Leaving Normal?: Muhamad Syukree Hussain
With Syukree, things can go upside down, our reality fields temporarily skewed and awkwardly hang in the air until you got your bearings back, shake your head, smile and sigh the constant mantra, “Syukree, Syukree..”
This morning I got an sms from Isham: “Dengan sedih diberitahu Shukri telah meninggal dunia secara tiba. baru sekejap tadi” – 10.39am.
Last night Syukree was at the shop, briefly. He came in wearing a half-face mask of a monster. He’s been donning that mask for a few days now, so me and the guys in the shop were pretty blas?© about it. After all it’s Syukree!
I called Isham. Apparently he got the news from Black that Syukree “terjatuh” at his brother’s house and died. I tried calling Black but it didn’t go through. So I forwarded Isham’s sms to some friends. Shocked replies came in with more questions. After a while I got this sms below and I forwarded it to a lot more friends.
“Bekas wartawan Suara Keadilan yang juga penulis untuk Watan dan Malaysia Today, Syukree Hussein meninggal dunia pagi ini di Brickfields. Jenazah kini di Brickfields dan dijangka akan dibawa ke UH sebentar lagi. Beliau dijangka dikebumi di Terengganu. Hubungi —————— Ardi” – 11.08am
Two days ago Syukree was in the shop surfing the net as usual. He was muttering to himself, “Leaving Normal? Sapa mati?.”
And then he laughed, “Ohhh, Devilica! Aku ingat orang mana tadi! Band boleh “leaving normal” jugok!”
He was surfing these Ricecooker pages, as he had always did. I gurau with him by saying, “Oh doh! guaner internet warrior ketinggalang zamang nih! Dok tahu Devilica split-up!?”
“Eh, internet warrior? Dok eh!! Aku lame doh dok comment-comment kontroversi!,” he said all defensive. We all know Syukree as a guy who would never be anywhere without his laptop, and when he got the chance, he’d be immediately on-line, doing whatever he liked to do, including putting up bizarre comments on peoples pages, all pretty much designed to annoy and infuriate.
Syukree was beaten-up a couple of times too. We all remember the infamous incident at the Teratak Dangdut gig years ago, when he pissed off a bunch of hardcore kids and yet still attended their gig! He was also punched at Bau-Bau Cafe once. His spectacles were broken and he came into our shop asking if we have a tape to fix it, all the while muttering “Doh, anarchist guaner gini? Sikit-sikit tumbuk, sikit-sikit bahang! Kata “pacifist”? kata “anarchist”?”
Two weeks ago I got an sms at 5.50 in the morning, “Ada orang mengamuk nak pukul aku dengan cangkul.” That was him again. He told me later that he got into an argument with somebody about racism, basically on how to “tackle” racists by initially pandering to their whims and win their confidence before putting forth your anti-racist agenda. The other guy didn’t agree and apparently tried to attack him. With a cangkul? Well, I don’t know.
Just now I went to his Facebook page and it said that Syukree was still online. That’s rather apt. Maybe the guy is now out there in The Matrix, pissing off both Mr. Smith and Neo!
See you my friend! Punk Sok’mo!
*footnote #01: Just had a call from Fahmi FSF who told me that according to his conversation with the brother, Syukree died in his sleep. (written at 1.15pm)
*footnote #02: “Syukri disahkan oleh hospital meninggal kerana heart attack,” – sms from Isham (received at 3.05pm)
“However, the young man was struggling to cope with challenges at the crossroad of our era. I sensed that he was trying to reconcile with many contradictions in life. His writing revealed his anxiety with big issues like religion, politics, philosophy, etc. His mind became the battlefield of these conflicts.
Sukyree led a colourful and productive life‚Äîand had certainly left among his circle of friends a lasting mark in their memory. His pains and dilemma too had stirred us emotionally. His silent cries impel us to look into the inner self of our generation of troubled youth. His departure also reminds me: their agile life can be so fragile too.” – Tian Chua in his blog – E Contrario