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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

She is still out there...

I don’t often make serious topics. There are times when my messages to my blog don’t usually reflect how I feel at the time of writing. It’s ironic and an insult to my conscience, seeing to the true purpose of this blog was for.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting pretty busy now. Seeing that at the past few days had been hectic, I rarely have time to read my usual quota of favorite books, let alone the newspapers.

But then the school server slowed down and I suddenly found myself being... quiet.


Although everybody else in the workstation is buzzing about like busy bees (and I know bees), I suddenly found myself at a mental halt. Detached and... closed.

The best way I could describe it was like you’re walking at an empty, grassy park. A really big one and there’s nobody else around. Then suddenly you stopped for no reason. There’s nothing to see and nothing different yet you still stopped.

Why did I stop? I don’t know. Maybe with the school server being down, I managed to orient myself to the latest news everybody had been listening to.

The Sharlinie Abduction.

This isn’t a message about the abduction, or about the parties involved or the ‘why’s and ‘what-if’s. If you want to know about all those, you can get it in 1001 sites all over the Internet. I refuse to be an affiliate to the online worries and speculation.

But I do worry. When the little Nurin girl’s body had been found, barely four months ago, I did feel very, very worried. And sad.

Would it be selfish of me to think of my own family instead of grieving for a child who met an unfortunate end?

My cousin has a very small child, a little girl younger than Nurin or Sharlinie. She’s an a-long-awaited girl for my cousin’s family (KakShaz only have one other child, now a big protective brother). She’s very pretty and extraordinarily fair for a Malay.

I know I may sound biased seeing that I’m family, but little UmmSweet is not my daughter. She’s very, very cute. Her grandmother is part Chinese and UmmSweet’s father is of Sarawakian origin. UmmSweet’s got the best physical aspect of both world... and a temper to boot.

Everybody in the family agreed that UmmSweet was too cute, too cute even for television.

Which in the light of the little girls’ kidnappings, this had got me scared for her. Scared for the family. We often mentioned about the abductions to KakShaz and her husband. They agreed to be more vigilant, at home and at shopping malls, even though they live miles away from Kampung Baru.

I guess Sharlinie’s ongoing rescue operation is why I found myself detached and got into deep thinking, right here in the middle of a workstation. There are 3 criminal acts which I hate most in the world; terrorism, torture and rape. And little Nurin’s abduction has one of all those three.

The kidnapper terrorized the child to obey him, to follow him and his rules.

The kidnapper tortured the child, mind and body and then he tortured the child’s family by dumping her broken body.

The kidnapper raped the child.

He raped her.
As a female and once a small little girl myself, I don’t wish to go into detail.

The school’s server is running fast and smooth again. I feel myself on the move. There’s a class waiting for me at 11.30am. My lecturer too will be packing her notes, books and checking the projector.

Other students will be there and then they’ll go to their other classes. Then they’ll go home and maybe watch the news before they go to sleep. Today is Tuesday and they’ll wake up to Wednesday.

Somewhere out there is a lost little girl trapped by a monster.

Hi-ho TheProton! Away!

For this blog entry, I would like to introduce to you the stalwart companion of mine. She’s as old as my maturity, maybe even more. We met when I was in primary school and today I indebted to her for ferrying me back and forth between home and school.

Ain’t she a beauty?

Aww... my Proton Iswara Aeroback.

Okay, technically, it isn’t mine; it’s my mom’s. And all this lovey-gooey ooziness over a mechanical vehicle that’s worth its weight in petrol and maintenance bills may sound overdone.

But I drive this car. It’s mine. It takes me places.

This is one of the earliest (and least publicized) Iswara Aeroback produced by the company. In family, the extended family, it’s the only Proton Iswara so everybody identifies it as the Iswara. In my nuclear family, it’s dubbed ‘TheProton’.

“Where’s TheProton?”
“Ayah must have taken it out to go to the mamak corner again.”
“Okay then. I’ll call him to feed the car as well.”

“There’s a car outside the gate. Can somebody move it so I can park inside?”
“It’s TheProton car. Your sister must have forgotten to lock in the handbrake again.”
“Luckily it didn’t roll into the neighbour’s Volvo like the last time.”

“I can’t accelerate TheProton too fast or it’ll jerk.”
“She’s an old lady. Be careful.”
“I know all about being careful around old people. I got two of the still paying the mechanic’s bills.”

Oooh yeah.

TheProton had been in three road accidents, each belongs to every family member who had just got their driver’s license. She had been clamped in Kelana Jaya and fined in Uptown Damasara. Captured on police camera in various highways. Broke down in the back roads between Kuantan and Kuala Terrengganu. Radiator overheated just before the Rawang exit. Up and down the Genting Highlands roads until her brakes got too old to carry her weight, our fat luggage and our fat-asses.

She’s been to waaay more places than a Toyota Avanza TV commercial, more durable than a Mercedes M-Class attacked by a dinosaur and more versatile than a Japanese cellphone. And a favourite bird-poop target every time she parks in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.

Her most exciting incident was when a convoy of military trucks was passing her from the left, somewhere on the road going out of KL, sometime in the 1990s. The front most truck driver (in his big dark green truck) was probably wearing his stylish movie-inspired sunglasses to complement his full soldier boy uniform.

Didn’t see TheProton.
A couple of bangs and a shaking as high as 7.3 on the Richer scale.
A full 180 degree turn.
Four sets of tire tracks decorated the road with black ribbons.

A mother, her best friend and two kids in the back seat with no seat belts on. Scary, huh?

It’s a good thing old Yayi had taught his daughter how to be a good driver. Mak barely managed to stop the car from turning over (which, however dangerous, would have been really interesting). Me and my little brother, young and stupid as we were (we weren’t even wearing seatbelts!), thought it was the coolest non-roller coaster car ride surprise ever.

The trucking soldier boys did their civic duty (and to stop Mak from logging a police report) by escorting us to the nearest mechanic shop to asses and pay for the damage (all 3 military trucks by the way).

It was the first and only time I got into a damn real military truck, with real soldier boys and their pretty pin-badges on their mud-green uniforms. And I tell ya, the government needs to give these guys some proper suspension and better seat cushions in those moving metal boxes.

Happy for TheProton, she survived to crash into various other non-military, albeit more expansive, vehicles for the next so-and-so years.

So Ayah decided that the old girl deserves a paint job and some expensive repair work.

Whatcha looking at?

Galactic gray, all the easier to hide any unwanted bird-poop splatter.

Oh, and my own contribution.

This old lady’s still kicks ass...

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