After ogling some very sexy fountain pens at KS Gills, a couple of us pen fanatics retired to the famous Kudu bin Abdul ‘nasi kandar’ shop nearby for a bite. Eating almost always is a cure for depression; the onset of which is caused by the painful realisation that the only pens worth buying were the ones we couldn’t afford. This rude awakening was beginning to have its effect on Salleh – after seeing the price tag on the Aurora Talentum, the hard-on he got from touching the pen was almost gone.
We sat there like three very sad boys who had just been thrown out of a very special toy shop. Salleh broke the silence and lamented,”If only I still lived the lifestyle I had when I was a boy… ”
“And why is that?”, I ventured to ask.
“Our family had a lot of money back then. I’m sure a measly RM1,000 price tag for a pen wouldn’t have posed too much of a problem.”, he replied.
“Really?”, Ganesh chimed in.
What? This guy had a butler attending to him when he was a kid? I didn’t doubt his honesty but I had never met anyone who had a butler before. It was kind of surreal.
“You had a butler when you were a kid?” I was thinking aloud more than anything.
“Yeah, we lived in this old colonial house off the Circular Road. The Balai Seni Lukis Negara now stands on the very spot where the house used to be. Yeah, I had a butler. He and his family lived in the servants quarters adjacent to the main house”, he replied as a matter of factly.
“Wow!” was all I could say.
“It makes me sick to think how spoilt children are today!” interrupted Ganesh.
“Huh? What are you talking about Ganesh?”
Has he been drinking again? We were talking about Salleh’s butler. What has that got to do about how spoilt children are today?
“Nowadays, every kid in the country has at least a butler and a maid!” he explained.
Quite sure that at least my children were quite ‘butler-less’, I challenged him, “Have you been drinking again, Ganesh?”
“Look around you, friend! Look very carefully. Every kid has a butler and a maid. Nowadays they are called mums and dads! The sad part is mums and dads don’t quite realise this yet.”
Much as I would like to deny it, I think Ganesh was right. And he hadn’t been drinking,