A bizarre cosmic twist. In the midst of death are we the still-living ones struggling to cope with loss and to make sense of it all.
Merely a few hours after yesterday’s entry I received a phonecall from Toj informing me of Lan’s (Kuchalana‘s bassist) critical state in the ICU of HKL. I did not receive much information regarding his predicament and remember assuming that it was a road accident. A preliminary round of questions over ym with a few concerned friends revealed the horrific nature of the events leading to his death.
I am not among the lucky ones who were personally close to this soft-spoken, affable man. Of course I’d seen him play during various occasions and there isn’t a doubt in my mind regarding how musical and precise his playing was, providing the solid thump and intricate reggae basslines behind Kuchalana’s sound. Standing tall on the stage, eyes downcast, a smile on his lips and head a-nodding.
The first and only time we actually held conversation was mid 2007 at a restaurant in Pandan Indah. As a fellow musician aware of and very appreciative of his talents, I was struck by his humility and warmth and above all his transfixing smiling eyes. Another common ground we shared was being fathers to daughters.
I shudder at the thought of the girl losing her dear dad and curse the perpetrators of this barbaric and incomprehensible act of violence.
Links Updated 18.07.08
A baby boy was born yesterday, an event marking a new soul’s march into this world of such endearment and foible. Congratulations to Reen (who munched on a burger just minutes after her water broke) and Rai (whose frantic text messages updating concerned friends were heartwarming), proud parents ushering in a new member into their young family.
Like Reen, A was past her due date and had to be induced into labour. 12 hours in the labour room with her started calmly enough with me sitting by her side reading a magazine while she sweated and casually enduring her first contractions. As it approached the 10th hour, after many a false alarm and still no baby, the magazine had been replaced by a yassin booklet supplied to me by a repremanding nurse.
Around 11 pm A was wheeled into the operating theater (she remembered smelling food from the pantry) while I fidgeted nervously outside with the rest of the assembled clan. That was the closest I have ever been to the feeling that I was losing her.
Half an hour later I was looking at S in the paed’s arms, all wide-eyed and sucking her thumb and I struggled with this frightening yet incredibly soothing knowledge that she was flesh and blood. I went outside afterwards and cried on my mother’s shoulder while we looked into each other’s eyes as if sharing a dark beautiful secret.
Very well: a new baby boy for Reen and Rai. New life so full of hope, signigying origins and a preface to an unfolding story.
Smurfette’s grandmother passed away earlier this morning. As I type this she is on her way back to see her for the last time and I am overcome by the great irony of birth and death occuring in less than 24 hours. The juxtapostition of grief and joy, origins and destination, hope and despair.
Of course millions are born and millions die each minute around the world. But to have such poignant reminders that there is a force larger than the rest of us at work is a humbling experience. In the doldrums of everyday existence, one forgets the soul and the spirit. Of where one originates from and one’s destination once it is all over.