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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Write down your thoughts and feelings about your past life and what lies ahead.

You are about to live permanently in another country and are waiting for transport to take you there. Write down your thoughts and feelings about your past life and what lies ahead.

The large world map designed impressively on the wall of Changi International Airport caught my eyes. I walked towards it and scrutinized it as though searching for a lost ring in the midst of the jungle. My eyes finally rested on an island at the tip of West Malaysia. It was in this place that I was born, brought up, educated and married. She was indeed my beloved country and home. Besides, her citizens have provided me an insight into human nature. I learnt the most valuable lesson about true friendship and mere hypocrisy.

I fell into a reflective mood. Why should people become materialistic and self-centered when they become successful? Is this inevitable or is it deliberately designed for man? I was holding the rank of Superintendent of Police when it all happened. It was after midnight when that man came running into the police station. He was holding a briefcase. He came in breathless and shouted frantically, “My wife has been murdered!” Being in command, I told some constables to rush to the site where the murder was reported. I was left alone in the station with that man and one of my junior officers. Working in the night shift was a bore!

I tried to calm the almost hysterical man. I asked the officer to bring coffee for him. When my officer went out, that awful man suddenly got up. He opened his briefcase and there, to my utter astonishment was thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, at that very moment, my assistant superintendent stepped in with some constables. He looked astonished and speechless when he saw both of us with the opened briefcase on the table. “Bribery! How could you?” he shouted and picked up the phone, dialed the number for police headquarters and reported what he had seen. Indeed, he had done wrong. A respectable police officer must never accuse another without sufficient proof. Well, maybe he was sure he had proof.

I demanded the case to be brought to court. Inevitably, I won the case and in return I sued him for disgracing me publicly. He wasn’t satisfied. He went around back-biting me with the most unspeakable slander. He was indeed influential as I found myself slowly losing the favor of my “friends”.

Now, here I was, waiting for the plane which will take me to Malaysia. The announcement for the arrival of a plane interrupted my nostalgia. I looked intensely at the plane…

In Malaysia, I will buy a decent house near the town so that my wife can buy the daily necessities easily and my children may go to school. I will buy a piece of land and cultivate cash crops. I will start on a subsistence basis and will finally end up in commercial farming.

As my business prospers, I will export the cash crops. Then, I will build houses and provide free accommodation for my workers. I will develop a processing plant and employ more workers. By then, I will have time to volunteer for social work. I always feel that rural dwellers are full of gratitude towards their benefactors; this virtue, however is slowly disappearing from the hearts of the materialistic urban dwellers.

“Passengers of flight 209, Boeing 747, please report at the departure hall. Thank you.” The announcement echoed in our ears. Before long, I found myself, flanked by my wife and children running to the departure hall.

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