Monday, January 17, 2005

The Happiness of Small Things

The Happiness of Small Things

Sometimes when I'm lazy to drive down to town, I'd take the KTM Komuter train from Subang Jaya to KL Sentral; and from there I can either take the Putra LRT to KLCC or take the KL Monorail, if I'm heading towards the Bukit Bintang area.

If you avoid the rush hours, these train rides can be quite enjoyable, especially on the Komuter. It's good that I don't have to join the mad exodus to work everyday; I always try to time my appointments and activities to avoid the rush-hour crowd.

When I was working in Singapore, I used to enjoy stopping by at Orchard Road on my way home by bus. Shaw House and Borders were my favourite haunts for movies and books; and sometimes I'd have a beer or two with my friends at the Europa Cafe, next to the Thai Embassy. Life in Singapore was good; it was only when I moved there that I managed to reorganize my chaotic life and introduce some balance into it. Singapore provided me with the space, clarity and peace of mind to do that. And I'm forever grateful for that.

Prior to that I had been working for many years in KL. I cannot imagine how my life would have turned out had I remained here. Life was breathlessly hectic and stressful. It was like being trapped in a whirlpool, where one struggles continuously to stay afloat. It was only when I was able to leave this city, that I got to see things in a better perspective.

I've worked before in Penang too, a long time ago when I was fresh from college, and was longing for all the excitement in life. I made a lot of friends in Penang and learned a great deal from my experiences there; Penang was nice, but it was a bit too dull for me then.

But nowadays I tend to think back of my Penang days with fondness. I remember that I used to enjoy taking the ferry instead of using the Penang Bridge whenever I wanted to cross to Seberang Prai. Looking back, those ferry crossings were the best part of my stay in Penang.

But you move on in life. Every place and every moment is unique and one tries to make the most of it. We define what we think is meaningful to ourselves and we go about in search of it. What is happiness to me could be something utterly depressing to another person. We define our own happiness. These days, happiness to me is just a simple and quietly fruitful life.

Like this moment: being able to type these words on my notebook, here at a cafe in KLCC, in that strangely quiet hour when everyone else is rushing home, gives me enormous joy. And later I'll take the train back home, when the the crowd is no more, and there'll be lots of seats available. These small things are enough to make me happy.

No comments: