Tuesday, August 30, 2005

48 years later.

Dear Daddy,

I was going through an old photo album of yours last night. It was kept in a box, hidden in the corner of the cupboard, which I used to enjoy hiding myself in; and wrapped in bright red and tainted- white cloth- was it a flag, Daddy? The sweet smell of bookworm-eaten pages filled the air as I held it open, slowly and carefully. Its pages had gone moldy and crisp- my fingers trembled as it danced lightly on them. How I fear to even think of accidentally tearing a page with my clumsiness! Daddy, what fond memories you must have had with it! What meaning it must have for you- when my eyes could only see wide grins, victorious grins; they are! Have you won something back then, Daddy? And I saw pictures of a bearded man who stood in front of a crowd with his arm lifted up- he seemed as though he was saying something, and it seemed as though he was saying it really loudly- like a command. What did he command, Daddy? Why did you keep a picture not of yourself but of someone else? Did you know this man, Daddy? And the flag that was raised in the next picture, Daddy; with stripes that are of the same as the cloth that you wrapped this album with. And the only words which you have written in the album- I can hardly make out those words, is that an M, Daddy?

M-E-R-D-E-K-A- Merdeka! I said the words aloud, Daddy; but what does it mean? Is this a word used in the past? It must have been a special word, for it was written all over the album. But Daddy, nobody uses this word any longer. I looked for the meaning everywhere, but I just couldn't find it. If only you can tell me what this means, Daddy.

May none of us ever forget what Merdeka means.
Here's to a 48th Merdeka celebration, Malaysia.


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