Thursday, January 10, 2008

let me tell you a...

Story. Here goes.

The band had played its first corporate event-gig at Ipoh. 10 songs in 2 hours. The Puri brothers rushed back to KL right after. Yeah, we didn't even get a group hug. The event ended around 11pm, and the four of us headed on towards grabbing a much-deserved midnight snack to compliment the pats on our backs. We were graced by the presence of four lovely young ladies who gladly joined us for a bite & a li'l chat. One thing led to another and we....went on our separate ways.


The journey back to Nic's place was about 30mins, gassed with an uncontrollable amount of laughter. Not a drop of alcohol, just sheer bliss. As we pulled up the front of Nic's house, his front gate wasn't functioning and he directed us towards the back entrance. As I steered into towards the back gate, an unidentified car pulled up right beside us.

Two men got down and one of them came up to my window. As I screened one quarter of the window down, he said "Police, show me your licence & ID." Caught off-guard, I took time to process the entire situation while reaching for my wallet. Philip, being extra cautious, asked the guy for his Police ID again, to which the guy hastily refuses and said, "Get out of the vehicle."

No way. A robbery? No one's gonna take our instruments and the fresh funds away from us. "They're not cops. Go,!" Philip cried, activating the ALARMS in all of our heads. I hit the reverse gear and steered backwards. Cars were parked on my left and right. "God, don't let us crash. Get us out!"

As I reversed, the guy tried to grab hold of the doors. Failed. He then went for the side-view mirror. It flipped around. Great, now I can't see the back! I reversed frantically down the windy road, swerving past stationed vehicles when suddenly, the other man stepped in front and reached towards his belt.

I froze.

Philip: "What are you doing? Go! Go!"
[I silently watched as he pulled it out of its holster]
Nic : "He's got a gun! He's got a GUN!"
Jason Gan : [Prays aloud hitting every possible key with his vocal chords]

I wasn't about to find out if he was going to pull the trigger. I hit the accelerator as hard as I could. The engine roared, the tires screeched but we weren't moving! "God! You gotta get us out of here!" The gear kicked in. We screeched our way out, catching a glimpse of the two men jumping into their vehicle, coming after us.

Jason was praying as loud as ever, Philip shouting, "They're coming, Go! Go!" , and Nic was navigating at the top of his lungs, "Left, right...left" as we headed out of the area, moving towards the freeway. We sped past red lights, leading towards the highway.

The now-identifiable Honda Civic emerged on our tail.

Philip: "They're still behind us. Go! Go!"
Jason: "Head back to KL! Go!"
Nic Chin: "Go to the Police Station."


Me : Where's the police station?
Nic: "U turn!"
Philip: "U turn! Here!"
Jason: [Praying fervently]
Me: "I can't turn here. We're going too fast, it's too near."

We headed on toward the next possible U-Turn, I hit the brakes, made a swift turn and jammed right on the accelerator. The Honda Civic was hot on our tail. I hit the accelerator harder.

Nic: "Police Station - left"
Phil: [Echoes 'Left']
Me: Here?
Nic: "No! Next Left"
Philip: "Go! Go! They're right behind us!"
Jason: "Shucks, Go!"

We whiz past the first left. It was a Catholic Church, not a police station! I took the next left turn and headed down the road. There it was .. the Police Station. This was it. "If they were really cops, they'd follow us in..if not, they'd just drive by."

I turned in and glanced at the rear view mirror - and in they came! I parked the car. As Phil, Nic and Jason rushed into the station, I had it in my head that...they were indeed cops. I beefed myself up for a punch. What's a few bruises compared to being robbed, I consoled myself.

The now-obvious-mr.policeman gets out of his vehicle and rushes toward me.

Cop: Why did you run? What were you doing?
Me: I thought you were robbers. I didn't see your ID clearly and you weren't in your uniform. You weren't in a police car either. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I didn't know. I really didn't
Cop: Get into the station now.

I walked with him into the station, joining the rest(Phil,Jason and Nic). From the receptionist's face, we had brought chaos to the li'l town. The radio transmission reporting that the "runaway vehicle and suspects have reported in" was enough to stir a "gulp" in our throats. Uh-oh.

We were directed to the Narcotics Department, a block away. The officers searched our vehicle thoroughly. They had our full cooperation. They found nothing, as expected. We were then told to go upstairs into the interrogation room for further questioning.

One look at the place...We didn't like it. It was pitch black, and we were directed upstairs by a torchlight.

"God save us."

In the room, we were questioned on our jobs, our business in Ipoh and why we had reacted the way we did. We then apologetically explained that we had suspected they were robbers, and being scared, we fled for our lives.

Convinced we were telling the truth, and it had all been a MAJOR misundertanding, they released us and decided not to press charges against them with the agreement that we would do the same. By golly, I wanted to give them a hug and snap pictures with them right there and then!

There you have it. A story with cops, guns, screeching tires, red lights, pumping adrenaline and chaos; and bad guys. To Big Daddy Upstairs, You're the Author and Finisher of our faith; all glory to You!

"Cause you always be da Man" - The Lord's Prayer in Ebonics

This post is also a tribute to Arun and Arvind - "We wished you had been there, but here's to greater stories!"

This is not a fictional piece. it's REAL - fourletterstory

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

only one

One of the best ways to keep resolutions I reckon is ... to tell EVERYONE about em'. Trust me, folks love reminding you of what you're NOT doing. Try it and you'll see how much they love you and want to see you succeed. (They really do.*ahem.)

I made a four lettered resolution: G-R-O-W. To grow and mature into a better son, brother, staff, colleague, leader, friend and citizen. In a span of 1 year? I'll try and you...keep laughing.

Quoting the famous words of Ps.Alex The Great : "that you may GROW one year wiser, one year more fruitful..etc."Amusing, ear tickling and cliché: growth speaks of life; more importantly living life to the full. Someone else once said, "LIFE.. live it to the full, not like a fool." I was talking to this friend of mine about music and bands, one of my passions in life, and the conversation led to.. "The way to GROW big in Malaysia in the music scene is to...sing Malay songs. Look at Pop Shuvit."

It's a tough call and a fine line between selling out and meeting the needs of your target audience. Pop Shuvit, they're a great band,no denying that. They're doing what works for them. It's an inevitable fact that  Malay tunes get the masses and probably gets you air play.  Yet, it all boils down to success - what is it really at the end of the day? If we're headed down that road and actually make it, whoa - fame, fortune and influence. It's all good. 

reality check: I'm on a different road. 

To's the songs. Have our songs impacted lives? Have we imparted hope? As a band, do we live these songs and spur others to live their potential? Do we point others towards the right direction? Stripped down and in plain text, it looks simple.

Simplicity is at the core. Success and fame seem to be the perfect acid test on the integrity of it all. With every success story, comes pride and glory. A football team rejoices as they score the winning goal. The crowd goes wild. The players 'hail' their hero. They head back into the showers. The fans go back home. Bravo. The team begins training for their next game.

The headlines read, "Gerrard saves the day!". Indeed. But, he couldn't have done it on his own. Even if he could dribble past the entire opposing squad, to be on the field, he needed to be in a TEAM. The presence of his fellow teammates made it possible. The coach pieced the team together. Liverpool FC footed the funds for the player and their coach...and it goes on. I love Liverpool. Interestingly enough, their tagline reads "You'll never walk alone." They just wouldn't allow Gerrard to take all the glory.

"Pride comes before a fall" - Success, fame and all that adds to the name often comes before pride. What do I have to sacrifice to get there? What's a no-compromise? Wow. That's really a whole load to think about. "If you want to dream, dream BIG."

I've always wanted to see the 'big picture' of my life. Where I'm supposed to be in the next 2 years. Who's the 'one' ? Something I caught recently, which serves as a great reminder that is... to Bring In God(B.I.G) into the picture. I'll focus on the GROWing, and He 'll bring the increase.