This happened last week. I keep an inventory of stories in my phone, but it takes time for them to translate into posts because of commitments duh.
Toastmasters meant a lot to me: it improved the way I communicated, and gave me the tools I needed to apply in writing and speaking with a sense of purpose – the essentials of what every storyteller needs.
I was part of a committee, and Zahir was leading the club as president at that time. After leaving for Leeds for studies, I lost contact with most of the members with the exception of a few special ones, such as YY, Az, and Tim.
Never would I have thought that after two to three years I would meet Zahir in the KTM train.
In Toastmasters, you deliver and evaluate speeches. Zahir knew how to evaluate and he always tries so hard not to offend anyone. Also in the face of unexpected dropouts of role players and delayed schedules, he always kept a cool attitude that made the rest of the committee calm. Not only that, he (and a few others) gets shit done when the committee members including myself can’t be bothered. In a nutshell, he was a calm, effective leader.
When I got in at KL Sentral, I spotted him and waved enthusiastically at his direction. He reciprocated it and made his way past the commuters. We caught up and shared stories of the people we knew. Typical Zahir la. On the surface he’s so professional, but like many others he gets especially excited when it came to gossip. Bugger.
He also told me of his plans of the future, and how he wanted to make the jump and try something new in several years. Other than that, he mentioned something about starting a podcast, the same thing Azwan told me about when we met again at TEDxKL. It turned out that it was something the both of them had planned out, but something was missing.
The drive, the initiative, the ideas – all the things that can propel a project, or worse, deter one from being realized.
Before he left, Zahir told me it was a creepy thing to do to take pictures of commuters without their consent and I agreed with him. Maybe I will start asking for consent. He got off at Subang Jaya that evening, and I went home thinking when will be the next time I meet him.