You are my sunshine, an old song, as old as I am;
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine You make me happy when skies are gray You'll never know dear, how much I love you Please don't take my sunshine away”
It was Sunday morning, the sun was shining bright and I was waiting for a van which hopefully would, for a change, bring a load of bright and enthusiastic children. I was truly looking for a break in the grey skies, as the song goes. Of late the attendance and quality of children had been depressing, to say the least.
And that morning I was to start giving tuition to a new group of Form One pupils from the nearby home for poor children and orphans. Because of transport problems faced by the home we were almost two months behind schedule. At long last they had acquired two vans to transport their children. And there I was waiting the arrival of one vanload of new pupils.
Five minutes before eight the van arrived. The moment it stopped high-spirited children scrambled down. I counted only ten of them, two healthy looking boys and eight girls sweetly dressed in baju kurong and dark head-cover. I was not disappointed to see just ten of them if only they were as good as they were cheerful.
They are my sunshine
I addressed them in English, directing them to the classroom and so on, half expecting to see them blinking at me. Surprise, surprise, they could grasp what I had been saying!
As usual I made them fill in the standard form which records family data and past exam results etc, following which I spent about an hour or so interviewing them individually.
The first person who came forward had something familiar about her face. I looked at the form duly completed by her. Her father, an ex army had passed away. Her UPSR results were far from creditable, grade ‘D’ in English and ‘C’ in Maths and Science, not so encouraging after all. She has six siblings. I could hardly believe to see the name of one of her six siblings, Ana Sarda. There could not possibly be a second person by that name. Yes, that was it. Her face resembled the one Ana Sarda, a girl Makcik and Pakcik will never ever forget.
More than ten years ago Ana Sarda came into our life. To bring out the best of that gutsy girl Pakcik sought special permission from her father, who was still alive then, to allow her to stay in our house for a few months before her PMR examination. It all ended happily.To-day she is a qualified teacher serving in a rural school in Tawau.
Ana Sarda, if you are reading this posting, be sure Pakcik will feature you in my ‘End of the tunnel’ series one of these days, perhaps when you will call at our house ( your house, too, even for a brief period) one day with a wedding invitation card in your hand! AlFatihah for your loving father.
So this new girl is indeed that very girl’s sister, hence the facial resemblance. If Pakcik could help her sister then, perhaps I could do it for her now.
The real surprise, one least expected, was in store for Pakcik that morning; four of the ten new intakes passed UPSR with grade ‘A’ in English and three with grade ‘B’. Almanar never had it so good.
Indeed, they are my sunshine …....
When skies are grey
Please don't take my sunshine away……
Can we have our class up here on the tree house?
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