I was dozing off on a Sunday morning, something that I have not enjoyed in a long long time having to work in Kerteh for the last two months, when a phone call from my next door neighbour to my wife caught my attention. Apparently someone had just died, and even though we didn’t know him personally, I can’t help but feel sad for him.
Afiq was only 16 years old. After he was hit by a car (while making a U with his motorbike), he was in a coma and was placed next to my auntie MakCak, who was recuperating from a surgery in the ICU of HUKM. Since Makcak was in need of attention herself, slipping in and out of consciousness, I didn’t pay much attention to him. His parents would come in and out during my visitation of Makcak and would be reading the Quran to him. I was too engrossed in my own problem to be really bothered.
Until one day when Akmal who was outside waiting for his turn to visit his grand-auntie, all of the sudden he appeared with someone using the Afiq's visitation pass. Apparently Afiq was Akmal’s friend’s brother, and apparently Arif knew him too.
I was pondering about the what-ifs. Nauzubillah, never in a million year do I want it to happen to any one of us. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children. Mak says so herself when one day we were talking about the eventuality. (Personally I would not mind Mak outliving me as then I would not have to experience her leaving us.) I could not imagine it if it were to happen to me. I know I would be devastated. To make me feel worse, Afiq was their eldest (just as Arif is), and they had another son the same age as Akmal.
An uncle died at 36 in 1982 and dad at 48 in 1984; I thought they were still in their prime of their lives then, and while bapak had talked about death a lot, I simply dismissed it then.
After dad’s death I guess, part of me died with him; so in many of the deaths I experienced later on in life, I didn’t feel too much pain and sorrow or at least I didn't cry. May be there was no more tears left after crying my heart out at my house in Clayton North that night after I got the news. Sure, I feel sad about my younger brother’s (Naza and he was only 30) death in 2003; I wish I had done more to help him. But I guess it is more of regret than sadness. As I have said, he was a sickly brother and while we all knew about it, we didn’t do much (and we knew we have the resources to do more for him). I was treating him like a normal person and want him to act normal when he could not be with his illness.
I am no philosopher but life is so fragile (it may be an understatement of a lifetime!). Life and death can be separated in split second. One moment he or she was laughing with you and in the next moment, one could be looking at his or her lifeless body. Or it could be the other way round too. No chance for a goodbye, or saying I love you.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes". He must have not heard of the tax consultant!
Bimbo (the Indonesian group noted for Islamic music), in one of their songs about life and death likens life to a (straight) line and not a circle. With each passing day, we are getting closer to the end, unlike a circle without a starting nor an ending point. Beautiful song.
Treasure life in the best way we can while we and our loved ones are still alive. Don't get me wrong, I am merely telling myself here. In the pursuit of worldly wealth and happiness, many a times I forgot, or pretend to forget!
Alfatihah for Afiq.
I told Akmal, I would never approve them riding a bike. If we don’t have the money to buy a car and need to go somewhere, take a bus. I had taken the bus before (the infamous mini busses) in late 80s when I was working in KL. Nothing wrong with that and typically much safer than motorbike. Sure, one can never avoid death but it was just to risky with bikes. And while many times I would be cursing at the mat rempits in KL and wish they would meet with an accident for them to learn their lessons, but when it happens, you can’t help it but feel sad nonetheless.
I am talking in general here and I am not referring to Afiq's case at all. I have no idea if he was one and at this moment, it is of no consequence to me. I still do feel sad for him and his parents.
Comments(2 total) Post a Comment
yes, agree with u that no one can avoid death..even theres a lot of cases here in malaysia that involving buses,cars, even pedestrian or public tgh lepak kedai kopi.
but i dont agree with u on not approving arif or akmal to ride a bike.
as long as they have the extra consciousness and extra alert when riding on the bike, i ve got no problem with it. mak bought me a bike back in 2002 when i was 21, and since then i always go anywhere with my bike....from taiping to arau and even to KL...
and i have never encounter such an accident or casualty. and of course, doa also main peranan. so, to me, as long as u are always ready and alert,naik lah ape pon...and really, i enjoy riding my bike. u kena rasa la sekali the enjoyment of riding a bike...nanti saya beli moto baru kita ronda ya...hehehehe
Thursday July 19, 2007 - 03:36am (PDT) Remove Comment
I am sure many bikers love to feel the wind in their hair, albeit one constricted by the helmet.
If the 2005 Malaysian Police statistic is anything to go by (http://www.unescap.org/ttdw/common/TIS/AH/files/egm06/roadsafety_malaysia.pdf), casualties from motorbike accident constitute 66% (31,222 deaths) of total traffic casualties. Car accident on the other hand contribute 15% (7,300).Problem may not be with the rider itself, it could orginate from lorry drivers, or car drivers, but irrespective of whose fault, the victims would almost always be the bike rider.Anyway, my doa is with you, but save money and buy yourself a car soon...