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Sunday, September 11, 2005

My 9-11

Defining moments in history are like bookmarks for me. Like certain songs, they remind me of what and how my life was at that particular time. It's asking "Where were you when....Malaysia won the Thomas Cup? you first heard about the tsunami? and of course, where were you when you first heard about the planes crashing into the World Trade Centre?
My answer was having a plate of maggi goreng at the Mapley in Jalan 223, a favourite hub of my student days. The messenger? None other than Cajun, who when he first said that planes had crashed into the WTC, I was honestly thinking this guy was pissing all over me. Turned out it was true and I remembered spending the night at the Gasing house getting the latest updates from Fox News which had taken over the Star World channel.
It was almost unreal. To this day, I am still stunned and in awe of the scenes of September 11 that we have become all too familiar with. Little that I know then, that the world will be defined by that date. From that moment, it was the world post-Sept. 11 and the world we used to know before that day. The sheer contrast of world politics on September 10 and September 12 is so huge, it's almost unimaginable how the world was like before that day.
Nothing can justify what happened on that day in New York. Nor does any other war or assasinations or killings that happens in this world. Overnight, the world became blood-thirsty. We began to suspect people who were different from us. Airplane journeys in the West will never be the same again. Suddenly, war was the answer to everything.
Whether we like it or not, the world nowadays is in chaos. Judgemental is an over-used phrase, because in all honesty, we are all guilty. Even here in good 'ol Malaysia, we have our reservations on those bearded ulamas'. You are judged on what you choose: Moderate or extremist? East or West? Bush or Saddam? Black or white? UMNO or PAS? We aren't the same people we were before September 11, 2001. Four years on, we hardly have done better.

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