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Of off days and The Shawshank Redemption

June 23, 2011

Yesterday was my off day. No, I was not on leave from work. Would be nice if I were, though. It was the normal grind of never ending slogging at work. But something was definitely missing. I had a writing off day. Probably a creativity off day (never thought of myself as a creative person anyway. Look at how drab my blog is). Took me a few hours yesterday at work to figure it out. When I finally discovered what it was, everything I did during the day made a lot of sense (or rather no sense, writing wise anyway). For the whole day yesterday, I lost my writing mojo. You see, in my work I’m required to do a lot of writing. And when you suddenly lose the ability, even for a moment, you get terrified. You stare at your laptop screen blankly, nothing made any sense. You try to write, again everything you write make absolutely no sense at all. And when you’re writing something for the Board of Directors to read, you better write well.

Members of the Board are obviously clever guys who sit and make decisions for the company. And trust me, they’ll recognise bad writing. That somehow got me on the edge a little bit. I tried to take a break, went for a walk, spoke to people in the hope that I’ll get it back, but to no avail. Got my work done (although it was a little sub-standard, in my view) and left the office. Didn’t have any idea at all to write last night. Usually I’m bursting at the seams with ideas. Didn’t have any last night. So I just slept. Today is a new day. I think I’ve managed to sleep it off. Well, I’m writing now, aren’t I?

Just watched The Shawshank Redemption on HBO. Brilliant movie with a brilliant story. A guy was accused of a murder he didn’t commit and was sentenced to 2 life sentences (that’s 50 years). They have that in the US. Not here. Here you kill somebody, they kill you. Anyway, it’s a story of the guy’s life in prison and how it all went. As for myself, I had a near miss experience myself, with the prison I mean. You’re doing your work as usual, and then you get hauled by an enforcement agency. And the offence looked at is punishable by years in prison. I had to provide my statement and went through the whole process. In the end it appears that they were not going after me. But let me tell you, it was the worst 3 months of my whole life. The thought of being charged in court for an offence you didn’t commit is bad enough, what more having to serve time for it. For that exact reason The Shawshank Redemption resonates with me.

The other thing is, the lead character in the movie was a banker. Probably an accountant or something. So he ended up rendering his services in prison like attending to the wardens’ tax returns and things like that. So I began to wonder if I could render legal services if I were to go to prison (not that I in anyway want to go to prison). That’s going to be quite the joke isn’t it? A lawyer is convicted of a crime, goes to prison and begins to provide legal services to the wardens and convicts. What kind of questions will this lawyer get do you think? Convicts asking him, “err…if I break out and I’m captured what would be the sentence?” or “what would be the damage if I gouge somebody’s eye out in here?”, something like that. It’s weird isn’t it? I honestly can’t imagine it.

The movie also deals with the bond forged between the lead character played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. They become fast friends and remained that way for 20 years. You know, I truly value friendship. There are always “kawan”. But you don’t have many “sahabat”. These are the people that will tell you painful things to your face and not make a show for you. They will be close to you during your happy times. And most importantly, they will be even closer to you during your most difficult times. You don’t find people like this everyday. And I value that. I’m fiercely loyal to people whom I regard to be my “sahabat”. There was this time when I hated my friend’s boss with a vengeance just because he was being hard on my friend. This boss guy did nothing wrong to me. But yet I hated his guts. The more I dealt with him, the more I hated him. All that began with the fact that he was nasty to my friend.

And so kids, take some time to think about who your “sahabat” are. Appreciate them and be there for them when you can.

  1. hasmizan @ joe permalink

    bro i had the same experience being accused for something that you didn’t do. In the legal profession that is an offence that will get disbarred. I was sad, hummiliated and angry at the same time. Iwas sad because iwas accused by a person whom i considered as along time friend and he made the accusation without due course and investigation. To think back the thing ihave done to run the firm when they are away for hajj..only to see the firm spiral down from fame when they return and run the firm like all the money in the firm belongs to them not as a stakeholder. When something dont add they find a scapegoat to cover their act thats me and anather lawyer. police reports were made but in the end truths orevail. Lesson to be learn you had to defined who is you friend?

    • Betul tu bro. In my case it was an enforcement authority. And it’s punishable by jail time. Although I must agree that nak cari sahabat ni bukan senang. If you want friends memang ramai. Tapi kalau real friends susah sangat nak cari.

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