Initially, I had no intention of writing about this year’s Merdeka celebration. This morning, however, when it is all but over, the dailies splash all about yesterday’s events, the gtreat celebration. Without class at Almanar the whole day today, fancy-free and not having much else to do, I thought of tidying up my bed-side set of three drawers, one of which contains my most valuable property – my‘ancient’ diaries, one of which was wrapped in a large envelop. That was the one most damaged – the work of silver-fish during years of storage until I realised the damage five years ago, in September 2007.
We were then celebrating our 50th Anniversary of Independence and I wanted to go back in time and write something for my new blog. It was my 6th entry ; and, coincidentally, I chose to make that entry as Part 1 of a series to be known as ‘Pak Cik reminisces’ ( click here ). Right now I have come to Pt 33 in this series, Alhamdulillah.
Yes, 1957 was a lonely part of Pakcik’s student life, being 13,000 km away from home. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I heard the three shouts of ‘Merdeka !’ by Tunku over the BBC radio.
LETT'S DIARY 1957
Apart from that Pakcik could only read from the British dailies and listen to the BBC radio the sketchy coverage of the Independence Day of MALAYA.
That was 57 years ago. What has it got to do with 77?
Well, 57 years ago Pakcik was twenty, independent of my family. The mathematical part of me began to do the sum, 57 + 20 = 77. Seventy seven rings a bell. Those were the years when a very popular TV private detective series called ‘ 77 Sunset Strip’ was a hit. Later it was followed by a very popular comedy series, called ‘All in the family’ ( which incidentally prompted me to start my other series by the same title – minus the comedy part.)
So 77 indeed it will be for Pakcik in a matter of hours, insya Allah. It is Merdeka + 20, forever young!
Malayan Stamps- Jawi and Arabic numerals
Pre Merdeka stamps
If I may be allowed to digress, please look at the picture of few old stamps kept between the pages of my 1957 diary. When I look again and again at these few pre-Merdeka stamps, I have my regret. I grew up with Jawi script and the stamp values were written in Arabic numerals. Today, perhaps because we are Merdeka (possessing our own freedom to act), we have discarded our affinity to Al Quranic script and its pronunciation. It is not just the show of our freedom to discard but also our freedom to embrace the great many English words as part of Malay vocabularies! Yes, indeed, we have the freedom to remove all the shady trees down to their very roots simply because we wish to show our freedom to build a mansion that, we dream, will one day reach the sky.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan