26 October 2009

Pak Cik Reminisces (Part 9) – Pencapaian

Sifting through a not-so-old file of documents, Pak Cik spotted the copy of a letter dated 12th March 1994, fifteen years ago. The letter, a four-page of type-written, was addressed to my number three who was then 22 and a long away from home. He was struggling to prove himself academically. Pak Cik had just been released from serving a ‘sentence’ of 30-year of challenging working life ( not quite 'hard labour' catagory!). He was under ‘trial’, so to speak, waiting to see what kind of sentence would be passed on him. The long letter was a typical father-and-son communication, heavy on philosophy of life. The year 1994 was just before Pak Cik began my voluntary labour at Almanar.

Pak Cik chose to end the letter with the following poem which very much reflected what was going through my mind.


Ku sampai kemuncak gunung
Menyedut udara nyaman
Dada yang lega fikiran tenang
Tercapai hajat dan idaman

Keringatku mengering
Yang panas mula mendingin
Sang matahari yang terang
Masih tinggi dipandangan

Nun jauh di bawah awan
Yang ku tinggal di belakang
Tak ada yang kurang
Tak ada yang hilang
Di mana ada PENCAPAIAN?

Andainya langit tercapai tangan
Melangkahi bintang-bintang
Memerah awan
Mengeluarkan hujan

Ku tunggu bisikan angin
Ku tunggu liputan awan
Ku tunggu sinaran bulan dan bintang
Ku tunggu ilham

Yang hampa membawa harapan
Yang kosong minta penuhan
Yang kurang menunggu tambahan
Yang rendah mengingin tinggian

Dari YANG tak kekurangan
YANG memberi sinaran
YANG menghidupkan

Indeed I thought I had achieved something in life, yet so many around were seeking for help just to survive.

Today I look at this poem, holding back my tears for whatever reason it may be, and keep wondering ……

Apakah erti PENCAPAIAN hidup pada hakikatnya?

when " ................glory but leads to the grave" ( Wonder which English poet said this.)

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.

04 October 2009

End of The Tunnel ( Part 5 ) – The Last Fisherman

“So this girl, Yani, attended English class at Almanar, did she?,” the lady was looking at Pak Cik askance. “That figures out,” she continued before I had time to reply. Her puzzled expression began to change as the answer began to dawn on her. She had just been transferred to this school as its Head.

That scene was in a room of a secondary school 11 years ago. Pak Cik had come to introduce myself to the new Principal in the first instance, and to find out the 1998 PMR results which had just been released. A small group of 12 Almanar pupils were involved.

“I’ve been puzzled by some odd results of this school. This girl, Yani, for example, scored grade A in two subjects only, English and Bahasa Malayu, Nor is another one like her. ” Now she knew the answer to her puzzle was the class at Almanar. In this locality, a pupil is more likely to get A grades first of all in any other subjects like Pelajaran Agama Islam, Sejarah, Kemahiran Hidup, etc. before an A grade in English. Furthermore, Yani did not show any flare in that subject in her UPSR exam three years earlier. She did not have a family likely to help her.

After completing her SPM, Yani gained entry into UITM to do a course in tourism following which she acquired some experience working for a couple of holiday resorts. Then came her break when she was given a job as a lecturer in tourism at a private college. After proving her worth, she is now the head of a department. Today, still determined to improve herself, Yani is pursuing a degree course in Food Service Management. Compared to the achievement of many high performers we often read about, there is nothing glamorous in what this girl has managed to do unless one understands her background.

Pak Cik can claim to know Yani and her family well enough. She and three others sisters attended classes at Almanar. Two elder sisters are working and her younger one is doing a nursing course. I call their father ‘Pak Mat’ although many villagers know him as ‘Pak Yas’ (for Alias).

The proud fisherman and his daughter

Pak Mat, now 59, came from a typical fisherman family. As a boy of 16 he started to follow his elders, going as far as Tanjung Dawai in Kedah to fish ‘ikan bilis’. Being a junior he was paid only half what others earned although he claimed to have laboured no less. It was years later when he was paid the normal share of an adult member. That was FORTY-THREE years ago. Today he still goes fishing. Pak Cik worked for THIRTY years, mostly in the comfort of air-conditioned offices – and I have had enough of it!

“I will never depend on my children for money as long as I have the strength to go to sea,” he responded quite firmly when Pak Cik suggested that, perhaps, his children would now support him and wife. I know his children do not fail to give him money, but Pat Mat is too good a father to sit back relying on his children and, above all, he is a proud fisherman, proud of his profession.

A year ago Yani dropped by our house. In her hand was an invitation card to her own wedding. It was not a surprise to Pak Cik and Mak Cik. She was ready for it. And it was no surprise too when Yani turned up at our house again a day before the recent Hari Raya, this time with a smart HUSBAND and a healthy BABY BOY hardly two-months old.

The bride and Makcik

Will Yani’s boy be following his grandfather’s footstep? No, not likely, and I doubt his proud grandfather will ever regret it either – that none in his family will ever go to sea again.

The proud mother

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.