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Hardships of a Sikh Family: Chapter 3

 

To read the previous chapters, click here.

 

***Note: I have a bad habit. I have a problem with remembering things. However, I can only remember bits and pieces of things which hold dear to my heart, which inspire me, which probably I feel might do me good. Otherwise, I don’t really remember incidences that well or even dates for that matter (I’m terrible with numbers). I do not know why I’m like that and try as I might, I try recalling them but I keep mixing them up. I’m glad my dad wrote these stuff down. Just incase I ever forget, I can always read them again.

There is however an incident I remember my dad telling me. It was his first vivid memory of being an infant, when the Japanese bomber planes were above the clouds dropping bombs onto villages, he remembered his mother holding him tight and running for shelter through the palm oil trees.

What’s my first memory as a child? It was during my first birthday party (the only birthday party infact), I remember my mother carrying me and I was crying because I wanted her to dance. That’s all I remember..

Back in school, the school kids had this one bad habit where they teased you about your dad’s name. It became quite rampant and infact, people started calling you by your dad’s name instead of yours. I didn’t like it. And I used to be quite ashamed of my dad for having such a funny name. But now that he’s gone, I miss that name..

-Chapter 3

After working for some years, my father decided to make a trip to Punjab. His father, Arjan Singh was still alive then. He got him married to a girl who was from the village of Barnala. This was my beloved mother, Late Pagwan Kaur s/o Late Mohan Singh also of village of Barnala.

 

Soon after a few months my father came back to Malay with my mother. Myself, my brothers and 3 sisters of whom one is deceased were all born in Malaya. Myself Kaka Singh am the eldest. I was born in the District Hospital (2/5/1941) Port Dickson.

 

You may wonder how I got this funny kind of name. Well it was like this, the nurse asked what name should she give for the child. Neither my father or mother could decide. Then it was dawn. My father saw a crow flying and it was cawing “Ka-Ka-Ka!”. So my father told the nurse “Tharo nama Kaka Singh (put the name as Kaka Singh)”.

 

We were very poor then. My father worked as a bus conductor. Slowly he made friend with his driver who taught him to drive the bus. Then he became a conductor and driver after being able to drive the bus. At that time we were staying in Lobak in Seremban.

 

(Again, dad being dad, ended the chapter this way.)

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