The legacy of my late Abah

Posted by Kaleidoscope on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 9:01 AM

It has been 22 years since my father had left all of us. The thinking that I had towards him so forceful in fact very memorable, as the Ramadan approaches. The epitome of being the youngest in the family was indescribable because I did usually get everything that I requested for. He was very strict and always had a bamboo stick on the desk every time he taught me to recite ‘Muqaddam’ (a basic book for a beginner to understand Surah, read and pronounce the Arabic words before proceed to Quran) or vetted my homework’s. He wasn’t talked much but when he did, as if the entire world listened to him. He used to bring me everywhere or anytime that possible, or as a matter of fact, he would be dreadful if he didn’t because I could cry or sulk all day long and created a huge mess if I was being left alone. So, I merely get to know all his best friends whether from a breakfast at Mamak’s or the visited that we did to his friends’ house. Even though he was well-known as a bold and solemn-face person, they have never been a stressful scenarios or serious interventions between all of them, but as far as I’m concern, everybody was delighted and honored when my father was around. I have been seen so many people from different cultures came into our small residence and seek for his consultations about everything i.e. religions, politics or even family issues. And he always delivered all the knowledge and his thoughts at the utmost. He became friends with all kind of people, Chinese or Indian, you name it! And most of the time, again, as the youngest, when those people who have seen me, will automatically praised and said how lucky I was to have a father like him. It was just like a moving label and being recognized easily at my age, somehow or rather, had given me some privileges. I could get huge discount when I shopped at some groceries store or even get sweets for free-of-charge. Kindly salutations always filled the air every time when people bumped into him, anytime and anywhere. I used to follow him to the ‘Gelanggang Silat’ at night where my father taught a ‘Silat Selendang Merah’ lesson to all his students.

At home, when I was overslept in front of the television, he would carry me up to the bedroom. I slept with him and my mother at the center of the bed and always being snuggled either by both of them. Even though he was very strict to all of us as his children, there were teasing and funny times as well. I’ve remembered there was one time when my mother was coincidentally sleeping on the chair, he would asked me to get a feather and started to tease my mother’s nose slowly. And when my mother gets shocked and awake, we both will laugh out loud and I will show a sign to my father so that I won’t be scolded by her. When I was too drawn up watching the television program, he purposely threw a cushion at my head and pretended it wasn’t him who did it as soon as I turn my head up to him. But the most unforgettable moment that I had with him was when he beaten me up at my back with a bamboo stick for disobeyed the line that he had drawn. He was taking a nap at the living hall on his favorite couch after he fetched my sister and I from school. And then, we started to play copying some Chinese characters from a tin can that we got. We didn’t realize that we have made such a loud noise and interrupted him. He warned us once, and then we slow down a bit. But then, our filthy voices polluted the air again until we could hear his second warning. It turned to be horrible soon after when my sister said that the tin can belongs to her and we fought. Suddenly, my father got up from his couch and with a bamboo stick in his hands, he had beaten us up. We both cried and ran to the back at the kitchen and that was where we spent out the whole afternoon. That night, without having guts to watch a television or even set our feet in the living hall, and of course I took blame on my sister for what had happened, suddenly I’ve heard my name being called by my father. He ordered me to come in front once and for all. He asked me to take my shirt off and sat in front of him. And then he said delicately, ‘Next time when Abah asked you to be quiet, you must listen! Don’t make me angry anymore. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love you, but I wanted you to be disciplined and obedient’. By the time he said that, my tears ran down all over my cheeks. I could feel the pain when he rubs my back with the sea cucumber oil.

During Ramadan, my father used to recite Quran in our house, everyday without failed. I could hear his voice phrase all the Surah completed with Taranum either after we had our Sahur or even at night. I felt so secured and every time he cleared his throat, I know that he was there to protect all of us until one morning on 22/11/1987, he was passed away. I’ve remembered exactly what had happened that morning. My father was at the hospital, together with my mother and one of my sisters. Due to his pneumonia he had been admitted several times. There was one of our relatives just came back from the hospital and told us that our father had gone forever. I was nearly passed out and couldn’t believe what I heard. I have cried and screamed ‘No! No! No!’ My aunt tried to hug but I was struggled myself and ran as fast as I could to the paddy field. I couldn’t accept the fact that my beloved father had left me alone, left all of us without even saying goodbye. There would be no more laughter, no more joyous moment that used to complete my life. By the time his corpse arrived, it was placed at the living hall. I was sitting at his side and stared at his chest. I’ve told my sister that our father was just sleeping and still breathe. When my father was covered with white clothes, I couldn’t stop my tears from busted out, in front of all the people who came to pay their last respect to my father, my sisters dragged me into the room, and said firmly ‘Wipe your tears now! Even though Abah is gone, but his spirit still here and see what’s happening? We have to let him go peacefully! Pray for him, that will do!’ There were many people also shared our grieved as well on that day. By far or near, they came just to bid a farewell to my father as he was laid to rest.

I will never forget everything that he has told me. The love and tenderness that he had showered us, the good etiquette that he had shown, will always come along with my conquest as a husband to my wife and a father to my little princess.

Al - Fatihah…..


You made me recall my sweet memories of childhood. So touching with your love towards your late father. You are a wonderful father to your little princess as well...

Thanks for your comment, Ms. Anon. How I wish to be like my father...(sighed)

It is hard to become a father nowadays compare with your father time :)

hukkk hukkkk... sedih nyeeeeeee...

al fatihah

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