13 September 2013

Of Durian & Cikgu

The countryside is flooded with durian, duku, rambutan and manggis. Village folks, who own land with these fruit trees around K Terengganu, moan over the drop in fruit price. It is not worth the trouble of collecting them, so say many of them.

Ten days ago the man, who occasionally drops by to help clearing our land, came with three large durians and a bunch of ‘petai’, all from his plants. For Pakcik and Makcik, one durian is half-a-durian too much.

A few days later a father of one of our Almanar pupils came over with six durians. He is a retiree from an oil company and owns few acres of fruit trees. So these six durians are for his daughter’s Cikgu and Makcik. That was certainly not a gift we could refuse.

Then, driving home one afternoon three days ago, I dropped by one of several durian sellers by the roadside and asked for one good durian of his choice, showing my trust in his judgement - if not his honesty.  No, he insisted that I took two fruits that had already been nicely strung together. They were the best of the few he had left.

Feeling rather sorry for him I agreed and expressed myself clearly that he should name one price which I would pay without any bargaining. He looked hard at me and, after a brief pause to think, he murmured, ‘Baiklah, empat ringgit (OK, four ringgits).  So I readily told him that I accepted that and would pay him the eight ringgits for the two. Grinning at me he retorted that it was to be four ringgits for both fruit.

Two for four ringgits?

With disbelief and looking at the beads of sweat on his face I drew out a five-ringgit note and handed it to him, saying at the same time that I would not take the one ringgit change. He looked hard at me. Convinced that I meant it he turned around, picked two smaller fruit readily tied together and handed them to me.

Cikgu, ambil lah dua biji lagi ni - hadiah ikhlas dari saya! (Cikgu, take these two extra durians - a sincere gift from me!” I had little doubt he truly meant every word of it. But somewhat  curious, I asked what made him address me as ‘Cikgu’.

Tak tahu lah. Nampak pada saya macam Cikgu, ( I don’t know.  You seem to me like a ‘cikgu)”

For some unknown reasons I had taken a picture of him when he was holding the first two fruit to hand over to me. Did I have as much sixth sense to take his picture as he had to think that I was a teacher? But no one calls me other than Pakcik - not a teacher.

Semoga Tuhan murahkan rezekinya. One day I will drop by to ask if he has a child I can help at Almanar. How I wish he had children who would grow to give him a better lot in life.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan 


Unknown said...

Salam, I shall you cikgu if you do not mind! My late Mum was cikgu till she pass on even though she had left the various Sekolah2 Agama in Johor, when she ventured into business in late `60s with my late Abah (their biz partners and clients called him Ustaz. Now I call my sis Cikgu. Its a noble and respectful form of address. I was a part-time for a few months while waiting for my HSC Results. Sometime when I talk or ask too many questions, they would asked if I was a teacher! But I make a nasty one, always make my Yr2 Cucu cry. She hates Matematik!
As for the durians (I love like crazy, they say its not good for diabetics and HBP but I `curi2 one or two ulas a day. They are so cheap.
Maybe someone could ask these orchard owners and sellers to go `a step of two further if they are not fetching good prices. Would they make `lempok. or dodol durian' Over here `tempoyak' is very popular. It goes into masak asam patin or parang, sambal garam with ulam. In the evening, the stalls sell serawa with pulut or bubur kacang durian, in the evenings. They could approach Ice-cream factories too. My aunt used to lease her `dusun' which has all except manggis. But now that she too is of frail health, I wonder if those fruits will be filling up her kitchen uneaten! Its all for anybody (anak cucu was what my late Tok Darat used to say) to take but most of us live away from Pekan, Pahang.
Such is the state of affairs when many of my kins from the kampung left for the cities and those from the cities wait for an opportune time to go back for visits. My aunt's durians too will ripen about this time, if they `menjadi'.
I hope I can one day have my own al-Manar in Islamic Studies, perhaps I may be too far gone age wise! Take care, and go easy on the King of Fruits, Wassalam.

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
How lucky! Over here we do have them but overly expensive though! My fav, durian is now taken in measured quantity. It triggers off those ailments otherwise!


abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pakcik,
I suppose the durian seller has the instinct to call you Cikgu as well as what he felt straight from the heart. Allah gave him the inspiration to address you that as an honour for a well meaning person. Furthermore it could have come from your 'aura'.

Al-Manar said...

Shakirin Al-Ikram

I am glad to have prompted you to reminisce on your past. Knowing something about a writer makes us understand his/her writing. We all reflect our experience in what we say or write unless we choose not to.

Now I can understand why you have chosen Shakiri Al-Ikram. You wish to have Almanar in Islamic Studies and your mother went through a number of Sekolah Agama.

Thank you for those comments. I have failed to get into your blog. It was on my attempt to 'join' when my blog was being 'deleted' sending me into a frenzy.

Al-Manar said...


Alhamdulillah, I am in a somewhat better postion with respect to what and how much I consume daily. For a start I am a natural small eater. And there is a kind of automatic stop valve which triggers when I have eaten certain quantity of food.

Al-Manar said...


I think Cikgu is in gerneral a safe name to give. Obviously I do not have the 'aura' of datukship!

Please go on with your Adat Perpatih. Those poem-like sayings are so very real and beautifully thought of.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pakcik,
There is not much 'aura' around 'Datukship' nowadays and if I can recall correctly, even a police constable was addressed as 'Datuk' not too long ago. Once I was told by a govt servant while travelling on the north-south highway towards Bukit Kayu Hitam, if you are stopped by the policeman, the 'code' to be let off is to address him as 'Cikgu'. And he was proven right when we were actually stopped by the policeman for speeding and he was let off with a warning because he address the policeman as 'Cikgu'.
My gratitude for your encouragement on keeping the interest on adat perpatih.

Anonymous said...

Salam, Pakcik Hassan.

i. saya mesti berterima kasih pada Encik Hank yang bercakap tentang sajak Big Blue Marble, maka saya pun tiba-tiba ingin menulis sajak sendiri (kali terakhir saya menulis sajak hampir satu tahun yang lalu).

ii. oleh kerana saya suka benar bila ada orang menggelar/menyapa saya sebagai "cikgu" walaupun tidak
tahu latar belakang pekerjaan saya, saya rasa sangat gembira bila orang lain pun menyapa Pakcik Hassan sebagai "Cikgu". Saya rasa itu penghormatan yang sangat ikhlas dan besar kepada Pakcik.

iii. dari dua entri Pakcik, tentang Big Blue Marble dan Of Durian & Cikgu, saya karangkan dua sajak yang tak seberapa ini sebagai ucapan terima kasih saya pada kerja-kerja Pakcik Hassan selama 20 tahun ini di Al Manar.

“Menjadi Guru”

pada peta dunia terlakar
di lengkung alis kening yang benar

pada redup dan terang cahaya
di bola mata yang penuh percaya

pada sempadan dan segala batas
di segala dengar membuang cemas

pada awan dan angin berlalu
di bibir yakin membuang ragu

pada salju dan sungai mengalir
di celah kuntum senyum bibir

pada lorong dan denai tua
di garis telapak telunjuk berjasa

pada gunung dan lembah dingin
di kalbu dan akal yang penuh ingin

pada pohon dan ranting bercambah
di patah petah kata dan angka

segala bunga dan buah bertabur
ke hati dan akal muda nan subur

“Mereka Memanggilmu, Cikgu”

mereka memanggilmu, cikgu
mereka memanggilmu, cikgu
kata segala sakti tak menipu

mereka memanggilmu, cikgu
mereka memanggilmu, cikgu
kata segala hikmat tak berseteru

mereka memanggilmu, cikgu
mereka memanggilmu, cikgu
kata segala cinta tak terbuku

mereka memanggilmu, cikgu
mereka memanggilmu, cikgu
kata segala hormat segala ilmu

Al-Manar said...


'Cikgu' as a code to get an excuse? I use my birthdate on IC. Let us keep this a secret, shall we?

Keep going with the 'perpatih'. I have received a beautiful copy of Hank's ' Rainbow Poetry & Prose' - more than 400 pages in all! Now, doesn't it tell us something?

Al-Manar said...


You are going poetic as well. It sounds nice but don't ask me to be a judge. I know of one visitor to Almanar who is very good at Malay pantun, a Cikgu - a nreal one whose name I would rather not mention. I visit his blog regularly but dare not leave comments in pantun, malulah!

ahmad humairi said...

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Budak-budak berlawan keris,
Keris terukir dari kayu,
Nombor satu mister Inggeris,
Nombor dua cikgu Melayu.

Sipenjual durian memberikan khidmat takzim serta layanan yang penuh sopan kepada Tuan Al Manar dengan panggilan cikgu dan banggalah (tabik pada diri sendiri) kerana kita semua sememangnya adalah cikgu kepada anak-anak kita - anak sendiri dan anak orang lain.

kaykuala said...

Dear Notalalaland,
Beautiful pantun! I've not tried Malay pantuns. I really admire those who do. This is a series of couplets complete with the designated rhymes.Perfect! And this one is so apt to Pakcik. Keep at it! It's great!


Aziela said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Hassan.

Our durian's prices are still high here in Southern region and Central region. In which part of Terengganu that they sell the cheap durian? Me and hubby have been planning to bring our son for a durian hunting trip and have a feast of durian. We will prepare a big portion of homemade brewed green tea or Oolong tea to balance the sweetness and cholesterol intake as long as we can enjoy the durian, hehehehe.

And yes Pak Hassan, the aura of teacher usually can touched the people around. Meaning that you are truly a good teacher.

Keep it up Pak Hassan.

madame blossom said...


:) mudah2an pakcik can help him.

I'd rather pay more to these people working hard to sell a few, than pay exorbitant prices to already filthy rich companies and people.

Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Humairi,

Kalau dipaksa membeli pantun biar lah hamba di tertawakan:

Mengapa yang puteh mesti Satu
Yang lain duduk dibelakang
Selira pembeli belum menentu
Rambutan mana mengatasi si lengkang

Betul kata kita Cikgu yang pada hakikatnya kita semua guru kepada anak anak.

Al-Manar said...


Indeed, all sounds great what is createed by those in the know. Apart from Nali's pantun see how Cikgu Humairi produced his.

Al-Manar said...


Yesterday I asked the durian seller the end of this season. He was very assertive that most durian from thsi locality would have fallen by this week-end. So I have to eat as much - never mind the consequences! I think prices of durian down south is doubled up by your neghbour further south.

Al-Manar said...

Madame Blossom,

I agree whole-heartedly with your coviction. These people work so hard just to make ends meet. But not everyone has a heart like you, Madame.

Anonymous said...

Pakcik Hassan & yang lain juga.

Ooh! Sukanya hati saya dapat bermain-main berpantun di halaman Al Manar. Jawaban bersilih ganti dalam entri ini sudah jadi macam “tribute” untuk durian dan guru (wah! ayat saya pun seperti ada rima). Saya angkat tabik sama Encik Ahmad Humairi dan Pakcik Hassan sebab sudah beri saya keinginan untuk membeli dua pantun itu (macam durian yang harga murah itu, harap2 pantun saya pun rasanya manis dan enak juga). Dan saya sangat suka pantun2 yang ada bau “old school” dari karangan orang-orang lama.

Encik Ahmad Humairi:

Budak-budak berlawan keris,
Keris terukir dari kayu,
Nombor satu mister Inggeris,
Nombor dua cikgu Melayu.

Keris berukir keris berkelok
Timbang suasa menjadi hulu
Melayu Inggeris sama-sama elok
Asal suka memberi ilmu.

Pakcik Hassan:

Mengapa yang puteh mesti Satu
Yang lain duduk dibelakang
Selira pembeli belum menentu
Rambutan mana mengatasi si lengkang

Satu lipan satu ular
Ketiga ada seekor belut
Selera kecil selera besar
Dua-dua masuk ke perut

Saya budak baru belajar. Minta maaf kalau ada kata-kata yang salah. Walaupun emak selalu pesan jangan suka mencampur cakap orang-orang tua, saya harus berterima kasihlah juga pada Pakcik Hassan sebab beri saya izin bermain-main di halaman Al Manar. Sekarang hari sudah petang, emak saya sudah panggil, suruh pulang. Saya balik dulu.

Oh! Sebelum lupa. Encik Hank, terima kasih banyak-banyak lagi sekali.


ngasobahseliman said...

Salam CikGu. Kan Hanya profession GURU yang sentiasa ada dalam doa orang-orang yang soleh. Tahniah CikGu.

Al-Manar said...


Terima kasihlah atas kesudian memberi sumbangan. Sekarang kita carilah satu tajuk lain yang sesuai untuk blog Almanar ini. Selain selera saya sahaja,perlu juga memandang apa yang tertarik pada pelawat umumnya walaupun tidak ramai.

Al-Manar said...


Kalau dfikir fikir betul juga. Sungguhpun bukan dari kalangan GURU yang betul betul 'profession' agaknya tak apalah. Dapat bau baunya saja pun alhamdulillah.

Salam hormat dari Almanar

ninotaziz said...

Dearest Pakcik, and Makcik too.

I smile as I read the various comments here. A marvelous discourse, I can almost smell the coffee and teh tarik in the background.

And durian too.

I had the wonderful opportunity to tell stories to some school children over a week ago at the Sri KDU Smart School (which by the way was SUCH a beautiful school, I wish I was wealthy enough to send my kids to such a school). Anyway, we had sketches and poetry reading and drawing. And I gave a quiz of sorts at the end. And there and then, I heard the kids calling me Teacher! Teacher!

Aahhh, what a lovely sound. what an honor. Easier on the ears than Auntie Ninot definitely. For Teacher can be young, old, slim, not so slim - but definitely wise whereas Auntie Ninot, well, was Auntie Ninot.

It is always fun to drop by.

And Sir Hank - I am waiting for that email?

Dua tiga kucing berlari
Mana sama si-kucing belang
Dua tiga boleh ku cari
Mana sama blog Pakcik seorang

Sama sama mengayuh basikal
Basikal tua Pak Tan Tin Tun
Sama sama mencari akal
Hendak mengajak Pakcik berpantun

Baju Seri Rama, baju Jentayu
Mari dihias dengan butang
Pantun lama pantun baru
Untuk berkias pagi dan petang

Salam semua…

ninotaziz said...

That sajak by Notalalaland 'Menjadi Guru" is a priceless gem...

Al-Manar said...


Thank you for popping up at the right moment to express your thought. But I have run out of steam to 'beli pantun'. Truly you all are too good for me in this area. There will have to be some kind of handicap system like golf - special for those past 70!

This is the first time I hear of Sri KDU Smart School. My next posting will be on four kampong children whose simple need is just 'tea and sympathy' and a bit of help.

Thank you for your interesting response. You are a real darling. Do not neglect your special 'Aces', however busy you may be.

kaykuala said...

Ninot Ma'am,
Sorting out a few things. Should be extended this Wednesday, hopefully!


kaykuala said...

Dear NL,
Most welcomed! Better yet take a peek at Rainbow, imagery77.blogspot.com and create a line to talk poetry. Thanks!