Bang Man was a great companion when I was in primary school as he was few years my senior. After completed his secondary education he worked with my dad. Outside working hours, he helped to accompany my elderly grandmother who was living alone.
When we met last Raya, he was related a story, he shared with my grandmother during Ramadhan month. Those years, in the 60s, we lived without electricity. It was a routine, my grandmother woke up at early hours to cook for their ‘sahur’ (early morning breakfast). One day, my grandma assumed it was 4.00 something in the morning. So, they were enjoying their ‘sahur’, suddenly to realized later that the roaster started crowing and the day brightened as Bang Man opened the window and found that it was already post-dawn. Unlike today when azan can be heard aloud, those days there was no loudspeaker. What’s the use of loudspeaker without electricity?
Bang Man was such a sweet, sweet man, jovial, funny and full of great stories. He has two wives. Bang Man himself appears bemused that he has gained the status of an operation manager to a shoe company, Clark.
He related a story when he had to solve many of his customers’ problem. They were mostly professionals like engineers, lawyers and doctors. But when it came to shoe, he insisted, he was a professional too.
His carefree attitude makes me wonder how he manages two families. His son with the first wife is a pious religious ustaz and the second daughter is a teacher.
In the younger days, he told me that, he used to cycle to school more than 10 km. His favourate past times then was watching movies in the only, dilapidated cinema in town. In the 60s, the cinema was in bad shape. Not uncommon, Hindustani movies like, Sangam and Bobby were very popular and he was among those who repeatedly watching four times in a row to the extend that he can memorized the plot and story line very well.
Not infrequent, after he came back he would recount the story to me and as a young boy I was amazed by his story telling skill.
It was during the last Raya, that we met again rekindling our fond memories of the good old days and patching up relations as friend and buddy.