Dr. Shukri

"Hello Afiq?"
"Dr. Shukri baru meninggal petang tadi."
"Okay, terima kasih sebab bagitau aku."

"Mamak, bawa sebotol cili sos!"
I continued eating a plate of kuey teow goreng mamak and soundly sipped a glass of iced milo. Maybe it's Dr. Shukri's birthday. Maybe that was his idea of a prank. It didn't sound right. I didn't sound like Syahiran was joking either. I paid the mamak and drove back to UIA like nothing happened.

"Hello Elin!"
"Haa, Afiq. Dr. Shukri dah meninggal kan? Dorang dah bagitau."

"Hello Soh, engkau dah dengar berita buruk tu?"
"Haah, dah."

"Hi Sue, have you heard?"
"Yaaa, I heard. I'm trying to contact Kuhaz now."

"Snap..." I kept my focus on the road. This stretch of MRR2 is known for its fatal accidents. "Snap!"


"Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck." I kept a safe distance from the car in front of me until a Tiara whizzed by and slotted itself into the 2 seconds safe zone. I opened my car screen and threw 20 cents coins at the Kiasu Tiara, all the while cursing like a nun gone nuts.

"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Astagfirullah...." I managed to cool down, brought my car to a hault at a nearby petrol station and cried. "But why him God? Why him?"
This went on for a whole hour until I came to my senses. "Innalillah... God, if you're listening, I didn't mean to throw coins at the Kelisa tadi. Please God please. Ease his pain. Please God Please. Ease his phase of death. Please God please. Give me hope."
Please God please
Please God please
Please God please
I arrived at KAED and anxiously ran to the office to get an official confirmation until I saw a dozen of students and lecturers praying at the main gallery. I dropped right there and then. I was gripped by grief to do anything else. I was too startled to even cry. I was in awe. In awe of the sudden realization of loss.
I was in awe of myself and how my body reacted to Dr. Shukri's death. This was all new to me. It felt like every ounce of blood in my body gushed towards my head, forcing every emotion to vacate my mind, leaving me feeling numb and empty.
I fainted for a good 5 minutes.
Sweat. Air conditioner. Shadows. Tikar. Stained windows. Clean tiled floor.
I woke up energized and surprisingly sober,drove back to my room and prayed. I slept early and woke up at 4 am to perform sunat prayers. My mind was vacant and at some point breezy. I felt a playful gust that swept away miscellaneous thoughts and put my grey matter to rest. I later learnt that that was one of many ways people grief. With silence.
I attended his burial the next day. After the solat jenazah, the Imam uncovered the piece of cloth that veiled Dr. Shukri's face. He looked peaceful and calm. I felt assured that his death was an smooth one.
He looked ready for his next journey. With my tears, I waved to him farewell. With my heart, I sing to him this poem by Rabindranath Tagore.

I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers!

I bow to you all and take my departure.

Here I give back the keys of my door

---and I give up all claims to my house.

I only ask for last kind words from you.

We were neighbors for long,

but I received more than I could give.

Now the day has dawned

and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out.

A summons has come and I am ready for my journey


[danial][ma] said...

hej! afiq...deepest condolences on the demised of dr.shukri...

" L" said...

I feel sympathy with u..Afiq about the demise of Dr. Ahmad Shukri Yusof recently.

Semoga Allahyarham ditempatkan dikalangan org2 yg beriman. Al-fatihah..