7 Sep 2008

Kuala Lumpur

The rains have come to Kuala Lumpur again.The leaves on the trees by the roadside droop in weary acceptance. They sigh, they bow their heads before the howling winds against the sullen background of a grey leaden sky. There is no sight more melancholy than rain dripping on window panes or dark cloudy skies. We do not think of a tropical city up to its knees in rain water. When we think of  the tropics  it conjures images of beaches drenched in sunshine and a sky that is a perpetual blue, not grey.


The sight of Kuala Lumpur, dazzling city of lights, bowed under rainy weather is something else. Deprived of sunlight, KL loses some its colour, but never its vitality, and its passion.


Despite the rain and the floods, life goes on here in KL. I look out the car window and watch the yellow turbid torrent in the Sungai Gombak rushing gleefully towards the sea. People - young and old - walk on pavements sheltered under colourful umbrellas. The raindrops bounce cheekily about the roadway, as if playing a game of catch. They run in little rivulets towards the monsoon drain. Traffic slows down to a crawl. Flashflood warnings come on every twenty minutes on the radio. Everyone is rushing home, like bats to a cave . The day's work is done.

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