Met Mr. Nava in Bali
Mr. Nava (K. S. Navaratnam) left SS Secondary when I just started schooling at SS Primary. However, his name was very familiar to me. Being a teacher to all my three elder sisters and especially the form teacher for my third sister, he used to come to our house (a government quarters at Lorong Mok Pe) then.
Though, during those years I cannot really recall meeting Mr. Nava in person, but the name really got stuck in my memory. I would remember hearing the sound of his Volkswagen beetle coming. As a little boy, I was able to differentiate the sound of the various, not so many, cars then.
I was having breakfast with my family at a hotel in Bali, just a month after the bombing that killed over 200 people. The hotel was deserted from the bombing scare and the coffee house was practically serving us and an Indian couple.
Later as we waited for our tour coach we realised that we were all going to be in the same coach and started our conversation. Surprise! Surprise! One thing lead to the other. I met Mr. Nava after almost four decades he left SS. He still remembers all my three sisters and my father, Ustaz Omar [who also taught at SS in 1960].
We also talked about his very close buddy in SS, Mr. Razali Mutalib. Mr. Razali is married to my father’s cousin, Mak Cik Wok – Cikgu Khatijah Yong [also taught at SS], the youngest sister of [Ayah Ngah] Hassan Karim [A Letter From England (1960)]. You may find both Mr. Razali and Cikgu Khatijah in the 1965 staff photo.
For the entire day, we were together exchanging stories while visiting various places in Bali. Seen below is a photo taken at Kintamani (one of the favourite spot for tourist to have a view of an active volcano in Bali overlooking Batur lake).
Mr. Nava now resides in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.