Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesdays With Bapak (11)


A Tuesday Tail - April 24 2007
Life was much more settled now that we were allowed to visit Bapak every Tuesday at the Jalan Bandar police station in Kuala Lumpur.
But the uncertainty of Bapak's incarceration never dissipated.
We had no idea how long his detention would be. But for the time being we were simply happy and relieved to be able to see him every week.

With Tuesday being the most important day of the week, the family learnt to revolve their activities around it.

Most things would have to be attended to within the week before each Tuesday.
Any outstation trips, unless absolutely necessary or pressing, would have to be arranged within that period so that none of us would miss the visit.
Tuesdays were precious days which we took great care not to give up for other engagements.
Kak Eda was in college and I had already started work with the NST. Kak Eda and I were lucky to be excused every Tuesday to see Bapak.

Indeed, being able to see Bapak gave us some sense of stability and balance.
It meant that Bapak was kept abreast of developments in the family as well as those of our relatives in Singapore. -- who got married,who got a baby and who died. Yes, who died.

Bapak was very close to his older sisters -- Fatmah, Kamlah and Eichon. His only younger sister, Salhah also doted on him.
The age gap between him and his older siblings was very wide.
Because they doted on him, it seemed natural for them to dote on us as well.

Going to Singapore for us was a time of sheer luxury. We would be spoilt silly. Reluctant as we were to be spoilt, we were rendered helpless against the might and will of our aunts and cousins.

"Jangan basuh piring tu. Biar saja di situ," we would be told. We were always being shooed out of the kitchen.

We were simply not allowed to lift a finger to help. Of course, being the children of their brother who was in detention made it even more emotional for our aunts. That was why we had very little choice in this except to go with the flow, and enjoy the special treatment while it lasted.

It was sometime in 1980 that Mak received a call from Cik Ah in Singapore that our eldest aunt, Wak Mah, had died.

Mak was sure that the news would be devastating for Bapak whose incarceration had deeply affected her.

Everytime we visited her at her home which was just a stone's throw from my grandmother's, Wak Mah would break into tears at the mere mention of Bapak.It was the same with all his sisters.

Kak Olin and I were not around when Wak Mah died. Kak Olin was in England and I was in Boston. But we were duly informed of developments at home and in Singapore.
Kak Ton remembers Bapak's face when Mak told him of Wak Mah's passing. He momentarily lost his composure. Kak Ton thought he was going to weep. He didn't but you could tell that he was shocked by the news. You could see the pain in his eyes. More painful, perhaps, because he was not able to see his beloved sister towards the end of her life.

Yes, Bapak lost a sister he dearly loved while he was in detention. He never got to say goodbye to her. At least not in the way he wanted.

You see, years earlier, my aunts hatched a plan. A delightful scheme, as far as they were concerned. Little old ladies they were not. They were prepared to defy the laws of a foreign land just to see their little brother. And for Cik Ah, her beloved Abang Comel.

Whenever we went to Singapore or any of them came here, we would talk about Bapak. They insisted on knowing every little detail about their brother.

Naturally they knew that we visited Bapak on Tuesday, that each visit would last about an hour or so, that it was at the Jalan Bandar police station, that Bapak would arrive and leave in the same unmarked car, that sometimes they'd use a different car, and that the car would past by some shophouses.
These were details told over and over again. Like a broken record. But which my aunts enjoyed listening.

By this time, the Special Branch officers were no longer strangers to us. In fact, they were hardly the cold and harsh picture that we had of them. They seemed to treat Bapak with respect and were always gentle with him.

My aunts would not take no for an answer. There was no stopping them.

We were preparing for another Tuesday (sometime in late 1978). For Mak , it was going to be another day to look forward to. That it was just an hour's meeting seemed never to matter to her. Even 5 minutes with her husband would be fulfilling.
As always, Mak would be looking so radiant by Monday. By Tuesday, she was all ready, like a blushing bride.

That particular Tuesday, Kak Eda took the bus from Shah Alam and arrived at the Klang bus station about 9am. She walked hurriedly to the police station. So hurried was she that she did not see several familiar faces near the shops.

Inside the "meeting" room, Bapak was in his usual seat, puffing his cigarette.

He asked how Kak Olin was keeping with her law studies, how I was doing at the NST and my plans to further my studies in Boston. About Azah and Kamal, Lalin and Nina. About Pak Cik Tongkat and his family.
It was a time to catch up on everything and everyone.

We had our usual chat. Mak had brought some kuih-muih.

Perhaps Bapak did notice Kak Piah's nervous smile and Kak Ton's uncharacteristic quiet. Perhaps not.

Outside along the five-foot way of the nearby shops, Wak Mah, Wak Lah, Wak Eichon and Cik Ah waited patiently. With them were Wak Hussain (Wak Eichon's husband), Cik Salleh (Cik Ah's husband) and two or three of our cousins.

Should Bapak be told that his sisters were outside waiting just to catch a glimpse of him, so that he'd not be looking the other way?

Of course, at this point, the SB guys didn't seem intimidating at all. They even joined us for our regular little "picnic".

Kak Piah spoke first. Then Mak. And Kak Ton added her two cents worth. Abang Zul, Abang Ani and Abang Med decided to remain suitably silent.

Bapak did not bat an eyelid when told that his dear sisters, brothers-in-law and a couple of nieces and nephews were somewhere outside, along the "kaki lima" of the shops, waiting to catch a glimpse of him.

He leant back on his chair, took a deep puff of his Dunhill, and smiled.
What? No raised eyebrow! Not even a whimper of surprise! Not worried at the thought of his sisters weeping and wailing as they wave at his passing car along Jalan Bandar?

"Yah kah?" - was all that he remarked.

The SB guys smiled. The handsome one nodded.

Was that a signal that they would play along?

It was time to go.

"Mak Cik keluar dulu, ya. Lepas itu kami pulak," said the handsome one.

Well, this was not the routine. Usually, Bapak would be led out first before we could go.

So, off Mak walked with Lalin and Nina. Kak Piah and abang Zul and the rest followed.

Their cars, as usual, were parked outside the police station, along the road.
Usually, everyone would waste no time in getting into the car to go home, or sometimes in Abang Med's and Kak Ton's case, to their office.

Especially Abang Med who would try to look out for the unmarked police car in which Bapak had arrived. We always told him that it was pointless trying to do that.

"You can't follow their car. They're always gone by the time we leave the station," we would tell him.

To which he would quip: "I may have my lucky day yet!". Sure, Abang Med sure.

Abang Med never abandoned his plan to follow Bapak's car. We cheered him on although we realised at some point that it was impossible to tail the unmarked car. They did not always use the same car.

I think Abang Med relished the idea of playing spy. The idea of tailing a police car. Who knows, he might even succeed. Kak Eda and I liked the idea too.

In the beginning, the SB guys were careful to avoid being seen by us. Later, they seemed a bit careless. Sometimes they would arrive about the same time we did, allowing us - by design or otherwise - to see the particular car they were using that day.

I think Abang Med must have tried to remember the cars that they used for Bapak's rendezvous with us. I won't trivialise Abang Med's uncanny ability in remembering details.

Everyone lingered outside, taking their time. Except Abang Med who was already in his car. Kak Eda and I decided to take a ride with him.

Kak Eda was stumped to know that her aunts were "waiting in the wings".
"No wonder.... I thought I saw someone who looked like Wak Mah just now", she said, shaking her head.
I was just as surprised because nobody filled me in on this subterfuge.

As we reached the gate outside the police station, Kak Piah rushed to a row of shophouses nearby and disappeared in the five-footway.
Then, you could see Wak Mah and the Singapore entourage emerging. They stood in a line just at the edge of the "kaki lima".

Everyone waited. It was like waiting for the royal motorcade to pass. Indeed, the only things missing were little flags with which to wave.

Then, a red sedan emerged from the gate of the police station. It turned left and out the road. The car moved very slowly.

Wak Mah, Wak Hussain,Wak Lah, Wak Eichon and the others stood, their hands waving very unobtrusively. They eyed the passing car, trying to catch a good look at a particular occupant inside.

Everything moved in slow motion. The car, the waving of the hands, the turning of the heads. Bapak had his head visibly near the window and smiled at them.

They did not take their eyes off the sedan until it disappeared around the corner.

Then, almost in tandem, they broke into cries of joy, relief. Passers-by gave my aunts and cousins a second look, probably wondering what the fuss was all about.

"Alhamdulillah! Ya Allah" Wak Mah uttered. She was in tears. She was overjoyed.

That was their last goodbye -- Wak Mah and her beloved little brother.

Everyone finally regained their composure. Mak was all smiles as she hugged her sisters-in-law. It was a touching, moving moment. And if I could understand then what a feel-good moment was, that was certainly one.

Just as everyone was happily recounting that "slow-motion" event, they saw a familiar mini minor zoomed past them.

"Bye bye....", Kak Eda and I shouted from inside the mini minor as Abang Med tried not to lose the sedan.

I could see the stunned faces of our dear mother, sisters and aunts. Abang Ani's look of disbelief blurred past me. This was going to be an exciting adventure.

52 comments:

raden galoh said...

Feel like sitting in a cinema with the big sreen showing all those incidents....so vividly clear sis...

TWB Compiler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
prufrock said...

Nuraina,

Am willing to bet my little pinkie that someone will have to answer dearly to Allah swt at Padang Mahshar for having changed your father's address from 16/7 to 'Kemunting'; for presumptuously playing god with his life. I could hazard a guess who the chap is and who provoked him into triggering off the emergency ordinance; but if I did that, I am sure those gelap khas boys you spoke of would bristle down my neck. And so, being the coward that I am, I won't.

Kata Tak Nak said...

What could I say, another gem. You are getting very good at this.

Just curious, did the thought that your bapak will never see freedom ever crossed your mind?

J.T. said...

There were so many unspoken "Kodak moments". Yet another gripping segment of TWB.
Now I have to wait another week to know if you, Kak Eda and Abang Med managed to trail that sedan.

Hamdan said...

Outside along the five-foot way of the nearby shops, Wak Mah, Wak Lah, Wak Eichon and Cik Ah waited patiently. With them were Wak Hussain (Wak Eichon's husband), Cik Salleh (Cik Ah's husband) and two or three of our cousins.

Should Bapak be told that his sisters were outside waiting just to catch a glimpse of him, so that he'd not look the other way?


Kak Nuraina, my tears just flowed and flowed ... I could feel I was there at the Jalan Bandar kaki lima with your aunts.

Here's wishing Pak Samad the best for his twilight years. Please send my Salam to him, and a little "Happy Birthday" too...

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

raden: i try to remember details and say it as vividly as i can.
thank u for visiting.

Prufrock : i can bet on that too. thank u, prufrock

KTN: yes..we all did.. but, there were moments of hope.

JT: thanks JT. till next tuesday then ...

hamdan ; oh dear....
thank u for the salam and wish. i will sampaikan.

zewt said...

not being able to say goodbye to his sister must have been tough on your dad... i can just imagine the feeling... cos i felt that last month.

sesat said...

The penultimate paragraph is a beauty. I can just visualise the sleuth-playing scene and it is like one of those car-trailing scenes we often see in movies. Funnily, though, the image I see is not in technicolour but in black & white. I must have seen too many old movies. Can't wait to read what became of this expedition by Sherlock Holmes and his two little Dr. Watson's.

Ibu said...

Tak dapat jumpa tuan punya badan, nampak bumbung kereta & silhoutte from cermin kereta pun jadi ya...

Shame on some of us who take for granted the presence of our loved ones within reach !

mekyam said...

NAS: That was their last goodbye -- Wak Mah and her beloved little brother.

Poignant!

NAS: "Bye bye....", Kak Eda and I shouted from the mini minor as Abang Med tried not to lose the sedan.

Love the Abang Med Jason Bournish cliffhanger, crazy sisters notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Kak Ena

The more I read TWB, feel like part of your experience or kalau boleh nak be at that moments.

My wish the continue of TWB will be next day not next week, coz tak sabar nak tunggu tujuh or enam hari lagi... hehhehehe

Nani-Big Apple

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

zewt : It was hard for my dad. Thanks for sharing yr story about yr mom.

Sesat : sometimes it is black and white for me too! Thanks again,,

Ibu : Jadi-lah nampak bumbung kereta. Thanks again, Ibu.

Mekyam : thank u, Mekyam

Nani : Alahai...i am glad it is that way for you...
everyday? ayoyo....

Rocky's Bru said...

Ena,
Never knew that your dad lost his sister while he was in detention. Damn! He must have wept inside when he was told about her passing. Didn't Ghazalie Shafie and Hussein Onn let him out to bury his sister? That would have been the right thing to do. He was the only brother to his sisters, man. Even the British wouldn't have been that cruel.
I agree totally with Prufrock: someone will have to answer for this ...

Thank you.

Putera Mataram said...

Orang Melayu pasal aniaya orang, terutamanya bangsa sendiri, memang handal.

Tak berhati perut.

Dulu King, sekarang dah nak Kong.

Nuraina, saya takkan menangis untuk sesiapa dari bangsa saya sendiri yang menzalimi manusia lain.

Dajhalie orang itu.

Untuk Pak Samad, selamat hari jadi Pak Samad. Maaf terlambat sikit. Semoga panjang umur dan sihat walfiat.

lubok melayu said...

adik nuraina,
pasti perit sekali derita ayahanda,
menangisi kepergian orang yang disayangi
dan yang menyayanginya.
dan kejam sungguh orang itu. kejam sekali. tapi Allah maha berkuasa. hari ini orang yang dulu bergelar raja tidak punya tahta, tidak punya kerabat.
Kawan dan taulan entah kemana.
Lain Bapak mu, tetap dipuja dan disanjung. tidak lemau garing erti, tidak basi hati dan budi.
Semua bakal lihat, bila matinya raja yang zalim itu, kuburnya pasti terlalu sempit untuk dosa-dosanya terhadap sesama insan.

Roxanne said...

I've to say it again ... I'm in love with your family Nuraina.

TWB Compiler said...

Prufrock wrote: "...for having changed your father's address from 16/7 to 'Kemunting'"

Prufrock:

In one of Nuraina's earlier postings, she wrote that Pak Samad was not incarcerated in Kemunting.

Click here for her post
http://strawbox.com/TWB/comments.asp?issue=2&category=2&title=Morning%20Was%20Broken#37

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Rocky,

Things happen for a reason. We cursed the person responsible for my dad's incarceration.That was, of course, wrong. You know what? Over those dark years, we learnt to understand things. We learnt to forgive (though, inexplicably, to not forget).
God moves in mysterious ways. We understand what "penganiayaan" is. Bapak's detention taught me about keinsafaan and keampunan.

A commentor (in TWB) had asked me why we had not forgiven King Ghaz. Could we not find it in us to forgive him? Truth is. We long had (forgiven Ghaz). In fact, Ghaz had become irelevant to us a long time ago.

WHen Bapak lost Wak Mah, he must have wept. He must have. Wak Mah was like a mother to him. By that time, Bapak had found solace in Allah SWT, the quran and the yassin. I believe that was how Bapak kept his sanity intact.
It is hard to believe that the tough nut, Pak Samad,that way.But his incarceration was a spiritual cleansing process. Anyway, what could he do all those years in confinement? Read, read, read. Pray,pray, pray. He was not in Kamunting, with the advantage of having other detainees for company.For a great part of his detention, it was solitary.

I remember when he was back in NST after his release, an employee who was going through distress and trouble, involving threats from a bomoh (this employee related this to his colleagues) sought Bapak's help.
The story was that Bapak advised the man to seek divine intervention -- dont miss his prayers, recite the yassin a certain number of times after prayers.... and if that did not work, to take Bapak to that pesky bomoh. Hahaaa... how do you like that?

After he was told of Wak Mah's passing, he said : "Aku sedekahkan doa dan yassin kepada Arwah...itu saja yang aku mampu".

In many many ways, Bapak's incarceration was a blessing. That is the only way for us to come to terms with it.

It had to happen for so many reasons.

I have never thought that I'd be the one to be narrating certain events involving my dad's incarceration.And never imagined that Malaysians today would be interested.

PS, Rocky -- Bapak was not the only brother they had. Bapak was the eldest boy (and first surviving) in the family. They had two younger brothers -- Cik Din Kamaruddin) and Cik Jid (Abdul Majid).

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Putera Mataram: Terima Kasih. Kita hanya mampu berdoa. Semuanya terjadi dengan izin Allah SWT.

Lubok Melayu : Penganiayaan, kezaliman.. Kalau kita, dengan penuh keimanan, melewati dugaan ini semua, kita akan jadi insan yang lebih tabah, lebih kuat dan sukar di gentar.

Saudara,Lubok, kita semua tahu balasan Allah SWT kepd mereka yg melakukan kezaliman dan penganiayaan.Dan ganjaran kpd mereka yg di zalimi dan di aniayai. Terima Kasih.Saya bukan pakar, tapi itu yang saya tahu.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Roxanne --

Ooooh, youu. Too much, Roxanne, you're just too much.

Okay-now. Wht I really wanted to say is: Thank you, Rox. Thanks.

The Ancient Mariner said...

I believe the instrument of the 'penganiayaan', the ISA should be removed since it obviously has been abused by the powers that be and caused a lot of grief to individuals and families.

We cannot just hope for divine justice and allow perpetrators to go scot free.

There have been many others in similar fate. Whats their story?

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

ancient mariner: Aye aye, cap'n SIr,

I agree with you, Captain. The ISA is a mean brutal instrument ready to be abused by the perpetrators of injustice.

mekyam said...

Dear NAS,

I know I shouldn't come back to TWB11 because it was too hearbreaking for a second reading.

But there's the call of your comment box and the many lovely comments. I had to come.

Big mistake. Bigger mistake was reading them and your additional bits with 'Semalam Di Malaya' by D'LLoyd (I don't have the original by Affendi) in my ears... now I'm one soppy mess! =C

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Mekyam,

Oh! You silly girl! Coming back to TWB thinking you could happily go through it....sans any attack of emotion/sentiment/etc etc

Now, see what you've done to yourselve?

Mekyam, thank you so much.... and for coming (into TWB) again and again....
you are masochist! i swear you are..

muststopthis said...

kak Ena...like Hamdan said..
Am in the office, and in between, I drop into my fav blogs....
Kinda hard to explain, red eyes...

looking froward to next tuesday...

the Razzler said...

`That was their last goodbye -- Wak Mah and her beloved little brother.'

Kak Eda ..

I cried.

I am awed by Pak Samad's strength & perseverance.

My deepest respect & wish for Pak Samad all the best for his twilight years.

I looked forward to next TWB.

abu rabu aka ash wednesday said...

Sesat wrote: "I can just visualise the sleuth-playing scene and it is like one of those car-trailing scenes we often see in movies."

Mekyam wrote: "Love the Abang Med Jason Bournish cliffhanger, crazy sisters notwithstanding."


It's painful to admit, but I'm no macho guy.

The only workout I do these days is solve Sudoku puzzles. And even then, only if I don't have to get off my chair to look for a pencil and eraser.

Yes, it's true. I'm hardly Jason Bourne material, then or now. I've always been the typical exercise-averse, nerdy, geek-type bookworm. No prizes for guessing that I'd be the first to run from a fight.

But put me behind the wheel of a car, and it's a different story.

There's something about being behind the wheel of a car that gives the driver a sense of power, a sense of invincibility that can turn the meekest man into an aggressive alpha male wannabe.

I learned how to drive when I was 14, with my best friend Radha (who was even nerdier and geekier than I). Boys my age were school athletes and soccer players. Radha and I were not, but we were one better - we could drive!

Often after school, I would take my friends for a drive around the neighbourhood. It reached a point where Mak had to hide the car keys, though not always successfully.

Years later, when I got my licence, I was a veritable terror on the road. I never allowed any car to overtake me. Unless Mak was a passenger. Today, of course, age has mellowed me and slowed my reflexes somewhat. I don't drive faster than 140 kph in a 90 kph zone. (Just kidding. I obey traffic rules. Scout's honour.)

Fast forward to the Jalan Bandar Police Station scene.

Sure, I was neither sleuth nor spy, but I was in my domain. I was driving. Not just any car, MY car. A Mini. The epitome of agility on the road.

Hamdan said...

Kak Nuraina

Just can't wait til next Tue. It's going to be Labour Day but bloggers aren't labours, are they? :-)

Like Mekyam, I just can resist coming here again and again....

Class Monitor said...

salam Kak,

A confession by Lee Kuan Yu in his autobio written some years ago
'Samad is one of the smartest Malay I has come about.'
and history yet to be rewritten again.

So do the dismiss of Allahyarham Ma'roff a prominent name we pass the lane almost everyday.The very least the BMA of Malaya admit their predicament.

We are celeberating our 50th Mederka annevesery.Let held a solituted Amen to the great lost soul to the socio political awareness to the following generation namely Allahyarham Ahmad Bostamam,Allahyarham Dr.Burhanuddin Al'Helmi,Allahyarhama Kahtijah Sidek,late Dr.Tan Su Koon,Allahyarham Dato Ibrahim the late Father of Allahyarham Dato Hassan Ibrahim the prominient civil servant dare to wipe out the corruptted civil servant during his tenure at JPJ,RISDA,etc.Allahyarham Said Azahari etc.and many more unsong heros not mention.
Probably someone could develop a blog to commorate those names a 'Contributor To Nation Awareness'
As Arwah Pak Tongkat Warrant famous poem recite 'Bunga Poppy'ku taburkan di pusara mu.

Wassalam kak.Tumpang lalu ya.....

p.s I wrongly place at the other Tuesday 10.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

mekyam,

i meant to say:

"Now see what you've done to yourSELF". sorry... spelling error or brain freeze.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

mustopthis (tony) : there, there....evrything's going to be alright.
thank u, tony for visiting Tuesdays With Bapak.

The Razzler: I hope it isnt too much for you.
thank u.

Hamdan : Thnak you, hamdan...

Cheryl said...

Another gripping chapter, another unresolved cliff-hanger.

Nuraina, you make me want to skip the rest of the week and do a hyper jump straight to next Tuesday. If Mekyam is a masochist, then surely you are a sadist.

Oh, the thrill you must be enjoying, keeping us all in suspense...

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Sis Ena

Am I a callous, insensitive twat, or what? On the brink of tears, after reading TWB11, but still no “airmata di Riyadh” yet. Had you dwell longer on that special bonding between Wak Mah and Pak Samad, or had I read all the first 11 series of TWB in one-go, then the tears of deep sorrow and pain over the suffering inflicted on other human beings would surely be shed. As it is, 10-15 minutes of TWB each week is insufficient to melt my emotionally hardened soul, although it burned an imprint. Admittedly, I did cry buckets (and shamelessly infront of people) on two recent occasions. First in 2001, towards the end of my 70 minutes of “hard talk” with the two external examiners during the oral defence (viva) of my PhD thesis (needless to say it was tears of joy), and secondly when I read Azmi Khalid – Human Rights Advocate (2002) from cover to cover in one sitting (well, almost) at McDonalds in Mid Valley. The book is a tribute to Azmi Khalid, a former UM law lecturer, not the celebrity politician.

Rocky wrote:
Never knew that your dad lost his sister while he was in detention
*******
Yes TWB is indeed a revelation, and refreshingly unpredictable. Can’t help to be nosey, any juicy advance on a publishing deal, yet?

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

cheryl,

hmmmm..... i was wondering when you'd be visiting...

i think in my previous life, i must have been a sadist...

Hohoho! not supposed to believe in previous life/lives, although I know some people lead double lives. But that's another story.
Thanks., Cheryl.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

aMiR: i know what you mean...
i am glad you read TWB, anyway...tears or no tears.
good news on yr thesis.

and our Minister has a namesake?

thanks for visiting...

shar101 said...

Morbid Tuesdays TWB read on a Wednesday seems to be a habit lately.

Am just glad that MRTs (that's Mee Rebus Tuesdays to those 'blur, blur' types) are held on...uhhh..Tuesdays and not Wednesdays.

Can't imagine the huggings, sobbings and tons of tissues being handed out all round. Besides, who'd have the appetite..except for BigDog (he.he).

Anywayz, Nuraina. Noticed you're using Lat's caricatures for your TWB postings. How about some old family photos which may coincide with the article you're writing. It would really add focus, impact and a sense of historical significance.

Just wondering...

TWB Compiler said...

Ena

Could u pls remove my first post (between raden galoh and prufrock)? The link looks ugly.

Use the following one instead.

- The link to previous TWB posts in one convenient location is .

M-i-H said...

Ena,
Will we, Malaysians, ever let something like this happen again? Will we sit quietly if the government abducts a man and keep him apart from his family for 5 years, notwithstanding a death in the family?
I hope now. I hope we have learnt our lesson from Pak Samad's case.

Mat Salo said...

I've run out of superlatives already - and the serialization can only get better. Now I know that your Bapak and I share a common spirit - we both smoke Dunhills!

But my Doc said better quit lah,I might not be made of the same genetic stuff as your Bapak. What more his literary genes!

But seriously, Sis - every phrase, every line is so goddamlingly well crafted.

Great Stuff. Now I'm truly humbled, not just by your writing but the hardship you had to go through.

Signing off from Kalimantan Timur,

Yours very truly.

wanshana said...

I have been following the unfolding of TWB for a good while, and I must say that this entry REALLY tugged my heart BIG TIME...and I told myself I just HAVE to leave my comment this time.

I was smiling, crying,and pondering on the meaning of a true family - ALL at the same time, as I imagined, oh SO clearly, the events which you, oh SO vividly depicted!

Like so many others out there, I feel like I know your family personally, and like many others out there, too, (believe it or not?!) I check your blog everyday, HOPING that you wake up everyday thinking that it's Tuesday and post an entry on TWBs!

Your postings (and YOU!) are just gems...

zainul said...

Hey Nuraina

I remember Pak Samad once told me that the first several weeks of his arrest were the toughest when they would try to break him.

He said he was probably held in a cell somewhere in Bukit Aman, though he confessed that he was only guessing.

He said one of the persons in the nearby cell was TS Abdullah Ahmad or DKL. Being political detainees they had the whole area for the both of them, though there were several cells there.

DKL once said, and i think you were there too when he said it, they used to shout at each other across the floor to find out how the other was doing. It was also a way to keep sane.

I am uncertain of the relationship between DKL and Pak Samad, though I sense it was always one of unease, even perhaps adversorial.

Anyway both spent more than five years under ISA from political persecution.

Whatever we want to say about any of them, or their politics, the fact that they survived the incarceration and could pick up after that is testimony to their characters.

Many of us cannot survive a week without our cellphone.

cheers

sic6sense said...

wow Noraini. first time here and i read everything.

i was a colleague of Lalin's husband back in the mid 90s. Remembered going to the house in Sec 16 for lunch a couple of times. the food was always good. Not sure if Nik was pulling my leg, but he said the 'old fella' prepared it. :)

Athene said...

nuraina, this might sound really funny (as in weird), but as I was reading TWB11 yesterday, the music from 'empire of the sun' kept playing in my mind & the whole story was running in a slo-mo, almost surreal kind of thing, macam mimpi... and it continued the whole of yesterday!

"Just as everyone was happily recounting that "slow-motion" event, they saw a familiar mini minor zoomed past them.

"Bye bye....", Kak Eda and I shouted from inside the mini minor as Abang Med tried not to lose the sedan.

I could see the stunned faces of our dear mother, sisters and aunts. Abang Ani's look of disbelief blurred past me. This was going to be an exciting adventure"


the things we do for family, the sudden strength & bravery, memamg kadang2 tu tak masuk dek akal.

you are truly a great storyteller.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

shar101: thank u for the suggestion. as a matter of fact, kak Ton and Azah plan to take out some of Mak's stuff that were kept inside one of the rooms in the section 16 house (where Bapak is staying with Mak Cik and Nina & family). All the old photos are there.

MIH : I really cant answer that, MIH. Let's hope that one day very very soon, someone in position to effect change will be brave enouhg to do what is right.

Mat Salo : Apa Khabar? Thank u.. we will see u in 7 weeks, right?
Jangan Kafe 4-teen tutup kedai sudah.

Wanshana: Thank you. There were times when i remembered something, I just felt like posting it, and not usually on a tuesday. Hope to "see" u again soon

Athene: Wow! really? so weird, i know. thank u.

Sic6Sense: Nik's friend? Nik wasnt kidding. One of the things he did while in detention was cooking. He turned out to be quite a chef.

Zainul: Hi Zainul.. yes.. I do remember. But that was I believe during the early days of their detention. The 3 Abduls (Abdul Samad, Abdullah Ahmad and Abdul Majid) were then still being interrogated.

cheryl said...

Nuraina

You wrote:

"cheryl

hmmmm..... i was wondering when you'd be visiting..."

As a fan of TWB, I make it a habit to visit regularly. I may not always post a comment, but I drop by nonetheless, catching up on the latest comments. The comments are interesting in and of themselves.

Speaking of comments, your Kak Ton is conspicuous by her uncharacteristic silence.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina,
Kalau dibuat filem, mesti box-office. Tapi, I will wait (patiently) for the novel. I do not want to cry this week. Agak2nya mereka yang tunggu kereta lalu, ada bawa hankerchief putih untuk melambai2? Thats how I remember my late dad when I left for boarding school. Dia lambai dengan handkerchief dia. I left village at 9yrs. Dad wanted us to have a better life so that meant boarding school. We survived(barely). Tapi sempat juga balas jasa kepada orang tua. Waiting for next week's episode. salam to u, family, Bapak and all at home and esp. to Sharmaine (dah jadi my anak tau!)Muah muah.

Rubiah Ariff

Keanorlinsya said...

aunty ena,
i really enjoy reading ur story and ur adventures. also some misadventures (if there is any) lets just call them experience shall we?
i love the way you write and tell your story. it makes me feel somehow, in a way i am related to you. u managed to make me choke my tears from every post.
keep it coming, i love ur blog.

Ps: Im 18, therefore i think it is appropriate for me to call u aunty ena. Plus, i think my mum went to ITM with you because she's also a friend of Fatimah Abu Bakar and Aunty Ah (unless i got a her mistaken). You may know her, her name is Faikha.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

cheryl; That is really so nice to know... thank u.
on kak ton's uncharacteristic silence -- i'm sure she's crafting something as we are communicating now...

rubiah; thanks, rubiah.
and rubiah, do you know that you too have a story to tell. leaving home at 9 yrs old for a better life... now, i would love to know more.
just had lunch with nina, azah and the kids.. nina dah lepas hari.
she asked about you. boleh?
she said if i ever "communicated" with you, to please kirim salam. so i am kirim-ing her salam. And Bapak and everyone else...
Sharmaine says :" hello aunty rubiah".

keanorlinsya: Hello there. thank you so much for visiting Jalan Sudin.
Of course I know your mom. I do remember her very well.
Please please say hi to her.
Take care.

kak ton said...

Nuraina said…

That was their last goodbye -- Wak Mah and her beloved little brother.

===================================

In fact, that was the last time the three sisters - Wak Mah. Wak Lah and Wak Echon – bade farewell to their beloved little brother.

Although Wak Lah and Wak Echon died after Bapak was released, he could not attend their funeral in Singapore because he was not allowed to enter the country following his detention in 1976.

Wak Lah passed away in 1984 and Wak Echon two years later.

Bapak was allowed to enter Singapore 10 years after his release when LKY lifted the ban in 1991.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
QueenB said...

teruskan, teruskan