Sheih on Sheih: Thank you
Posted on January 30, 2007
Malaysian Walk With US – L2R – ShanghaiStephen, Marina, Mulah (partly hidden), Jeff, Rocky, Sheih, Nuraina and Zorro
Being Sheih is not easy. My great great grandpa was traced back to Bukhara
Desert and please I beg you not to ask me where it is. My arwah father used to show me the map but I always took it for granted that I always can refer to him in regards of the geography.
Somewhere along the line, one Syed by the name of Karim sailed from India to
Penang with his Indian wife. Syed Karim AlBukhary later settled down in Klang. He is the father of my grandpa, whom later took a job in the Kota Bharu General Hospital where he soon became a legend. He was known as Abiq Razak. Fierce but wise.
The trishaw peddlers in Kota Bharu always shared with me their encounter with Abiq Razak who was a dresser. They said, if you meet Abiq Razak, you can be cured just by hearing his lecture on how to live a hygienic life. To be honest, I knew my grandpa well, he will scream at you and your fever will run away.
When Abiq Razak moves to Kota Bharu, my father is still very young. As Abiq Razak was a good man, everybody would love to send his or her children to stay at his house. One lucky kid, was my mother.
She suffered a tragic life. Her mother and her father died 12 hours apart due to typhoid. The authority burned down her house. My mother and her siblings had to be separated. Two were sent to remote part known as Kuala Krai (this is in the late forties) and two other to an island.
As my mother recalled, my father would always ask my mother to wash his shirt and said, when you grow up, I shall marry you. One day my father disappeared after an argument with my grandpa. Only for him to return two years later as a handsome young man in military uniform. My dad kept his promise. He married my mother and took her almost everywhere in Malaya and Malaysia. My father served the military for almost thirty years. Life was hard for both of them.
Early in their marriage, my father had to fight the Emergency. Towards the end of their marriage, my father struggling fighting the Insurgency.
When I was two years old, my father was posted to South Vietnam as the Military Attaché. I had to admit, there were many flying saucers in our house. I used to watch the saucers flying and our dinner ended hitting the ceiling. My mum cried a lot. We cried a lot. My dad cried a lot too, just that he did his crying deep inside.
Life is difficult for my dad because he is a man who would stand his ground. The military top men did not like it. Once he and his platoon was ambushed in Rajang River. Half of his platoon was mutilated by the Northern Kalimantan bandits. The ambushed was meant for my father but only for him to become a spectator because his longboat took a detour to check on an intelligent report of a sighting at nearby village.
Arrived at the scene, moments later, my father took a chase. He went after the bandits although he was ordered to stay behind. He was the Commanding Officer of The First Renjer not a spectator.
However, the military believed that he serves the country better by being a spectator rather than being a trophy for the bandit. After that incident, he was ordered back to MINDEF.
My father, even until his last breath, remains a fighter not an ass kisser.
At the end of his military career, he was left fighting for his pride. When others get to enjoy the snow in Europe, he was sent to enjoy the war-torn Saigon. His Camelot crumbled so as ours, and soon we ceased to become a family anymore.
The five years old me, sat on my mum’s lap when my father sign the divorce paper. This was his word, you can have my pension, and you can have the kids, just give me my life.
I did not cry, only many years later I realized the effect of the incident. Then I cried a lot. Not having a father in 1970’s was a big deal. My schoolmate teased me because my report book signed by my mum. They laughed at me because only my mum attended our sports day. They took every opportunity to make me think that I am not normal just because they have their dad and I did not.
I grew up determined not to be the father I hardly knew.
The last ten years of his life, my father was left fighting to love me. Unfortunately, I am a father myself and struggling to make a living. I find no time for him. He would call me every alternate day. Some time I answered it, most of the time, I just ignore it.
When I answer it, this shall be our routine conversation,
“Hi Azidi, how are you” “I’m fine Bah, thank you”. Silence. “Apa cerita Azidi?” “Tak da cerita Bah”. Silence. “How are the kids doing?” “They are fine Bah, thank you”. Silence. “How is my lovely daughter in law?” “Lovely as ever Bah, thank you”. “Azidi, why don’t you bring them over for makan-makan this weekend?” “Sorry Bah, we already had other plan, thank you”.
After more silent, my father will always said this “Any way, drop by anytime okay” “I shall Bah” “Okay Azidi, I love you” “Me too Bah, bye”.
When I narrated this incident in my class, the whole class started to tears.
My father suffered a heart attack when I was watching Suzuka Formula One Grand Prix in 2001. He died two weeks before Suzuka Formula One Grand Prix, two seasons later.
I bathed him and performed the last rites.
Almost a year later, while scrolling the phone numbers in my mobile, I came across his number. I do not know for what reason I actually called that number. Nevertheless, that day, I surely did. How I wished he is still alive and I will give him the chance to be my father.
Did I say how determined am I, not wanting to be him?
Today, as I walked with Bro Rocky, Jeff, Sis Marina, Nuraina, Bro Monsterball, Mulah, Sang Kelembai, David Beckham, Zorro, Shanghai Stephens, Kuda Ranggi and many more, the memory of a father, I ceased to have struck me.
As I watched Rocky and Nuraina working on their laptop in Austen Chase, I asked myself, am I a spectator or am I a fighter? I know for sure, I am not an ass kisser.
Pak Lah and Khairy will think I serve my country better by being a spectator. I wonder what my father would think if ever I have him on the other line.
“Hi Bah, how are you?” “I’m fine Azidi… where have you been?” “I was away Bah, forgive me, but now I’m back, and I love you” “I know Azidi, I know, I love you too” “Bah, may I ask you for an advice?”
I know for sure, he who chooses to live his life as a fighter will have a good piece of advice for me.
AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN
KICK DE BUGGER!!!!!!!
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