Friday 3 July 2015

Mamat Karim : 1962


When I embarked on my postings, it was not a planned project. I just wanted to express myself and to see whether I had the ability to put down in coherent sentences, an account of thoughts running through my mind. I believed I had the ability to be lucid and rational in recollecting memoirs of my journey through life from a young age.

Anyway, I still retained the confidence of having won 1st prize in a Fanfare/Olivetti Essay Writing competition in June 1970. (This piece of information is just to promote myself and it gives me a feel good aura).

As I went along, it seemed quixotic if I proceeded to expand and write the story of my Life, up to the present. This will be my legacy to my children and grandchildren. Before I ramble about my past, there are those whose life touched mine and I am indebted to them.

I wish to pay tribute to my sisters who bore the scares of yesteryears, not of their own making but because of circumstances beyond their control. My sisters, all three of them, Zainon, Azizah and Ani shared something in common. At the end of the day, they survived. I must say that being the only son, I escaped reasonably unscathed throughout the whole unfortunate period. I had mentioned in previous postings what Kak Non and Kak Jijah went through.

But my younger sister, Ani, and youngest in the family, faced utter despair when informed by my mother, she too had to stop schooling, in favor of me, being the only son. As I mentioned earlier, my mother is Chinese and the filial son is to be protected, under any circumstances. Financially, that was the only option. Ani told me, much later in time, how devastated and helpless she felt when the axe fell. She was good in her studies and had ambitions of her own. So, one can conclude the devastation she faced, at the tender age of adolescent, to see her world crashing around her. But she was resilient. When our situation improved, she attended secretarial classes and got a job as a typist/stenographer with a government department. If I am not wrong, Pak Ngah (Ismail Latiff) got her the job. She stayed for a while but she had her own plans. She applied and got a position with a Public Relations firm. In time, she became a partner. She branched out and set up her own company which she helms until she retired. Ani, you did it your own way and did it alone.

Some see their success today and probably think that they had it easy. They were down there, in the valley of despair but they fought for their survival and they won. Hats off to the girls.

Having got that out of the way, the legend of “Mamat si parang tajam continues”.

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