Imperial Command of the Raccoon General

Thoughts and Memoirs of a Ring-tailed and Masked Dominator of the World

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General of the mighty Raccoon Army

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The years gone by....

About 20 years ago...

I barely remember much save that I returned to Selangor/KL area after staying in Penang for 4 years. Since coming back from England, being born there and all, I have stayed in Penang with my grandparents for years and to come to Selangor wasn't actually welcoming.

I remember a bus. A red bus, double decker, that I loved to play with. Yes, a simple child's play thing. I remember playing traffic jams all over the Ampang house with my older brother, pushing a whole line of vehicular toys bit by bit, ala traffic jam. I remember doing experiments, with water, pillows, insects, fire, electricity... and glue.

I remember the beginnings of getting scolded, the joy of playing, the wonderment of listening to stories. I loved stories, and how for some reason they struck a deep chord within me, no matter how silly those stories can be, nor whether they are local folk tales or some western fiction.

Above all, I remember the innocence...

15 years ago...

I remember being in school with a number of friends; some whose names have begun to sound alien to my ears. We may have not forgotten them, but the sad truth is that we have become close to being strangers to them. But once, they were there.

I remember loving to draw in school, to scribble nonsense on the sides of text books, to want to trace over the works of great artists. I recall though being far from adept at it. I know that I did not truly master drawing sufficiently to satisfaction until the next 2 years. But I loved to draw. I remember loving drawing, more than anything else in school, save English.

I remember rising to the top at school. I recall getting top of the class in the final year examination, actually was tied for that spot with my bestfriend then, Amilin, whom the teachers gave him the title of best student of the batch while I received top in the 'class', on grounds that he was the more hardworking one.

And of course, I remember the people of those times; Ain, Fairuz, Azuwan, Ariff to name a few whom have had among the biggest impact on me and among those I am most thankful for.

10 years ago...

I remembered being in boarding school, I remembered being in cyber cafes, I remembered playing network games. And I remembered...that I was damn good.

I remember hating boarding school. I hated the seniors and all their conspirators among those of my own batch. I remember every torment, etching them deeply in memory so that one day, should fate be cruel to them and let them cross paths with me, I would seek my retribution.

But I loved the freedom. I remember that as clear as it were yesterday. I loved the freedom so much that it changed me to a point I can never go back to being who I was before. The freedom was like a drug, its taste sweet and its effects addictive. I was a junkie on freedom, I challenged conformity and loathed restrictions.

There are times, honestly, that when I am so deprived of my freedom that I want to cry. I wanted to scream in anger and frustration. My being can no longer be chained; not by tradition, not by conformity, not by atrocious rulings. I chose to think, and I chose to make sure those thoughts are my own.

Far more significant though, I remembered the exams, the studies, and the stress. The future has begun to show itself to me. And it wasn't all that pretty.

5 years ago...

I remember telling myself that I was no longer, nor perhaps ever was, academically invincible. The shock of failing subjects for the first time was neither traumatic nor was it totally disregarded. I remember feeling that it was a significant point in my life where I learn to see some truths in myself, but I also remember that I was not too distressed by the fact. It had came, and it had passed, what matters is what I do about it in turn. That was among the most significant of lessons MMU taught me.

I remember the euphoria of one of the most absolute freedom I ever had. I no longer stayed in hostels. The family bought a place in Cyberjaya, but more significantly was that for two weeks, I had the place ALL to myself, since the family has chosen not to mve in yet. My own place, no rules or restrictions. I brought friends there and perhaps had a number of things that should not be, but by God, that was how it should be, I felt. That was what it was being alive.

Significantly, I remember all to well the dissapointment when that was all over, the frustration now of living once again, after 7 years of freedom, under the scrutinous eyes of the family. I remember too, the progression in my studies, the reasons for my choosing my current paths. There was some regret perhaps, but I am sure, storytelling is what I want to do more than anything else.

I remember that those were the years I forged relationships with friends that, while truthfully a lot of them turned out fickle and unreliable but still, a number of them, a select few remains in the ranks of the people I trust, even till today. People like MewMew, Naz, Omar as well as some from older times, like Fairuz or Ruza. Perhaps with people like these, there is still hope for us as a sentient species.

But above all, I remember falling in love. I remember wanting nothing more but to dedicate myself to the one girl. I would jump off a cliff if she would only return the feeling. I remember seeing everything else so insignificant compared to her. I remember with clarity what every good moment being with her was like. I remember the over flowing pride I felt whenever I could do favours for her.

It's true, I remember the frustration, the regret, the sheer sorrow when it all did not work out. But I remember that for better or for worse, it was an experience that I would not trade for anything else in this world, regardless the outcome.


I see things I am not content with. I see people being drones in the machine of society. I see soulless ones trying to coach me into joining their ranks. I see opportunities I feel best given to me being passed on to others, some whom I feel they do not deserve it, if not because of their lack of skill, its because of their lacking as a human being in general.

I see friends back stabbing one another, I see them for what they truly are, people so desperate to be part of a group that they will adjust their views everytime to fit a particular group, even at the expense of their friends. I see stupidity, and I see a complete flaw of character in these poeple as a person.

I see life in humanity as it is, where dreams and opportunities are like room mates to nightmares, ugly truths, biased views and a severe lack of faith among people towards the human mind. Too often we conform to mob mentality and long standing patterns.

But I see other things too.

I see Naz still as blunt as can be, but as honest as always. I see Ruza still sharing my taste in pizzas and my choice in interests, and I still see Mel, always there to lend an ear to hear all my lights.

Truly the world is a dark place, but what we have that is of worth and dear to us, they are like the flicker of light that might just make it enough for us to get out of this mess called life.