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The Umur of Innocence

  • April 14, 2006
  • 6 Views

By Ruhayat X

Masa sekolah rendah dulu aku ramai member Cina, sebab parents aku for whatever reason lebih suka bergaul dengan cikgu-cikgu Cina colleagues diorang. Ada sorang member aku tu, nama dia Mun. Mun ni badan dia gempal. Muka dia bulat, kulit dia putih bersih, bukan kuning-kuning macam setengah orang Cina. Aku dengan dia start kelab main badminton kat sekolah tu. Tiap kali lepas practice pipi dia jadi merah berbintik-bintik, macam bunga raya muda.

Aku pun tak tau apasal, tapi si Mun ni suka sangat awek Melayu. Masa tu kita umur 11 tahun, jadi tak de lah serius mana. Sunat pun belum (untuk yang Melayu, I mean), apa lagi nak pikir pasal seks. Masa darjah lima Mun ni start syok sama satu awek ni, Salwa nama dia. Minah ni athlete, macam Nik Azura tu dulu ha. Kalau lari, macam kuda, both metaphorically and literally. Dada ke depan gitu. Agaknya tu yang Mun suka sangat tengok awek ni. Sexual awakening, bak kata orang kampung.

Cara dia tunjuk dia suka kat awek ni standardlah, tarik rambut time kelas. Satu hari tu aku tanya dia, “Eh Mun, apahal kau suka awek Melayu?” Dia cakap, saja. Dia cakap — dan ni aku tak tipu — sebab awek Melayu ni bersih dan selalu bau wangi.

Time tu pulak aku suka awek Cina. Ada satu awek ni aku suka usha dan borak-borak dengan dia. Nama dia Fiona, anak manager ladang Selbourne. Aku ingat dia kira aku member biasa je, tapi masa bapak dia kena transfer ke Johor hujung tahun tu, Fiona kasi aku buah koko sebijik. Buat tanda ingat-ingatan, kata dia. Aku tak pernah tengok buah koko sebelum tu, so I was suitably fascinated.

Cikgu BM aku yang nampak dia kasi buah tu kat aku cakap tu maknanya dia suka kat aku. Lepas tu cikgu suruh aku mintak address baru si Fiona. Aku tak mintak pun, sebab aku cakap kat cikgu aku, kalau dia suka kat aku, takkan kasi buah koko je kut? Tapi sekarang, lepas tengok Gubra, ada la rasa menyesal jugak, sikit-sikit.

~~~

Lepas tengok Gubra ni aku teringat balik cerita-cerita lama ni. Memang macam Yasmin kata, bila kau dah syok kat orang tu and you get to know them, race ceases to matter. But, alas, the age of innocence, I knew thee well. Masa tu pun, dalam era 70-an, cross-cultural pollination macam ni bukanlah perkara biasa. In fact, behaviour parents aku masa tu dikira macam social aberration dalam bandar kecik tu.

Have we become worse since then, or have we just maintained the status quo? Sebab, melihat dari reaksi penonton pada filem ni, I would say generally tak ada peningkatan dalam perhubungan antara kaum kat negara ni.

Kalau tak, apasal lepas empat dekad merdeka pun konsep macam yang dalam filem Gubra ni (dan sebelumnya, Sepet dan Spinning Gasing) masih dilihat sebagai sesuatu yang novel, quaint, seolah-olah fantasi pengarah semata-mata? Sampaikan “Agak-agak you lah, Puan Yasmin, boleh ke kita capai apa yang you fantasisekan dalam filem ni?” jadi salah satu soalan obvious yang kau dah jangka journalist akan tanya masa media screening?

Yeah, on the one hand aku tengok signs of integration everywhere, especially in language. Sekarang ni orang Melayu dah tak kisah pinjam terma-terma Cina, misalnya, yang seolah-olah indicate yang kita ni memang makin jadi serumpun. But on the other hand, kalau mengikut percakapan-percakapan orang-orang bila berborak in the absence of the Other, sungai rasis tu masih mengalir dengan rancak merata-rata.

That it is still considered to be so weird to go out with someone not of your own “kind” shows that something is in place that stops us from flowing into one another’s spaces and creating that dastardly concept, Bangsa Malaysia, yang kita laung-laungkan sangat tu.

Kalau kau tanya aku, I would say one of the main culprits — apart from a fear of the unknown — is possessiveness: “diorang ni semua nak ambik tanah aku, kerja aku, etc.” The well-fed bogeyman of Bangsa Pendatang. How do you move towards integration if one side continues to shut the other out?

Untuk menjawab soalan tu, maybe it would be instructional to ask: apasal lepas habis sekolah rendah aku dah tak minat awek Cina lagi?

It’s mainly because aku gi boarding school. 97.8 peratus Melayu. Yang ada token Chinese dua orang dalam tahun aku tu, asyik jadi lauk kena sekeh kepala aje.

Mula tu aku rasa uncomfortable jugak, sebab member aku masa sekolah rendah boleh kata about half berbangsa Cina. Jadi aku tak de lah prejudis apa-apa dengan diorang ni. In fact, dari darjah empat sampai darjah enam aku join diorang punya kelas bahasa Mandarin, walaupun we ended up main kung fu je lebih.

Tapi lama-lama, because that’s what everyone else was doing, so aku pun ikut sama, jadi rasis. Aku agak, yang diorang tu pulak dapat naluri tu dari siapa lagi kalau bukan mak bapak masing-masing? Kan hadis Nabi kata, anak-anak lahir macam kain yang putih bersih, ibubapa yang mencorakkannya?

Tapi tu lah, bumi kita ni kan bumi yang penuh kontradiksi. On the one hand we are becoming more Islamist, but on the other kita terlupa pulak, agaknya, ayat-ayat Quran tentang strength in differences dan explanation Tuhan tentang kenapa Dia sengaja jadikan manusia ni berkaum-kaum. Racial integration is a Quranic principle, tapi kita lebih suka play up the verses that seemingly exhort us to rid the earth of people who are different from us, mungkin.

Jadi baguslah ada orang macam Yasmin yang bikin kerja macam filem Gubra ni. Bila ada filem macam ni, and people of the same mind congregate towards it, barulah kau tak lagi terasa terasing. There’s a lot to be said about that kind of positive reinforcement.

As a film, I found that I enjoyed Gubra much better than its pseudo-prequel, Sepet. Sepet was too saccharine, cerita pari-pari yang mak kau dodoikan pada kau sebelum tidur. Gubra, by comparison, was a bit more saltish and pragmatic. Yes, masih ada jugak a few incidences where too much of a glossy sheen is applied to the inter­racial relationship between Orked dan abang Jason, Alan. But at least it was nowhere as teeth-rotting as some of those found in Sepet.

At the same time, walaupun aku applaud Yasmin Ahmad sebab jadi champion of sorts untuk racial integrity, aku jugak kurang enak with the thought that this is beginning to turn into something like a crusade. Crusades are never good, in my book; it alienates people. It gets people talking and that leads us to more enlightened times, maybe, but it can also create a backlash that could make things worse.

Oh, of course, Yasmin was protesting that she wasn’t trying to create a film with a message (she says she doesn’t know how to); that she was just a storyteller and this was one of the stories that she had collected from life. Tapi kalau kau tengokkan pada turutannya, sukar sekali untuk kau lari dari tersondol mesej yang tersurat di dalam Gubra, yang tersembul macam akar pokok hujan-hujan.

Not that I have anything against movies with messages — I thought Syriana and The Constant Gardener were brilliant. But it would just be easier if Yasmin were to simply admit that, yes, there is indeed a message that she wants to send out, but so what? Nak buat apa sorok-sorok.

~~~

Malaysia yang Ruhayat X fantasisekan ialah sebuah negara di mana dia selalu diusha oleh awek Kantonis cun.

First Published: 14.04.2006 on Kakiseni