I HAVE a fondness for "quiet" places, where the only sounds I hear are birds chirping, squirrels chattering and trees whispering to one another in the stillness of dawn and dusk.
And if I am fortunate, I am able to sit at the feet of a "giant" possessing old and mighty branches and pretty foliage. Ah, a lovely shade.
In and around most neighbourhoods in Kajang you will not find a place such as this.
For the developers did not take into account those inclined towards solitude.
The fact is, Kajang's a busy town, a place of commerce. Not unlike other urban centres that you read about or dwell in.
The trappings of modernity are everywhere in this eastern corner of Selangor, and the noises that accompany them are, well, quite ordinary and uninspiring.
This manner of environment is not a bad thing, of course, if it doesn't bother you.
There are enough schools, universities, hypermarkets, shops offering all kinds of wares and services, kopitiam, banks and whatnot to last you several lifetimes.
In fact, it doesn't bother me. To each his own. But I do wish this town has a large park, or several of them, where the people can rest and think, which they don't appear to be able to do elsewhere. Where the people can walk or cycle to in 10 minutes from their homes.
Right, I forget. We have Stadium Kajang, as it is known to the older folk, or Kajang Square, as it is renamed by the municipal council.
A good number of people go there in the early morning and late evening for exercise of some sort.
I recall the president of the council had said last year that up to 500 Meerawan siput jantan and Asoka trees would be planted in the square to turn it into a "forest in the city" (Streets, Feb 7, 2012).
But it's a relatively small place for a "forest" and the mass of people. And incidentally, I've seen the latter, but I think much of the former has yet to take root.
There's also the tiny park that my companions used to call the Rock Garden. It sits between a 120-year-old hospital, huge semi-detached houses, a big Chinese school and a busy Jalan Timur.
To create larger parks will cost lots of money. This, I recognise.
Land and houses in Kajang, like in many other towns in this burgeoning nation, are getting costlier.
Bungalows worth more than RM800,000 are the norm. My developer friend says a new terrace house can't be had for anything less than RM600,000.
So, new parks? I'm not holding my breath.
As I said, it doesn't affect me. I have my places of refuge.
One is a Chinese cemetery on a side of a lovely hill in Sungai Kantan. It's close to home. From mummy's dusun, amid the D24 and kampung durian, avocado and almost any fruit tree you can name, the grey gravestones dotting the hillside are visible.
On a hot afternoon, when the sun is at its best and the sky all blue and a smattering of clouds make up the hue, peace descends on my soul.
I venture there sometimes to listen to whispers from the past. No one disturbs me, neither the dead nor the living.
Another favourite place is a hillock in Pinggiran Saujana. I call it K2, after the Himalayan giant. It's quiet up there. The breeze comes often, and when the green leaves of the many trees feel it, they dance, swaying this way and that. And an enchanting sound fills the air and the heart.
From a perch up there, I can see faraway peaks, the twin towers of the capital city, the little houses, the "little" people.
Few people go up there. May it always be so.
There's much more to be said about Kajang and its people. About growing wealth, and about gnawing wretchedness. But, maybe, that's for another day.
For now, its people thirst for a place to be alone, to think. The quietness of nature is the best place for that.