Yesterday I received a friendship request on Facebook from somebody with the question (in Malay) "Remember me?" Unfortunately I don't remember him but from reading his profile I guessed that we could be related. After being confirmed friends I replied his message by telling him I cannot remember him but guessed that he is related to me. He replied that of course we are related and he mentioned a few names that I should know. Unfortunately too I don't recognize many of the names he mentioned although all are related to us and some had died. By the way this man is two years younger than me and we originated from the same kampung.
How could this be so? First of all although we were from the same kampung we stayed about three kilometers apart. My primary school was only about 1.5 kilometers from my house and walking to and fro school was fun. But he had to walk or cycle 4.5 kilometers if his parents wanted him to study in the same kampung school. So a few boys and girls staying in the same vicinity of his home went to a school in a different kampung instead. This school is about 6 kilometers from their viciniy and they went to the school by bus. So I did not mix with this relative of mine in school.
I could had mixed with him in secondary school. But fortunately for me and unfortunately for our relationship I was selected to enter a fully residential school outside the state. Those six years in secondary were the best years of my life. I found friends from all parts of the country and many of those friends are still in constant contact with me.
After secondary school I found a job and I had to spend one year in Kuala Lumpur for my training and another year working in Kelantan. Then I returned to Seremban, got married and settled down. Although I am staying quite close to my kampung, my wife is from another state and this is another reason why I was sort of estranged from my own relatives.
So it was small wonder that when he asked the question "Remember me?" I had to be frank and replied "No."