Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Happy Birthday kak Inda Sako

Dear Kak Inda,

I was on my way home today after work when all by sudden, you came to my mind. Only when I reached home and checked my calendar I realised, it is Tuesday, 6th February 2007. It has been exactly 3 years since you left us.

When you left us that blessful Friday morning, I was so far away and how I wish I could fly home from Bam,Iran just to be with you. Alhamdulillah, I managed to see you few days before I left for Bam. I knew you were in great pains and relying on morphine to relieve it. I hope my stupid jokes that day would cheered you up. (it was really really stupid jokes! I must confess that I didn’t know what to do in that room with you. I felt so helpless but I was just trying to be brave in front of you).

The relief mission had been trying to break the news to me earlier that day but they decided in the best interest of the mission, the news would be kept from me until I completed my task that day. Yes, I somewhat expected the “news” when they told me that Dr Jemilah Mahmood, (MERCY's founder,your gynae and close confidante) called our field mission in Baravat all the way from Malaysia and wanted to speak to me that morning. But I was rushing excitedly for ICRC Field Hospital in the city because it was the first day after few weeks into my relief mission that I could do what I am supposed to do – to conduct hospital clowning visit for the Bam earthquake victims.

Only that night, they broke the news. I took it simply without any feeling of sorrow. Perhaps I was detaching myself from emotions and just focusing on my mission. Two weeks after your passing, I managed to get the whole story when Dr Jemilah came to Iran with the next mission to replace us. She spoke to me while we were waiting for flight to Bam at Mehrabad Airport, Tehran. She told me how you, few days before, had accepted the fate and redha to meet your Creator. She told me how so many people came to perform “solat jenazah” for you. (They conducted the prayer twice for you). I felt so happy. Yet, sadness engulfed me when she told me that day, 6th February was your birthday and the night before you left us, your adopted kids, Shafiq, Yaya and Mira placed their handwritten birthday cards beside you. You never got a chance to read it. You went peacefully that Friday morning.Dr Jim told me about her last wishes. One of it she asked Dr Jim to look after me.

It took me almost two years to accept it. Since I returned from Bam, I just engrossed myself with work trying to keep the grief inside me. I was mourning quietly in my heart. Although you home and my office is just 5 minutes away, I never had the courage to walk again to your door and rang the bell. It was too painful. There were times when I drove to your place and steered the car away at the last moment. I was trying to deny it.

Only one day last year, I gathered the courage and knocked the door. Shafiq was the only one around. Abang Awi and the rest were away. It must be awkward for both of us that time but Shafiq as gentleman as he is ( Kak Inda, yes he is truly an angel!) invited me in. The living room is still just like when you were there. Photo frame of Pak Sako is still on the wall and your antic sewing machine you used to work with is still at that same corner. Yet, the moment I glanced at a photo frame sitting in one corner, I can’t contained it anymore. Your kids had put up all your photos on it. I just run my fingers on it and cried shamelessly.

We were complete strangers before and by fate we became so close like own blood. I think we started to know each other when we were working for Telekanser 2001. Oh yes! Now I remember. You were one of the cancer survivors I was arranging for media interviews for TK2001 and somehow you had invited me to come to your place one late afternoon for laksa. The rest was history. I quickly became part of your family. I don’t know how but you did tell me how I just make myself at ease at home that day. And I must tell you how proud I am when you introduce me to your friends that I was your new-found brother after Hardy (the long-lost brother). Till now I still cherish the sweet memories of having laksa at your place,your infectious laughter and till now, I still admire your indomitable spirits fighting against the Big C. Your determination and positive attitude helped not only for the patients you counselled but also inspire us to work harder to raise funds for cancer. Ah, it reminds me now to complete your purposely “unfinished” doa in front of Kaabah soon. (You know what I meant).

And you must be very happy that I am doing OK all these while. And I must tell you, I had achieved the unthinkable not so long ago. I went again to USA 2 years ago and studied with one of the greatest clowns in the world, Avner Eisenberg. It is one of the best moments in my life. Thank you for believing in me. When I was struggling, you are one of the few who never doubt my ability and keeps me going.

Happy Birthday Kak Inda and may Allah blessed your soul.


Nazrah said...

:( there is a lesson to be learnt here.

May she rest in the comfort of your doa.

drbubbles said...

there's many lessons we can learn from wonderful souls like inda..I am honored to be chosen by Allah to meet her. insan yang baik seperti dia pasti dirahmatiNya.

zura said...

Jitut, what a sad story you wrote about kak inda here. Beautifully narrated too. May you always be the one that can cheer up the people in need of laughters.