Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is our heritage 2

Call me incurable romantics if you must, but I just love the lifestyles of the years gone by, definitely all these wooden house.

I can imagine all those families living there, in these palatial homes; sipping tea (teh tarik if you must!) on the balcony or the foyers; the kids enjoying the spacious compound.

If I were a rich man, I would purchase these house, no matter how dilapidated they are. I would bring them back to their former glory. I would not mind retiring in one of these mansions!

Mind, you all these houses, or palace can be found in BUkit Chandan KUala Kangsar, a place I used to call home, even if it was just a long distance home since I was either in KOta Bharu or Melbourne then.

This one needs no introduction. Was built with a single nail, I was told. Was the Sultan of Perak's palace before the Iskandariah was built. Now it is a royal museum.

LOvely carving

I would not mind having this type of roof for my house.

The house below is in a very sorry state, situated just next to the Ubudiah MOsque.

HOw much do you think the owner would want for this house? I am sure the land is more valuable, but if he would just sell the house, lock stock and barrel, I would take it for the right price of course.

Assuming I could afford it in the first place.

I love the roof. Hang on, is that a face there staring at us or what?

Another view of the house

It look airy for me.

Aah, I would buy this one too. A lovely piece of real estate . There is still a family living in this one. Look at the very green grass here. Kuala Kangsar (and Taiping) is blessed with lotsa rains and good soil.

Sipping teh tarik on the verandah, can you not see me there? ;-)

This one is not really a house, but I love the wood carving just the same.

If only....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This is our heritage

Such a beautiful building in a very dilapidated condition. This is our heritage; this is our soul, for who are we without ourhistory.

Yet no one cares.

Tell me, how many historical site do we have in the country that traced back our history? Where are the Malacca Sultanate palaces that would showcased the empire our forefathers built in the 1400s? The Portuguese have the A Famosa or whatever remains of it; The Dutch the Stadyhust; the Babas the various building in Malacca.

Is Islam a new religion in Malaysia? Does it come in mainly after Merdeka?

I would think so. If you dont believe me, check out the mosques in Kuala Lumpur.

Masjid Negara, in the early 60s, Masjid Wilayah, very recently, Masjid Sultan Abdul Aziz in Shah Alam, may in the late 80s.

We have the Chandis in Lembah Bujang; The old church ruin on top of the hill in Melaka. All dated hundreds of years ago.

Where are our old Mosques?

It seems that we Malays are the pendatang, and a recent one at that, as we have the habit to demolish our beautiful old mosques and build non-descript buildings on its remain so much much so people are saying, "You guys must be new here. Look at all the brand new mosques. There is no evidence that you guys have been heer for too long."

This is what we saw on our raya trip to Kuala Kangsar on the second day of Raya. If you want to imagine this building in its full glory, please visit the Craft Centre at Jalan Conlay. You can buy the painting for about RM100.00.

The real one is in Padang Asam Kuala Kangsar.

The side of the building

A closer up on the side of the mosque

It is still beautiful though it is in ruins

The wall

The carving on the roof

These two pictures are the inside of the mosque

Can the state government of Perak declare the building as a heritage, and perhaps rehabilitate it to its former glory?

Kita dok sibuk with the House of Bok la, and the various buildings in Penang and Melaka, and yet we forgot - or conveniently forgot, about these beautiful buildings.

Where are the souls of the Malays in this country?

(All pictures were taken by Arif)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

King Edward VII-1 - Class of 1975

From Left: Zakri, Rahman Salleh, Zaki, the blogger, Dr Jalal, Joey/Zulkapri, Hasnul and Rani. All from Class 6A. Man Salleh is showing off his gut feel! ;-)
Playing the remembering game with a copy of the 1975 pictures

Dateline: 1 Syawal 1529/1 October 2008

Location: Taman Sri Kota, Taiping, Perak

Occasion: Reunion of Class 6A 1975

I would have never thought that it would be possible to gather my classmates from our primary schooldays ever again. Afterall, thirty three years have passed us by. Of course while time has separated us, the fact that we were just kids then when we parted our ways, make a reunion difficult, if not impossible.

Unlike reunion of our secondary schoolmates. We were practically adult by the time we left school.

Of course it would not be possible had it not been for Zaki to leave his comment on this very blog a few moons ago. Zaki, as I have mentioned in an earlier entry - if my memory serves me right, was one third of the two kids who made Aulong our playground with this blogger.

So I offer my mom's house as the venue for the small reunion under the pretext that Ustaz Adnan who taught us Ugama in Std 5 and Std 6 lives nearby. So does another friend - the only one I have had reunion meeting every year.
(Zaki and Hasnul were the first to arrive)

Much to my delight, eight of us made it to the Raya night reunion, excluding this blogger. First to arrive were Zaki and Hasnul, while they looked younger than their years and definitely this blogger would not have recognized them if he were to cross path with them. How time flies, especially for me I guess since I am the one who looks older!

By the time the eight of us were reunited at the corridor of my mom's house which allowed us some privacy, we had laughter and joy all over. Stories were traded, scores were settled there and then. With age and the benefit of hindsight and nostalgia, everything we talked about, all incidents and stories told, were wonderful and funny.

Of course our hairs, and tummy became the butt of our jokes, but all in the name of good and friendly bantering. After all, we don't really have old scores to settle and we were united under the banner of King Edward.

We went through the class photo of 1975. With eight heads, it is easier to identify us all.

Zakri, our headboy and I guess the only one with 5As in Penilaian Darjah Lima, went to MCKK but later during F4 went back to KE to complete his secondary education. Rahman Salleh, while he joined us during Std 5, I guess were amongst the two who completed his full secondary education at KE; the other one being Rani.

Correct me if I am wrong here guys.

Dr Jalal, who went to MRSM with me - so we shared two alma maters together, was one of the three whom I thought didnt change that much. Awet muda, I must say. With his line of work as a leading ergonomist in Malaysia, I am not surprised he is able to maintain his look!

Hasnul, a registrar at Masterskill, Zulkapri at Maxis, were there and Rani, who left us at Std 5 but joined at Std 6 a year later. I think he can't enough of KE life, eh Rani? ;-)

Capt Zainal Azman, who completed his education at Sandhurst, also joined us later. He has retired from the army but is still involved in the business of the army. He would have to compete with Dr Jalal for the awet muda award.

Steady, these two guys!

Azhar called me in the morning berating this blogger for not informing him of the reunion. I was surprised that he was able to contact me. His name was mentioned many times, with many of us remembering him and his mum's nasik lemak!

We would order it the day before and in the morning, there would be nasik lemak for us. A few would even eat them before recess underneath the table to avoid detection by Cikgu Kamariah, our class teacher. I guess many of us were hungry students.

And why not? Prior to the morning bell, we would have our games of popia (ouch!), or main guli or 'cop bai' or whatever underneath the raintrees. That would have made us very very hungry!

We end up visiting Ustaz Adnan at 10:45 pm, with him about to take his night rest. He was surprised to see us all; overwhelmed to be precise. At times he has difficulty remembering us, but I guess in no way a reflection of us. I met him yearly at least and I would always salam him at the end of each solat at the mosque, and he would acknowledge my presence by asking when did I return home. I had never seen him not even remembering me that till much later.

But slowly the memories did return and by the time we left, he was the Ustaz Adnan as I would remember him. He noted that if he were to tell his friends how the 9 of his primary school students visiting him on the Raya days, they would be very surprised indeed. I am sure he would relate this visitation to all and sundry, with pride. I guess we had made his Raya this time around.

Moga Allah panjangkan umur Ustaz and diberi kesihatan diri. Amin.

33 years may have passed, but I guess we were young again that night.

Very young indeed.

Twelve years old to be precise!


My apology for the delay. Been very tight with my time and the fact have had problem with my broadband at home and when I am ready to write, I have lost my train of thought. So this is just a first draft and if I had missed anything - which I am sure I did, let me know. I will try and update it as we go by.

There was one odd story about one of us during that night. I am not sure if it is nice to be told, but hoping that without naming name, it would be acceptable. At least one of us had become a Miss. And I remember him well too since he often got teased in class.

Aah well, I hope things will turn out ok for him. I mean her!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Time Traveller is here

And I would like to be the second one.

Ronald Mallet already has a blueprint for a time machine and he is not in Hollywood. You can't get any further from Hollywood than Connecticut.

For one I need to read his book "The Time Traveller." He was just 10 when his father died. Devastated, he found solace in science fiction of HG Wells, believing that if he could build a time machine, he could go back into the past, warn his father and save his life.

Noble intention bordered on impossibility and Hollywood melodrama. Or so I thought.

Only that he is a professor of theoretical physics. You need to know your physics inside out to build a time machine that I can only dream of.

And off to Kinokuniya this weekend. Will let you know of what I think of the book.

My hope has been raised.


Updated 24 Oct 2008

I am a bit disappointed with Kino for not carrying the book (yet may be). I thought they would have everything that has been published. But they are willing to special order it for me as a consolation.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

RPK in Kuala Kangsar?

It was a wonderful Raya, this time around.

While we were on Raya visit in Kuala Kangsar, another of my favourite town (after Taiping that is), we came across this school. Of course we used to live 5 mins away from this gals school in Bukit Kerajaan, but I thought with the ISA looming large during this Raya - and not only due to him, I thought this posting is apt.

Of course this school used to be the official residence of the Residence of Perak in the colonial time. Hugh Low may be? I don't remember anymore.

Wonderful building on top of a hill overlooking the Sungai Perak.

The Hariris in 1976

This photo was originally in black and white and was taken in a photo studio in Taiping in January 1976. I guess bapak just wanted to record the moment in time officially even though his Pentax SLR was as good as any camera one can get at the time.

I remember the occasion as being a couple of week away from heading to Kota Bharu to begin my boarding school life.

Of course by 1976, the family was still incomplete even with 9 children, three more were to follow together with another adopted daughter, making it 13 in all.

My kid bro on the front left (one of the two twins) has of course left us at the age of 30, while the rests are still around.

The original photo is still with Mak, though it is really in bad shape. I have no idea how the shop decided on the colour of our clothes. Hmmm..kinda funny to be honest.