November 30, 2016
Mr Koreana was a very easy man to love. Only because he was very good at throwing that ball called love. That was how Miss D saw the politics of love – to her, the process didn’t have anything to do with some lofty disquisition – it differed only slightly from two people playing catch with a ball. May seem childish, but to Miss D being able to throw a ball straight and with just the right amount of strength was the clearest indication of a consummate lover. Miss D was aware not every man can always be relied to throw right. Most men just chuck the ball – it always came to her only after having to perform somersaults or rolls…and even if they could some how sort out their aim. There was the other niggling issue of being either to soft or hard. Seldom did she ever experience the satisfying joy of catching one where the feeling between desire and fulfillment was just right like the ones Mr Koreana threw at her.
He seemed born. No. Destined to throw her number 10 balls…that’s how she rated his throws, from one to ten…they were all tens.
In fact one could well be forgiven for believing – this skill in being able to throw perfect balls could really only have come from having been a lifelong prisoner on the island called Mr Koreana. Miss D knew a thing or two about how a man comes of age to throwing perfect balls.
She even suspected. What looked like gentle rolling hills on this placid island were in fact jagged blood stained ridges. Sometimes only a little of that showed whenever he was in the mood to talk. But nearly all of who he really was or what he once belonged too revealed itself in the starkest possible terms when Mr Koreana threw one perfect ball after another – it was as thought when he threw the ball. All he ever wanted to do was to reach out beyond the ocean of time into some distraught past.
For Mr Koreana must have been none other than a tragic victim of…whatever. Yes, whatever. As what really haunted him was always hidden by an impenetrable veil of mystery that Miss D could never hope to ever beacon out and so she termed it under the broad geography of whatever…. besides it was too faraway for her to ever imagine….as it all probably stood like a moss riven shipwreck…..another life of another man, possibly even another plane of existence and whatever little Miss D was able to make out was simply the sugar coated shell of the impeccable ball thrower – who she suspected could only have honed the perfection of his skills by throwing out letters stuffed in bottles from that deserted island where he was marooned – it was this quality of lingering detachment about Mr Koreana that always filled Miss D with longing. Whenever this feeling descended upon her, she would simply stop, let her arms flop and stare hard at Mr Koreana. As if to tell him – I know your secret…but no matter how hard Miss D searched with her eyes. All she could make out was his outward appearance of lovability as he prepared for yet another perfect throw of the ball. Even after when she had refused to play catch the ball any more unless he told her his mystery. All he could do was look at her pleadingly with that, ‘are you ready?’ expression of expectancy.
Even when Miss D insisted she no longer wanted to play. Mr Koreana could always be counted to supply his well crafted and heroic construction of why they should play on. And this feeling Miss D believed was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the very finality of Mr Koreana’s imprisonment in this fictitious island that he had constructed somewhere in his head; for Mr Koreana the perfect ball thrower. The act of was sharper than addiction, much more satisfying than fiction. It was probably his only means of redemption from the terrible past that haunted him.
Eventually the game would always end the same – they would both fall silent and stare at each other. As if each knew what was in the others head. That was at least how Miss D saw it in her mind’s eye – not anything near resolution. Rather closer to a point of indistinguishability where both their hidden lives would suddenly coaveslece into a sort of happy reverie resembling nothingness.
Nothingness being none other than the very form of Miss D and Mr Koreana.
November 30, 2016
A human life is not unlike a steel ball in a pin ball machine. Once it pops into the slot and is fired out into the world – that life will be flipped and bounced from one thing to another…only to eventually weave it’s own spell involving one part serendipity, two parts epiphany and the remainder probably pot luck to determine where the ball eventually comes to rest.
That’s how it really is.
Things are seldom linear…they don’t seem to go to plan as much as they appear to be controlled by fate and chance.
A person plans to head in a certain direction. He has that image fixed in his head like a clothes hook…it’s immovable…permanent. As he walks towards his goal. He sees something or someone that makes him pause just long enough to miss the train he usually takes. Suddenly this man’s life takes a sharp and unexpected turn mid-course. He takes a seat very much like the main protagonist Mr Koreana in the e-novel I am toying with and waits for the next train to arrive. When it finally pulls up before him. It appears to all intends and purposes to be another train. Then he notices something else that catches his interest and again he is flipped and bounced to yet another trajectory where he stalls, pauses, hangs, drifts only to start all over again…Nothing is ever known…but what thing remains certain as day and night itself…at the end, we all eventually arrive at a quite different destination from the one we set out for….that’s life.
‘As I grow older. I have to make a constant effort to be mindful to be gentle, sensitive and considerate to others. If I had to point any one reason why I have finally reached this realization – it’s probably because when I reflect on my own fragile and vulnerable nature – how easy it is for one to be bruised and damaged by just the simple act of living.
One doesn’t even need to operate heavy machinery or to jump out of airplanes to experience a form of spiritual death – as just the simple act of living and breathing and proceeding with the ordinariness of life is by itself filled with so many untold hazards for oneself and others…if one remains ignorant of this truism in life….one will be crushed by life itself!
When one human life comes into contact with another – it’s seldom the case of two stones rubbing against each other happily to take off the rough edges. Sure that might well happen should one be lucky. But since all humans are to some degree self centered, insecure and filled with all sorts of nonsense in their heads. Usually human encounters. Even the most benign ones can often provoke unintended strong feelings and reactions. That’s because like a pinball in a machine one is flipped and it’s only normal to slide, rub and glance off people….it takes us here, there and probably everywhere else…except the place where we most needfully be…to settled in oneself.
That could be one reason why these days, I seldom feel the need to mix around any longer. Instead I find myself preferring the solitude of my own company. I want to be clear it is not fear that compels all of my being towards this direction. If anything it is the idea – if I cannot be bring joy and happiness to others. Then it’s best if I just limit my exposure to others in the way most people don’t ever play around with radioactive plutonium.
Truth is some people are so intense – they can be dangerous. Even if they’re just siting down quietly all by themselves…they’re emitting death rays that may rub others the wrong way or make them feel insecure enough to lose their heads.
Many insights can be gained from cultivating loneliness. For one you rarely ever get angry with anything or anyone. I suspect that’s because one can’t pin the blame on anyone when things don’t pan out….except maybe yourself!
Then again, maybe there’s something more profound to this kernel of thought. Maybe when one finally comes to terms with the finality of loneliness – the first lesson such a state of mind imparts, is the importance of being gentle, sensitive and considerate to yourself.’
November 29, 2016
The wet season is the only time of the year when perfume oil will flow from the Oudh tree deep in the jungle – so deep that it’s perpetually bathe in the twilight of the preamble in between darkness and light. So deep that the few flowers one comes across seem to glow with an eerie opalescence.
Orpuk’s oldest son, Noon will be my guide this season along with sixteen braves of tribesmen – they will carry out the precious wood as well as my tentage, supplies and cooking equipment.
We will cross over the ridge of the blue mountain. It is in the background of the photograph – thereafter there will skirt the lagoon along the narrow passage guarded by wild elephants and ferocious baboons. I will take Kee Kee with me on this trip as my bodyguard.
As a frontier man, I know the jungle well – she is like a jealous mistress – once she grows fond of a man. She will whisper in his ear, stay…stay. I will give you a thousand pleasures including a supersonic blow job three times a day.
Fortunately, I am autistic and I have developed immunity to such carnal pleasures. I just want the precious Oudh wood. That is all I want.
‘Of course I fear the blue mountain…The very thought of her fills me with trepidation. I can even feel her jagged edges like daggers against my imagination when I write about her…..but what is she. She is like a ghost of the past.
Like perhaps the Harmattan I once feared in Africa….let me tell you about her…Days before the skies of the desert turn ochre red. Window frames warp, doors creak, floorboards begin to curl at their edges, nails begin to loosen and catch against flesh, wooden spoons split, lips crack and when it seems as if one is content to only breathing in flaming needles. That’s just around the time, when the indigo people of the desert would stand in one long line and look northwards – they don’t say anything. They don’t move very much. Like birds gathered on a line in a frosty September morn. They just look on knowingly into the yonder….then slowly the winds begin to pick up and the skies begins to darken a tobacco brown…..the harmattan.
For days thereafter the winds howl incessantly like a widow mourning her secret loss. City folk scurry beneath the eaves of protesting flapping wind swept corrugated awnings covering their faces. From time to time they pause, look up searchingly to make up whether the sun is still there or might it too be swallowed whole by it’s violent approach from the North. A wind once considered so evil that a mad Sultan declared Jihad against it and marched out into the swirling desert to meet it with war elephants and a column of pike men in full armor only to perish. The red wind the sailors in Coite de Noire know as the sea of blood. The ever wandering Beduins call the kinsam, 50. As it last 50 days which they all greet with two rents from their antique Lee Enfield rifles with the salutations, ‘Allah wakbar’ – as it billows it’s last dying whispering hush across the sea of Guinea. Soon a few gusts of air and a thin rain presages the final approach of the…..the harmattan. Now mystery is furiously at work in the preamble of the twilight, the sands swirling and fingering into every nook and cranny, appearing as if by magic to cling to the secreted, spoiling well oiled machinery, mucking clothes and rendering everything a bitter after taste. Everywhere and everything is touched by the ochre red of infinitesimal of omnipresence. All the while, the constant rattle of window panes, the sobbing of rooms, the tears of rawed eyes having borne witness to prophecies…the harmattan…yes…I remember her….the red wind….the wind of winds.
November 29, 2016
November 27, 2016
I am giving it up for good! After this pack….I have just made up my mind. I am going to pack it up for good!
‘I’ve lived long enough to realize life is really just about the business of picking up things and setting them down. The best one can – the only reason why I felt the need to qualify the latter is simply because not everything that one picks up can be easily set down…easier said than done sums it up nicely….as some habits are so ingrained that it even acquires a die die must do ritualistic quality – my bread needs to be buttered on both sides otherwise it’s no good…I will never speak to that person…I need my half boiled eggs to run without clinging to the shell etc etc Or worst still they’re even regarded as necessary to make life bearable.
I am not perfect. I never once claimed to be. I have a lot of stuff that I need to set down to gainfully move on to the next level – you could say I need to do this only because I don’t ever want to be weighed down by dead weight – as where I am going requires me to be feather light and nimble.
Such as my ongoing feud with the rest of the landowners – that needs to stop. I don’t care whose right or wrong any longer. Some how that all means nothing to me – I just know things can’t go on the way it’s presently arranged where they hit me and I hit back and so on and so forth.
Was I the one who started all this? Or were they all to blame? Who cares…fact is we all bitting at each other throats for reasons that none of us can even remember any longer. And that’s just stupid.
Yesterday I decided to just pop up for breakfast at the village Bak Kut Teh shop. I didn’t stay very long – it was maybe just a five minute stop over where I made it a point to come across as a congenial jolly good fellow – fortunately we all didn’t touch on anything sensitive and from the looks of it everyone did at least make an effort to warm up to me. It’s a small step. Where I am conveying the message – I am prepare to let bygones be bygones, there are no conditions….I genuinely want to bury the hatchet and return back to the fold again.
Of course some landowners may see this as an act of capitulation or worst still interpret it as a sign of weakness – but it’s unlikely, as the last time I Pearl Harbored them many are still licking their wounds. Besides thru the years I have acquired a reputation of being able to win despite being numerically and financially disadvantaged.
I made it a point not to gloat on this occasion – I remained humble, courteous and impeccably well spoken….like I said. It’s a start…a new beginning where hopefully we can all live, work and play without fear any longer.
Today I put down my sword. I hope never to pick it up again.’
November 26, 2016
I am very worried about the recent fall of the ringgit. This morning as I was walking Kee Kee around the plantation. I confided to him my true feelings concerning the matter. I must admit. I do feel much better after dumping on Kee Kee.
‘During a field lunch with my harvesters. Many seemed happy. As the price of oil palm has shot up like crazy recently – this means they all get a windfall.
Everyone in the kampung is happy like cock these days – as they don’t seem to realize one reason why oil palm prices are so high is due to the ringgit losing ground to the US dollar. Even those who are aware of this link don’t seem to register the dangers of a falling domestic currency – their attitude seems to be, I earn here…I spend here…so how does the fall of the ringgit affect me?
During lunch time of my harvesters – Jun turned to me and asked, ‘why do you look so worried these days master?’
I could only manage a weak smile as I told Jun ‘it’s nothing my leg is giving me problems.’ In truth there is nothing wrong with my leg – I am genuinely worried. As Malaysia is a country that produces absolutely nothing domestically, everything is imported in one shape or form. Even local manufacturers need to buy imported machines and raw material to gainfully produce.
If this keeps up things will go up! And up and up….but what is a father supposed to tell his children when they are all laughing and joyous that the good times are back?
I worry. But I smile…but I worry for my children. I can’t help it.’
November 25, 2016
This morning I saw a finely dressed lady walking a dog. The dog was out of control and I could tell this distressed the lady greatly. As she was tugging frantically on the leash in an attempt to control her pet – somewhere in all this I stepped forward and gave the animal a command. It sounded like this, ‘hissssss!’ And soon the toy dog settled down and came to rest beneath my feet on the park bench.
Since I was dressed in my respectable bush jacket and I told the lady in an authoritative voice of a landowner – please sit with me.
The lady obliged. She seemed hesitant at first. But soon even she could tell that I know a lot about dogs.
Eventually the lady asked me. You seem to know so much about dogs….tell me what is that you have done to make her so calm and settled. I have never seen her like this before.
I told the lady in a calm voice – Be calm and your dog will follow you.
Thereafter sensing that the lady wanted to ask another question – I stilled her by telling her again, ‘you are not listening to me…please be calm…let us just enjoy the moment.’
The lady looked at me at first with an air of rebuke. Then as her eyes darted to how her pet had taken to my ways by sitting calmly by my feet. She too relented and leaned back into the park bench.
‘When one is calm. One is controlled. Anything is possible when one is in the embrace of calmness. When you move unnecessarily or feel the urge to talk all the time – then one can only be in turmoil.
Most living things in life gravitate towards calmness – they don’t like nervousness very much as it is a very anxious state that unsettles them.
Practice daily calmness in speech, thoughts and deeds….and you will find that all those around you will fall in line…this is hardly arrogance…if anything it is simply my understanding of a truth. As a superior logic will always overcome the inferior.’
November 24, 2016
It is inevitable. The evil consortium of landowners are adamant that I should not expand further…..this is very strange. As when they gobble up more land. They define it as a logical progression. But when I do the same…it is considered an evil act of imperialism.
Today I told them all – that I shall no longer buy more land. I am content with what I already have….of course I was lying thru my autistic teeth.
I will hit them during the dry season….I must steel myself for war.
This time it will not be easy…for one I am outnumbered ten to one.
We will win!
November 23, 2016
Learning to trust myself has never been easy for me. Simply because so much of my success is based on luck and very little else. I guess that must come across as a hara-kiri declaration since one is supposed to mythologize success with blah blah blah stories.
But in truth luck played a big role in my life – the good luck to just be in the right place at the right time. The good luck to stay at it longer than most people who bother to eventually see it all come full circle….it all boils down to good luck.
Recently I spent four days broadcasting a range of fertilizers – following that a big rain came along and it seems as though everything has been washed away – but I don’t think so….I made very sure. Extra certain infact that it was broadcasted tightly around the palm circle. Closer than I would usually do. Some of it I am sure was washed away – but not all. Most of it I am sure seeped into the ground via capillary action – basically it just emulsified and disappeared into the ground.
That’s what probably happened. No. Correction. That’s what actually happened.
So there is really no point in running thru ten million scenarios in head as to whether I did the right thing or could have done any better.
It was right the first time. Fertilizer was broadcasted tightly around the girth of the palm. Around this year, there is natural mulch as the flowers dry up like powder and gather around the base of the girth. I made sure it was all there and not around the surrounding area – so it’s good to go!
Like I said. There is absolutely no need to run this thru my head ten million tens – it’s all there, where it should be.
End of story.
November 23, 2016
It is very easy for the mind to fall into a loop of thoughts. Especially if one is consumed by problems – where thoughts runs it’s course only to be repeated again and again. No conclusions are reached. That cannot possibly happen in the counter productive act of the looping mind.
When one is the gyre of this vicious cycle.
One only needs to press the stop button in the central command center of one’s head to stop the looping mind. That is all that is required. Nothing else is required beyond this one act – the rest of life that is worth living and enjoying will thereafter seep back into the waters of one’s existence.
‘The greatest discipline in life is not to learn how to think. Rather it is the wisdom that comes from knowing when to suspend thinking as it will only produce inaccurate conclusions that heightens anxiety and sharpens fear.
By all means worry! But just as one knows it pays out more to work smart…worry smart. By this worry about things that are likely to happen so that you can be best prepared to meet those problems when they come your way – stuff like storing all your phone, bank account numbers and other such important details in a back up drive or something. But don’t worry about what Trump will do the White House in his first 100 days – that is not for you to lose sleep over.
Know WHEN and HOW to worry intelligently – don’t do stupid things like run your mind crazy at full speed like an engine throttling full toss without lubrication oil….all you’re going to do is end up creating a mess.’
November 22, 2016
High walls that stop you dead in your tracks are there for a good reason. At one level of understanding – they probably exist to keep one out. Yes….it is very easy I imagine for one to derive at this conclusion, especially when one comes to terms with the idea – to scale these walls require special equipment and can only be very difficult.
But something very strange occurs. When a man sits before these walls day in and day out that runs so high and far. As time works on this man in the way oil seasons leather – soon he awakens to the very kernel of the idea….high walls are simply imaginary….they don’t really exist. Yes…they’re there. One can even touch and feel the texture of these walls against skin….but there are not really there.
They just exist because the mind makes it all up – that’s when something very funny happens. Because should you push against the same wall that you once believed to be impassable by just holding on to the thought….they are not really there.
Your hand goes right thru the wall!
Stranger still is when you run full speed into the same wall that you once believed to be impassable by just holding on the thought…..they are not really there.
You will end up on the other side of the wall.
So strange. But so very true to be fact.
For me at least….
‘People often say to me – how can you be autistic? You seem to be able to speak, write and think normally. More often then not, they say this only because the fear of being abnormal keeps them normal – that’s how it is with ‘normal’ people – they probably think everyone sees the world like them….but that’s probably because they’ve never had to walk thru walls to get to the other side.
For me that’s part of the living condition – I walk thru walls at least fifty or sixty times a day.
That’s really how I see my innate condition and having to function ‘normally’ just to get by in YOUR world. No! It’s not my world and if appears to be mine it’s only because I’ve made an effort to blend right in. YOUR world and mine….It’s right between this duality where this wall runs thru in my life – sometimes there are walls within walls. At other times, they seem to be so close together that I either get stuck in between or leave a bit of myself behind somewhere in the brick and mortar when I eventually make it to the other side.
I am always having to walk thru walls. May probably seem like a miraculous feat to you – but that only because you probably don’t know how it’s like to be shut out – for me when I am on the outside, all I seem to be conscious of is the need to gather all of myself to make it to the other side of the wall.
It’s always an effort for me to come across as ‘normal.’ It’s never rolls off the log – I have to make double sure just before I run into a wall, that when I make it over to the otherside I mind my manners to making sure my fly is done up along with a thousand other things.
At times, when I am sitting all by myself on the outside facing yet another wall – I do sometimes ask myself, why can’t the world just accept me for the way I am…it’s not as if I am making bombs in my kitchen to blow up people or that I am doing stuff that necessarily even rubs them the wrong way.
It’s just so tiring sometimes to be someone else other than who I really am – I am just going to sit for longer than I usually do before this wall….if you don’t mind that is.’
November 21, 2016
It is not easy to overcome fear. It is just very easy to talk, talk and talk about being fearless. That is because fear is a very natural human response to either a real or imagined threat.
Once we come to terms with this reality then we give ourselves permission to embrace fear itself without having to pass judgement on ourselves negatively. Suddenly we are not bothered about being labelled weak, cowardly or even lacking in character – this is the first step to overcoming fear – to first admit that one is vulnerable and weak and capable of being crushed like an ant…this is what it means to look squarely into the jaws of fear…it is accurate….it is reality….with this we lose our shame of being fearful.
Fearful that it may not end as well as we imagined it to end. Fearful that it may leave us ravaged and scarred for life. Fearful that our lives with be turned upside down and fearful that we not have the strength or courage to pick ourselves up and carry on.
Personally I find when I sit quietly next to that which I fear most – very slowly I will eventually come to terms with the sum of my fears. But the more I run away and hide or try to avoid it – the bigger my fear becomes…sitting quietly in one corner and observing my feelings and reactions to fear without being attached usually has a calming effect on me…maybe in this mode where I choose to be a witness to my own thoughts….that’s when I come to terms with my own failings and vulnerability without having to bear the burden of being macho. Or maybe it just makes me laugh at the things that I once feared.
‘When I first became a farmer. I was petrified of loneliness. I was so afraid that I would often seek out the company of others like a child. Whenever I found myself alone in the field – I couldn’t stand the emptiness of solitude. The emptiness all sounded like fingernails scraping against a blackboard. I had to cocoon myself in a bubble of sound. Any sound would do. The jabbering radio was good. When reception was bad on rainy days, even bad music would do quite nicely….anything to keep silence…loneliness away.
One day I decided to reflect on loneliness and asked – what is loneliness? What is it really? Why does it distress me so much?
I did not produce many successful answers….not the variety that managed to comfort me even when I regularly found myself flaying in the cold vacuum of loneliness like an astronaut marooned in space. Neither did I manage to successfully produce any meaningful theories and philosophies relating to the subject of loneliness either….not at least the variety that managed to comfort me even when I was in the dead grip of loneliness.
But in searching for answers to many of my questions – since I was compelled to go into the depths of loneliness deeper than anyone that I could have confided in concerning this subject – that I imagined might have been the very reason why I no longer feel fearful of loneliness any longer.
The moral of the story is sometimes we don’t really know where we are heading because it seems like a never ending journey that keeps going on and on without any prospects of a happy ending – but maybe the answer doesn’t reside in the destination or even the place where at the end of it all we say to ourselves – I have finally arrived safely…
Maybe the answer to many of our vexing questions is to found in the litany of the journey itself – maybe the answer lies somewhere in these little slivers of time – maybe those are the moments that holds out the skeleton key to door called the resolution of a lonely soul.
As no matter how treacherous the walk – at some point in this never ending road that seems to go on forever, something is bound to catch your eye. Maybe a colorful bird, the sort that one regularly comes across in glossy magazines where the reds, yellow and greens pop out so much they even hurt one’s eyes.
Or perhaps it’s just the marvelous way the clouds are set ablaze by the setting sun that suddenly takes your breathe away – for me I can really only remember staring up at the paraffin blue skies one hot afternoon and training my eye on a jet stream as it penciled across the desolate page of that moment….it was so beautiful….so straight…like spring snow. I even imagined it smelling like peppermint – I must have held on to that image for an awfully long time as my neck ached like shit – but somewhere in all this, one experiences a rare sort of epiphany – that even in this place that has always been filled with dread and foreboding. There can be something beautiful and happy that has the power to take one away from fear itself.
Suddenly for as long as it lasted – loneliness doesn’t seem so intimidating any longer and soon everything that one feared assumes it’s rightful scale and perspective and sense.
That is how I see the whole idea of coming to terms with fear. For me at least.’
November 21, 2016
As much as I would like to support Najib & Co – it is not possible for me to do so on this occasion. As from what I am able to gather the law is not used in the right way to detain Madam Maria Chin.
This is after a law that is specifically crafted to deal with terrorist and the threat of terrorism – this should prompt most sane and reasonable people to ask under what conditions is it justifiable to interpret the law in such a way where it can be used against an activist? There is something very wrong here – the fit is not right!
The Malaysian Home minister should really look into this legal anomaly because Najib advisors all seem to be switched off…they don’t seem to be making the right calculations to enable them to produce the desired results – as if this continues, it can only cause irreparable damage to the public image of the sartorial splendid Najib.
By the end of 28 days I can almost guarantee without the slightest deviation – the public image of Najib in the eyes of most Malaysians would be damaged beyond economic repair…habis lah!
Instead of wining the hearts and minds war with intelligent chess moves, this will just heighten the state of anger and despair in most reasonable and peace loving Malaysians.
Please understand. Many important and influential people regularly read my blog – if I don’t say something against this, they will all think I am brain damaged.
That is no good.
Please put yourself in my position – we have been around for a long long time…many have come and gone….but we stay. We always been in the background. We have been there. When many of readers got their first jobs…married…had their first child…bought their first house and car…started their businesses. We have been there….and the only reason why they continue to come here is because they know, we are always very accurate….very true to the principles that we considered sacred.
My hope is Madam Maria Chin will be reunited with her family and friends as soon as possible.
I for one will find it very difficult to sleep soundly till Madam Maria Chin is released. As while I have a bed and blanket and my teddy bear to pack me off to snoozeland every night….but when I imagine all that the poor auntie has is a plank…sleep can only come with great difficulty. To exacerbate matters I have so much to do in the plantation everyday. I don’t work in the office. My job is very physical, so my heart is very disturbed.
My hope is Madam Maria Chin is released. I for one would personally consider this a great favor.
‘Solitary confinement is really no joke. It’s like interrogation – stupid people will tell you they can hold out indefinitely. But that is only because they do not realize this is psychological warfare at it’s highest level. Truth is just as no one can hold out against interrogation…it’s impossible not to crack under solitary confinement. To me the question is not whether. Rather it is when will the person subjected to this form of inhuman torture break down mentally, physically and spiritually.
That is why while I can fully appreciate why this method of mind manipulation should only be used on terrorist who present a clear and present threat to peace and life. It’s a hardly causual tool of punishment. It is not. Anyone who tells you different is just stupid. They should go and experience solitary confinement.
As since the activities of terrorist represent a clear and present threat to society – it justifies this mode of torture even then it should be used as a last resort option….but to use it on an activist is like using atomic weapons to control pest. It is not only highest form of stupidity. But it is nothing short of cutting one’s nose off to spite another.
Use your mentality! This is a bloody dead end!’
November 20, 2016
This afternoon I had a meeting with a few planters – some of them voiced out concerns that the elites in power seem to be very repressive after the Bersih 5 street demonstrations. They asked me for my opinion concerning the tense situation….I simply replied, we are living in interesting times.
‘This morning during breakfast one of my harvesters asked sheepishly – is there oil palm in the Ukraine? I told him. No. It’s too cold for the palm to grow there. What about goreng pisang…is it sold in streets in the Ukraine. Again I told him. No. Banana’s can’t grow in the cold. They are very expensive in Russia. Then he asked, what about Nasi lemak? Surely it’s sold there. Again I told him No. They only eat potatoes. He kept quiet for a while. Then he asked, is there a mosque there to which I replied. Yes, there are Muslims there, so there has to be a masjid. Thereafter Jun confided to me – I want to follow you.
I asked him why – he said. He only mentioned he was not happy in Malaysia any longer as the government seems to be arresting so many good people. He went on to add, he is very angry and confused. After a long pause he looked up and asked me – why do you keep quiet when everyone expects you to say something…you are the most educated man in this kampung…why do you remain silent?
I could only look down and remain silent.’
November 20, 2016
I am watching this excellent documentary about the decision making process of super power leaders. It’s very insightful to get into the mind of world class snakes…..too many snakes on the plane.
I learnt a lot from this awesome and very well researched documentary.
November 16, 2016
Between the seventeen and eighteen lamppost. Mr Koreana stops. The girl looks back and she wonders why he’s suddenly stopped. He managed a weak smile and they resume their walk like the unity of two strangers bound together so tightly by destiny or was there something lurking in the reeds…it didn’t matter where they went or for how long they would walk that night or even whether there would go around in circles or would there be any portable toilets along the way… They just held hands and walked thru the night. At times, Miss D would catch the man’s features, they seemed hard against the bronze street lights catching deep shadows – a shudder went thru her that he might be someone with a past.
Some men have that air of danger about them – it’s never really there like no ever ask in a crowded elevator ‘who farted..would the person please own up?’ But we all being there. Some men exude danger taking it’s cue from that allegory of the silent fart in a crowded elevator. No one knows whose the farter, no one can they squeezed like sardines….but everyone knows someone farted!
The man who Mr Korena had that quality about him – not like any other man, but someone who may have once lived another life.
Eventually they end up dinning in a place somewhere on the upper floor of a discreet restaraunt…it’s serves a devilish rack with baby carrots and cream sauce. Still they hardly say a word to each other…they just look on, not like furtive cats that suddenly see another cat and freezes up. It’s as if they seem to know what they other is thinking just happens to be what they preoccupies their thoughts as well – it’s an enquiring they both fleet at each other…looks one gives to mirrors only because they promise to reflect the unalloyed self as it is warts and all – but this was a phantom mirror where the man became the woman and vice versa – just imagine the mathematical probability of being able to met someone who mirrors exactly all your fears and aspirations – to know for the very first time, they’re actually people like you in this world that’s filled with the same sameness where everyone is the same….no they did speak….not even after a glass of exceptional Pinot Noir, Santa Rita, 2006 special reserva – and this meditation of silence continued thru to a chocolate bomb with a dollop of gelato and finally into coffee and beyond the velvety night of the flaming forest of buildings that they walked by.
Yet they did not say a word thru it all…a nod perhaps that carries with it the merest suggestion of how this is so ridiculous and yet so right at the same time – to seek only to balance this delicate thought with the power of silence…like a taunt rope where a skywalker walks across suspended in space and time…that’s how it is when you take a chance on life..or maybe it was the moment when they both sat on the quay when everyone seems to have closed up and gone home and Mr Koreana looked out across the simmering river like it was some great ocean of time that he had decided to cross the moment he jumped back into the train carriage earlier in the evening ..it was wry knowing look…Mr Koreana is older than he seems, she says to herself and smiles against the wind that catches her hair fluttering each strand like a capricious tendril of hope as to where the rest of the night and beyond would lead to with this stranger…and to still say nothing…not even when a meteor streaked across the skies. They might have slept abit. Who knows. It’s hard to say with people who have every reason to talk, yet choose instead to seek the solidarity of silence – could he be that night, Mr Koreana dreamed of running on tall reeds of fields in Africa, so tall they even stung his eyes as he ran thru them…it had to be Africa…or maybe it was in the Americas. As for Miss D, she was the first to shake off sleep when the first rays of the sun began their bronzing at the tips of the flaming skycrapers along the Singapore business district.
She saw the before…during…after. Darkness was when she felt the deep scar on the man’s forehead, when the skies turned a deep bluish opalescence just before the virgin rays of the sun finger thru darkness – followed by the clouds suddenly being set alit, then like a crescendo – light….pure cleansing light began to bath her.
For a while Miss D looked at Mr Koreana who was still asleep, he must have layed on her lap the whole night – then as if drawn by the very power of a new day…a new beginning…perhaps…maybe with only the thought….she breathed….it was after all a new day for not only the woman herself who had found her other half. Perhaps even for the man who finally realized the night before, he could one day live the life he has always meant to live.
She needed to know more about Mr Koreana – he had slipped up. Mentioned the place too many times. Probably without ever realizing he had given more of himself away – a fragment of his past. A vignette to who he really was and is. It was his eyes that gave him away whenever he spoke about that airfield – the way they almost waned like a tongue of a candle just before they gave out. A languid surrender – as it was always meant to be….as if it could not have turned out any other way except the way he saw it in his minds eye – he spoke about a landing strip in Mindanao….in a place called General Santos. He referred to it as a mistake…not once but twice like a man suffering from a lingering illness. Even mentioned how he his photograph had been taken and appeared in the National Geographic – but fortunately, they managed to pull it out after the first run.
Who were they? They….she didn’t press of course…he was in the mood to talk that evening and she was content to listen.
She scanned thru the night for that edition in the library at Bugis – and just when she had nearly decided it was like looking for a needle in the haystack – the picture appeared before her – it was him. His strong jawline gave him away – he seemed to be standing with a knot of soldiers. He had a bandage around his head with splotches of red, slung across his shoulders was a rifle and in the background a burnt of hulk of what appeared to a military transport. He had an outstretched hand as if stopping the photographer, but there was enough to make out his forlorn features…the face of the infinite man whose eyes looked beyond the image and filled Miss D with trepidation – the photo had been taken in the preamble. Maybe during dusk or just after the sun had slipped over the brow of a hill – but it was definitely the man who she knew as Mr Koreana….it was him.
November 16, 2016
This November seems to be colder than other years. That at least is how it feels like to me – since I live deep in the plantation – the temperature at night plummets to as low as 23 degrees. During day time under the shade it’s a very comfortable 25 degrees.
Natural and free air con.
This time of the year the North East monsoon funnels cold air all the way from the Gobi desert to this region.
The Gobi is a very peculiar land mass unlike others – it has always been a desert characterized by climatic extremes. The temperature has been known to shift 60 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 24 hours. It can get down to minus-40 degrees in the winter, and as hot as 122 degrees in the summer.
This year it’s unusually cold due to high rainfall and the strong Siberian winds blowing in across the Russian steepes – it’s maybe -40 at night – that I imagine is why November this year is so unusually cold.
All this cold weather may be very comfortable conditions to work in, but it’s no bloody good for oil palm – it makes them sluggish and all they seem to want to do is switch to standby mode and hibernate.
I need to find a way to wake them all up!
Maybe I will start by dancing around and making as much noise as I can.
‘When the cold descends on a plantation – it’s not like anything you have ever seen before – it doesn’t just creep up on you coyly….silently…unseen like in the city.
The cold front when it arrives in a plantation is usually a noisy affair – days before she descends from the mountain ranges to the North East – birds and all the animals would be restless – birds fly around frantically and cackle their tiny lungs out, dogs bark incessantly during the day and night – when she finally arrives after her long journey across the Pacific – she rolls down the mountains in sheets of mist – they look like invading horsemen all dressed in ghostly armor galloping at full speed down the mountains like cascading waterfalls. Soon this mysterious mist from the mountains wraps itself around bare trees and curls around branches and leafs like vaporous tendrils. It curls around my feet and I can feel it’s cold metallic chill touching me right down to the marrow of my bones – then it falls dead silent and suddenly I am assaulted by the shame of waking up at night and standing in the wild naked – I am in the cold embrace of this strange fog, where it’s so dark it’s deep inky blue and bluer still around the edges lit by the full moon. I am like a sapphire set in snow.’
November 15, 2016
Yesterday a group of men were gawking at me across the village kopitiam (coffee shop). Although I was across the road fixing my car. I could just about make out the flow of their conversation. One of them exclaimed, he is the one who bought the new land to the East. Another commented, how is that possible…look at him…are you sure – that donkey has a hard life. He has no wife. That is why he is always dressed in khaki only. As it hides the dirt. They laughed. Yet another added, he looks like a lowly soldier who is forgotten in somewhere in the Great Wall…there must be mistake….I don’t think he is the one who bought the land to the east.
I am very happy.
‘Deep down many people genuinely desire to keep a low profile – they simply don’t know how to. Some people who may seem sincere in beginning end up surfacing a few months later and once again they become known to all.
This is because when one is showered with attention and especially adulation – it is a like a narcotic that man usually finds impossible to resist.
The feeling that comes from others giving him the limelight and putting him on a stage can often go to his head faster than a double shot of alcohol – soon this person becomes so high profile – he ends up attracting the jealousy of others…they will find fault with him endlessly and this is how man’s life usually becomes unnecessarily complicated.
Experience informs very reliably many business men have been destroyed or will end up in the path of self destruction when they fail to master the art of keeping a low profile.
To cultivate a low profile. Do the following.
(1) Always carry a book with you in public. This way others will usually have the courtesy to leave you alone.
(2) Always be mission orientated. If you step into a coffee shop, get that coffee and move on. Never loiter or sit around. This always attracts unwanted attention.
(3) Dress impeccably well, this does not mean you wear all sorts of expensive and dazzling clothes – it just means your clothes should be clean, well pressed and presentable.
(4) Drive a beat up car with many things at the back – this is the most effective way to convey to everyone that you have not arrived yet. As when they see clothes, pillows, blankets and tin food arranged at your backseat – they will exclaim – aiyoh this fellow is so down and out – he lives in his car!
(5) Cultivate the exceptionally good habit of returning home before seven and try never to socialize at night – as usually nocturnal social encounters invariably involve alcohol and soon peculiar women will follow in their wake and the next thing that is likely to happen is you will find yourself embroiled in a full blown scandal.
Staying indoors I have found is the most simple and effective way to save money and stay out of trouble. EVERYTIME I break this rule – I take a fall!
(6) Learn how to cook. This will reinforce habit (5) – if you have to go out searching for food like a vampire all the time. It is impossible to keep to the discipline of staying at home after seven. If you try to do so – you will just end up getting gastric.
(7) Avoid crowds – as they tend to gossip and talk nonsense – and there is a possibility you will let the cat out the bag. Be very sparing and stingy of your time with others, you will find that if you are always circulating like a social butterfly – familiarity can only breed contempt.
(8) Spend your money discreetly and quietly and never indulge publicly in expensive hobbies such as clubbing and eating out in fancy restaurants – as not only will you end up with cancer of the wallet but it will certainly attract unwanted attention from others.
(9) Be very sparing with your words. Limit it to two sentences, one is even better and remember be mission focussed – never loiter or sit around. Give people the impression that you always have work to do even if you don’t – this way people will pity you as they will say – look how miserable his life is…it’s all work, work and just work.
(10) Try to avoid been seen with women in public – if that is unavoidable always keep a respectable distance by not standing too close or appearing to be to intimate with them.
November 15, 2016
Q: LSL mentioned he was disappointed that the TPP is dead. Is the TPP dead in your assessment given that Trump is very much against it?
A: There is a pressing need to stress this. Trump the electionaire and President are not necessarily the same person. They cannot be even if they want to be. My assessment is people take Trump too literally – even if he decides to do a 180 degree turn it would not be unprecedented – Bill Clinton for example insisted thru out the GOP he was against NAFTA. When he was elected, he switched.
Q: But Trump has said he will renegotiate NAFTA and possibly even relook the current arrangement in the TPP as well to tilt the balance in America’s favor.
A: You know both NAFTA and the TPP are negotiated trade agreements – the key word is negotiated that means compromises have been made in exchange for other benefits. Now it’s not an easy agreement to hammer out – not when you consider Japan, New Zealand, Philippines and Australia have made transformational concessions to accommodate collective buy in – I am in fact astounded what Japan is prepared to put on the table frankly. Only because agriculture is sacred to most Japanese. So I don’t really see much room for renegotiations simply because it has taken the better part of a five years and a bit to come to this point.
At this point the present architecture of the TPP is like that game where you have a pile of sticks and each player tries to pull out a stick without moving the rest – now try doing this when someone superglues all these sticks together – in my assessment there is no benefit for America to renegotiate the TPP.
As it is. The TPP already favors American corporations especially big pharmaceutical firms. I don’t see what else can be renegotiated to make the deal better for America.
Q: What do you think is likely to happen to the TPP?
A: It will be revived by the Republican realist.
A: They don’t have another way to sustain the geo political status quo in the Pacific – if they want to do it the other way, it’s not only a dead end. But a very expensive jalan mati (dead end) as it would require doubling the current military commitment in the Pacific in the form of more carriers and staging locations – now without trade to cement all this. It’s doubtful the Americans can even do that. Remember always the Chinese are working furiously behind the scene to scuttle the deal – don’t for one moment think they’re giving out all these goodies to Duterte and Najib for nothing – there is a very real agenda at work here!
The TPP however is a supranational legal framework that allows the US to keep their primacy intact on the cheap without having to commit further tax dollars – it’s very expedient and I think that accounts for it’s allure to many thinkers in the US.
Q: How will the TPP come into effect?
A: Trump is likely to agree not to shelve it just like he conceded ground on Obamacare – it will go thru a superficial make over where it’s renamed the great American deal of the 21st century and within the first 100 days of the Trump administration it will be passed thru congress.
Q: Wouldn’t the American public who voted Trump in feel betrayed and cheated?
A: I think that is going to be a reoccurring theme in Trump’s tenure – he and his team better get use to this. As many of the things he promised to do when he was running for president is really so unhinged and disconnected from reality – he can really only disappoint many.
For instance the great wall of America will never built. Mexico will never pay for it. America and Russia will never be pals. Many jobs in middle America is never going to ever return. There are many things that cannot be done by Trump.
There is a very big dissonance here between what was promised and do-ability that must be factored into the whole calculation.
Q: What does Singapore stand to get out of the TPP?
A: First status quo ante – that’s already a very big competitive advantage. As the Chinese have a long term hidden agenda to shift away their reliance on ports and vessels as a means of transportation – based on their African experience – they much prefer a network of trains – the Africans of course refer to this endearingly as cho cho train diplomacy – but none the less judging from the sheer quantity of rolling stock, steel and gravel laid, it’s a very effective form of economic stimulus – as billions are invested creating in it’s wake plenty of opportunities for jobs and businesses.
I am not saying this strategy will allow the Chinese to deprioritise continuing to use the straits of Malacca or to even outflank Singapore’s dominance as a die die must stop over port – but it will certainly eat into the market share of goods and produce and people. As transporting anything by rail is very efficient and relatively fast. All this will definitely erode Singapore as a regional hub in the long term. The TPP blunts all these designs and inserts Singapore into the regional supply chain very elegantly.
The second benefit is many multinationals located in Singapore are really not held together by a coherent strategy – there was a grand design once promulgated by Philip Yeo to remake Singapore into a knowledge centre for life sciences – but it didn’t really go any where at all as that growth area didn’t really materialize many of the synergistic benefits that was anticipated.
Now many of this big pharmaceutical firms are facing cost pressures – wages are stressing profit as Singapore by comparison to let’s say Malaysia is a very high cost center – the TPP with it’s emphasize on commoditizing on patents and intellectual property will certainly open up new markers regionally.
The third factor is job creation and business opportunities.
Q: What do you see as the biggest threat to the TPP?
A: I don’t see Trump and his crew as a clear and present threat – the real threats I believe comes from those countries regionally at the periphery of the South China Seas – that may stand more to lose than gain out of this agreement – one of the paradoxes is Trump keeps harping on and on that the TPP is a bad deal for America. But from what I have been able to glean from the details – it’s all drumsticks for them. The countries that run very real social and cultural shocks from the TPP are countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and possibly one of the non signatory countries – Indonesia.
Q: Why is Indonesia opting to stay out from the TPP?
A: That’s a very good question. At one level of the analysis you can certainly say many of their sectors industrial and especially agriculture and livestock makes a lousy fit into the TPP framework.
The cost of producing food and breeding livestock in not only Indonesia but also the Philippines as well will always be higher than even the US.
US farming is incredibly efficient, productive and highly mechanized – one farmer can easily manage one hundred hectares of wheat or barley and more to spare. To exacerbate matters both Indonesia and the Philippines are archipelago’s – so that bumps up the cost of food production further as that’s all friction cost to the supply chain – I believe for those countries the incentives to be part of the TPP may not be that attractive at all.
This is especially so for the Phillipines – we are likely to see social unrest in those countries where the benefits of the TPP may not be so apparent – as one unspoken aspect of being a signatory of the TPP requires subsidies to be dismantled – so you’re really impacting the lowest wage earners in these countries at a subsistence level.
I think the architects of the TPP have not really come to terms with the social fall out in some countries where the predominant population is still living on a subsistence level – I for one cannot imagine how it’s possible to increase the price of medication significantly without affecting millions of people without incurring a social backlash.
For me my concerns about the TPP – lies in it’s implementation and enforceability rather than as it is at the talk shop conceptual stage – say what you want, but I for one cannot see how certain set pieces within the TPP can down well in some countries.
There exist an intricate network of vested interest in many countries that are premised on sectarian, religious and racial lines that needs to be harmonize when they all come under the aegis of the TPP.
Q: Can you please be more specific and give examples of these vested interest?
A: In Malaysia for example there exist quota’s that favor the indigenous Malays – it’s really a sort of affirmative action that is interwoven within the the larger framework of the national economic policy and this is very much part of the DNA of Malaysian business environment – so if you take the case of the automobile manufacturer Proton – it’s not just any car manufacturer. It’s one that operates along the lines of affirmative action specifically benefits the bumiputra firms. We are talking about many people here – possibly even whole communities.
With the TPP these type of business models will come under tremendous stress.
Q: How are some of these countries managing these stresses?
A: Some better than others I suppose – in the Philippines, Duterte has to eventually implement reforms and this means facing off with the oligarchs – the Alyala’s, Osmena’s – very powerful and influential vested interest who have historically held on the countries reins of power. Why would they want the status quo to change?
After all they are making good money as it is – why would they want things to change?
Conversely if you look at Najib in Malaysia he has already started to implement change very subtlety as far back as five years ago – by putting an end to a whole range of subsidies. Everything from fuel to most recently cooking oil – I must say I certainly have a lot of admiration for Najib and his far sightedness in this regard. Because he seems to be the only leader regionally in a third world nation pretending very hard to be a developed country to appreciate the realities of globalization and what it means to be a member of the TPP. As for the rest – they seem to be dilly dallying or vacillating with much needed economic reform and that is really quite worrisome to me – but bear in mind, all these come at real cost. Many Malaysians are not happy when necessaries such as cooking oil goes up. Even my goreng Pisang (fried banana fritters) vendor has been complaining to me – because he doesn’t understand why the price of cooking oil made from oil palm kernels needs to go up when Malaysia is the No.2 producer – so these are realities that will be significantly amplified when the TPP comes into effect.
Like I said, it’s one thing for corporations to sit around a conference table in the four seasons in their fine Italian suits and hammer out the details of a new economic order – it’s another thing entirely to roll it out in such a way where it doesn’t cause too much social and economic upheaval.
That’s really my primary concern about the TPP – that it may well be a bridge too far.
November 14, 2016
Let me speak plainly. In life, if you are genuinely serious about making progress. Dress well. However if you want to only go around in big and small circles all the time – then dress in whatever way you wish…go lah! Just do it man! Makes absolutely no difference to me.
Only understand this! If most of us are suitably ashamed of shabby philosophies, sloppy thinking and shoddy opinions. Then by the same vein of logic – most of us will also be equally ashamed of shabby shirts shoddy pants and sloppy shoes …. Yes. I agree completely. It would indeed be a very sad situation if all of us just judged the quality of books by their covers.
Then again I do wonder why impose that sort of onus on others – to discover the inner you? Why not make it easy on their eyes and brain? Isn’t that discourteous and outright rude?
Above all dress always to give the highest respect to those who are fortunate to engage you. Dress to give the utmost veneration to institutions. But above all dress to give respect to yourself.
‘People like to slag me off. They like to sit around over coffee and cakes and laugh out loud – what do you expect, he’s autistic lah. That is why he has absolutely no social skills…..he’s a square peg marooned in a world of round holes.
But at the end of the day even these erudite lot when they return back to their averagely miserable lives have to look at themselves in the mirror and ask – how did such a man born with so many setbacks go so far in life? Why can’t I seem to do the same?
That is when reality owns them – right down to the highest strand of hair to the longest toenail….reality owns them.
There is no secret. I dress well. Impeccably well. I don’t care where I work. Could well be a factory or just a construction site as a welder – but my clothes are always clean, well pressed with two sharp lines at the front and the sleeves are like razors. My shoes even if they happen to be chunky steel cap variety are always mirror finished. Everything is the very best it can be like a spanking brand new car in the showroom.
When one is born different. One must come to accept this difference not as a curse but as a gift and be proud of it – nobody can do this for you. Your parents who love you will certainly try their best along with teachers. But only you and you alone can begin this transformational perceptive feat somewhere in the desolation of the mind – as for the world it will always scream at you…know your place….stay down….get back into your box! But I reveled in my difference and the pride I took in dressing impeccably well became my hallmark through out life.
But don’t for one moment believe just because a man is autistic you can have your way with him – remember always Mother Nature is incredibly fair – if she takes with one hand…she will give with another….secretly. She will give! As she loves you – I can do many things that ‘normal’ people can never hope to do even if they had ten life times!
I can for instance scan thru a technical manual just once in the span of time it takes to empty my bladder or look at a factory blueprint for ten seconds flat and it’s all there – not just there like the way you see it. But so there where everything stands out in three dimension where I can even walk around it and peer into darkened interiors like some probe that they send deep into the darkness of the depths.
Whenever there is pandemonium I can put my hand on a pipe and close my eyes and everyone from the factory manager right down to the sweeper would fall so silent – thereafter after a very long pause. I would tell them to go here or there and like children they would obediently go about their business only to wonder thereafter – why can’t I do the things he can do? Life is not fair. Or take a Virginia tobacco leaf from a pile, bring it to my nostrils and tell them it’s entire life history from the time it planted to how it weathered the wanton storms and nearly died only to regain it’s strength in spring to make it thru by the narrowest margins on those cold frosty mornings to make it all the way finally here – thereafter I would just walk away.
No one ever disturbed me when I was a salaried man – no one dared – they all left me alone…..and that was how I was able to fit in as best as I could in YOUR world! You see it’s really quite simple in a crisis when everyone is running around like headless chickens – the man who can solve problems like a magician is king, you will be surprised how much others around you are prepared to overlook and turn a blind eye – because they know…..they know, mystery is furiously at work.
When insecure people at work tried to gang up and ostracize me – all I had to do was clam up. Yes, that’s all it took to remind them how feeble and weak they were…that was all it really took to put them in their place with their eyes lowered like shy virgins – that was really all that was needed to heighten their terror. Nothing else was required except maybe faking a few days off at work with a MC or pretending that it was a very complicated problem that required more time to figure out and again I would disappear find a quiet corner in the factory spread out a crisp card board and simply sleep. They caught me many times sleeping in the CCTV – but no action was ever taken. Once I even wore dark glasses to work so that nobody could tell whether I was awake or dozing off.
Eventually when I grew bored of being a salary man – I decided to farm. Again I many people tried to shout me down….and for a while maybe they probably succeeded…as I did stay down for a while.
One day while driving the endless labyrinth of the plantation roads – I came across an old house. An auction was going on just outside the verandah – they all seemed to bidding for stuff. I bought all the furniture.
One of the items was a huge trunk, that contained a – a pith helmet, bushjacket, a pair of brouges, square rimmed sunglasses, briar pipe and a silk scarf.
I tried it – it fitted like a glove. Latter on I discovered it all belonged to a great planter who lived in a bygone age…they called him the devil as even when the communist emptied seven shells into him – he could not die. That was all I could ever find out.
I was impeccably dressed in this outfit for every function I attended – one evening a group of old men beckoned me. When I stood before them. They all exchanged nods of approval with each other murmuring – he is respectful….he values tradition…he is one of us…. Another pointed to a knot of men in the balcony – not like those riff raff’s who go around in sissy pink suits. As for their wife’s, they are effrontery to our way of life…look. They look like ten dollar prostitutes….One of them who was dressed in an attire similar to the one I always wore grabbed me by the hand and whispered, ‘you are back. We thought those bastards killed you! But you are really back. How is it possible that time has hardly touched you….come sit with us.’ I sat amongst these serious men thereafter most of time – hardly ever speaking. As that is my nature. When one is autistic socializing can indeed be a burden. One day I was asked by these old men – how would the year unfold – I merely told them, the birds are very restless…we must prepare for the worst….they know something we humans don’t – the birds are never wrong.
That year those who took my advice serious and prepared for the very worst made it through the proverbial eye of the needle – those who laughed and called me a charlatan, Rasputin reincarnate and questioned no end my credibility – all licked their wound terribly. Many foreclosed. It was a darkest of years – Mother Nature had curled her fingers and her nails were sharp as razors that year.
Soon the man who always wore a stern bushjacket, square rimmed dark glasses and nursed a briar pipe became me or I became him.
I can’t really say. But one thing is clear to all – I am certainly, the great planter of lore – the man of all seasons.
Always dress impeccably to pay respect to others and institutions and most importantly yourself.’