Sunday, September 4, 2011


SoerayaSurya – the Sun that rises in the morning of a breathtaking prairie. One day Soeraya was ordinary, next day she was a ravishing beauty; any makeup attempt from then on would be gilding the lily. She had become Soeraya le belle showered by rapid publicity. All boys struggled to take her hand competitively, but disappointment awaited as if traps beckoned Soeraya would avoid easily and if chain pinioned Soeraya would always be able to break free. She was as demure and lissom as every boy’s dream darling would be. I too, from afar, wanted her to be with me.

Soeraya turned into an unexplainable beauty all of a sudden. She was a bespectacled average girl who wore black head shawl extended below her hip. Every day she wore lose white-and-navy school uniform just like anyone else in school who claimed themselves ‘female’. Soeraya wore black canvas shoes, just like anyone else too. Soeraya’s skin reminded me of mashed potato; soft and yellowy, a few dots of ground black peppers scattered on the dome of her pubescent cheek. Her smile reminded me of a tomato slice cut into half; damp, rosy, and perfectly bent. She might have relocated the button of her everyday school uniforms’ wrist inward; so that when she raised her hand to ask teacher a question, other boys would not know whether she had visible veins criss-crossing her slender arm or whether she had minuscule hairs protruding out of her every sweat pore of her arm’s foreskin. I could not tell whether or not Soeraya was left-handed because she was in the second grade whereas I was at one level above. I only had the chance to gaze at Soeraya from distance during recess. Everything about Soeraya was about pride, honor, and privacy – the perfect ingredients of a real Melayu woman.

Soeraya died after involved in a road accident when crossing a street with a pack of sugar which she bought for her father held in her hand. She was hospitalized and bedridden in intensive care unit (ICU) for a week, then a long beep came out from a high-tech machine whose name I didn't bother asking told the nurses that she had gone forever. Soeraya left a pair of lovers grieving over the departure of their only child.

I do not know why Soeraya is special to me. I never said even a single word to her. For crying out loud, she might didn’t even know me. But I do hope angels had introduced me to her when they presented my prayer to Soeraya. She always loomed from my late Father’s vivid image, especially after performing my daily prayer. In other words, when I remember dead people, I remember Father and Soeraya. Then, other souls of the departed whom I knew very well came along: Acik Jang (my aunty, died of acute asthma), Mok Nenek (grandma, because God told her ‘your time has come’), Farok (my childhood friend, also died in a road accident), Idayu (died of Leukemia), Tok Ki Cher (my paternal grandpa, bedridden in ICU and died after mumbling too much uncertain words and the last word he had spoken was ‘Allah’), Chek Ngoh Song (my paternal grandma, left us soon after Tok Ki Cher’s departure), and many more.

I now know how Soeraya turned beautiful. She took off her eyeglasses, and started smiling every now and then; even in my imagination.

Soeraya – Thuraya – the Princess of my teenagehood memory.


  1. What a fertile imagination.

    Pakcik of Almanar

    I am forced to remain anonymous but recognisable

  2. That smile of her you took with you everyday means she lives on until this very day.

  3. i'm commenting just to let you know...

  4. Pak Cik of Almanar,
    This is the second time you said that. Hehe. Thank you.

    "Forced to remain anonymous"? Who forced you?

  5. The only boy from my childhood that I remember is a boy named Mazlan (I think) whom I had the hugest crush on and had no idea when he changed school back then.

    And I don't even remember his face.

    Not an important memory, I guess. :D

  6. J. Abdullah,
    The girl from my secondary school whom I had the hugest crush on is now parading photos of her first child on Facebook. Can you imagine that?

  7. hey, after reading this post again, i think i know who's her, n idayu too =)

  8. Muizz,
    Yes, we all know who Soeraya is. She turned beautiful all of a sudden, then almost all boys started get crazy over her. She's pretty, isn't she? But the new belle didn't live long. She died.

    Yes, Idayu too. I can still hear the cries of her bestfriends.

    What great losses we had back then.

  9. Hey pok deng... Soraya..apart from meaning matahari in malay.. It also means 'princess' in arabic.. A very touching high school story

  10. Anonymous,
    Yep, you're right!

    Soeraya. Soraya. Suraya. Surya. Suria. In sanskrit, it means matahari.

    Soeraya if spelt in Arabic - tha-ro-yaa-alif - it means princess. The Persian spelling is also the same.

  11. Hello Pok Deng. Selamat Hari Raya. Stopping by to say hi.

  12. Zubaidah Arshad,
    Hi Zubaidah Arshad! Selamat Hari Raya. Nice to meet you.

  13. Damn...I'm so envy of your english pok deng...btw nice story..

    from: anonymous from tesdec ;p

  14. Pok Deng,
    ambe takleh bukok rage against moron?

  15. I have deleted Rage Against The Moron because it is too personal, less poetry than other posts, and full of FUCK words. Oppps... I say it again. So I think I better keep my pent-up emotion inside. As a result, I now need someone to punch at. Give me your ex, Mak Piah.

  16. Pok Deng:
    heheheh. U r too intelligent to punch anyone..:)

  17. orang kacak tidak boleh marah. Yang waras, ngalah.

  18. Mak Piah,
    Wow how you know I am kacak. That's true! I look like Johny Depp. In movies, Johnny Depp can punch many people. So do I.