I don’t know why all of the sudden, I have the urge to write. Not that I don’t have enough assignments that I need to submit this weekend. I am quite sure Mat Jepun and Sapurah would know what I am talking about. Then again, may be this writing binge is due to the fact that I am a student. Just may be.
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.
The second best time to plant a tree is today.
By Unofficial KB76’s Nosy Reporter aka Man Hariri
Dateline: 1 January, 2003
Time: 0800-1300 hours
Place: KL Lake Garden
Overheard during the gathering - "I don’t know know them well. What I should talk about?"
Isn’t that always the dilemma we all face at one time or another in our lives. Typically at any reunion or for that matter any public gathering, this writer will look for the comfort of familiar faces. How we would all be lost without them.
This time around, this writer was adamant, that besides renewing acquaintances with old colleagues – should it be rephrased to the more politically correct term of former colleagues? – he was going to get new ones. Obviously seeing friends like Munawir, or Roshaima and Sahara, and catching up on lost time with Soraya, Mat Jepun, Aliza, Fishal or Abir, might be a big motivation, but surely getting new ones can be as important in a reunion as maintaining old ones.
He remembers the above African proverb well (as he keeps on thinking about the durian trees he wished he had planted) and somehow he thought that it aptly describes the situation and hence the title of this piece.
Twenty years ago and more, we all sow the seeds of friendship by virtue of being under one roof of MRSM KB. Though we all share the same roof, this writer would be the first to admit that he hardly knew many others beyond the comfort zones of his former classmates, dorm-mates and other smaller groups where he can relate his own existence.
And as such, he thought that may be he should be sowing some friendship seed now. This writer, by virtue of attending two gatherings within a space of eight days, hopes to have done just that.
And for both gatherings, he did not take one single bite. Not during his own open house on the 25th December – he had his first bite that day at about 8 pm, a good one hour after the last person had left and nothing at all during the 1st January 2003 Raya gathering.
Not that he was on diet. And definitely not that the foods weren’t great. Far from it. The foods sumptuous and look delicious. He guessed the idea of meeting long lost friends overrides his physical needs and craving for foods. Or that somehow, his brain was all screwed up so much so that whatever remaining gray matter he had thought that chatting and gossiping can replenish the soul and the body!
With so much food brought by everybody, that was a shame. Talk about starving in the sea of food. It could have been him.
This writer had lost track of how many friends he has met that day. If on the 25th the brain was working overtime trying to figure out friends, the 1st January gathering was far worse. If on the 25th Dec, he would have to figure out mainly ex-classmates, this time around, it could be anyone from any class. It is probably easier to figure out the guys. The problem this writer and many guys faced were trying to face up to the ladies, though the feeling may be reversed from the gals’ perspective. That was about to change that day, thanks to the organizers. He was told that the Sapurah, the two Aya’s, and Ku were instrumental in getting the gathering going. A thousand thanks to them. Atuk according to the website came as early as 7 am to book the place and Sapurah was like a superwoman carrying all the drinks while this writer behaved like on big shot, and watched. Shame on him!
Atuk was the unofficial photographer that day, even though Halim was around. Must have retired, eh Halim? Or concentrating on the Solat website. He (Atuk) would be busy clicking his camera, while most of us were busy chatting. Of course, there are many others budding photographers, even at 40. First there were couple of pictures taken just because the writer has not been around. Then there were picture taken as the Taipingites were chatting. Then it was the Yob photo. May be Penangites, Kelantanese or just about any reasons to have to take photo actually.
This one is the Yobs and the Yongs picture.
Atuk was busy promoting his photo album when this writer arrived. Don’t forget to post some over the website, Atuk and those with the camera. Would like to see how they all turned out. Obviously there was one big session of photo taking, with practically everybody in it (Remember the barbarian pizza joke? He ordered pizza with everybody on it!). Never heard of it? Ah, well, never mind.
There were ample of foods from nasik lemak, to bihun goreng, and karipap to cheese cake and pudding. This writer certainly hopes each one of the guys will not be upgrading their spare tyres from bicycle-size to bike-size and bigger. He vaguely remembers someone reminding to bring the sports attire. I think we need Judane here.
Razin informed that indeed there were 32 of us yesterday.
From a personal perspective, it was great to see Sahara and Roshaima. Can wifey some discount on Avon products, Sahara? While talking at one time with Razin, out of the blue he said, “Man, rubber and erazer dah datang!” I stared at him, wondering what on earth he was talking about. Of course he was talking about Roshaima, my ‘rubber & erazer’ classmate. Good to see you again, Shema. For some reasons, had never met with you in Cukai or Kuantan. If this writer had not welcomed you to KL yet, well, welcome to KL. Good to hear someone purposely choosing the Ampang/Cheras area, where the working class lives (ehem Jamil!).
This writer remembers talking to Nadiyah (over emails months ago) about how we were on the opposite end of the constellation, and as such never had the opportunity to get acquainted. May be. But the same can be said of this writer, and the gals like Sapurah, Kauthar, Norhaniza, Aya and a few others. But at the end of the gathering, for the first time in 27 years (since 1976), we managed some lengthy small chat. Norhaniza must still be wondering who on earth was this other Taipingite (this writer and he thought he was a Taipingite through and through), but he had good conversation with Kauthar and Sapurah. At least if he were to meet Kauthar at Pasar Suntex again, he would know it is her (and she of him) and probably get some tips on fish quality and prices as this writer is the one doing the weekly shopping. Of course this is not to belittle her real expertise in energy. As for Sapurah, it was an interesting conversation on career, study and family life. It never occurred to this writer that was our first conversation after all these years and it was like old friends, right Sapurah? Good luck with the study. If you need info on Islamic banking at UIA, let this writer know.
A few others were there, but somehow he did not have the opportunity to converse. He saw Nazila, and Sufiah from afar. May be some other time, ladies. Aya, he believes was busy promoting Zaharah’s jewelry to this writer. Wrong person, Aya. Should be promoting to wifey. Irrespective of what she said, she is the one holding the cheque book, right honey? (Say again, darling, how much do you want me to sign on this one? Hehehe No, I don’t think she would reading this ;-)
I think that answers the question about what to talk to someone you have no past together. Talk about the present. Talk about the present. KB76 bonding is strong enough for us to relate to one another.
Of course, Ohm broke the news that is of interest especially to Darwin/pasteur class. He managed to contact Rosminee Mustapha - fondly remembered as Minee. That is Rosminee with double e, mind you Webmaster. Congrats Ohm. You know you can trust your local BPR guy;-). At practically every gathering this writer had attended, whenever the Darwin/pasteur classmates sat down together, someone would always asked for her whereabouts. And typically we would be asking Aliza, right Liza? From that 1994/95 bukak puasa at Telekom Training Centre, right to the writer’s open house last 2 weeks. With one kid already at USM, we would certainly be looking forward to see Minee.
Here are some prizes we should give out – guys only, except for one. This writer dares not make fun of the gals. Takut kena pelangkung. Not after just getting to know some of them.
1. Black-Hair category – An/Zaid
2. Hair-still-intact & Blonde hair categories – Mat Jeng
3. Awet-Muda category – Soraya (guys sapa?)
4. Mulut-Laser category– An (ini kena tanya sama dia ;-)
5. Did-not-put-on-weight category – Jamil
6. Where-have-you-gone-missing? category – Munawir
7. Famous-people-category – Ohm (Norian Mai)
8. Now-u-c-him, now-u-don’t category – Mat Jepun
9. I-have-new-job-at-every-other-gathering category – wak Leh
10. Sendirian Berehat category – Amir (to quote him)
No offence meant here, guys. Add on category as you see fit. From a personal perspective, I would like to add the following categories:-
1.Always-bring-roti-canai-for-Man Hariri’s-kids category – An/Liza
2. Always-reminding-their-dad-that-it-is-time-to-go category – This writer’s kids (ask Fishal, they would remind him (this writer) at every 15 minutes interval and yet none of them has any watch)
Hada, Shafie, Sudeng, Mat Yus, Midah, Din Salleh, Mun were all there. My apology to those whose name this writer did not mention. This writer wants to book their time the next time he is around, not forgetting Nazila and Sufiah. Have tried to be as comprehensive as possible.
Till next time. Is there another small on before the big gathering? Let’s hope so.