By Rabin Jacob

My mother is 93 years old. A stroke 10 years ago has restricted her movements, she is now wheelchair bound. Although she has great difficulty remembering what she had for breakfast, she can quite vividly remember parts of her past. This is one of her fondest memories and nearly every time I visit her, she reiterates it with the same passion she did the first time. May be she thinks it’s the first time she is telling me the story.

This is how she tells it.

I must have been about 8 or 9 years old. I lived in a boarding school in Penang. I was one of the youngest girls and I was very thin.

One day when it was raining quite heavily, an older girl, I cannot remember who, ask me to go and buy ice ball. (Either Ice ball is a cup of shaved ice compressed into a ball shape upon which rose syrup or palm sugar syrup is poured)  One ice ball costs 1 cent and she asked me to buy her two. I was so thin that I could squeeze through the railings in the gate. The gate was kept locked because we were not allowed to go out. 

After I had bought the ice balls and was going back, I saw the principal’s car. I ran fast and squeezed through with the ice balls in my hand. When I got to the dorm, I was very wet. I told the older girls that the principal was coming back. They dried me up, changed my clothes and combed my hair. We then heard the principal call out my name. “Raman”

I don’t remember what happened after that.

No matter how much I asked my mother her story would always end there.