To Be Unholy


My dad is sell­ing our house, the house in which I grew up in Indone­sia. The house of pain as I like to think of it. I swear if you were there, you’d be able to feel unhap­pi­ness ema­nat­ing from every cor­ner. I haven’t been in that house in over 5 years and yet I don’t miss it. It isn’t home any­more. Not since my moth­er passed away any­way. And I’ve nev­er been a big fan of the nosy, med­dling neigh­bours.

I was just think­ing about the neigh­bours we had grow­ing up. The cou­ple liv­ing next door were devout Mus­lims. Once they com­plained to my moth­er about me play­ing Silent Night — a Christ­mas song — on the piano which they thought was inap­pro­pri­ate and un-Islam­ic com­ing from a Mus­lim house­hold. I guess they picked the wrong parental unit to file such a ridicu­lous com­plaint. My moth­er told me about it and we had a gig­gle. It was our lit­tle secret. She nev­er told me to stop play­ing the song. What­ev­er I liked to play on the piano was fine by her. Since then, when­ev­er I felt like play­ing the piano and I knew the neigh­bours were home, I’d play Silent Night just to be annoy­ing. If I felt gen­er­ous, I’d play the only oth­er Christ­mas song I knew how to play, It Came Upon the Mid­night Clear, which I doubt the neigh­bours knew was a Christ­mas song.

Had it been my dad they had com­plained to, it would’ve been anoth­er sto­ry. It Came Upon the Mid­night Clear would’ve been the only Christ­mas song I’d be able to play at home, because to him, the neigh­bours were always right.

I miss my piano. I hate that the last mem­o­ry I had of it is of the smell of the cig­a­rette the man who bought it smoked inside our house when he came to pick it up. No one had ever smoked inside our house when my moth­er was alive.

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Real­ly nice and touch­ing read. Some places always hold a dark­er side down the mem­o­ry lane. This post reflect­ed on me my old memories(mostly sad) of child­hood.
    I used to be very afraid of my dad, but when I was 14 we shift­ed to a new city where he fell severe­ly sick and went bed rid­den. I had trou­ble mak­ing new friends, my life was just school and back home.
    I hate that city till now and don’t even talk to the my school­mates from that city.

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