Friday, June 29, 2007

Not the Usual Date: The Ride There (Part Four)

Step in. They. Haven’t eaten.
Sit down.

‘Ladies. Wan. I must apologise. I have to go.’

‘What’s up, man?’

‘Sai just got arrested at some mosque in Kajang. His fiancée doesn’t know what’s going on. I gotta find out where they’re taking him and what the hell he’s been arrested for.’
He's pissed off.

Shake Ida's hand. Cool. Soft.

'Ida. It was very nice to meet you.'

Turn to. Nadia.

'Nadia ...'

'Zack, I know this might sound weird.' Huh? 'But I was wondering if I could follow you.'

Kidding me. 'Uh... really?'

'Really. I would love to see the great criminal lawyer in action.'

'Nadia?!' Surprised. Or annoyed.

'But, uh... don't you want to finish your dinner? It's really good.' God, that was so so lame.

'I can always come here if I really wanted. It's not every night I would get to see you in action.'

That's true. But honey, you could every night!

Adventurous. To boot. Be still. My drug-fueled heart.

'But, it's not as action packed as those TV sitcoms. It's pretty boring really.'

'Nadia! What about me?'

'Oh Ida, Wan can keep you company here. And anyway, I'm not expecting a Bruckheimer movie. I can go to the movies for that too.'
Insistent. Okay. Gotta move.

'Wan. Can you stay with Ida?'

'Yeah, sure. But, uh.'

Great. What now?

'You sure you don't need my help?'


'I wouldn't know. Can you? Quickly, Wan! Time's of the essence.'

'Ida, I really want to stay here with you but as sublime and intoxicating as you are, the thought of my best buddy running around looking for his brother... even though I don't really like that piece of shit... I don't...'

Ida. Disappointed. Big time.

'Wan, let me talk to her for a second.'

'Nadia. I don't mean to push, but we gotta go in 2 minutes.'

'Okay.' Step away.

'Wan, pass me your phone. I'm gonna need it for the next few hours, is...'

'It's yours.'

'Thanks.' Dial. Rahim. 'Rahim?'

'Who's this?'


'Oh. Encik Zachary, good evening.'

'Rahim. Where are you?'

'I'm... uh, having dinner at the moment. At... the office.'

'I've got a favour to ask.'

'Ask away, Encik Zachary.'

'My brother's been arrested. He was arrested about 10 minutes ago at a mosque somewhere in Kajang. I need you to check what went down there?'

'Okay. I'm on it. I'll call you back once I find something.'


'Are those girls ready?'

'Okay, let's go.' Nadia.

'Wait. Who's us?'

'All of us. Ida's coming as well.'

Great. Just great.

We're walking.

'Okay, Wan, get somebody to call us a cab.'

Wan. Throws card. Credit. 'Bill, please. As fast as you can.'

Signs chit.

'A cab? The hell for? We got a great comfy limo waiting on us outside!'

'It's too flashy.'

'Dude, what are we gonna do with the limo for the rest of the night?'

'I don't know. Get rid of him!'

'Hell no! If you call a cab you gotta wait some more. Let's just roll.'

Oh no. This. Disasterous.

Gotta move.

'Fine. I can't wait anymore.'

Limo. Stretched. Tearing through KL.

Destination: Kajang.

MTV blasting. But.

Everybody. Pensive.

Wan. Talk to. Ida. Trying.

Nadia. Staring out.

Me. On the phone.

'Evening Inspector. Zachary Hamid, here.'

'Ah... evening Encik Zachary. How are we this evening?'

'Not good.'

'Oh, sorry to hear that. What's the problem?'

'My brother's just been arrested at a mosque somewhere in Kajang about 20 minutes ago.
Would you happen to know what happened there?'
'Kajang. Hmmm... I do remember something about some disturbances at a mosque in Kajang. I'll have to call you back.'
'Inspector. I'm always obliged.'

Click. Dialing. Terrence. Reporter. The Star. Crime beat.


'Ey, man. What's up?'

'Where are you?'


'Great. Need a favour.'

'What's up?'

'Do you know whether there's been anything reported or not reported about some disturbances at a mosque somewhere in Kajang?'

'Not sure-lah. Can check. How soon?'

'Very soon. My brother's just been arrested.'



Now. Just wait.

Hate this part.

Slide. Closer. To Her.


'I hope you're not bored out of your wits already.'

Turns. Smiles. Look forced.

'No. It's interesting to see how you work.'

'It's nothing much... just working the phones until I know where to find him. But I've called everybody I have to call. It's just a matter of waiting now.'

'Do people always do what you tell them to do?'


If they did. World would be beautiful.

'I'm afraid not.'

'Could have fooled me.'


'What made you decide to become a lawyer?'

Good one. Used to. Have an answer. Good one. Too.

Don't know. Anymore.

Tell her the truth.
'I used to know the answer to that question. These days I'm not so sure.'


'Why? Laugh. Slight bitterness. 'Maybe, I'm just tired. Tired of seeing the ugliness, petiness, stubborness, unreasonableness of people. I'm sick of being thrown in the path of mad, rabid pitbulls and asked to sort it out, as cheaply and quickly as possible. I'm sick of having to appear before judges too stupid to find their own asshole even if you gave them a map, directions and a GPS system. I'm angry that all my ideals, my dreams, and hopes have been trampled on, raped, and ignored. I'm furious that the law is not about justice, fairness or equality, or even truth.'

She stares. Stunned.

'Shocking, eh? I have no doubt that you're asking yourself: why is this guy whose entire life revolves around the law sound as if he's one thought away from leaving practise? It's a valid question, I suppose. Very valid. I mean, if that were your question. But it's not. Your question was: Why don't I know why I decided to become a lawyer? Right?'

She nods. Stunned. Still.

Can see her still trying to digest this.

'Because everything I believed in about the law, about people about goodness and badness, about truth, about life, is a lie. It's all a fucking lie. Pardon, my french.'

No laughs there.

'People are not nice. Truth is not nice. Being good is not nice. People are selfish, petty, irresponsible and vengeful creatures. Truth is whatever you want it to be, or convince yourself it is. Being good? Hmph. There is no good. There is no bad. It's just people doing what they want to do. That's why. Does that answer your question?'

She's look at me. Wan and Ida. Both looking at me.

Wan's phone rings.


'Encik Zachary, please?'

'Rahim, what did you get me?'

'Sir, I found out that there was a demonstration at a mosque in Kajang.'

'Why was there a demo?'
'From what I understand, the government wants to demolish that mosque and build a newer bigger one about 20 kilometers away.'

'So, the mosque that is slated for demolition is in a PAS stronghold. The new one's in an UMNO area.'

'Fuck. Politics. What else do you know?'

'That's pretty much it. The people in that area were protesting the demolition and the police
must have clamped down on them.'
'Do you know whether this was regular or SB?'

'Sorry, sir. I don't know.'

'Okay, we're on our way to the Kajang police station. Get there.'

'Yes, sir.'


'Who was that?' asks Nadia.

'Rahim. My sidekick. I'm Batman. He's Robin.'

She smiles. Faint.

'So what's going on?'

'Usual government oppression. My brother was protesting the demolition of a mosque in PAS territory. Police arrested them.'

'Oh, no.' She seems. Genuinely concerned.

'Oh, yes. Now it's political. This makes things even trickier.'

'What are you gonna do?'

'Get my brother out of whichever jail he's being locked up for.'

'Is it that easy?'

'The first lesson you learn in the practise of law, Nadia, is that nothing is easy.'

10 pm.

Kajang police station.
There's a crowd outside the police compound. Bingo. Wives. Children. Uncles. Aunties. Cousins. Friends. NGO's. Plainclothes policemen. Lawyers. Press. It's a fucking circus. When we pull up in the stretched limo, it becomes a full blown carnival. Only thing missing is the goddamned Miss Malaysia. And that's because she's in the car.

'Shit. It's madness out there. Nadia, I don't think you should go out. You might just get lost or
more likely, molested, out there.'
'I appreciate the warning but I want to go. I'm not wasting my time sitting in the car when all the action is out there.'

Shit. This chick is psyched.

You want action? You'll get action.

'Fine. Have it your way. Wan, how much cash do you have on you?'

'Uh... about four grand.'

Ida and Nadia. Listen. In disbelief.

I have only. Four hundred ringgit.
'Hand it over.'

Now they watch in disbelief.

Wan hands over. Money clip straining. With cash.
'You comin'?'

'Nah. I'll be a liability. You go ahead.'

'Alright. Nadia. Stay very close.'
Door opens.


art harun said...

WHERE IS PART 5????? Part 5....quick!

the Anomaly said...

hey, this is getting very exciting man... Chepatlah part 5!

Daef, i detect a lot of your own self in this particular story (mostly parts 3 and 4). the disillusionment with the system, with practice perhaps [... and the homophobia :)or at least the great reluctance in watching guy on guy action].

The part on humans being inherently bad - I too am stuggling with that view esp after the war crimes conference. We have either regressed or have never improved from the time of Ivan the Terrible. There seems to be many Hitlers and cruel leaders these days that I saw it as a sign of the coming Apocalypse.

Then came a single ray of hope when I came across a quote from Gandhi: "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." However, I'm not so sure now that it's only a few drops in the ocean that is dirty.

To even begin to understand human nature, we must seek within. I believe we must each acknowledge our dark side and embrace it. Yes we all have it. Light and darkness must be balanced. For God and the Devil are One. So how can we embrace one without the other?

here's a quote from Charles B Hanna to contemplate on:
"We repress our dark side, which then projects itself onto other people, cultures, or nations. The unacknowledged conflict in ourselves is cast out to increase the conflict in our world."