the world look forward to retirement and old age. Some of course, did not make it and falter along the way, either from cancer, accidents, murder, war or famine. Whatever it is, a birthday is a rejoice of one's entry into the world. I don't remember if I had smiled on coming out from my mother. But my parents insisted that as a baby I was quiet and brooding and minded my own business. I am still like that, more or less. Hmmm..

Speaking of retirement, this year marks the twentieth year of my career in this company. It has been that long. But today,  I will commence to initiate my exit. That will be the milestone of event that I have been waiting for, for the past one year. The bird has to go free, the horse brought out to pasture. Of course, there can be many words to describe it. I am elated. I see the open door, and outside it, the expansive plain with some hills over yonder, with birds flying against the blue sky. I see nothing else.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Crisp was the morning as I drove under the tall trees lining both sides of the winding road after having sent my son to his school. The thought came to mind of the word "quaint". Whenever that word comes to mind, I am brought to the scenario of a small brick cottage with  a seasoned chimney on its roof, overlooking a treeless plain  at the end of a small path which had crossed  a short ancient bridge under which a brook runs. To my mind, that is the definition of the word "Quaint". Somehow, this morning the mind wonders if it can apply the same definition for the road that I was driving on. The trees and the winding road had suggested that, I think. For a few minutes, I argued with the mind that the scenario in front of me could not measure up to the parameters of the current definition of the word quaint. The mind retorted that it could be used for the scene given the calmness and its aloofness from the busyness of life that it had shown. I argued that such was only available intermittently but not permanently as opposed to the small cottage by the brook. It lacked consistency, I added, of displaying the same sentiment all day or for all year. It just happened at the moment in time for the road with the right proportion and combination of sunlight through the trees, a clear blue sky with some clouds and of course the trees. It would not be peaceful once people drive their cars to go to work.  

Finally the mind relented and acquisced with my argument because I had been objective with my reasons and so it did not sulk and rant like it would normally do. And so the scenario of that small cottage with the chimney and the brook running  beside it has survived another attempt at revision. I doubt that such a scenario really exists but it exists in my mind and that is all that matters. The word "quaint" is the label for the imagination I have of this scenery. Surely it will look timeless but when rationality prevails, I would want the cottage to have internet access with proper utilities and of course, a car by the side. No. These will not be part of the scenery of course. Because it is not going to happen. It is only residing in my mind after all.