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* Tributes and Appreciation

 

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OUR REUNION THAT NIGHT

The reunion dinner that many of us slaved for came and went on Saturday, 17 August, 2002. And a show it was. You just had to be there to know what I am trying to say, nothing less would do. The alumni started trickling in as early as 6.30 p.m. Hugs and embraces were seen and kisses were exchanged among the fairer sex. And admit it, we do not embrace that easily do we? Familiar faces were everywhere. I have seen many of them regularly throughout all these years but that night I was glad to see Rusihan, Rostam, Majdi and Hudal, all of whom I have met earlier in the day but I was still glad to see them all the same. The teachers, yes, some of our teachers were there too. Mr. Leong, Cikgu Ariff, Cikgu Salihan, to name a few. Mr. Leong, our Add Maths teacher. Oh Mr. Leong, he said that we were good students. My late father would have been happy to hear that and my mother would have believed that. If we were good students then I'm the King of Spain. Maybe Sabri is. What did Mr. Leong say? If the examiner could read your handwriting, you would get an A1. Well, I think the examiner could read his scribbles.

Physically, many of us have changed. Well, time is as great an artist as it is a healer. Bigger girth here, white hairs there and some have the family in tow. OK, OK, some of us didn't change that much. It was hard to start with the program, the euphoria was evident, no one could stop talking. The hall only hushed up when the 'doa' was being read. There was abundant food for all but food? What food? I had a plate of chicken rice plus some salad and that was it. Even then it was thanks to Syed Nushadil who imparted the art of dissipating through buffet lines without offending anyone. I swear, no one saw us. We learned more than Add Maths and Biology at SMSS, that much was evident, eh? I didn't need food that night; I was full of the pleasure of the company that I was in. Human memory is a wonderful thing. A walk here, a smile there and a laughter yonder and it brings everything back.

No offence to the other batches that performed too but the performance by was, inspirational to say the least. The two boys and the single girl are what, nineteen? They are still boys and girls that batch, babies compared to us. They sang "Belaian Jiwa" with no supporting music and later, the whole hall joined in, what more is there to be said about us there and then? I could still hear the words:

Kau tahu mengapa ku sayang pada mu
Hanya bidadari sebagai ganti
Hanya takdir menentukan ia
Oh belaian jiwa

I had goosebumps then. I still do…

We parted that night with many of us feeling that the next dinner, whenever it is, would be none too soon. We did well that night, all of us, we did well.

Torch #2 (SMSS '78)