Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

June 27, 2016

dinner on father’s day

I was at a Korean restaurant with my wife and daughter on Father’s Day eve, and in came a family of 5, which was seated right next to us. The family of 5, consists of a couple and a kid, with another older couple whom I reckoned must be the wife’s parents. I could tell that they were there for a Father’s Day dinner, because they did not look naturally together. Their dinner was awkward, as I’ve noticed. [it was just a regular nice weekend dinner for us, which we always do - something we look forward every weekend].

One could instantly tell that the son-in-law was the one who’s gonna pay for the dinner because he was cocky and obnoxious. Irritating for us, actually, for we had to contend this lout who couldn’t help to tell the world (loudly) that he’s the most uneducated fuckstain in town and has a personality comparable to a hobo’s dick cheese. The rest of the family members, were all very quiet listening to this loser yapping like a bullhorn, sending half chewed projectiles all over the place. At times, he’d even castigate the old lady for not knowing how to properly eat a Samgyeopsal dish. The old man (wife’s father) was especially pissed off, though with an almost straight face – probably wondering what had he done wrong in his past life to deserve a son-in-law like that.

The wife, abashed by her husband’s behavior, kept looking towards our table to check if we noticed. Of course I fucking noticed! How couldn’t I? Her fucking oaf of a husband was like a beacon of a potential dark possibility for everyone in the restaurant there. I was like, gazing into the future through a portal, that one day, I might be in that fucking old man’s pair of uncomfortable shoes. But instead of sitting around gazing at food projectiles from my son-in-law’s mouth landing all over the table like paratroopers in WWII, I’d probably jam that pair of flat metal Korean chopsticks into his skull, pry it open, hawk a loogy and spit it into his tiny brain. Then I’m going to spend the rest of my life in jail. So what’s the fucking point of having this torturous dinner yang penuh keseksaan ini? Might as well don’t do it.

That was why I told my daughter this on that night – “Look at that table. Look at that loud fat guy. He’s the son-in-law of that old couple. Now, I don’t want to be like that sad old man, eating this joker’s dinner on Father’s Day. I don’t need him to bring us out for dinner, because I can afford my own dinner. If you want to have dinner with me on Father’s Day, you can come alone or with my grandchildren. We’d eat like a happy family like we always do. But don’t let your husband bring us out to dinner. I’m not going to enjoy it. That’s because I’m not your husband’s father. I am your father. If he wants to celebrate Father’s Day, he should do it with his own father or whoever he fancies, just not me. Ok?”

“Ok”

“Good. If you’re broke but still want a Father’s Day dinner, you can just buy some cheap packed food and we can still enjoy them at home, but without your husband. If you don’t want to have dinner with me for some other reasons, I’m fine with it too. Just don’t put me into that situation right there, ok?”

I couldn’t have made it any clearer. My daughter got everything I said, although I was receiving some death stares from my wife. For me, it’s very simple. I don’t do things for the sake of doing it. Things have to be done with a purpose. If the purpose is wanting me to be happy, then everyone should just fucking leave me alone when I’m old. I hope my daughter reads this when she’s married.

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June 21, 2015

Father’s Day

My daughter made me a cup of coffee today for Father’s Day. It tasted not as good as I would have liked it, but it was one of the best damn coffee I’ve had. Such is the power of a parent’s love.

I didn’t even know my own father when I was a kid, let alone to appreciate a day for him. Father’s Day was non existent for me until I turned adolescent. My father and my mom got separated when I was 6, and I never knew about how having a father at home felt like. My mom back then, in order not to overburden herself explaining stuff to a kid, made things simple by telling me that my dad was a bad guy and that I should stay the fuck away from him. Whenever he missed me and came visiting, my mom would ask me to hide in the room and we’d pretend nobody was home until he went away. Sure enough, I’d still get to meet him on and off, like during Chinese New Year et al, but it was never long and memories of those short meetings are somewhat blurry.

But one day when I was 11, I made an effort to meet up with my father without my mom’s knowledge – that was when she went for a week long vacation (yep, my mom would leave me tending to myself for weeks, since I was little. Had gotten used to it). I took a bus to the town, and met him up at my grandma’s house (which he was staying at). That short few days, my father and I caught up with each other, and he brought me around to eat street food (I still remember what we ate), to the cinema (it was a big deal going to cinemas back then – we watched “A Fish Called Wanda”) and we went around to meet his old friends (he didn’t have a transport because he was pissed-fuck poor, we either walked or took a trishaw). By today’s standard, it might not amount to anything significant, but for me who was brought up in a single parent environment – it was the first time I felt having another someone whom I can bond with and really talk to. (my dad was the reasonable one between my parents. He was much more cool headed and intelligent. My mom was the disciplinarian and talking to her was impossible).

We parted after that few days, and said goodbye at a filthy bus station next to Penang’s famous transvestite street (Kuantan Road, ask around). I boarded the famous green city bus the night before my mom came home, and I got teary eyed in the bus throughout the journey home. That week, was my Father’s Week, and I still remember them today. Every day in that week, was the accumulated Father’s Days I missed with my father through the years (and we didn’t know it). We kept in touch for a couple more years after that week and one night, I brought my father home to my mom. They rekindled their relationship in 1989 (that’s roughly a year after that Father’s Week), and in 1990 – they saved enough to buy a new home and we moved in there together for the first time as a complete family (with my sister, who miraculously appeared after running from home for quite a while).

That was the only period we were completely together. They got separated again in 1999. House got sold, and all of us were separated from each other. Didn’t get together until 2 years later, when I brought Emily to meet my mom and moved in to live at her rented house. Emily and I bought a house in 2002, and the 3 of us moved in together (that’s the closest semblance of a complete family ever got after 1999). I still kept in contact with my father after the 1999 break, but we never lived together again until his death (from liver cancer) in 2003. My mom lived to meet my daughter Regine, and decided to leave us in 2011 by ending her own life after a serious falling-out with her siblings.

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April 20, 2014

karpal singh

Not many people know this but, the late and great Karpal Singh once got my dad out of jail in an almost Hollywood-ish scapegoating game by an acquaintance of my dad’s. It was my mom who told me about this many years ago, after I’d noticed her giving a stinky eye to a family at a restaurant. “That was the family of the man who made your dad a scapegoat for his crimes”. I’m going to spare the details of the crime/story because it’s kinda personal and it’s so action packed that none of you would probably believe anyway. Let’s just say, it involves CIDs, car chases and guns… and it revolves around the guy vamoosing from the face of Earth and made my dad (who didn’t know a thing, except the guy) a scapegoat. (yeah, my dad mixed with the wrong company when he was young)

And that was how I first got to know Karpal’s name. Karpal was my father’s lawyer in court and he won the case. And that was way before we heard so much about him being active in DAP. I don’t know how much Karpal was paid for the lawyering job but, he did a great one, and it made a great impact to my family. He gave sound advice and he knew the in’s/out’s of the court and he kept my dad out of prison. Had my dad gone into prison for this, I know my life would have been a totally different one. Probably won’t be sitting here with my own family, with the missing childhood and all (my mom was involved too). Life would have been a much rotten one, that’s for sure.

Anyway, Karpal outlived my parents for many years (despite being older), and he touched many more lives in his journey. I always had the impression that he was a vocal man, and nothing could hold him back from saying something he wanted to say. For that, and for helping to retain my father’s freedom, this man deserves my utmost respect.

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September 8, 2012

My new ride

Sold the old car. Got a new one.

*not an actual picture of my actual car…

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August 29, 2011

7th week

Today marks the 7th week of my mother’s passing. It is a very significant day in Buddhism for the departed. That is why we congregated at my mother’s niche for rites and prayers.

All these while, I never felt that my mother had gone. I guess I was still reeling in from the shock, and I didn’t shed a single tear. It felt as if, mom was just away for a really long vacation, as she sometimes did. But when I was kneeling down today in front of her memorial tablet, when I was listening to the chants of the Buddhist nun, it suddenly came crashing down on me that my mother was gone. A pang of extreme sadness washed over me, and I started to recall the happier times we had with each other. I managed to wipe my tears away before anyone could see.

I hope my mom would find peace in this, and I have a lot of moving on to do.

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