Home » Archive » Sequestered » Page 3

Sequestered

Page 3

Joining the dots for the sequestration at Kedai New Eastern. After five years almost, one was not travelling completely blind in these parts.

A doctor brother had practiced in various Asian cities and his cardiologist son presently had a residency at Tan Tok Seng in Singapore. Another brother had passed on. The clan gathered at the Kedai in Muar each New Year, hosted by the uncle who had remained to carry on the enterprise of the old patriarch-ghost above the register. The old hearth in the European context blazing a light that illuminated the family circle.

Each afternoon the wife hesitantly approached attempting the order, before—finger pointing over her shoulder—husband was called out. Each afternoon brilliant, sumptuous fare fit for Sultan or towkay. The girl serving was not Vietnamese; Myanmar. With better hearing she gratefully caught the Thanks in her own language.

Five overhead fans had been added not long after the war possibly; fluro lights might have been deployed for banquets. New vertical shutters for the front in place of the handsome old patterned horizontal was one loss here.

Muhyuddin the brave local who had recently been deposed as Deputy Prime Minister for his criticism of Najib, was photographed with his wife on a visit. Plastic brown chairs with backs had steadily replaced the wooden originals. A calendar and wall-clock. The retro sea-shell light shades over the cubicles were originals, one could tell by the dull discoloured brass mounts.

It was not lethargy and disregard that was responsible for the lack of progress and modernization here; in their mid-sixties husband and wife continued pacing the concrete floor in the usual earnest way. Energy and spirit had not been lacking. Active filial piety was nearer the mark, something more substantial than the ritualized worship.

Page 3

This edition

Search