Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Please Don’t Lose Your Head (勿得意忘形)

If I start by saying that there is a ‘soul’ hiding in everyone probably you will not dispute what I have just said. But if also say that “please don’t lose your head” you probably don’t understand what I meant. Well, there is a Chinese idiom that can be literarily translated as “forgetting one’s shape due to excitement” or 得意忘形. Just to clarify what I have said, let me tell you one true story about a friend of mine, Jason from Sabah.

There is nothing wrong with Jason but perhaps I think that he is a little rush in doing things; everything for him is just ‘go-go’ if you know what I meant. Jason likes to travel and enjoys outdoor activities but he has a habit of rushing into whatever he does. For example he can spend half a day to climb up the Maxwell Hill in Taiping and then in the evening, he is lying on Langkawi beach enjoying the sunset! Mind you, 90% of the time spent is travel time.

I am not a fan of rush travel and prefers to spent a few days surveying a place. But since Jason is my old schoolmate, then I would just be Jason’s driver when he visits the peninsula.

This is yet one time perhaps Jason has learnt his lesson:

During last June, Jason dropped by my place in Penang and he suggested that we visit Langkawi Island for a day or two as he wanted to snooker in Langkawi waters with a few snookering fans. Since this was Jason’s preplanned trip, I didn’t want to disappoint him so off we went to Langkawi.

As soon as we arrived at Langkawi, Jason met with his friends and we chartered a boat to Pulau Payar, which is a well known snookering spot. Everyone went into the sea for snookering except me. I stayed in the boat and dozed off since I am no fans of water for being a sailor for some time.

I thought I heard the familiar voice of Jason shouting and yelling with excitement and sounds of water splashing now and then as people someone climbing onto the boat and jumped off into the sea. And there was another familiar voice of Jason shouting “Wee…” and another splashing sound but then I heard another voice of Jason shouted in horror: “OMG! I saw my head floating in the sea!!” and there was a long silence; and someone shouting “don’t let him sink!”

I quickly rushed to the side of the boat and saw other snookers quickly propping Jason’s body. We immediately pulled Jason into the boat and luckily a good doctor was around and he quickly checked on Jason and found everything looked okay physically except Jason look dumb and unresponsive when people called his name.

After a while of resuscitate Jason, the good doc turned to me and said: “I can’t find anything wrong with him, perhaps his condition is what you would call ‘lost soul’ (失魂). Do you know what to do?”

I thought for a while and remembered that we did bring a big watermelon for desert after snookering activities. So, I suggested everyone to throw the watermelon into the sea and at the same time, calls Jason’s name.

Having not many options around, we did throw the watermelon into the water and yelling Jason’s name loudly while some one shaking Jason’s shoulders intermittently. Guess what? Half an hour later, to everyone’s relief; Jason was himself again.

As recalled by Jason later, he said that as soon he was taking a summersault into the water, he suddenly felt his head flew off from his shoulders and fall into the sea in front of him. He knew what happened to his body but he could only look on until a force pulled his head out of the sea…

And was it a waste to throw a big juicy watermelon away? Don’t worry, we managed to salvage it from the sea and everyone had a piece of it at the end of the day.

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