Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What do we remember people by?

Great people and leaders passed the corridor of fame on earth everyday. Some are immortalised by historians, some leave behind a legacy that becomes a tradition, some continue to live with us through their works of art or literature. Others, the film stars and crooners continue to entertain us through their films and songs as if they have never left us.
satar, P. Ramlee and S.Sudin in Bujang Lapok

We seldom realised that we are often being entertained through the TV and radio by artists singing from their graves.In Malaysia where the legendary actors and singers are few in number, we often see films and hear songs by artists like P.Ramlee, his wife Saloma, Ahmad Nordin, Norma Diah etc almost everyday. They live on unlike great leaders like Tengku
Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tan Siew Sin, Sambanthan and others who are only remembered on certain occasions. The younger generation doesn't even stop to think about their contribution to the nation at the mention of their names.
P.Ramlee and Saloma
Even sports heroes are remembered better than great leaders and statesmen. Young sports enthusiasts would still smile with admiration at the mention of great names like Ghani Minhad in football, Wong Peng Soon and Eddy Choong in badminton, while international champions like Joe lewis,Michael Schumacher etc can still capture their imagination. But politicians and national leaders are often remembered better for their bad moves and deeds than the good ones, just like the abominable villains in a popular film are better remembered than the heroes.
Aziz Jaafar and Norma Diah
But many popular artists. at least in Malaysia, passed away quietly although given a rousing farewell by their fans.They die a poor man or woman without the pomp and ceremony accorded to the national heroes. Even P. Ramlee was only honoured and decorated with the state titles of Dato' and later Tan Seri, long after his demise. Many passed on without being given any state recognition- like the late Ahmad Nordin, Aziz Jaafar, Normah Diah, S Shamsudin etc. At least Aziz Satar who passed away a few days ago had been awarded a Datukship while still around. May Allah shower His blessings on him. With his demise all three unforgettable characters in the famous comedy film series called "Bujang Lapok" ( i.e. P.Ramlee, Aziz Satar and S. Shamsudin) are now gone, although we will continue to meet them in the films that had been played on TV again and again. We will continue to laugh around with them.

All these set me into thinking: what would you like to be remembered by after your death? Unless you're filthy rich and your decedents continue to wrangle over your wealth (at times with a lot of misgivings if not hatred), few will remember you. It's sad that the evils that you leave behind will be better remembered, the good is oft interred with the bones, as said by Shakespeare.


kaykuala said...

Akhie Norzah,
One can only lament. There'll never be another like P Ramlee! And to think he was decorated posthumously was such injustice.Now insignificant MCs, singers and young business people of dubious contributions to society are Datuks. We took P Ramlee for granted, a pity!


norzah said...

His life after leaving Singapore was pitiful, i understand. No recognition whatever from the govt. until aftr his demise.