Thursday, March 25, 2010

From the perspective of a Subang kid.

When I was a kid living in Subang Jaya, for a short time, it was a very quiet place. Nothing too drastic happened and everyone drifted home from work tired and went to sleep.
Subang was a home, just that, and it was enough. My world extended from my house to the cyber cafe's of SS15.
That world I knew, and understood, with every fiber of my being.
So when you're young, change in your world can leave an impression on you. It's a kind of realization that you are not the sole architect of your lives. That the decisions of others, even indirectly, can affect you.

That's why I remember the day they erected the giant billboard.

I was 16 or 17 at the time, and I had seen one that size, but never up close. It was at least 5 stories tall, and it spread the joy of good hand phone coverage to the masses.
They built this one in front of my house. And for years it would be the first thing I saw when I stepped onto the street, towering neither menacingly nor non-threateningly. It simply was. A sign of the creeping advance of a the development seeping out of KL that had taken a life of its own.

The billboard was just the start, for soon Subang had its own cityscape.

There was a place in Subang, at the top of a pedestrian crossing, where you could see the expanse of Subang juxtaposed against the towers of KL. A photo taken at that place, once a year when stitched together would have been a time lapse video of an organism growing somewhere in the world.

The city seemed to breathe and writhe with a kind of purpose on the video in my mind.

Subang then became a place bigger than I could cross on foot. A place I didn't know every part of. My reality was no longer a finite space, and back then it made me feel irrelevantly small.

It was very soon after that I felt my first bout of disillusionment with the world. And had my first cigarette.

As melodramatic as it sounds the shadow of the city had fallen upon my home, and blocked out all the light.

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