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MALAYSIA - 1957
MALAYSIA - TODAY
The Poet - Dato' M. SHANmughalingam Poet, novelist. Studied at University of Malaya, Harvard and Oxford University.
The MeaningIn Stanza 1, the grandchild asks questions to his/her grandfather and grandmother
Grand dad did you breathe before air cons were invented
Meaning: The grandchild asks his grandfather if he was able to breathe before air conditioners were made.
was it hard staying alive without modern inventions?
Meaning: The grandchild asks whether his/her grandfather found it difficult to live without modern gadgets.
Grandma weren't you flustered as you fluttered with paper fans?
Meaning: The grandchild asks his grandmother whether she was angry when she had to cool herself with paper fans.
Could you communicate before faxes and long distance calls became basic necessities?
Meaning: The grandchild wonders how his/her grandparents communicated before there were no facsimile machines and telephones. These are considered basic needs in our lives.
In Stanza 2, the grandfather/grandmother responds to the questions posed by his grandchild in Stanza 1.
Grand child we lived before your age. Because of our ignorance, we did not know pollution, stress, traffic jams destruction of forests, streams and hills
Meaning: The grandparent says that they lived at an earlier time than the grandchild. However, since they were not educated, they didnt have to deal with pollution, stress, traffic jams and the damage of the natural environment.
We feared God and nature
Meaning: We were afraid of God and respected nature.
Now nature fears you and Money is your new God
Meaning: Now, nature is being threatened by you and money has become your main focus.
Moral Values Take care and appreciate the nature Use technology wisely Do not be blinded by money Appreciate Gods creation Be religious. Do not forget your responsibilities.