30 August 2012

Pakcik reminisces ( Pt 25 c ) – Thank You

30th Aug 2012

Whenever I count and rank my blessings I would without hesitation begin with the very life itself, that I am breathing. The second most important item is my other half, followed by the third, my children. If I look back, say forty years ago, the order of significance was different. Foremost was still the very life itself. But the rest in the list were ranked quite differently. For a start the needs have gradually changed over the years.

Each day after my prayers I would thank Him for the significant items in my list of blessings. That has  somewhat helped to defuse whatever inflated ego I may have.

So when I started drafting my posting ( Pt 25 a –The flag -click here ) I had in mind three dates which are most important to me than anything else. I wrote about the Malaysian flag which Makcik took pain to hoist every year around August. Let it be noticed that we are no less patriotic. But this time of the year means significantly more  to the two of us; our anniversary ( Pt 25 b – click here), followed by Makcik's birthday, TODAY, and Pakcik's coming within the week.

L to R
No 1, 2, 3, bonda dan ayahanda
 Hari Raya 2012

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.

23 August 2012

What Pakcik received ( Pt 3 ) - Anthropomorphic Nouns

I wonder how many of my readers have seen what I received from a friend recently. I simply have to share this to keep the joy of Hari Raya going.


The English language has some wonderfully anthropomorphic collective nouns for the various groups of animals.

We are all familiar with a Herd of cows,

a Flock of chicken

a School of fish

and a Gaggle of geese.

However, less widely known is:

a Pride of lions,

a Murder of crows

(as well as their cousins the rooksand ravens),

 an Exaltation of doves


  and, presumably because they look so wise:


               a Congress of owls.


Now consider a group of Baboons.

They are the loudest, most dangerous, most obnoxious, most viciously aggressive and least intelligent of all primates.

And what is the proper collective noun for a group

of baboons?




Believe it or not . a Parliament

I guess that pretty much explains the things

that come out from the Parliament...

You just can't make this stuff up.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

18 August 2012

Hari Raya Greeting – 1 Syawal 1433

I wish my Muslim visitors Selamat Harai Raya , maaf zahir batin. On many occasions I could have inadvertently slighted my visitors, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, in my lighted-hearted comments. Forgive me.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

15 August 2012

Pakcik reminisces ( Pt 25 b) - The gift

15th August 1964
15th August, 2012

That house and those durian trees
(Click on the picture to enlarge)

His greatest gift

Do you remember

My love

Forty eight years ago


In that house

That very house

Those durian trees

Stood witness

As I accepted you

My love

His greatest gift

To hold in trust

Let us pray
We will see more of today

For the innumerable gifts I owe Him
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

13 August 2012

Pakcik reminisces ( Pt 25 a) - The flags

The house phone rang and Makcik, sensing that it was hers, quickly ran inside to answer. I could imagine the usual opening question she would get from this particular friend. Her light-hearted response was, “ Tengah pasang bendera,lah! ( fixing flags !)” Indeed she had been busy fixing Malaysian flags, one was already flapping merrily in the strong morning sea breeze in front of the house; and as if that was not enough she was now fixing a second one upstairs. As long as my memory goes she never failed to be busy fixing her Malaysian flags at about this time of the year when we were in KL.
Malaysian flags in August . Is Makcik that patriotic?

I remember when we first moved to this part of the world nineteen years ago I had to get a couple of flags from Mydin in town for her.

You see, within these three weeks the two of us will be quietly celebrating in our private way the three most important events in our life. The first will fall on 15th August, time to reminisce and offer prayers of gratitude.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

10 August 2012

Red Okra

On 10th April (click HERE) I wrote the wonder vegetable in the name of lady’s finger (or okra or kacang bendel). Our plant expert, sdr TEMUK, in his posting on 28th April (click HERE) introduced us RED okra which was totally new to many of us. He went as far sending Pacik a few seeds. We (note the ‘we’ as I truly cannot claim credit for the real work!) had them planted.

Watch the development in the following pictures:

Before being transplanted

Growing well on the ground

First couple of red okra

A good nine-inch okra

Believe it or not the first fruit is about nine inches long! It will be left to become seeds for more plants and more seeds. On my retirement from work at Almanar Pakcik will then start my red okra seed business, earning something like five ringgits a seed!

To Sdr Temuk, please accept our thanks for introducing this plant in the ground of our home, very likely the first of its kind in the whole of the East Coast. We hope to get a few okra for tomorrow’s ‘buka puasa’.

  Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

03 August 2012

With a sigh (Pt 13) – See the difference

Watch the two pictures below. Can you see a major difference between Picture A and Picture B?

Picture A

Picture B

The four thirteen-year old children above are among a group of ten Form 1 pupils attending classes at Almanar. They are from Darul Akhyar ( the home for orphans and children of poor family) situated one kilometer away from our home (click HERE).

Selected early this year from various localities in the state these less fortunate children go to the same school as Arif of our previous posting. In the month of March ten of them began classes at Almanar. They are made up of eight cute little girls and two healthy boys who are often mistaken for twins.

Ten Form 1 children from Darul Akhyar


At this point let me go back to ‘see-the-difference’ above.

Does the difference lie in their dresses, smiles, standing positions or something else?

You are spot on if you notice that the three children in the second picture, unlike those ten in Picture A, have glasses on. The next natural question is why three children are with glasses and not all the four. There is a story behind this.

In the class-room ten days ago I suddenly became aware of great haste among a few of them copying notes from their neighbours’ books instead of copying what I had written on the white board. Experience told me that there were short-sighted children among the ten kids. But I never bargained for an unusual occurrence of four out of ten having eyesight problems. This must be a record of sort. And this had not caught my attention until that day.

Apparently their teachers knew of their problems but no help was promised or forthcoming. I have often wondered if a school should not in the first instance be made responsible for detecting eyesight problems among children. A class room is a good place to detect short-sightedness. The case can be serious when one sitting in the front row chooses to copy from a neighour’s book and those in the back quite happily copy straight from the board.

It hurts me to see this problem. What happened ten days ago was not the first time. It was pointless for me to question why the school management seemed oblivious to the plight faced by these children. So when the class was over that day I drove the four kids to a familiar optometrist. Two days later the four had their glasses. But the story did not end there.

Three days later, the day I planned to have the group of four photographed for this posting, one girl turned up looking crestfallen. “ Pakcik, cermin saya kena curi.” ( Pakcik, my glasses have been stolen.) Apparently at the end of her first day at school with her new glasses she left them in her school beg to go to the school prayer room. It was not until she was in the school van on the way home when she discovered her new glasses were missing. Thr van driver was kind enough to take her back to school to do a search. But all was in vain.

Once again I drove this girl to the optometrist for a new pair.  "Saya dah bazirkan duit Pakcik” ( I have wasted Pakcik’s money) She moaned bitterly on our way back to her ‘home. I realised how hurt she was. Money was everything to this child. My hope is that they would see what their success in their studies means to me; and hopefully these children would one day see the light at the end of the tunnel and grow to appreciate the true worth of money.

That story explains why one girl in Picture B is without glasses. Today they all can clearly see the white board and, for a change, clearly see Pakcik’s face which is not so bad after all despite warts and wrinkles! I can now lie on my back after ‘tarawih’ prayers drawing a long sigh.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.