Monday, November 15, 2004

Breathing space

The last few days have been quiet and I was glad for the breather. Last Thursday was Deepavali, a public holiday. Went to Lake Titiwangsa and practically had the park all to ourselves, me and the boys. Lunched with Lingam, the retired Telekom man who lives alone, estranged from his own family. Said he was thankful to the gods for life and health, although he did reiterate that life was but an illusion!

Late in the afternoon, we suffered some kind of power failure and the whole block was turned into a steaming sauna. Took that as a sign and went to see The Manchurian Candidate. This update of John Frankenheimer’s 1962 Cold War thriller was serviceable and I did think it was a worthy remake. I enjoyed it although I know Angela Lansbury (‘Mother’ in the original) has poured scorn on it.

I was preaching Sunday. I’m starting on a new series called Turning Points which will look at defining moments in the life of key individuals in the Bible. I took my text from 1 Samuel 16 for the first message. Dad wanted to drive himself to the Chinese service in the afternoon but I didn’t think it would be okay although he’s up and about, not with all the drugs he’s pumped up on. He does look weak and fragile, but I do wonder if I shouldn’t deny him the chance to do things for himself, like driving around.

Today is another public holiday - Hari Raya Puasa, the end of Ramadan for Muslims, and the start of the new Muslim calendar year. We went to Titiwangsa again; the boys and their friend Mark came along (his first visit to the park, would you believe?) Yap was there too, and he visited after breakfast. The man’s been trying to interest me in real estate in Alberta! Arafat’s funeral and all it entailed brought all sorts of emotions to the fore (Malaysia is a staunch defender of the Palestinian cause). A radio station alleged that Arafat was poisoned which is nothing short of sensationalistic and imbecilic. Another national paper carried a giant headline in reverse calling Arafat a martyr ("Martyr's Funeral") - why, I will never understand.

But it’s great having two days off because of Raya. Mum cooked laksa and we all happily dropped by for lunch. A few cousins were there and invariably, conversation moved on to Uncle and I caught sight of Mum dabbing her eyes with a tissue paper.

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