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Nostalgia of a Cupboard

November 17, 2006

This picture amuses me.

Thought that this is a ready-to-be-thrown-into-Kelantan-river cupboard?

Think again.

My father would have a different perspective about it.

“Please, don’t throw it away!” my father insisted.
“Ayah, this is very old already. Why should we keep it here? Menyemak je,” my eldest brother argued, followed by fast nods from the other siblings, including me. We had been arguing about this for a few times. Being young and modern, we were so eager to clear up some space and fill them up with more stylish stuffs. What’s more, the cupboard had been located near the living room, so we didn’t want to force the guests making such courtesy remarks as “Wow! What a lovely classic cupboard,” or “Ooo, what a taste,” or “Hmm…that looks so elegant in this house,” or something like that.

After long stillness, my father finally said, quite sadly: “We should never throw away what used to be so good.”

My father’s words made me totally tongue-tied. All of us were silent. His rare wisdom was empowering me like a wild thunderstorm, shaking me up as if I had just been electrocuted. I was thinking: Hmmm… not bad ar, my father can also be so sentimental and melancholic, just like me.

That happened one day before he got remarried. We, all the get-back-together siblings, were busy rearranging all the stuffs in our house in Kelantan when we found mountains of old books, magazines, notes and uncategorized stuffs belonged to my father. They must be 40 or 50 years old! I couldn’t believe that my father still kept all those things, putting them nicely in various hidden locations in the house. My sister lumped them together into a large waste bag, ready to throw them away. I managed to rescue some of the books which, I thought, were worthy of continuous safeguarding, like some old reading books in English and dictionaries. How nostalgic.

Honestly, I myself have been doing things like what my father had done, a lot actually. I always keep all those petty things, like movie tickets, sales receipts, brand tags, paper bags, shoe boxes, etc. (God of Small Things?) I couldn’t simply throw them away, ironically for no apparent reason. Until after some time, like when I want to move out, and feel that those piles are annoying, then I will voluntarily dump them into a dustbin, for good (Do you guys out there do what I do?).

Oh, back to the cupboard story, my other siblings were still determined in getting rid of the poor cupboard in our house, especially my eldest brother. It was okay to throw all those documents, said my father, but not that lovely cupboard.


Actually, I started to have the same opinion like my brother, thinking that it was about time for my father to let go some of the physical things in his life and start his brand new life with our new Ummi. Of course we need to remember what used to be good, but along the way to the future, we need to let go some of them. Don’t you agree?

Finally when my father was not around, we did what was not supposed to be done, without his knowledge.

“Come on, let’s do it now!” my eldest brother whispered to us mischievously.

And so, here we go. One. Two. Three. Now!!


We were acting like criminals, committing a serious crime against the Goddess of Nostalgia. When my father saw it later, he didn’t say a word.

Should I feel guilty over what I had done? I am not sure. Would you feel so?

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