Early this morning, while still sleeping I heard my handphone sms buzz but thought I was dreaming. Later, when I looked it was an sms. Shocked, stunned ......before sadnes set in. A good and loyal friend of my late father, Rustam A. Sani, passed away suddenly about 2.30am.
Last I saw him was 15 November 2007, at the launch of ayah's latest book 'Turunnya Sebuah Bendera' at ASWARA, launched by Dato' Seri Rais Yatim....the only minister so far who has helped me. I was so happy to see ayah's friends like him and Kak Ani still supporting me morally. These are times when you know who your good friends are!
Anyway, he and kak ani looked well and enthusiastic about my latest achievement. I was talking to kak Ani bout helping me contact the Singapore National Library as I have trouble researching for some of ayah's works that I can't find in our National Archives. I was hoping Arkib Negara would take the initiative to find whatever they don't have. Well, I guess they must be too busy and shorthanded! Anyway, they are always nice to me.
Okay...I've wandered from what I really want to say. Rustam A. Sani's father was Ahmad Boestamam, one of our country's Nationalist. Pakcik Bustamam as I knew when I was little was my late father's friend...one of his good friends. They were nationalists who helped shape our country through their writings. Ahmad Boestamam was a great man and a true friend of ayah. They went through a lot together....one of the major events they rode together was the Utusan Melayu Strike. That was the time ayah wrote one of his famous poems 'Duri Dan Api'. Nelson Mandela recited its last verse when he came to Malaysia. Incidentally, I've included that poem and its translation by Adibah Amin, in UA Enterprises's next publication entitled, 'Jiwa Hamba/Enslaved Soul'.
I was a little girl then but funny how I can remember things. There was the time when I thought there was a festivity but actually they were cooking for those on strike right on the lawn of our house! Of course I didnt know that then. I was just happy to see so many people at our house.
Okay what I really want to relate is about friendship through thick and thin. My ayah was not only good friends with Ahmad Boestamam but also good friends with his son Rustam A.Sani. When Abdullah Sani @ Ahmad Boestamam was not well and then passed on, Rustam continued the 'perjuangan'....fighting for the rights of the people..for their land, etc.
The late Rustam A. Sani was an intellectual who writes what he believes, a true and loyal friend, a good man who will be missed by many like me but especially deeply for a long, long, long while by Kak Ani, his children and relatives like my good school friend Zaidah Omar Baki.
There is a hollow, numb , mixed feeling of lost somewhere....that was how I felt I guess when ayah passed on.........