web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: It's Not Sofwan's Birthday
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
It's Not Sofwan's Birthday

Sofwan is my closest confidante at the place I used to work and on his birthday, I've always been a generous friend. On various occasions, I've given him a new wardrobe, a marble chess set and a Playstation. This year, I am broke and can't afford expensive presents. Sofwan, on the other hand, is not, and in view of my own impending birthday, I figure maybe he could buy me something nice for a change.

So, this morning, I called him up, and the moment he answered I launched into song :

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Sofwan, happy birthday to you!", sang I.

"Elida, it's not my birthday till Saturday", he replied.

"Really?", I said, quite disgraced." Tipu lah! It's your birthday!", I insisted.

"My birthday is on the 13th", said Sofwan, perhaps thinking by now what a terrible friend Elida is for not getting his birthday right.

"Oh ye ke." I'm resigned to my mistake. "But I'm sure today's a birthday for someone I know. Oh God, whose birthday am I forgetting pulak?"

"I don't know. It's not mine". After he hung up, I tried to think about it for a while, just in case it's someone from whom I could extort a good gift. I tried to think of all the August Leos I know, a coterie of people Sofwan and I vainly think are better than other people (hahaha) but obviously some of us have bad memories. No name came up, until I saw a birthday greeting printed across an independent website.

I wouldn't have remembered this man's birthday if not for a particular incident. On this very day, several years ago, I was priveleged to be sipping java with a prominent former Editor-in-Chief, who was at that time, already a former Editor-in-Chief. It was the height of disenchantment in Malaysia, a fact this senior scribe lamented.

"Do you know what day it is today?", he asked me. My policy with Editors is to be honest when you're clueless, so I shook my head and said no.

"It's Anwar Ibrahim's birthday", he sighed. We left it at that, and drank our coffee.


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