Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bangsar Gangstars: A Night to Remember

Its 5 am and I'm still wide awake. Probably a spillover from the exciting and hilariously exhilirating night spent catching up with friends from my old hood: Bangsar Gangstars.

After more than 3 decades of not seeing each other, Boe (Syed Zaidi) pulled out his magic apron and hosted the best BBQ Hari Raya open house and invited all those who lived in Bangsar in their teens. Seeing all those familiar faces that has somewhat changed by age (some were hardly touched by time! Jealous aku! LOL!), brought back a flood of wonderful and funny memories of my teen years living in Bangsar Baru, mainly on Terasek 3 and Terasek 1.

With Boe (Botak aka Syed Zaidi)

Although the gathering had begun at 5 pm, my family and I arrived close to 9 pm. As we walked in to locate the host, I was greeted warmly with familiar faces galore! Lis aka Melissa Saila and her husband Megat Fauzi, Syed Najib, Ernie, Lenny, Karim, Amran, Zamzuri, Iskandar Boy, Ja'a... all these people with whom I grew up with. They were always uber protective of me. They considered me one of the boys. I was never regarded as a "kodok" but a "katak" just like them! Hahahahaa!

With Lis aka Melissa Saila

Old stories from yesteryears came up. Among them were the time when Iskandar Boy and Hanif had shot fire crackers at my house from Bangsar's Sports Complex a few days before Raya and my mom turned into a raging Hulk and stormed out to look for the boys. They had ran off and were hiding in the big drains. Poor Karim was seated on the bench when my mom charged outside. Karim being the polite boy he was (and still is) tried to pacify my mom but he got his hair pulled by mom in the process! As I'm typing this out, I cannot help but giggle at the memory but it was really not funny at that time! I said to Iskandar Boy, "Engkau kena mintak ampun dengan mak aku lah...! Hahahahaa!" to which he replied, "Memang pun! Tolong lah arrange for me to meet your mother!" 

And maybe due to the decades apart, Lenny felt it was okay to divulge the fact that he heard that I was being spied on during my teens! Now THAT was NEWS to me! And despite all coaxing and persuasions, he refused to reveal who the spy was. However, its no surprise why I was never in any form of harm because these boys were also my bouncers. If anyone threatened to hurt me, they would make sure those people would BOUNCE out of Bangsar! Hahahaahahaha!

With the Bangsar gangstars, although many couldn't make it to the gathering.

By the time we left for home, it was 2 am. However, the conversations that took place tonight brought back a myriad of sweet and funny memories of yore. On the way home, hubby commented how it was good to see me laugh so much tonight. And he thought it would be a great idea if this kind of gathering is done more often because it seemed to have helped me bounce out of the lengthy depressive rut I've been in of late. I admit it was hard to say goodnight to the boys. But I'm glad for one thing: I managed to leave a wasiat with them. "When my time is up, please come ziarah me and say a doa for me." That request was met with a silence and a look that says "We will always be a part of each other, no matter how far life takes us away from Bangsar."

Alhamdulillah for old friends who remain true throughout decades. And syukur alhamdulillah for Ernie and Lenny who reverted to Islam. Allahu akbar. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hanging On a Prayer

I understand now how easily adults forget how to be children. The world is filled with countless stressors and responsibilities and commitments. Hardly the kind of environment any adult would want to live in, what more a small child. Prowling predators, malicious intents, assortment of abusers galore. How are we to protect our children from these dangerous people? How am I to protect my inner child from these harsh environments and people?

Little Ana has been silent as death for the longest time. It is as though she has died. But I know she's still alive because I can feel her hurting. Her little heart in pain. Somehow, she has found solace and safety in silence and seclusion.

I hate the circumstances that I'm in which exposes me to so many toxic people. People who are so hineous with their spite and malice. I have to be the matured and responsible adult when dealing with misbehaving 'children.' Some people just never grow up. They go around in life behaving like spoilt privileged brats and yet they expect to be respected as adults. We end up parenting them because their own parents had failed to do what should have gotten done while these kids were growing up. Abuse is not just about what wrong that was done. Abuse is also about what needed to get done but never was. Neglect. Am I neglecting Little Ana simply because I have to be a responsible adult around countless immature people?

A few days ago, Star Trek Beyond premiered in Malaysia. I saw this as an opportunity to bait Little Ana out of her shell. Somehow, it worked! She clapped gleefully when she first saw Spock. She cried when the Enterprise shattered to pieces. She stayed in her seat and hummed along the Star Trek theme song and ignored all the other members of the audience who got up to their feet as they started to exit the cinema. She stayed put until the screen turned black. And then she smiled and faded back into silence. Maybe silence and seclusion are her last resources for self preservation.

She deserves better. She deserves the best. She deserves to be loved and to feel loved. She deserves full and loving attention. She deserves to be appreciated and valued. She deserves to be visible!

One thing I know for sure: I die when Little Ana dies. Right now, it feels as though I am hanging onto a cliff by just my little pinky finger. Will I be able to hang on?