Career-wise, it was a humble peak for me. Being in the top management of a college which happened to be owned by one of the biggest developers exposed me to a new and high level corporate working life. The corporate culture that was prevalent then , exposed me to a new field away from Education . Linking and implementing private Education as a big corporate venture was another notch in my learning curve. Planning and projection became my way of thinking. Hard life ---but truly rewarding -- financially and experience-wise and enjoying the perks- to me anyway ! That is Jalan Gurney !
Now the down-side ! I had my severe heart-attack --- probably through stress but most likely from my life-style. I was smoking then. A loyal and true one and half packet man per day. My entertainment allowance saw me through good food too often. An international hotel was in the stable of the mother-company, and we were granted the privilege of using the facilities of the hotel. A golf club was also in the list and too much good food and giving up my exercises paid its toll !
15th. May 1995, Sunday, 2.00pm after lunch -- I suffered a massive heart attack ! You don't know pain untill you go through an attack . (To my two friends , when we were talking about pain--- I forgot to mention this when we talked about the pain that you had to go through !).
Anyway ! one day, when the family was visiting me in hospital, the heavy rain brought with it one of the worst floods in the history of Jalan Gurney ......and there was no one to salvage our belongings. We lost all our wooden furniture. I lost all my books, my university notes, magazines, photo-albums and electrical appliances.
It was devastating. Its like having a continuous stream of misfortune !
But---I was grateful ! I survived a life-threatening situation , given a new lease of life and managed to change my life-style. I have never smoked a cigarette since and the smell of smokes turned me off because I always associate it to pain that I went through.
In fact when I reported back to work, I forbid smoking within the college compound.. Of course smokers, and there were many, weren't too happy with me then. I spent a lot of time in the office of the boss of the College who happened to be a heavy smoker, and I told him that I wished to resign from the position as I could not bear the smell of smoke from his cigarettes. This was rejected and we came to a compromise. He fitted a powerful extractor fan just above his seat. I tested by sitting in front of his table --- and it worked. I stayed.
Next, my university lecture notes and books which I had kept . They were all gone and beyond salvage.
My saddest point is over the loss of all my photo albums. With tears in my eyes, I tried to unstuck all the photos. They all became marshy and gooey . Finally with a pair of scissors, I cut what ever I can salvage, paste them on an A4 paper and kept them and later scanned them and saved whatever I can.
I am posting photos of my son when he was young as an example of the photos lost !
Me and shah ( 5 years old then)