"The Yaslehs

Since 1968, when his first poem Sebuah Sumpah Derhaka was published in Majalah Mastika, our dad, yassinsalleh, has written voraciously, but at the same time is so disorganized that we could hardly keep track of what he has written. It is even worse now that he writes his poems in his phone and sms it to us his children. Believe you me, he spent a lot of money on smsing long poem to us that is sometimes lost to accidental deleting. So we, his three children - Yasleh Rita Ayu, Yasleh Hani Wati, and Yasleh Khaliff Amri - decided that enough is enough, we need to keep some kind of record of his poetry, thus the creation of this blog. This will be a cache to collect all his old poems and a safe to keep all his future ones. In the film world, mentioning my dad's name will immediately brings to mind his 10 awards winning film Dia Ibuku in which he personally won 2 - Best Director and Best Screenplay- but in the literary world the poem ikan-ikan di kaca is synonymous to him, hence the name of this blog.

ikan-ikan di kaca
(buat adik-adikku tom dan ani)

pun mentari sudah tiada api
dan bulan yang merdu
sudah sejuk nyanyinya
di hujung jari jemari embun
kita masih belum terlalu lewat
untuk menerima satu hakikat

kita anak-anak satu keturunan
yang menganuti escapisme
selama ini
ikan-ikan di kaca
ikan-ikan di kaca.

ikan-ikan di kaca indah alamnya
ikan-ikan di kaca gemulai renangnya
ikan-ikan di kaca manja hidupnya
ikan-ikan di kaca terpenjara sebenarnya.

tidak lama lagi
akan kering
dan mentari
berapi kembali
kalian sudah mengerti
bahawa kita
selama ini
ikan-ikan di kaca
masihkah kita
ikan-ikan di kaca?

Kuala Lumpur akhir 1969
Dewan Masyarakat, April 1970 "

(dari blog ikanikandikaca)

Dan inisiatif anak-anakku tersayang ini, aku abadikan disini.

Terima kasih Abang, terima kasih Along, terima kasih Adik.

What a wonderful world. - yassinsalleh

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Abang Yasleh Khaliff Amri

Happy birthday, Boy! I can’t believe you are sixteen already. It feels like yesterday that I was holding you in my arms at 3 a.m. begging you to sleep. I think that started the ritual of singing to you as loud as I can until I go hoarse or you got back to sleep. It was funny that neither you crying nor my singing would wake up Mummy, Daddy, or Adik. They would continue to sleep knowing I’d take care of you. Well I did and loved every second of it, even though those 3 a.m. walkabout would made me sleepy in class the next day. Those were crazy times, after so long of asking and praying for another sibling, a baby I could play with, well I know you are not a doll, but I was barely sixteen when I started asking, so to me babies were like live dolls to be played with. I guessed that is why God waited until I was 19 to answer my prayer. Mummy had quite a relapse that year, so I took over right from the start, with Adik as my back up when I had to go to class, she was in form four, her honeymoon year, so we figured a few miss days wouldn’t matter much, to the consternation of her teachers of course.

So there I was taking the first bus out to KL , so I could take the earliest bus to UPM Serdang, meaning I had to wake up at 5 a.m. and then as soon as my classes are over rushing back home to you. I basically had no idea how to deal with a baby then, I learned firsthand from you and whatever little dad knows, and a few lucid moments from Mum. I made a lot of mistakes, I knew that now, but I guess I didn’t screw up too bad, you turned out to be quite a good young man, maybe more you than me, but I am really proud of you.

You have a long way yet to go, and I know you despair sometimes what the future might bring for you, but I believe in you and I know you will find your way somehow. I know you are sad to be celebrating this birthday without Mum, I am sad too, I wish you had more years with her, but the wheel turns when it wants to turn and we have no say in that. Please know that I know Mum loved you very much and she would be very proud of you. Happy 16 birthday, Abang, the family and I love you very much, no matter what.

Posted by rya at 8/18/2011 08:42:00 PM
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