Monday, January 25, 2010

Al-Fatihah: Syed Arif bin Syed Alfandi Barakbah and to those who have passed.

Nobody can see nor guess what the future holds. There is a strange "superstition" or "thinking" in certain members of our clan who stated that, whenever one member closest to you passes away, there will be 2 more. In short, whatever they were trying to say was that when death happens in a particular clan/family, it will happen 3 times, and 3 members of that clan/family will pass away. But why would anybody believe this? I'm not the one to believe such matters. I always believe that everything that lives, passes on, in accordance to the plan and system devised by God.

In December, my 79year old aunt, Sharifah Rofeah bt Syed Salim Barakbah passed away after a battle with lung cancer. Not even one week later, another uncle who was also my primary school teacher, Syed Faisol Barakbah, passed away. I must say that the most tragic news received was when we lost 2 cousins, Sharifah Hasanah Al-Junid and her sister, Rafeel(their mother is one of our aunts) in the horrifying Sani Express double decker bus accident in Perak which also claimed 8 other lives.

It was on the 23rd of January 2010, I was cooking while at the same time listening to the news when i received a call from my sister in law, Suraya Yaakob. She was frantic and near-hysterical and I couldn't understand much of what she said, but the last part was clear when she said, "Arif meninggal."

The news floored my wife and me. As my brother was still at the hospital arranging for his son's body to be released, I had the arduous task of informing my father, mother and sister of this news. No matter how the news is, we accepted the fact Syed Arif has passed away. It seemed that Arif had an accident on the morning of the same day and was only known somewhere in the evening. He had cycled to his friend's house and was hit while on his way back. The scene was about 1-1.5km away from his house, on the notorious Jalan Kuala Kedah which is always busy and dangerous. The police and hospital did notify the public for assistance in identifying him through Radio Alor Setar.

Syed Arif is the second son of my brother, Syed Alfandi Barakbah and his wife, Suraya Yaakob. Suraya is the Assemblywoman for Sungai Tiang, under the parliamentary of Pendang. Arif seems to be more like the father, usually shying away from people apart from his friends and quiet as well.

Guests flooded my brother's house since 9pm, and I was making calls andreceiving calls from relatives, friends and individuals who were inquiring. The body arrived at the house somewhere around 10pm, along with my brother. Suraya arrived about 15-20 minutes late. Both of them, understandably, thoroughly distraught.

The funeral process proceeded well amidst the sadness in the atmosphere. The body was brought for prayers at Masjid Aman at Jalan Kuala Kedah and was later brought to the Kawasan Perkuburan Islam Kompleks Al-Bukhary and was laid to rest at 11:30am. Among the dignitaries who attended were the DYMM Sultan and Sultanah of Kedah and Tengku Intan Safinaz. Also present was the Menteri Besar of Kedah and (I think) several state assemblymen.

I spent the whole night thinking about the incident and how my son is growing up, being over-active, scheming to get his way through. Just like any boys, he loved cycling. I live in a housing area which is not that far from the main road, which also connects the Alor Setar Utra-Selatan highway exits and the road to and from Perlis. It is horrendously busy. There is always that fine line between controlling my son and letting go. I am just hoping that he might just learn from what had happened.

Alfandi and Suraya still have Afiq, their eldest son and Aiman, the youngest. I only have a son. Some people never understand why I can be a bit overprotective.

Ucapan takziah kepada Syed Alfandi Barakbah dan Suraya Yaakob. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas Allahyarham Syed Arif.


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