...bermakna rumah tidak berapi.
Thanks so much Natasha!
They both stared fervently at the candle which stood between them. Sometimes deliberately breathing hard to create sways of movements in the fire. I was drowning in exasperation for the cakes undone in the oven. All due the very next day. There was nothing to do except to wait in the dark with little lights flickering around us. As I rested on the sofa thinking of how to pass the time, the sight of my guitar at the corner of the room took me 20 years back, all the way to our terrace house in Ipoh.
There were too many times when "api" was taken away too abruptly from our house. I am sure Ayah paid the bills on time and so did Pak Yed and Aunty Bin our next door neighbours. But "api" still got extinguished when we most needed it, like the time when my sister and I needed to finish our homework. That was actually the least of my sister's concern for she was more worried of the tv shows she was going to miss!
Every time the house went dark at the house of number 43, the "wannabe" band members would come out to the balcony and sing songs. My brothers would lead with the strumming and plucking of the guitar and the girls would sweetly sing the songs of yesteryear. Yes, we all could sing, all the four siblings and this ability was only recognised and acknowledged by us, the band members of "The Faws". In our mother tongue it is called "perasan" lol! But "The Faws" was very real to all of us. Our father even made T-shirts with our faces and the name of the band at the back. If it was ever to come true, we knew our mother would sew us all the matching costumes and made us look very colourful. At that time, family bands were the in thing. There were the Jackson 5, The Carpenters, The Osmonds, The Bee Gees and deep in my heart I wanted "The Faws" to make it too but the vision just stayed there, deep in my heart.
Nevertheless, many songs were rendered on that balcony, under the midnight sky accompanied by the glittering stars above. We sang songs by Dato'Shake's, Cenderawasih, Jay Jay, REO Speedwagon, Air Supply, until the lights came back on or until we drove each other crazy or until we were too sleepy to sing anymore.
Now when we are all grown up, we do still sing, whenever we get the chance to do so, but never at the balcony of house number 43. The balcony is still there but is now filled with a different type of melody - the patters of small feet trampling on the dusty floor.
"Baba" came home just in time to record a show with his new phone. I grabbed my guitar, plucked some silly tunes and made the kids perform as I went along. They acted and moved and sang, until, the lights came back on, until they drove each other crazy and until they were too sleepy to act funny anymore.
will upload the video to their little concert once "baba" has learnt how to transfer it to youtube.