Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My big brother - Part 2

My late brother, Zulkiflie Sulaiman stood at almost 6 foot tall, had always been overweight for as long as I could remember and he never complained about the food our mom prepared. His appetite was always good, if anyone was having eating disorder, they could just sit and watch him ate, and they'd feel hungry immediately. He was one of the people in this world who really appreciated food. When our mom cooked chicken, he'd even chew the bones. If you served him fish, there'd be just cleaned bones left for the cats.

The last memorable meal I had with him was in KK. My family went there for a short vacation and he treated us at one of the famous seafood places. We had fried garoupa, buttered prawn and a very special rice, I think it was called garlic rice. He was telling us about Sabah food and how different they were than the food in Pahang.

When I was in primary school there were two famous Zuls in the kampung. One was Zul Tompel and the other one was my late brother, people nicknamed him Zul Gemuk. If strangers met me on the bus or in town and asked my name, I'd just told them I was Zul Gemuk's little sister. Then they'd say 'Aaaaah, koi kenal abang awok...' and they'd share at least one of the things that they remembered most about him: some silly incident or some of his funny remarks.

My brother made many friends and they all had great memories of him. Many of the older Makciks and Uwans in the kampung were very fond of him because of his warm personality. I noticed he'd usually greet the older Uwans with 'Amboi, lawo betul wan kita hari ni yek. Nok kone melawo ngat ni?'

I remember when I received the offer from KPM to study in STF JB, my parents were so worried because we had no relative and didn't know a single soul in JB. Luckily, my late brother had a friend who happened to have a sister living in JB. So, one night, two days before registering myself at STF, my late brother drove me and my mom to the train station in Triang for the night KTM MEL train to JB. His friend's sister greeted us in JB and brought us to her house. She also brought us shopping for my school needs somewhere in Tampoi.

About a month later I decided to go home during the CNY break. When I booked the ticket, Kak Normah (the garang sick bay lady ) told me that the train won't stop at Triang because it was such a small station and she had never even heard of the town name. I was so stupid to believe her so I bought the ticket to Mentakab. We didn't have a telephone at home then, I could only contact my late brother at his office. So, the afternoon before my train back I told him that I was not sure which station I could go off. He told me he'd wait for me at Bahau station at around 4a.m.

That night, once the MEL train reached Bahau, I looked for him through the window but he was not there. It was a short stop, so after about 2 minutes the train started to leave the station and that's when I saw him with a few of his friends waving at me. I couldn't go off there and then because the coach was too crowded and the train had started moving. I saw them running towards his car.

When the train reached Triang station I quickly looked around and suddenly I heard him screaming my name. I hurried to the coach door where there were people sitting and standing half asleep. The train was about to leave so I jumped onto the platform and ran towards my late brother. On our short journey home he was telling me how fast he drove from Bahau to Triang to make sure they didn't miss me again. He was almost breathless when we reached home. Now everytime I watched The Amazing Race, I'm always reminded of that night. That was like the sweetest thing someone had done to me (chasing a train with a car - macam cerita Hindustan pun ada.)

... to be continued....


Didie said...

Very touching. Al-Fatihah to arwah.
Btw, evilnya Kak Normah. Sib baik ler zaman kitorang book train ticket ngan En. Ahdan (eh, betul ke namanya??)

D.N.A.S said...

Didie, yg kelakar tu saya bagitau Kak Normah masa nak datang JB aritu saya naik train kat stesen Triang tu lah. Still dia tak percaya & told me train ke Pantai Timur tak stop kat situ. Masa tu mmg rasa nak nangis.