Last Friday, a 12 year old boy was kidnapped in Mont Kiara while he was on his way to school at 7.30 a.m.. Posters of his picture is now all Kuala Lumpur and the Internet - Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter - along with vague details of his kidnappers and contact details for those with any information about his whereabouts. Until today there are still no signs of Nayati Moodliar, the only son of two South African expatriates who currently live in Kuala Lumpur.
Nayati's abduction shocked everyone in Malaysia. Especially parents. But even those who aren't parents, like myself, are shaken by this tragedy too. Maybe it's the fact that he's an innocent child and that it could have happened to one of our family members. Maybe it's because it happened in our neighbourhood which we have always assumed to be relatively safe. Or maybe it's the fact that it happened all too suddenly. Just like that he was snatched away. No warning signs. Nothing.
It's scary but this is the reality of life. Most of the time bad things happen without any warning. We can never really be sure of what will happen next. We don't even know if we're going to be alive tomorrow. But nobody likes living consciously. We distract ourselves from this consciousness by drowning such thoughts with frivolous games and dreams. We live in denial, absorbed in a false reality. Then when true reality hits us right in the face we're gobsmacked. Perhaps we should face reality before it faces us.
To face reality is to accept a certain degree of power and powerlessness. To take precaution. To know that life as we know it can change in the split of a second and we won't even know when it will happen. Not knowing is our natural state as human beings and we don't like it because it makes us feel weak. Our ego hates this feeling so it constantly tells us to feed it with illusions of power.
A businessman has come up with a RM 50,000 reward for whoever that has genuine information about Nayati's whereabouts. As an ordinary person the only thing I can do is pray for Nayati's safe return to his family. And perhaps, to also take a lesson or two. Human beings are fond of forgetting but sometimes tragedies like what happened to Nayati is God's way of reminding us of our own parents and why they worry about us so much. A way of reminding us of our own children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters and so on. A way of reminding us of our humanness and powerlessness and the importance of protecting and showing love to our loved ones everyday.