Ode to Grandfather

Advertisements in Malaysia tend to be a boring lot; showcasing either something superficially happy or boring, depending on the creativity of the advertisers. Petronas, the national oil company, seems to go against the grain. The advertisements they make are something like mini-movies. And like many good movies, these are movies that will stick in your mind (which is more than what we can say about some other so-called local filmmakers but I’m getting ahead of myself).

This year Hari Raya ad (which I caught a few hours ago) made me cry. It made me retreat to my room and tried hard not to bawl my eyes out.


The old man in the ad, the one who was half-paralyzed and almost deaf, with his hands shaking, was like my grandfather. Too much like him. Unlike the old man in the ad, we never got the chance to realise our mistakes. I never got the chance to treat him differently, to offer my apologies and to be a real granddaughter to him. I never got the chance to ever tell him, “Thank you,” for without him, I wouldn’t be here. He was the one who would take me home from school, take us to the clinic and touch up the statues of our Lady and altar.

Grandpa… I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the way we treated you. I’m sorry that after your stroke, we made you feel useless. I’m sorry, especially, for not noticing that you needed us and ignoring you.

Most of all, I’m sorry that I never got to say or show you that I loved you.

I’m sorry, Grandpa.

2 thoughts on “Ode to Grandfather”

Comments are closed.