So a series of activities and madness that span more than a year finally will culminate into one event tomorrow.
Registration begins around 1 pm at the dormitories (Safari Resort's dormitories that is). After much deliberation and considering that most people are coming solo (at this age any excuse to ditch the wife and the kids is considered God sent), it is really wasting to book better resorts in Ipoh or Bukit Merah as originally planned.
Sukanterer events will commence at 3 pm tomorrow at Padang Big School, followed by a dinner and the inaugural MCKK's Long Service Award to honour the teachers who had served the school more than 15 years at Dewan Merdeka Kuala Kangsar.
The Committee met on Wednesday night in Bangi to go through the checklist - so far everything should be ready and all of us are leaving this morning (I am already behind schedule as the video that I owe to the Committee is facing too much 'technical problems').
We are expecting circa 80 people (60+ batch members; the lowest in all the reunions we have had so far as many of the usual suspects are either overseas or have to cancel last minute for last minute assignments - the rest are spouse or friends they bring back).
The climax is the award ceremony for Carey Award 2008 (for the top spammer in the batch). The inter-house spamming competition has been running since June 2006 until January 2008 - accumulating a total of crica 80,000 e-mails. There were times our Googlegroup was suspended by Google because of too much traffic.
KNO and I will update regularly from KK from this afternoon onwards.
The worst thing about funeral blues is moving on. I initially thought of quitting the blog altogether and spend some time contemplating and coming to terms with the loss. Everything around me reminds me of Ben (and Shahrol) - even compiling the video (to reminisce all the activities we carried out together with the teachers for the boys i.e. MightyDucks, debate and scholarship/career), Ben and Shahrol were all over the place.
But Ben also once wrote to me when I was 14 (he later bought me Crowded House's CD for the same song in 1996):
"... You are still so young to travel so far
Old enough to know who you are
Wise enough to carry the scars
Without any blame, there's no one to blame.."
The best way to honour him is to honour his values and everything he holds dear by keeping them alive - in the kids, in the new talents we discover - not to mop around. By making sure that the young people we spend time to groom remember who, what and why Ben is one in a million - and inspire them the way Ben has inspired us.
I also chose to see the positive side of things I cannot change, reminded by a friend's email (it was sent at 1607 on the same day Ben passed away - though at the time he did not know yet):
As u might know, I am just reconnected to the internet yesterday after a week of duduk2 bodo aje.. (bodoh piang punya lahabau pi curik cable telepon dkt rumah aku..). got the chance to visit our batch (or is it yours) [Reminder 1] blog last nite and read about benan (actually knew about him earlier) - the dude sitting next to my tiny cubicle was from 8690 and he told me about it...
So just wanna drop by and give a moral support or something (if u can call it that laa).. i really don't know how close you are to him, but I presume it shud be close enuff for it to hit u pretty hard..
I'm not very good with words (u can ask XXX about that) and nothing that I can say wud by any consolation to u..
Just hang in there bro and pray a lot... remember not all of us are blessed with a circle of friends that as truthful and meaningful as yours.. [Reminder 2] so u shud feel lucky and cherish those memories with them (and memories... [CENSORED] rite?..)
Anyway good job with what u have done for budak2 koleq.. truly admire that.. really sorry I got nothing to contribute.. and about hugging those boys, good work! It's ur 1st step into paedophilia world ha ha ha
Ps: hahahahah.. tak tau apsal leh tulis camnie (surely it is nowhere as feylong as aiwa's mail to fadli kan) just a few simple words from a friend to me recently - "things we value most are often obvious only after we have lost them" - have some weird effect on me. So take care bro, and have nice life!
(any public posting of this mail will mean berpatah arang berkerat rotan will come into immediate effect)*"
I read the email at Ben's place with Ben already being covered and all - it hit me then and now:
This is the batch blog although I am the one who mostly write things that take place between us. We have this sentimental plan to grow old together and be as close knit as this until the end. The batch website and blog has run continuously without fail since 1996 and we plan to compile selected events and recollections into a book for our 20-year reunion in 2014. So I should not turn this blog into my private space for private mourning (which should remain private) nor should I abandon the blog because it is an amanah from friends. What I plan to write and my recollections of Ben will have to be elsewhere.
Knowing Ben and being close to him was in itself a privilege that I should cherish. I used to be very frustrated when I told people about Ben and I didn't get the same fascination about him as how I have been fascinated about Ben all my life - which after a while made me realise that it was my privilege, not their ignorance. It is also a blessing that I am also always surrounded by the most loyal friends - which ironically also related to what Ben once wrote to me:
"People either love you so much they would die for you, or hate you so much they would kill you. There's no in between".
I choose to remember Ben's greatness and most importantly his kindness to me throughout his short life. It is the kindness part that kills me softly and slowly, knowing that I didn't have the chance to make it up to him.
Anyway Ben, you take care.
* and to The Friend, there's nothing to be ashamed for the kindness we show people although it might become a butt of everyone's joke in the next reunion. Although I cannot guarantee that will not happen, I can guarantee I will remember your kindness and thoughtfulness at the time I needed it most.