Saturday, July 18, 2009

The gift from Apak






During my pre-school days, there were only three kids in the family: my brothers Azmi and Azman, and I. We were very close to each other, especially because there was not much separating us in terms of age.

Being all boys, we were the heroes, but we were also the enfants terribles. We would run havoc and turn the house upside down on a daily basis. That our parents could cope with all the three of us at once is, perhaps, a testimony to their patience, and love, for us.

Oh yes, they treated us all with equal love and attention. And it showed, literally.

You see, whenever Apak bought us something, every one of us would get exactly the same things. The same batik patterned shirts. Same style of shoes. Same type of trousers. All the same, except maybe in terms of their colours.

One of the many things that Apak had presented to us all were these leather wallets. Perhaps wanting to inculcate in us the habit of saving, we had already much earlier received our colourful, animal-shaped porcelain coin banks. But the wallet, now that was something else.

I used to watch Apak as he prepared himself to go to work. I’d noticed how he would carefully put his wallet into the pocket of his pants. It seemed to be such an important item – one which he would never leave home without.

So you can imagine my excitement in getting my first wallet….my very own wallet. I felt like a grown-up man, ready to go out and work. Earn some big money.

That auspices day is more than forty years ago now. But the leather wallet which Apak gave me that day is still with me.

I cannot even start to tell you how I have managed to keep it with me after all these years. Because I really do not know. It has been popping in and out of my life over the years.

But one thing I know is that, I always have this thing in me that says anything given to me by Emak or Apak should be treated with utmost respect. They should be kept in their proper place and should never be given away, let alone be wasted, or lost. I would be consumed with guilt if ever I were to mistreat their gifts to me. In one way or another, I guess, it is these notions which have seen my wallet survive to this day.

The leather wallet is still fully intact. Well, almost, except for the plastic cover for the identity card compartment. The leather is still in fine shape, too.

But what really touched my heart when I was examining it recently was seeing my own name "Azizi A.T." printed by Apak on the inside of the wallet.

Apak had lovingly inscribed it himself using a pen (he had to, otherwise my brothers and I would end up fighting over our wallets). The inscription is still there, clear and un-faded even after more than forty years.

I will treasure this wallet till I die. And God willing, I shall not lose it again.

I might even take it with me on my mountain bike rides. Its design is so simple, and yet does the job just nicely for cyclists. After all, we cyclists just hate to ride with a big, fat wallet in our pants.

Thank you for the wallet, Apak.

You will always be in my memory, and may ALlah bless your soul. Ameen.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

WAH...YOP, YOU STILL HAVE THAT WALLET..? I WISH I STILL HAD MINE. I HOPE YOU JUST KEEP IT IN A SAFE PLACE AND DONT TAKE IT FOR A RIDE. THAT ONE IS TOO 'EXPENSIVE'. FOR YOUR MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE...BUY A CHEAP ONE...

KotaStar said...

Congratulation for an exceptional story right from the heart. I wish more writings in 'blog' will update such accounts leaving self story rather than accounts that only arouse more anger and discontent. True we will discover if not yet some or many incidents of such kind. My dad back in 1954 even bought a share in a bus company under my name making me one of the members that attended the annual meeting amongst members very much my senior. Imagine a father putting his hard earned saving for a share which we only heard of in the 90's.

adik said...

ayah we...i like the wallet!it is so beutiful!

duniaku said...

abah!i like that wallet.can you give me that wallet?coz that wallet so beutiful!!!

zulkifly said...

so touching..