Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another delay, Well I was in penang up north for a week. Running around like a headless chicken!!! Never reaching the shore and never will I suppose. I love my father a lot. He was the only one I remember. I remember his sacrifices and I wish I could repay him but I can't. All he wanted was his children to grew up as a responsible person and I wish I haven't fail him. When he was born in 1932 he was not the oldest but assume the mantle thus was call the biggest or Pak Besar or Pak Chak as the nothern malay slang would call him. He was the apple of his doting grandmother's eyes. He grew up with her thus absorb some of her peculiarities. To the elders they call him jambul or amboi because as customary for children of that age he would be sheared and left an outcrop of hair in front. So to his family mates he would call that the rest would refer to him as Wan Zan. A very peculiar name for a malay. He belongs to those Elders who believe duty before self as Helen Mirren in the Queen remark that was how we were brought up. Like a duck in the water he never forget his duty as the eldest in the family, his duty towards his own self would always come last. He is a soft fellow a romantic a good man unlike his father who was hard he was a sentimental fool. My mom was his childhood sweetheart ,he was smitten with her the first time he lay his eyes on her. Even when he finish his studies and was offered by his Uncle Tok Wa to finish his studies in UK to take up law he refuses. The reason being he has to marry his Uncle Adopted daughter Cik Zaitun a Chinese convert which he refuse flatly. He did his stint a teacher a Court Interpreter and later join the Customs service. While in Kelantan where he work he got entangle in a mess with a girl. He has to marry her under duress but in those days in the east coast you have to pay for your life if you don't take responsible for your action. they was no DNA testing then to prove whose baby it is not like now but to me that brother(half) is the eldest in the family. We accept it as that. It is a pity that brother of mine who was very bright due to the fractious life he lead, turn him into a trouble child. He mix with the bad hats, got into all kind of drugs had to be current( in those days when one get violent we perform on him electrical shocks which jolt the mind kinda of lobotomy) and never was the same after that. He divorce her as soon as he can because my Mom would refuse to be the second wife no matter what. So before the baby was born he already divorce her. He married my Mom and nothing was mention of that son until she die a tragic death at the age of 25. By then she has 4 sons and I am the youngest. I never understand the need for human beings to be in love, to need love, I am perhaps a guy who is squeamish of love but then again I never tested or remember unconditional love or mother's love so I never yearn it. Yes I ve tasted it and now I yearn it. Now I am a sentimental fool. My father went berserk, he cry for days, not just because of the sadness but the manner that she went. It was early morning March, we were staying at Jalan Gasing PJ with my Grandma and the rest. As usual in the morning my mom would pack my brothers and second cousins off to school. I usually follow and I would sit in front but this time no, I didn't. The night before they were some arguments as usual, my father sometime could be an arse, we all are. Driving down the Federal Highway in front of the EPF building she made a stop to turn right. In those days there was no viaduct or traffic light yet so you have to wait your turn. As she was turning a motorcyclist (helmet was not mandatory yet) ran into her. The guys head catapult inside through the passenger window and struck her. Again no air con in the car yet so we wind our window down, so it was a fluke. She didn't die there, she die in the hospital. The tragedy was made we didn't know which hospital, My father first rush to Templer but she was not there she was at the University Hospital which has just been built now known as UMMC. By the time he reach there she was gone,he never forgive himself. He would keep him inside the room for days and he can't see any picture of her. The irony was after her death(It was the sixth time death has occurred there) the government decided to install traffic lights at the junction now the place is a memory, a viaduct has been built since the mid 70's and people now hardly remember the death trap which resulted in my mother's death. He even try to contact my mother's spirit, it upset my grandmother and she was furious. He went to the bottle for awhile to drown his sorrows. He recover and immersed himself in work why the 4 of us become little tyrants. It was my grandma wish to bring back my eldest brother to the bosom of the family, now he is living with his grandparents in Kelantan. His stepfather refuse to accept him.Yes, his mother has remarried to a Chinese Doctor in Kuala Lumpur. we took him in but he refuse to integrate himself fully to the family what with an indifferent father. It was decided to find my father a wife especially with 4 kids who terribly needed to be discipline. So my Grandma and Grand Uncle went to search for a bride. My father was immersing himself in work and the highlight of his career was he receive a commendation by US government for his services during the visit of the President of The United States Lyndon B. Johnson.
He met the President because at that time in 1967 he was the Custom Officer in charge of the Subang International Airport which has just been built. Sadly all movies(he was an amateur 8mm movie buff) which he took during the arrival of the President went bad. We move after that from one place to another due to his posting so the movie got damage. My father was not keen to keep things he leave everything to the wife. My Mom would fuss about it but not him. It is the way with him and perhaps with me. It doesn't matter whom you met and if people don't believe you what matter most it is in your service record. A commendation later and the medallion with a picture of the president got stolen so to us it is sa la vie, what to be to be. In 1968 he remarried, to his cousin, it was arrange. He grew to love her and I suspect the love is not the same as his first true love. in 1977 if you come across a book publish by the straits times 'Who's who in Malaysia' his name appeared I do not remember if it is 1977 or 1978 edition but he is one of those Who's who. Sadly his career was screeching to a halt, his sons my elder brothers has forgotten to carry themselves with dignity. They have become a rich man's sons irresponsible and reckless. The biggest blow I suppose losing his eldest son with my mom to cancer. He never recovers, he basically lost his zest for life. You could see it ebbing away but you are hopeless. When he retires and later inform me at Subang Parade a shopping complex that he turn down the job as an adviser to the Brunei Customs in 1987, i feel sad. I wish he would have taken the job but he was tired. It is not for me but I was thinking of my younger siblings who were still in school, they need it. He needs the extra income and they need the luxury. He won't budge, to him perhaps monies don't solve problem it creates more. He seen the infighting among his Uncle who would squirm their way in so they could enjoy the wealth of his grandma via his mom. He seen how his siblings(not all) uses him to further their end. He cant complain they don't have a father so he was the father. Even his own father abuses him taking the house rent that he bought and using them instead of paying for the mortgage. He later sold the house in Kuala Lumpur. And his own beloved sons that he nurture and care after the death of his amour becoming so irresponsible, refusing to work laze around and one of them even took drugs. Why? The first one was a mistake which he try to erase so it doesn't matter if he turn into drugs but not Endon(my Mom's name) sons. He lost his faith during her death found it when his son die and no more,no mas no mas. After 7 years he past away slowly his health starts to deteriorate slowly but surely. To him the most important thing is family and his children whom he love dearly. About me, I was lucky, I didn't get trap into the money pit. I have a laisse fa ire attitude when it comes to money and life. A cavalier sort of way but that is another story. I was happy that until he die I could made him laugh and to me that is important. I have always have the ability to put a smile on people's face and also to annoy them terribly but my heart mean well. The only time I heard about him wailing was during my sister departure to United States to further her studies. It was 3 weeks before he die as though he knew he was going away for ever. I also remember the man who drove his son who died of cancer, the body was lying on the passenger's seat at the back, he drove at 2 in the morning from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. I was at the back making sure the body would lie still and he would talk reminiscing about the past. I never cry I can't, later when it was all over I did, I broke down and cry. I think that broke the camel's back, he was a change man. His son die in 1983 June 2 on Thursday evening 7.04. I remember that event as though it was yesterday. Life must go on, I try to prod him but I can't. He was so fed up with his children with Endon that you can see his disgust at them. But they were his, sometime my younger brother told me when he took a nap he would cry. He was not worried at my younger siblings because they have a mother but not the others which worries him. He voice that to his sister and her husband but I was happy when he says he's not worried about me only wish that I marry and settle down. But I can't even now life is hard for me and the only time I saw him with a tear in his eyes at me was when I was very sick and turning blue. I don't think he wants to loose another child. He can't bear it. In the end he leaves practically nothing only memories which we should cherish if we love him. To lead a good life, an honourable life and to keep the faith. He die in 1994 in the month of Ramadhan(the muslim month) I can't remember the exact time. I am sorry for to me he will always be alive in my heart.


Post a Comment

<< Home