Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And the award goes to..

Going to a reunion, the size of the wallets is of no interest to most, so is the car one is driving, or if you have a trophy wife or husband.

Going to a reunion, happiness is when you found out that
  • You have the most hairs or
  • You have the most black hairs or
  • You have the smallest spare tyre or
  • You are the slimmest gal/lady or
  • You have the most kids
  • the kid who used to bully you is now the smallest
  • ...............(add on please)

I have been doing the slide show the past month so I have gotten used to our pics when we were all very young. In some way it was an anti-climax for me of sort as I was all expecting the 9 years old (or 12 depending on your perspective) to turn up, but like me, with so many grey hairs (and/or no hairs and thank God for the songkok that hides them all!) now that we are on the wrong side of forties. ;-)

And of course the oversized Baju Melayu and sampin songket helps hide my tummy full of lemang and ketupat! Hihihi.. Not that I was much different when I was 9 years old anyway.

Here are my takes on my old friends from primary school. No malice here guys, so take it with a pinch of salts.

There are those I would recognize anywhere even if I were to meet them at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (with all the crowds). For this, the raut wajah has to be the same with the Std 6 (or 4 or 5) pic.

  • Fadhilah - saw her, but did not speak to her, at the end of the night, but she had not changed as far as her appearance (raut wajah). Even with her tudung
  • Norhayati - she has a unique shape of face, so boleh kenal punya
  • Aziz - muka sebijik like the Std 6 pic. When I saw him at the front of the dewan, I knew it was him. Jie, you are wrong in saying Aziz banyak berubah. The face is still the same! Yang lelain tu, Aziz dah comment sendiri dalam rumah ;-)
  • Amran - pun boleh kenal
Kok Ngai may be, then again, I have met him once in KL, so not fair for me to say that I would recognize him anytime anywhere.

Those yang I can't recognize at all. In other words, they have changed so much. Banyak this category, so I have to be choosy.

  • Eddy - if you didn't say hi to me, I would be wondering about your whereabouts that night.
  • Norlida Ghazali - the fact I have seen her photo before the reunion made her recognizable, otherwise I would not have recognized you.
Gals ni susah sikit sebab dah bertudung. Masa buat slide show, just uniform. I barely recognized Hashimah, Sarah, Rusita. Tata, sebab dah tengok dalam forum, so boleh kenal anytime la. Norlida Nordin, masih ada iras-iras zaman kanak-kanak. Rafizah I think sebab dah pakai glasses, so nampak lain sikit. Bukan, lain banyak. Nor Rida pun lain - dulu she has a round face.

  • Rambut paling lebat/hitam Award - Amran
  • Misai paling lebat Award - Lokman (tp misai paling panjang dapat kat Ckgu Hassan Basri, batch76. panjang sungguh!)
  • Janggut paling panjang Award - Eddy (?)
  • Janggut paling putih Award - Eddy
  • Remos putih Award - Shahazuddin
  • Gelak paling besar Award - Lokman/Joe (atas pentas masa ambik gambar), Rusita masa jumpa Goh Chin Chai
  • Yang tak ambik gambar family Award - Eddy, Mie (pun tak kira, dia bawak anak buah hehe)
  • Paling tak recognize Award - Joe/Eddy
  • Kata paling syahdu Award - Nazri "Kiter dulu dok sebelah". Nanti aku cari hang balik Nazri. Kita pekena teh tarik somewhere. Memang aku rindu nk sembang ngan hang citer2 lama. Bukang hang dulu rajin buat trick pakai saputangan?
  • Anti-climax award (Punya nak mai, tapi last-last tak mai jugak) - Anis
  • Last minute dapat dipujuk (dan paksa hehe) Award - Habibah, menang hamper lagi
  • Paling takut saya nak jumpa Award - Saaya (takut kena marah cakap omputih byk sangat..hehehe). Jangan mare Cikgu, melawak jer...
  • Paling tak kenai saya Award - Goh Chin Chai (tahun 84 kut sampai sudah dia tak kenai saya datang ngan joe), and I am sure many more yang tak sempat saya nak tegur pun
  • Now-no-longer-the-smallest-in-class Award - Joe
  • Still-the-biggest-guy-in-class (last time by a mile, this time by an inch) Award - sapa lagi, self award to this blogger la..hehehe (kasi can la, saya pun mau jugak)
  • Irony Award - Lokman (dulu siap stokin panjang, malam reunion tak pakai langsung!)
  • Pejuang Bahasa Lenggou (??) Award - Jie dan Saaya (ni boleh buku kan ni)
  • Paling Banyak Merapou Dalam Rumah Award - Jerd (tak der dier dulu, tak meriah)
  • MIA Award - Salmi
  • Loudest Cheers During Slide show Award - Rokiah (for her pose during the Std 4 photo)
  • Penglipur-lara Award - Joe

Most Unlikely Career - Norlida Ghazali, Captain (Rtd)
Most Popular Career - Cikgu
Career paling pelik - Suhaimi

Roti Canai paling kaw - Din's Restaurant in the morning of the 24th

Anak paling come - banyak jugak I can give, kebanyakannya come belaka. But I think

  • Fadhilah's second youngest daughter is the cutest. Joe's kids pun. Ni kira anak2 below 10 years old, older than that tak nak komen, nanti kena pelangkung! ;-)
  • Anak lelaki paling hensem - Amran's.
  • Anak paling friendly (to this blogger) - Joe's youngest son. Siap minta didokong lagi! Hihi, I didn't know I still have it in me!

Famili paling sedondon malam tu pun banyak

  • Dr Roslan - kuning
  • Norlida Nordin - ungu
  • Ada seorang lagi, I think kelas 6B kut. Satu family kuning. Anak-anak (lelaki) kecik2 pun sama.
  • Saaya - ungu
  • Amran - biru
  • Nor Rida - ungu air
  • Rosnan - brown and light brown
  • Rahman - Hijau
Ungu seems to be the colour of choice for the reunion.

Faridah from 76 pun all in light brown. All nine of them.

Grinning paling lebar - ear-to-ear or more (macamana tu?)

  • Norlida Nordin during a chat with Cikgu Hizam, n masa jumpa Cikgu Aripuddin
  • Mie masa cikgu Aziz masuk
Gambar jumpa Cikgu paling syahdu

  • Fadhilah - masa sembang ngan Cikgu Faridah and Cikgu Ainon (she was on her knees)
  • Din masa salam ngan cikgu hizam atas pentas
Pesanan paling syahdu (for me lah) - "Nanti datang rumah lagi ya Rahman" (cikgu Lily mlm reunion sebelum dia balik resthouse). I think we all should melawat dia bila2 senang, I am sure the invites is for all of us from her.

Unexpected Invites - Tata (kalau tak silap). Have to take a raincheck, Maam. Too many delicate instrument in the car - the violin, guitar and keyboard, yang nk dijaga dari panas mentari. Tu yang one of the reasons tak leh stopover tu.

Unfortunately I didn't talk personally to many, so award limited sikit kali ni, hehehe. If not, every single conversation will be recorded here and more categories will be created - biasalah tu, reporter. Just in case if you are wondering, I don't have such great memories, especially if they are only a week's old. Itulah gunanya digital cam!

Anyway, this entry is without pics, just nak bagi teaser je. Nak tau betui ke tak my observations, kena tengok sendiri gambar2 reunion. YOu have to see it to believe it. Tapi kalau nak tengok, kena tanya and carik Jie. Dia penyimpan mohor besar Coolbatch.

And sorry no offense ya. Saja suka-suka, and nak melawak with you all.

Ni masih bulan syawal. Nanti buat open house no, lps tu kiter salam balik! '-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

I am overwhelmed and I have mixed feelings about the reunion last night.

Both good and bad.

Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed the night; I really do. But I do know and I do realized that it was far from perfect - in fact it was chaotic in a sense. But in the end it didn't matter one single bit.

Or at least I am hoping that that would be the case.

I know we could have done better by having a smoother execution. The what-ifs kept on entering my mind. Not about the past, but about the present. We could have done it better if bla bla. It could have been smoother if bla bla bla yadda yadda yadda. Aaah, well.

I was a nervous wreck the morning of the reunion and had had sleepless night the night after. I slept at 2:30 and woke up at 4:30 am and had my subuh prayer at 6 am at Masjid Jame' for old time sake.

Honestly the overused cliche "It was the best of times and it was the worst of times" would aptly describe the night. Even this to me is an understatement to describe that night. Charles Dickens simply could not find a more poetic and contradictory phrase - an oxymoron if you must, as he had not gone through what we went through on the 23rd day of September.

I didn't even touch the food, so in the end I was so hungry and thirsty. To compound a miserable night for me, I barely talked to the ladies - a quick chat with Tata, and perhaps Nor Rida (if my memory served me right) towards the end, even I was planning to jog their memories of this blogger. No, no, I was wrong. I had a good conversation with Norlida Ghazali since she came in very early, so I managed to catch up with her after 37 years. My memory was wrong in the sense that she was in Std 2 class under cikgu Lily and not just Std 3. Apparently she knew that Arif is taking up flying and mentioned that her husband now works for MAS though I do wonder she got the info from. Uh oh could she be reading this blog?

Oops! I better watch what I write in this blog then.

Anyway great to see you again Norlida, after 37 years. And thanks for coming even with such a short notice since we only recently got your contact info and beyond your pic, we weren't able to do much for you ie tag etc.

In fact the only male classmates that I was able to say hello to was Eddy, Dollah and Kok Ngai. I had met Nazri and Rusita earlier in the morning so I can't count them as persons I had met that night. I told Dollah that if dia lupa pun ok lah, sebab bab lari dia mesti kedepan and this blogger mesti yang last sekali. Kok Ngai reminded me in front of both Cikgu Faridah and Cikgu Lily how we used to compete head-to-head academically. Hehehe, yes I remember that too, but I must add that Std 2 I reigned supreme while I believe he took over in Std 3 (and I was nowhere near then). (Anis mesti kater: "Masuk lift picit butang sendiri")

And Eddy, we live very near each other in Taiping and yet, we had never met since the mid 80's. So good to see you again!

I blame it on the time - too many things to do in too short a time. The fact I was in charge of slide show and musical entertainment compounded the problem for me. I was under stress to be socializing. Tension, tension, as we would call it here.

Come to think of it, I was more like a 'menumpang kasih'. Only three out of six primary school years were spent in SRJK(I). As I have mentioned earlier, three years out of fourty six of my life is anything but a significant number. I spent more years in secondary and have friends and colleagues with more years of friendship.

But even if we were to take into account the mathematics and the numbers, which can never fully describe the complex human emotions especially those who spent 6 years in primary and many more who continued to secondary school and even to university (like Lokman, Eddy, Jerd, Fadhilah etc), one cannot deny the environmental impact of Lenggong and the surrounding, the era that we lived in and the people and the teachers who had made such a big impact on too short a time of our lives. We were in our formative years.

(Huh, that's a mouthful and I am not sure if I writing it correctly - grammatically.)

And how would the mathematics describe my involvement with the reunion even if I was only there for 3 years (or two for my bro).

But even in his menumpang kasih, I do feel close to the my classmates and the years we had together. I saw Nazri in the morning, and he said "kiter dulu dok sebelah". Aah, 37 years and he remembers that, still. Now can you beat that?

That was before my eye sight failed me and I had to move to the front of the class in 1972. Next to a classmate who was there that night.

And I do remember his rumah Penghulu by the small hill in Kuak.

The evening started early with Kok Ngai the first to arrive, while the rest of the organizing committee nowhere in sight. Norlida Ghazali with her family was the second to turn up, and then Goh Chin Chai. After that it was close to free for all, meaning I lost track.

Each family was accorded a goodie bag and a family photo was taken immediately upon arrival, so all things looked well enough and organized.

But the best of plans can go haywire. The teachers were supposed to arrived in one group from the Lenggong Resthouse to the tune of Selamat Datang (Rafeah Buang) but well, they didn't come in group. And of course they can't just go to the their seats without stopping at many checkpoints with some many salam and handshakes and hugging taking place.

It was a traffic jam worst than the one on Saturday along the North South Hiway heading North during the Raya rush! Serious, semut pun lagi laju bro. And Lenggong has not seen anything like this at all.

It took sometimes for them to reach their tables. So we had to change plan impromptu.

By the time the slideshow was to get started, the azan isya' was aired from the nearby Surau; something we didn't take into account. The show had to be halted as a show of respect and resumed a minute after the ending.

The first slide show was a Tribute to the Teachers with a Lenggong Prelude starting it of. The Lenggong Prelude was to the haunting tune of Letter Ama Mere (Richard Clayderman) and took us all to places of interest in Lenggong including the Popular cinema where movies were shown, the Post Office where I guess many surat cinta (monyet) were posted, friends' houses and kampongs. Many of the names (Labit, Sumpitan, Temelong, Kuak) were names in my past that I nearly had forgotten but were timely reminded. I can hear the cat-whistle and the laughter at the back each time a pic or topic of interest were shown.

The tribute to the teachers was to the tune of the aptly titled song Selamat Pagi Cikgu, a pop song by Eddynor.

At the end of the first segment, Kok Ngai as the class asked everybody to standup and all chorused Selamat Datang Cikgu. Twice!

Just like the old days.

Khairul delivered his Kata-kata Aluan speech before Cikgu Hizam was requested to give his.

The speech by Cikgu Hizam was something else. Of course everyone would love to get a praise or two, and for that we would organize another reunion every year. It was well worth the effort. But he singled us out from the 30-35 odd batches (my guess) that he had taught over his career, and why not? When other batches were rearing chickens for end of the year (Std 6 I believe) celebration, we were rearing goat! Now who would have forgotten that?

Caption: Lokman used to be this small, so says Cikgu Hizam, indicating his size then. I am sure it was the size of many of us. Not me though!

Oh how the time had flown. Would any schoolchildren nowadays would have that opportunity to go through what we had gone
through with our teachers?

Kengkawan, I salute you all, and I must say I missed that experience myself. [sigh]

He reminded us of the things we should have as a student - dictionary, and a scrap book. And singled out the incident with Norlida (Nordin) when one day she refused to go to school since she didnt have a scrap book so much so her dad had to go to Cikgu Hizam to clarify about what exactly was the scrap book.

The funny things even at 46, Norlida seems to hesitate to raise her hand when he asked if she was around. Just like the old days, so says Eddy (??) when we went to re-live the reunion at 12.30 am that very night. Cikgu Hizam, a very strict disciplinarian then - who would dare crossed his path then. But I am quite sure she was pleased to be singled out there and then as much as I was pleased to have him mentioned an incident of my bringing Lokman and Mie to his house.

Another story that was re-told when Roslan's parent asked him to do tuition. And while Roslan was doing it all, Cikgu Hizam was taking his nap! (He had told me of this story earlier)

He apologized if he had done anything wrong to his pupils.

Aah, Cikgu, no apology was needed for everything that you did was for us to grow up and be the men and women that we are today. Not from me and I am sure I can speak on behalf of my batch, right guys?

For that we are indebted to all the teachers. Cikgu Aziz who has a prior function decided to join the fray at the last minute. So all in all, three from KL (Cikgu Hizam, Cikgu Faridah, Cikgu Lily) , Cikgu Aziz from Lenggong, Cikgu Aripuddin from KK came and were joined by Cikgu Mokhtar (GB SK Bukit Balai) and two staff of SRJK.

Kelas 6 A - 2009 vs 1975; everybody was seated in accordance with the 1975 pic, minus of course those not able to attend the reunion. We had managed to contact 100% of Class 6A with 28 out of 36 attending. Total class of 70-75 attending is 39. Wonderful.

Someone, it was retold by Lokman was trying his 'taktik lama' on the ladies. That taktik lama was apparently very well known then and known to the boys and he was reminded by Eddy. "Eddy, hang dah masak ngan perangai depa no..hehehe."

Boys were always be boys. Eh, old men will always be men. Hahaha..

Amran in any case had not changed much. I think his hair is fully intact while yours truly had to hide his crown jewel inside a songkok. Hihihi, I am certainly glad that the Malays have adopted the songkok culture especially for the old men like me. It is more for people like me.

I think the Coolbatch ladies were able to sit themselves in one table, as planned by the committee, while the boys were spread out a bit, as families took some table meant for the former students. I can see Norhayati, Norlida Nordin, Norlida Ghazali, Nor Rida, Fadhilah all there. I believe Habibah was there in the end though initially she was not planning to come. Thank you Habibah. Ladies, I do hope to see all of you in a quieter environment for us all to chat.

The second slide was all about us. I won't comment on the impact as I was the main author of the slide so I can't comment objectively without having a vested personal interest. Or as Anis would say, 'masuk lift picit butang sendiri."

The old pictures many not seen by us were from a collection by the school in 2 albums that had seen better days. It was precious. Played to the song This Used to be My Playground, it was a dedication to all the brothers and their antics and the yearning for friendship in the past.

"Say goodbye to yesterday; those are words I'll never say", so says Madonna. I concur with her. Not that night especially.

For the sisters - and since I had survived that night with no husband coming to me with a parang, I'd take it that I had not caused any offence with the chosen song of Maya, the beautiful song about childhood sweetheart.

Hihihi, I am sure many would have some memories of this song even if it was not released during our primary schooldays. In any case, when this song first started getting the airwaves in 1978, I knew that this song was meant for those years at SRJK(I) Lenggong as it had then reminded me of someone (who unfortunately didn't make it that night). But no, I am not about to make any confession in this blog! ;-) (Lokman, I am surprised that you didn't know this song. It was so popular in 1978, but I am glad you like it even if you are 30 years late...hehehe)

Maya, masihkah ingat ku lagi
Adakah tercapai sudah hasrat mu dihati

I do hope the sisters would not mind that song, and how precious they are to our memories.

The best things in life are always free.

Of course I could not leave out the song by Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were, to close the show on the past.

Scattered pictures
of the smiles we left behind,
smiles we gave to one another,
of the way we were

I love the fact that there are many huggings, I love it that there were so many smiling faces around, wide ear-to-ear grins that all came from a genuine pleasure of anticipation and of meeting old friend. That night we were young again, many of us 12 years old. For me I was the youngest at nine that night and I can see all of us as kids. ;-)

The years seems to just melt away. No walls, no barriers.

I have not seen so many happy faces at one place - ever. Many stories were exchanged, told and retold over and over again and no one is complaining of the redundancy. You have the see the pictures taken that night to see that. Unfortunately I was not a privy to many of the stories since I was in front of the stage and I guess many stories should remain just that - stories.

In the end, it was not so much about the food as Lokman and I didn't touch anything and we later had our dinner at 1 am at the Shell food court with Eddy, Jerd, Nan, Mie and many others.

In the end too, I can take the consolation that the reunion is not about a person, a singular person. It is about all of us and the organizing committee has provided a platform for all of us to meet and continue the friendships that were left behind with the passage of time.

I wish the night would never end, but I guess it is like wishing upon a star.


We did continue the next morning at Baiduri's restaurant and the Resthouse! If I am not mistaken I believe Tata probably extended an invites for a Raya visit to her house, but I guess I was rushing home quickly the next day as Akmal would be having his PMR next week, so I would have to take a raincheck, Tata.

And I thought it could never be done. To have 39 former students of Class A of 70-75 is quite an achievement. And to do it in 9 months after the first forum was open is another. Imagine it was the week before Raya that the date was chosen and yet managed to get the numbers is absolutely fantastic.

It can only be one if we have people like Jie. He is the guy who pulled this off. The rest of us were just followers.

Unfortunately I lost my cellphone during that night. Not sure what happened there, but as someone pointed out, may be the phone just refused to leave Lenggong.

Unfortunately too I am not able to show more pics taken during the reunion.

Live music were provided by the two brothers, playing instrument - Piano, Guitar and violin. Old songs such as A Time for Us (Violin/Piano), A comme Amoour (piano Solo), Sealed with a kiss (keyboard/guitar), Ibu (guitar/violin). Of course to me the highlight is the song Cinta Pertama(piano/violin) as requested by a classmate who in the end did not make it to the reunion night [sigh].

Hmm they looked familiar eh? Where have I seen them before?

It went well but I guess many of us were too busy chatting to be appreciative of the live music - soft music as opposed to live electric band. Anyway, guys thanks for the music. Wish I was the one playing.

Raya 09 in Taiping

It was a quiet Raya 09 in Taiping. No kids running around. At times I am thankful to have such quiet Raya. It's a blessing in disguise as the boys were able to continue their practice for the big day on the 4th day of Raya.

Only the Rahman's and Aisyah on pagi Raya with Mak, and later in the afternoon, Aboy, Fadhil and Rashi and their families. So it turned out to be Raya for the boys' sides this time around with the sisters nowhere around (except for Aisyah), even for those with nowhere else to go.

Anyway as I have said, ahhh..some peace during this Raya. Did I already mention it to you? I did? Oh well.

Only the adorable antics of Fatimah kept us entertained which is more than adequate. Especially for the fact that she is now able to express herself. She is lovable.

Oh and hehehe less duit raya to give away.

On the other hand too, no Assalamualaikum kids though I did leave the gate wide openand had prepared enough cash for them. [sigh]

In any case, my cousin Jamal whom I had not seen for over 30 years came for the Raya with his daughter and bro Baharom and Baharin and family. At last, it was Raya for us in a normal sense.

Oh by the way, I think this is the first time ever I am putting up the family photo in an entry in this blog.

Selamat Hari Raya.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lenggong Life - A Pictorial Entry

We dont have too many pics in Lenggong, unlike when we were in Batu Gajah. I guess by then with more and more children needing attention and expenses, less can be spent on photography.

But we do have a few. In no particular order.

K Sham shying away from the camera in front of the house in Lenggong, coming back from school one day in the 70s. ONe can see the Sidek's house in the background and more importantly the Morris Minor (AD8479).
Raya in Lenggong with Kak Midah Putih, Mak Sabi, Mak, and Mak Anjang (above) and (below) KSham and Mak su in front our house. Cud it be Raya time? The bike could be mine though, hehehe.. Menyeget2 badan trying to balance the bike masa blaja kat rumah ni. By then, no more little red corvette I guess.

Kampung Sira Lenggong (above n below) - Khairi (2nd from left) is a neighbour. The rests are the Hariris.

The twins with their sister and auntie in front of the house at the Labit Junction. You can see the row of shophouses in the background. Extreme left is Pak Lasah's home. He has a shop right in front of our house.
The twins again with relatives in front of the house. (below)
Hmm..the Lenggong folks - Mak Anjang, Mak Sabi, Kak Midah putih with some of the Hariris including Mak.

Aaah Lenggong. Here I come again - after 37 years (figuratively).

Balai Polis Lenggong

I think in conjunction with the impending reunion of Class of 1975 SRJK(I) Lenggong, all other entries would be coming to a halt.

This pic is shown here as it has great values not only in the fact that the ladies were the mothers of some of my classmates, but also of interest would be the background. The background is the old Balai Polis Lenggong in 1970s, before it was dismantled and replaced by the ugly looking box 4 storey building that is common to Police Stations through out the country.

Mum, Fahmi's mum, Joe aka Atan's mum, and the last person on the right, I need to confer to Joe again.

This pic is priceless and it shows commonality between the mothers and hence the children too would become good friends.

I remember living in the quarters on the small hill in front of the police station, waking up at 5 am in the morning and admiring all the lights of the station. The house and the police station is just 3-5 mins from SRJK(I) and we could just go home for our tea break during rest period.

Hence I don't remember much about the school canteen as we seldom frequent there. Even we we later moved to the edge of town near the junction to Labit, we would be having our own bekal for rest.

Lucky for us as I just found out that the Sidek fella who ran the canteen is actually an Indian by the name (sorry need to check again) who used the name Sidek to get the contract to run the canteen.

Sorry I digress.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One Day He'll Fly Away II

It seems only yesterday that the mum was changing his diapers, I chasing him away to school when he refused to go, sent him to MRSM for him to be independent, taught him add math, attending his piano and violin concerts and recitals and it seems like it was the day before that he got his license to drive (a car). I can still remember how nervous he was with me when he was driving.

But now he is driving this! The real thing at 3,000 ft above sea level, above the straits of Melaka.

He is living his dad's dream. How I wish I was 18 again! (more pics at


Here is him at at 13 playing with his RC model at Kota Damansara. He has the passion and the flair. Now he is flying the real thing.

You are certainly right. Kids his generation plays this type of expensive toys while his dad generation, hmmm, plays with the little red corvette as per the previous entry!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reunion 09 in Metro Ahad (13/9)

You can't get more glamourous than this.

A sekolah rendah reunion in a national newspaper. More than we had hoped for. You can read it here.

Otherwise, read it below. Hehe, I wonder who is the spokesperson!

Himpun bekas pelajar

KUALA LUMPUR: Bekas murid Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Inggeris) (SRJK (I)) Lenggong, Perak dari 1970 hingga 1975 (Coolbatch 70-75) akan menganjurkan majlis pertemuan semula pada 23 September ini.

Majlis dijadualkan berlangsung di Dewan Merdeka Lenggong, dari jam 8 hingga 11 malam.

Jurucakap Coolbatch 70-75 berkata, majlis itu bertujuan menghimpunkan bekas murid tahun satu hingga enam dan guru yang pernah menjadi warga SRJK (I) Lenggong dari 1970 hingga 1975.

“Selain beramah mesra, majlis ini diharap mampu mengimbas semula kenangan indah alam persekolahan dan pada sama mengukuhkan permuafakatan serta mengeratkan hubungan silaturahim di kalangan bekas murid dan guru.

“Kami juga mahu mengambil peluang mengucapkan terima kasih dan memberi penghargaan kepada bekas guru yang memberi ilmu kepada kami,” katanya.

Menurut jurucakap itu, pelbagai aktiviti menarik dirancang pada majlis berkenaan dan walaupun 40 tahun berlalu diharap ia dapat mengumpul seramai mungkin bekas pelajar dan guru SRJK (I) Lenggong sepanjang tempoh berkenaan.

Katanya, untuk keterangan lanjut hubungi Khairul Anuar di talian 017-5072188 atau Ahmad Lokman Saidin (019-2266401).

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Little Red Corvette

You know, I have forgotten about my little red Corvette until a very old friend - not to be taken literally as he still looks young, mentioned it to me when I called him a couple of moons ago.

Apparently he was a neighbour when we were at kindergarten, and were then living in Kampung Sira in Lenggong circa 1969.

Bro Joe aka Atan to me during those days apparently has a elephanic memory, not unlike the big beast itself eventhough in nature he was a small-sized guy. Yours truly on the other hand was the reverse!

Anyway, we were neighbour, we played together quite a bit then, went to the same kindergarten at the Balai Bunga Raya and of course were in the same class in primary.

I met him again after more than 20 years this week.

Digging back into the family album - here I am in my beautiful red car. Unfortunately the pic is in black and white. Just imagine that it is red OK! It was taken in front of our kampung house in Kampung Sira circa 1969.

Don't you think it is a cool car? ;-) Environmentally friendly some more. And hey, zero emission beb! The car lah, not the driver. Hahaha...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Many steps closer


I am amazed. We are many steps closer in making it a reality. We have had our first meeting at my house on the eve of Merdeka with Jie making it all the way from Kulim. Obviously KLites like Lokman and Mie and yours truly would not miss it for the world as the venue was only half tanak nasik.

I thought I should post here what I posted in Yahoo 360 many years ago. Minus the pictures of course. Need to wait for Sept 23 for the climax.

Can we lay claim that this is the first ever reunion of a primary school? Ever? I certainly would like to think so, however far fetch that may seems.

Yours truly is now the protem secretary. To be honest, may be I am not fit to be one since I only spent 3 years there, though it was 3 memorable years in the early 70s there, but what the heck. And now I am also finding myself doing the slide show for the grand reunion. Uh oh, again not my territory but I am enjoying it obviously after complaining about time.

I have been able to contact Fazidah, the gal in the story below. I told her about the chat and the subsequent caning by Cikgu Ainon and she responded by saying that I must have been a romeo then for doing what I did.

Hmmm, me Romeo? Not those days, not now. I was just being a kid I guess. ;-) So I would vehemently deny all charges! Not guilty, your Honour. Not guilty! Hahaha..

That's her in the front row on the right. I believe the pic was taken in 1968 when we first arrived in Lenggong, in front of her house. We later occupied this government bungalow when her dad (extreme right) left Lenggong for Penang.

The Perak Man and I could have shared the same Alma Mater

You all know the Perak man, right? No, not me lah. I am a Perakian, but not the Perak Man. He was prehistoric, lived 10,000 years ago in Gua Gunung Runtuh near Bukit Kepala Gajah which is right at the edge of Lenggong town, while yours truly is still muda remaja! ;-) He was found buried in 1991 by Prof Dr Zuraina of USM. My point is if the Perak man is still alive, I am sure he would have gone to the same school I attended to in the 70s – SRJK (I) Lenggong. If he was born in the 60s we could have been classmates – after all he died in his 40s. Our house in Lenggong was only a few hundred meters from Bukit Kepala Gajah. We used to wonder about the hill when we were kids while walking to our mengaji place in the nearby kampung. Although we didn’t know its name then, we nicknamed it Bukit Gajah since it resembles gajah. (Little did we know it is really known as Bukit Kepala Gajah!) We reckoned then that it was the work of Sang Kelembai who ‘sumpah’ the gajah to become batu. For what reason, we do not know.

For that I would claim that that school must be the oldest school in Malaysia!

Cikgu Faridah (Std 3)

I recently went to a wedding in Taman Tun. That was the second invites I got from the host. The first time I was seated next to a UKM lecturer and while we were having our small chat, he asked me about my relationship with the host. I said, “Well, I was bride’s mother’s Std 3 student!” He was surprised, “And you all still keep in touch?”

(Hey, I am not that old you know! ;-) )

Yeah, we do. Cikgu Faridah and her husband Cikgu Hizam are family friends of my parents, and the first three of us kids were, at one time or another, taught by one of them. In my case, cikgu Faridah was my class teacher for Std 3 in SRJK (I) Lenggong in 1972. A nice teacher eventhough I didn’t do too well then because of the eye-sight problem that I have that year, so I had to move from the back of the classroom (I was the biggest boy obviously) to the front of the class, next to a girl (Sarah was her name), so my study suffered! Hahaha, joking only mah! She kept on reminding me how my study had deteriorated, but there was little I could do without glasses.

The second time we got invited to another of their daughter’s wedding, the Hariri’s family was allocated a table of our own. And just two tables away was a group of their teacher’s friends from Lenggong. And obviously their teacher friends had to be our teachers too!

Cikgu Laily (Std 2)

So that’s how I met again my Std 2 (1971) teacher Cikgu Laily. I would have to say she was perhaps one of my favourite teachers, if not the favourite teacher. I couldn’t recognize her to be honest, and I must say that I didn’t realize that how far we had gone through time. Whatever memory I had of her, that’s not how I remember her. I remember a very fair, good looking - make that pretty - teacher. I believe the feeling was mutual, in the sense in front of her at that time is not the innocent 8-year old rural town boy, but a 40-something father of two, all burnt out from life’s pressures. She is still soft spoken I must admit.

I guess it is different with Cikgu Faridah and Cikgu Hizam. We probably met every few years, so the changes are more gradual. As for Cikgu Laily, well that was the first time I saw her again after leaving Lenggong for Taiping at the end of 1972; that’s more than 35 years ago. But I have fond memories of her. I excelled under her tutelage and was untouchable then – it helped, of course, that the smartest girl in school was no longer around. (More of her later.) I really enjoyed her class and her presence as a teacher.

I remember that year well, for she had given me the task of ‘memorising’ the Rukun Negara (for a competition I think) when it was first introduced (you know that…Maka kami, rakyat Malaysia berikrar….keluhuran perlembagaan…) and I guess she was confident I would win it (or at least that’s how I remember it). But I was sick when the day arrived and hence didn’t compete.

Cikgu Laily, I especially remember the subject “Berita” where we had to write a short story or news and present it to the class. At one time I wrote a story along this line; “Yesterday I saw a beggar who was all wet by the rain. He went into an old barn and light up a fire to heat up his body’” and of course complete with a drawing of someone lighting up a fire next to a cow, or something resembling someone and a cow. OK OK I am no Picasso or Latif Mohidin!

I guess it must have been so real that she had to ask me if that was a true story! I didn’t answer her; I just smiled. (Of course I made that up. I was quite imaginative then.) Oh, BTW I learned that song Senjakala in her class.

Cikgu Ainon (Std 1)

Another teacher during those years was cikgu Ainon; my Std 1 teacher of 1970. She was the only teacher who would dare caning an anak Hariri. Well it was my fault really and if bapak were to read this I am sure he would applaud Cikgu Ainon for that. Since I was a big-sized boy for my age, I would normally have to sit at the back . Back then I had a good friend, Fazidah who is the daughter of bapak’s boss at the Pejabat Tanah (the ADO), so at every opportunity I would chit-chat with her. Well, when we were in the same class, I had to play second fiddle to her – she definitely was smarter.

So during one of those rare lull periods, Cikgu Ainon would ask us to do our own reading, while she was marking the books or something along the line. I had other ideas then. So like all hyper-active Std 1 boys, I would sneak to Fazidah’s desk – hiding behind rows of tables, for another chit-chat session. I guess we were engrossed in our chats – God knows what seven year olds would talk about - that we didn’t realize that Cikgu Ainon was right behind me and all of the sudden I heard a swooshing sound and felt an excruciating pain on my back. She had hit me with a rotan! Take that for defying her order.

But I guess that didn’t devalue me in her eyes. Many a times, she would ask Fazidah and me to do the honour and ‘ring’ the bell for the break. The first time she asked us, we had difficulty finding it. By the time we found it after asking around, Cikgu Ainon had beaten us to the bell! I guess we must have taken so long a time, or may be she thought we had abandoned the search and gone to the canteen ourselves!

I had my revenge of sort (well, not really actually) in Std 3, when one day I stopped her and told her that an uncle of mine kirim salam to her. I am sure that he was just pulling my leg, thinking that I would not dare telling Cikgu Ainon, but I did! As I have said, in SRJK(I) Lenggong, I was a much different person and untouchable! Hahaha...I can't quite remember her reaction, but most likely she took it in her stride. But she did ask me how he was doing! Luckily for me, she didn't marry him. If she did, then he would not have been my uncle! (For he was an uncle by marriage. He is also the most talented artist that I had ever met - he used to paint the murals on the Taiping Zoo entrance arch. But like many talented people, he died young - at 36 in 1982; one of the three saddest years of my life in the 80s, all on a trot.)

Aah, my old school, literally.

The one on the left is my Std 1 class building while the one on the right was my Std 3 classroom building. It is a pity it is in such dilapidated state. I had fond memories of my first 3 years at school. Tempat jatuh lagi dikenang, inikan pulak tempat bermain (dan belajar)!

Unfortunately like the abode of the Perak man, the school is in ruin. Like many rural schools, it was built using timber, so it didn’t last that long. It’s a pity. The building is no longer in use and the school has been relocated to another site. I was told recently by an ex-classmate, who took the trouble to look for me through Ansara KB, that many of us are doing quite well. We have a couple of engineers (ehem ehem), a doctor, a couple of professors, many teachers, many businessmen/women etc in our midst. Quite an achievement for a school in a town quite remote, where in the 60s you would have to pass by a couple of army posts to get to town. Communist insurgency was not the only problem then, it was so remote that when one night we had a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere on our return to Lenggong (from Taiping), bapak told us to wind up all the windows while he went out to check on the engine. It was pitch black outside. Mr Rimau was the problem in the 70s!

The view of the main entrance of the school. One could see the padang where we had our scout jamboree in 1972 and all the sport activities. The blue building in the background is the Balai Raya where it used to host my kindergarten class. The hibiscus flower in the middle the building is still there. It was at this Padang that we watched our first public screening of a cowboy-red indian movie. We didnt buy any drink or food there as we were warned about possible 'santau'. Despite that, we had our fun in the moonlight!

Then again, I am not surprised by my exclassmates’ achievement. The Lenggong Valley is the prehistoric capital of Malaysia and we were right in the middle of it. There must be a reason why our prehistoric ancestors chose Lenggong Valley for their abode. I am sure it rubbed off to us kids during those days.

Of course we had a strong foundation set by our teachers then. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.