Going, Going, Gong
July 29, 2010

You know how songs take you back in time to a certain place and paint the picture of a past event. A picture so vivid you could almost feel the atmosphere of that occasion. Happens to me all the time.

I bet you recall the time you turned a badminton racket and ping pong ball into a makeshift ice hockey stick and puck whenever you hear Queen's "We Are the Champions" -- from The Mighty Ducks.

Okay, that was me.

Maybe you remember lying on your bed holding a copy of Smash Hits with Lance Bass on the cover in a room filled with posters of Peter Andre whenever you hear "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys.

Okay, that was me as well.

You get the picture. Music is a time machine. It creates a continuum where you're free to pick a point in the timeline and go there just by exposing your aural sense to a melody, or even a sound.

It's true. Even a sound. For every time I hear a gong bell ringing, I'm brought back to a fateful Wednesday evening in 1996.

WWF "Raw is War" was on TV. And just as any 13-year-old at the time, I was watching it, with my younger brother. The main event was The Undertaker vs. Kane, whose guts I hated more than the dentist because he thrashed Shawn Michaels, my favorite wrestler of all time, the week before. So I rooted for The Undertaker, who walked into the ring to the sound of -- yes -- a gong.

The epic battle saw blood, sweat and tears smeared all over the ring as the two gentlemen grappled their way to the cheer of a jam-packed arena, most of whom still firmly believed that professional wrestling is real. It was pandemonium in the squared circle. But it wasn't until the dying minutes of the clash that saw The Undertaker turning Kane upside down and delivered his signature Tombstone Piledriver knocking him out to snatch a victory.

In the heat of the moment, and excited of the euphoria of it all, I turned my brother upside down and did the same to him, but on the sofa instead of the floor (as a safety measure). Little that I knew, there was a plank underneath the sofa. So let's just say he felt the impact just as Kane did on TV, if not worse.

He screamed of pain and rolled on the floor as I panicked in fear of the consequences that I might endure. It was one of the scariest moments in my life.

I may be banned from watching professional wrestling forever.

But that's my story. What's yours?


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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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