30 June 2013

From our garden ( Pt 1 ) – My poor coconuts

If I had a gun I would shoot those damned squirrels. Tell me I am cruel and I’ll say, "Get lost".

Look at what they have done to my coconut – stealing its water!

And look at their spoils on the ground.


But don’t shoot the one below - one of Pakcik’s ten beloved 'squirrels’.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

19 June 2013

Pakcik Reminisces ( Pt 31 ) – In Sentimental Mood

It was past midnight and I was alone in the house; ‘For once – deserted’ as I wrote on 01-06-13.  On the TV  screen standing hardly two meters away was an Arabic musical programme, and held in one hand was a book, one of Adibah Amin’s. I do not think I was truly concentrating on the book nor the TV programme. Out of a sudden I was startled out of my reverie when a very familiar voice was singing an old favourite. It was the unmistakable Arabic song by none other than the late singer, Farid el Athras ( 1915 – 1974 ).  

“ Ya zahratan fi khayali; raaituha fi fua’di, ( “Oh flower in my imagination that I guarded with my heart and soul”
 The opening line was being repeated several times.

Instantly those lines flew me way back to the days of the early 1950’s when I was struggling with my Arabic, the anticipated passport to my future – the aborted dream of further studies in Egypt. I reckon those days were the beginning of an age when I think most young people go through; I call it the age of romanticism, when one begins to dream and fantasise. The lyrics of some Arabic songs and the like of P Ramlee’s Merak Kayangan and Indonesian keroncong, Bengawan Solo, helped to open the door into my fantasy world. 

In black-and white film Farid el Athras, looking very smart, was singing for a young couple swaying on the dance floor to the rhythm of tango, smooth and graceful. My eyes hardly blinked staring at the screen.


Farid el-Atrash 

 Oh Flower in My Imagination
Oh flower in my imagination that I guarded with my heart and soul

The nights damaged her
And their hands caused her to wilt
And their eyes bothered her
And thus died the magic of her eyelids (meaning her petals perhaps?)

She was my passion, I've lost everything
So I've removed the love from my heart and soul
I've given my chords and my melodies to the ages
I sang to heal my wounds
I am a bird in the hills of art singing for the birds, for the flowers, and for the branches
فريد الأطرش - يا زهرة في خيالي
يا زهرة في خيالي رعيتها في فؤادي
جنت عليها الليالي وأذبلتها الأيادي
و شاغلتها العيون فمات سحر الجفون
يا غرامي كل شيء ضاع منى فنزعت الحب من قلبي و روحي
و وهبت العمر أوتاري و لحني و تغنيت فداويت جروحي
أنا طير في ربى الفن يغنى للطيور للزهور للغصون

Past fleeting scenes came through my mind’s eye with clarity; but they were no more than just scenes of happy moments. It ended with a strange tinge of regret that it all had to have an end.

C’est la vie.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

07 June 2013

End of the Tunnel ( Pt 22 ) – A teacher I want to be

In early 1998, more than FIFTEEN years ago a petite young girl together with several other children joined my Form One tuition class at Almanar. At that point of time I had just known the PMR results of my first batch of children who joined Almanar three years earlier ( and I was a younger Pakcik as well! ) The results were beyond expectation, and it was that first taste of success which made this Pakcik ( is he any older now? )  more aggressive, pushing the new group with greater gusto. This little girl, whose father was a teacher, was one of the victims.

I call this girl Yani (short for Hazliyani ) whose father is a retired teacher. Through experience I am fairly convinced that the likelihood of finding successful children in the field of academic is in a teacher’s family. ( Neither of my parents was a teacher – that’s telling, doesn’t it? ) I am sure Yani must have told her parents of this aggressive pseudo-teacher at Alamanar. However, I very much suspect, being an experienced teacher her father knew better not to take her side that easily.

After her years at Almanar, Yani disappeared from my horizon for quite a while, possibly licking her wound. It was a pleasant surprise indeed when a couple of weeks ago, I was handed a card, an invitation to my little Yani’s wedding.  

I could not wait to be at the wedding party early enough to take a couple of photographs. When Yani’s father caught sight of me his face brightened with recognition. After exchanging a few words he rushed upstairs and no sooner had Yani’s face appeared I hurried upstairs as well to meet her.

Excitedly she exclaimed, “ Pakcik !!! Pakcik mari ! Mana Makcik?” ( Why Pakcik, you are here !!! Where’s Makcik? ) That and her broad smile made my day. I had to explain to her why Makcik was not around (the subject of my earlier posting.)

Yani & Salam

Since I was early at the party, Yani’s father could spare me a few minutes. Yani, now a teacher, was marrying a teacher as well and both are teaching in a village school just about 60 Km away. Her hero, named Salam (short for Darusalam) is, in fact, a resident of that village.

“ Yani itu degil. Mati, mati hendak jadi guru juga ( Yani is stabborn. She would not want to be anything but a teacher,” claimed Yani’s father with a smile.

Indeed, Yani is now a teacher, whose father was a teacher and she has decided to have a teacher for a life-mate. Who knows, insya Allah, this new couple will be blessed with children not without teachers aming them  – to be of service to mankind.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.

01 June 2013

For once, deserted

My elder son has swiped my beloved other half to Umrah with his wife and two children; my second son is gallivanting with his wife around the Wild West, and my only daughter is doing whatever in Morocco.

Here, all alone, dead tired after washing clothes, drying and ironing, going to sea to catch some fish, cooking and doing the dishes, sweeping the floor and making own bed, watering flower and vegetable plants, coconut palms and all, I have to sleep all alone, scared of the ghosts in the dark – but I have HIM to pour my heart’s contents to in the middle of the night.

Isn’t that life?

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan