Returning to Kuala Lumpur A Window View at 4.30am Dec 5.

by Susan Abraham

The harsh tropical rain beats down the sleepy air in torrents. With closed eyes, I treat myself to the forgotten rush of noise that slices my silence, like a string of fountains in choir. Excitable in togetherness, each one gushes up a melodious spray composed of thunderous hysteria and an orchestrated rhythm bent on applause.

The downpour rises and falls from its cresendo to a slow whimper before another trek climb, up an invisible skyline. Or perhaps a visiting waterfall, mistaking my bedroom for an enchanted forest, waits to pounce unawares. I stay enraptured.

Not far from where I stand, 2 handsome lampposts wear their golden shiny light like Sunday suits, kissing each dainty drop as if they may have secretly been randy lovers at a boisterous party. Who would guess.

I see distant lights from scores of countless apartments and closed offices bathed in yellows and whites and from a nearby street festooned in a strange neon colour…the niftiest royal blue. Far below my window, the rain has painted pavements a sharp silver that makes the puddles glow.

Now and then, tiny cars, buses and lorries snake their way over flyovers and on highways, ferociously determined to challenge the dawn. An empty electronic train shows off acrobatic bodywork. It curls up a circular track with superior dexterity and slides past with a whoosh, vanishing into the darkness.

I observe faraway foreboding buildings loom up like ghosts, their speckled lights and rooftops, melting eerily into the big black skies. I stay untouched by the humidity that lurks outside my glass window.

Instead, I think slowly about how Kuala Lumpur has blossomed into a modern buxomy fullness that threatens to burst with monumental pleasure at its seams. No longer evident is the quaint, uncluttered charm evident of the city – then a township – in the sixties and seventies, where it stayed mothered by lush green jungles and lullabied to a tenderness by cool monsoon winds, manufactured exclusively to the equator.