Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sewjin's Project Happy Malaysia

"Tag, you're it!" And then together with 3 of my other friends, we started scattering all over the school canteen. I couldn't run very fast at that time so I'd mostly end up being 'it' or squatting down screaming for help throughout an entire game of tag. "Chop!" And as usual I am stuck at the usual spot with my fingers cupped, waiting for Ben to save me. He usually does.

Yes, I have a friend also named Benjamin. "Are you both, brothers?" was the common question asked. Teachers would sometimes tell both of us to stand up in front of the entire class just so they can get us to answer some other silly questions; "Are you both from the same hospital? Where did you get your name? Why is one of you so fat and the other so thin?"

But what intrigued me the most was why the other 20 Mohds in our class never got the same attention as we both did. I never put too much thought into that. We had 3 Mohds in our clique. I love our clique.

We played everything together; tag, tin-can football, 'kayu tiga', 'pepsi-cola', you name it. We'd also joke about everything; "Don't make me angry or I'll bring pork to school tomorrow!", "Oh yeah? Then I'll bring cow meat!" Every joke, every prank and every laughter seemed like they echoed throughout my primary school years. Once, we were caught skipping class together and got sent to the principal's office. Halfway through his heated lecture, all of us suddenly burst into laughter because the principal said 'puki'. Good times. Through thick and thin we made it through primary school and there was nothing that could take that away from us.

"Over here! Over here!" I screamed at the top of my lungs. I was crouching just beside the canteen counter and you'd think shouting so loudly like that would prompt a yelling from the canteen operators there. It didn't. In fact, Cik. Aminah always gave me a warm smile. But today she offered me something, "Here's a candy for you while you wait." And for some reason, I automatically reached down my pocket, grabbed 5 cents and handed it to her. She refused my payment and I innocently replied, "But.. I owe you something.." Aah, a young business boy I was.

"How about this, you owe me a promise that five of you will continue to be the best of friends right till the end," she said. "Too easy, that's definitely worth less than 5 cents!" I laughed.

After primary school ended, five of us were all lucky enough to have ended in the same secondary school. But things were different, the system revealed more of itself than we ever wanted to know with each passing day. We drifted apart. There were no big arguments, no huge fist fights, no nothing. Just an understanding that the 2 Bens and the 3 Mohds can never go back to the way things were.

Though I lie here disappointed with 5 cents in my hand and a broken promise, I can't help but feel a tenuous sense of gladness. I am glad that for one brief moment in my life, I lived a dream of a small but tightly-knit multiracial group. A dream that was, Happy Malaysia.

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Happy Merdeka Day folks!
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6 comments:

bubbly soda

woow... that is touching! The Mak Cik is so beautiful. Well, friendship is hard. I am glad that I have a multiracial group of friend. HAPPY MERDEKA. God Bless You.

Jason

Nice sweet touching story dude! well done.

Bigbull

well i'm not here to spoil the fun so.......i am touched.......but sounds like proton's advert though ahah just kidding.......Happy Independence Day

revel in me

Awww... Liked your entry! :)

Benjamin

melly: glad you could 'see' the makcik as i did :)

jason: thanks dude!

bigbull: haha, happy independence day mr. lawyer.

revel in me: hey aren't you doing one too? i'm going to ur site rite now!

-=[W]=-

Good stuff... In an age where Malaysia and to some extent, Malaysians, are copping flack for a diverse range of problems and issues, it's good to see we can glimpse that slight shimmer of a silver lining.

At any rate, Happy belated Merdeka

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