MCOBA Official Centenary Webpage Zacknina Galleria: Of Strawberries and Blackberries, or, Don't Worry, Be Happy...!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Of Strawberries and Blackberries, or, Don't Worry, Be Happy...!

Zaim Al-Amin
1428 hours, Wednesday
7th day of May, 2008
Ampang - Petaling Jaya

Salam & salutations,

Re : Zaim Al-Amin's Transcendentia Column, Rentakini Section, Malaysiakini
Title : Of Strawberries and Blackberries, or, Don't Worry, Be Happy...!

I was truly and comfortably slumped on a clinic sofa waiting for my turn when an old friend walked in. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, he went on to ask me a series of ultra personal things. Now, I haven't met this buddy for years and, under normal circumstances, his knowledge about such intimate details would have been somewhat unnerving, yet I answered his questions nonchalantly. Then it was my turn to shoot back equally private questions. All without batting an eyelid.

Welcome to the wonders of Facebook. Or Friendster or Myspace, if you so prefer. It's a website where you can find friends, old or new. And of all types. And you can choose to share just about everything; from pictures to feelings to what you are currently doing or planning to do. A friend of mine recently lamented that when his family went for a vacation, half of the population knew everything about it, courtesy of his son who wrote about it in his Myspace. In short, you always know what your friends are doing in the real world. In real time, too.

Don't ask me whether it's a good thing or otherwise. It's just something you'd stumble upon; not unlike a good song or movie or something like that. After a while, it sort of grows on you. You feel `connected' with all your friends, albeit not with the same warmth (or chill) you'd feel when you go out for Teh Tarik sessions (or clubbing). Now I can still enjoy my private moments, but at the same time smugly aware that in my Facebook, I have (Datin Seri) Tiara Jacqueline and Stephen Rahman Hughes as my friends. Oh – and (Dato' Seri) Anwar Ibrahim as well. Perhaps later (Tuan Guru) Nik Abdul Aziz and Lim Guan Eng will be roped in for good measure. And whilst I'm at it, I will certainly try to add (Dato' Seri) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as a friend; assuming that he's also into it, that is. Mawi, you say? Now gimme a break!

So now you all know I was at the clinic. Needless to say, my Facebook friends knew much, much earlier. The state of well being happens to feature amongst the few things that we regularly share. After all, it's difficult even to simply remain healthy nowadays. The whole idea of remaining healthy can be elusive, and at times, expensive. From having to join fitness clubs to purchasing fitness gear, fitness supplements and fitness chairs. But wait a minute, I hear you say, whatever happened to the good old walk in the park? But of course. You could still jog and sweat it out the more `natural' way. Park your car far from the office. Or better still, take the LRT and enjoy the long walks and the healthy flight of stairs. Avoid lifts and escalators like the plague.

Which is all so fine and dandy, albeit the fact that, in my case, the walk from the LRT Station to my office involves walking under some extremely potent looking high voltage TNB wires and, of course, inhaling the LDP traffic fumes probably laced with all imaginable poisonous substances. Ah, but you can't be too careful either. Even staying at home watching AF6 can subject you to a dozen hazardous rays and possible radiation from the ubiquitous TV, that handful of Dopod, BlackBerry, Vaio, Wifi transmitter and goodness knows what other electronic gadgets emitting infrared, bluetooth and other signals. If all these signals and rays were visible, I bet we can't even see each other clearly.

But then again, perhaps it's not just because of harmful rays and radiations. There could be supplementary emotional or biological reasons as well. Perhaps it's because we also tend to worry too much. At personal level, we worry whether Ribena actually contains alcohol. At domestic level, we worry if our kids can't go to boarding school. And when they finally got into one, we worry if they would not manage to score 10As at PMR and 21 As at SPM. At national level, we worry if Riz and Stacy wouldn't make it to the AF6 finale. At cosmic level, we worry if the Rendang Ayam brought by our dear Angkasawan would not taste good for the Russian Cosmonauts on board the International Space Station. All are extremely valid reasons to worry, at least to some of us at some particular point of time. And we are not even talking about BP or glycerin levels yet. Or the world food crisis.

And as if those were not enough to stress us out, we also got worried sick when the mathematical wizard we once applauded as the pride of the nation ended up in some sleazy creation of her own. And when we knew she refused to accept help from some very concerned Malaysians, we tend to worry even more. In our minds, people involved in the sex industry have always been victims, hence the notion that this British-born Malaysian darling actually prefers to stay in that profession is unfathomable. And by the way what kind of people are those high class Clients of hers who get their kicks out of a partner reciting calculus or whatever complex mathematical formula and equations? We can just imagine massage parlour operators gleefully advertising their masseurs: “New Girl - Miss Algebra Extraordinaire.” Sorry, but to me mathematics are a definite turn off. What's next? Legal citations?

I've always stated the fact that I only write when I am sick, have toothache or during random bouts of insomnia. So what is it this time, you ask. I guess it's just something in the air. All these heatwave, torrential rain and unpredictable weather. When Mother Earth is unwell, you tend to feel its effect. And of course, it adds to my list of worries. Plus the fact that this month my wife and I would be celebrating our marriage anniversary. And also expecting a baby in a few months. So naturally there's this concern about well being. About being able to live long enough to see all the kids get through their respective lives.

Maybe it's time to go back to basics then. Take that walk in the park. Stop and smell the roses. Feed the monkeys. Run. Or jog. Do whatever, but then again let's do ourselves a favour. Let's eat strawberry and be merry.

But for once; let's leave our BlackBerries and our assorted worries...

- This message was NOT sent via BlackBerry -

~ This article is dedicated to my wife Nina Norfaizah and my kids Daniellia Zainisya (13), Hilmi Firdaus (11), Daniellia Zetrisya (9) and Iqmal Firdaus (9) ~

Cheers & best regards,

Zaim Al-Amin
E 28, Fellowship of Kingtho (MCKK Class of 84)
Founder/Chairman, Bargreaves Ballerz (MCOBA Theatre Group)

Zaim Al-Amin, Esq.
Group Legal Advisor/Head Of Legal
Legal & Corporate Department
No. 30, Jalan SS25/23
Taman Mayang, Section 25
47301 Petaling Jaya
Selangor, MALAYSIA.
Tel : +603-78053190 ext 228
Fax : +603-78052930
Mobile : +6016-2388909 (local)/+6017-3099828 (roaming)
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