Saturday, June 27, 2009

"You'll remember me somehow"

Innalillahi wainna ilaihirojiun.


While I am not the greatest fan of MJ - in fact I am not sure if I could call myself even a fan, I must admit that those years in the 80s - 1983 to be precise, was really amazing in as far as MJ is concerned. Watching his music videos in the early days of MTV was an enjoyment and such a pleasure. Billie Jean and Beat It were staple diets on Australian Countdown back then.

Mind you, in those days, we were watching him on old black and white TV that was handed down by the seniors at Monash. (What do you expect us to do on those student allowances? Buy flat screen TV?) We can only imagine the colour of the tile lights when he was stepping on them while dancing in the Billie Jean video.

Mind you still, that this was done in between plying the engineering library, classes, books and more books.

Still it was privilege then to have access to such entertainment in the 80s.

But I guess in 1981, while doing my matric at Leederville, this 1975 song, for unknown reason, became a hit single, and while those moonwalking and upbeat music from Thriller symbolized MJ, I prefer his more sombre songs. Of course this song was expected to do very well, but why it took 6 years for this song to reach the chart is a puzzle to me even today.

One Day in Your Life.

Ladies, and gentlemen, I present you Michael Jackson.

You'll remember me somehow.

I know that this statement would be an understatement.

This one with a better recorded music quality.

HOw about this one - Ben


It came as a surprise last night when I was told of Farrah Fawcett's death. While we have not been following her career from the height of her Charlie's Angels' role in the 70s, I guess she was one of the most watched person on telly during those years in the 70s in Kota Bharu.

Yes, all these deaths should remind me of how vulnerable life is, and of course it is something all of us will go through.

Our existence in this world is temporary. Everyday we are inching our way to our final destination.

If you are reading this, please ignore this sermon. It is not meant for you; just a reminder to myself.

Monday, June 22, 2009

One day he'll fly away

Arif - a self-photo. That's him while I was driving to the academy Monday morning. Would you trust him to fly you to your destination in two years' time? Do I hear a resounding yes? ;-)

His bro Akmal was on his first day as a prefect at SMK Hussein Onn, so he declined the opportunity to be with his bro. Instead, we took pics the two of them very early in the morning just to record the event. After driving him off to school, we left for Melaka.

The two of them - totally different characters, but two very good sons nevertheless. And they have very good relationship with each other. Aah, well, now Akmal is like me years ago with my all whites even though MRSM has no uniform at that point; so I was the only one wearing one that the seniors would call me budak SMS.

With sons like them, who needs daughters right? ;-)

A view of the Malaysian Flying Academy at Batu Berendam Melaka.

I had a good chat with the chief instructors during the parents briefing. In hindsight, may be I asked too many questions. I questioned about their ranking, I questioned about their disciplinary measures. Colonel Chong and Capt Steve Terry tried the best to allay my concerns over a cup of tea.

Anyway, when Arif entered the room, Colonel Frank Chong remarked, "You have a very tall and handsome son."

I was not a bit surprised by that remark. I have heard that (too) often.

Many a time, I would jokingly said that most likely it has nothing to do with me. Sometimes that trait skips a generation - mine that is! My friend Asyraf asked him recently how many girlfriends he has. I know he has none, but I am quite sure he has many admirers, secret may be.

I retorted to the Colonel, "And I want you to turn him into a tall and handsome pilot. Make that airlines pilot!"

The colonel laughed.

So here he is at the induction day at the flying academy looking very smart and official with his uniform. Can't wait for him to get his pilot hat. And all the four pakus!

Unloading his stuff. The hostel is in the background. The nearest building is the canteen and surau.

Him in his room. It was a neat and nice room. Could not ask for better - fully air-conditioned and facing the Batu Berendam airport.

Oh this is, by the way, his new watch. No, that's not 'new' (i.e. he didn't have an old watch to replace, if you know what I mean) as this is his only watch in his 18 years of life. I hope he would do wonders with his training, so I bought him something that can withstand the G force.

We are told that many are MARA sponsored; meaning they are taking MARA loans. Arif is of course on FAMA scholarship, though he is keen on taking the loan too as he does not want to be on FAMA scholarship. I think FAMA scholarship is quite demanding in its terms and conditions.

He might be bonded for life.

Not that he is not just that already!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Any reason for a makan-makan

It may mean nothing to many, but even if one were to look from the mathematics point of view, you would know why he means a lot for us.

For a family of four, any one person leaving home would mean a quarter of the inhabitants is lost. That, in mathematics term, is significant.

Socially as eldest in the family, it means much more than any mathematical figure would tell you how loss we would be without him around, day in day out. I know Melaka is only a 'setanak nasik away' or perhaps less, so it should not be as bad.

I hope he would stay, in many ways, as he was. I want to learn to be independent, to be forceful and outgoing too, but more importantly, now with him being on his own, being able to say no when he does not want to, and yes if he wants to.

I want reasonably worried about peer pressure.

On the other hand, I want him to be street smart. He should be able to say no subtly, and need not be confrontational about it.

I think he will be able to cope with the study, and graduate with his wing in 18 months' time, but I also want him to learn about life; all the good things about life that.

And in many ways to be able to say no to all hings bad.

He has had a sheltered life in our own small way; now the world is his at his feet.

Last week he practically drove me to Kerteh ok, make that Kuantan. Soon I hope he will be able to fly me to my destination.


So we did some small doa selamat cum goodluck feast for him. Actually anything to get together for a makan-makan! And only families were invited.

The BBQ start early thinking that an old friend and fam are coming. But they are such a small eaters! But good things I have my fam around.

Asyraf aka Treva is an ex colleague from my Perak Hanjoong Simen dasy, when we were both bujang! It is a miracle that we are now reunited within the framework of our professional duties. After his breaking of fast with the family in 1987 (and to qualify for breaking the fast with us, I told him to fast, and he did (when he was not even a muslim yet!), and hence he can be considered as part of the family.

Some of my nieces posing for a pic. With nieces like them, who needs daughters. Right?

Well, to my siblings and my in-laws, thank you for coming. And for the kind and nice words of encouragement to Arif.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The politically-aware former soccer genius


I have always been following with interest anything related to Iran since my schooldays. For some reasons I do find affinity to the happenings in that country irrespective what our authority and people want to say about their religious inclination. So in conjunction with the closure of and I guess with the released of the election results alst week, I thought I should paste what I wrote in Dec 29, 2007.

The politically-aware former soccer genius
The politically-aware former soccer genius magnify

I was bemused when I read the report that Maradona wishes to meet up with the Iranian President Dr Ahmedinejad.

Apparently Maradona has been a fan of the Cuban President Fidel Castro and the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and even have their tattoos on his body, and now has added Dr Ahmedinijad into his list of admired leaders in the world.

Bush is definitely not on his list.

I have always thought that Maradona was the best soccer player in the world - ever. I thought he is better than even Pele. Of course that's debatable, but his exploits during the Mexico's World Cup surely was a good indication of his greatness for he single-handedly won the Cup for Argentina.

Pele was great, but he was surrounded by great players himself. So it is no surprise that he won 3 World Cups himself. Maradona on the other hand won the cup with mediocre team-mates.

Of course Maradona with his drug-tainted career was incomparable to the clean Pele, and I believe that put a blot on his history. Otherwise I thought his skill in exposing England defence was much better than what Pele had offered years before.

Anyway, these three leaders are very vocal leaders of third world nations, if I may call them that. They are definitely vocal critics of US and George Bush.

I don't follow Chavez's career that much. I know one Venezuelan who hates him so much. I know he is one politician who would call a spade a spade, much like Dr M of old. I have nothing against that. But lately I have grown to admire him when he lost the referendum that he thought he would win. (He lost it very narrowly 49-51, and did say that he didn't want a pyrric victory anyway.)

What I admire about him was not the fact that he lost the referendum (when he could do all he could to win like the policiticians in Malaysia), but the way he accepted defeat.

He didn't see it coming but boy, was he graceful when he accepted them. Humbly too, I must say.

He would put our politicians and Dr M to shame.

Dr Ahmadinejad is in that mould - at least that's how Maradona view him.

Coming from a genius - albeit a soccer genius, who am I to argue with him?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I can't help it but comment

I think I simply could not resist writing about the on goings in PAS.

First and foremost, I am not a member of this organization, and hence I am only talking from the perspective of a citizen.

I used to live within the same block of houses with the person currently in the limelight in that organization. Everytime we would pass by each other in our cars - his was a Merc of course, while mine was then an 11 year old Ford T!, I would not hesitate to wave my hand as an acknowledgment as a neighbour until I moved to my present house which is only 100 m away from the previous one.

But we no longer share a roof, or wall, so to speak.

My neighbour, a Haji, complained to me about a year ago, how this prominent politician had decided to move to a much bigger house (i.e. a bungalow) and his excuse was that his supporters found it difficult to park his car should they came and visited him. Haji found it difficult to comprehend such an excuse as his house didn't face any other house and hence parking was not an issue. Furthermore, it also fronted a main road with ample of parking space.

Our point of contention is how we thought that it is now typical of politicians from both side of the divide. Once they are elected, they are all alike. They started behaving like spoilt brat and started to live luxuriously and not humbly anymore.

With the exception of people like TGNA.

All the sudden, our nice neighborhood is no longer good enough for him.

So for this particular person, he has lost my respect. I know it may be petty, but I think all these simple things show one's character better than one utterance or pidato yang berapi-api. No wonder lah even TGNA is pissed off with him.

I do hope those in the opposition should remember that. We are not asking you to live like a peasant. But do remember your root, and there was nothing wrong living in a 22x75 terrace house, fronting a main road, and open space.

It is a luxury to many of us simple rakyats.

Otherwise you are satu geng, or mari satu kapal with the king of klang - the king who built his castle in between the squatters.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Papa - Mengingati Bapak

While this was not his lifestory - it was the other way round actually, but I can never thank him enough for all the foods he brought to the table; and all the guidance, just like Paul Anka's dad.

Everyday my papa would work
to try to make ends meet,
to see that we would eat,
keep those shoes upon my feet.

Every night my papa would take me
tuck me in my bed
kiss me on my head
after all my prayers were said

there was years
of sadness and tears
through it all
together we were strong, we were strong

The times were rough, but papa he was tough;
and mama she stood beside him all along

Growing up with them was easy
Times just flew on by
The years began to fly
They aged, but so did I

I could tell that mama was not well

This is the part that was different. We could tell that he wasn't well. He has told me many times that he was not expecting to live long. "Bapak rasa bapak tak lama," he would tell me when we were alone in the car. He had the hunch, but as a guy, I would always dismissed it then, even when he was in and out of hospital due to his hypertension, something I have inherited I guess from him myself.

Only at my own perils I guess.

Well said, Paul Anka; and a great song. Would always bring tears to my eyes; then and now.

Everytime I kiss my children
Papa's words ring true
He said, "Your children, they live through you,"
I remember every word my papa used to say
I kiss my kids and pray
that they'll think
think of me, that way, some day....

Here is the original recorded version; the song as I knew it in the mid 70s.

Selamat Hari Bapa.


Time was tough, but we had more than enough food on the table. There was never a time when we had tighten our belt. Yes, sometimes food had to be rationed but it was more to make sure that all of us would have tasted and eaten it. Accrodng to Mak, he even gave up cigarettes at her behest, since the monies saved could be used to buy more food for his children!

In fact the only time when food was not enough, it was at school or at least as far as good, edible food is concerned.

Times were even tougher when he was growing up, especially with a step mother. I knew then he missed his mother, as he would sometimes spoke of her.

Luxury is not something that he would have tasted in his life. It was always second hand or third hand cars for him. The Morris Minor (AD8479) lasted him from the mid 60s till about 1979, I think.

When he was in and out of hospital, one food I love bringing to him as a home-made tenggiri fishball soup. You should try this; this is perhaps one of only recipe I could cook on my own, right from buying the fish and making the fishball, to cooking them. Much better than the fishball you could find in the market. The recipe is simple; get fresh tenggiri, mince it, add tepung jagung I think (dah lupa), pepper secukup rasa, the more the merrier for me, and of course couliflowers and carrots to complete the soup. There would be two versions of course - for him it would be with less salt, and another broth for the rest of us.

Honestly, I still love buying tenggiri and make fishball out of it. It was Mak's recipe of course, and tenggiri was and still is, expensive, but I guess then with my Australian dollar allowance in the early 80s, I could bring him that for my hospital visitation when I returned home for summer vacation.

He would normally be able to finish them off, there was no doubt about it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The never ending story....

For many reasons, I am tired of the scholarship stories that are highlighted by all and sundry nowadays.

Every day I would read letters to the editors that would tell all and sundry how one had gotten 13 A1 and the likes and yet didn't get a scholarship to study medicine abroad, or get to go overseas.

As if that it is their divine right to get scholarship and go for studies in Moscow.

On the same breath, I am also tired of hearing undeserving students who due to their parents' connection are able to get scholarship, even if their children only got 3A1. I am also tired of hearing stories about the rich people who would still hoping to get scholarship.

I had a chat with a CEO of a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 companies, who paid her son's way to Ireland to pursue an accountancy course. I was puzzled, as I thought she would be able to use her connection to get sponsor for her son. Definitely she would get it.

She told me that she is not going to embarrassed herself in asking. She would prefer her son to get a FAMA scholarship instead. It is not fair either and she can afford it.

Sometimes it feels sad to note that we Malays are always too reliant on hand-outs for educating our children. I knew a couple of our Chinese counterpart whose parents had practically mortgaged their lives for him to be in Australia and of course I do know then of a few Ministers' sons who were given scholarship for their education.

And I am sure that's the case even today.

Then again, honestly nowadays our Ministers can even afford to send their children overseas for their secondary education.

I certainly agree on the Ministry putting to halt students taking more than 10 subjects for SPM. It is meaningless and does not differentiate the good students with the rests. During my time, only one students got perfect score - that is with an aggregate of 6 (i.e he got at least 6 A1s). The rest of us got aggregate of 9 or above.

Yours truly? Nevermind lah!

They should relook at the grading of SPM. I once asked during a chat over lunch whether our childrens are indeed much smarter than their parents, and though in many reasons I have no doubt that they are (with the advent of internet and facilities that we now have). I was told by one university lecturer - she is a Math lecturer i.e. not one of those social scientist that we are great at churning out at our universities! - that the grading of SPM was downgraded during the tenure of one particular Education Minister. He wanted to show how good he was as an Education Minister.

Now he is the... never mind lah again. You can call me if you want to know which one!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Life is but a fleeting moment...

Posted Thursday June 28, 2007 - 09:08pm

Read on

I was dozing off on a Sunday morning, something that I have not enjoyed in a long long time having to work in Kerteh for the last two months, when a phone call from my next door neighbour to my wife caught my attention. Apparently someone had just died, and even though we didn’t know him personally, I can’t help but feel sad for him.

Afiq was only 16 years old. After he was hit by a car (while making a U with his motorbike), he was in a coma and was placed next to my auntie MakCak, who was recuperating from a surgery in the ICU of HUKM. Since Makcak was in need of attention herself, slipping in and out of consciousness, I didn’t pay much attention to him. His parents would come in and out during my visitation of Makcak and would be reading the Quran to him. I was too engrossed in my own problem to be really bothered.

Until one day when Akmal who was outside waiting for his turn to visit his grand-auntie, all of the sudden he appeared with someone using the Afiq's visitation pass. Apparently Afiq was Akmal’s friend’s brother, and apparently Arif knew him too.

I was pondering about the what-ifs. Nauzubillah, never in a million year do I want it to happen to any one of us. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children. Mak says so herself when one day we were talking about the eventuality. (Personally I would not mind Mak outliving me as then I would not have to experience her leaving us.) I could not imagine it if it were to happen to me. I know I would be devastated. To make me feel worse, Afiq was their eldest (just as Arif is), and they had another son the same age as Akmal.

An uncle died at 36 in 1982 and dad at 48 in 1984; I thought they were still in their prime of their lives then, and while bapak had talked about death a lot, I simply dismissed it then.

After dad’s death I guess, part of me died with him; so in many of the deaths I experienced later on in life, I didn’t feel too much pain and sorrow or at least I didn't cry. May be there was no more tears left after crying my heart out at my house in Clayton North that night after I got the news. Sure, I feel sad about my younger brother’s (Naza and he was only 30) death in 2003; I wish I had done more to help him. But I guess it is more of regret than sadness. As I have said, he was a sickly brother and while we all knew about it, we didn’t do much (and we knew we have the resources to do more for him). I was treating him like a normal person and want him to act normal when he could not be with his illness.

I am no philosopher but life is so fragile (it may be an understatement of a lifetime!). Life and death can be separated in split second. One moment he or she was laughing with you and in the next moment, one could be looking at his or her lifeless body. Or it could be the other way round too. No chance for a goodbye, or saying I love you.

Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes". He must have not heard of the tax consultant!

Bimbo (the Indonesian group noted for Islamic music), in one of their songs about life and death likens life to a (straight) line and not a circle. With each passing day, we are getting closer to the end, unlike a circle without a starting nor an ending point. Beautiful song.

Treasure life in the best way we can while we and our loved ones are still alive. Don't get me wrong, I am merely telling myself here. In the pursuit of worldly wealth and happiness, many a times I forgot, or pretend to forget!

Alfatihah for Afiq.


I told Akmal, I would never approve them riding a bike. If we don’t have the money to buy a car and need to go somewhere, take a bus. I had taken the bus before (the infamous mini busses) in late 80s when I was working in KL. Nothing wrong with that and typically much safer than motorbike. Sure, one can never avoid death but it was just to risky with bikes. And while many times I would be cursing at the mat rempits in KL and wish they would meet with an accident for them to learn their lessons, but when it happens, you can’t help it but feel sad nonetheless.

I am talking in general here and I am not referring to Afiq's case at all. I have no idea if he was one and at this moment, it is of no consequence to me. I still do feel sad for him and his parents.

Tags: life | Edit Tags

Thursday June 28, 2007 - 09:08pm (SGT) Edit | Delete


(2 total) Post a Comment

yes, agree with u that no one can avoid death..even theres a lot of cases here in malaysia that involving buses,cars, even pedestrian or public tgh lepak kedai kopi.
but i dont agree with u on not approving arif or akmal to ride a bike.
as long as they have the extra consciousness and extra alert when riding on the bike, i ve got no problem with it. mak bought me a bike back in 2002 when i was 21, and since then i always go anywhere with my bike....from taiping to arau and even to KL...
and i have never encounter such an accident or casualty. and of course, doa also main peranan. so, to me, as long as u are always ready and alert,naik lah ape pon...and really, i enjoy riding my bike. u kena rasa la sekali the enjoyment of riding a bike...nanti saya beli moto baru kita ronda ya...hehehehe

Thursday July 19, 2007 - 03:36am (PDT) Remove Comment

I am sure many bikers love to feel the wind in their hair, albeit one constricted by the helmet.
If the 2005 Malaysian Police statistic is anything to go by (, casualties from motorbike accident constitute 66% (31,222 deaths) of total traffic casualties. Car accident on the other hand contribute 15% (7,300).Problem may not be with the rider itself, it could orginate from lorry drivers, or car drivers, but irrespective of whose fault, the victims would almost always be the bike rider.Anyway, my doa is with you, but save money and buy yourself a car soon...

What's New? - The beautiful songs of the bygone era

I used a line or two from the lyric of What's New, a song from the 80s that I have enjoyed in an earlier entry. This is one of the 3 albums that Linda Ronstadt recorded of the 30s-40s music genre (big band sound) and I must say these 3 albums (What's New, Lush Life, For Sentimental Reasons), all recorded with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, are the reason I love songs from those era. I have all three 3 albums, but I must say overall I cherish "Lush Life" the most.

I came to know of this album while at Monash. In between studies at the Engineering Library, I love to browse the Humanity Library. It has rare book collection section and then it has music! And this was one of the album being featured that month circa 85. So you sit on the sofa with your headphone on and listen to her music while cuci mata as it was a better place for 'cuci mata' compared to the Engineering Library (boring!) - well, not really as most of the time I would just closed my eyes and dreamt my (student) life away!

Lush Life inner cover. This album contains Skylark (1941), When I fall in love (1952), I am a fool to want you (1979) and When your lover has gone (1931) - these songs are the showcase of a par excellence album, released in 1984. Except for one, most of the songs were written long before my time. If I were stranded on a deserted island alone, this is one album I would want to have with me. ohh oh no listrik ke? Never mind, just while your time away looking at the cover as the (inner) cover itself is beautiful to look at!

So coming home in 86, I bought a vinyl for RM23.90 and I used to listen to them at night after coming back from my shift at Perak Hanjoong in the mid-80s. After a tiring shift, all the aches would go away listening to her soothing voice and the fine orchestra. Aaah, heavenly.....

Linda Ronstadt and the late Nelson Riddle. This is taken from the cover of the last album she did with Nelson Riddle before he died (before completing the whole album). "(I love you) For Sentimental Reason" was added to complete the album and the song was chosen as a fitting tribute to the genius of Nelson Riddle.

Individually, I love What's New, which is a beautiful song written in 1939. I would not have known it if not for a remake by her (recorded in the mid-80s), post her country and rock era of course. She sung it so beautifully, and in the full splendour of an orchestra, it was perfection as far as I am concerned - her voice is so smooth and silky that I just melt everytime I hear this song. It helps that the Nelson Riddle Orchestra is a first class orchestra too (and the fact that the late Nelson Riddle was a top notch jazz arranger).

The video clip also features Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the B&W classic Casablanca, so it is always nostalgic to see the clip.

This is a live version. Beyond her bangs, I have no complaint of this version. She is still as good as ever (SNurhaliza is no competition), but eventhough the music is not perfect unlike in the record, I still found this song enjoyable. I do miss, however, the b&w Casablanca clip to accompany this song with!

(Listen after 11 pm - after everybody else has gone to sleep, sit on your fav sofa, put on your headphone, turn up the volume and close your eyes. Let the song fills you and takes you away - slowly, you will drift away.)

What's new
How is the world treating you?
You haven't changed a bit,
Handsome as ever i must admit.

What's new
How did that romance come through?
We haven't met since then,
Gee but it's nice to see you again!

What's new
Probably i'm boring you,
But seeing you is grand,
And you were sweet to offer your hand.
I understand.

Pardon my asking what's new,
Of course, you couldn't know,
I haven't changed,
I still love you so!

Pardon my asking what's new,
Of course, you couldn't know,
I haven't changed,
I still love you so!


Akmal is asking for a copy of this song for his own collection. Apparently after listening to the song a couple of times, he now likes it. He referred to it as lagu 1930. I am really spoiling them with the oldies. Then again, may be not. The (classical) stuff they listen to are more ancient than mine!

Tags: what'snew, lindaronstadt | Edit Tags

Wednesday June 20, 2007 - 03:33pm (SGT) Edit | Delete

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sungai Mekong


I have been warned by Yahoo that they are closing down their 360, so I thought I should be migrating all my old entries to this site, for what ever they are worth. I guess the sooner the better, and hence the next few entries.

Sungai Mekong

Circa 1979-1980:

I do enjoy a bit of poetry, though I guess most likely it was after the disaster with the self-learning guitar lessons. By then, I had memorized this poem by Latif Mohidin (for no apparent reason actually). I love the elegiac wordings of this poem (kan kuhanyutkan hatiku ke kalimu, namaku ke muara, suaraku ke gunung etc etc). To me, Latiff Mohidin is a charismatic, multi-talented person, as beyond being a well-known poet, he’s also an accomplished artist, writer and thinker. Unfortunately he is not in the mainstream entertainment business, or else he would be a popular as M.Nasir. Well, that's our loss actually!

I remember too that one day our BM teacher, Cikgu Nik Man, asked us to write our own poetry. Huh, me writing poems? He must be joking, right? What do we know about writing poems? So I contemplated plagiarizing - against my better judgment, this poem by Latif Mohideen. But luckily I consulted our in-house poet Zai, who advised me against it (‘It’s too well known”, he said). That was his way of saying I should not do it.

I don’t remember what I came up with. I am sure it was no masterpiece, but at least it was original. But this Sungai Mekong poem will always be in my heart. I have traversed the Saigon River from Saigon to Vung Tau many times (even when there were few foreigners around in the mid-90s), but Sungai Mekong has eluded me so far in my travel itinerary.

Sungai Mekong

Sungai Mekong

kupilih namamu

kerana aku begitu sepi

kan kubenamkan dadaku

ke dasarmu

kaki kananku ke bulan

kaki kiriku ke matari

kan kuhanyutkan hatiku

ke kalimu

namaku ke muara

suaraku ke gunung

Sungai Mekong

nafasmu begitu tenang

lenggangmu begitu lapang

di tebingmu

ada ibu bersuara sayu

mencari suara puteranya yang hilang

waktu ia merebahkan wajahnya

ke wajahmu

kau masih bisa senyum senang

Sungai Mekong

akhirilah tarisiang riakmu

kulihat di dasarmu

kuntum-kuntum berdarah

batu-batu luka

malam ini

ribut dari utara akan tiba

tebingmu akan pecah

airmu akan merah

dan arusmu akan lebih keras

dari Niagara

(Latif Mohidin - Vientianne 1 Feb 1966)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's just not cricket


I think in India, they have more TV channels that show cricket than we have in the whole of Malaysia, as far as terrestrial TV is concerned. I thought I should enjoy my 3 day stay then, but I guess too busy and too tired to enjoy it at the end of the day.

I guess I am out of touched already too.

Posted March 10, 2007

So the World Cup is here again. No, not football-lah brother; that was last year in Germany. Takkan every year world cup kut? This year is cricket’s turn. This is one game that took me 2 years to like it (the other game - golf – until today I have no interest in it! I still don’t understand why anyone would be bothered with golf. Pukul, then jalan, pukul, jalan, no fun lah golf! Baik pegi jogging, ada jugak faedahnya untuk jantung. Hahaha, jangan marah golfers. Nanti BP naik.) But once I like it, there is no stopping back.

I think I am hooked for life when I started playing the game at the field in front of my house in Clayton North. So it was not love at first sight; it is the sort of girl who grows on you. They said that this kind of love would normally last a lifetime – unlike love at first sight. Hahaha, what a weird analogy! I am making this up, for fun ok. Hantam sajalah labu.

Dulu-dulu zaman batu, Dad used to show the location where he used to play cricket in Kuala Kangsar. Of course, he was talking about the colonial era and the Cliffords (Clifford School KK) were good cricketers, just as us Edwardians were so good in rugby! Hehehe, angkat bakul lagi. At that point, I dismissed it, simply because I could not stand (and understand) the game. Perhaps I was too embarrassed to not know it then and I can’t afford for Dad to know that after 2 years in Australia, his son has not been initiated into this fine gentlemen’s game. Mesti dier dok wonder; betul ke anak aku dok kat Australia ni or ke dok dalam gua somewhere kat Gombak. Unlike my fellow housemates (Aruah Din Besar, Parid, Rosli etc) of course who would spend days in front of the that little idiot box from 11 am to about 6 pm watching the game that lasted 5 straight days. “Don’t you guys have anything else better to do?” I would always tell them. Like study! I thought they were crazy to be spending so much time in front of the telly. Well, they were. Cuba imagine, each game main untuk 5 hari, and 1 day main around 5-6 hour. Giler, I told them. Dah ler tu, lepas 5 hari, boleh draw lagi. No conclusion after 5 days, tak ker giler. Macam duel for 5 days and five nights, in the end tak da sapa kalah tak da sapa menang.

Cricket fans don’t get upset easily; after all cricket is a gentlemen’s game. Or at least that’s what the English would like us to believe. Don’t believe the hype as you will find out later.

Aiyah, ni posing for the camera je, brother, buat2 je practicing my batting skills at the crease. My house was the one next to the white house on the right in the background (I think). I once broke a finger catching a ball during one indoor game (ni caught and bowl punya penangan la. I was the bowler, after bowling, the ball was hit straight back at me, while I was still moving towards the direction of the batsman, so I didnt have much time to react, hence it was an awkward catch.) Fortunately we have medical students in our midst then - Rainey (now Dr, Kelana Jaya Medical Centre, ex MRSM Kuantan) and Raymond (now Prof Dr, HUKM, ex MRSM Seremban; husband kak Fauziah (Kassim), ex MRSMKB, now Dr), both actual brothers, at that game, so I am only left with a crooked finger! Boy it was painful. What I will go through for cricket!

But once I swung the bat at the crease of the field at Hilltop Avenue I was hooked for life. Petang-petang Sabtu lepas usrah, we would hit the field. Tulah our entertainment masa tu. Well, until one day a bunch of Oz girls wanted to join us for the game. Aiyah, those Australian aweks tak tau ke we all ni member Monash Uni Islamic Society (quite an influential body within the Australian Federation of Muslim Students’ Associations), mana lah main cricket with budak2 pompuan or for that matter any other game. Nyaris the sisters tak tau, hahaha. Kalau they all tahu may be they all keluar en block from MUIS. Then again we thought, gasak lah, the girls can’t beat us men pun, right? Hahaha…padan muka, try as we did, we were thrashed that day. Kalah brother, no fight in fact. Those Aussie gals mak oii, their bowling laju giler. In fact terbalik, kiterorang punya bowling yang mcm pompuan. Bukan, macam pondan! (hehe, kutuk diri sendiri!)Uh oh, that was painful, to our pride lah. That was the last time we allowed then to join our game! Or may be we changed our playing schedule to avoid them!

Cricket made my name easier to the Aussies’ ears. I normally introduced myself as “Abdul”. This guy then asked back, “As in Abdul Qadir?” Mender lah mamat ni, sapalah pulak si Qadir ni. Ni Rahman la. Then mamat tu jawab, Abdul Qadir; Pakistani spinner! Of course, I should have known better. “Yes, as in Abdul Qadir,” noting that I shared the same name as a famous cricketer. Thanks to Abdul Qadir, my name was more familiar to my colleagues at that chlorine packaging warehouse that I worked at in south east Melbourne during the summer of '85.

My years in Australia were unfortunately marred by the non-existence of the Australian cricket team. I mean they were really bad then. Macam Malaysian football team during the last two decades. Ni mesti dok partying too much at Bondi Beach! Tapi syok jugak tengok David Boon batting the opener. That guy has a peculiar moustache – very thick one ooo. But he’s one of the good guys amongst a bunch of losers then (except Allan Border of course). Tapi yang paling best is that game in 1981 in Perth, Javed Miandad could have crushed Dennis Lillee’s skull with his bat! I think Lillee probably deserved it, but I guess that was not my sentiment when I was in Australia. Mesti lah sokong Australia, dah jadi Aussie celup masa tu. Tak main lah sokong Pakistan.

David Boon on the left and on the right, another 180 degree swing, the bat would have crushed either Dennis Lillee’s head or the umpire’s. This is an image I can’t forget from 1981 eventhough at that time I was not into cricket. Ha, ni gentlemen game sangat lah ni. Tapi no fight pun tak best what…

Tapi let me tell you this one fact that all Malaysians should remember whenever the subject of cricket comes up. May be we should be telling John Howard about this – sure depa buat2 lupa. In 1932 or yang sewaktu dengannya, team Malaya beat the Oz team! Dah lupa mana dapat fact ni dulu, but I think it was in 1932. Ni macam Malaysia beat Brazil lah in football. I always told them this fact whenever I was in conversation with my Oz mates, although really the team that beat Australia was full of Englishmen. Who cares? Bila lagi nak get one over them, right? If this game were in 2007, forget it lah, team budak sekolah Australia pun boleh bantai a Malaysian cricket team, if we have one lah!

So the ICC Cricket World Cup is just around the corner – this time in West Indies. Ni laggi best than Test cricket as this is played within half day of limited overs. They would have to score as many runs as possible, even taking chances with the most devastating delivery. Ni smash and run game. Very exciting.

However, I am told that one need to pay RM499 to watch it on Astro. La, apa ni Astro? It is just not cricket la macam ni. Tak cukup untung lagi ke? Japaq, you have anything to do with this? Kat member tak leh kasik discount ke? Hahaha..Kan hari tu you all tukar satellite pun subscribers kena bayar. I can’t even afford RM85 for my monthly Astro subscription, so I may have to forego it this year. Cricket is not a game for the elite, unlike golf and it should not be expensive to watch it - just imagine, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will be filled to the brim with over 100,000 fans at every game. Mind you this was at a state (Victoria) with only about 3 million population, may be. But what do you expect when you have monopoly. Baca dalam internet je lah, mesti ada ball-by-ball descriptions of the game punya. Hahaha, Astro, eat your heart out. You are not getting a single cent of my hard-earned money. Oh, oh, lupa pulak, I am semi-retired – mana ada hard-earned money lagi. Alaaaaamak…..

Eh, on second thought, nowadays semua easy earned monies! Hahaha, just kidding ok...