Old Love

An old love came creeping up on me recently. It was not easy resisting him, and his timing cannot be worst. He just HAD to choose to reappear, of all days on the day I turned 35.

I have always been very wary of that number – 35. To me, it carries as much weight as the number 40 does to men. It is where everything starts, and although I do agree life changes for women when they turn 30 (and it did for me!) but 35…woooo..such a huge number. Mine came with big responsibilities, bigger dreams, calmer self and a bigger me too. Then again who is talking about weight here. I don’t know about you – I am definitely NOT.

Anyway, this old love used to be one of my biggest dreams that I held onto through most of my primary school life. Since I was 5, the day arwah Abah bought me that little wooden piano the size of an A4 paper, I knew I had fallen in love. Music, was not just a tinker-tanker here and there for me. I didn’t come from a rich family, so piano lessons and the like were not to be realised. That little piano – black, dog-eared and very well-used was all I had. I played funny tunes with it, and I didn’t care. I didn’t play for anyone. I played for me.

When I did go to primary school, I must have been 7 then – I joined the school’s orchestra. My first music teacher – Mr Bernard Low, taught us how to play the major chords and I was ecstatic. That was the ONLY piano lesson I had, albeit a free one, and with that 3 chords – all of C major, G major and F, I belted out funny songs with funny tunes on my funny little wooden piano back home. Many times I asked Abah to send me to Yamaha music school, he always promised yes but somehow life drove us along. I had a feeling Abah’s ‘yes’ was a delay tactic, I don’t think he could have afford it.

Abah died when I was 10. Mak took pains bringing all of us 3 girls up – she went back to madrasah teaching and sell kuihs in the morning to make ends meet. I was the happy-go-lucky girl that I am, very well loved by everyone and never once feeling deprived. I love my childhood. Every single minute of it. Yamaha school went drifting away and I soon forgot.

In secondary school, it didn’t help that I was in a top girls school in Singapore where many of the students came from middle class families who ALREADY had piano lessons in their resume. They came from priviledged families and it showed. I didn’t feel envious, just longing for that real piano or keyboard that I can call my own eventually. The school hall had a real piano and I used to love to to sit there with friends who knew how to play, and let them teach me a chord or two. I love those days. I felt so blessed then that I was able to play what little I could.

The journey continues in junior college. On days when I skip lessons, I will be hiding behind the curtain in the school hall – not because it is a place where teachers will never find you, but because there is a piano there! I will play funny tunes – by this time my repertoire had expanded to about 6 songs or so. Not bad eh?

Then fast forward and many years of journalism, heartbreak, youth, travel and bohemian jumps later – my love for playing my own instrument got buried deep in the trenches. I did have a band as an adult, but I was the singer – and I left the musical prowess bit to the people who were rightfully trained for it, and have musical instruments to prove it.

Then one day I visited a friend’s home, and saw a most beautiful thing with her singing seamlessly with it. As I watched her play, I felt a tug of emotions waking up within. I tried to control it but could not hold my excitement with DH.

DH bought me the Yamaha PSR-1500 to mark my 35th. I didn’t think it is a necessary purchase but his words were simple. I have been holding off my dreams for too long.

It has been a long way since that little wooden piano days. I thank Allah for his grace, and using Nazrah to show me that the dream is still within, and DH to bring me to it.

And now I shall go practise.


  1. eheemmm…so have you figured out the voice effects yet?

    happy 35th and may your music brings you to a safe and happy place.

    am leaving my PSR here for my nephews to hentam. Nak main clavinova la pulak heheh…Yuk?

  2. finally… u’ve got it… anyways.. hope it isnt too late to wish u a happy bday even tho, your bday didnt really come this yr. (i am rite, kan??) hehhee…

    i remember seeing your eyes glowing when u saw nazrah playing on it the other time over at her place. and u were so eager to know how it works.

    and now, alhamdulillah, u got your own. and i guess by now, u have master more than your original 6 songs. hehehe… enjoy the new toy!!!

  3. aisey….am such a bad fren. happy belated hor (tho technically I didnt miss your actual birth date. :P). This entry made my eyes well up. And I am like irrationally happy that finally you’ve got your dream. I think a movie just wrote itself….:) when u pop over singapore, you must play for us. Aku request chok-chok kendung. awrite?! 🙂

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