28 December 2008

Happy New Year 1430H and 2009

“Bismilla …..

Kepada Tuhan yang Maha Kuasa ku persembahkan segala-gala yang telah ku buat ditahun yang telah berlalu dan apa yang akan dibuat ditahun-tahun baharu. Kalau kejahatan mengatasi kebajikan dimasa yang telah lampau ku pohonkan semoga kebajikan bertambah ditahun baharu.

Kepada Kau, Tuhanku, ku persembahkan kesyukuran dan lautan terima kasih. Tak ada kejayaan yang telah ku perolehi kalau tidak dengan pertolongan dan keizinan Kau. Dari Mu ku masih dan akan selama-lama meminta pertolongan. Moga-moga Kau tak akan menghampakan permintaan ku yang suci.

Dengan adanya Engkau wujudnya aku didunia. Kepada Kau aku akan kembali. Saksama dan rahmat ialah yang aku pandang-pandang kan .

That transcript was written fifty years ago today on the first page of Pak Cik’s Diary: Thursday 01-01-1959. (equiv. Hijrah 20.06.1378 )

I can still vividly imagine sitting alone in my room at 152, Herrick Road somewhere in the Midlands . The feeling of loneliness pervades me even as I was transcribing this today. It was cold, very cold in that room in a house without central heating. The use of an electric heater was too expensive for a student. It was loneliness living in a house with fellow students, none I could share my feeling with conversing in Malay language. By then I had been two years in that house enjoying an international company, eating foods prepared by an elderly English landlady. “Fish for you today, Hassan,” means everyone else was enjoying what I told her I could not take as Muslim. “You should try this, Hassan. Mrs Robertson is good at this, you know,” one or two at the table would tease me. Let me not dwell on this unpleasant subject.

You, children of Almanar. Pak Cik thought those words of prayers out when I was at about the same age as you who are at university today. I am proud to have those diaries of my yester-years. I look back and evaluate whether or not I have lived my life the way I promised myself fifty years ago. My above prayers tell me a lot of things, my success, my failure, where I have gone wrong and what little good I have achieved, and is there no room for improvement? If you make no effort to write down what you do and how you feel today, you will have lost the opportunity that one day you can look back and take pride, or bow your head with shame, in what has transpired in your life. Pak Cik said it all in those short prayers 50 years ago and I can say I have very little regret. He has answered my prayers.

To all of you I wish a happy new year, 1430 and 2009.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.

24 December 2008

Merry X’mas Ian

Pak Cik have just received these beautiful pictures from my dear old friend, Ian Sanderson who now lives in the States ( see my earlier posting, Pak Cik Reminisces - Part 4) They had had 25 cm of snow.

To him and family, Pak Cik and family wish a merry X’mas. We wish merry X’mas to Jane and Peter Swarz, Julian Dalzell and family, who are all in the States. Our special wish goes to Pauline Ford of London who has just shortly lost her beloved mother. Our heart-felt condolences, Pauline. We remember it too well the day we took you, Pauline, and Nell on a tour of Masjid Negara. Likewise I wish merry X’mas to Christian visitors to this blog.

Will it be a white X’mas? Mi and Zaharah in London are sure to be out walking the Oxford Street for the beautiful lighting, or is it not there any more?

To Pak Cik's past and present Almanar pupils: Look at those beautiful snow-covered scenes that you have all read about in books like Jane Eyre, and imagine that one day you have a chance to see them for real - a change from the current monsoon rains and the sound of heavy waves lashing our shore now, day and night.

15 December 2008

Pak Cik Reminisces ( Part 6) - No2 (Nwar) reminisces

This morning Pak Cik received an e-mail from the elder of my two sons both of whom and their big sister are today grown up with children of their own. Pak Cik could not hold my tears reading something that kicked my own memory back to the days I used to take my two boys to Masjid Negara. It brought home how old Pak Cik am today, and how blessed Mak Cik and Pak Cik are that today we have a chance to read what goes in the mind of our son, reflecting the very thought that went through our minds those many many years ago.

I wish to share with Almanar’s pupils, past and present, what my son, Anwar, wrote in his e-mail message:

“I was in my reminiscing mood as I leaned against the big column half listening to the khutbah after the solat hari raya at Masjid Negara this morning. It was drizzling and weather was 'pleasantly' gloomy (autumn-ish) with cool breeze gently blowing across the open spaces of this great mosque - so many fond memories here.

I watched Azim and Arif from afar, both smartly dressed in baju Melayu, chatting & giggling away, oblivious to the surrounding, ahh... both still 'little' boys in my eyes, young and innocent. The solemn khutbah about son and dad, nabi Ibrahim and nabi Ismail, made me conscious of that unconditional love I have for the two (and the little rascal at home, of course). I wondered, surely 30 years ago, when I was here with my little brother and my Babah, for sembahyang hari raya, sembahyang Jumaat, tarawikh, the same thought must have crossed Babah's mind looking at the two of us 'cuit sana, cuit sini', oblivious to the real world - that unconditional love. - Nuar”

Mak Cik, Arif, Azim & cousin Aziz

Life would indeed be a lonely place without our loved ones.

You, children of today will surely, many many moons and years from today, come to a moment that you realise how much you truly owe your parents. So strive hard at your studies, that with your education you can do something for them – not forgetting the community that you belong to.

Nuar, Pak Cik & little brother Amran

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.

07 December 2008


To all the present and past pupils of Almanar, and to those who happen to visit this blog, Pak Cik wish you all Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha. Very soon thsose of you who sat for the recent PMR will get to know the results. Let us hope and pray that all is well.