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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When time stood still....!

It was the year 2003 and I had been working in KL for about 2 years then. I had left my family behind in Ipoh though preferring to travel back to be with them every weekend. And I always took the bus back as it was too tiring to drive. I didn’t like the fast paced life in KL and didn’t want my family to endure the challenges that came with living life on the fast lane in the city. Ipoh was a total contrast compared to KL, with idyllic settings and a place where you dictate the pace of events. I looked forward to each weekend to spend with my family and always went back after a good rest feeling rejuvenated. I dreaded every moment that I had to be in KL feeling lonely and ……..depressed even. But I was left without much of a choice as I had to fend for me and my family and the job paid well, though I wouldn’t say much about the working conditions then. For a start I was branded anti-establishment for championing employee rights. Actually I wasn’t…..I was just ensuring that employees’ were not bullied for their ignorance which was rampant in the plant. My employers were also violating local statutes at every turn and I took it upon myself to right the wrongs regardless of the dip in my popularity with the management. I was here for a purpose and surely not for any popularity contest. When I decided to travel the path of righteousness, I threw caution to the wind with little regard to consequences or personal glory. But I must admit, it was indeed stressful. Added to my dilemma was having to juggle my life shuttling between Ipoh and KL. (It may be comforting to note that I have since succeeded in most of my initiatives).

It was on the 13th of May 2003 that the stress took a nasty toll on my health. I suffered my first heart attack and was warded at Ipoh Specialist where I got the angioplasty done. I remained warded for about 5 more days before being discharged with a month of medical leave. Frankly, it was a good break and a much deserved one at that. After I returned to work, I stayed with my sister in Klang for a while before returning to my rented apartment near my workplace. And the boredom returned……..!

One Saturday afternoon not long after I had returned to work, I was as usual at Pudu Raya waiting to catch the Express bus to Ipoh. I had felt alright the whole time and didn’t suspect anything amiss about me. I reached the platform and was waiting at the place where the bus was supposed to arrive. All of a sudden I felt dizzy and I could see the world spinning around me. Before I could find something to hold on to, I fell flat on my back and took a hard knock to my head in the process! I must have remained there for a good minute or two before 2 good Samaritans splashed cold water on my face and helped me up. I was still in a state of daze as they pulled me up and made me sit up along the pavement. After I regained consciousness and my composure, I continued with my journey back home.

I can only remember the 2 guys’ faces vaguely now as soon after they made me comfortable they disappeared in the maddening Saturday afternoon crowd perhaps to catch their own transport back to their home-state. But what I do know is that one of them was a Malay gentleman while the other was an Indian, both were in their late 20s or early 30s. From the innermost depths of my heart, thank you gentleman wherever you may be!

I was later to learn that the cause of my blackout was that at that precise moment, for some strange reason, my heart had actually stopped beating! But the impact of the fall had helped to revive the heartbeat and resuscitate me. God works in mysterious way…..? Indeed He does!

I have not suffered any more of such bouts after that one freakish incident…………… and I hope it stays that way for some time to come.

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