Since Merdeka (Independent) Day is looming, and since most of my friends have suddenly* become patriotic, I too want to share a story.
suddenly*: tiba-tiba, out of the blue, whoa-I-didn’t-know-you-had-it-in-you
Not a summary of our history. Nor is it about our tokoh-tokoh or the current politic issues.
I want to share a love story.
Ahah, now you’re interested in what I’m about to say.
Back in the 1940s or 1950s, there was a guy. I wasn’t sure how old he was, but this guy was a Johorian. He was born and raised there. One day, he was out at the field playing with his brothers. Somehow, he got lost and got separated from them. There he was, wondering alone, searching and searching but not finding. He tried to be brave. A guy must not be scared!
In God’s will, while he was lost, he bumped into a group of people. Ah! How God had not deserted him! How blessed he was! Then, in despair, he found out the brutal truth.
That group of people happened to be THE JAPANESE!
Oh, he struggled to get away. He screamed, he cried and he fought but alas! He was powerless and held as a prisoner. However, to his suprise, the Japanese didn’t dare to touch him. He was not tortured, he was not even beaten!
Was he really caught by the Japanese?
That uniform, small eyes, fair skin. Yes, they were indeed Japanese. But why? Why didn’t they do anything to him? He merely sat there, like a prisoner in the modern days.
He did not practice black magic. Nor was he tough and muscly – he was skin and bone. And then he made his own theory; could it be because he was dark? He was more than tanned but not as dark as the Africans. He was a western malaysian dark dark (no pun intended).
Maybe. Maybe that’s why.
So he followed wherever the Japanese went. He ate what he was given. He didn’t make any fuss or trouble. The days turned to weeks. And the weeks became months until there came the moment when he decided he couldn’t stand it any longer. He decided to make an escape.
*please use your imagination on how he escaped =)
He couldn’t believe his luck! Never did he thought he would be free again! He really thought he was going to die. God was on his side once more. Only that…this place wasn’t Johor! No, he was still far far away from home. Far from his brothers and sisters and parents.
WHERE WAS HE?
He was in Borneo. Miri, Sarawak to be exact (at that time, Sarawak was a different country from Tanah Melayu. Revise your history =D)
*Johor-Miri was considered very very far because
a) it’s considered oversea, ha ha
b) there was no Cuti-Cuti Malaysia back then
What did he do? Did he try to find his way back? Nope. He met a young Chinese/Malay woman. They felt in love, got married and had children. I would love to say they lived happily ever after but….
When he had established himself in Miri, he tried contacting his parents. Weren’t they glad to know he’s still alive!! They honestly thought he had died! Hooray!!!
However, the joy was broken when his mother found out he was married. Ahh. You see, I forgot to tell you. Back in Johor, he already had a fiance. Had he not been captured and brought to Miri, he would have married her. His mother was not pleased, not pleased at all and demanded him to come home immediately.
He was an obedient child and so he went home. Leaving his wife and children, he went back to Johor. While he was there, he tried persuading his mother but she was adamant. He was to be married to his fiance!
He was heartbroken.
Then his father spoke. It was his father who brought light into his life again. His father told him to go back to Miri and take care of his family there.
Oh, how happy he was! How he could not wait to be reunited with his family again!!
And thus, he went back to Miri, and they lived happily ever after…..
Ok, that was long. Anyways,
the guy = my arwah atuk
the Chinese/Malay woman = my nenek
It was a true story except for some bits I added for dramatic effects. Couldn’t resist, eheh.
What I wanted to say was that amidst the Japanese colonisation, people could still fall in love, and they could still be happy.
It was a blessing in disguise.
To those who experienced it, achieving independence means so much more than just being free. I couldn’t understand why and I didn’t think I would.
But now we know don’t we? =)
Let’s celebrate the 51ST INDEPENDENCE DAY with spirit.