Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tragic Tales Unveiled During Diwali part 2
Jega was one of my close friends in Kulim. He was a bachelor when we first met and lived alone then in his own house. Many a time I had spent my time in his house where we had partied till the wee hours of the night. He was fun. When he got his first promotion, I still remember he took me and another friend to Penang to celebrate at Kashmir Restaurant which was famous for their authentic north Indian cuisine as well as the soft Sitar music by the renowned Mr. Hamid Khan. I had once met this music lecturer by day during a cultural function in Sg. Petani where I had rendered a song with his band providing me the chorus support. The crowd was thrilled and ecstatic. Tonight when I proposed to render the same number, he immediately obliged with his keyboard. The song “puthu maapillaiku” from the blockbuster Kamal movie Aboorva Sahothargal was an instant hit with the mostly Indian diners that night. When he suggested that I do one more number, I had to graciously decline due to a weakness that I had………..after a few beers, I usually cannot remember the lyrics to most songs. Back at the table, not only did we have a good time, we ended up putting up the night at one of the hotels in Penang and continued with our celebration until the next evening. Our friendship flourished over the years. Jega went on to get married and now has 2 children We were working together until the dreaded VSS after which we went our separate paths. But we still kept in touch. Whenever he came to KL or when I went to Kulim, we would almost always look each other up. So it came to me as more than a shock when I learnt that Jega has been undergoing chemotherapy having been diagnosed recently with cancer! I was told he has lost much weight and now spots a thinning scalp! I spoke to him over the phone but since he was away in the estates, we were not able to meet up. I will make it a point to look him up the next time I drop by in Kulim. I don’t want to make the same mistake that I made with Helma, my classmate and dear friend from JB who I couldn’t bring myself to visit when told by her sisters that she was in her death-bed, being stricken with cancer, as I stubbornly made a stupid stand to myself that I always wanted to remember her as the petite and bubbly person whom I had known all these years. But after she passed away, I harbour deep regrets to this day for my selfishness and lack of humanity and compassion.
Posted by aravind at 2:54 AM