|Singaporean in Kuala
She has been driving for almost 20mins along the highway with only a piece of paper
now place before her: The address. She glanced at the paper again, trying to
remember the instructions given to her by the woman. “use the highway, and exit at
Rawang toll, drive towards Rawang town, before you reach the town, you will see a
small temple, the Sri Maha Mariamman temple, there’s a small road, turn into the road,
go straight, up the hill and you will see the sign board of various Taman there. We are
at Taman …...”
She left KL early right after the school bus picked her daughter up. Decided to use the
car and drive up to Rawang to look for this family herself. She must find out about them.
Who are they? And why are they what they are now? She is not even sure she will find
them, but this desire to know more about them, gave her the courage to drive up to
some place she’s never been before. What can happen? If she get lost, just turn
around and find the way back. Its not that difficult. She've lost her way in KL many
times. Always able to find her way back. It has become like a game for her. Whenever
she's given a new place to find she would respond "no worries, I will find my way there"
And she did.
This is not the first time she's making such trip especially outside KL area. The first was
when she has to make the trip to Kajang with the girl from Trinity Home, looking for the
missing school document so that the girl can start her school again. The search for the
document brings her to Taman Medan in Petaling Jaya, then to another part of KL she
can't even pronounce the name, eventually they end up at Kajang. With Ashwini barely
one year old, in the baby basket, half tank full car and a bad weather, that was quite an
experience. But they found the school just when she's about to make the U turn back to
KL. "By right I shouldn't be giving you this document" the headmistress, A Malay lady
told her "seeing you with the baby in the basket, I cannot say no to you after driving all
the way here....I hope with this, this girl will be able to start her school again...Good
luck" and off she drove back.
The unexpected and The unknown trills her. “It’s good to get lost, the fun begins when
you start finding your way back” her many conversation with the chatters online . “you
enjoy getting lost?” one of them asked her. "This is new to me"
“Well I’m not afraid of getting lost, I know I will always find my way back”
… and the soft familiar voice again over the background replayed in her mind.
“What is important when you climb the mountain? Reaching the top or the climb?” the
voice asked her once.
“depend on what’s the intention?”
“There can only be one intention? Why do you want to climb the mountain in the first
place? Isn’t it a waste of time? Don't you have better things to do?”
“The challenges I guess. Mountains represent the obstacles one faces in life. It is always
associated with strength, beauty and many more. They are not man made like the cities.
They denote height and depth, grandeur and gravity.
“good….but with modern technology, why bother to go through all the hardship of the
climb. You can take the helicopter and bring you up there. Faster and easier. Not much
effort needed. Think…think…I want you to try to look beyond”
She looked at him, trying to find the answer through his eyes, but there's none. His eyes
were cold and hard. She closed hers', and see herself diving deep into the ocean.
"Let your mind flow...let it flow, do not restrict them. Tell me what did you see?" his voice
“Its like the goal and process talk we had last week right?” she open her eyes again and
stared straight at him. He smiled and nodded “what have you learn from that discussion”
he asked again.
“the goal may be important ..the end result, but the process is more crucial. Process is the
transformation that is taking place within the individual. If your process is right, you will
definitely reach your goal. So one should focus more on the process than the goal.
Eventually when you reach your goal, it becomes insignificant because you realize that
the goal is not the end. Achieving this goal will trigger other goals and many other goals.
And the whole process continues. Therefore the goal is not the end nor it’s the beginning”
“good…what else. Related this with the mountain”
“yes I could easily use the helicopter or any modern technology to go up there, but its not
my effort. It’s a borrowed effort. What happen if on the journey back the helicopter
malfunction…what then. Can I have the courage enough to make my own journey down
on my own? I will be to afraid because I have become too dependent on the helicopter to
bring me up here. I don’t know how to come down on my own. The process of climbing up,
I would have learn a lot…I would know the path, the difficulties I have to overcome.
Learning how to survive in the most challenging environment. So even if I’m lost, I will still
be able to find my way through”
“it’s that all?”
“No…there’s different ways of climbing up the mountain. The easy path or the difficult path.
The easy path is when you take the helicopter up or taking the path already set by others.
You take the route laid out there before you. You only follow. You may or may not need the
guide. What so difficult about it since the path already there. Along the way you may see a
sign board saying “danger…beware of Tiger”. Then when you asked the guide “when’s the
last time anyone ever see a tiger” and the guide will say “can’t remember…the last time
they encounter a tiger here maybe be hundred years ago. Then why the sign is still here?
You asked. “because nobody want to remove it…no harm in putting it there….it only serve
as a reminder for others to be careful” the guide answered. “which means this information
you put is outdated. Amount to misinformation?”
“What about the other path?” he asked again.
The difficult path….one needs a guide to bring you up there. The path is very challenging
and not easy. This guide will show you and teach you to identify the markings of a tiger so
that at any time should you encounter one you will know.”
“Good...In time to come you will not need any guide at all…I will have to let you go, and
you will become the guide and create your own path for others to follow”
....his last words bring chills down her spine. She does not want to think of all that....
… She looked for the lift but there’s none. Even if there’s one she wonder whether its feasible to even use it. The
environment is so pathetic. The walls badly vandalized, the letter boxes filled with worn out brochures and litters all over
the place. Smell of stale urine and clothes hanging along the corridor. She looked at the piece of paper again now in her
hand. Saw the house, situated at the corner, but its' locked. Window closed. She walked to the neighbor. An
elderly lady and a young girl seen sitting in the living room watching TV. It’s a single room apartment. The whole place
remind her of the old Geylang.
“oh! They are inside….knock the door” the elderly lady replied to her when she asked about their neighbor.