A phone call early Fridy morning really jolted me. Normally a call at that hour could means a few things – something urgent came up and the boss wants us to know, somebody is out sick and not able to came to work, or some one died. Unfortunately it was the latter. I was shocked. My good friend Ramli Ali aka Din has gone. He was a Physical Education teacher and a hockey player. As far as i remember he was as fit as a fiddle.
I knew him as a friend and later as the family. His family was a neighbour to my auntie at the old Jalan St John police barrack in Ipoh. They called it barrack trolley, I do not know why. They were like family to us and it was only fitting, and of course a great relief to my auntie when my brother married Din’s youngest sister. It was a sort of transforming friendship to kinship. By virtue of that marriage, Din became my relative. We were both teachers in Sarawak in the 80s. Then he was transfered to Penang and later join the state Education Department. I rarely met him again when he joined the teaching of staff of UUM. I am still wondering how he could commute from Kulim to Sintok almost everyday.
So when my brother called that fateful Friday morning saying that Din had died. I was speechless. It goes to show, when your time is up, it is time. Nothing will get in the way. It is only a matter of time before we all would join him. May Allah bless him with all His grace. My commisserations to his wife and daughter. Alfatihah. Farewell Din.