A joyful reunion, 25 years later


Aw, gee, I missed you: Olan and Raja happy to meet again after a long time.

PETALING JAYA: Disney character, Mickey Mouse, is synonymous with bringing smiles, but in the case of two long-lost buddies, he brought tears... of joy.

Factory worker Mohd Zulnurain Abbas, also called Olan, and lorry driver Nagarajan Vijian, both 38, reunited at the latter’s birthday party in Johor recently after having lost touch for 25 years.

In a TikTok video that has gone viral on social media, Olan attended Nagarajan’s birthday party in a Mickey Mouse costume to surprise his best friend from childhood.

After Nagarajan was asked to remove Olan’s Mickey Mouse costume head, he immediately recognised his old pal and they hugged as tears of joy rolled down their cheeks.

The friendship between the two men from different cultural backgrounds touched the hearts of many Malaysians.

Olan said they met when they were just two years old and living at an estate in Jasin Lalang in Jasin, Melaka.

“My mum – a single mother – worked in the estate, while Raja (Nagarajan) lived with his grandmother in the same neighbourhood where his grandfather was a rubber tapper.

“We were so close. I spent my time after school at his house while his grandmother babysat us till my mum finished work.

“Raja taught me Tamil. We used it all the time and I’m fluent in the language until today,” the father of four told mStar, the Malay-language portal of Star Media Group.

Olan also remembers being whipped by Raja’s grandmother with a rubber pipe because they were mischievous.

“She warned us not to play in the rain, but we still did and got drenched and dirty after lying in the mud,” he said.

The good times came to a halt when they were 12 years old and Raja moved to Pagoh, Johor to live with his parents and siblings.

Olan recalled the dramatic farewell when he chased after the taxi Raja was in with his parents.

“I saw Raja stick his head out of the taxi window screaming my name. I could not really remember how far I ran or how many times I shouted his name, but only that I stopped when I stumbled and fell down.

“That was the last time I saw Raja,” said Olan, who continued living in Melaka but moved to Alor Gajah in a different district.

Olan said they were supposed to meet up in January when another friend and former estate resident, named Hema, gave him Raja’s phone number.

“I bumped into Hema at a grocery store. She gave me Raja’s number and since then, we have been making plans to meet.

“However, due to the movement control order we had to postpone our meeting,” said Olan, who arranged the birthday surprise with Raja’s wife.

“Raja’s birthday was on Nov 4 and coincided with Deepavali. With the help of Raja’s wife, we ‘pranked’ him.

“I was already shedding tears under the costume when I saw him. He still has the same look and smile,” Olan said, adding that his prayers to meet Raja, a dad of three, have finally been granted.

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