Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Special October Feature: Aku Sebatang Pensel (Part1 of 5)

Aku sebatang pensel. Aku dilahirkan di sebuah kilang membuat pensel di Gombak.

Sebaik sahaja aku siap dipasang mesin, aku dimasukkan ke dalam sebuah kotak bersama kawan-kawanku. Sempit betul keadaan di dalam; nyaris aku terpengsan dihimpit pensel lain.

Dua tiga hari kemudian, dirasaku kotak itu dipunggah masuk lori. Kata kawanku, kami akan dihantar ke kedai alat tulis. Terenjut-enjut aku sepanjang perjalanan. Hati pula resah berpikir suasana dan kawan baru kelak.

Translation: I am a pencil. I was born in a humble pencil factory in Gombak.

There's nothing much to speak of my origins. I rolled off the assembly into a big box with scores of pencil friends. It wasn't a very comfy box either; I almost got steamrolled.

Couple or so days later, I felt the box being lifted into a lorry. We're going to the stationery shop, said my friend. For me, there was no sitting still all the way. My mind raced restlessly, picturing what lay ahead.

Little Pencil sighed softly. He folded, then unfolded the yellowed sheet in his hands and read it again for the umpteenth time. As though he might come across some previously unseen detail.

Of course he didn't.

Little Pencil, all two weeks of him - which would make him twenty in human years - had been searching for his father's identity his whole life. Since day one in Kee's Stationery Shop, the others had been awkwardly silent around him. And he knew it had something to do with who his father was.


"So," Thirty Seeam the plastic ruler stared at him with unblinking eyes. "You are Pencil's son."

"Yes, sir."

"I didn't know he had a son." Scissors quipped sharply.

"Yeah, I am."

"Hmph." Thirty Seeam grunted. "You better stay out of trouble, kid."

"Will try to." He was starting to feel a wee bit uncomfortable.

"Okay, show's over. Everyone scram." Thirty Seeam barked. The others scurried back to their clusters, murmuring something.

"And by the way," Thirty Seeam handed him a sheet before turning to leave. "Your father asked me to pass this to you."


"Excuse me, sir!" Little Pencil called out to him.


"Who was my father, really?"

Thirty Seeam frowned at him like a bug in his soup. "Welcome to the shop, kid."


That was how Little Pencil ended up with the note he'd been reading over and over. He knew it was his father's handwriting, written way before he even existed. But why did he write it?

He sensed a story unravelling. One he was determined to get to the bottom of.

"Your soul is troubled."

He whirled around. It was a dirty old eraser emblazoned with a Pakistani flag.

"You cannot comprehend that." he pointed to the note. "For it is incomplete."

"How do you know?"

"Because...I was there when your father wrote it."

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