Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I heard of my friend's father death a fews days back. My sister inform me to read the Sunday papers. It was a good read. I am going to republish it here as a token of my appreciation and value I hold him. His grief is my grief i could only say we should remember the good memories and as long as we have that memories he is always alive. Celebrate his life his music his love, he would want you to live and to respect his memories as i have of my father. i can't say that about my Mom I have no memories thus I have nothing to celebrate about her that's what grief me. My dad i will always have his memories his laughter his anger and his sadness with me and to my friend because of that memories your dad will always be living with you. Take care and by the way what happen to all your hair?

Sunday August 9, 2009

Colourful chords


Music is the cord that connects a father and son in life, and death.

JULY 24, 2009, 1.30am. I had just nailed the last piece with my band at a jazz lounge. Immediately, I rushed to the hospital, lugging a deckchair.

My brother-in-law Joseph and mum were there with dad, who was very ill. Joseph had been great; I asked him to go home and get some rest.

Dad got up frequently at night and we had to help lift him. Mum couldn’t do it alone, but the emotional support she gave dad was overwhelming. I’d never seen such strength and calm. She said he had been asking for me.

In the morning, my sister Christina came to the hospital and I could see the strain in her eyes. She had been looking for alternative medicines and treatments for dad. Before I left, she shared what dad had told her. He shared a lot of things with her, especially his medical condition.

As I drove home, I recalled what dad had shared with me.

There was only one thing we’d always shared – music. He was fond of saying that God touched him through music.

I remember happily holding his hand in church while listening to a brilliant blind organist, Mr Peter, when I was eight. Dad and Mr Peter were from the same orphanage. He used to say that had he been given the chance to learn music, he would have been a good musician.

During mass, dad and I would look at each other whenever a good hymnal was played, especially one of the Tamil hymns which still move me today. The first thing dad would talk about after mass was the music. He’d give me a review of Mr Peter’s playing and somehow, I felt we had the same taste.

Back home, he would flex his vinyl collection of The Shadows and The Beatles. I got to know Michael Jackson through dad. Somehow, he coloured my life with music.

When I was 11, he sent me for organ lessons. Although the piano was more popular then, dad loved the organ and he wanted me to play for the church. To him, the best venue for a musician is the church. I couldn’t agree more.

I struggled to learn some hymns on my own. After learning one, I approached the choir leader and voiced my keenness to be a church organist. She told me to learn more songs first. I was sad, but dad said I would be a great organist one day. That made me smile.

It was he who told me there was a working pipe organ in Penang. I made my way to the church to listen to it being played. My goal then was to be an organist at the church.

Dad bought an electronic organ for me and my sister. He always kept it super clean. He loved Bach and I got hooked on him too.

I began to dream of giving a recital at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) in Kuala Lumpur. When that came true in 2007, it was a proud moment for dad.

July 30, 2pm. As I adjusted my collar in the mirror, I remembered that the last time I’d felt as knotted was before my first recital at the DFP. Now, a daunting task lay ahead of me: dad had died the day before and he’d always wanted me to play at his funeral. As my younger sister Angelina said, “I know it’s tough but you must play ...”

The mass began with me playing the hymns. It was an electronic organ, but that day it seemed like the majestic pipe organ at the concert hall. Everything sounded rich and splendid. I kept my emotions in check; the fact that dad was a disciplined man helped me focus on the service and the music.

After I finished the final hymn, Abide with Me, my music colleagues started coming up to convey their condolences. The dam burst and I wept like a baby.

The joyous times in my family had always been coloured by music – Angelina on tabla, Christina and mum singing, and me playing the organ. Dad would sing along. It’s a great gift he shared with me, a beautiful form of art from a beautiful person. Rest in peace and enjoy the music up there, dad.

> This page is for stories that are heart-warming or thought-provoking. If you have an original one to share, write, in not more than 900 words, and e-mail it to starmag-heart@thestar.com.my. Include your full name, IC number, address, and contact phone number. Contributions without these details will not be entertained.


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