Monday, March 28, 2011

Buns For Father

Father's profession may sound fancy (at least, to me), but his monthly salary is not enough for him to buy himself new clothes. I always saw him checking out t-shirts at supermarket but he always put them back before asking me "A-a-a-Along nok t-shirt dok?" and I said no I don't want any, because I was already a twenty-one year old lad with a good brain to tell myself that I had no valid reason to not to understand his financial state, and I kept this emotion for too long, that I always wanted to cry seeing him without buying new clothes for ten years, so that's why I said no.

Walking out from the supermarket, he stopped by a snack stall, looking at the fluffy steamy Chinese buns, each marked with a dot of food colouring; pink, green, yellow on its dome — indicating meat curry, red beans, and sweet grated coconut fillings, respectively — but Mother just walked straight ahead leaving him craving buns which he could not afford to buy it because he only had RM5 in his wallet to be spent for a cup of coffee and a perhaps a piece of toast spread with kaya at the nearest kopitiam while working at overnight hours so that he can get extra allowances that feed us decent meals all this while.

Few moons later his brother give him a pair of new shoes so that he can wear it while working overnight, but he later offered them to me, "a-a-a-Along nok kasut ni?" and I said no I don't want it. I don't wanna wear it, that's not my kind of shoes that I like to wear. Of course I lied! That was a nice expensive shoes, but sorry I did not have the heart to take it because my uncle said "that's for you", not "that's for your son", but why he still wanted to give me that damn gift he had just received from his brother?! That was a really nice pair of shoes. Why you wanted to give it to me, dad? Just take it. Wear it. I had never seen you wear new shoes before. All I saw at the shoe rack were my shoes which I did not wear them anymore because I had just got new ones, so I left them at home, and I know you wear them while working overnight. Just take it, dad.

I extended my academic calendar in 2010 because I failed three subjects in university. I faced serious financial problems during those hard period. But I did not know, Father at home was facing his hard times too, maybe worse. He did not have enough money to buy groceries because parts of of his salary and allowances were channeled to my bank account so that I can eat decent meals everyday. So what did Father and Mother eat at home? Nasi goreng? Roti cicah air teh? Jemput ikan bilis? I did not know. I did not eat decent meals everyday because the money he gave to me was also not enough. So within three days of each week, I ate three cengkodoks (dumplings) a day and drank tap water. But I did not tell Father about this because I'm a tough guy. Tough guy does not complain.

Father was craving kuih lompang two days before his demise. We could not find any.


  1. "Tough guy does not complain."

    im a tough guy, so i wont complain about my emotion upon reading this one.

    nope, i wont cos im a tough guy.

  2. i sense tears in my eyes..
    i used to live in hardships..
    so i know..
    but the hard days are gone..
    hello sunshine
    but memories still lingering
    so we can be proud of who we are, where we came from and what makes n breaks us..

  3. Tears welled up when I read this.
    You are indeed a tough guy, Sir.

  4. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. That's what I like to believe. I'm not a guy, but I'm tough and so I will not complain either.

  5. You there Statistic whizkid.... why don't you try work for papers... be a columnist. Turn your passion into financial gains.

    if you don't try, u'll never know.

  6. Have a share of similar if not a tad worse experience of childhood poverty..

  7. i agree with mr. goodaspirin. yours is much better than 'aku hidup dalam blues' (blergh!!)

  8. sastraboy,
    Lemme see your bicep.

    Naaaaahh... still need more work-out.

  9. reen,
    I'm glad it happened to me. I know life is very interesting.

  10. Lisa Farhana,
    Yep, I do many push-ups each day!

  11. Jiyuu,
    Nobody can kill me. That's what I like to believe.

  12. Goodaspirin,
    No I still got a lot of other things to do.

  13. Wan Sharif,
    Good for you, Ayoh Wang.

  14. yoh teh,
    That's alright, yoh teh. Everything is going to be just fine.

  15. Bluey,
    Napok sangak dulu penoh baco menate tuh dop? eheh.

  16. Your merepek comments are what I like best about you.

  17. heheh...nate mu pok deng ;p well, at least dio lukih katun lawa. but seriously, i wince every time i read your got something and it's worth $$$, man!!

    better focus on your new job now. Congrats, by the way ;] (lupa wish..sorry!)

  18. I am glad you have this channel to release some pent up feelings.