Whoever it was who created the jingle for RTM1 Klasik Nasional has my everlasting gratitude. ‘Klasik Nasional. Segalanya di sini. Menggamit memori” So it goes. Since my discovery of the channel, it has been nothing else but live entertainment from that channel. It makes me feel so close to home, listening to the news in Malay, lagu-lagu permintaan and even those annoying tete-e-tete advertisements now make me chuckle.
One morning I was frying plantain, the one I bought at Portobello market as it was going cheap at five in the evening. Nothing beats hot pisang goreng cicah gula for breakfast. The aroma permeating the whole kitchen, with the dulcet tones of the DJ presenting the request programme ‘Dari Hati ke Hati’ in the background was the closest I have ever felt to home. If not for the cold air seeping in through the kitchen door, if not for the golden yellowing leaves I saw through the mistying glass window, softly falling on to the ground on that autumn morning, I would have thought I was at home.
Taufiq had kindly brought the speaker from the PC as near as the cables would go to the kitchen. And from that moment on, the kitchen was my own little world as news and songs from Klasik Nasional kept beckoning, so to speak, my memory.
From the news of the Bilik Berita (whereI once did my internship), I heard about the death of one of Malaysia’s oldest statesmen, Tan Sri Khir Johari, and I remembered Pak’s words everytime we listened to news about the then education minister from the small transistor that Mak lovingly placed on the old fridge, “Tu adik beradik kita tu...sebelah Pak.” But I never asked how was it that a man so high up there could be our adik beradik.
One day, I was listening to the news again when I heard a news item that a Datuk Seri Azizan Ariffin has been made RMAF Chief. What? Could it possibly be Jan, an old friend from those years of bell botts and flower power and mini bikes with high handles? Jan is indeed an old friend, a brother of my dearest friend from Primary One. That brief announcement brought back memories of outings to Pantai Merdeka with the family, midnight walks with the moonlight bathing the shimmering sea in search of crabs and chit chats and story telling about ghosts right till the early hours of the morning. And, of course, a little crush if I am allowed to admit now, of a young school girl who looked up adoringly to the smart and handsome would be officer and a gentleman. The last time we met was last year, as he treated his sister and I to lunch of nasi
What I enjoyed most while listening to Klasik Nasional is the request programmes. It is a real treat to be able to listen to old songs from those black and white movies, such as Jalak Lenteng, Bawang Putih Bawang Merah and those P. Ramlee classics. It was while frying the plantain that I heard a request for Hancur Badan Kandung Tanah by Tan Sri P Ramlee and Puan Sri Saloma...gosh, how times have changed. I then imagine Pak looking up dreamily from his newspapers, puffing his pipe, his feet tapping slowly in rythm to the music. Mak, sitting with her sewing by the window, would stop in mid stitch, a smile playing on her lips. What I really need now is Kebun Pak Awang and then I could really run riot with my memories!
Anyway, talk about menggamit memori! My last entry here, inspired by the anonymous Abang Malaya, had certainly provoked and jolted some old memories. Thanks, Abang Malaya.
One song from Klasik Nasional recently really brought back some very old memories hurtling back and you must be wondering what this song that you are hearing, Pegang Tali by S. Ahmad and Rohani S is all about.
I only used to see S. Ahmad, the veteran singer of the 60’s and 70’s, in entertainment magazines and I remember him in white suits and platform shoes with that slick hairstyle so popular in those days. Then some time in the nineties, he appeared in
And he had a wonderful voice. We used to meet up at Ezani’s place and he’d warm our winter nights with his wonderful rendition of Widuri as Ezani played on the organ.
Then as suddenly as he had appeared in our lives, he left. I remember the summer he went back to