As a comment on ( ‘Pakcik’s Number 3 Reminisces - Pt15) Awang Goneng chose to relate something personal, an incident that is common to all of us. We tend to dismiss a coincidence without a second thought. Awang Goneng says his new book (A Map of Trengganu) is devoted to what he claims as ‘strange phenomena of memory and strange encounter. I, for one, am sure to be looking forward this second book of his after the success of his first. Here goes what he wrote to Pakcik:
Dear Abang Ngah,
What a lovely story. But is this the Amran I used to know in Chapel Side, W2? If so I have some photographs of him taken even before he met his mother-in-law to be.
Coincidence and memory are wonderful things. Since I started writing I have seen them collide, shaping the way I think in many different ways. In fact most of the foreword to my new book (A Map of Trengganu) is devoted to this strange phenomena of memory and strange encounters.
About twenty years ago, when travelling on the Circle Line tube on the way home from work, I sensed that the person in front was studying me very closely. I ignored him and immersed my face in a book. He leant forward and asked, "Wan Hulaimi?" I looked up and said immediately, "Oh my God, it's you Ken!" Ken and I were in the same tutorial group at University about five years earlier. He gave me his card - he was now a solicitor - and we promised to meet again for lunch. We never did.
Two years later, I left my job and had to look for a new accommodation. We thought it would be cheaper in the long run for us to buy rather than rent. We needed a solicitor for the conveyancing work, so naturally I thought of Ken, phoned him up, and he took the task immediately. Time for the exchange of contracts. Ken phoned me up to tell me about the deposit (a few thousand in those days). "Give me a couple of days, Ken, " I said. "I'll send you a cheque."
"No rush," said Ken. "I've already paid it for you."
It has been many years now but looking back at it I still find it quite incredible. A person I'd not seen for many years suddenly appearing out of the blue, to give us a bridging loan, and we weren't even best buddies at university. Was it a coincidence or was he sent to us for that purpose?
Mi, it was not AMRAN you were familiar with in Chapel Side. That was indeed my Number 3 but was better associated with “ ------- pudding and pie” !
As for the photographs I myself would like copies to extort him with! You know that he has all daughters, three of them, whom he calls his ‘Charlie’s Angels’. There was an indication to that effect – meeting the would-be MIL first. So he can still hope for boys because he did meet his would-be FIL later.
Thank you for sharing this with us and I am sure many who have read Awang Goneng would welcome your ‘A Map of Trengganu’. Abang Ngah am more familiar with that TRENgganu than the artificial TERENgganu!
Incidentally, is Zaharah not doing something with her collections? Salaam from to her and the kids (which they are as I remember them) from Kak Mah dan Abang Ngah.
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