Like an unfinished painting, my life lacks the details and finishing touches that make it complete. During the last few months, I have met people who have helped to paint in the details, people who were there during certain important and historic moments; moments when I was too young to remember or moments when I have been away. And I have been away for a long time.
“But my memories are all kelam kabut,” said this very English lady punctuating her very English English with her very Malay Malay. “Sometimes”, she added, “it comes out like bangsawan,” and we both roared out with laughter down the line, this Malay Mak Cik and this very fine English lady.
To a certain extent her life is a mirror reflection of mine. She chatted about the year she arrived soon after independence, about the sixties and seventies and about the years that I missed while being away. And I talked about Britain under Margaret Thatcher and the day she left number