Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Our Hometown in Poetry

After seeing this photo I remember meeting Jevon's 1st uncle (the guy in the middle) many years ago at eldest sister's wedding, where I was the “official” photographer.  I bumped my head against the altar on the front porch of our farm-house, while maneuvering for a better shot. 

“Dangerous work,” He said. 

“Professional hazard.”  I said and realized immediately how hollow it sounded.  As a young man I was too eager to impress him with big words.  He was an intellectual, I was a “nobody”.  I wasn’t anywhere in the horizon of being professional.  I was just enjoying all the action with a camera, using it as a passport to move around among the guests and relatives.  Otherwise I’d have to keep saying ‘excuse me’.  Unfortunately, the chinese "dui pu zu" in Hokkien was seldom used in our northern zone.  ‘Sorry’ is also English word….to say that in Hokkien you try ‘Solly’. 


Later Jevon’s mum showed me a book of his poems.  I remember the title which went something like “Love – in Search of Moon-waves”.  I quickly copied some of the poems because I had to return the book to her.  It belonged to her sis-in-law.  I guess it was the only copy available this side of the globe.  I wonder if he still writes poetry.  Here's one of my favorites.  Especially proud someone wrote about our hometown in a poem.


Tanjong Bungah


A crab side-stepped

Out of his hole

Questioned the bright moon

Hurried into his dark


The sand was quietly white

Except for wood

Rubbing wood

From boats tied too

Near the quay

Fish nets vague and empty as

The moonlight

Stood limp

I flung a spikey shell

At one

It dangled

Plunged into the sea

Rippled concentric circles

Of loneliness

Into moonlight darkness


  1. Oh my God! I just realised how important are those books to me... I hope he reads this and send me all of his books, I did like to collect them.. I have never see them before I think except the Poetry book too. When I was young, I opened one of the book and take a look.. I never understand it.. so I chucked it aside. Now, I really need them! I hope is in Marina Bay... Last time it was either in mine or my brother's cupboard... (Lowest drawer/shelf)

  2. BTW are you still in Melaka? Doing housemanship or whatever?

  3. Still in Malacca.. Parents coming to visit me this weekend.. kekeke..

    Doing my clinical years, meaning.. practising without pay and still under attachment to the college NOT hospitals.

  4. So...that means you can do clinical practice in home country while still reporting to college in India? How long will clinical be?

  5. I was surprised that you knew nothing about my college... hahaha.

    I have finished my 2 and the half years in India.. Now I'm in my 4th year in Malacca... 2 years was pre-clinical years..means i sat in the classroom every morning 8am till 4 or 5pm just to learn Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Microbiology, Pharmacology and Forensic Medicine...

    In clinical years (3rd year), I learned Ophthalmology, Community Medicine, ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) and now.. Medicine, Surgery, O&G (obstetric & gynaecology), Psychiatry, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics, Anaethesiology, Emergency Medicine...until I graduate. Of course all those I have learned will be in the final exams again next year!

    After I graduate then only I'm known as Dr. (2 years from now hopefully...)

  6. me, hardly surprising. We meet at most, once a year when you get angpau from me and it's "hi" and "bye" until maybe granny's or grandpa's birthday. At these gatherings, everybody's talking to everybody else.... I never use ICQ. So we've actually been "strangers" all these years.. hahaha. I recall receiving an email from a guy called "Jevon" and I wanted to delete it because I thought it was spam mail!!! Then I remember that conversation I had with your mum and checked your icq number to a name card you gave me many years ago.....

    Good thing you started all this family gathering. You should earn good karma for this......Probably next time we meet again (physically), I'll address you as Doctor Choong MBBS (?)

  7. Yeh, thanks Jevon for this.....Next time when we meet (physically) again, we may become more familiar than before.....
    But what is "icq"?

  8. You're welcome uncles!

    ICQ is a short form for "I seek you". Is a chat module...
    There are a lot of other better chat modules... if you have an account with Yahoo mail.. You can use yahoo messenger to chat.
    If you have an account with hotmail, you can use msn messenger to chat.

    But currently I prefer Yahoo messenger over others because it is stable, and more important we can send offline messages... unlike msn messenger.

    ICQ also has the same ability as yahoo messenger but it is rather unstable.

    To download icq go For yahoo and msn, go search around in and respectively.

  9. While going through some "historical items" (spring cleaning) I found this old copy of thestar
    The article was written by Cecil Rajendra (another ex-Xaverian), a lawyer and poet.