A phone called derailed my train of thoughts. The caller reminded me of our date at 8pm in Dataran Merdeka. It was a candlelight vigil for Revathi, who is under re-education. She is thus separated from her husband Suresh and their child is with her parents. A family torn asunder because of religion. It had rained at about 7.30pm. At 8.00pm Joe Xavier, Toney Yew and I and some 300 Malaysians gathered, lit their candles and prayed on their own. There were no organised speeches, no singing.....Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Eurasians, Kadazans....all quietly bonding. I met up with many friends but was especially happy to meet up with former colleague Datuk A Vaithilingam, President, Malaysian Hindu Sangam. If you want a faultless definition of a gentleman, that's Vaithi. The police were around. They ensured that the crowd did not spill into the road for their safety. When the clock struck 9.00pm all quietly dispersed, some thanking the police for their presence and assistance. I got back a little of the faith in Malaysians that I thought I had lost in the afternoon. Allow me to leave this prayer for your contemplation and sustenance:
PRAYER OF FRANCIS OF
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.