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Monday, May 23, 2011

My Big Brother - Part 3

My late brother, Zulkiflie Sulaiman was our source for entertainment back in the 70s and 80s. I still remember the cassettes and cartridges he bought and we had battery powered players. There was no electricity supply in our kampung back in the 70s and early 80s. So when I was about 4 or 5 years old, we'd sat together in my brother's room and listened to the songs. My favorites then were Boney M, Latiff Ibrahim, ABBA and a few compilation albums which I couldn't remember the titles but some of the songs were Sunny, Designer Music, Ring My Bell, Get Down On It, That's The Way (I like it) from singers never heard by today's teenagers.

When I was in Standard 2 (1982) my late brother brought home a borrowed VCR player and rented a few video tapes. That weekend we watched a very interesting Malay movie: MEKANIK. We had been watching too many black and white P Ramlee movies on TV1 and TV2 that when we first saw MEKANIKwe thought it was very refreshing and exciting. When I watched that movie again on YouTube recently, I realized that some of the scenes would have been snipped by Censor Board if it were to be screened today. There's one scene where Teh Faridah was looking so sexy in the rain wearing a wet white shirt and a Hindi song was played. My mom heard it and said, 'Eh, lagu Bobby.' My brother and I were so young and had never heard of the movie Bobby then, so we asked many questions to my mom. The next weekend my late brother rented Bobby and we watched it 7 times.

My late brother was born a people person. He just loved making people happy, being around many people and interacting. Every Ramadhan, he would be our master stirrer when it was making dodol time. My late grandma or my mom would be the mastermind, measuring the flour, sugar and coconut milk but my late brother would be the one to slave himself near the hot kawah, stirring and stirring until the dodol was ready. He'd do the same when it was making lemang day. He'd patiently wait near the fire and when my late grandma told him it's time to turn or stomp the bamboo, he'd do it one by one. He just enjoyed doing those things while chit chatting with my late grandma to get more tips and listened to some of her pre-Japanese occupancy stories.

I have to say that my late brother really enjoyed everything he did, he's always spending his quality time with the family and cared for us a lot. He's the eldest, so it's not a surprise.

The only surprise I got was in 1988 when I came home for a short school break. I didn't take the train because on of my juniors was going back to Temerloh in her dad's car. I made a thick face to tumpang her. It was a smooth journey and I was so happy I didn't have to stand for 8 hours in the MEL train. But when I reached home, my late father broke the sad news. My eldest brother ran away from home.

I couldn't think or react when I listened to my late father telling me how my brother left home one night, saying he's going to KL (he traveled to KL quite frequently, so it was not something that would make my mom suspicious ). Then, after a few days he didn't come back. He didn't go to work. He didn't apply for any leave. He was not contactable (those days belum ada handphone ye...) and none of his good friends knew his whereabout or what was he planned when he left for KL.

My family, especially my parents were worried sick. We couldn't figure out why he left so suddenly. My late father was having a very hard time then. He couldn't think of a single thing that he has done that might have offended my late brother, that could've make him decided to run away. Nobody knew if my late brother was having any problem either work related or personal. People from his office didn't notice anything weird about him, so did my family members. He just acted normal before he decided to leave.

My parents did what people would normally do ina  missing person's case. They contacted the authority and the  search started. Ports, airports and Department of Immigration confirmed that there was no record of my late brother leaving the country. Then my parents went to see a very old Indonesian man whom we knew had extra strong 6th sense - his name was Tokki Jelani. Tokki Jelani told my parents not to worry because my eldest brother was still alive then but he had crossed the ocean.

Tokki Jelani didn't tell whether it was Hindi Ocean, South China Sea, or Atlantic Ocean but we knew that by then my eldest brother had left us to be somewhere else. We're not sure whether he was running away from someone or something but deep inside we all knew that he would never come back to our kampung.

.....to be continued....


3 comments:

Fadh said...

xsabar nk baca kisah seterus nye walau sebahagian nye koi dh tau...

D.N.A.S said...

Okay Cuyat, kalau koi ter miss apa-apa nanti aok tolong tokok tamboh ye. Koi pun banyak yang dah ingat2 lupa. Nak susun ikut kronologi pun satu hal jugek.

Fadh said...

insyallah...