Thursday, December 27, 2007

Congratulations Fara!

I was at SMK Saujana Utama this morning. Fara booked my time weeks before to have me going to school for her PMR results.

She just couldn’t hide her anxiety when results were due to be out today. In fact since the day it was announced on TV, the date the results would be out, she had already shown her fretfulness, let alone when it was only less than an hour away this morning.

I was in the couch next to my favourite little fountain in the living room. I observed some strained smirk in her face the time she slouched down the staircase from her room upstairs. I led her to the car. I saw a little tremble when she settled in her seat. It has been an extensive silence throughout. I purposely switched-on her favorite Hot FM radio station but I noticed little attention paid to what’s on air. She covered her face with hands the time I broke the silence asking how she was feeling the moment we were at the road bend overlooking rows of houses in Pristana, some yards away from the school entrance.

I could feel what she was feeling at that moment.

But nothing can beat the angst I had to endure the time I was abiding the due results for my SRP those years (SRP is PMR equivalence of today).

It was very crucial to me. It was like a last roll of dice for me to score flying colors in order to remain schooling in boarding school. Passing exams were not a big deal to me because I was very sure I had no problem with it. The deal was, I had to strike the aggregate 10 or below (those years it was calculated in this manner with the highest possible aggregate of 5). What more, even if you clinched 10 or below, the aggregate for Science (Sains Paduan) and Mathematics cannot exceed the total of 6. Walla Weiii! It had put me in pins and needles. It would be too much a pride for me to swallow if I didn’t make it and got sent back to daily school.

Now back to Fara. I was interested to know what her confidence-level like in her PMR. That was long before the D-Day today. In her gallant, she surmised to make it with 6A’s.

“Why not all A’s, 8A’s?” I disparaged her slightly.
“Not too confident with my BM and Sejarah” she alleged.
“I made a blunder with my karangan and confused with some facts in Sejarah” she added.

Deep down in me, regardless of how many A’s it would be; her confidence was enough to please me. In my stride, straight A’s, all A’s, many A’s, are all overrated. Back in my mind I knew she was having a handle on what have been taught by teachers in the classroom. I summed up; she has already reached a satisfactory standard in the nuance of what learning is all about. That’s imperative to me.

And what is it for her today?

Yes…. This is the moment of truth. It brings to an end to her qualms just as it does to my conjectures. She has got all A’s except "B" for Geography, better than what she has predicted.

Initially, a tinge of dejection could be observed in her gesture, as I supposed some hopes for luck to get straight A’s must’ve conceivably been kept in her clandestine. Anyway, it was enough to overwhelm her up and it fuels up even more with relentless laudatory from her teachers and comrades.

She is a happy young lady that in turn makes me a happy "old" man. She is a joyful daughter that I am a cheerful father.

Congratulations to my girl, Fara!

GAB: Number of A’s does not count. It can only be counted.


Fara is showing her PMR slip

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Paleolithic in Us – Hailed From the Caves

Only in the recent civilization of the world,
mankind started to establish and institutionalize jobs and its specific nature, type and category that people would do for living.

You can be anything today; from technician to engineer, from musician to politician, from kindergarten teacher to university lecturer, from medical assistant to brain surgeon, from ambulance driver to F1 race-car driver, from bicycle repairman to rocket booster specialist, from minyak urut seller to fighter aircraft trader, from GRO to PRO, from storekeeper to company chairman and from housewife to jobless husband.

If folks from pre-civilization era were to wake up from their graves in today’s world, they’d die on their feet due to shock within minutes of their resurrections, if not, chances are they would be sent to psychiatric asylum for failing to grasp the assortments of jobs in today’s contexts.

It does not mean that prior to the modern civilization people did not do work, let alone to suggest that the earlier living humans did not have specific things to do. Those Homo Sapiens, Cro Magnon races or Paleolithic men, as we fondly call them cavemen in our contemporary term, did too have their jobs and worked to bring back dinner to the family in the caves.

I presume that during the cavemen time, the works, tasks and duties were segregated into much simpler form as compared to today’s standard and measure. Probably they might have started off to segregate using gender-based; men would go out hunting and women would stay in caves to raise their young, help gather edible fruits, leaves, nuts and beans in the “orchard” nearby the caves and help roast meats of men’s day catch.

“Phewww… What a bad day! I ain’t catch a single damn boar today…”

“It’s OK honey! We do have some berries I plucked this afternoon”

“Grrrr… May be my club is way too small, need to have bigger, heavier!?”

“Oh no, honey dear! It’s just not your day. Am sure you’ll have a better day tomorrow!”

That could possibly be the exchange of words between a distressed “husband” and a supportive and caring “wife” on one fine evening at the mouth of the cave whilst kids are drowned in their own world playing with their pet tortoise that lucky to be too small for a barbeque.

I have a theory. I think, the initial part of it, both genders would be out of the caves doing similar things until such time they figured out it would be better if men and women would assume different roles. That would probably happen only when they started to see their daily living would run rather smoothly by dividing tasks. They were far cry from female chauvinism and bigotry. It’s just that, nature had taught them to compliment each other to have things in place.

From the initial move of gender-based segregation in tasks and duties that saw the efficacy and efficiency in daily living, they started to get more profound and insightful. Gradually, the idea would be like, let one group focuses on skills in a few things while other groups would tackle other parts of it.

Throughout the course of living – hunting and gathering food for survival, they would then see explicit needs to master on specific skills for the individuals. Hence, works, tasks and duties were beginning to get more complex if not sophisticated, that would see them go deeper in knowledge. They went through stages of developments and evolutions in learning. As their clubs get bigger and heavier, the demands for knowledge get further and farther. As they were busy grinding and sharpening axes and spears in their errands, their knowledge also started to grind and sharpened by the day.

Over the course of time, not only they have perfected the essential skills for them to survive, but striving from one milestone of achievement to another, that in turn, it has done wonder in the civilization of mankind.

Eventually, after millions of years, it makes us living the world as we live today and doing what we do now.

Well, starts from this point onwards, you will see an idiotic or may be preposterous thinking that can only be written for blogs purposes, far removed from the world of intellectual sense.

(This is the beauty when you have time in hand like I do now)

I just wonder what I would be doing if I had a chance to use time machine to travel back through time to be in the eon of cavemen.

Since I am now in the business world dealing with IT, I wish I would still be dealing with something similar in my Paleolithic time. The way I see it, IT stems from the words information and technology. Cavemen loved to disseminate their thoughts, leaving traces of information by drawing & painting on the walls of the caves with a fair deal of “technology” of their time.

So then, my trade is to prepare you the technological side of it, apart from tools. I would barter-trade for good chunk of meat and fresh berries or may be a cave-girl for me to marry, have kids and live-happily-ever-after. In exchange, I’d provide you nice spots on the cave walls and tools for you to write, paint and draw with. But, since you’ve been my good friends all these while, I’d give you free space on the cave walls for you to draw just like the way the cyberspace today provide you free to blog with. Hahahaha!

As it does in our modern world to connect & communicate using internet or to broadcast & spread our feelings and thoughts through blogs in particular, it’d do the same to your drawings & paintings on cave walls. It will last for millions of years that later the asinine archeologists would meticulously study what you had drawn.

Now tell me, what would you like to be in your Paleolithic time?

GAB: I have a “caveman” friend hailed from Batu Caves.


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Remembrance: I’ll take it Bold or Smooth

I'll get MCDonald's to pay me for this free advertisement

My Air Asia flight AK 6328 Kota Bharu bound was scheduled at 20:20 on Saturday the 15th.

Delayed, yet again.

I didn’t mind a little late because I had nothing to rush for anyway.

Since it was delayed and rescheduled to 21:25 instead, I decided to kill my time at McDonald’s in LCCT.

The taste of the coffee was not that meritoriously great but I am a type that fond of old memories. My "Kopi Cap Kapal Api" prepared by my girl Fara is actually way better, or even I won't trade for anything when it comes to "Kopi Cap Badak" when I was little – hell of a great locally roasted coffee.

The pleasure of entertaining thoughts supercedes the taste. I would reflect over thousands of memories in my every sip of it.

The look of the cup has got its own story to tell.

The lid with bulge of “Decaf” and “Other” and perforated tear-off on it brought back memories of decades old.

The spatula – what can I say, the design never had changed in yonks.

The sugar – creamer – hey, only at McDonald’s my coffee goes with the creamer.

The steamy cloud came out of it led me to the unknown territory of my own ponder.

The smell – refreshing – uplifting – made me forgot about Starbucks for a moment.

My Fillet-O-Fish – it’s not the best combination in the world to go with my coffee, but what the heck.

The influx of recollections came into my head were unrelenting – unremitting – inexorable.

Tens if not hundreds of people were around me – come and go. But, I wasn't deterred by the mass.

Ahhhh… I’m a junkie of old things. Here


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Musing Over Rain, Reminiscing Winter

Pardon me for having a quick update on my blog. Only last Saturday I had my previous entry posted.

It’s raining in the evening these days, most of the evenings.

I love it.

I don’t know what kind of character would suggest I am for liking rainy days.

Just like those days in the US, I would prefer winter better than any other seasons. May be it’s beautiful in spring and nice colors of leaves in the trees in fall season. You may enjoy some phenomenal view on the changes of colors from day to day, spend your precious minutes watching leaves fall off that unwittingly kills your invaluable hours, as much as you may take pleasure in seeing the vegetations start to blossom in spring season until it creates heavenly scene all over the place.

Or perhaps the carefree of summer too.

But I like it cold.

I liked it to be wrapped in a heavy coat, with a pair of gloves, winter boots, thick sweater and bandana around my neck and also a cap & earmuffs when the temperature drops way below freezing point with ridiculously harsh wind chill factor. But I hated it when I had to use chapstick (a kind of lip gloss for winter use, if not lipstick). It makes me feel like my lips an-inch thick and when it dries up in the chilly winter breeze; it ends up your lips turn whitish like a type of monkey in Barbados. Initially I refused to wear chapstick as I imagined like a lady would but I ended up hurt my lips. You know when it’s exposed to cold winds, your lips will be too dry, you smile, and the surface tension on your lips becomes too great and it cracks. Bloody smile! And blood oozes out, like a Dracula.

For the consumption of people living in temperate countries like us in Malaysia that have never experienced winter in your life, do you know that in winter when it’s cold, it’s really cold? The kind of cold you'd have never imagined in your life. Nah, they would be running around naked for the kind of cold in Genting Highlands.

It could even freeze up the whole river and we would then have fun skating on it. It sometimes freezes up petrol in the gas tank of your car too.

You know, when it’s too cold, you’d feel like your ears are falling off? They say it does but I never came across one. And are you aware of the myth that if you pee in the open when the temperature falls below freezing point, your urine will freeze right up and you can see the spurt of frozen urine arched?! Don’t believe in it, of course it’s a myth.

Another myth is, if you lick up a metal object that exposed in cold, your tongue will stick onto it and when you try to pull it off, it snippets a good deal of the surface of your tongue. Foolish of me, I did try that on a guard rail next to our apartment. And prooven it’s not a myth. I was struggling to take my tongue off. Friends were laughing like hell. And it took me some time to have my tongue healed and even longer time as a subject of ridicule.

What about the story when I started off just now telling about rain? Oh yes, I like it when it rains. Again I am telling you.

It brings me back to the time when I was a kid.

We lived in kampung with poor living condition. When it rains, the ground becomes mushy and muddy. The only way to move around outside the house was to step on mud. Don’t even think of using shoes or sandals. They are of no use.

I remember when we had to brave through marsh of mud of calf-high for some 500 meters before we hit the main road to school. We would then hold our shoes in hands with funny looking schoolbags tied on our back. We only had our shoes worn after cleaning our feet at the well next to the wakaf at the main road, the point which did just half of the journey walking to school.

On our way back, just when we started to enjoy the warmth and comfort of our shoes, we had too soon reached the wakaf. Took them off and prepared for a sail through a marshland of mud and sludge yet again to get home. We thought we had cleaned the mud on our legs thoroughly in the morning but sometimes it stays filthy for the whole schooling day just like when we thought we had cleaned them sufficiently when reaching home but occasionally we slept with it till the next morning.

And guess what? The game we played after school sometimes had to deal with mud too. To the very least, we did enjoy sliding in the football field just like a pro stealing a ball from the opponent. Avoiding the squirt of mud into our face already requires half of the skills needed on the field and it perhaps contributes half of the fun for the game.

Scoring goals were only bonus.

That was all due to rain….

It was not too pretty then but it is a sweet thing for me to reminisce today. And we don’t talk about monsoon season towards the end of the year just yet. It’s another nice story altogether for me to relate. They call it flood but I call it big waters that cover the entire village. Love it! I used to write about this a year ago, Here but I’ll illustrate it in another perspective in future.

What makes me today? The rain still is dearly to me.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

You'll grow up anyway, Wada

No, Wada is not in the picture.... (I snatched the pic from the net to grace my entry)

It is a wake up call when yesterday KC commented this place needs some dusting. Phewww... it piles up an inch. Thank you, neighbour!

My fingers seem heavy to start thumping on my keyboard. Is that the sign of me loosing steam in blogging? It is not so much of loosing interest to write, and KC knows it too well; I’ve been writing quite heavily in our community forum, even thousands after thousands of words were done.

Take a deep breath…and ahhhh!!! Feels better now!

Lately, something inside me is telling, that little girl of 4 years from the house adjacent to mine is not as happy as a child would. She would sometimes display temperamental and her peevishness. Being the only child in the family with a working mother, she’s under the care of an Indonesian maid most of the time in a day. On top of that, since the father is working on the big tanker at the sea, round the globe at the alternate 3-month intervals, I would feel that she is highly strung and missing a father figure in her growing up years.

That little Wada, anyhow, is always charming to me. It is music to my ears when she would greet me the time I came back from office in the evening and I just love to see her giggling while pedaling her cute little bike the time I shoo her up. I would lend my ears almost everyday to listen to what she has to tell me even though most of the times I could hardly connect to what she was trying to relate. All I know when she chuckles with her own story or titters to my respond, I would take it as a good bantering already.

My wife concurs with me, at one point she resembled very much of our now 15-year old Fara when she was little. But not anymore after Wada has grown a bit bigger. She seems to get bigger by the day. I look at it as a reflection of me witnessing Fara who was then growing up before my eyes until one day I was awakened by the fact that she was longer a baby.

Umairah in her 6th year of age, whose house is contiguous to Wada’s, would be there coaching her on many skills like how to sing a tune or two or even how to pile up sands nicely in the yard. Umairah would assume a mentor role in many child plays. But it crumbles and unjust for her role when in one evening I brought out our hamsters for the kids to look at. Despite of the hamsters were kept in the cage, Umairah started jumping and screaming. Wada had her share of scream too, reasonably shoddier than Umairah’s. But not Adam, Umairah’s big brother of 7. He showed his guts to get close and started playing with our lovely hamsters. Only then Umairah started to simmer down and tease. But Wada was obstinate that they were “mice”.

I have a constant worry that, if the maid would ever abscond from her employer again just like what she did last year. It created some kind of mayhem in the neighborhood when she teamed up with the maid who takes care of Adam and Umairah to run off. Absconded was one thing but when small kids were left to mend for themselves, it’s hard to tolerate, then. What both of them did, they put Wada in Adam & Umairah’s house, locked them up and threw the house key in after giving instruction to Adam who was then 6 years old to take care of the two little girls until such time their parents are back from work. So irresponsible of them and it’s absurd too.

Unlike in many similar incidents when the maids flee, this time around the maids’ networking labyrinth was busted and managed to be traced. They were spotted some 60 km away in Puchong before transported back. You could imagine the way they looked when their mission was foiled. It was the most pathetic looking maids begging for mercy that I have ever seen in my entire life. Anyway, due to their trifling fault and yet with the display of some degree of penitent and contrite on their part, the employers still keep them instead of sending back to their home country.

It immensely gave good reasons for the employers to take heed. And hopefully it will not happen again.

And Wada will one day grow up to understand all these.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Meaning of Success

I feel like it to write today after seeing the date of my previous entry just now. It has been ages since I last rambled about the trip back to KL after Raya. I am very sure the regulars are pissed off seeing the same damn old thing every time come in.

I am actually touched by the recent news of a young girl in Nibong Tebal, Penang by the name Subashini who committed suicide after her unsatisfactory results in her UPSR with 4B 1C. Well, is not too bad after all and the least notion in my head to regard it as fail, what more when it is merely an assessment for primary school students.

The first thing came across my mind upon reading the news was the coincidence in the name, my wife’s student also named Subashini, who also committed suicide two years ago. And she was from Penang too. She hung herself with self-woven rope from the ceiling fan in her room at the hostel. It didn’t make the news on the national front as it was protected by the authority to keep the good name of the governmental institution.

Anyway, it’s easy to comprehend when a college-going adult in her 20’s to do such thing for she might have had too much to bear on challenges in her threshold of adulthood. It must be a major slip of thought that never had given her second chance to think.

But it’s hard for me to understand when a 12-year old kid would have had guts to act out something like that.

The only thing that lingered in my mind is something has terribly gone wrong in our education system if not the life value itself. We are pushing them too much, aren’t we?

To me, kids would never have thought of committing suicide if they are allowed to grow at their own pace and achieving what they would achieve in their performances and let them choose the means for them to grow up (and of course parental guidance never out of sight). Let them live the life of children and thus to love life will be second nature to them.

At that tender age, they still have no idea on the benchmark of any target-setting and oblivious to what failing and succeeding are. What can we expect? They are only kids that are very dependent on adults and the systems adopted by the society. They would only be such if it is systematically in their surrounding pressuring them to be at what designated them to be. That in turn, failing to reach the mark would mean to them, they are of no value to face the world and live.

When the time they needed such encouragements and motivations to absorb what they comprehend as failure and deeply wounded over what wrapped in their fate, nobody was there to give words of comfort. And it is imperative to note that, a cliché goes like, no such thing is called failure until a time when one stops trying.
Being overwhelmed by the thoughts cascading from their kiddy surreal indulgent, they would have had a hunch that, adults are giving them cold shoulders; of which it is as good as adding salt to the wound. And there goes, it makes the news when they execute what they thought it was the only way out.

It’s time for us to reform. It’s time for us to look at educations objectively.

Every parent wants his or her children to do well in educations. No doubt with good results it will be a motivational factor for children to reap another milestone of success in their academic years, but it is still not a guarantee. Poor results do not mean their futures would be bleak and desolate either. The most important fact that every parent has to understand is, not all children are the same. Some are slow learners while others are fast. Some bloom earlier in life while some are having hard time to be out of their buds.

Doing well in school with flying colors is only a bonus. On top of anything, all the children need is only the unconditional love from parents, and it is important for them to not just know they are loved but for them to feel it too.

Let them know, let them feel it. Let them have life.


GAB: Uncelebrated successes are equally as bad as condemned failures.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Of Pos Brook, Lojing and Brinchang

The Lakehouse Cameron Highlands

Tudor-style boutique resort, The Lakehouse - Cameron Highlands, an exclusive getaway in the natural beauty of the Cameron Highlands.

Heard of Pos Brook? Lojing? I bet many of you hardly have heard the names. Yes, Brinchang perhaps not too strange to the holiday makers because it’s a major part of the renowned Cameron Highlands. Those are the names of places along the road that cut across from Gua Musang, Kelantan to the western side of the Malaysian Peninsular. The names are captivating to me.

On our trip back to our place in Sungai Buluh after Hari Raya, upon reaching Gua Musang, I decided to take a route through Cameron Highlands instead of our usual route Kuala Lipis – Raub – Bentong – KL.

It was a different experience altogether. All of us love the mountainous scenery that became a staple background throughout the journey. Unlike Fara and Edrin, my son Sam had showed the least excitement seeing the views for he was more interested to doze off in the back seat. But that didn’t stop me to bug him, asking him to be alert over beautiful landscapes that complete with the vast greeneries of the jungles that turn into bluish tones of mountain range in the distance just like a drawing, goes as far as your eyes can see, and the grandiose of rocks and boulders, the fog-covered peaks and the splendid formations of clouds in the milieu.

The road condition was good or rather very good as compared to the usual route despite of having to tolerate the hilly terrain in a pleasant roller-coaster ride, up and down to my proclivity and penchant. Less traffic that sometimes made me thinking we were the only road-users of the day was a plus point too.

My basic nature is a reclusive type despite of my daily chores of meeting many people. Living up to the attribute, while driving alone with the family, seeing what I was seeing, entertaining my own thoughts that sometimes drowned me in paradise and having not found any living soul or settlement areas in that region, was simply blissful – that made me cheery and chirpy. May be it was nice too when every once in a while stumbled upon small makeshift huts of the indigenous Orang Asli down the slopes – that brought me into thinking they were enjoying their lives better as compared to us for being shoved into the rat race in the concrete jungle – and it created a kind of whimsical fusion of envy and gratitude in me. Above anything, in clandestine, I capitalized it fully to fuel up my spiritual vitality. And had my soul filled and my heart sang.

It was not complete for us if we did not stop at Cameron Highlands. Of which we did. At one particular junction from the main road leading to Simpang Pulai before joining PLUS Highway, I decided to detour to Brinchang. After all it was only slightly more than 20 km away that made the round trip from where we started to detour of some 50 km. Winding roads and the uphill climb was not the issue when you know it too well your family would enjoy it.

True enough, it served as a good transition point from the serenity and tranquility of our kampung during Hari Raya to a cool place with fresh air that graced with splendid landscapes from the tea plantations and the undulating slopes, beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables – are all worth our while – before we head back to run our routine in the city.

It has been a wonderful journey, to say the least.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Late Ramadhan Ramble

Bazaar Ramadhan in our place, Saujana Utama (Courtesy: SUDOTNET)

Only now I realize it’s been a while since I last update my blog. It’s been a month.

Time flies when we enjoy moments of our lives.

(While we are having time of our lives, there are people somewhere live in misery)

I am contemplating of having my tepung pelita and akok for my iftar and ayam percik and ikan pari bakar to go with for my heavy meal, whilst some poor souls somewhere are only contented if they are spared another breath to continue living. I thought my kids had gone through enough bad evening when I failed to buy their favorite “Roti John” in time for them to break their fast but there are kids out there deprived not just from their meals but also love and care.

Solemn and somber were the order of the days when their mom was away to Cameron Highland attending a course. Reinstating missing of their mother’s cooking in the fasting month like this has not been an easy task for me as a father – Bazaar Ramadhan came to the rescue.

But still, it is beyond compare for a father that have to wait for his missing daughter to come back home like what Jazimin had gone through. The agony of waiting for his Nurin Jazlin to be home safe and sound had ended with a thunderous bang of lightning for him and family.

It moved the nation when the missing Nurin Jazlin was then found sexually assaulted and brutally murdered. I supposed I am not the only person that touched by the incident. It made me weeping every time it flashes in the news. I am also among the millions that now anxiously wait for the break by the authority to nab on the culprit.

What a cruel way to send that little soul to heaven.

On the news front recently; Hui Yi, known as a girl lugging a 9 kg battery pack that resembles a schoolbag to power her mechanical heart, had received a heart from a donor after a year wait. Thought everything went well until it put the medical team in dismay and at the brim of frustrations when Hui Yi’s body rejected the newly-stitched heart. But the fate has it, just when the medical team had to succumb to it, another heart donor came in. It’s a miracle to have it happened very timely and Hui Yi was then saved by the second (heart) donor.

The whole nation overwhelmed with the news.

While the nation still wait for Hui Yi to recuperate from the heart transplant, I have discovered that my own heart starts to beat normally now when Fara had just finished her PMR. It took a toll on me when she had to fight her own battle in the examination hall. I took day off on her first day exams. I sent her off with all my blessings to the exam hall minutes before she had to sit for her first paper,
Bahasa Malaysia, Paper 1. Then, I went back home for my sembahyang hajat to wish her well.

Perhaps I was more worried than her throughout the exams. Though, I keep my stand clear; it’s not what the exam results would be for her but it is due to my long shot on what would educations be for her.

And also the long shot on what emotions would bring for her, to know how much I do care as a father.

From GAB (Zack), Anie (wife), Fara, Sam & Edrin

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Reason to Celebrate

Sometimes it is fun to find reason to celebrate over something. It may sound foolish to you, but right from the morning when I filled up gas at BHPetrol in Kuang, I told my wife that I was looking forward to witnessing the mileage on the speedometer of my car to read 88,888 km that day. It’s not an everyday thing to see that, you know. A few years ago, my Honda Accord saw the mileage clocked the same number the time I was on my way from Pekan to Rompin, Pahang.

Anyway, the time I passed through Jln Sungei Besi, I kept switching my focus between the ticks of mileage on the speedometer and my driving, perhaps with less attention to the driving. For an apparent purpose, I watched it with a little anxiety. And finally, in between stealing the look with the road ahead…. Bingo!!! It hits the magic number before my eyes as I barely passed the exit to Jln. Kuchai Lama. Fireworks like what were seen in Putrajaya recently blasted in my head. My way of celebrating was just allowing a tinge of bliss and ecstasy to fill me up for a moment, happy. I smiled, feeling some kind of triumphant over nothing. Silly me!

It is funny how our mind works and sometimes it manipulates you for eccentric things too.

And sometimes, a twist only known to the Almighty, something calls for celebrations without reasons too. Perhaps that’s what happened to my wife’s best friend, Zalila. If you read in my three previous-entry, the name Zalila would ring your bell and you’d find what I wrote about her – about her husband passed away.

My wife told me a few days ago, Zalila was somewhat baffled by the recent happening she has got. It has been close to 4 years already since her husband’s passing in late 2003 but then in the past weeks, her husband’s name surfaced again.

The inscrutability started after she received a letter that was addressed to her late husband, Hassan, from a corporate company based in Rawang, Selangor. It is said that Hassan’s name was in the list among the winners for a lucky draw organized by that corporation. Zalila never had known that her late husband entered any competitions or meant to be drawn in any raffles when he was alive. And true enough, he never did. His name just came up in the computerized random selection from the database.

When a gift delivered to you out of the blue, in the name of free thing, anything will do, but when we are talking about a Naza Citra car, it is more than what one is bargaining for. Right, Late Hassan had won a Naza Citra. Actually, it is as easy as nullifying the winning when the winner had died before the line up of winners were drawn and announced but that was not the case for Zalila. Although quashing out the upshot is always a legal option, the auditory of the draw had practiced stringent pronouncement that concludes no changes for the winners. Thus, Zalila as the beneficiary was then entitled for the prize.

It’s not hard to understand why the company is giving out prizes to people as I know it too well on the strategy to play around with the accounting spread sheet in an effort to reduce business tax and make the authority in the Inland Revenue unhappy. Well, that’s another story altogether. The point here is what has been delivered to Zalila, of which she never had thought of before.

A wealth dropped from the sky for her. Since she is now driving her new CamPro Proton Waja, she had suggested accepting cash for the value of the car. And to her surprise, it was agreed by the company to pay her cash instead of delivering a car. For no apparent reason, she is now RM 80,000.00 richer.

Well, I had a good reason to celebrate with my 88,888 number while Zalila celebrated her lesser number from mine with only 80,000 and until now she is having hard time to find good reason for it.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

50 Years of Merdeka - 31 August 2007

Fifty years is long. It sounds even longer if we put it as half a century. How is it long? Enough to turn a newborn baby into an old man that would retire in years to come - perhaps little time left to live.

That is how long Malaysia has achieved its independence from the British. Gosh, I banged my head on the notion of letting our country to be ruled by foreign forces after we had seen our glory days back in history.

I learned that in my history class. We were such a great nation with plausible civilization. We were admired as much as envied by other great countries of their days. Do you think it’s an easy decision to let your daughter marry a guy across the ocean just for the show of respect? You'll bet it's not. But that’s what had happened when Puteri Hang Li Po was sent as a present to Malacca Sultanate.

The trade relations were something like what we have established today with the countries all over the globe, if not better. The life of people is said to be prosperous and no worries over the fluctuation of the currency that may leave them poorer when they wake up in the morning. Less hassle in dealing when the wired transaction was far off and barter trades were then the order of the day.

They were strong and never-say-die as far as pride and dignity were concerned. To them religion and motherland came first just to be followed by the importance of family and self. I am saddened by the people making fun of the keris wielding warriors of our past as to be analogous to today’s spirit in fighting for the nation. Hey, the spirit remains the same you know.

They were healthy too. Perhaps due to their healthy diet, eating food from those grown and bred in their own backyard. They never had the idea how nice and beautiful the vegetables in our hypermarket today that even maggots are scared to eat them. Earlier generations of those maggots have a history of being poisoned to death after eating young green leaves laced with pesticides.

Parents of yesteryears would peacefully enjoy their sumptuous meals together with their young children at home right on the mat. They would probably puke to death if someone had suggested the idea of eating at the chain restaurants from the west. After all it was so strange for their time to pay for their meals outside of their home.

No surprise if they had to deal with social problem as social problem exists in any era of time. They might have had hard time dealing with their youngsters too. Girls grow up to be women, likewise the boys, grow up to be men. It is only normal when they start to like each other. Those days, from behind the window, she would peek at the hunk passing by her house when he is on his way to silat ring while he had his share behind a bush peeping on her washing clothes at the river. The jungle was thick and wide. Anything could happen.

But nothing compared to the jungle of today. Surprisingly, it is even thicker and wider.

Those are the impressions I have when I have to say what independence means to me. I would look at those years in traces of history in my own perception. We were great then. Why so great? Because not the material success that matters most but what the freewill and autonomy had been. We were deprived from many earthly things but I want to bet a million that I don’t have; nothing better in this world than not being subjected to any form of slavery. Independence. MERDEKA.

We have lost our independence for hundreds of years before we get it back.

In the first place, if knowledge was the priority in our society back then, nobody would be able to outsmart us. And thus, there was no reason for us to dirty our knees kneeling down on our own soil, bowing to the masters that of the foreign decsendant.

The efforts of our forefathers in achieving the independence of the country are among the greatest things, I supposed. They were actually the people who have made corrected the mistakes done by the previous generations.

Now is our turn. We have another set of challenge, and by no means easier. No matter what, we want to make sure independence is here to stay.

From BERITA HARIAN: Teachers, staff and students of Sek Keb Saujana Utama in my area put the efforts to sew up a big flag and have it erected at the school building. Well, my son Edrin must be down there in the crowd.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Headless Chicken on the Run

Just like any other Sundays, impromptu plan would always top the chart for me.

I was enjoying my morning drive out of the area to Paya Jaras last Sunday with my wife. The kids were left at home when they prefer not to miss their favourite weekend programs on TV. Breakfast was on the table and they would choose their own time to have it. Unlike lunch or dinner; in weekends, they hardly share similar time for their breakfast if not for the time the whole family is eating out.

Driving through the winding road out of the area is no big deal to me. I can even do it blindfolded (of course without guarantee not to hit the ditch, though). I’d run pass the place at the average of twice a day; one in the morning to office and back home in opposite direction in the evening is another.

Peaceful and easy Sunday! Hardly other cars were seen.

One has no reason to pass through the place until and unless he or she is either a resident there, a visitor or have something to do with someone from the area. The place is rather away from the hustle bustle of the traffic and not in the midway to places like shopping malls, eateries, entertainment spots or well-known rojak stalls.

In another road bend, I saw a damaged car at the roadside. It was clear to me a head-on collision must have had happened the night before. But only that white-colored car was there. Judging from the torment the car has suffered, it must’ve been due to a good impact with the great speed. The very thought that I had, it was highly likely happened to the residents in our area, our neighbor to say the least. But I was clueless.

Come Monday morning, I opened up the community portal from the office. And I read in the newspaper too. HERE. There I saw news about what had happened. The white-colored car that I saw on Sunday belonged to a family of five. Husband and wife died in that accident that left a baby of 9 months in critical condition while their sons of eight and ten escaped with minor injuries.

It shocked me. I never had thought fatal accident would happen at the road leading to our housing area. To me, it was the least expected thing to happen. That’s not the place for drivers to rev up their engines, perhaps the crazy ones may. But it happened.

Little surprise, it was due to the 18-year old driver in Honda Jazz (the black car in the pic) was acting like headless chicken running at the top speed, pushing the machine to the limit. He failed to cleanly pass other cars of which the doubled-lined road does not allow to overtake in the first place, only to meet the oncoming innocent white-colored car at the curve that the occupants with small kids were on the way back from their groceries in Econ-Save.

There go two lives in the blink of an eye that left three young living souls orphaned. Nobody knows whether the three kids would lead a normal life or not, especially the critically injured 9-month old baby, if at all he can make it. The suffering will be harder and longer than our sympathy goes as onlookers.

Life is too short and the headless chicken is too dumb.

Pictures: Courtesy of SUDOTNET


Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Beautiful Morning

Nice condominium in Taman Melati, KL

The food was not bad. The taste was not strange to my palate. Perhaps it has developed for the taste benchmark long ago, ever since I was a kid.

I had my nasi kerabu in the morning yesterday. Too much of budu that makes it a bit too salty, and funny, only now I realize it was. I finished it up anyway. It must be good since I didn’t say a word about it while eating.

Or may be I was engrossed with the company I was having my breakfast with? Until I didn’t care about the taste. Yeah… come to think of it, that might be the reason.

How true. I had my breakfast with two nice bloggers. The place was in Taman Melati, next to the condominium block in the picture above.

Zalila, my wife’s best friend actually is staying a couple of blocks from where we had our breakfast, at Leha’s.

I remembered the day when I visited the ICU in KL Hospital a few years ago. Zalila’s hubby was lying there in the bed. It’s hard to imagine when all sort of tubes and wires attached to his body, arms, hands, nose and mouth. And that eerie sound of the life support device made my heart beats faster.

Being a staff at the hospital, Zalila can always have the best of medical supports available for the husband. All her friends right from the specialists to common medical officers, housemen and down to support staff including nurses were there giving their best hands to safe life of Zalila’s husband.

At the moment when I was adjusting my sterile robe that compulsory to be worn before entering the Intensive Care Unit, a brush of thought came in my head, it could be me in the bed instead of Zalila’s husband. All Zalila’s friends are also my wife’s friends. And if it was me, my wife would do just that to save my life. My wife would then try her best to mobilize all resources to give me the best medical care, just like what Zalila had done.

Datin Asiah, my wife’s immediate superior was there reciting Yaasin when I approached the bed. It was so quiet except for the melancholic verses of Yaasin and the sounds of the machines. And it was cold too. It chickened me out. It brought me to a place that was so strange to me. I became smaller. Just like a grain of sand as compared to the whole universe.

As what’s written by God long before his existence on earth, he passed away minutes after. I did not appear to be crying but deep in me, I was. The kids that had just lost a father, 2 boys and a girl were all of a similar age to my kids. At that point, my heart went to the kids. It crushed me deep inside – thinking of my own kids.

Now Zalila still lives there with her 3 children, not far from the place where I enjoyed my nasi kerabu.

What a good company I had,

Honest to God, I adore these gentlemen. They are professionals in their work life as much as in their social life. They are among the nicest people I have ever met that know how to make people feel admired, respected and appreciated. Thank you, Id. Thank you, Jo. (It came from my heart while writing this that my eyes watered)

Being me, I always feel so small when I am next to successful people like they are.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bola Itu Bulat…!!!

A talented but unknown designer displays his remorse with his new version of FAM logo. KENASEPAK instead of BOLASEPAK, an injured tiger with grimace look on the face and lost the emblem of braveness and its fearsome lot as the stripes are gone.

I may be am not the person to carry a Malaysian flag to the stadium, paint my face with the colors of the flag, wear colorful and funny wig on my head and screaming and shouting from the top of my lungs, feverishly timing up my stand for a Mexican wave showing support for the national football team. But, by default as a citizen, I am a supporter.

I share the sentiment with the nation. We are less than amused with the performance of our national football team in the recent AFC Asian Cup 2007. I can feel the frustration and anger of the football fans. I can almost feel the heat on the players and the management team facing the catastrophic outcome of it.

By the way, Americans prefer to call it soccer for football.

When playing football becomes a job, it is not an easy task for players neither is easy on the management and coach. Winning is the utmost aim. But, it is imperative to note that, by nature, the game of football is very liquid.

Why do I say it is very liquid?

Comparatively, we look at the games that require a team to make it happen like American football, hockey, ice hockey, basketball, rugby and baseball, just to name a few. Let me single out American football since it is related in the basic nature of it being played in a large field albeit the rules of the game are totally different, and is the most popular game in North America as it is football for the rest of the world.

The game of American football does have distinctive roles in the team that breaks up into offensive, defensive and even kicking team is in the different line-up too. If the offensive line-up is in the field playing, the defensive team would be resting on the bench drinking Gatorade and having a field day saying “Hi Mom” to the camera, and vice versa. Likewise, only the kicking team is in the field when their turn comes. It is to the point that, the line-ups are never together in the field playing. It lies heavily on the coach to call a play and it is players’ job to execute at their best. In mitigation, quarterback may have some limited autonomy to call a play based upon his judgement reading the opponent’s move in the last minute. And that’s it. As a whole, it is a planned and organized move that put sketches by the coaching team from on paper into actions by players in the field. It’s a chess game if you like.

Whilst for football, it does have distinctive roles for players too but less obvious positions when the game kicks off. When the opponent possesses the ball, the whole team would be on defense and it changes direction when the opponent is defending. Players will be up and down tolerating the changes of ball possession with at times the ball possession may only lasts for a few seconds. Sometimes a player from different position will have to fill up the vacuum created while the responsible player is pursuing towards the ball to capitalize the moment or simply due to less competent. The whole process of positioning, running, tackling, blocking, dribbling, heading, kicking and split-second decisions in filling up spaces makes it very liquid. We know too well midfielders, halfbacks, wingers, strikers and other positions do have specific tasks to do but it is not a strange thing for a fullback to score goals too. In a rare case, it may happen for a goal-keeper to leave the posts and score goals as well.

Football is interesting but tough on the coaching part of it as much as fun but demanding for players to actually play. If we were to figure out conceptually and put it in a mathematical formula to understand how it works, a game of football requires heavier mathematics than its counterpart, American football. Perhaps, if football is Stephen Hawkings and American football is Albert Einstein, so then Stephen Hawking is a cut above when he perfected Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and comes forward to explain about the Black Hole Theory. Awhhh… Pardon me! I shouldn’t speak this kind of language here. But, that’s just to elucidate how complex the thing is.

The bottom line is, in any type of sports for that matter, it’s not easy. And it’s not even easier when it is in a liquid state.

Is it the right question to ask, how to have a winning football team? Well, better off we try not to jump the gun here, as winning is only the end result after going through sheer perseverance.

Before we talk about winning that dealing with the liquid of the game nature in applying the techniques to fill up spaces in the field once the whistle for kick off is blown that the coach and players are then hard at work to push ahead with goal scoring, let us think towards making the whole system right first.

Yes, the issue is too big for dudes like us to debate over. And without doubt, it takes time and money too.


I believe we do have tens of Beckhams in Malaysia and we also have hundreds of Ronaldinhos in all corners of the country. We do have plenty of Ronaldos who turn Mat Rempits on Saturday nights while keeping their day job as dispatch somewhere in the Golden Triangle. It’s a shame to have those Rooneys to mess around with their brooms and mops as janitors in the shopping malls while they are supposed to be busy perfecting their kicking and scoring skills on the field. What a waste when those Van Nistelrooys are busy with their hands in the electronic factories when they are designed to be at their best using their feet. And who said Mokhtar Dahari is dead?

That leads to a question of how to surface those talents. If my theory is right, players with exceptional skills like the stars in Copa America, La Liga or English Premiere League is only by-product of the system. When the whole organization is soundly established with proper and proven way of managing it apart from effective programs in line to cater for the short, medium as well as long term goals, then getting good players is not a big deal anymore. Let the rule of the thumb of quantity makes easy on quality manifests by itself, in a big way. Perhaps by then, players in English Premiere League will be humbled to their knees upon hearing the names of our players. May be Beckham and the likes will be trembling if not weeping in the locker rooms when our team is on the exhibition games tour in Europe. Even when the world talks about World Cup, they talk about us.

My Alma Mater, the old school is one of thirty schools in the country selected by the Ministry of Education to be a Cluster School recently. Students there are not only meant to excel in academic alone. Sports are also given as much emphasis besides other co-curriculum activities. I am attracted to the program suggested to be handled by the Old Students Association in the efforts to make the school shine in the area of football. It is suggested that every year, to organize football tournament for primary schools from all over districts in the state and the excellent players will be marked. So then those preferred kids will go through a program to guide them to do well in their UPSR and the ones with flying colors will be absorbed in for their secondary years. The ones with lesser academic qualification but talented will be open for daily schools that known to have good sports programs to seize. I think the idea is excellent in our own small way.

But in the bigger picture, we are anxious to see the holistic approach by the higher authority. Why not formulate programs for kids to start as early as 6 years old? And have good coordination from one age group to another until they mature at the age of 18. They will then be up for grab by the state or may be the professional setup. It is also advisable to keep politics at bay for once. Let football stays in its true form as what football and sports is. Give room to grow. Let it flourish. Let it prosper. We are not too optimistic to see results in 5 years. We are looking at 10 to 15 years to come to produce world-class players playing for the country. And, nothing is impossible.

Winning or losing is only part of the game. If we win, we want to win with style. If we were to loose, we still don’t want to be out of style.

Our people would say…

“Apa nak buat, bola itu bulat…”


Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Lesson from the Thundering Jet Engine

Subang Airport was once the busiest airport in the country before the operations were moved to the new world-class airport in KLIA.

At the end of its runaway to the north, there is a residential area called Kg Melayu Subang. It stands as a small township on its own with all the necessary facilities available in the commercial area known as Pekan Subang. During its heyday, it made a good choice for people who are serving with MAS and AIROD to stay there.

My sister who lives in Sepang now used to stay there. It could either be closer to her workplace at the airport or due to marrying a local man there. Or both! When I first came back from overseas, yet to find job, I stayed with her.

Being close to the airport runaway, it is not uncommon for the deafening sounds of airplanes taking off or landing for the residents there, come night or day. During the day, one could clearly see the belly of the airplane with the wings spread like a flying monster sprawling and screaming atop the roof of the house. And they are used to it.

But I am not.

I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to the blend of a scene in my dream with the reverberation from the jetliner taking off in the background, befits the quaver of an earthquake if not a volcanic eruption. The rowdy racket that rattles the glass windows makes me feel like being trapped in a war zone and had nowhere to go. It takes me a few long seconds to get back to my senses. Only to find it hard to continue sleeping even long after the jetliner has gone, perhaps already hit the sky of the Indian Ocean.

I would be there at the bus stop in Pekan Subang, 5-minute walking distance from the house. I would take a ride to Kuala Lumpur in Sri Jaya bus no. 47 at my leisure. Hoodwinked – I would then develop a pastime to wander around like a homeless lad, exploring all nooks and corners of the town with a “good” excuse of acclimatizing myself to the place where I would later work and play.

My own people with my own culture seem a bit strange when you are away for too long. Let alone when you are still young the time you left the country – having no benchmark on living the life in your own homeland – no comparison, no nothing. What more when you spent your life like a “prisoner” in the regimented boarding school before you went abroad. So to speak, the living skill (in your own place) is close to zilch.

I would sit there like a fool adjusting my mind to accept what’s in front of me and learning the life by the day. I would be baffled with some attitudes displayed by people, serves as a point to counter-check my own. I’d be whining over something that I had seen it could and would be done better and more systematic in the foreign country, just to dish up as a truncheon or rather as a baton for my turn to contribute to the society when the opportunity arrived. And to have it changed for better. Easy said than done!

Little wonder the folks in Kg Melayu Subang never had complained over the roar of the engines of the airplanes. Without their realizations, they came to accept as what it is – spellbound in circumstantial. You’d be amused with the answer when they got asked whether there was any airplane taking off, a few minutes after it did. You simply cannot take the answer like, “Tak pasti laaa….” (I’m not sure…), when it did pierce your eardrums minutes before. You know what that means?

Anyway, my sifoo had loudly warned me not to be enchanted by the unruly circumstances, as much as not to be trapped in the complacence of any achievements that have. And a voice from my spiritual guru thundered in my head just as loud – as loud as those jet engines, telling me “Be complacent with what you are destined to have, for it’s the sign of gratitude”

I think I can figure out the meeting point between those two schools of thoughts. Can you?


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Your Heart Says?

Now I am back to the old and tired blog of mine.

You know what? Blogging seems easy on the surface but it is actually not so. It demands your focus just like any other jobs do. It takes a heart to keep you going. Oh yes you can always take it for granted on what subject you want to write without thinking what the readers may feel. What the perception of others towards you with your words. But, I prefer to have my feelings to set out in concert with my entry.

And, to say the least, it beats me lately.

My wife commented the other day in the car about my blog that hardly have new entries posted. She said I must be very busy for not finding time to write. I denied if it was only due to time. I have all the time and plenty of stories to tell. It is more than just time and subject matter. Like I said, it is the heart that matters. Only bloggers know it best. Don’t you guys?

Well, “busy” was the keyword that triggers the banter.

It started when I mentioned to her; at the rate she is working now, she’s supposed to earn a salary of at least RM 15,000, RM 20,000 a month. And of course she laughed at my remark when she only make a small fraction of it.

Right! When she has to relentlessly attending courses, trainings, conference & symposium, apart from her desk work and liaison exertion with the government offices, it must be hectic on her. But, what can you expect when your vocation is in the public sector?

The gist from the repartee we had had that I can conclude here is; as long as she enjoys what she is doing, no matter how demanding the tasks are and how tiring for her physically and mentally, it is fine with me. Not just that. I am always in support in any ways possible. For, in the end of the day, I am happy to see her satisfied with what she is doing and back home to be a good mother and wife as she always do.

As for me, when my heart says it’s time for me to blog, I blog.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

It’s about the journey not the destination...

“We plan not to sleep until the time we are ready to start our journey” Sam was acting as a spokesperson on behalf of them two, Edrin and him, begging me and wife for consents for them to stay awake until such time.

“Why should you?” I tested him up for reasons, acknowledged their excitements for the trip that make them hard to fall asleep.

“We will be very sleepy by then and will have good sleep in the car throughout the journey…” He reasoned up.

“But... nothing compared to sleeping in your own bed, you’d wake up fresh and ready to roll” I said.

By 1:30 am, both of them playfully lined up next to my bed singing a chorus line of a song I can hardly recall its title, mixed with their giggles, in high spirits for being responsible for waking me up.

Close to 2:30 am, we hit the road back to Kelantan. Just when we were about to be out of our place in Saujana Utama, Berlingo from the neighborhood called on my mobile, checking on our whereabouts, thought we were already some hundreds of kilometers away from Sungai Buluh while he was only an hour away to reach his destination in Perak. If it was a competition, it would’ve been an unfair one. He started early and had much closer point to reach whilst my Point B was over on another side of the country and still had to endure some 6 more hours of battle.

We could’ve had started early but I had a funny reason behind it. It was just simply that, by the time we arrived in the morning, it would be just nice for breakfast with choices of nasi belauk, nasi dagang, nasi kerabu and kuehs over in the home state. As a matter of fact, plenty of those are selling in Kuala Lumpur too but nothing beats the feeling of having it there while being encircled with nostalgic settings, hearing proverbial phonetics and seeing clannish faces if not due to the taste altogether.

Fara had all the necessary tidbits and morsels readily bought early that evening the time I had the gas tank filled up to the brink at Petronas gas station in our area. But it was left untouched throughout the journey because time was rather not right to nibble on it, except for the drinks. Don’t talk about the boys. They were fast asleep. As good as the time when we passed the toll gate in Gombak leading to Karak Highway, both of them were already in their forty winks.

Such a pleasant yet uncanny sensation could be felt with the ghostly sight of thick virgin jungle on the sides of the highway. Those years Karak Highway was not as good as it is today. Those days it was only an ethereal darkness that could be seen. More often than not, we had to heave at the tail of fully loaded trucks and trailers crawling uphill – with one truck overtaken just to meet another one up front – and it was endless. Eight-hour journey was a blessing if we could get. Unlike now, it cuts down many hours of traveling time.

With my wife as a “navigator” on my side, it helps me a lot to pass my time driving, sometimes with her “recorded voiceover” that plays a thousand times before warning me over my driving. She in the passenger seat would hit on the brake much earlier and more often than I do, even she’d take the cornering before I actually apply it with my steering wheel. Hehehe… I always tease her on this. Every so often I would ask her to take a nap if necessary but she’s trained not to fall asleep while I am behind the wheel. It is largely due to my robust way of driving during my younger days with some ugly incidents that involved her in the record that in turn created such dread in her.

Sometimes we would just talk over the same topics we used to talk tens of times before – about places we passed through, about our kids, past traveling we had, the experience we had in kampung and so forth, even about our hamsters we left at home. Now and again we’d also laugh at the same jokes we used to laugh at before – occasionally on certain refined and recycled shaggy dog story, it turned out to be more hilarious than it was before.

Certain landscapes and settings of places passed had drifted my mind back to the time traveling to Kelantan when my kids were still babies – a thousand stories to tell. Nothing special about the cut-off boulders to make way for the road but it reminds me of little Sam back then when it fascinated him, even matched up to the like of a chocolate bar in his discernment. It was not pretty when Fara as a baby erroneously threw up in a car but it serves as a beautiful thing to reminisce. It may be sound like a hustle when we would be on the look for the right place to stop to change diapers. But I was always a proud father carrying a baby in my arms to the toilet at the mosque somewhere amidst the jungle. Stopping at the safe area with the hazard lights on at the roadside to prepare baby formula with hot water in the thermos could be less phenomenal as anyone with small babies would do but those images are still vivid in my recollection.

Glancing in the mirror to see my kids sleeping in the backseat made my heart filled. With the kind of cogitation I was entertaining in my head, I could see their entire life in a matter of seconds. They are at where they are now and some years to go before the mirror would disappointingly reflect an empty seat in the rear, but hopefully not with an empty heart – for I would then be proud of raising them up to be humans – to lead their own lives somewhere.

GAB: It is a journey that lays ahead the destination. Any journey we embark on for that matter is irreplaceable. It only happens once. And it is one-off.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Saturday, May 26, 2007

In a Dark Dark Wood

In a dark dark wood,
there was a dark dark path.

And up that dark dark path,
there was a dark dark house.

And in that dark dark house,
there was a dark dark stair.

And up that dark dark stair,
there was a dark dark room.

And in that dark dark room,
there was a dark dark cupboard.

And in that dark dark cupboard,
there was a dark dark box.

And in that dark dark box,
there was a....GHOST.

I am sure all of us have come across this folk tale sometime in our lives. I like the way when it entices our minds into thinking of a big area to start with and it shrinks down to a smaller and smaller place until the nucleus of it, the subject matter, comes alive… there was a GHOST.

Don’t you think there is a similarity in whatever things we are dealing in, we should focus on the big picture of it first before pursuing the directions we set, of which later breeds into the action plans with the breakdowns of activities to work on until the real thing we are aiming for comes out as a result of it?

I think it does.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Murphy's Law

Right from the time when I was a student, I wanted to have a business of my own. It was supposed to be a gradual process after acquiring certain knowledge and experience. But it happened sooner than expected; the opportunity to have it came in a surprising manner when I lost my job years ago.

When I mention to people that I came into the business world because I failed to secure a job after the last downfall, the reaction is nonplussed.

It’s true. I lost everything. Well, it was actually not much of everything that I had lost as I accumulated no wealth throughout but the pride was. That was back in Year 2001.

You can imagine when you are used to have a “good life” with a “good pay” and a big car and all of the sudden you are left with nothing. At first, to be at the taxi stand or LRT station to commute felt like the whole world was laughing at me. It’s different when you commute using the public transports out of your own choice while you are having your Porsche, or BMW, or CLS-Class, or even Kancil for that matter parked under the shade somewhere at the station or home. And it’s different for not having a mean of a transport of your own when you choose not to have one but in my case it was necessary for me to have one but I could not afford it.

It damaged my pride. The worst feeling is when I had to sit around not having the regular things that I had before to be dealing with.

But it was not too long before I got back on my feet understanding what I had already understood about the reality of life. I had nothing in life before. Then I had the opportunity to have something. And now, that little something was back to nothing. So what’s the big deal? The only thing was, without realizing it, I had allowed the pride in me to build the wall. I should've put it in the pocket, instead.

To make the story short, I was actually hunting around for a job but The Murphy’s Law worked on me at that time. The time when I was employed, plenty of offers from other corporations wanted to fish me out but when the time I desperately needed it, none was available.

I am quite handy with papers and paper works. I may be am not the best person in the world to conceptualize a business plan but the sketch I worked on while I was alone at home later turned out to be something of a value to some quarters. In fact, what I did was just pouring out my frustrations and capitalizing on my imaginations for the escapism purposes. Little did I know someone would take it seriously.

That’s how I get myself into the business circle.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Rambling: An Afternoon with My Kids

Last week on Tuesday…..

Edrin was excited for a swim at a swimming pool at the club house in our area, Saujana Utama Club House, some 200 meters on the straight line from our home, up on the gradient. It has been a while since the last time my boys went there swimming. He hurried with the gears, had the swimwear readily worn underneath his daily wear, a bottle of cold drinks, an empty laundry bag for wet clothes, and towels – packed in a sling bag, shared with Sam’s. Since the excitement was greatly in Edrin, Sam just sat there on the couch finishing off the game on his Nintendo GameBoy. Edrin was seen a bit pissed off when Sam teased him – jokingly threatens not to go if he fails to pack up for him.

“Kalau tak jumpa goggle Sam… Sam tak nak pergi…”
“Hehehe… I am the Boss… Kan Aesh?

(Edrin is called as Aesh by Fara & Sam, originated from his 1st name Farez but my wife and I call on his 2nd name, Edrin)

A glance from the corner of his eyes, tongue-in-cheek, demonstrating his annoyance with Sam and Sam continues laughing.

But Edrin packed up anyway.

“Cepatlah Sammm…” Edrin just couldn’t stand anymore when he was all ready with the bag hanging on his left shoulder.

“OK…OK… Nak siap ni…” Sam walked off from the couch while his eyes still glued on the Gameboy screen in his hands. Swiftly to the room, put on his swimwear before using back the clothes he was wearing on top.

“Kak Ana tu…” The boys call their sister Fara Liyana as Kak Ana. Before Edrin finished his sentence, the sister Fara already acted upon it, acknowledged his agitation.

Fara dashed to have her tudung on, almost bumped into Sam in the hallway, giggling, feeling triumphant in her prod to push Edrin to the edge. Their mom was in her usual self, smirked, with ‘I-am-ready-whenever-you-are’ conduct, lounged in the single-seater, clenching on her purse, timed her move off the seat. She then switched off the little indoor fountain, latched the sliding door and for a second or two gave an admiring look at the curtain of her choice for Hari Raya last year. While I, was at the rock garden leading to the grilled door with the shoelaces already tied up, adjusting my favorite black Levi’s cap, car keys in hand, smiling – amused with the play staged by them.

Edrin had his goggles missing during the last bashing at the river. We stopped over at 7-11 for a new pair. Since not much of choices available, I told Edrin to go without it this time around and promised him a better pair to be bought in SACC Mall, Shah Alam.

So there we were at the club, greeted by an Indian guy, a familiar face in charge of the security around the swimming pool. I am confused whether he is a security guard or life guard. Whatever it is, he’s always there for the club and around the pool. Anyway… You know what? It was 1st of May, Labor Day. Public holiday. The pool was closed.

Phewww! You can imagine the kind of look Edrin had posed.

So then we went to the Equestrian Club instead, right down the slope across the street from the Club House – watching horses in the stables. At least Edrin’s frustration for not being able to swim was compensated a little when he had fun patting and stroking the horses and commenting on the stained teeth of the horses. And I personally started to like what I was seeing up close, amazed with the sturdy build up of a horse. I never had ridden a horse before despite of having all the opportunities when I was abroad. My interest in it perhaps was drowned by my other interest in motor vehicles. I bet it is far different from riding on the back of a bull when I was a young boy for the bull that I hopped on turned nasty, threw me off ugly to the ground that made me think twice to ride on it again.

What so good about the Equestrian Club in our place? It is a place of choice for the King of The Country, YDP Agong for the horseback riding. In any weekend, if our secluded and quiet neighborhood is then busy with motorcade of police patrol cars and motorbikes, or the horses were seen being hauled into the area in the DBKL wagon truck the day before, it is a clear sign that The YDP Agong will be there for the ride.

I told my kids of my intention to buy a horse and rent out a stable there. At least it would liven up a chance for me to brush shoulders with the King. Sam looked skeptical and slightly raised one side of his eyebrows. No chronicle of words from him though. He was more interested to be out of the place fast, grumbling, it was blistering to still have the full-bodied swimwear worn inside. My wife knew it all too well and just sports a smile. Edrin took my words copiously, got his eyes popped out and his jaw dropped.

“Whoaaa…. Best tu Bahhh….!”

But Fara had shrewdly read my tone of voice and all too soon she replied over;

“Ya la tu Bahhh….” with an easily understood rhythm she used, to suggest the other way round.

And Edrin realized it was not true. His words then blended in the snigger.

“Ekk Elehhh…Ingatkan betul-betul le tadi…!”


Saturday, May 05, 2007

To Educate is to be Educated.

In his tender age, he was sent to Singapore to study. It is not out of the ordinary if it happens today but when it was back in late 1950’s, it is something. What more when it was in a traditional kampong and the folks were generally not having awareness in the importance of educations due to not being educated themselves. But, that is what happened to my uncle when my grandpa decided to send him there, and until now he has made Singapore a place for him to reside, happily with his kids that now already bring joy to him with presence of the grandchildren. He is in Woodlands.

Singapore is not a strange place to me. I grew up not having an attitude to differentiate between Malaysia and Singapore unlike what generally is now in the minds of younger generations. May be when I was small, I knew my uncle was there and thought it was just another place out of the area we were staying in. The blame goes to the politicians (on both sides) to have us separated in early 60’s as two different nations. It worsens with the political agendas come to play in 80’s and 90’s and to this day, that seemingly put the sharing of history and cultures remotely and thus out of place.

I digress.

Ustaz Luqman retired as a school teacher years ago. His last posting was at a boarding school somewhere in the East Coast of the peninsular. He too has a lot of stories to tell about his younger days. He was sent to Indonesia to study. Ustaz Luqman is later known to me as an uncle too when I marry his niece – my wife now. The irony is he went over to Indonesia together with Abang Lazim, my mom’s cousin that also now retired after serving in the Engineering Ground Support Department with Malaysia Airline System – MAS. Until today, his Indonesian wife is still heavily accented with her Java tongue – I know, that’s beside the point.

Considering the poor living state those years in the rural area where they lacked in facilities and opportunities, in my adulthood, the admiration grew in me for what the old folks had done to educate their children. They looked for ways not to have their children deprived from educations. It was not an outlandish thing during my childhood when I heard people had their grown up children study abroad. The popular destinations back then were Egypt and Saudi Arabia, while India was a place of choice too. They worked hard to support their children’s studies though they were literally lived a hard living with merely make ends meet. The word scholarship is only recent.

Started from my time onward, we can be considered lucky. We have a very good education system in the country. I can say it loud and clear because I am the product of the system. Well not too good, but not that bad either. To the very least I can feel that I am contributing my small part to the nation. No doubt the ideal formula for the whole education system is yet to mature relative to what have been achieved in the developed countries like USA and UK, but in many aspects we are not far behind if not better in certain areas. The biggest achievement is perhaps our end product is not a “kiasu”.

And, look at another angle. How many countries in the world give free educations until the age of 17? (Until the age of 19 in some cases) How many countries in the world spend big chunks of their budgets in scholarships for their students for higher learning?

We are one.



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