Original date of writing : November 8, 2013 (Friday)
I wrote this short (and unfinished) essay when I was still in Unimas.
It was part of a very long story...but up until now, I've never had the required time to finish it completely.
Maybe some time in the future, when I was totally free, I'll try to put a finishing touch to this piece.
I hope so.
(To new readers, throwback is a series of my unpublished stories, dating as far back as ten years ago)
It was mid 90's. While almost all of my friends here were still in cradle, I was already heading a Rakan Muda programme. It was Rakan Cinta Alam.
There were not many members, they were all my close friends. I designed its logo, planned its programme and charted its overall activities.
We hiked up bukit Tunjang on a regular basis, most of it without prior permission. On one occasion, we brought along a long tape as a marker. We would tighten the tape on selected tree trunks to mark our path, so that we won't get lost.
It was very risky venture...there were no telecommunication devices back then (hand phone was as big as a water bottle, and it was the luxury of the elites). We would begin hiking right after school hours and went home late in the evening. During those time, all the computers and game consoles were at the very end of our wildest dreams, we can't afford to have one. So we plunged into nature to fill the void of our time.
I love nature. And I love being deep in a forest. I read one of of Japan's most celebrated writer, Haruki Murakami novel, Kafka on the Shore and almost immediately identified myself with its main character, Kafka.
On one of his retreat, Kafka hesitated to venture inside a deep and mysterious jungle because the jungle is described as a "one way journey". Those who chose to go in never went out. He eventually chose to go in. The rest, as they say, is history.
I once hiked up bukit Tunjang alone, when I was still a raw, primary school boy. I almost got lost in the process, because bukit Tunjang is no ordinary hill. To this day, I still count my blessing...I may end up being just like Kafka.