Monday, June 23, 2008

The Duress Test

Jordie was beaming from ear to ear. It was not difficult to see why. He didn’t have any worry to show, not since we left Kuala Pilah. It was just before 8.00 pm.on June 17, 2008. We were on our way back to Kuala Lumpur.We had stopped at the Seremban Highway Rest Area for a ‘cuppa’. Hanafi who had just then done his Maghrib prayers joined us and ordered refreshments.

“We’re all set,” Jordie said. Both Hanafi and I nodded in unison. “now we have to decide on a schedule to progress further.” We again nodded.

We had left Kuala Lumpur earlier in the day, sometime around 4.00 pm “We should reach Kuala Pilah by 5.30 pm or thereabouts.” Jordie said.”. That should be ideal..Rightly so because from readings on the internet, the birds would apparently come to roost back to their nests at around that time. “there’s no need to speed, as we are way ahead of the evening rush hour”, Jordie reminded Hanafi who was driving.

Only 2 days before, Jordie had acquired the CD. He said he had not heard it before and he would like to test it on site. That was the sole purpose of our journey south to Kuala Pilah, to test the CD and to see how effective it would be.

We arrived on the dot. We parked by the roadside. Jordie assured us that we need not go into the land area which was a further 200 metres inside.Hanafi went about setting up the

contraption. It comprised speakers to be plugged into the cigarette lighter of the car thus doing away with any need for batteries. It was actually a recording of swiftlets’ young under duress.

When we played the CD the sudden cracklings and shriekings were a bit of a bother. It was the sound of panic. Similar sounds would invoke a response from adult birds in the sky to naturally answer the distress call to protect their young.

Hanafi placed the item on the car roof, pointed the speakers skywards, plugged it in and ‘hey presto’. The cracklings and shriekings filled the air. It barely took 5 seconds before the sky above was swarming with birds. Initially they were gliding around on a higher level until a few began to swoop in and got closer to us apparently to check around. After a frenzy of flying, gliding and diving for about 10 minutes the birds got back to the higher level and eventually flew off after realising they had been fooled.

Only then we realised and became aware again of the bothersome cracklings and shriekings. Barely a few minutes before it was plainly music to the ear when the birds were hovering above us.

We stayed on for a while to savour the satisfaction of the success of our test and the peace and tranquillity of the countryside at dusk. Jordie smiled, smacked his lips and declared triumphantly that “your land is ideal for a birdhouse!”

We proceeded back to Kuala Lumpur.It was a leisurely drive knowing fully well that there’s a lot to be done and this was only the beginning!


zainal mokhtar said...

It's 18 days since your last posting. Has your little swift (with the "t") gone to roost, or you failed the duress test ?
I got on to Rock Foundation's blog this morning. Actually my daughter in UiTM Shah Alam emailed me some cartoons about Dollah Badawi (who else), that's when I saw RF's email, which I responded to via email. I don't know if he's got them. I'm sure both of you got the Dollah Badawi cartoons.
RF said he cannot respond to all my postings. I don't expect that at all. I only told you that I had emailed him many, many times but haven't got any response, until this morning,that is, so I thought he'd stopped altogether. Well, happily he's not, and in fact he's blogging, too. So now we can comment on each other.
Only don't let the bird fall asleep in its birdhouse. I have a .22 rifle with which I'm a fairly good shot (you can check with the KP Police records). If the bird doesn't stir soon, I'm coming with the gun !

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Hank,

I remember quite vividly a Fullbright Program Professor from Virginia Polytechnic Institute of the USA when he was attached to my Office in Education Ministry in the late seventies, pointed out to me that we were on a bird's perch so far away from the humdrum of the city attending a retreat in Genting Highlands.
I suppose the Casino in Genting could be the equivalent of the birdhouse and the promise of good money lured people from our neighbouring shores. The idea of striking gold was in everyone's mind, throwing away caution to the winds.

Perhaps it would be wiser if you could take a step back and ponder what is it you want in life. As for me, I have a simple philosophy in life. I want " Keredhaan ALLAH " in every big or small thing I do and always seek divine guidance before leaping. I don't want to sound like a wet blanket, but they say a friend in need is a friend indeed. Just food for thought. My humble apologies.

kaykuala said...

Dear Zam,
It is on, alive and kicking.I was distracted a bit but no harm done. I just posted one today.It is one close to your heart - a bit about K Pilah. Thanks buddy.

kaykuala said...

Dear Hal,
Thanks for bringing back our perspectives to reality.Oh yes,I too seek solace and gratitude with Allah,The Almighty, more so at this age.

I reflect back on our writings and I thought the difference lies in fundamentals.

While yours is comtemporary and serious, mine is more narrative and light-hearted.I had to make it such.I had intended it not to be provocative but soft stuff and enjoyable.

To would-be birdhouse owners it may hold some relevent pointers also.Besides writing, I'm going to later post photos on the progress of construction as and when it happens.

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