You're A Gem

It's close to midnight. I rushed after Bible Study to key this entry. The cyber cafe at my condo's pretty empty and for RM 2, I'm plagued with slow connection speed. You just can't trust technology.

Today feels like New Year's Eve. For some reason, there's a sense of anticipation building up for something. Tomorrow, my friend Peter is getting married. I'm playing the bass guitar for the church wedding. At night, I'm going for my grand aunt's birthday surprise. Yay! Another 'company dinner'*

It's been more than six year's since my dad's passing away. Since then, a lot has changed. John has finished high school and will be graduating from college in a month's time. Quinton has a thriving job in the entertainment industry and travels quite a bit. Mummy had a cafe, went into real estate, worked in a florist, volunteered at Nanyang Siang Pau and isn't working now. I became a full-time youth minister for the first five years of my working life, while art directing a magazine, and now work as a design entrepreneur. A lot has changed.

I wanted to write a song for daddy. I also wanted to document his life story. Of how the mountains and valleys he'd traversed on added texture and colour to his life, and ours. Of how he coaxed me into believing we were related to Shah Jahan who made the Taj Mahal. And how he ran and broke through a wooden door after his encounter with a ghost in the old 'haunted' Penang hotel. And how when he was young and wanted a nice pair of shoes (which was way over budget), he came home with one side of the pair. Of how he lost his mom at age one, and perhaps lived with a silent regret.

(Man, this isn't an easy entry to write.)

Today is daddy's birthday.

It feels weird that he isn't around to celebrate it. Mummy asked if we were getting a cake, I said no. But I've been wanting to let him know how much I love him. I wished I had more time, more wisdom then to have conveyed that simple message. Now I can only trust that his spiritual eyes are capturing the Kodak moments of our growth, our deepest thoughts (where whispers of 'I love you daddy' echo), our burning desire to meet him and Jesus. Only then, we'll understand the reasons why things happened.

I heard you sing "Ikan Kekek"
When I was two, as you put me to sleep.
We lived in a terrace house, with a Philips TV,
The four of us, Wolf, you, mummy and me.

We were a team,
When Quinton and John came,
You were the leader
For every new game,
Hide and seek,
Was the highlight of our week
Though you knew our hiding spots
You pretended not to peek

I loved Saturday mornings
Not because of the cartoons,
It was the smell of Nescafe and thosai
You'd always buy from Raju's.
The Elvis Presley tunes you'd whistle and croon,
made the morning cheerful,
and the neighbourhood,your karaoke room.

I tried to be like you, in the small ways I could
With currypuff hair dos, Brylcream and Brut
You were always jovial, witty and smooth,
Life was like your stage filled with comedy and truth.

You handled the tough times, the best you could
This world isn't an easy place, so harsh. So cruel.
But you made an effort and provided each need,
Even when you were broke, there was something to eat.

I wish I caught a bigger glimpse of the daddy I once new,
amidst the trying times, the whiskies and the blues
But I guess what they say is true,
that hindsight is 20/20, clearer and blue.

As I look into my life, I see a lot of you
And I'm proud to say to all, that I'm a product of value
My jovial demeanor, my walk and my talk,
are reminders that I was blessed,
with a friend, a companion,
A dad.

So daddy, when I get to heaven, I'm looking forward to new jokes, hide and seek and new Tamil phrases!

Happy Birthday.



* Because my family is multi-racial, our dinners seem to appear as 'company dinners' to strangers.


Chipmunkrock said…
awww Kev i was truly touched.

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