My Son Sazali*

I hear the call,
And I remember.

Inilah panggilan pertama.1

It is the same call that I whispered into your ear2
As you cried your way into this brave new world
Welcoming you in with my hati yang terbuka3
And I assured you that I’m here every step of the way.

And as you grow, I hear those calls
Speaking to me as I speak to you
Every word, every sound, every tune I taught you,
Tanggungjawab telah ku laksanakan.4

Your smile became my tranquillity
Your cry became my pain
I planted a thousand seeds of virtue
Termasuk doa dan harapanku.5

But as you learn, you begin to unlearn
Relearning everything, reinventing anything
My words suddenly become noise to you
And the call I gave sekarang sudah tiada.6

I hear the call,
And I remember.

Inilah panggilan kedua.7

That you are not you anymore
Your eyes are now hollow, an entire different gaze
I tried to cleanse the blackness of your soul
But your tongue is now, pelik8, as mine is to you.

I tried calling you with that same call
Hoping that you would turn and call back
But your back remained turned, your feet refused
I called tetapi tiada balasan.9

I hear the call,
And I remember.

Inilah panggilan ketiga.10

It is the same call that I whispered into your ear
After you shut yourself away from this cold, cold world
With a white cloth, I wrapped you delicately dengan hati yang tertutup11
And I assured you that I’m here every step of the way.

I hear the call,
And I remember.

Inilah panggilan terakhir.12

*A direct translation of a 1956 Malay film titled Anak-Ku Sazali.
1(Malay) This is the first call.
2An Islamic practice in which the Azan (call of prayer) is recited into the right ear of the newborn baby.
3(Malay) an open heart
4(Malay) My duties have been served.
5(Malay) Including my prayers and my faith/dream.
6(Malay) is now gone
7(Malay) This is the second call.
8(Malay) weird
9(Malay) but there was no response
10(Malay) This is the third call.
11(Malay) with a sealed heart
12(Malay) This is the final call.

Having humble beginnings, Al Hafiz Sanusi’s first performance on stage was as a calefare in his secondary school’s musical. Nevertheless, it ignited a theatrical passion in him and he has never looked back since. He has since branched out and delved into different platforms such as writing, directing, and spoken word poetry. Recently, Al Hafiz graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a BA (Hons) in English Literature. He keeps himself busy by jumping into new projects, either in writing or performing.

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