02 October 2011

End of the Tunnel ( Pt 13 ) - What is success?

Almost seventeen years ago Yani and Zira, two timid kampong girls, joined the form 1 tuition class at Almanar. Yani, currently working with a private college in Selangor, is already a mother of two kids. And early this year, Zira was married. She is working at a hospital, also in Selangor. Perhaps she too will be a mother before long.

An old picture of Yani with her second kid, Makcik and the new couple, Zira and husband

One morning last month a young couple gave us a surprise visit. The young man gave me a broad inquiring smile, " Pakcik dah lupa saya?"( Have you forgotten me?)

No, the face was too familiar to easily forget. He spent three long years as a pupil at Almanar. Despite the seveneen years that had lapsed I could not forget that face. He was one of two boys having the same name, Hafiz. I called this one 'Hafiz tinggi' and the other one 'Hafiz Maradona'; the latter being stouter resembling Diego Maradona, at that time the idol Argentine footballer who captained the country to win the World Cup. These two boys were in the same group at Almanar with the two girls, Yani and Zira.

"Ini kad jemputan saya, Pakcik( This is my invitation card)" his murmur was hardly audible, caused by the big grin on his face. By nature he is soft-spoken as well.

"After all these years only now you decide to turn up to this house again." I made it sound like a reproach. Indeed, the last time I saw him was fifteen years ago.

In the course of the following conversation Hafiz repeatedly apologised for staying away from Pakcik and Makcik. He repeatedly said, " Malulah Pakcik ( am ashamed)".

This Hafiz was not a star performer in school those days. His namesake, 'Maradona' is today a civil engineer and this one is not. He was ashamed that, in his mind, he had failed Pakcik who, he was convinced, had expected only the best of Almanar pupils. And he did not quite make it.

Now he was getting married. We promised to be present without doubt. And we did.

Before he left our house Pakcik managed to have a few quiet words with him, assuring him that he was wrong. A degree is not the certificate of success in life. He now has a permanent job with the state government and his very charming bride is with a university here. That is a better start than his own parents. And he now has every chance to place his children a step better in life. He smiled - pleased with himself.

The wedding party we never failed to attend

The happy couple

And Pakcik and Makcik pray that this new couple will have a life blessed with success and happiness. We know he is in a position to contribute something to his parents.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
Many people think having a degree etc menjamin kebahagiaan dan kejayaan. We know that isn't true at all. There are many who graduated from the university of life that becomes more successful. purrr...meow!

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Yet again another moving story, a success story. Any job and a marriage is a success story.

We have the twin danger of a drugs user and petty crimes as the easy way out for the yearnings of a good life.

As long as they can stay away from these two, get married, then there is a chance they can eventually upgrade themselves.


Wan Sharif said...

Alhamdulillah.. another success story.. starting better than their parents.. got the blessing from their devoted teacher.. How blessed!!.

Al-Manar said...


I like the university of life you made reference to. Many do not take advantage of this means of learning, a kind of vocational school where one learns from rpactices and observation - with the ultimate text/reference book, Al Quran.

Al-Manar said...

Ayah Wang,

Nampah letih lagi lepas rumah terbuka.

Salaam to all in the family.

Anonymous said...

Dear pc,
jJust want to congratulate mr. hafiz on his wedding and selamat pengantin baru!!!


Al-Manar said...


The twin danger is very real a present. In yesterday's paper there was something about escalating number of drug abuse in Kelantan and it was getting out of control - just Kelantan? A senior teacher told me recently that an number of his secondary school pupils were found drug positive after testing.

How do we fight this apart from celebrating our many 'cugan kata' and academic 'records'? - Should we have an accepted DRUG DAY once a month, when you and I will get free something, provided we only restrich ourselves to do that once-a-week? In Terengganu this free-for-all gift will be done after Friday prayers!

Mon Oct 03, 12:03:00 PM

Al-Manar said...


It is still a long way for you, Syami. Don't you start getting ideas of bringing home one made in Germany for your parents!

Cheqna said...

Alhamdulillah..the children are blessed to have you and makcik in part of their growing up period.

Red Alfa said...

Salam dear PC and MC

There's barakah in giving and in receiving with sincerity.

If they haven't come back, they will yet come - for the closure.

And the closure with deep thank yous and with just as much sama-samas must be priceless.

It's the success for this life and for after in eternity that matters, don't you think?.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pakcik,

I hope you and makcik are in the best of health

hehehe, don't worry, I won't start thinking about it(because I had thought about it already- just kidding)


Al-Manar said...


It is 'doa' from well wishers like that puts us in good health.

Thank you and Alhamdulillah.

Al-Manar said...

Red Alfa

I knew it when I said life begins at 60. Now I see you, after that birthday, more active, going visiting here and there. I am not surprised we will see new entries in the blog. How about it?

Whatever you choose to do with the new extra energy, do a bot of what I have been doing -for our real future as you said in your comment, and do it all with sincerity. I agree with you. You are now even wiser than before the birthday!

Al-Manar said...


You are too young to know what you will find and do in life. One day, soon, I will write about you in this blog, and will tell the world to watch out!

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Drugs or fix is heavy stuff. Pemadam and others are doing a good job. But it's no match for the lure of easy money. Even 39B is not a deterrent. Petty crimes can be countered by virtues of religion but not drugs. Users or peddlers are not bothered with religion and that's tough!

P/S Thanks for visiting Rainbow. I'm having fun and thanks to you!


Unknown said...

Alhamdullilah Pak Chik, I am proud to say that saya juga berasal dari negeri TRENGANNU, dilahirkan di tanah di bawoh jambatang Hilirang..good write Pak Chik..

Al-Manar said...

Akhi Hank,

Poems etc are to me just like some Hindustani songs which sound good. I have heard of balada, rock etc etc in music without knowing the difference. Perhaps lagu joget, and the likes of Seri Mersing are familiar to me as 'Asli'. It is too late in the day to start.

Keep going my friend.

Al-Manar said...

Dr H

Astaghfirullah al Azeem. Masjid Hiliran kampong arwah ayah saya. Jadi kita rakyat 1-Tngganu lah! Terima kasih menziarahi dunia Pakcik. Saya memang menghormati ketabahan yang Puan dan suami mengalami Cubaan.

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,
Thank you for taking the young man aside and for helping him see a new perspective. I too have learnt from this lesson in humanity.

The value of a kind word cannot be stressed enough.

Once again, I am deep into finalising books. One, a translation for a fellow writer and a good friend, and my own called SRIKANDI - Princesses of Malaysia. So I have been silent for a while.

Do take care.

Al-Manar said...


"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

Janganlah terlampau sibuk.

I spend all day. to stand and stare
What becomes of life without care

Hope you will soon produce another piece of work full of satisfaction.

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,
I write because I love to.

But also, this is my preparation with penuh tawakal for my sunset years.

It's coming along nicely. Hopefully for school going children.

Hazri Hazmi said...

Dear Pakcik,

For me having a degree is not a ticket to success in life.but,we all do have a choice, in who we see? in who we are.as long as we work for it,we can get it..

To hafiz,my old schoolmate.Congratulation!May your wedding and joining together bring you more joy than you can imagine.(Kalau dulu-dulu,balik aje asrama,mesti nak cari die ajak gi umah Pokcik..) but now,maybe i need a little appointment..Hope to see you soon.

Pakcik,i miss to see both of you..
May god bless both of you..

Al-Manar said...


I have been wondering whether you would see this posting about your old friend. Now he is not quite a shy person - not a boy any longer!

Some of your friends from time to time ask me about you . Can you make it a point to call here more often, leaving short comments for your friends to see, and hoping to encourage them to leave comments as well.