How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies

By now, you’ve probably seen the Thai blockbuster hit film, “How to Make Millions Before Grandma Dies” with stars Putthipong “Billkin” Assaratanakul and Usha Seamkhum playing the lead roles.

Judging by the swollen eyes, muffled sobs and the blowing of noses all round me in my movie theatre alone, I’m sure mostly everyone resonated deeply with the film. 

I remember my grandma with extreme fondness. She used to patiently help me with homework when I was a child. She was particularly good at English and Mathematics, subjects she taught as a teacher. Though stern at times, I knew she loved me deeply. She would always take me to the park at 5pm, even if the homework wasn’t done. 

I wondered if my colleagues had just as fond memories with their grandma as I did. 

Here are some stories and messages they shared with me. 

Nenek Zaleha (left) and Nani Zaiton (right). Image source: Fairuz

“From the Bottom of my Heart, thank you”

Dear Nenek Zaleha and Nani Zaiton, thank you for taking care of me when I was younger. I am lucky to have you both as my grandmothers as you protected me, cooked for me, raised me in your own way and love me in every way. My child is also blessed to have you in his life! Always praying for the best of health for you. Terima kasih seikhlasnya. 

(Message from Fairuz to her nenek-nenek)

Karun’s Grandma as a WW2 volunteer. Image source: Karun

“Keep calm and soldier on”

My grandma volunteered to defend Singapore during WW2. She was inspired by Subhas Chandra Bose and kept a photo of him till her death. She passed at the age of 98. 

I wished I could tell her that I have mad respect for her, for stepping up and defending Singapore. She may not have actively participated in the war but her actions played a role in keeping Singaporeans safe. Bold and beautiful in her own way – thank you, grandma. 

(Message from Karun to his grandmother)

Kaylie celebrating her third birthday with grandma. Image Source: Kaylie

“A Year Older, A Year Wiser”

I will always remember the time you came out of the shower and found me crying in your room with my mom because I didn’t want to study for a test. Thank you for ‘convincing’ my mom to let me play instead. Even though you sometimes confuse me with my cousin, thank you for always looking out for me and being the cutest Ah Ma ever. 

(Message from Kaylie to her Ah Ma)

Rachel’s Popo and her own son, E. Image source: Rachel

“Til We Meet Again, Popo”

Dear Popo, I hope you’re enjoying yourself in heaven. I’ll always cherish the way you lovingly picked mushrooms from the wuleban before giving it to me. Wish you here to meet baby A. I miss you dearly.   

(Message from Rachel to her Popo)

Xinyi’s grandma measuring lace. Image source: Xinyi

Huat ah!”

I’m glad to be the only one in the family who knows your Ngoh Hiang recipe. Shall we make Ngoh Hiang together again this coming CNY? 

(Message from Xinyi to her grandmother)

Stories Never Die

Hearing my colleagues’ stories made me realise how precious life is and how important it is to look back and remember our loved ones. Though they may not live forever, their stories do when passed on to our children. Our stories will be passed on to their children. And stories never die. 

For those whose grandparents have passed on, these figures have undoubtedly made an indelible mark on family culture and family life. We pay tribute to them by retelling their stories, and living out their legacies. 

For the rest of us, I urge you to cherish your grandparents. It may not be possible to thank them a million times, but you are closer to one million with a phone call, a hug or a meal together.   

It is a privilege to love these special people.