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Pil Seung

Location: Penang, Malaysia

August 15, 2008


Doraemon was one of my favourite comics when I was a kid. Well, Doraemon is still one of my favourites these days. There is a unofficial "last episode" where Nobita finally grew up. This was told to me by a colleague. I have not see it. Well, the suppressed it due to copyright stuffs.

One fine day, Nobita came back from the school after being scolded by his teacher for not completing his homework. As usual, his mood was not good due to constant bullying by Giant and Suneo. The only thing different on that day was that Doraemon had became "lifeless". Not knowing what to do, Nobita decided to jump into the time machine inside the drawer and consulted Doraemon's younger sister, Dorami.

The day had come. Dorami explained to Nobita that all the amber colour robotic cats have backup batteries located at the ears. Unfortunately, for Doraemon there was none. The ears were bitten off by a rat during the production stage. He will stop working right away when the main battery runs out.

There were two options. Replace the main battery and reset the stalled Doraemon. This would cause all the memories to be wiped off. The "resurrected" Doraemon would never know who Nobita was, and it would be just like a brand new toy. The other option was to have a competent robotic engineer who could map Doraemon memories and at the same time recharge the main battery. This was also not possible in the future world as no one had ever attempted that before.
Nobita cried and cried and cried... and he swore on that very day, he would study hard at school and someday, he would restore Doraemon. 10 years later, Nobita graduated with honours and became an expert in artifical intelligence. He actually hid Doraemon in his closet and even his childhood sweetheart wife didn't know about it. One day, he called Shizuka into the room and they "restarted" Doraemon.

"Nobita, I have been waiting for you all these while!!!", exclamined Doraemon.

By the way, is there any difference if the story line is changed in such a way that Doraemon lost his power gradually by the side of Nobita?

I watched Wall-E recently with my son. At the end, Eve repaired Wall-E and again, past memories are the most cherished things. It would be sad if Wall-E couldn't remember who Eve is.

As the saying goes, memories make the man.

Human being has a great mind that can hold loads of past memories. It is our past experience that mold the persons we are today. Let's say someone calls you on the phone and identifies himself as Golf Sierra. If you have no memories of that person, that name is actually pretty much meaningless. You might think, God damn it! Another telemarketer?

If you recognize the name, the voice, the favourite greetings... Viola !!! Hey Golf Sierra !!! How are you doing ??? It has been such a long long time since we last met !!! The conversation continues...

This "past memories" enable us to recall who taught us ride the bicycle, how to balance ourselves, how many times we fell down. For me, I will think of my dad. You know how to be grateful, and you also know what kind of mistakes to avoid so that you won't hurt yourselves again.

On the other hand, we also have the abilities to filter to even shut down the portions of memories that are traumatic and too painful to remember. We will talk about this Freudian defense mechanisim someday. We have to deal with it. Yeah, also the three stages of delayed grief as I shared with my friend, Juliet Delta Lima recently.

Anyway, as I used to share with friends, "there is no day better than today". Be thankful, cherish everyday. It is easier to say than to do. Practise, practise, practise. Live in the present, as in Vipassana.

August 01, 2008

The Airport

My first business trip to overseas was back in the year 1995 and that was to Bekasi, Cibitung. I have been travelling since then but one thing that forever fascinates me is the airport. That is a place where you might not be able to tell whether it is day or night outside. Another thing is that, you might not have to worry about the local weather at all. Of course, that varies from airport to airport though. This is pretty much the physical side of it. I remember reading an interesting article about the airport. Let me try to recall from fragments of my memory.

The airport is full of emotions. For business trip that lasted for more than 6 months, I took my wife and son along as allowed by the company policy. There was once I had to travel for about 4 months and that trip really trained me to live without my family. Even though we communicated everyday on the phone, you still longed to hold each other. The moment I left the departure hall, I knew the temporary separation might not be easy. After I had my passport stamped, I turned back for a last glance and I found myself crying a little. Maybe that was also due to very good friend of mine actually went on a one-way ticket to perform kidney transplant in China a few months before. Anyway, we really have no contract with whosoever that we will live until certain age.

If we are really observant, we could see the deep emotions people have at the departure hall. Most of the time, people will hug each other more tightly, kiss more affectionately for the very last time, and still we have to let go. At such a moment, all differences, grudges, bad habits are forgotten, "sins" are forgiven, We will really hope that person will not go but that won't happen, so the next best thing we can do will be looking forward to the return. Any disagreements will be settled in exchange for the chance to see each other again.

When we return, after the immigrations and customs, we will be eagerly looking around for the familiar faces that we miss so much. You will just ignore everyone around, hug each others, and start kissing your loved ones. That few seconds feel like the beginning of a new chapter in life. Your loved ones don't mind that your have not taken any bath for the past 2 days. The most important thing is that the meeting is emotionally fulfilling.

Life and death is like the arrival and departure at the airport. Such precious moments are born out of pure love and will be treasured forever. After the departure and arrival, we will be back to our "normal" self and we will not be able to appreciate each other on any normal days. We are taking things for granted until the next "departure".

How wonderful it will be if we can live a life where we can unconditionally love each other on every single ordinary day? How much time have we wasted when we are trying just to win over an argument, being too particular on certain things, being egoistic, "punishing" the other party by not talking to each other, etc.? Life is beautiful and we should not be bother with such trivial things. As Stephen Covey said, let's focus on the big rocks.

It would be great if we can keep reminding ourselves about the airport. Be grateful for every breath we have like the way tzuchi people greet each other, 感恩 (gan en). Look at the positive side of life, compliments, and cherish. Anumodana.