Wednesday 29 April 2015

Akim - 29 April 1949 - 21 September 1982

Thirty three years ago  .........

..........  "you left me standing here".

When you were born at Pasir Panjang Road - on this day today -  sixty-six years ago .........

.......  the mak bidan said to Emak in a matter-of-fact way: budak 'ni tak panjang umur.  She had recognised the signs when she delivered you.  Emak told me this a few days after you passed away and never will I reveal the indicators of the prophecy.  Here's our brave mother holding the fourth joy of her life just a few days after you were born.

No wonder she was so protective over you.

Emak was just 59 when she lost you.  But even though she had very little asohan ugama her faith saw her through this ordeal until she passed away in 1997 when she was 74.

On this day I want to record my happy memories of you - so that cucusihamid and cicitsihamid  will get to know and remember you better.

Firstly, there was Akim, the artist.

I think this was where you began to show signs of your artistic streak.

The little house at 691 Pasir Panjang Road aka Akim's Art Gallery.
Whenever we made a (very necessary) visit to this mini abode we were presented with an exhibition of your art work on the inside door. When you ran out of space you tried to expand to the side walls - but we knew you would need some acrobatic skills to do so!

During primary school at Pasir Panjang English School - your talent was recognized.

An Art Prize for Mustakim bin Hamid of Primary IC (1956)

I also found this textbook of yours after you moved on to Pasir Panjang Secondary School.

In it was the usual proprietary marker ....

........ and an additional illustration which I discovered late last year at Setiawangsa when I was browsing through my collection of books.  What a joy it was!  You are a scalawag!

Mustakim wishing his textbook was on TV.

I think this was due to the influence of TV - we were all agog with the introduction of RTS  (Radio Television Singapore) in 1963.

Maznoor and Mustakim at 58, Jalan Mas Kuning,  transfixed :
 watching  Peyton Place on TV in 1967.
I still keep this 1969 psychedelic illustration you made for me on my YISS (Yusof Ishak Secondary School) file.

Here's another masterpiece which (I think) you made for Mus's hitch hike journey back to Hull from London  in 1982.  I'm so happy that you two found each other - as brothers - in a foreign country. This gave so much meaning and comfort to  Mus when you left us forever in  September1982.

Mustakim in his bedsitter at Kilburn.

You may be in the world's most exciting city .....

Akim's photograph of Nelson's Column, 1982.

........ but your heart longed for home in Boon Lay.

"If I could see B. Lay from the top , I'd climb the monument".

Our whole family adored cats - something we picked up from Abah's genes.  Two of our cats - Puss and Dajal - waited for Abah to come home from work before they took their last breath.  I can never forget how you put your head  on the kitchen floor in the Boon Lay kitchen, next to Kookie, and cried as you held him. I had to take Kookie to the Vet, to be put to 'sleep', to save him from more pain because of his renal failure.

Kookie (on the left) and Suzie.

 Cats and cats - that was what we had in common.

Loving cats started early for Akim.

Mustakim's sister  (at16)  and Tina.

Mustakim's sister (at 71) and Stanley in Jack's garden 3 days ago.

And here's your collage (from the late '70s) to illustrate the power of women.  I somehow believe you did this tongue-in-cheek.  You've always had a wry sense of humour!

"The hands that rock the cradles .....  rule the world".

We had a good laugh - when you suggested how you could protect me from burglars at night - when we were sharing a 'flat' at  10, Royal Road.  You would place your shoes outside my door - to scare off possible intruders!!!

But someone else who is now my hero-protector - someone I dearly wish you could have met - your second brother-in-law added this for my self-defense.

What more could I ask?  A pair of men's shoes and a badge of  macho-femalehood!

Dear Akim,  you will always and forever be in my heart and in my prayers. On this day I write this little tribute for a beloved brother,  taken too soon but loved and remembered for always.

Al Fatihah.


A Brother Remembers

Mustapha & Mustakim - two nerdy brothers at 691, Pasir Panjang Road  1956(?)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at Singapore Botanical Garden  1954/1955 (?)

Thank you Mus.

                                               Terry Scott - My Brother


Anonymous said...

Al fatihah..
Dear AsH, this heartfelt tribute to your brother moves me much. Thank for sharing. You see, I have my own treasure trove of memories of a much beloved sister, whose passing on my birthday over a year ago, has left such a void in my life. The mark of my birthday since then, will always be a tribute to her, in remembrance of her...
Al fatihah
- Ros

anak si-hamid said...

Dear Ros,

Thank you for the kind thoughts. I know what you must be going through on the loss of your sister. It must still feel raw inside you but you have a 'treasure trove' of memories to keep her close.

All our loved ones - they are God's gift to us. Come the time they return to Allah as we will do so - sooner or later.

Al Fatiha

Rockybru said...

Dear Miss Hamid,

Just Like Yesterday. Alfatihah buat Akim.

anak si-hamid said...

My dear Din,

Thank you very much.

Take care and be a good boy!

Anonymous said...


'Its my turn now '...his last words to me , when he walked out of the departure hall to hug me before he left for Singapore.
The night before, we were talking , amongst others, about Abah.
In his death, he came back to me when I was in Hull and followed me all the way back to Singapore. Nobody would believe me.


Anonymous said...

' Al-fatihah.

'Its my turn now'...Those are the last words of my late brother to me. I was sending him off at Heathrow. He was going back home in Singapore for his holidays.

Throughout our lives, we were sibling rivals at everything......attention, hi-fi equipment and even girls....Its only when he came to join me in UK that we became brothers in every sense of the word. We roamed the streets of London, dropped in almost every record and hi-fi shop, walked in the park and we talked and talked like we're trying to make up for all the time that we missed talking as brothers. I hitch-hiked every other weekends to be with my newly discovered brother. We talked in the night, cried in the night and cleared a lot of silly misunderstanding. I had a good one year with him.....but certainly not enough. I could still feel him kissing the side of my neck while saying those last words.

The day he died, I was going to sleep at just past midnight. It was raining. My bed was was by the front bay window. Then I heard a knock on the window. Thinking it was some friends, I went out to open the door. There was no one. But when I entered the house again, a strong smell of incense followed me.I felt strange and without any second thought, cleanse myself and started praying and recited the Koran.

Then, another knocking on my window. This time it was my neighbour, telling me that there was a phone call from Singapore. I was prepared for the worst. And true enough, my sister on the line told me about the passing of Akim. But I was prepared emotionally because of the earlier events. Later on comparing the time difference with my sister, I believed that his spirit came to visit me earlier.

Next morning, I left Hull for Heathrow and throughout the journey, the scent on incense followed me on the bus, the train, the tube and the plane. No one else could smell it. It only went off after I hugged my sister at the Singapore Airport. I know then how much he loved me and I hid my missing him from everyone. We discovered each other thousands of kilometers away from home....but that one year , we became boys again.