Sunday, 15 July 2012

Memories of Dad

I’m here in Malaysia, where it all began so many years ago. And where I last saw Dad before his last rush to hospital. We’ve visited his resting place in Nilai a few times and it is peaceful there but that’s not what I preserve in my heart and my mind.
We used to go to Pudu wet market, we did.

Mum used to do all the heavy lifting – trudge into the wet places to buy chicken, eggs, meat and so on. The women of the household still do that. They used to wear local clogs and later on plastic washable sandals and they still do that.
Dad and I would wait in the cleaner areas and indulge in his passion for fruit – he was the gatherer of the fruits. I went to the place where we bought bananas and they still sell bananas there, but I don’t know the people, old or new.

It’s a darker corridor and there are side entrances
There were lots of things inside the dim market but as Mum did all the main shopping, I didn’t see the veil lifted. Shallots, spices and eggs.
There would be fish.
And meatier stuff – curiosities like Pigs Ears.
If we stepped outside, we’d see all kinds of stuff on sale. Just because it’s a wet market doesn’t mean you only sell bloody meat or things that make you go Eeeuuww.
Flowers in garlands
As we walked back to the fringe, we would pass this Taoist worship ornaments shop
The shops by the road that sell fish are still there
Then Mum would still not have turned up. We would wait some more and see peddlars with fake Rolex watches (Dad always wanted a real one but settled for two Tissot in his life, he was realistic – his had a family to feed and two sons to send oversas to Uni on government officer salary). He would reward my patience with two types of Chinese pancakes – the thick and the thin types.
And sometimes, sometimes, I would catch a glimpse of something potentially scary and intriguing. The slaughter of a big lizard, turtle – often in a manner that might bring the RSPCA. Those days are gone of course, all you can see are frogs
The market is still full of wide eyed kids
and their Dad
And people who take might have the advantage of wide eyed adults
And that, is what memories of Dad and our time together is.
Thanks Robin Wong, Luke Ding, Yeow Chin Liang and all the gang for hosting the walk. And a hello to Mithun


Mithun Kumar said...

Wow, what a touching way to narrate a street shoot!
Loved both the pictures and your narratives. It was absolutely a pleasure to shoot the markets and streets with your friendly company, Ananda... :)

Amy Williams said...

Wonderful story Ananda, I love the way you've played out your memories through your photographs. Great work.

Cliff said...

Choot, well written. It's such precious memories that resides in us forever.