Do you remember the days when you cried when you were hungry? Do you remember when you cried when your mother had to leave you for just a few minutes and do you remember when your father smiled at you seeing you walked for the first time?
All of us have memories but have we learned enough from these memories? Our yesteryears had gone by and as we keep on drifting towards the future, the gap of our distant past becomes wider but no matter how much further we sail into our future, we should not let those memories rot into oblivion. We are what we are today because of our past and reminiscing some of those wonderful period could well be the best companion as we aged along with time.
I may not remember many things of my past but I remember many of those wonderful moments when time had kindly cherished me as well as of those moments when sad memories will always make me cry. We cannot get the best of both worlds; the happy moments and the sad moments and no matter how good or bad these memories are, they are a part of our life, how could we forget?
I remember the first day when grandma told me that this was the grave of a woman who bore me. I remember when grandma smiled after I finished counting the numbers of one to ten and I remember when both grandpa and grandma smiled happily to see me walked unaided between the both of them.
I remember my cousin Kak Fuzi who was a year older than me and how we both played around the house running happily in every direction without a cause. I remember eating together with her enjoying every drop of rice that had been served on our plates. I remember climbing the trees within our reach and how we found difficulty to descend.
Just a few feet away from the kitchen of our house was a ciku tree. Its short trunk made it possible for kids of our age to climb. There were many fruits but we could not determine those already ripen. We must touch the skin and squeeze softly to know. She climbed the tree first and I followed after she had safely reached at the first branch. It was an easy climb as the first branch was within reach. To get to these fruits was not easy and we had to be extra careful. As she held tightly at the branch, she slowly approached one of the fruits nearer to her that was hanging. With one hand on the branch and the other trying hard to reach the fruit, she could not balance her body well and she fell. It was not a bad fall as the tree was not a tall tree but being small and beginning to learn what pain was, she cried. It was a moment when I began to learn the feeling of sympathy at seeing someone suffering. Later as she laid on the ambin after having dried her tears, I sat besides her and consoled her by massaging the part of her leg that was thought to be painful. We were hardly four or five years old and between us we knew no sexes.
Twelve years later as I began to grow a bit taller, I could just climb the tree with two steps and I was already at the first branch. I remembered every details of my first time climbing the tree with my Kak Fuzi.
How could I forget the first time I had to go to school crying all the way inside the trishaw. Months later as I gained the confidence, I was smiling and even laughing with Pak Malek the trishaw man as we took our time to the school. I can still remember having to walk back from school when Pak Malek failed to fetch me due to his high fever. It was my first great fear when I saw an Indian grass cutter with a sickle passing my way. How I scrambled inside a nearby bush trying very hard to avoid being seen for fear of my head being chopped off.
Twelve years later while cycling home, I saw an Indian grass cutter with a sickle and as I passed him, I smiled at him and he returned my gesture showing off some of his missing teeth.
I will always remember my first day of fasting during the month of Ramadan. How I tried to coax grandma by trying to be almost dead lying on the cement floor while she pretended not to notice. Twelve years later I would smile looking at my smaller cousins trying very hard to contain their empty stomach.
I remember those days when I had to pass by the house of our Chinese neighbour with a ferocious looking dog and how my chanting of tabatyadah managed to ‘tame’ it. Twelve years later, that same dog had become smaller and more frail to my eyes.
I remember my first day of learning how to ride a bicycle with my three ‘sisters’ as my coaches. Twelve years later I would smile looking at my younger cousins balancing their bodies during their first ride.
I remember gazing at the ceiling during the night trying to find if any ghost had sneaked into my bedroom. I remember not to point my finger at the rainbow for fear of having my finger deformed. I remember never to open an umbrella inside the house for that would invite a snake in. Twelve years later I would smile thinking of these ludicrous notions.
When I was twenty five years old, I remember those days when I was fifteen thinking that I was a gown up man. I will always remember my two buddies Halim and Yem and how the three of us created some wonderful adventures. I remember those days when I began to appreciate the feminine walk of girls passing by and never had the courage even to smile at them.
Do you remember the times of your life?
“Everyday when you wake up and times has slipped away. And suddenly its hard to find those memories you left behind”. Such beautiful lyrics Paul Anka wrote and singing with his golden voice reminding us of the those moments that we left behind.
“The laughter and the tears. The shadows of misty yesteryears. The good times and the bad you’ve seen. And all those in between”.
“Reach out for the joy and the sorrow. Put them away in your mind. The memories are times that you borrow. To spend when you get to tomorrow”.
“Here comes the saddest part. The seasons are passing one by one. So, gather moments while you may. Collect the dreams you dream today. Remember, will you remember. The times of your life”.
Thank you Paul Anka. I will always remember the times of my life. How could I forget?