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Saturday, April 29, 2006

To Malaysian or to not Malaysian..

Tonight, when I entered the post graduate room, I was suprised to see abg Fadzil in the room too. He was complaining that Ramadhan had forced him to come here to finish up the brochure for our upcoming colloquium, thus stealing away his precious family time hehe..

At 11pm, abg Fadzil was ready to retire but he wanted to go out for some drinks at Naseer first. So there we were, me, Nasrin, Remy, Ramadhan and abg Fadzil all heading towards Naseer, ready for some teh tarik and fries.

As usual, when lepak ramai², all sorts of topics could become a great discussion. First the guys were asking Nasrin about kahwin muta'ah in Iran, and from there, it lead to why Nasrin has never married yet, and THAT lead on to the fact that there were so few guys of her age left in Iran. Why, huh?

Simple: The war!

I've heard her talking about the war that has happened since more than a decade ago but I've never seen her so passionate when talking about it, like I saw her last night.

I felt a lump in my throat when she talked about her childhood friends who all went to war, but never came back. I can't even imagine losing my childhood friends. The only thing on our minds when we were 12 was our UPSR, which school we wanted to go to, the 1992 Thomas Cup final match between Malaysia and Indonesia and bla.. bla.. bla.. but Nasrin's 12-year-old friends were all thinking about defending their country and going out to war. Imagine, 12-years-old and already getting used to the war!

She said it was normal to dig huge holes to protect themselves whenever a rumour of bombing was heard. She became used to being thrown to the wall by the impact of missiles(?) and explosives. The noise was too normal that a quiet day would surprise them.

I always thought wars were about death so I was surprised when I learned that it doesn't really mean death. Nasrin talked about the people she knew who became deaf (as a results of bombings) and even who went all crazy because of the waves created by these explosives. I mean, they must be mega-sized if the waves could effect the brain to that extent.

Nasrin told us, though deep inside, she loves her country, she's still afraid that the war could happen again and she feels safer in our country here.

For a while, I was silent. The discussion was for only about 20 minutes but the weight of it was felt by all of us who listened to her, speaking with her heart. I couldn't even look at her in the face while she told us about the war and I noticed, I wasn't alone. Even talkative Remy was silent and pretending to be absorbed in the molecules of the teh tarik we were drinking. I'm not good in capturing the fire in what Nasrin just told us here, but if you were there, you'd act just like we did..

I remember a conversation I had with Nasrin earlier. She said that Malaysia is soooo beautiful because it was soooo colourful. I told her, we have mixed cultures here, thats why we are so colourful but she stopped me and asked to to look at these group of palm tress behind our school. At first, I didn't see anything, until she asked me to count, how many shades of green could I see from my pont of view.

Then only did I realize how rich we are with colours. Just from where I was standing, I counted 3 shades of green for the backround mountains, another shade of green from the grass below our feet and numeorus shades of green from each and every single tree there was within view.. at that precise moment, I felt so proud of my country, that I felt ashamed for complaining about our everyday complaints i.e. price hike, low pay etc

When I think about it, I'm lucky.. much² more luckier than most of the population of the world..

And yes, I'm proud to be a Malaysian!

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