Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Raya To Remember

Empat sahabat dari tahun 1972 bergambar ramai dihari raya
ketiga di rumah mertua Jie yang jugak rumah Nazri, classmate yang duduk
bersebelahan dengan saya sebelum saya kehilangan anugerah penglihatan.
Siapa menjangka 38 tahun kemudian beraya bersama kembali?

I am always grateful to my teachers.

It does not matter if they had taught me at secondary school, or during our foundation years in primary. They would always be close to my heart, and I have nothing but good things to say about them.

Never mind that I had been caned before by them. Actually not once, but twice; once in Std 1 by Cikgu Ainon – for not being at my place when she told us so, and once in Std 4 at KE by Mrs Kuppu – for not bringing my homework with me. But that’s about it, nothing serious I would confess.

I told Lokman and Jie during the last week of Ramadhan that it was high time we went and ziarah our teachers  this year, and the 3rd day of raya was chosen as the three of us were quite free that day, and it so happened that it was the exact day of our reunion a year ago.

So the timing was perfect. My brother Latif had also agreed to join the three musketeers and make it four.

Kami bergerak jam 0920 pagi, dan jangkaan saya tepat, jam 1033 kami tiba di rumah mertua Khairul (Jie) di Lenggong. Ya! Hari ni hari kedua saya kesini, minus anak anak. Saya dan Rahman bersama pasangan masing masing. Saya tak jemu turun ke daerah kecil ini.

Armed with three-reunion albums, we went to Jie’s in-laws in Kampung Kota Lenggong and waited for our best buddies Lokman to turn up. In the end, the four classmates from Std 1-3 from the 70s (that’s nearly 40 years ago) plus two more and their families decided to make it a raya to remember.

Jie dan isteri sudah sediakan mee kuah ketam untuk sarapan kami. Lokman pun tiba kira kira 10 minit kemudian, jadi bercerita panjanglah.
By the time we finished our excellent mee kuah courtesy of Jie’s family, it was already 12 pm. And we were running late before we even got started. Nazri, my good buddy and partner in Std 3A, aka Jie’s brother’s in-law, decided to join us that day as the fifth musketeers.

The plan was to visit our primary school teachers in Lenggong, Kuala Kangsar before heading to Sungai Siput and Ipoh. If we were able to fit in all, that is.

Agak lama kami berbual, sambil mengatur rencana kearah mana tujuan kami berlima ni.

Kata sepakat dicapai bila Ustazah memberi laluan untuk kami bertandang.

Yes, kiranya, kali terakhir jugak saya bertemu Ustazah ni pada tahun 1972, dah melebihi 38 tahun.

Rumahnya bersebelahan surau Bukit Senyum tu.

Ustazah Maimunah

Ustazah Maimunah during the early 70s must be the only teacher with a selendang over her head. She taught Ugama to us all. I don’t remember specific incidents with her, since she was not our class teacher then. But I was made to understand that she was reasonably strict.

Then again, which teacher was not strict in the 70s?

Saya masih ingat wajah Ustazah Maimunah di tahun 1972. Satu satunya guru yang berselindang dikepalanya. Bila kami minta foto foto lama simpanan beliau, jawapannya, "Buat apa nak tengok, tak elok pun gambar gambar lama tu."

She did not come to the reunion due to prior engagement, so she told us. We had to introduce ourselves to her and it is normally easier to introduce ourselves as the son of so and so. She probably would remember our parents better.

“Saya anak SO Hariri,” I introduced myself to Ustazah. After Jie and Lokman had introduced themselves to get her to jog her memory lane. I am not sure if she remembers me at all. To be honest, at this stage, it didn’t matter at all. But she remembers quite a bit of everybody else. It is just a matter of telling her anak siapa. Anak-anak Ustaz Latif, Cikgu Saidin, Tok Penghulu Ibrahim, Cikgu Razman or Cikgu Zakaria – she remembers them all. “Mana Zainoor Liza?” she asked when looking at the album. She remembers him too, very well I guess to be asking about him.

I am not surprised she remembers most of us, if not all, judging from her reaction while looking at the reunion albums.

Bila kami tunjukkan foto Reunion Coolbatch 2009 tu, ternyata Ustazah Maimunah boleh menyebut dan mengingati setiap nama anak anak murid , siap dengan nama jolokan ayah masing masing lagi. Hebat kan?! Apa yang saya suka, Ustazah boleh mengingati SO Hariri serta anak Tok Kadir yang rambutnya berdandan dua tu!

Kalaulah anda dapat melihat layanan Ustazah Maimunah ni dan kepetahan beliau bercerita, anda pasti merasa seperti emak emak anda jugak. Ternyata, sebut sahaja nama ayah masing masing, pasti beliau akan mengingati nama anak anak mereka.

She could not believe seeing Cikgu Hizam with all his sideburns and beards. “Yes, he looks like a professor now,” Lokman said.

One for the album with Ustazah. We were all her students in primary school.
One with everybody in it, well, almost. Except the
photographer I supposed.
Di awal perpisahan tu, saya jangkakan hanya bersalaman biasa, antara saorang Ibu Guru dan anak murid, ternyata saya silap.

Berguguran air mata Ustazah Maimunah. Saya yang pertama besalaman, dan Ustazah terus memeluk saya dengan deraian airmata. Habis sebak satu rumah. Saya tak sangka yang Ustazah begitu terharu dengan kehadiran kami, kesemua anak murid beliau, beliau peluk sayang, termasuk para isteri kami.

Apa yang saya nak katakan lagi?

Beliau sebak kerana ada anak anak murid yang masih mengingati beliau pada ketika saat usia begini.

Kepada rakan rakan batch 1971-1976, apa ditunggu lagi. Lakukan sesuatu.

As told by Latif, when it was time to go, she started hugging us one by one. I didn’t give it a second thought until I heard noise resembling someone crying. I looked up at her and then I realized that Ustazah was crying. And it did not just stop there. More tears were shed as she hugs us all; one at a time. “Terima kasih datang melawat ustazah,” she said, “kalau dengar ustazah dah tak da, sedeaqahkan lah alfatihah kat Ustazah. Tak payah panjang-panjang, al-fatihah pun jadilah”

Kami doakan Ustazah dipanjangkan umur dan diberi kesihatan,” Jie replied. I am glad Jie was there. He always knew on the right thing to say at the right time.

It was a touching scene, a very touching moment indeed. I did not expect that at all. I did not know how to react, to be honest.

She has difficulty letting us go. After we had gone to our cars, Lokman and I had to wait for another 15 mins or more, while she and Jie’s wife continue chatting outside. It was obvious to us she didn’t want it to end.

And this is the picture I took of them from my car. YOu can see Ustazah with Jie's wife there.

If anyone of us has time, do go and visit her. Our visit must have caught her by surprise, and it overwhelmed her, to be honest.I certainly did not expect that to be honest.

Rencana seterusnya ke rumah Cikgu Kamarul Baharin. ternyata azan zuhur. Selalunya Cikgu Kamarul Baharin berada di Masjid, jadi, kami menghala semula ke rumah Cikgu Aziz.

Cikgu yang paling ceria dengan senyuman manisnya!

Kami tiba pun waktu Zuhur, jadi kena tunggu hingga selesai solatnya Cikgu Aziz.

Cikgu Aziz Debok

Mana gambarnya?” he asked the moment he stepped into his living room where we had been chatting amongst ourselves, while waiting for him.

All of us burst into laughter. We had been expecting him to say that. “Cikgu Faridah said the same thing, Cikgu,” I told him, while handing him the albums I had brought from KL. I was prepared for that already, that's for sure.

"Ha, yang ini tunggu lama baru nak dapat tengok. Dah setahun ye?" permulaan cikgu Aziz bila menatap 3 foto foto Reunion Coolbatch . Memang tak kering gusi dengan lawakkan beliau.

Bewak aka Biawak is his favourite story of the Gelok slang when he was a headmaster there. Sampaikan ada ibu-bapak yang datang bertanyakan tentang kesalahan anaknya yang menulis perkataan 'bewak' didalam kelas.

It was Endless Laugh at Cikgu Aziz house.
And then he delivered his verdict on us. “This is the most successful batch SRJK(I) Lenggong had ever had,” claimed Cikgu Aziz Debok, while browsing through the pictures, “in term of career, that is.” I am surprised by his declaration, but proud nonetheless.

Thanks to our teachers,” Jie responded immediately.

“No, no, it was your own effort,” he retorted. I could not believe it to be honest. He denied having any responsibility for our ‘success’. Typical real teachers, I guess. Humble. If we are successful, it is our own effort. If we failed, then they have failed as teachers. Hmmm..

Dalam berbual, sempat cikgu menyakat
Nazri, samada perlu ayah mencarikan
pengganti. Nazri tersipu, tapi Jie menyampuk
dengan mengatakan spec abang iparnya
itu terlalu tinggi!
Honestly I am not sure if indeed we are. There are more successful individuals like Datuk Sri Shazaly of Celcom Axiata – he seems to be on their lips many times, and a few others that have escaped me. We did not have outstanding individuals, but in general, we do have a successful batch as a group.

Doctors, engineers, teachers, administrators to name but a few. Who am I to say many of us are not successful parents too?

And then again, there is nothing to be gained by Cikgu for saying that to us. He is not like Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former IOC president who would declare at each venue that that was the best ever Olympic, to the applause of the home country, but to the chagrin of everybody else.

Duit raya time for the cucu-cucu.
A teacher is always a parent.
And then again, he has been a teacher for over35 years and a good number of years as headmaster in the Lenggong valley. He knew what he was talking about.

He did have his regrets.  "I tried, but failed to stop the authorities from demolishing our old school. It was done after I have retired. They should have spared the school," he told us, "It holds too many memories for all of us."

Most of the time, I am in Shah Alam or Kota Damansara,” he told me. That’s why we were able to meet up with him at the wedding of Cikgu Faridah’s daughter a few years back in Taman Tun. Had I known it, we could have invited him for the buka puasa too last month.

Betul. Cikgu Aziz sering bertandang ke rumah anak anak di Kuala Lumpur. Katanya, seminggu sebelum berangkat, pasti beliau mencukur bersih kepala beliau, gara gara cucu cucu yang nak bermain dengan kepala datuk mereka!!.  Adakah kita akan begitu jugak? Hahaha..

Begitulah Cikgu Aziz, walaupun saya tak sempat dibawah seliaan beliau, dihari ini, saya boleh bayangkan bagaimana Roziah cukup gembira dapat berada di SRJK(I) hingga tahun 1976.

I went for the lontong while the others the laksa.
Menu hari tu, laksa, lontong, ketupat dan rendang , termasuk kuih muih. Agak lama kami bertandang.

Until he reminded us that we still have quite a few houses to visit, then only we started making our moves.

But before we left, we still need to complete one more task - taking formal picture to commemorate the occasions.

One for the album with Cikgu Aziz and his wife. This house was built
on the site of our first ever house in Lenggong. Cikgu bought the land
from ADO Abdullah who is the father of another classmate of ours, Fazidah.

Seterusnya kami bergerak ke rumah Cikgu Kamarul Baharin. Ternyata cikgu dah pulang dari Masjid Kg Chain mengerjakan solat Zuhurnya.
Cikgu Kamarul Bahrin

I don’t remember him that much since he didn’t teach our class the first three years, so I am not sure if I can add much here, to be honest.

Kami disambut mesra. Agak berusia cikgu ni. Saya memang tidak mempunyai apa apa kenangan bersama Cikgu Kamarul Baharin ni. Tapi, bila lihat foto beliau di awal perkahwinan, kira boleh cam lah jugak, siapa guru ini.

But he has quite well-kept old albums of the yesteryears, and as usual Lokman and Jie had to jog his memory lane while going through the reunion albums. If I am not mistaken, he was in KK during the reunion and totally forgot about it that day, and hence did not join us that night.

Entah apalah yang menarik minat 4 sahabat ketika membelek album cikgu Kamarul Baharin.

Lokman explaining to Cikgu on events during last year's
reunionBro was our official spokesman that day.

One for the album with cikgu Kamarulbahrin. Kami melindungi
kereta proton saga cikgu yang ber-platekan negeri Kedah KBC dot-dot
dot-dot. Katanya Lokman, Kamarul Bahrin Chain! Cantik.

Cikgu Aripuddin

Cikgu had just joined us in 1972 and was the class teacher for Class 3B, while Cikgu Faridah was the class teacher of 3A. Then a bachelor, he stayed in Kampung Sira, and would hold tuition class for many of us who would frequent his house. I remember using his tuition class as an excuse on a Saturday morning to not attend kelas mengaji by Makcik (kampung Masjid?).

Then he has a Vespa and I remember a time when he would ask me to carry a TV set (or according to him, it must be a radio set since he did not own a TV set yet) for repair.

I guess it must have been one of the earliest tuition class (and in Std 3, mind you) though unlike tuition of present days, his was free of charge!

Thank you, Cikgu.

I remember him reasonably well because of that and the Ceritera Tiga Sahabat that he told while taking over Class 3A in the absence of Cikgu Faridah in 1972. I related this to him and he was able to quote the 3rd sahabats.

I used to have an entry on this story, but I guess I must have lost it with the closure of Yahoo 360 blog. I would have to rewrite it again if you have forgotten this. The story is about si Botak, si Kudis buta dan si Hingus. You would be amazed with the adventure ala pak pandir!

Jie mentioned a tip by Cikgu on how to have a good ‘remos’. When you wash your hand after your meals, make sure you wipe your hair with your hand!

Cikgu Aripuddin concurs with his 1970s tip this Raya.
As usual, the explanation is left to Lokman.

It was quite a fun late afternoon with him. He used to own a Mini Cooper, and he would pull up the aerial to the max, pretending as if his Mini Cooper has a radio, when it did have one!

Obviously many more stories were told and retold that afternoon. We decide to end the ziarah raya at his house. Cikgu Nurul apparently has a gathering to attend, so it didn’t make sense for us to head to Sg Siput. As such, we had to skip heading to Ipoh too as it was getting late too.
One for the album with Cikgu Aripuddin and his family

What a day it has been for us, and I do hope we have made a difference to our teachers’ raya day this year, in our small ways.
Time to say goodbye. Till we meet again..thank you
to my four brothers, three of which are in this picture.
Thank you for the support for this expedition.

We do owe Cikgu Nurul, Cikgu Ainon a visit. Of course not to mention those in Kuala Lumpur including my secondary school teachers, especially those who had been visiting us the past few years like Cikgu Dr Fatanah.


This is a joint entry between the two brothers. The segments in English are by yours truly, while the Malay segments are by Latif and they are in yellow. His blog can be found at You can also double click on the pictures to see us in our full glory.

No comments:

Post a Comment