Thursday, September 5, 2013

an old car, driven by an old man

into the twilight of their years.
is how I'll remember him.


In the passenger seat I stare in silent bewilderment
at the amount of corrosion the floor under my feet have gone through
(as I see glimpses of the road below!)

It wasn't scary though; because we were moving so slow.
Sluggish enough to hog the SLOW lane of the road.

The old car
with non-functioning air-conditioning
and windows which have lost the ability to roll down
trap within the mellow whiff of old age.


The old man
was, for his seniority, still going strong;
alert and active.

The same can't be said for his ride.

For the old car was clearly now
showing its mileage.
Nothing but scrap metal, still moving.


But the old man,
just could not, would not
bring himself to let go of that white Mazda.

For, in many ways
man and car had become much the same:
Slow, but steady enough.
Falling apart, but somehow reliable.

An old car, driven by an old man
into the twilight of their years.


*                    *                    *

I come back home now,
to find a red Kancil
standing vigil outside my house.

The old man had eventually given in,
trading in the beat-up Mazda,
for a less beat-up Kancil.

But the sight of the Kancil
to me, somehow, feels like an affront.
An offense, almost.

I guess,
for too long I had identified
the old man with that Mazda


Now he is gone.

The old man had eventually given in
to death.


All that's left for me to wonder, is
where is the old car?
if it even exists still?

For most probably
it, too, is now gone.

Befitting, perhaps.
After all,

an old car, driven by the old man
into the twilight of their years,
is how I will remember him.




______________________________________________________

Work of non-fiction.

A tribute to a man who is by right my step-grandfather, but might as well be my real one. I had known him my whole life, but he left me while I was studying in a land far away. 

A man who in his life, had given me many lessons, leaves me with this profound final reminder:

"[God] created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed 
- and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving" [67:2]

I do miss you, Kung Kung...

Friday, January 18, 2013

wedding photo

I sip some mango juice from the cheap polystyrene cup; a taste too sour for my liking.
As I sit alone at a table, surrounded by meals bygone.

They are all there, in the family lawn; the proud father, the joyful mother, a gaggle of excited friends. People who had seen her take her first steps, now seeing her take her first steps into holy matrimony.

I glance at the happy couple on the cheap wooden dais; a sight too sour for my liking.
As I seat alone at the table, head filled with memories bygone.

Through the shower of confetti, our eyes met. Once the moment would have been filled by love, now just disappointment.

Suddenly her mother calls me over. Come and join us, she says; in her voice a trace of sympathy. I relented, and stood up to join them.

Smiling weakly, knowing that it should be me sitting beside her. But instead, today I am just another friend in her wedding photo.