COMMENT: Always take the weather with you

Till yesterday, many of us blamed the weather for thwarting our weekend plans with the incessant rain that reigned nationwide since Saturday.

The number of Facebook posts welcoming the first rays of sun of nearly 72 hours might be a good indication of how some even feared an apocalypse given the deluge.

At the time of writing, there are around 45,000 people affected by floods in Johor, 4,500 in Malacca, and nearly 1,000 in Pahang. Total that up and you have more than 50,000 flood victims nationwide due to the downpour. Add this figure to the floods in the east coast and northern states as well, especially during the monsoon season, and you get a larger number of displaced souls.

For a while, I thought I was living in the constantly raining and decaying mysterious city, which served as a setting for the popular 1995 film, Se7en.

The rain might only be a natural occurrence. Let me attempt to explain.

I come from a coastal town called Sitiawan, in Perak. Fifteen minutes’ drive from my home sees me gazing upon the horizon of the Malacca Straits. The wind blows incessantly here, even when the sun is at its peak. It hardly rains. We use motorbikes all the time, hardly forced by nature to seek shelter in a car. We play football almost everyday, the rain always held at bay. Once or twice a week, we stand at our patios and enjoy the rain which comes with the fresh winds from the sea, a cup of coffee in our hands.

Then, life happened, and I found myself part and parcel of development, in KL. I first noticed the weather. For a place located centrally and far from coasts, the Klang Valley has ridiculously capricious weather.

Dark clouds gather almost out of nowhere, as I found out on my motorbike on the way to college. The weather here, more than anything else, forced me to get a car.

You can never set out on a journey in the Klang Valley by attempting to read the cloud cover. It might be bright and white in Cheras, but dark and crying in Cyberjaya.

But nowadays, back home doesn’t seem like home as well. Roads on which we could roam freely must now be threaded too gingerly, as the small town tries to unleash itself as yet another city of growth, boasting large GDP and tourist numbers.

Sadly enough, with every new skyscraper, the drains fill with more detritus.

But as long as the government pays them for flood damage, people seem more than happy not to ask why they have to face floods.

We can curse the skies all we want, but the fact remains that with our obsession to become a first world country, more and more tall buildings are going to be built (see, Warisan Merdeka).

And we have the audacity to ask why it rains.