I seldom saw him when he was small. The eldest son of my third brother. The distance (them in Melaka and us in Alor Setar) and later my departure for Europe made it all the more impossible to see one another. All I remember was that as a child, he was always neat and very close to the father. I remember how he would screamed *Ayah! Ayah!* as my brother tickled him silly. My third brother has always been the serial tickler in our family.
After Bang Chik’s funeral 4 years ago, I spotted a young man sitting on his own under the porch. There was something familiar about him. Thinking that he was a friend of Arwah’s sons, I did not pay much attention. I disappeared back inside to join the rest preparing supper. It was only then did I realise that it was him. Farihan, my own nephew. That little boy with neat side parting and well powdered face has grown so much that I hardly recognised him. I rushed out to talk to him but he was already in the car, leaving.
The magic of FB has since brought almost all of my nieces and nephews together again, communicating like never before. Teasing flies in all directions on daily basis.
Meeting once or twice a year when they were small, running around Mak Tok and Tok Ayah’s house, playing on the swing, they are all now young adults. In a way, I still find it hard to believe how much time has passed and how fast they have grown.
It warms my heart to see how positive they have all grown to be although at times, streaks of naughtiness found in them a decade or two ago are still very much there.
Farihan has just joined us on FB today and with that, a new side of the next generation has been revealed to me. Now a 24 year old art student, he is actively building his portfolio.