24 July 2012

Will I have a chance ( Pt 3) – Hindsight

All alone at Nuri "What lies ahead?"

When we first wrote on 19th April this year about the boy we conveniently call Arif (click HERE) it was meant to be a single entry about a boy who created history for Almanar. In his family he is the fifth of five siblings in a row attending tuition classes at Almanar. We featured him again on 10th July (click HERE) when his family encouraged him to participate in the NST Spelling It Right (SIR). His school, unlike many other schools, did not see it of any advantage to send a team to take part in such a competition. That should be the end of our story about Arif. But an unexpected event prompted Pakcik to write this Part 3.

About ten days ago Arif’s school had what they called a ‘ko-ko day’ (one day for co-curricular activities?) I think it was hindsight or a sudden realisation that spelling competition was not an activity to be belittled. So, one such competition for pupils of Form 1, 2 and 3 was included in the programme for that day. Of course I was personally quite pleased to know that this school could finally see the benefits of encouraging this kind of activity among pupils whose English is well below par compared to those in the urban areas.

What pleased me most was the news that the winner of that competition was none other than our gutsy Arif. It does not matter if we prefer to call him ‘jagoh kampong’. This boy had exhibited enough courage to make him stand out head and shoulder above many of his age group. It is good enough reason for Pakcik to get this entry written.

In the afternoon of the first day of fasting Arif turned up with two sisters, bringing along some ‘kueh buka puasa’ (something to break the fast) for Pakcik and Makcik. His elder sister also wished to bid farewell to us before leaving soon to continue her Masters degree in IT. Here is another strong-willed member of his family, fully determined to continue her favourite discipline up to Ph D.

Arif and two of his four sisters

When Pakcik questioned Arif whether it true about his winning the spelling competition, he sheepishly admitted. For that performance he earned himself a towel!

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.



Cat-from-Sydney said...

Way to go, Ariff!! For that, you deserve a hug from a feline, sardine breath and all. To his school, there's hope now that they have somehow repented. har har har *evil laughs*

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
I'm moved by such wonderful narrations. This is not a story (I refuse to use that word) This is a narration of success brought to higher levels in small doses but eventually recording big news. I'm sure Ariff will be following the path as set out by his sister. Wishing the family all the very best!


Pak Idrus said...

Pokcik Hassan, thanks for narrating this success story of the determination of young boy whom I believe would go very far indeed in his endeavor to have a better quality of life. Thanks to you he has a teacher and a friend to look up.

Have a nice day.

ahmad humairi said...

Congratulations Ariff!

The towel that you won is most valuable than what we buy ourselves (sentimental value).

Best wishes to Ariff.

('Tergeliat' otak saya untuk cuba menulis dalam Bahasa Inggeris........maafkan saya, huuu...)

ninotaziz said...

Arif changed the mindset of his school administration - and that is no small feat. For mindsets are the hardest material known on earth!

You have every right to feel a measure of happiness and pride, Pakcik.

Al-Manar said...


Surely he deserves more than that. He does not like cat.

Al-Manar said...


Hank, a poet looks at events like this from an angle not normally appreciated. I have narrated in a simple way and you see it all in depth. Thank you for your appreciation and selamat berpuasa.

Al-Manar said...

Pak Idrus,

This is just an aspect of school life which those involved in education in rural areas fail to appreciate. Thank you for visiting during fasting month when you should be busy with other Ramadhan activities. Selamat berpuasa.

Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Humairi,

Kalau tergeliat saja boleh tahan. Kalau otak dah beku bila memikirkan dalam BI apa nak buat?

You are right over the value of just a simple towel. As a teacher like you certainly see the true value of a simple item to a pupil.

Selamat berpuasa, aikgu

Al-Manar said...


You are quick to point out that it is the change of mindset which is hard to change. In suburban areas heads of schools are the likely highest paid government servants. Many around me have ego 'besar bakul'. These people are likely to change only when are given orders from up above.

We will strive to do our best, Ninot.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pak Cik,
This is another proof of an ordinary kampong boy who will make you proud of Al-Manar has done to give him the much needed confidence to face the world. Keep up the good work.

Al-Manar said...


I am glad to see you active again after that long rest.

Do not give me credit for the boy's brave effort. He owes it to his parents and elder siblings, an thusiastic family.

naliahmad said...

Dear pakchik, the story of arif warms the heart. such courage to go up against 'giants', such composure and inherent good manners when he greeted the judges without precedent. what a guy. what a mentor he has in you.

Al-Manar said...


Jangan kita harapkan mentor, Nali. Ibu-bapalah benteng pertama mempertahankan anak anak dari gejala yang tak sehat, dan guru pertama membina nilai nilai murni. Tanpa ajaran asas dari ibubapa dan sokongan sdik beradik dalam keluarga jangan harapkan sangat orang luar.

You are a wonder to manage your batallion, Nali.

Selamat berpuasa. Seronoknaya berbuka puasa ramai ramai sekali gus.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to arif in persuing his dreams. It's been a while since my last visit to pakcik's blog.Everytime I read your stories,they never failed to make my eyes swell with tears.

Pakcik,recently I have been transfered to Hospital Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah,Temerloh.

selamat berpuasa pakcik.


Al-Manar said...


Your job is taking you further and further away from home. Gain as much experience before you return to operate the first pharmacy in Pagar Besi which I notice is building quite fast. I am sure you know about the new secondary school in Mengabang Lekor, the hoome of keropok lekor of course. Right now we have to drive all the way to Batu Enam simply to get some pills!

Temuk said...

My doa to Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful, may Ariff's and all his siblings' dreams come true! Insya-Allah there will be someone in the family with a doctrate, one of these days. Amin!

Al-Manar said...


Ameen and thank you for the doa. I am quite certain the eldest girl will get there.

Sdr Temuk, you have changed your signage picture, giving a more robust look.

School Of Tots said...

Looks like Ariff is quite arif himself, maybe can be Yang Arif one day...insyaAllah and all the best to Ariff.

Tn Al-Manar, may our second phase the next 10 days of Ramadan full of barokah to us all, as to deserve the 'forgiveness' from Allah.

Al-Manar said...

School of Tots,

Saya berterima kasih diatas doa sdr dibula Ramadhan untuk kebaikan kita. Ameen.

I am quite hopeful that this boy will indeed be someone who is 'arif' one day.

naliahmad said...

dear pakchik, how very true. we cannot deny the role of parents in nurturing children. and to have someone like you looking out for their welfare is an added bonus.

it is not always that we get to break our fasts all together with some being away at school and out of town job. but when we manage to,iftar in our home is much like a small kenduri, with everybody fasting except for the youngest two. kecoh, pakchik....
ramadhan kareem to you and makchik.

Al-Manar said...


I do not know anyone personally so blessed with a family like yours. I just find hard to imagine when all are gathered for a meal. In time you will have enough quarum for 40 persons Yasin trecital.

Selamat berpuasa