24 October 2013

Moment to Reflect ( Pt 12 ) - NURI, My Light, my home

A nephew came around one evening about Hari Raya time; and a few days later he surprised me with a picture he took. It is the rear part of our home, the part which faces the sea. I could hardly believe what I saw.

Nuri - My Light

I had my personal reasons for naming this building NURI ( meaning MY LIGHT ) but did not bargain for one looking so striking in the dark, a contrast from its appearance in broad daylight when all its defects, cracks, old paintwork and all, push the rating way down. 

Rumahku Syurgaku – Alhamdulillah

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

14 October 2013

Moment to Reflect ( Pt 11 ) – Her Majesty’s little garden


Sleep over a problem and you may see things in a better light. That was what Pakcik did, and something very trivial triggered a change of plan; No longer going into the coconut business and all on global scale!

It was two mornings ago when I heard Makcik hollering at me from our back gardens, what I call our ‘tanah sekangkang kera’ (small plot of ground).

Babah, come down and take some photos of my chilies!”.

At that very moment I was in my library upstairs, totally absorbed in my second reading of Ali Jusoh’s Belahan Mimpi ( read foot-note below on the author,Ali Jusoh ). When I am referred to with the endearment term like ‘Babah’, it means an order from Her Majesty. So hurry up, or you go without dinner!

                                                                  Fajar Bakti 1994

I dropped my Belahan Mimpi, picked up my Leica M’s look-alike camera and rushed down. She was about to pick a few chilies and she wished to keep a photo of her first harvest, beautiful long red chilies. For size she readily obliged to place her fingers alongside a chili - just bare fingers without her royal diamonds, varnish and all

Look how long they are - cared for by tender fingers

I only have 5 fingers on one hand

Having fulfilled my duty, I decided to loiter around, taking snap-shots of other plants growing on our ‘tanah sekangkang kera’. I found myself marvelling at the number of fruit trees, vegetables, flower plants and herbs we had collected over the years. I cannot help admiring Her Majesty’s joy in looking after her plants, as much as the satisfaction I find from the effort I spend on Almanar’s children. Isn’t this a win-win situation? Isn’t this a reason that has blessed our life with joy since we moved here twenty years ago? How naive I must be to even dream of starting something new at ‘taraf antarabangsa’ (world class) at this stage of our life.

Look at some of the few photos of plants introduced over twenty years with minimal assistance from me in maintaining them.

n/b  Please click on pictures to enlarge

I am not made like coconut
With stem to withstand
The force of sea storm

I bend my back
Breaking my neck
To bear a bunch

To ripen for you

Pisang Abu for you

Grow healthy, my lovely Nangka

With smaller siblings near the bvottom

On a tree outside our fence - Namgka (bukan Cempedak) diluar pagar  

Durian Belanda ( Dutch durian?) - fresh from the tree

A younger brother on the plant

Mother plant growing healthy

And from Pak Temuk - Red lady's finger (the Red Okra) 
       We can never thank him enough 

Of course we have Her Majesty's green fingers as well


That is not an exhaustive list. 
Has any one outside Terengganu heard of such fruit plants as jambu arang, buah ppisang (not banana – watch the pp, the Terengganu way) and buah terajang (hard-kick fruit)? We will post some pictures in good time.

In short, let Her Majesty enjoy the produce from her ‘tanah sekangkang kera’ and I the product from Almanar
A happy ending!

I give full credit to the novelist, Ali Jusoh, for his effort to organise the first group of children when I wished to start my tuition class at Amanar twenty years ago, He was then the Headmaster of a school hardly 3km away and has retired a few years ago. He has written some twenty novels one of which is expected to be published soon. To his credit he was a Pemegang Anugerah Sastera for his Bumi Harapan, and a winner of the national Hadiah Sako for his Alor Miang. It hurts me deeply that as the result of his current illness he can no longer transmit onto paper what his fertile mind can still produce. A couple of weeks ago Pakcik took him on a sentimental journey along Sungei Nerus of Terengganu where a number of historical events took place and these events were referred to in his novel, Belahan Mimpi. That prompted me to do a second reading of the book.

 Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.

03 October 2013

A special note/request to visitors:
A visitor has emailed Pakcik of his problems to leave comments. If others find similar problems kindly let me know via email. Your emailed comments will be posted by me.I would also appreciate if someone would advise me where things have gone wrong and what I should do to rectify.  My email address:  almanar@pd.jaring.my

This is the end

Two-and-a-half years ago Pakcik’s End of the Tunnel ( Pt 11 ) – No more nasi dagang (click here) - highlighted the marriage of ‘Neni’ the pet-name of a much-loved girl in a family which adopted us as part of them. Soon, and much to our disappointment, she was whisked off to a northern state where she and her husband have been working in a hospital. And she is now a mother, too, only to return to K Terengganu once in a blue moon to satisfy the longing of her parents for her and the grandchild.

Neni’s marriage temporarily ended her mother’s business –undeniably the best nasi dagang of this locality. To Pakcik it was not just the nasi dagang but a new deal struck between us; they were free to have coconuts from the many palms in the vicinity of Alamanar’s grounds. Accordingly, every few months they would arrange for a coconut climbing ‘specialist’ ( not a monkey in our case) to pick the nuts, about one hundred or so on each occasion. We were adamant that neither cash could pass hand nor free nasi dagang. Perhaps, on occasions we went to buy, our portions were slightly larger than what they would give to other customers. That was the deal - coconuts for them and for us, Almanar’s grounds clear of fallen nuts.

But this has finally ended. One day Neni’s father told Pakcik that they would now cease preparing nasi dagang on the insistence from their children to see them taking life easy. In our heart we know that the lonely couple yearn to be free to travel up north and everywhere else to be with their beloved daughter and grand-daughter and other children as well.

Yes, this is the end.

We have lost the special nasi dagang, and Almanar’s ground now sees fallen coconuts lying about, more coconuts than the two of us can consume in our life-time. At the same time Almanar is not having as many pupils as in the past. These recent developments give rise to a fresh idea. Almanar will stop functioning as it has been. Twenty years is long enough.

This is the end.

Look at our coconut palms 
And the cattle will be ours one day

We will start something fresh, as an entrepreneur.  New Almanar will be a supermart dealing with whole coconuts, young and old, canned coconut juice and coconut water. We will rear cattle as well, dealing in  whole cows, fresh meat and fresh milk. And once we have learnt enough cooking we will then have Almanar’s own nasi dagang on 7-to-11 basis with fresh young coconut water! Unemployed past Almanar pupils will be given employment priority.

50 years ago on August 28, 1963 
" I have a dream "  Martin Luther King 

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.