John Steinbeck once wrote, ‘Change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like a stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.’ I don’t really know what made Mr. Steinbeck to think that change comes like a little wind; to me change is just another way to avoid the acceptance in life. Either you accept it the way it comes or you change it. Changes in terms of life are spontaneous; they change because they are destined to. In terms of people, some believe that changing of a person isn’t possible and people stay who they are. I believe things change and so do people. People don’t change or they think that can’t change because it is easier not to.
Coming to KL was always going to be different and difficult for a person like me who belongs to a society less advanced and developed. I prepared myself pretty much for the Cultural Shock but after landing here I realized that it was not that hard at all. Common sense was enough to understand the brand new society. Language barrier was the major concern and something told me that it is always going to be there. In a complex society like KL, where mixture of Tamil, Malay and Chinese languages, cultures, trends and traditions existed, it was a little challenging to decide what to understand first and how?
I always believed that life is like a movie in which unexpected things happen, we meet people and focus on the good people and fight with the bad people and in the end the villain dies and hero comes out with fire burning in the background and kisses the girl with end credits playing in the split screen. Or life is, I believed, like a song that symphonizes our soul and sometimes takes us back into the past or makes us imagine the places, people and things that doesn’t exist. We find ourselves in the condition of hallucination. Or may be life is like a book that reveals and interprets the occasions and incidents of our lives. We see our life in other people’s lives, experiences, mistakes and learning. But this cosmopolitan society changed my ways of taking things and the truth is if life is a movie it doesn’t have any script, if life is a song it doesn’t have melodies, if life is a book it doesn’t have baseline data. I guess it is easier to get inspired by the things but it is pretty hard to be the one or do things that can make others inspire. Now I believe that believe nobody. Just because a wise man said so, or you read it in a book, words of divine order, or because your mother told you it doesn’t make it true. I think one should only believe what he himself tests and judges to be true.
In the new society every other person you meet tries to be your godfather and wants you to do the things the way he wants you to or the way he did in his times. I thought listening to the people is fine, I can be a good listener because I know my ears won’t get me into any trouble but at the end of the day I’m going to follow my heart and I know this. Someday, I know, will soon come and I’d be one of those people would want others to do thing the way I did. Heritage they call. Genetics says heritage comes from genes of the parents but I say the social heritage and psychological heritage and traditional heritage doesn’t need any genes, it just takes a little common sense and a bit of wisdom. It is, definitely, difficult to live away from the friends and family, places I’ve grown up at and most importantly the language in which I can easily express my emotions. On the other hand, I have seen and met people who have fought against the social shocks and I’m currently living among such people who have gone through tough times in the quest of making a little room for them in the society. But if I think that only living among them would make me a wise and successful it would not be any more than standing in a garage and becoming the car. It takes more that efforts to capitalize when things are changing rapidly around you. You sleep in the night with plans and wakeup in the morning and change them. Changes can’t be skipped but accepting them would make it easier to carry along.