It was the 55th birthday celebrations of Sargu whom I hold close to my heart. The getting-to-know-you stages passed in the late 70s. We were both working in KL and decided one day to stay together. He found a place in PJ and I moved in with him. I had been staying in the Sg. Way New Village area until then. It was not a slum in that sense but it was high density where the houses were so clustered together that the noise and din created on some days can get to you. Houses were built so close together that if you find the music from your neighbour’s house too loud to bear, you can virtually open your window, stretch your hand out and reduce the volume on his radio or TV.
Being 3 years older than me, he had a head-start in life. And his experiences were insightful in many ways. Learnt the virtues of life from him. Through him I realized that drinking and smoking are a way of releasing stress build-up. “All working people do it. Ok….maybe not all. But most fun loving guys do”. And to compound the fact, we had a ‘beverage’ ad. those days that said “it puts back in you what the day takes out”.
And so the relationship flourished….both with him and the beer!
He always had a way with life. An extrovert in nature, always looking at things positively. His perception of things that happened around him was always different. Many a time, I had to abandon my own deep-rooted beliefs because he convinced me so. And sure enough, more often than not, he was right. Although not flamboyant, he was charismatic, a characteristic that he exploited to the utmost in wooing the belles around town. Must be the head-start that gave him that edge.
To follow in my mentor’s footsteps, I had even had a career change midway so that I may also enjoy the excitement that came with the job. I was later to learn that excitement doesn’t just happen and surely doesn’t come with the job. You have to create it. It’s a life style.
At long last, he attained 55 last Monday. When I arrived at the venue with my family friend Ahsha, as my wife could not attend, a host of relatives and friends had already gathered there with Imbaraj(his brother)sharing some light moments with them. Noticed that the scotch was already half empty....and Imbaraj's eyes were turning red already. I asked him why and he answered "I like mine coloured". His wit has not changed a bit.
I felt honoured to be part of the celebration. It was an excellent get-together and I say this not so much because of the free flow of beer and liquor but because of the opportunity to catch up with old times. So much of memories flashed past from my younger days spent with him. Kabie Kabie, Prem Kahani, Deewar were some of the midnight movies that we had gone to together. It was our Saturday night pastime. Where once we were the youngsters, now we had his son filling the bill….and later footing it too. Rashna is a grown man now, and awaiting to tie the nuptial knot sometime later this year….which will be another occasion for merry making. That story will be told another day.
Really enjoyed the night and returned sometime after midnight. Thank you Sargu....for the memories.