Sunday, October 02, 2005

Of Fishes, Life and the ISA

Used to hate rearing fishes as pets. Not for any other reason, but that most people some years back would keep several fishes in a bowl no larger than the size of well, one's head. Then, there's the type of fish itself: in all probability it would be a fat goldfish wobbling its way around as though its the aquaworld version of a belly dancer. Except that if I were a fish, I would not be caught dead paying to watch the, er, bellydance. But time passes by and so do circumstances of one's life.

When we shifted to this new place, my brother sent his aquarium over as he needed to make some extra space. Measuring somewhat 3 feet by 2 feet and with a depth of about a foot, it's more like a water tank rather than an aquarium. But contained within this tank is a small universe of life that now holds me spellbound: several Tiger Barbs and Mirror Fish lives alongside some 20 other fishes and their mother, a wobbly big momma which is humongous in comparison to the newly-hatched fries of the eggs she lay every 4,5 days or so.

A Jacques Cousteau I will never be, but I've come to observe the life and am amazed at times at how these fishes adapt to changes within their environment brought about by birth and death of not only their kins, but also the plants that occupy the space within; I cannot help but wonder how these very fishes would react were they to be released into a river: would they still confine their lives to the same width and length of this tank, or would they travel span of the river?

Life, whether aquatic or not, is a journey of discovery. Whether one choose to take the fateful step each day, is a choice one makes from a choice one has and the freedom to make such choice.

For the fishes in the tank, the freedom to make such a choice may never avail itself - life to them, is meant to be within this confined space. And unless God gives them the ability to think as human, they may never know another world outside this tank. But that itself is another trap. For the very ability to think and comprehend, that life do exist outside the tank, and that very ability to think and comprehend, that it is doomed to live within the confine of a space which can be suffocating, is a sad notion I'd rather not explore anymore.

It is on the same platform that my tought drift to the people incarcerated for crimes which they may or may not have committed. And it is not the criminals convicted of civil or war crimes that I refer to; for having been convicted means due process of the law was followed and that their incarceration is meant for the good of the many. The people that my heart goes to are those held in detention without trials to convict or vindicate.

Nik Adli Dato Nik Abd Aziz, Solehan Abdul Ghafar, Mohd Lothfi Ariffin, Mohd Rafi Udin, Mohd Zulkifli Mohd Zakaria Zainon Ismail and Zid Sharani Mohd Isa, are names of 7 individuals I have never met. However, having read several accounts with some rather humiliating I question their 4 years in detention which the government have just extended to another 2: what are their crimes? If true they are guilty as the authorities so asserts, then, by all means, put them on trial and let the judgement be passed by the judiciary system. Let they not be waiting in vain for the freedom which they are denied. Let not their family suffer in loneliness of absence of a father or a husband that is rightly theirs.

Each morning as we sip our coffee or tea alongside our loved ones, imagine the families of the detainess who sit through the hardship of life without theirs.

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