Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Pow Wow

Met a guy the other day. We first met when the Residents Reps of the area were trying to get acquainted with the various RAs, in an effort to make a better place for everyone. So far things are going good and meeting him again by chance the other day, helped give a better perspective of things.  And as usual these days, the main topic would revolve around politics. As usual too as many would with new acquaintances, I'd rather do the listening and was glad I did. 

Apparently, this guy, Nick, as we will call him, is or was from the other camp but he and his peopleare ready to change allegiance to another. He was speaking rather fast and in a mamak shop where all sort of noises can be heard, several words were lost to me. Words such as 'pow-wow' and 'July'. While the latter could possibly indicate something big this coming year, the other had me scratching my head on what was meant. And believe, one wouldn't want a guy like Nick to repeat things. Oh, he's a nice guy but you just don't that to him. After we parted, I began trying to put things together of what was said. 

'July' can mean anything such a wedding, Raya celebration, a...er, whatever else there is. The other, 'pow-wow', though, can be quite specific but such is the mention, then it old news to many unless something more sinister is being brewed. Hmm...too big a play for someone like me. Hey, I'm no Sherlock, mind you. Then again, what if it was a single word such as 'pow' or 'pau'. Intriguing!

Well, for one, 'pau', could not be anything else but that 'kueh pau'; originally a Chinese snack which almost everyone has a fancy to. But it would be ridiculous for Nick to mention about food. Or, perhaps not. 

The other word 'pow', most certainly could not mean the sound cdof a fist landing on someone's face. As I was contemplating the word Nick meant, my thoughts strayed to a distant past to the age when a young man would think he is invincible. The recent events in his life has proven such a notion a fallacy but one do have to admit that he took a very long while to realise it.  Still, all is not lost. I hope.

Now, I wouldn't know of the present day usage but back then, 'pow' simply meant extortion and usually but not all the time, demanding money by force on the streets. Robbery, in another words. Or, if you wish, highway bandits. Oops, strike that last one out as we already have those in legal form.

Back then, a guy would join the young pups of a secret society, mostly to prove himself a man. Sometimes though, another would be forced in simply to keep company of a friend of friends. Such was the tale of one in a distant past.

Having followed the pups around and watching them pow strangers of various age and color, it was his turn to prove his worthiness and loyalty. The spot chosen was rail track that was sparsely used. The track was built during colonial times and may have carried dignitaries within the short distance of the city.

While the pups lay in hide, the boy stood on the tracks waiting for a passerby. A girl in her early twenties soon walked into view, using the tracks as a shortcut to her destination. When the girl stepped nearer, they boy - feeling guilt all over - asked the girl for the time in a rather polite way. The girl, with her eyes bulged wide, was clearly in shock and began looking all around her. Before the guy could say or do anything, she screamed out loud and ran the direction she came. It must have been a real fright for her, one, perhaps, she still remember. For the boy though, it surely would be one of the most embarrassing moments in his life. The good thing that came out of it is that the guy regretted his intended action and vowed never do such things again to anyone.

Some very many years later, he found that many people are being subjected to at least one form of extortion that has been made legal. A bad company that we can surely do without. 

Not The Bad Company below though. 


shafarina said...

I miss your insights, hope you are well there

cakapaje said...

Thank you Shafarina. And I am sorry for not updating my blog as much as I would like to, but there were a few things which preoccupied my time. Still, you must remember that I am not a soothsayer nor a political analyst but a simple sit-down comedian.