Sunday, January 27, 2008

Old Friends

Does anyone remember their first friend? Imaginary buddies don't count. C'mon, the very first person whom you met and hung out with that was not bonded to you by blood?

I just got back from a friend's wedding. THE Friend. The Original and First friend I ever met in my entire life at the age of about 6 or 7. He's the Adam, Papa Smurf, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Darth Watshisface of friends.

I was planning on bailing halfway through the 2 hour plus Hindu wedding. It had been a late Saturday night, I didn't get much sleep and didn't have time to grab breakfast before driving back to Seremban in the early morning to pick up my mum and head over to the temple wedding.

The trumpets sounded and my Bud walked in. His parents picked Mum and me out from the crowd and waved. His dad mouthed something that was drowned out by the accompanying drummers. My friend looked over a little uncomfortably with a sheepish smile and I somewhat stupidly gave him the thumbs up and grinned as he walked past to the stage.

I stayed till the end.

Maybe it was the smell of the fresh curry lunch outside or maybe because this was the first person I played any sport with besides my dad and uncles, the first person i got into trouble with and first person to talk about girls with. I used to kick his ass at one-on-one football but that's why he's a doctor now while people mistake me for an athletic socks sales man.

This friendship means something to me. It's been going on for almost 3 decades so it's got to be a Burger Spesel kinda thing. I still meet old friends, some whom I've outgrown and we do not share much in common anymore. But if someone who drives up from Seremban and thinks of me and calls me up to meet for some teh tarik then fuk, it I will go and talk old war stories. So another reminder to me to treasure the REALLY more important things in life and not to pay too much heed to the aesthetic material seductions brought on by too much city living.

Side notes:
1. Finally got sarcastic with some old dude when he as me "So young man, when is your turn?" Before i could think some auto response kicked in and I looked at his family, turned back to him and said, "No la Uncle, not ever. I'm enjoying myself being single." (note - I've been getting this queries at every function. The last dude even challenged me that I was not a man as I didn't see a need to bear many children. My normal response back in those days would be "Soon...soon..." I like the new one better!)

2. Seremban People Rule! - after the 2 dudes were mowed down by a bus at the Seremban section of the North-South highway last year, where one guy was helping the other to change a tire - I saw an almost similar good Samaritan act - an Indian guy on a bike stopped to help a Malay dude change the tire on his Kancil along the same highway, while the Malay dude's wife held an umbrella waving off cars away from the emergency lane. With the Hindraf nonsense and the anti- Indian sentiments in some communities this was heartening to me that the Indian dude actually still stopped to help out when it looked like a lot is going against him at this point of time.

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