Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Longest Yet Shortest Marathon of 709

‘ . . . .. 10 routes, 6 hours and a mere 5 kilometres for a JUST cause.’

The night before, I took out that tee and slipped it into the trousers. Then carefully fold the trousers and wrapped over with another favorite running tee – The River Jungle Marathon and carefully wrapped all with a plastic bag. Filled up a 1.5lit water bottle, a face tower, disposable poncho and another casual tee . . . just in case. The mobile phone battery – charged to the maximum. Since I’ll be meeting a group of running friends for a farewell run in FRIM Kepong before the event, I decided to dress in the running attire. I gotta disguise myself well or I may miss the show too early.

By 11.00am, Karen Loh dropped me off at Kelana Jaya LRT station where there were a handful of men in blue checking on some train commuters and searching through their bags. All of them gave me a pass probably because I look more like a tourist or a backpacker instead. But I rehearsed all the questions and answers very well days before THE day. I even did a dry run in front of the mirror to get to the perfection.

As I alight from the Central Market station, I can hear singing and chanting from across the Klang River – the KTM Station. Ahhh .. I was greeted by a platoon of good looking men too. Tried calling some friends but they kept changing their plan and location every single minute. I was told to just go with the ‘wind’. Heading to Chinatown I tried to remain cool but alert of everyone in the surrounding. It was quite hostile but surprisingly no sign of the men in blue. Then I saw the familiar faces, a group of youth from 3 human rights organizations – KOMAS, Dignity International and SUARAM. All are first timer in such a rally.

The Waiting was a process filled with curiosity, anxiety, apprehension, fear and vigilance YET everyone seems so calm and serene. This is something I never experience before. Amazing . .. simply amazing. A group of middle aged sang patriotic song and the National anthem and later joined by others. I saw ONEness in everyone.

At 1.30pm the crowd slowly moved to Jalan Sultan and out of nowhere a huge entourage appeared right in front! With my eyes and mouth wide open, I was totally speechless. Black & White, Yellow & Brown, all merged into ONE. Awesome!

That 5 hours journey was an awesome brand new experience. It has truly enriched me in all senses and definitely helped me in being a better community facilitator. This has also strengthen my believe to continue with my work for a better and just society in seeing a community that is independent in their mind and deed that they no longer be a follower but a leader themselves.

I did not see a single car screen being smashed. Not a building being broken into. No unwarranted items left on the streets.

The warmth and trust shown by everyone was so immense. I was so touched by the generosity shown by all. What took place on 709 is not a dream but reality.

When the People’s mindset is Independent
The country will mature
When the People lives in harmony
The country will flourish
When the People can accept diversity
The country is INEPENDENT