Last weekend, Imbaraj had invited me to join his badminton club’s get-together function to be held at PD. As I didn’t have any engagements for the weekend, I decided to join in and took the Komuter to Seremban on Saturday evening. I had attended a similar function some time last year that was organized by his Seremban team and they held it then at the Cobra club in PJ. It was a wonderful party and I had a lot of fun that night. So I had expected this event to be about the same although this time around, it was being hosted by the Kajang team and I was told that they had booked a bungalow in PD for the purpose. “A private party in a sea-facing bungalow, with the wind blowing against your face as if dancing to the rhythmic sound of the waves”. Wow! What a feeling it conjures…just the thought of it! “And with the free flowing chilled beers, what could be better than this? It was going to even outdo the Cobra club function. This was supposed to be the party that anyone would imagine”. These thoughts kept playing overtime in my mind.
Imbaraj was waiting for me at the Seremban train station and after picking up Siva, Selvam and Vasu (his badminton buddies), we were on our way. I was already feeling rather ‘thirsty’ by then as it was about 7.30pm when we left Seremban. Without any inkling as to the whereabouts of this ‘dream’ bungalow, we had trouble locating it. The only clues provided by the hosts were that it was somewhere in the area where the Maybank bungalows were and there was supposedly a Pajero parked outside. What a fantastic direction provider! As darkness had already set in, we virtually had to ‘feel’ our way in the housing estate to find the unit. Siva’s boisterous ramblings that he knew this place to be ‘Pantai Dickson’ as if to impress us that he was a regular to this part of the country was of no help whatsoever. It only added to the already fraying nerves as it was not only getting late but Pantai Dickson or not Pantai Dickson, we were not getting anywhere. After traversing the landscape a good couple of circles, we finally found it.
But what an anti-climax it turned out to be. It was actually one of the rows of bungalows in a housing estate…….tucked neatly away far from the beach. It was non air-conditioned and the furniture appeared to have been brought in from another era. In fact if I hadn’t known that this was PD, I would have probably assumed that we were somewhere in a relative’s house between Kajang and Seremban. Undeterred, I strained my ears in the quietness of the night hoping to be able to at least hear some distant sound of gushing waves to appease my yearning spirit. But no…….we were probably far away from the coastline to hear any of those!
The Kajang guys were in various state of dress-down as they had started on the beers much earlier. They had chilled it to perfection. They had also prepared dinner for the whole group. I must admit that the food was excellent, what with the spicy mutton, chicken, crabs, fish etc. Just the right kind of stuff to go with beer. But that was all there was to it. It surely didn’t turn out to be a party in the true sense of the word. No activities had been lined up, nothing interactive had been planned in particular. It was just eating, drinking and chatting. The speeches that were given to create an air of formality appeared to be an afterthought. It didn’t help the cause and didn’t quite blend into the scene. On the whole, the function betrayed my expectation. I then realized that perhaps the Kajang boys understanding of fun simply meant a day away from their families….any day! Just that! Nothing else mattered. Away from families meant wholesome fun to them. 'Guys Day Out' sort of thing. It didn’t matter if it catered to the needs or expectations of the rest of the guests. The setting.…the ambiance…. the mood….nothing was important. Just a day out, away from their families and it turns out into paradise for them! It provided me with an insight of how different minds worked. Interesting escapade.
Anyway, after spending the next 3 hours there, we decided to call it a day and left for home. Dropping off his buddies, I went back to Imbaraj’s house to put up the night. Before hitting the bed, we spent the next hour or so catching up on so many stories including a post-mortem of the evening’s affairs with a couple of ice-chilled scotch from his cache that he has carefully exhibited in his whiskey cabinet, perhaps under lock and key lest, unbeknown to him, some adventurous guest decides to pursue his worldly pleasures in his house at his expense. It was tempting but as it was rather late, we called it a day at about 2.30am and hit the sack.
Woke up late the next morning and realized that his wife had already bought breakfast. After having breakfast with him, I left at about noon. The return journey back to Rawang by Komuter was another disaster. As if the ‘party’ the night before was not punishing enough, the train that was due to arrive at 12.30 noon was cancelled for some reason. So ended up having to take the 1.00pm train. Half an hour into the journey, the air-conditioning system mysteriously failed. And the coach was already filled to capacity. I was sweating profusely and there was nothing I could do about it. Getting off at any of the stations along the way to continue my journey in a later train was not an option because that would mean that I would probably have to wait for another hour or so. And given that reliability was least of the service provider’s concern, I opted to just grin and bear it.
As the train finally pulled into Rawang station at about 3.30pm, I felt relieved that I was finally back. The ordeal was over. An eventful weekend to remember for a long time to come. Will I attend another one of the badminton club functions again in future?
You bet I will……….I still enjoy cold beers.