01 March 2012

You are my sunshine

You are my sunshine, an old song, as old as I am;

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine You make me happy when skies are gray You'll never know dear, how much I love you Please don't take my sunshine away


It was Sunday morning, the sun was shining bright and I was waiting for a van which hopefully would, for a change, bring a load of bright and enthusiastic children. I was truly looking for a break in the grey skies, as the song goes. Of late the attendance and quality of children had been depressing, to say the least.

And that morning I was to start giving tuition to a new group of Form One pupils from the nearby home for poor children and orphans. Because of transport problems faced by the home we were almost two months behind schedule. At long last they had acquired two vans to transport their children. And there I was waiting the arrival of one vanload of new pupils.

Five minutes before eight the van arrived. The moment it stopped high-spirited children scrambled down. I counted only ten of them, two healthy looking boys and eight girls sweetly dressed in baju kurong and dark head-cover. I was not disappointed to see just ten of them if only they were as good as they were cheerful.

They are my sunshine


I addressed them in English, directing them to the classroom and so on, half expecting to see them blinking at me. Surprise, surprise, they could grasp what I had been saying!

As usual I made them fill in the standard form which records family data and past exam results etc, following which I spent about an hour or so interviewing them individually.

The first person who came forward had something familiar about her face. I looked at the form duly completed by her. Her father, an ex army had passed away. Her UPSR results were far from creditable, grade ‘D’ in English and ‘C’ in Maths and Science, not so encouraging after all. She has six siblings. I could hardly believe to see the name of one of her six siblings, Ana Sarda. There could not possibly be a second person by that name. Yes, that was it. Her face resembled the one Ana Sarda, a girl Makcik and Pakcik will never ever forget.

More than ten years ago Ana Sarda came into our life. To bring out the best of that gutsy girl Pakcik sought special permission from her father, who was still alive then, to allow her to stay in our house for a few months before her PMR examination. It all ended happily.To-day she is a qualified teacher serving in a rural school in Tawau.

Ana Sarda, if you are reading this posting, be sure Pakcik will feature you in my ‘End of the tunnel’ series one of these days, perhaps when you will call at our house ( your house, too, even for a brief period) one day with a wedding invitation card in your hand! AlFatihah for your loving father.


So this new girl is indeed that very girl’s sister, hence the facial resemblance. If Pakcik could help her sister then, perhaps I could do it for her now.

The real surprise, one least expected, was in store for Pakcik that morning; four of the ten new intakes passed UPSR with grade ‘A’ in English and three with grade ‘B’. Almanar never had it so good.

Indeed, they are my sunshine …....


When skies are grey



Please don't take my sunshine away……

Can we have our class up here on the tree house?


Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
Aha! The cats would looove to frolick with the kids up on the tree house....purrr...meow!

Pak Idrus said...

Hassan, Life is full of mystries and the unknown. To me that is why if we are an optimist we often would end up happy in one way or the other. In this case it sort of joy for you and I believe for those wonderful kids as well.

Thanks for naratting the happening. It does made my day.

Take care.

Wan Sharif said...

Alhamdulillah after many grey days.. sunshine to Al Manar.
May Allah bless Abang Hassan and family

Haslina said...

it's a heart-warming entry indeed. what you sow is what you reap later.. i can imagine the satisfaction you have when the students at al-Manar have good results.

Memorable trails... said...

With good supervision and conducive environment in Al manar,I am sure all"your sunshine" will suceed and make you proud one day..

Aalim said...

Dear Pokcik,

Congratulation to them. I'm proud of you, al-manar and the sunshines too =)

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
7 out of 10 with A/B in English.I'm glad! That's 70% of potentially good students. Rough diamonds just need time. When their English shows potential half the battle is won! And time is on their side. Wishing you all the best in your noble efforts!

P/S I have a feeling a few of them will carry the good flag higher in the not too distant future!

Al-Manar said...


To sharpen their claws on the barks? Sorry, no dice!

Al-Manar said...

Pak Idrus,

" Life is full of mysteries and the unknown" is true and if I may add, the answers often come too late. So we ought to look ahead with optimism. But I believe it too, that some pessimism brings the necessary caution needed in life. Pak Idrus, you are a man of the world, always on the move, gathering wisdom; plus your beautiful photography of nature.

Al-Manar said...

Ayah Wang,

I suppose if you keep on drilling you are bound to strike the black gold some day. You know better, my friend.

Al-Manar said...


You are a professional in this field. There is no doubt you have had a lot of satisfaction in your job, knowing well, not just imagining as you said, how a amateur would feel.

Al-Manar said...

Memorable trails,

The taste of success is even sweeter from your own flesh and blood, one that you, as a true professional, have been able to nurture and realise.

Al-Manar said...


Like Pak Idrus said above we should be optimistic. Is is this very thing that has kept me going this long. I have seen quite a number of 'End of tunnel' and I want to see more come rain or shine. Thanks for the inspiring words as many have expressed.

Al-Manar said...


I am proud of you and your sister although, in your case, the period at Almanar was a brief one for which Almanar cannot claim credit. Please keep visiting this blog and our home too, no doubt, as you have done in the past. Will Makcik and Pakcik see little Aalim in near future? We wish you all the best.

Iskandar aka DR Bubbles said...

Saya seronok membaca entri tuan kali ini. Sangat suka!

Al-Manar said...

When I first visited your blog long ago I was full of marvel at what you were doing, hesitant to leave comments that would be seen as impertinent. And I still marvel at the amount of energy you spend on visiting here, there and everywhere tirelessly, just to bring cheers and leave materials for education.

Keep it up Dr Bubbles.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pak Cik,
May ALLAH always bring to you endless sunshines because your selfless service brings more sunshine to the world of others which would have been rather bleak not for their fault but that of those who failed to perform the trust given. ALLAH Bless Al-Manar.

Anonymous said...

AK, ucapan taniah satelah berusaha dengan gigih sdr telah mendapat sakurang2 10 orang pelajar baru maka bersukurlah kpd NYA.Apa yang diharapkan agar kadatangan murid2 berkekalan and keeps you occupied.Aallahamdulilah, after some shortcomings the light of sunshines is showing to ALMANAR. GOD BLESS YOU AND FAMILY, ZUL,

Ismail aka Pak Mail said...

Pakcik yang saya hormati,

Saya kira anak2 ini, semua menyimpan cita2 yang besar untuk berjaya dalam persekolahan mereka.

Saya percaya dengan didikan dari Pakcik yang banyak pengalaman, Insya'Allah mampu membawa mereka menuju ke jalan kejayaan.

Fadhil said...

Salam Pakcik,

I look forward to more success stories coming from the Al Manar establishment. Many those ten kids benefit from your sharing of ilmu, insyaAllah.

And to digress a bit, there's another wonderful sunshine song that I like... the one by Stevie Wonder.

Al-Manar said...


Akhi, kind words and prayers are but encouragement that one needs from time to time. Thank you. Begitulah semoga Tuhan permudahkan segala masalah dipihak saudara.

Al-Manar said...


You have had a very good life as a family. I cannot help believing this as your rewards for all the helps you gave to people during your years of service.I do not cry for you for not being awarded datukship as you have more in number and quality from HIM.

Al-Manar said...


Ramai yang memerlukan pertulongan, PakMail. Sayangnya kita amat kekurangan tangan yang menghulur. Kalau sedikit pun tak mengapa asalkan dengan niat yang ikhlas

Al-Manar said...


You belong to Stevie's generation while I come from Doris Day's, the mid fifties - when Stevie was about to be born. So you see, you are not 'old' at all by comparison to Pakcik.

Stay as young as young are, my friend.

ninotaziz said...

What a lovely lovely post. It made my day too.

Al-Manar said...


You joy is heightened when you see songs and poems. I enjoy them on a limited degree, what I can understand and what takes my memories back to time of irretrievable moments.

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,
I had a beautiful day today. Ilena and I were the only two left in the house this weekend as Rudi was in Kelantan with Ikesha.

I was making Ilena her favorite bubur jagung when she came and whispered,"Don't look Mak, Sasha is in her basket. I think she is having a baby."

This was surely a trigger coz Sasha refused to sit on that basket, what more lie down in it.

We tip toed and took a peek. Sure enough, there she was, looking quite bewildered in the basket. I went over and stroked her neck. She calmed down.

Constantly checked on her. Suddenly she was missing. Don't know what made me look, but there she was under the misai kucing bush. She was terrified.

Finally she and I settled on the porch floor and after 1 1/2 hours, everything was over. Two kittens and mum were safely in the basket in the house.

Newborn kitties, new mum and first time midwife are all fine.


I do not know how I am going to handle this when Iman, insyaallah, gives birth!

MamaTim said...

Assalam Pakcik. Baru hari ni sempat reply your comment. So sorry. Last week took my son home from MTAM sebab his toe was injured - main football berkaki ayam (despite Mama's leteran!). And then couple of days ago there was heavy thunderstorm, one great lightning strike sent our internet line at home bonkers. My bathroom pulak under reno, so macam2 hal... :))

Life's pretty that way, kann..

Anyway I love the faces you paste to this post. They are all adorable... Some day soon these darlings will take our places in this world, bringing all that knowledge and charm insyaAllah to make this world a better place. This is our doa to our younger generation, tak kira anak sapa, asal anak kita semua :)

I sing this 'Sunshine' song to my sons when they were babies. Especially every time bathing them and putting their clothes on. It's sunk into the deepest corners of their brains, I think, so much so if they happen to hear this song again, they're automatically reminded of me. That makes Mama happy, so so happy.. Btw, my Ba is in hospital (again) and appreciate the doas if can be spared his way. Take care yourself yaaa..

Temuk said...

Salam bahagia
Belakang parang diasah lagikan tajam (tentulah 'mata parang diasah lagilah tajam!).

Saya yakin amat tinggilah harapan kita, dan amat padulah doa yang kita panjatkan ke hadrat Ilahi, semoga Cikgu Ana Sarda berjaya dalam kerjayanya dan berkesempatan pula untuk turut membantu adikberadiknya, termasuklah yang sdra al-manar kisahkan. Insya-Allah!

Al-Manar said...


It did occur to me that you had not been around for while. Pray for your Ba to get well soon. And that boy had injured his toe playing football 'kaki ayam'. I thought it was only during my childhood days when everyone played kaki ayam. Hope he is progressing well at his school - dah mula hafaz Quran?

One night a couple of days ago we had a terrific lightening that literally made jump out of bed at two. It was total darkness. The sad part was my modem. I was poorer by about two hundred ringgits to get a replacement urgently.

HOpe all your minor irritations will soon be over.

Al-Manar said...


How did you enjoy ulam bunga kunyit?

Sdr, kalau fasal mengaasah parang jangan ingat semua orang boleh. Ada kemunkinan kalau disuruh saya asah parang yang tajam saya akan sudah dengan yang tumpul, kalau tidak pun yang mata yang sumbing!

Pohon doa yang baik dimakbul kan. Kita mencuba dengan niat yang baik dan berdoa. Itu tugas kita. Dia yang mengatur segala gala selepas itu.

asamkeping said...

Wah..lagu ini memang kena sekali dengan kisah kali ini! Tumpang bersemangat sekali..

Al-Manar said...


Only two kittens? She cannot be so productive then. Why not grind the mata kucing leaves with kepala ikan kembong goreng, add some fresh susu kambing jantan and make her take it. Next time you will have a dozen in one go! C-f-S should know this, and you two can open a pet shop, cat specialists!

And don't worry when Iman's turn come. You would have had enough pratice.

Wed Mar 07, 10:35:00 AM

Al-Manar said...


Lama tak nampak. Pakcik fahamlah. Tentu banyak kerja dirumah dan tempat kerja.

Cheqna said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Cik,

May you be blessed with more sunshine, and smiles all around.