Tuesday, May 01, 2012

My surgeon 'mother' & mentor Dr Ang Swee Chai

Dr Ang Swee Chai visited Gedung Kuning, my childhood home. She felt so sad and asked me if she could share my story with the Palestinians who have lost their homes. I said "yes, of course". Then Dr Ang in her soft voice said, "The 5th stage of genocide is to erase all memories". She said I was right to have written my book on Gedung Kuning and that I should write that book on Kampong Glam. 

"The past is never dead, it is not even past." Nobel Laureate William Faulkner

Dr Ang with the bunga raya in Gedung Kuning. 

Dr Ang's late husband Francis Khoo loved the hibiscus and it was a coincidence that the bunga raya was the only flower in bloom at Gedung Kuning on Mon 13 Feb 2012.

Bungaraya (by Francis Khoo)

In a garden, in an island,

Sprouts a bush among the clay
Where the rains have failed to water
And the sun has gone away
All its leaves have turned to amber
While around the land is grey
Yet that bush keeps growing taller
Struggling on it makes its way
Came one dawn a drop of water
Fell from heavens way up high
First one drop, then pitter-patter
Thunder, lightning fill the sky
'Tis the Dawn, the dawn is breaking
Heralding a brave new morn
With the rains spring little flowers
From around that bush are born
So throughout this one dry island
Sprouts more bushes from the clay,
Gardens full with crimson flowers
Bungaraya blooms all day
Bungaraya blooms all day

Dr Ang, co-author of War Surgery Field Manual, gave me her book to be shared with my doctor friends who are going on humanitarian field missions. 

Thank you Dr Ang for inspiring me and encouraging me to try for HMS again. Insya Allah!

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