I have been meaning to blog about this for a while. The rest are excuses so let’s spare every one.
During many of my short trips to up north in the past 3 months, I dropped by at the MCKK hockey pitch to see how the boys were doing. Was quite impressed with their skills and determination despite the obvious lack of attention given, especially compared to their seniors. Over time, it feels like falling in love with the whole thing all over again (if that is even possible).
We have been doing this – looking after MCKK hockey team – since January 2007. By early 2010, due to a combination of events and factors, it was obvious that the bulk of the group who started it with me decided to “gantung stick hockey” (or become Itik Pencen as regularly referred to by Joe). I had to make a choice by then because my confrontation with the school administrators had gone from bad to irreconcilable and I decided to risk everything to see changes effected at the top of MCKK leadership.
That episode warrants another full write up but the first 5 months of 2010 took a great toll on the Mighty Ducks Project – it made the writing on the wall so clear to me that we had reached the end of the road. The national level inter-SBP hockey tournament was supposed to be the last tournament that we ever supported, we were supposed to fade away. We said goodbye to the boys and 2011 went by quietly for the boys with hardly any appearance by us.
But then I forget that absence makes heart grows fonder. In a way, they were never absent in the first place. Mr Pala continued to update me, the boys from Class of 2011 kept in touch and on their own soldiered on. They enrolled into tournaments on their own, picked up the pieces together and ended the Mighty Duck years with one step closer to our target – they became 2nd in Perak after being defeated by Anderson in 2011 (which was beyond our imagination).
My life also took a different turn, completely opposite from what I ever planned. Life is truly what happens to you while you were busy planning other things, so I agreed with Lennon time and time again. All the private space that I so cherished all my life is no longer there, that in the end I looked around and desperately wanted to cling to whatever remnants of the life I left behind.
The more you walk away, the more you yearn for some bits of the past to remain, what more when that past represents the purest of your intentions.
Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that on 2nd February, just recently landed from a long overseas trip, I decided to take the day off to drive to KK.
It started with a short SMS from Badut telling that the boys would be in the district tournament and they stood a chance to clinch the championship from Clifford. I called Badut and asked if he wanted to do the unthinkable – drop everything and drive 200+ km away just to see a bunch of kids whom you do not know play hockey.
He must have missed the adrenalin as much as I did, so together with A (who shall not be named), we made our way (above the speed limit) to catch the final match with Clifford. I did not want to miss any single minute of it that I kept praying the game would be delayed.
Lo and behold, it was delayed indeed. The prayers were answered – only it was not postponed by half an hour, they decided to do it the next morning because the turf was flooded.
200+ km away from life and after 2 hours of speeding, we ended up in quiet Kuala Kangsar for a game that would not take place.
But as with everything sweet about Mighty Ducks in the past, a little misadventure like that opens the door for something more meaningful. We decided to see the boys for a pep talk one day before their match, bought them pizzas (which they finished in 15 minutes and not a single piece left to us) and in the process I fell in love with the whole thing all over again.
When I open the Mighty Ducks fan page on the Facebook, the irony of it all comes rushing at me. We initially talk about “hockey revival” in MCKK when we started in 2007. It now comes to one full circle and I realise the one who needs so much of a revival is me, not the team. I realise for my own sanity and everything that has defined me in the past, I need Mighty Ducks Project more than they need me so that even in the harshest of reality, there is a sanctuary of pure kindness not maligned with everything that is wrong with this society that I can always fall back to.
Welcome back Mighty Ducks Project J
As for the result, the pep talk certainly was not effective. The boys lost 3-2 to Clifford after leading 2-0 during the first part of the game. I blame Badut.
Thanks so much to my other half who understands there is certain thing that I have to do in order to keep myself together. I am incapable of saying this being an emotional retard, but I know some people do read the blog J