Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Eyeing Arnaz M Khairul's Nostalgia for Subang Jaya of a bygone era

UNLIKE others, scenes of my glorious childhood can never be revisited, although they were at the doorstep of where I still live.

There were two glorious football fields where we were free to play and even got to watch Selangor Dunhill League matches that featured the likes of legends such as Datuk Mokhtar Dahari, Khan Hung Meng, Datuk R. Arumugam, Razali Alias and many others, are long gone, replaced by the MPSJ 3K Complex, which houses tennis, badminton and squash courts, along with a swimming pool and a downsized mini-football stadium, all of which are available for rent.
The challenging off-road tracks which used to border miles upon miles of oil palm, rubber and cocoa plantations just up the road from SS14 in Subang Jaya were where I sought my thrills and polished my BMX skills, sometimes escaping broken limbs as I watched friends crash into trees on downhill stretches.
In the 1980s we'd also be feted by rows of rally cars lining up to enter the estates which became famous as a special stage for the annual Rally of Malaysia.
I remember when my friends and I discovered several streams in which ice-cold and crystal-clear water flowed. They became our R&R spots while we explored the "interior" of our neighbourhood.
One day, one of our explorations led us to a little town in what was considered rural Selangor. It was Puchong. After that, we would go there on our bicycles, sometimes to play friendly matches against some Puchong boys who went to school in Subang Jaya.
What an adventure that was.
Gone are those places of my memories. They have been replaced by the mammoth Summit USJ Shopping Complex and the entire USJ metropolitan area.
When I was growing up, there were vast plots of sand hills and tin mines which doubled up as swimming pools and fishing ponds. Parents warned us about the mines and what laid beyond -- the notorious squatter settlements of Kampung Lindungan and Medan. We went ahead and had our fun anyway. Today, even the couple of hills there have disappeared and in their stead, you will find Sunway Pyramid and Bandar Sunway.
Most of us who grew up in Subang Jaya in the 1980s remember fondly how peaceful and laid back it was. I could walk out the door, and ride my bicycle all over Subang Jaya. I could cross the road from SS14 to the sundry shops in SS13 to meet the KPI which was my mother's list of sundries.
I could count in 10 fingers the number of vehicles using the road between SS14 and 13 in an hour. Today, the Kesas highway intersection and a three-storey flyover have have made them a distant memory.
We could ride our bicycles at night to the mosque during Ramadan for terawikh prayers, which was the only chance in a year when we had the freedom to roam the streets at night. And it was never dangerous.
Everybody in Subang Jaya probably knew each other.
It was a real neighbourhood, a close knit one, and the friends we grew up with are still friends today.
This is still Subang Jaya, but in a way we could never have imagined all those years ago.

Read more: Nostalgic for Subang Jaya of a bygone era - Central - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/nostalgic-for-subang-jaya-of-a-bygone-era-1.411857#ixzz2lj9Sf9TW

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