Friday, July 29, 2011

The MPhil Journey


Phew... I submitted my MPhil dissertation on 22 July 2011. What an exhaustive but enriching journey! I've discovered so much about Kampong Glam and about myself. I can't wait to continue the research to the PhD.

I'm leaving Cambridge for the summer but my heart feels heavy... And just like many who had left Cambridge permanently or for a while, Cambridge is our love - I feel the same as Xu Zhimo's poem as that was written on the 'batu bersurat' at King's College. Here's the English translation:

Very Quietly I take my leave
As quietly as I came here
Quietly I wave good-bye
To the rosy clouds in the western sky.
The golden willows by the riverside
Are young brides in the settling sun;
Their reflections on the shimmering waves
Always linger in the depth of my heart.
The floating heart growing in the sludge
Sways leisurely under the water;
In the gentle waves of Cambridge
I would be a water plant!
That pool under the shade of elm trees
Holds not water but the rainbow from the sky;
Shattered to pieces among the duckweeds
Is the sediment of a rainbow-like dream.
To seek a dream? Just to pole a boat upstream
To where the green grass is more verdant;
Or to have the boat fully loaded with starlight
And sing aloud in the splendour of starlight.
But I cannot sing aloud
Quietness is my farewell music;
Even Summer insects keep silence for me
Silent is Cambridge tonight!
Very quietly I take my leave
As quietly as I came here;
Gently I flick my sleeves
Not even a wisp of cloud will I bring away.