For some reasons, I’m feeling sad. When I look at the reunion pictures posted on my FB, I can’t help wishing that I’m 12 years old again. Back in my small hometown, riding bicycles in the evening and climbing trees with my friends.
Why do I feel this way? Did I miss anything?
The meeting we had last Sunday was a blast. It provided an avenue for us, 11 good buddies when we were small, to catch up on lost times.
I met B again after 30 years. I must confess, I used to have a huge crush on him in Std 6! Who wouldn't? He was a popular boy in school, being a school runner and all. I thought about him all the time after primary, sometimes even dreaming of him. But in my dreams, he was always the 12 year old boy looking at me with a smile. And I remember that smile perfectly...
So when he walked into Melting Pot last Sunday, I was very nervous. I dared not look him in the eye for I was afraid he would notice how edgy I was. He recognized me straight away. We exchanged hellos and he went on to sit at the end of the table. I wonder if he felt the same way about me. He still looked the same, though, like he never aged. Perhaps, that's why I felt it was a bit of a letdown.
Then I met the love-letter boy. Also nervous the first time we shook hands, but after a while, things just jived in. We joked about the time when he was called in by my mother to the staff room. He was teased by the girls for being such a naughty boy in class.
I recalled the time when we went to mengaji with the same ustazah whom we called Wan. Wan lived next to Shera’s house and all of us mengaji with her. Me and my two brothers, Shera and her sister, a few other friends and him. I remember, he used to cucuk the al-Quran with the penunjuk until berlubang. Don’t know why he did that.. sampai berlubang Quran tu! Tapi tak jugak pandai2 mengaji! Hee.. hee…
My two Angels were there too... Nani and Shera. Nani still looked the same after all these years. Her face looked exactly like how I remembered her when she was 12. The way she walked, the way she talked, the way she laughed... they were all the same. Amazing!
And Shera, I don't remember her being so quiet but that was how she was then and now. She just sat there next to me observing the others mostly unless she was spoken to. She had kept her hair straight and long, very elegant. This was the only thing that was different about her as she used to wear her hair short last time.
Jamilah, the one who I remember as someone who liked to pick a fight with us, is the only one who still maintain a slim figure despite having two kids. She looks a bit different now from the last time, more refined, I would say. Had I bumped into her on the streets, I wouldn't have recognised her.
She hugged me so hard when we first salam each other. It was so hard that I just broke down and cry. I didn't realise how much I've missed her.. I couldn't contain my feelings at that time because I felt so happy to see her again and be reunited with my other childhood friends whom I haven't seen for so long.
The rest who came were Sayed ~ we called him Cili Padi last time because he was short and small. The shortest boy in class. He has grown taller a bit now, looks more mature and holds an important position in one of the investment banks in town. Very well done. His parents still live in Bota. They were teachers, just like mine.
Then there was Nizar ~ oh yes, how can I forget about him? He was the boy who I always competed with during exams. If it was not me, it would be him who would get No. 1 in class. My mother would always grit her teeth whenever Nizar's marks were higher than mine.
When I was choosing a name for my little ultraman, "Nizar" was in the Top 3 because all the Nizars I know are either a very important person or is very clever. MrNordin's ex-boss was En. Nizar, there's a doctor, who we usually go to, known as Dr. Nizar, and this friend of mine, who was very clever in school, is also known as Nizar. Hence, the name Nizzar for my baby, but with a double zee.
Besides them, there were Zaida and Meor. Zaida was one of my close buddies too, her parents were teachers as well and I used to go to her house with my father dulu. Her mother has passed away recently but her dad still lives in Parit.
Zaida has one daughter who she brought along during the meeting. I heard, she had just gone through a divorce but I did not ask her about it. I think it was too personal and that kind of question should be reserved for another occasion.
Meor ~ he was the second shortest guy in class. We didn't expect him to turn up but he was a surprise arranged by Nizar. Like Sayed, Meor has grown slightly taller now. Very nice.
So, what's next?
We are planning to meet again during another classmate's wedding in April. It is his first marriage, to a 20 something girl. He missed the boat earlier on, I guess.
Someone shouted, "Jom buat kat Parit lah!" Yeah.. that's an idea. Then we can invite some of the teachers who are still around, including my mother. I'm sure she would love to see her old students again.
As for now, I'm still trying to digest this wonderful feeling I had since last Sunday. I suppose, reunion does this to people: It makes us feel nostalgic, and it's good for our system.
More photos at http://www.facebook.com/#/nmunit?v=photos
More stories on my childhood at http://mrsnordin.blogspot.com/2010/01/childhood-memories.html