At the conclusion of a training course I ran for a bunch of fresh graduates recently I said, “At some point soon, you’re all going to leave home to try to make a life of your own. And before you know it, you’ll find yourself as parents watching your own children leave home to try to make lives of their own.”
Then, without realizing it, I added, “When that day comes, I want all of you to look back to this day and know that this is how I feel watching you go.”
After a month together, it was hard to let go. Although I knew all along that the day would come, I had never expected it to be even half as hard as it was. Somewhere along the line, trainees and trainer had bonded. Somewhere along the line, we had become more than friends; somewhere along the line, we had become family.
Will Yong ever find that missing proverbial sandwich, the one that that makes him one sandwich short of a picnic? Will Azrul, the incurable ladies’ man, be able to wangle his way out of woman-problems at the office? Will Eliana’s heavily Americanised accent be a problem for her potential employers? Will the innocent but very capable Nizam be sabotaged at work by unscrupulous rivals? I have similar questions for everyone in that class that I ask myself almost every night before I go to sleep.
This isn’t very good. Professionally, I know I’ve done all I can for them. They should be able to fend for themselves by now. But the surrogate father in me just would not stop worrying. I tell myself I am their trainer – not their father. But this doesn’t seem to work. Maybe some day it will. But till then, I guess I’ll be doing a lot of tossing and turning.
I shouldn’t have overheard the conversation a trainee had with his one of his friends. It went something like this: “I think Mr Bangkai is teaching us more than just communication skills and English; he is teaching us about life.”
Damn it, I should have not have heard that!