Sometimes memories of our childhood form the foundation of who we are. I suddenly received a flashback today & the name "Gurchan Singh" came to my head.
I googled him & found Gurchan Singh had already died in 1965.
But I remembered him & a book I never read because it's an "adult" book & I was too young when I first saw this book. It wasn't even a thick book. Quite small & slim. I remembered the cover. That's all.
The book is "Singa - The Lion of Malaya".
My father had that book & I am afraid that after we moved to a new house, we must have somehow thrown that book out. And it's not as if my father had a lot of books. Maybe 3?
But I remembered this book & Gurchan Singh because somehow I must have remembered my father telling me about this man, & about what happened during World War II.
To be honest. I only remembered this bit.
During WW2, Gurchan Singh went underground to publish anti Japanese newspapers, but he was found out & he escaped into the jungle without his family. He left his family because his wife made him do it. Even if he was the only one to survive, they will take the chances.
The Jap invaders came to his house & tied his wife & son to a tree for many days & nights, to force Gurchan Singh to surrender.
Gurchan didn't surrender because his wife & son kept shouting from the trees "Do not come out". My father said that nobody was allowed to go near the trees to give them water or food, or they would be shot. I think the son was barely 10 then.
Maybe, after a week of ants & starvation, water from the rains, his family was released because the soldiers knew that Gurchan will not give up the fight. And that his family will not let him give up the fight.
Like I say. My father must have told me this story many times or I would never have remembered. Who really pays attention to their parents anyway?
Pa was a friend of Gurchan. They were good friends. Both of them resisted; one overtly & my father covertly - by supplying Gurchan & other resistance fighters with food & supplies.
What an unlikely friendship. What lost heroes. Gurchan. Mrs Singh. Young Master Singh. My Pa
How did this friendship happened?
1 Sikh, well educated.
1 China man, somewhat literate, mainly self taught.
So how did both of them become fast friends?
Were either of them "dogs" of the British, who were before the war, colonial masters of Malaya?
Not that I know. Neither worked for, or with the British. Their rice-bowls were not dependant on the British.
Both knew Right from Wrong
Both were Brothers
Both knew their Country was Their Country
And today, both forgotten in this day of Google & Yahoo & Search Engines.
So in my little way, I hope that if anyone were to google "The Singa of Malaya", they would know that this was the title of Gurchan Singh's book.
I honor both these Lions & the Lioness & her Cub by letting the world of Netizens know - that Acts of Courage for One's Home can never be Forgotten.
Like I say. Maybe the foundation of Justice & Fighting for My Country grew from my childhood.
So continue telling stories to your kids even if they do not seem to be paying attention.
Maybe their subconscience will remember your stories & they may grow to be what you hope they will be one day. Who knows?