Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On The Train. Mar 14, 2005

I was guilty as hell today as I did not see a pregnant lady was standing beside me on the way home. I only realized it when two chatty ladies sitting on my right offered their seats to her. I was really ashamed of myself. I was actually too engrossed reviewing my office work to realize too late.

It’s the school holidays again. The trains are empty in the morning and full in the evening, especially at Mid Valley station. This morning I came out a bit late than the usual and got to the station at 6.54am. I thought I was going to wait a bit longer for the 7.12am train. Fortunately the train arrived at 7.02am and the moment I sat down the driver announced that we were being held there to let the Intercity Express passed us. However, after a few minutes of waiting no train passed by and our train proceeded on. When we got to Kajang we were made to wait again and this time he announced that we were waiting for the Express Komuter train from Seremban instead. A few minutes later the train did pass us and I thought we were moving along immediately. Instead commuters kept coming and reopening the door into the train. I was not annoyed as while waiting for the express train a lot of my fellow commuters actually disembarked to wait and board the express. They rather stand in the packed coaches just to rush to work. I can understand probably they were in a hurry and already late. But the time difference is not that much anyway and furthermore the meaning of express in Malaysia is somewhat questionable. Express to us could be going too fast without considering safety, doing lousy job to cut cost, waiting even longer due to systems failure, and taking things for granted forgetting the basics. Well, I arrived a bit late today but I was happy to avoid another stressful beginning to a week.

On the way home I noticed in the packed coach an Indian boy, probably 7 or 8 years old, was playing with his newly bought ‘trasnformer’ toy. The family boarded at Mid Valley. The boy was in his own world playing his ‘transformer’ complete with ‘special effects’. I could see clearly the expression in his face. Engrossed in his own fantasy world free of the stressful environment around him. Sadly though this is not going to be long. His parents no doubt soon enough will introduce the stressful environment of ‘learning’ and schooling with the letter ‘A’ as the ultimate objective. I dreaded the day that the boy would be having that joyous face again. Innocent sense of wondering and discovery will be lost and replaced with endless pursuit for academic perfection. All because parents thought they knew better. Just today in the news it was reported that a group of bikers hacked a motorist to death and among them supposed to be educated people. I think we have our perspective haywired already. Reflecting on my own childhood I consider myself blessed. No, we did not have ‘transformer, then but we were creative enough to make our own toys. My parents stressed for the need to learn and acquiring knowledge and we did it by going to school, surau, paddy fields, rivers, jungle and talking to knowledgeable folks.

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