Monday, February 27, 2006
the feeling of war
I remember Mum telling me once upon a time about the Emergency period. She was born after the war, but of course the Emergency period was sort of a war in many ways. In fact, she goes on to say, May 13 1969 and the subsequent days was sort of a war as well.
Her favourite story was the uncertainty of rumours flying around. You would get a call saying somewhere, people were getting butchered. And yet, you didn't know whether you wanted to believe it or not.
The suspence comes when she tells the story of how there are curfews and nobody is allowed to leave the house. "You kids these days are very lucky," she says. "I hope that you never have to go through what we went through."
She goes on to say that when the curfews were lifted, people would rush out of their houses to stock up on food and other essential items. Obviously, people desperate for something would become a hoarde of unruly orcs. So much so, my mother claimed, that after a while, the shopkeepers wouldn't even open their stores when curfew was lifted.
There was this one time where they had an exceptionally long curfew. When it was finally lifted, one shopkeeper near our house decided to be kind and open shop so that everybody else could stock up. Big mistake. Herds of uncivilised creatures looted the shop inside out when they had sold out their supply of rice.
So lucky we are, Mum keeps telling me.
Well Mum, us kids these days are lucky. But you know Mum, we still face the swarms of barbarians out there everytime there is a rumour of a petrol hike.