An Unexpected Invitation to Tea – The Way of the Farmer

September 23, 2012

Yesterday a helicopter swept low over my lands and landed in the adjoining plantation to the North very early in the morning. Within the hour, a ivory white landcruiser pulled up to my estate villa and a Sikh driver handed a hand written note on a piece of creamy scented paper – apparently the only daughter of the Palm oil baron (Mr Big Bully) had flown in and would like to pay me a visit for a spot of tea.

Naturally, I made hasty preparations. Along with changing from my field attire to my formal Khaki bush jacket.(I have found it strategic to project an older image)

Since I gathered this was her first visit ever to ANY plantation (which is strange, considering the family owns so much lands). I instructed my farm hands to set up a pristine white tent complete with air-con, rattan chairs and linen table cloth in the field, where we could have tea and muffins in comfort during her tour of my plantation.

The daughter of the oil baron is not a young girl. Not at all. She is in her early forties. This is not the first time we have met – I have met her before six months ago in the streets in London. It was made to look like an accident. She thinks its destiny. But I know better.

From what I have been able to gather from our conversations – she seems to be perpetually whiling her time with the arty farty jet setting crowd in either London or Paris. She speaks a variety of languages and is especially fond of art. She carries herself like an aristocrat and has an equestrian quality about her gait. I recognize it for what it is – the quiet confidence that can only come from old money – that I suspect may also have something to do with her education in the moment of her youth in privileged boarding schools in the rolling hills in England. Based on my interaction with her – she reckons herself to be an artist of sorts. However, what I do know for certain is, she is a woman who is searching for something. I can tell from her eyes. They appear willful, yet when I look at her. They turn away demurely. To a man who does not know the way of world. This can easily be taken for shyness. But I know she’s holding back. There enough for me to make out that there’s a lingering sadness in her eyes. Or maybe I am just reading too much intit this. So I must be gentle and draw her out in the way an experienced sea hand lets out rope when the line suddenly strings taut. This I did throughout the entire tour. The tension must be just be right. Too tight and it will snap. Too loose and she might break free. It has to be just right.

The tour proceeded smoothly. The daughter of the oil baron was appropriately attired in a chic ladies bush jacket complete with flared ridding breeches and ankle high mirror polished boots.

During her tour. We spoke about a variety of things. Mostly about what interest her most. She is the talkative sort. Yet there is a part that she’s holding back. Perhaps it’s the rumors she has heard about me that accounts for her reservations. So during the entire tour. I encouraged her to talk most of the time. Trying my very best to put her at ease. I listened attentively to study her motives further. By sun set. I came to the irrevocable conclusion – this woman did not have any ulterior motives whatsoever for this most unexpected of visits. It was clear to me she came here on her own accord. Then again I couldn’t help, but ask myself…..

What is her motivation? What is her goal? What is searching for?

When darkness finally descended on the estate. I suggested that she should refresh herself in my villa. She paused, bit her lip. But since I was most insistent. The lady relented. I had prepared my personal chambers complete with the finest toiletries to make her as comfortable as possible. After a delightful dinner in my villa which I cooked myself. The daughter of the oil palm baron thanked me. Before leaving. She mentioned in passing that she will be returning back for good and she hopes to see more of me from now onwards. I smiled.

We live in interesting times, it seems.

Darkness 2012

“As a farmer. I cannot just hide in my own world within the walls of my plantation. I have to be mindful of what is happening all around me. You see there are threats and dangers lurking all over the place. Put your hand flat on the table with the fingers spread opened, that is the footprint of the largest landowner in this region – in the space between the thumb and the index finger is where my lands are. If this hand so much as flinches or moves even a bit. Then my interest may be compromised. It is very clear to me, the landowner is a bully who has grown accustomed to having his way most of the time – so I expect that he will make his move very soon to try to edge me out or to join his cartel.

I must move like lightning and blunt his designs. First I will surgically cut off the thumb and fingers by engineering the right conditions to buy up these adjoining lots. This will allow me to create a defensive line from which I can launch an attack to move deeper and cut off the fingers of this giant hand – this entire hand will be eaten away by gangrene. It will be a slow and gradual process – but ONLY if the plan is well executed like a professional bank heist. But to accomplish this implausible feat. I need the daughter of the oil baron to be on my side – only then can I fashion her as a bargaining chip to negotiate with the big bully – with her by my side. Her father will hesitate. That is all I need. One momentary period of hesitation to launch a decisive all out strike. I must walk into her heart within seven paces. I must fashion myself into the mythical lover and earn her love and respect. As she is the skeleton key that will open the gates to this city of dreams – without her, it is only a matter of time before I will be overwhelmed or worst still marginalized. There is so much that I have to do within such a short period of time.

This is war! There is nothing moral about my designs – I wished, I could tell you all that I can somehow manage to reconcile what I am about to do with my beliefs. But I will not even try to defend the indefensible. What I am about to embark on is dastardly and even repulsive. But what choice do I really have? What is a man supposed to do when war comes knocking on his door? All I can really do is work with what I have. And this is really all there is to it. You have every right to despise me. Hate me even. But you do not have any right to pass judgement over me! As when a man knows what needs to be done. Then all else becomes secondary to that one goal. Everything else is obliterated to serve this one goal. This is war!

There is really only one thing to do. Do you see how complicated my life is? And to imagine once upon a time, not so very long ago. All I really wanted to do was to mind my own business and plant row after row of palms. How childish that seems now. How utterly childish.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: