Those of you who know Walski, either through this blog or in person, would probably have an idea of what Walski's musical taste is. It's pretty eclectic, and usually shies away from Top 40 or very commercial music. Be that as it may, it would be a lie to say that Alleycats did not, at some point touch Walski's life.
Loganathan Arumugam, or Loga, as he was also known, co-lead singer and flutist of Alleycats, passed away on Monday, June 4 2007 at 10.50am, at the Mount Miriam Hospital in Penang (via The Star).
Walski cannot claim to have known any of the members personally (although Mrs. Walski, being a Penagite, was at one time a major fan), although he's bumped into David many times in various places in KL. Loga's passing, and its timing, however, is significant.
At least to Walski.
(more thoughts on Loga's passing, in the full post)
You see, Alleycats is a musical outfit that Walski quite liked while he was in secondary school between the mid-1970s and into 1981. Back then, as Walski remembers it, we were definitely more a nation, celebrating our diversity as citizens of one nation. One Malaysia.
And Alleycats, to Walski, was the musical epitome of muhibbah. Here were a bunch of ethnic Indian and Chinese musicians, singing in Bahasa Malaysia and English. More importantly, the appeal Alleycats had transcended racial barriers. Everybody loved their music, as Walski recalls.
Loga's passing comes at a time when the nation is much more divided - be it along racial or religious lines. Or even both. The recent events surrounding the Lina Joy case has truly brought out the worst in us, as witness throughout the bloggerhood. And admittedly, Walski is, to a degree, guilty of allowing his emotions get the better of him.
Perhaps, we should take a little time out from our collective cynicism (Walski included), and think back to the times when we could truly call ourselves Malaysians, regardless of background, and be proud of it. Back to the Alleycats heyday.
True, this does not take away the fact that there are serious differences and inequalities that we should work hard towards eliminating. What we once had, collectively as a nation, is fortunately not all lost. And it is something we can still regain, if it were our desire to do so.
And perhaps God, in His infinite wisdom, picked now to take Loga away for a reason.
To Loga's family and close friends, kindly accept Walski's deepest condolences. Loga, with the rest of Alleycats, showed the nation, through their music, that we do indeed have commonalities. And that is something Walski will never forget.
May you rest in peace, Loga, and may God shower you with mercy... And finally, courtesy of YouTube, one of Walski's all-time favorite Alleycats numbers...