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Sunday, 10 August 2014

TANDA YANG SEMAKIN PUDAR (A SIGN THAT IS INCREASINGLY FADING)


Ni satu lagi siri teks budaya (penanda) naratif zaman kanak-kanak saya yang semakin pupus dihakis monster bernama kapitalisme global - kedai Cina. Inilah supermarket saya masa kecil, tempat saya buat amali ilmu matematik, ekonomi dan pemasaran. Kini ia semakin suram. 


This is yet another series of cultural texts (signs) of my childhood narrative, that are increasingly eroded by a monster called global capitalism - Chinese shop. This used to be my supermarket when I was a little kid, a place where I practiced my knowledge of mathematics, economics and marketing. Now, it has turned sombre.


Seiring dengan teks budaya ini adalah watak-watak yang mewarnainya, termasuklah nyonya dan tauke yang wajah-wajah mereka dah didepositkan menjadi sebahagian dari pangkalan data mental saya. Nyonya sebuah kedai dah lama meninggal, mewariskan kedainya pada anak perempuan sulung yang saya kenal sejak kecil (kini dia pun jadi jadi nyonya separuh umur). Semuanya mengenali arwah ayahanda, dari zaman muda, hinggalah ke tua. Ada sorang tauke, yang saya dah lupa namanya, sesekali datang ke rumah. Terakhir dia singgah untuk ziarah arwah ayahanda dan bonda di rumah (tahun lepas), sambil bawa ubat ginseng.

"Mana ada lupa, biasalah sudah tua macam saya tak boleh ingat semua. Ini orang tua (sambil tunjuk ayahanda saya), ok lagi ma!" 

"Itu ustaz, dia ada cakap, saya ingat sampai sekarang. Orang besar di atas selalu tengok orang di bawah, dia kata itu semua orang kecik. Dia tak tau, orang bawah tengok dia di atas, nampak dia kecik juga." 


Along this cultural text are characters that had coloured it, including the nyonyas and taukes (shop owners) whose faces have been deposited into my mental database. One nyonya had passed away, leaving her shop to her eldest daughter (who has become a mid-age nyonya herself). All of them knew my late father, from the time they were young until they have become old. There is this one tauke whose name I have forgotten already, used to come to my house. The last time he came was to visit my mother and late father (last year), and brought a ginseng medicine for them to drink.

"What to you mean forgetful, an old man like me cannot remember everything, its normal. This old guy (while ponting at my late father), is still ok!"

"This ustaz (religious teacher), he used to tell me this, I still remember until now. Important people on top always like to see people at the bottom as small people. They don't realize that these low people also see them small."  


Tauke rakan arwah ayahanda ni, bersama dengan kedainya, seperti juga banyak lagi penanda masa, adalah spesis bakal lupus; bakal di fade-out oleh naratif yang semakin meratakan segalanya, atas nama 'persaingan yang sihat'.


This tauke friend of my late father, together with his shop, are increasingly extinct species; potentially faded-out by a narrative that flattens everything, in the name of 'healthy competition'.


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