I was a side drummer from primary 3 to secondary 5. I started participating in the Merdeka parade when I was in my primary 5. It was hard work and lots of drum solos, marching and practices. Occasionally, we have to sacrifice school hours and also weekends to practice, practice and practice. Why practice so hard? Coz we want to look good in front of our PM and also millions of tv audiences …he he….glamour ma!
Unfortunately, the fierce sun would hit my skin and make it turn red and later brown. I used to put on lots of Nivea cream (innocent, should go with a banana boat) on my face and hand to prevent sun burn; I looked like a doll with rosy cheek for the first 3 days and then a Malay girl for the next 2 weeks or so.
But it was an unusual 31 August morning. I put on my cool maroon pancaragam top, my sexy beige mini skirt and my beige boots with brown lace tying to a butterfly knot. I grabbed my maroon artist cap which had a bright yellow feather at the side and headed to school to depart to the Merdeka square.
Well, we were all prepared to lead a pasukan of company employees to march towards the PM stage. “Drrrrrrrrrrrr….de dum de dum de dum……” we marched and marched and marched confidently, saluted to the PM on the stage, it went so well and everything seemed so fine. My drum major flanged her breathtaking Drum major stick, wow…it was high and there were lots of applause. We were saved as she performed so well. FYI, I stood in the front row, approximately 1 to 2m from her. We were all relieved but we still need to march around the city to reach our end point. We had to perform our best still as they were lots of audiences standing along the narrow KL city street cheering for us. We played songs and drum solos and my drum major decided to show off her stupendous skill again along the crowded street.
HUH…HUH…HUH...she flanged her stick high up, within a sec, she came towards me and pulled her stick out of my drum, left a huge hole on the surface of my bloody drum. "Shit! Why am I so unlucky?" Embarrassed, I marched swinging my right hand with my drum stick and held my cedera parah’s drum on my left hand. I tried to lift my head high and straighten my back pretending nothing has happened. “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!”