THE HOUSE THAT

Mem­o­ries made in writer’s child­hood abode are too pre­cious to let go

New Straits Times - - News -

LAST week, the kitchen, in the house that Pak built, was filled with laugh­ter, chat­ter and ban­ter once again. As al­ways, the ta­ble was over­laden with food; home-made and bought from favourite eat­ing haunts nearby.

Most of us sib­lings and spouses, chil­dren and grand­chil­dren had ar­rived from Kuala Lumpur to the house, along what we fondly called White Wa­ter Lane, for a long-awaited re­union.

For a long time dur­ing Mak’s old age that led to her pass­ing five years ago, it was left aban­doned and would have col­lapsed due to ter­mites and the rav­ages of time and, of course, ne­glect. But Ajie, my youngest sib­ling, de­cided to go back, and the ren­o­va­tion of the big house where we grew up would have made our late par­ents proud.

The house holds too many mem­o­ries to let it go.

I re­mem­ber the house that was newly built that be­came our pride and joy as it stood ma­jes­ti­cally be­side Tuk’s house. In its early days, it was the cen­tre point and refuge for rel­a­tives near and far.

Pak Lang and fam­ily used to come from that far­away is­land of Sin­ga­pore. He is Mak’s brother from an­other mother. He and his sib­lings grew up there. Pak Tam would come back dur­ing his

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