Special Day on Dec 12, 2012

I made it through Dec 12, 2012.  Duh..Obviously.  No, I’m not getting married.  Still a long way to go.  But I’m perfectly happy with my life as a single person.  No reason to rush it.  But many got married that day.  Sometimes I just don’t understand why certain couples rather wait in line to have their marriage registered than to do it other day.  Okay…I know actually… 121212…there will be no other date such as this anymore.  At least not for another 100 years.  Once in a lifetime opportunity, I get it.  That is why 12.12.12 was considered a very auspicious date.

Those not getting married.  What did you do on that day?  I didn’t really have a good start, to start with.  I woke up the morning of Dec 12, 2012 pissed off.  Yeah…because I didn’t have a good sleep.  I kept waking up in the middle of the night.  Tossed and turned, tossed and turned…the next thing I knew, it was almost dawn.  At 7.22am, I jumped out from my bed, obviously I was late.  Well, not really.  I used to wake up at 7am, so 7.22am..kinda shocked me a little.  I forgot what I had for breakfast, I know I had my nutritious oatmilk, which I have it everyday.  Oh, I remember, dad bought some Roti Canai (Indian-influenced flatbread) from the market, it was good, but the curry wasn’t nice.  Because the one making the roti canai isn’t an Indian.  So the taste was very different.

I do have a favourite.  The roti canai from an Indian shop just near my working place taste great.  I used to go there every week.  I especially love the tosay too and the curry was FANTASTIC.  So anyways, I went to the office at about 8.40am, and nobody was in the office that day.  I guess everybody had early functions.  I had one at 9.30am.  It was a 121212 marriage ceremony at a small association that day.  Four people got married from the association, it was a thing to celebrate.  By the way, about 70 couples from my town got married on Dec 12, and three couples filed for divorce.

Then, I went to the court, just to find out that the ruling of murder case was postponed to afternoon at 2.30pm.  I had a drink at the coffee shop, went home, started writing, played some games, lunch, went to the office, submitted some of the news I wrote and went to the court for the ruling.  At 2.45pm, the hearing started.  Court ruling… ‘The prosecution had established a prima facie case and the accused was ordered to enter his defence.  The accused was charged under Section 302 of the Penal code, which is death sentence upon conviction.

Then, for the next 30 minutes, I saw the drama in the court during the court stand down.  The accused had to choose one of the three options given:

1. Testify from the bar – not subjected to cross examination.

2. Give testimony under oath – subjected to cross examination.

3. Remain silent.

The accused chose to remain silent.  He chose not to defend himself.   I’ve been covering court cases for about 3 years, and  it is very exciting because anything can happen in the court.  Not that I took pleasure for every drama unfolded, but it is a great experience to be able to see it.  Court reporters had been threatened, mocked, scolded, almost got beaten, and pushed.  I cannot say I’m not worried when I met all these situation, because it is safety we are talking about.

The court granted about 30 minutes stand down to have the accused discussed with his lawyers.  There were talking and discussion in the room, then suddenly I heard ‘No, you can’t remain silent! It means death! That’s the end.  We’ve done all we can, and now you have to help yourself.  You have to speak out for yourself, defend yourself, so that the court can take into consideration!

Stubbornly the accused said ‘What to say now?  I’ve said it and everything is in the statement already!”

“Forget about the statement, you have to tell the court what happened that night, and what did you do.”

“I hit the guy with a chair and I ran.  I don’t know anything after that.  I didn’t kill the guy.”

“Then tell the court…”

“It’s all in the statement, I’ve told the police before, why do I need to say it again?”

“This is a court.  The judge wants to hear it from you personally.  The statement is useless now.  You are going to the witness box, testify on oath, then I will ask you the same questions and you will tell the court the same thing you told me…”

“It’s all the same thing.  What to tell. I have nothing to tell anymore, nothing to tell, nothing to say.”

I could see the frustration from the lawyers’ face as they shook their heads in disbelief.  The accused’s mother was at the bench, and she was dead worried.  I could see her frustration in her face too.  I think her heart beat twice as fast that day.  She tried to talk him through this, but stubbornly he wanted to just remain silent.  Disappointed, the lawyers and family members went back to their seats, and the judge walked in.  There was nothing left to do.  I could see that the lawyers were at the boiling point, but unable to do anything.  The man could save himself, but chose not to.  The most frustrating part was the fact that their client gave up.

“I chose to remain silent” he told the judge.  The judge passed the sentence immediately.  Death  by hanging.  That was the sentence.  Well, I guess it was an easy decision.  Remaining silence means nothing is arguable.  Maybe he didn’t mean  to kill the guy.  He could have proved that, but he rather take the death row.

I got off work about 5pm for another exciting event.  Movie night!! My friend and I decided to watch Life Of Pi.  We didn’t purposely plan to watch it on Dec 12, 2012.  It just happened.  My friend text me a few days before ‘Hey, find one day, we go watch Life Of Pi’, I’m off this Wednesday’.  I replied ‘Yeah sure.’  As I watched the movie..I had one regret… ‘How can I miss this book?’ ‘Why did I let this book slipped out from my hand?’ An amazing story about life, faith, and about fear, about courage, about hope.  Great movie, I surely recommend this movie to everyone.

I have a lot of favourite quotes from the movie, I can’t remember them though. There is one particular clip I really like.  It was one of the reasons how Pi survived at the ocean with a tiger in a lifeboat.  I looked it all over internet, to find those quotes, and I found the clip in youtube.  Hopefully I transcribed it correctly.

‘I never thought a small piece of shade could bring me so much happiness.  That a pile of tools, a bucket, a knife, a pencil might become my greatest treasures.  Or that knowing that Richard Parker was here might ever bring me peace.  In times like these, I remembered he has little experience with the real world as I do.  We were both raised in the zoo by the same master.  Now we’ve been orphan, left to face ultimate master together.  Without Richard Parker, I would have died by now.  My fear of him keeps me alert, tending to his needs gives my life purpose.’

And also one quote ‘All of life is an act of letting go.’

I went home that night amazed with the movie.  The effect, the story line, everything was great.  I thought that was the end of my special day as I turned on my laptop when I reached home.  Then I got a phone call from a colleague.  “Jane, I need your help, I need to submit a picture for tomorrow’s paper, can you come down to the office with your camera cable? I need you to accompany me to the office too, I don’t want to go there alone.”

My first thought was…’what the hell? It’s almost 10pm man’.  I was a little tired and just wanted to relax in front of my computer.  But I didn’t turn down her request, because I just couldn’t.  It was late and yes…kinda scary to go the office all by yourself.  So I changed and drove to the office and met her at our office’s front door.  By the time we finished, it was about 10.30pm.  I went to bed that day, past midnight.  A long and tiring day it was.

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