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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Publicity & Fame

(Picture shows Mr. Bhagwan Das (left) handing me the track-suits).

It is always nice to be ‘featured’ in a local daily or to appear on TV….for the right reasons of course You get a sense of pride especially when you are young and just about coming into the real world. It creates a false sense of achievement and you tend to believe that the whole world would have seen it…..and it kind of makes you feel all the more so important…… least that’s what it did to me. I had often been full of admiration and envy when I used to see my friend Imbaraj being featured ever so often in the papers but then he was a Penang State badminton player and back in the early 70s, he was the player to watch, so said a leading English daily. He earned those accolades and rightly deserved to be featured. But I wasn’t much of a sports person so I couldn’t even imagine being focused on for such reasons, or for any other reason whatsoever for that matter.

So in 1982, when my photograph appeared for the very first time in the Malay Mail, pictured receiving some goodies on behalf of my employers, from the proprietor of Ashrock Sportswear for the Malay Mail Big Walk, I was ecstatic. I remember getting hold of about 5 or 6 copies of the newspapers that day just so that I can cut out the article and post it to my nephews and niece back north and to show my family and friends, just in case they missed it. I couldn’t afford to allow them to miss it as it was not often that your picture gets to appear in the newspapers. The joy lasted a long time.

The other occasion was when I appeared together with Datuk Mahalingam (now Tan Sri) on National TV and that too, on primetime news. And it was big news back in Kulim where I lived then. As a Deputy Minister, Datuk Mahalingam was visiting the factory that I worked in and I was tasked with showing him around the plant. The next evening, the snippet appeared in the news segment. For the next couple of days, I remember being inundated with calls to the house as well as to the office, from friends and relatives alike asking if it was indeed me with the Minister as if it was the greatest thing that could happen to a person. But this was way back in 1993… a God forsaken laid back town up-country in a suburban part of under developed Kedah that I used to call home but from where I have since vacated and have no regrets for having done so, except for some fond memories of my childhood since ironically it was here, amidst the remoteness that I was born!

So you cannot really blame me for craving for such publicity, can you?

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