Friday, December 19, 2003

Tears in the Rain

Tears in the Rain

It has been raining daily here in Jakarta; this together with the on-going Busway project which effectively takes out two lanes from the already congested Sudirman road make traffic horrendous. I've been leaving the office early lately to avoid both. Moreover I want to be back in my room so that I can start doing my work at home earlier.

I am reminded of the bad working habits that I used to have in Singapore, like going to the office when people were just leaving, to work throughout the night. I used to work on most weekends too, which wasn't really healthy. But I had to make up for my lack of productivity on weekdays by working on Saturdays and Sundays. New recruits in the office would often ask me whether I was new, because they never saw me during office hours.

But those were heady days of the dot-com boom when there were virtually new people joining the company every week. We saw how the company lost its senses doing those boom times. We were once proud of being lean and mean, but the boom changed all that--we couldn't grow fast enough. Success ruined us.

We had a cause to fight for. We, the soldiers in the trenches, used to fight with our lives because we felt passionate for our cause. Alas, we lost all that during those boom years.

The rain in Jakarta makes me feel rather melancholy these days. For some reason I'm constantly reminded of that scene from one of my all-time favourite movies, Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott: In the climatic scene (delivered with Scott's usual dazzle of rain, smoke and lights), the fugitive replicant, played by Rutger Hauer, resigning to his inevitable death (replicants were genetically engineered to have a lifespan of only 4 years), delivers a sad monologue:
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...

Outside my window, the rain is still pouring.

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