Lately, I have been travelling up and down the country and there were times when I can’t even remember what day it was, which part of
The problem with my memory at the moment is that I am so overloaded with information and no amount of Ginkgo or fish diet can help me now. I am trying to pack in fifty odd years of history in a memory that is in need of an upgrade. Therefore I marveled and am in awe of the people I have been meeting with over the last few weeks. They are much, much older than me, but they must have had a very rich fish diet to have retained such wonderful memory. Their minds are still fresh with memories of yesteryears. They remember dates, names of roads, buildings and people!
Take this English lady I met a fortnight ago. Who would believe that in a remote village somewhere in the south coast of
And all the while, I sat at her feet, with the fire crackling and burning in her fireplace to keep us warm in her not so little cottage in the village. I had taken the earliest train possible to see her and it was when night had fallen in the southern skies that I returned to
This lady, who went to
To help her jolt her memory is a suitcase of letters, cards and documents from past prime ministers, former politicians from both side of the bench, famous names who visited and made her acquaintance, letterheads and postmarks from prestigious addresses, black and white photographs fraying at the edges capturing moments never to be repeated. Even envelopes, those familiar brown envelopes with URUSAN SERI PADUKA BAGINDA written across it! These are lovingly kept in plastic sleeves.
When I arrived at her house, I was met with a very cheerful Selamat datang and Apa khabar. Even after giving up her Malaysian citizenship, and coming back to live in her country of origin, she never lost touch with things Malaysian. If I am brave enough to admit, she is even more clued up with developments in
Once in a while, she'd ask"Do you know Zaharah...." and I didn't know.
“Here’s my life story,” she said pointing to her suitcase full of letters and documents and pictures. All we need to do now is piece them together. I now have with me four tapes and three video tapes to look through.
Two days ago, I found myself in
Two years ago, when I visited
From the hospital, I went to see Pak Cik Arshad, dear Pak Cik Arshad who, in spite of his Parkinson’s Disease had kept me company in the Kesatuan clubhouse when I was there. later during his last few years, he lived in a nursing home. He still remembered me as the one who put him on TV. He decorated his small but comfortable room with all things from
I met Pak Cik Musa perhaps in the nineties when I did a feature about the Malay sailor settlement there. And I have written many articles about them too. Since then many people and media have approached them too. Anyway, Pak Cik Musa is relatively young compared to the rest.
Pak Cik Musa is adamant that he will go back to his Terengganu when he is well. He wants to book his plot in a cemetery in Losong, for that is where he wants to be when his time is up.
That fifteen minute meeting is so precious to me. Pak Cik Musa has given me so much and I hope, I will meet him again.
With this massive overloading of information, please excuse me if I disappear for awhile. I need to recharge my battery and more importantly, I have loads of interviews that I need to transcribeTribute to an old man and his sea
Goodbye Pak cik and Thanks for the memories