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Dressing Up At the Traffic Lights

Last Sunday I had an encounter of the lifetime. The tragic event will be narrated in careful details below. Having to reach Boss's house at 7am for the Alor Setar court trip, I comfortably woke up at 6.40am to Kartik's frantic morning call, brushed teeth and grabbed my clothes, perfume, instant coffee in plastic mug, shoes, a bottle of mineral water, hairgel and sunblock SPF2000 (hello its Alor Setar where they can bake cakes in the sun) and threw them all in the car and took off aka Too Fast Too Furious meet Death Race meet Princess Diaries style.

What transpired in the next flurry of 15 minutes drive madness I could not put into writing lest the authorities concerned call. Like a bat out of hell, I stepped on my poor MYVI accelerator like its a Bugatti-Aston Martin crossbreed, dashed into the darkness and honked my way through the early shimmering rays of dawn.

Still in worn pyjamas, I was fronted with the rather impossible task of getting ready in the 10 minutes while driving schumachering at breakneck speed. Admidst the maniacal rush, the proverbial comical lightbulb came on and I had an idea. I have to pass 4 traffic lights before reaching destination. I have 4 things to put on. Mathematics is not that hard anyway. The genius took place.

Traffic Light 1
looked left and right. no one. pull down the pants which is not an easy task because of the sitting position and and the very small MYVI interior. Try to put on the black slacks. Slacks was caught in the car keys stuck in ignition. Panic set in. Try to untangle. 6 second before light turned green. Untangling.. 5  4   3   zipped! ouch vrrrooooooooooooom

Traffic Light 2
Shirt was easy. Buttoned up in two seconds and tugged into slacks and buckled the belt. Perfume sprayed liberally.  Car filled with eau de toilette fragrance and au naturel intelligence. Vrrrooommmm

Traffic Light 3 
Hairgel application was a sticky situation. Pun intended. It was not hairgel found in Watson range but rather a state of the art wax-gum hybrid saloon product from Japan which cannot be applied without leaving ur hands sticky and your hair looking fantabulous without a streak of grease. Elvis Presley was rumoured to use this very brand until the day of his death. Anyways, back to the seat of my speeding crossbreed car,  at the 3rd traffic light I was spiking up the Hair with the help of the very outrageously small rearview mirror all the while cursing the size of it (mirror, not hair) while conveniently making a mental note to write to Perodua to complain sue for the mirror.

Traffic Light 4
Downed the coffee which was made back in house in one gulp. Flush with mineral water as liquid breakfast to curb hunger. Wound down window to rinse sticky hands out in the open. Wiped wet hands on pants appropriate thick towel beautifully hung from car seat by mystery person.

Managed to reach destination ON TIME and pretended I was early and faked a yawn as my heart rate was fluctuating like an Olympian athlete champion. Good morning Sir.

The Auspicious Round Table

Since I was a little kid, i wonder tirelessly why we cant have the Long Dining Table like those seen in western movies; heavy, steady, made of good wood and seats at least six. Ours is always round. Everytime i asked Mother she would always give a quick and short answer 'It's round because we are Chinese!'.  Somewhat annoyed with such incomplete answer, I shouldered this question mark which grew and bred in my mind each passing year, nourished by my non-chinese educational background. I always think that long table is superior, since it can be set beautifully with flowers, napkins, elaborate chandelier hanging low while it seats well-dressed people who pass big heavy salad bowl around in formal seating. There seemed to be an odd shimmering air of elegance clinging to the Long Dining Table.

But the magic of round table was unveiled little by little to me these years, with increasing clarity. Every Chinese New Year, people hastily return from all over the world to take their respective seats at the round table for a meal together with their family, as if their presence is mandatory. Surgeons put down their scalpels, judges their gavels, clerks their pens and soldiers their weapons. Round table seating forces elbow-to-elbow brush; a sign of closeness, connection and bond. At the round table, everyone can see everyone in unobstructed view and there is little difficulty in reaching out for food or conversation as the diameter is exactly the same from every seat to the centre of the round table. Distance is bridged as people close in and love reaches out.

My Reunion Dinner 2011
On a symbolic level, round table is a Circle. Circle signifies completion and union. There is no end in a circle, it is an endless cycle of life and continuation of love from one to another. That which is good is retained in that circle and never runs out. The existing gap and distance is being closed as one by one of the family members take their seats at the round table. That is why it is called Reunion Dinner. because no matter how far one goes in life, ones must return to his roots, his family, his seat grounded at the Round table.

Because we are nothing without family.

I now realised the purpose of Mother's very short answer all these while. It was meant to show me that Love cannot be taught in a sentence but can be learnt, understood and instilled with the passage of appropriate seasons.  Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

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