Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An Accident Retold....

When I crashed Abang Haris's three month old red Proton Saga about a quarter of a century ago (it is fresh in my memory) I was deemed to be in the wrong. All evidence pointed to me as the guilty party, because:
1) the skid marks indicated that my right side was on the other side of the road,
2) the other driver was an apek tua (well not so tua... maybe 40 plus)
3) I was young (I wasn't 20 yet then).

Sergeant Abu Bakar, I remember him well, was the policeman who took my statement. He was wearing a hawaiian shirt, unbuttoned down to his bulging stomach, and I, being scared and intimidated, dare not look straight at him and was instead looking at the few strands of grey hair on his leathery chest. He wasn't really interested in hearing my side of the story.... He just asked for me to accept his "special offer", a reduction in the compound.

So I was wrong, and Abang Haris paid for it. Abang Haris, I seek your forgiveness....

But, I tell you the real story now.

Mother (God bless her soul) wanted to go to Kak Sarah's house and I was in no mood to drive. I don't remember why. So, when mother insisted, I reluctantly agreed but I (being me) had to show a little anger. I drove fast to Kampung Tunku, dropped mother off and drove back to Bangsar, still angry. I was going down hill, and as a thing I like to do from that point was to just let the car coast down the hill, without pressing down on the accelerator.

At the bottom of the hill,, next to the Mobil station, I saw a pick up truck in the opposite lane signalling to turn in to a lane to my left. The driver seemed to hesitate, perhaps not sure if he should wait, or should he dash across. Just as I was approaching, he decided to go and I had to adjust slightly and eased into the right lane to avoid him.... that's when I notice there was a car behind the truck and the apek was following the truck in to the lane. Apparently, he didn't see me because his vision was obscured by the truck. A Nissan (or was it still Datsun then) Stanza... He moved forward and I drove right into him, standing on the brakes. Since I was already turning the steering to the left to avoid him, the impact deflected my trajectory, and I ended on the curb on the left side of the road.

Then, it started to rain.... and it rained so heavily, there were flash flood all over KL.

It is my fault? Maybe it's mother's fault, she shouldn't have been so insistent. Maybe, it's Kak Sarah's fault, because she was the one who insisted that mother come over. Or, maybe it is even Abang Haris's fault... he shouldn't have let drive the red Proton Saga. And, what about the pick-up truck driver, he (or she) must surely be at answerable, too. I had the right of way.... he should have stopped to let me pass....

But, he got clean away.

On top of everything else, the apek and Abang Haris probably had to pay off the good sergeant to "smoothen" the proceedings....

Everything Happens by Accident

My boss keeps reminding me and my fellow managers that nothing happens by itself. Somebody must have flicked a switch, pushed a button, literally or metaphorically, for things to get in motion.

It's a nice notion that somewhere along the line, there was somebody responsible for something that happened. Of course, it may not be a nice thing, and that somebody who was deemed to have "flicked the switch" or "pushed the button" may not want to take any credit for doing so.

But, more often than not, we can't really pin point the start of something. There's always something else that leads to another and we find it's impossible to separate the end of one incident and the start of another.

What riles me the most is when somebody takes credit to say, "I saw that coming." That's a load of bull, because nobody ever saw it (whatever the it is) coming. From the a death in the family right to the credit crunch, culminating in the fall of giants like the Lehman Brothers, somebody will come forth and say, yes we predicted this and that's why we did something five years ago.... please..... Even, the greatest inventions of the world, from the wheel to the internet, can be traced to a single point of a chance discovery... a mistake, or an accident.

I believe that the human mind is limited to it's experience, i.e. what it's seen, heard, felt in the past. Note how the most creative minds in Hollywood create supposedly "out of this world" creatures that look like an insect, or a lizard... something very much of this world but distorted somewhat. So, to actually create something new, we need to be inspired, by something we saw, heard or felt.

Of course, in order to achieve whatever we desire in this world, we need to have a direction. And, that's all that we can really do... to face the right direction. Even, the best sportsmen and women in the world agree that the moment the ball (football or baseball or basketball, you name it) leave your hand or feet, it is out of your control and the best you can do is hope...and pray.... that you've done enough to make go the way you want it.

Nothing happens by itself? But if we do nothing, something will happen anyway.... right?

Master Uguay said in Kung Fu Panda... There are no accidents.....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

80% of Torres

I did not bother to set the alarm clock to wake me up at 3:30 am this morning. Last season, I'd make the point to watch Liverpool's every game. "Early days" still, they all say and opposing managers all "refuse to write them off" after beating Liverpool with late goals, I say they are being very polite.

At first, I refused to believe that this current appalling form is due to the departure of Xabi Alonso. But, I now have little doubt in my mind that the Reds are missing him.... terribly.

This season, LFC is a one man team. No, not two, one. Gerrard hasn't showed up this season. This season, all the teams in the world fear only one man.... Liverpool's Number 9, Fernando Torres. The only one of Rafael Benitez's great acquisition. At 26 million pounds, he's proved to be a bargain.

His mere presence on the pitch, forces opposition teams to camp in front of their goal. They are afraid to venture out too far and leave their defenders at the mercy of his power and speed. Take him out, and you will hear the huge collective sigh of the opposition team and supporters. And, they know they can now open up and start venturing onto the other half of the field and start testing the legendary but aging Jamie Carragher, the listless Kyrgiakos, the under performing Agger and Skrtel, industrious but still inexperience Insua, the attack minded Johnson.

Last season, when Torres was injured and only manage to play for less that half of the season, Liverpool fared better because there was a strong midfield. Marshalled by Alonso. This season, there isn't anybody there taking charge in the middle of the battlefield, making meaningful passes that produce penetrating attacks. Last season, two goals isn't enough buffer to beat Liverpool. As the opposition defense tire, Alonso will put the ball through to Kuyt or Babel or (if he's available) Torres.... and the game is turned on it's head. This season The Reds only came back once against Bolton.

This season, LFC is slowly sinking into mediocrity, despite beating Manchester United at home.

As Rafa said, 80% of Torres is enough to beat Man U. Probably even less of him scored the equaliser at Craven Cottage. And, Lyon got lucky, he was at a low point then. Take him out, Fulham scored two, and Lyon equalised.

The rest of the Reds, with the exception of Benayoun.... Nobody wants them on their team right now.

Let's take a break this season....

Monday, November 2, 2009


Nothing on this earth is absolute. What may seem good could be bad, what seems bad could be good... maybe not immediately, but sooner or later, we learn that, all that glitters is not gold and not all that glitter is (I confused myself there, too. But, you know what I mean..)

Hindsight is 20/20 vision. Some (many) people will say... "I saw that coming", after the thing happened. But, the greatest of human minds cannot possibly see the future.

I read a motivational article sent to me via e-mail, which I was supposed to send to twenty other people or something bad will happen to me. It was interesting enough. Actually, I've read it before a long time ago, late 2001 or early 2002, after the fall of the twin towers in New York.... also known as 9/11 attacks. (By the way it's 9/11 only in the USA, everywhere else it would've been 11/9).

The e-mail entitled "A Purpose Behind Every Incident" tells the accounts of (supposedly real) people who were inevitably detained under various circumstancees on the morning of 11 September 2001, and were subsequently, spared the fate of those who weren't. As far as I am concerned, the stories tell of people who were in the wrong place at the right time. The purpose behind these incidences (if they were true) is that they are not supposed to die...yet.

But, what if there was a woman who was already out of the building when she discovered she had left something in the office and turned around to get it. Maybe, there was a man who decided to help somebody with something, when he has already done his work and should have left the building an hour ago. Maybe there was somebody who woke up early that morning and decided that he or she will not be late for work again from that day forth.....

The only purpose behind these incidences, should they actually happen, (we'll never know), is that it's time for them to die....

And, I did not forward the e-mail, I deleted it. I hope God will protect me...