Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Happy Days

I would have never thought that I could be cheeky then and I guess I would have never pictured myself in this light if not for this particular photo.

And who says life in the 60s was harsh and difficult?

Definitely not if you were only a kid then!

It was perhaps the best of times - far exceeding the iPod years for sure. I am sure my two kids would not disagree with mw. They know better than to disagree with their dad. ;-)

The only problem with the above pic is that I could not figure out where it was taken. There are two calendars adorning the wall, but even using FBI technology we could not decipher the calendar to estimate the date the pic was taken. I had asked Mak, but even she could not remember this particular house and I thought I remember all the houses of my childhood.

Even the house I was born in Assam Kumbang, Taiping, which I believe still exists, but it is in the most dilapidated condition. The address: 3 Jalan Maxwell, Assam Kumbang, Taiping.
For me, the 60s rivaled those years in the early 70s. May be in certain ways, one can't beat those years when we were able to remember things better - even without the benefit of photo, since we were a bit older. But the memories of the early years of our lives were supplemented with about 3 sets of photo albums as many aspects of our lives then were recorded diligently by bapak with a Pentax SLR.

Life then was simple living in a semi-detached government quarters in Batu Gajah. Nothing to shout about I guess; it was a wooden house with separate kitchen at the back of the house. The picture above shows the main entrance of the house with the living room immediately after the stairs obviously. Since this house, we have had similar houses in Kuala Kangsar. Even the house in Lenggong was similar in nature albeit it being a concrete house.

Only the bungalow quarters in Aulong Police Station was different architecturally, and especially for the fact that we would have the policeman manning the guardpost giving us (read:bapak) the salutation everytime we passed them by.

You can see an radio on top of the cabinet. I wish I still have it. Unfortunately during those years in Taiping later on when we got addicted to radio, we must have broken it.

Ni mesti kes berebut nak dengar lagu - the sis would go for English songs, and I Malay and probably we would fight over radio selection and eventually destroyed the radio. Not that there were many stations then for us to fight over anyway. We could carry this radio into our own rooms.

And of course on the rarest of occasions, bapak would be in the picture, just like the above picture.
For some reasons, we have a lot of pix of us at the playground or Taman Mainan - for the lack of a proper description or or a name. It must have been close to our house, since if we were looking for open space, we need not have to go beyond our compound of the government quarters.

It was not quite 'saujana mata memandang', but ample enough for us to roam around.

Actually while I love to see us in the picture, I would like to divert your attention to the background of most of the picture.

The environs and the surrounding then was so tranquil and so peaceful, and so unhurried. I can imagine seeing the swaying coconut trees, and there were so many of them that added character to this scene. Would we ever get back to those lovely years?

I wish.
As I have mentioned in earlier entries, this made our childhood memories as if it was only yesterday. In those days, I guess there wasn't any queue for other kids to use this playground. It seems like we have the whole playground to ourselves.
This picture was taken of us on a small hill with a surau in the background. I remember it very well as it was quite close to our house and on one occasion, I was left alone while Mak went for a mengaji there. Obviously I didnt like it at all, and after a long wait for her to come back, I went to this hilloverlooking the surau and, well, started to cry, hoping she would hear and come back.

Hehehe, I was a kid then; what do you expect? ;-) I must have been bored then I think.

That's my memory of the surau. I am sure it would have been demolished by now.
Again us kids, with the neighbour friends.
Me on the swing. Again I love the blurry coconut trees in the background. It looks so natural. I am quite sure you wont get this kind of background anymore. All kind of artificial trees being planted everywhere.

We would be lucky if they were not plastic or metal.
Kids from the 60s Batu Gajah.

I guess bapak would take the whole neighbourhood children with us when he goes out shooting our pictures! there were so many of them all over the pictures - at our house and at the padang. As I have pointed earlier, we have a disproportionately high volume of pix taken in Batu Gajah compared to those taken in Lenggong. And I am sure economic factor would be the main reason for this.

I believe that many of the pics were taken circa 1967/68 as by 1969 for sure we were already in Lenggong.

If you look at the surrounding then I guess, and the empty spaces, I would probably love to become a property developer. So much space that it seems like a waste not to build something there, and tons of money to be made.

We need to prop up more building as the background and not coconut trees.

And that's exactly the attitude that brought us into the current predicament with the social and environmental problems that we now have.


Arif thought that I looked like him in the first pic. Or should it be the other way round? May be I do, if at least when I was younger. He for sure has more of his mother's features than of his dad's..

Akmal on the other hand would love doing all kind of facial expressions and posture whenever we took pictures of him in his younger days.

But I do wonder what happened to my teeth. I don't remember not having much of them. Hmm..

And oh, I thought I should revert to stories of the old days. Too many entries about the 'new' days already.

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