Monday, June 25, 2007

Sephia-tinted Days

I am a kampung boy at heart, and will always be.

What do I miss when I'm in this urban jungle? I miss the slow flowing river that runs behind Ma's house, and the days when I would wade upstream to look for fishes and small shrimps. I miss my batang bemban fishing rods that Abah used to make for me, and the time when me and Che Na would spend hours sitting on the riverbanks waiting for a tug. I miss the kites made from bamboo, and the hot sun burning on my face as I flew it at the sawah. I miss the hard white marble balls called buoh guroh, and the sweet cracking sound of it smashing someone else's buoh guroh in our games. I miss the 50 cents bottled orange soda, and the toy packets that my great grandma Mok Lamoh would always bring when she came to visit. I miss going for rides in Abah's old red Fiat, and we'd go all the way to Bukit Ajil to see the fish pond and eat the jambu epal. I miss the tengkujuh season when it would flood, and us kids gleefully jumped into the brown water. I miss listening to Ayah Jie strum his guitar to the tunes of Gersang and Headwind, and I still remember how much he loved the song Suraya. I even miss the fear that I always had whenever I had to walk past pagar Leho (Leho's fence) and the Kekabu tree that was said to be haunted.

I'm glad I had these experiences, as it brought me closer to my dad. I would know what he's talking about whenever he starts reminiscing about his childhood games, or the scars he got from diving recklessly from the waterlock to the deep inviting water ( I have done so myself, albeit with no scars to show for it). I felt a deep connection whenever he talked about all those things, no one else in my family has any idea about it. Not my mom (she's a town girl), not my brother and sisters.

What I wish for, is for my own offsprings to have more fun when they're young. I would love for them to have a nice kampung experience in some way, and not be the spoiled brats who turn their noses at the thought of balik kampung.

Someday I will return. Someday I will live in those environs again, and not be bothered about toll hikes and flash floods and snatch thefts. Someday.

footnote: Ma and Abah are what I call my grandparents. Abah passed away in 1993, Allah bless his soul. Ma is still healthy, Alhamdulillah. Che Na (aunt) is an engineer with a GLC, Ayah Jie (uncle) is a succesful businessman in Shah Alam. Me? Slogging away as a banker in a major foreign bank, and loving it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wedding Bells

My younger sister is getting married soon. How does that make me feel? Happy for her of course, worried for her too. Hope she does not pop a baby so soon, or else it'll be quite hard to manage baby and studies. Yes, she's still studying to become a doctor. Stop asking me why did she get married so young, ask her instead.

I'm veering away from the question. How does that make ME feel? Well, at first I felt that it does not affect me in any way. However when your family is in the festive/marriage mood, that's all they seem to talk about. Obviously I get dragged in by the inevitable question "when are you going to get married?".

When? I wish I know for sure.

Bit by bit it does affect me to see friends and family getting married one by one (this year alone I have 2 cousins and a sister getting married, plus countless friends). There are times I desire the intimacy and the closeness that only marriage can bring, and there are times that I thank God I'm still single. But progressively it's leaning towards the former. What does it mean when I'm willing to forgo my 3-series in favour of my marriage fund?

Well, we all will get there some day. You can only put it off for so long. What use is wealth and complete freedom if you'll end up lonely at night. I did not mean alone, I mean lonely. It's two different things, do note.

Anyway sis, I hope this will make you happier than you have ever been. I guess a brother can't ask for much more for his beloved sister.

P/S: langkah bendul nih, don't I get anything???

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

For Remembrance

We offer our youth
to the world we built
with courage and truth
and love fulfilled

A city will rise
that is bright and fair
into peaceful skies
into cloudless air

Proudly we'll serve
and with faith we'll strain
muscle and nerve
and heart and brain

'Til wisdom descends
like a silver dove
'til evil ends
and the law is love

Note: googling these verses returned zero result. These beautiful lines were formerly the lyrics to The Malay College's song, before the malay and current version comes into use. I doubt any present living old boy still knows how this song goes. How I wish to hear these verses in their original composition. Perhaps MCOBA can do something about this? As for now, I'm contented just to let these verses live on...