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A Missing Attraction in Malaysia


2024 marks my third year of stay on foreign shores, and somehow being in Asia still I do not feel so far away from my motherland India. Malaysia continues to offer plentiful opportunities for me to take off at the drop of a hat, and suddenly I seem to be afflicted by the travel bug and want to soak up all known and unknown attractions during my tenure here. It is therefore highly amusing—indeed, hilarious—that one such 'attraction' turned out to be anything of the kind, yet worthy of a mention.


After having acquired a driver's license and a swanky albeit secondhand car, I felt it my beholden duty to explore every nook and cranny of the sleepy little town of Sungai Petani in the northern state of Kedah, where I work. Looking up nearby places of interest threw up the somewhat titillating 'Flower Pond' and I thought to myself how lovely it would be to find a profusion of color amidst the ample greenery that is the trademark of this country thanks to her boundless rainforest cover.

a573Image via Bisous Paris 비쥬파리 via Places Malaysia (Facebook)

The pictures on Google revealed lush blooms of water hyacinth in pink and purple growing in a smelly tank that actually serves as a wastewater reservoir from an adjoining factory. So, armed with my GPS and loads of wanderlust, I took off one fine midmorning in search of this hidden gem.


Going round in circles several times over without any sign of this elusive spot, I was finally forced to give up and park my car and proceed to ask for directions in the time tested good old-fashioned way, but even this was met with empty stares from the local folk, who probably thought I was another crazed tourist. Loath to surrender, I persisted in following whatever sense I could make out of the navigation, continuing on foot to eventually step into an abandoned premises that seemed to be a shed for the scrap of abandoned vehicles.


The owner, however, was a man of yore, and knew secrets that normally escape both the online and mainstream media. He immediately understood what I was looking for, and glumly informed me that the tank had been sterilized, the vegetation removed, and the factory largely shut down. Crushed though I was, I could NOT leave without documenting this waste of a trip!



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