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.



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