Monday, May 26, 2014

Oh my Golf!

Flight 17B - Novice flight except for one. No, not me.
I never thought I would be taking up golf, especially at this age.

Years ago when I was a student at Monash, during one of my not-that-many socializing events with many Australian coursemates, I told them that I can't see why anyone would take up golf since it is basically a hit-and-walk sport; if you can call it a sport. (They were watching golf over some beers and BBQ, while I was having milk and bread, and perhaps some snacks - really I did!)

I mean, it is one thing to be watching cricket for 5 continuous days, but watching golf would take it to another level. 

I can't, and I did not appreciate golf. Ever! I might as well watch grass grows.

Or so I thought.

So a year ago, when someone told me to take up golfing, I reluctantly agree. I bought a set for a couple of thousands ringgit - the cheapest I can find, and my uncle donated a used set to complement what I bought. The two sets would allow Arif and/or Akmal to take up golfing too. Hey, if I am going to get tortured, might as well they got tortured too, right? At least they are in good company!

But unlike cricket, which I took it to my liking the very moment I hit a couple of balls in front of my house at Clayton North in Melbourne - may be like duck to water, golf is really a hard sell for me. It is hard to imagine why anyone would go ga-ga over hitting the golf ball, which may strayed into the pond, or the forest, and started spending your precious time looking for it.
The team before the game
It is such a waste of time that I am better of spending it, say, for my forty winks!

Then, there is the weather. I mean Malaysia is a tropic country and by 8 am, the sun can really be harsh. And even if you could go as early as possible, I don't think I could finish a game while it is still cool. It takes about 3-4 hours to complete a game and by then, the sun would have been at its harshest condition.

I am no Puteri Lilin, but I prefer to be in the shade by then.

If only we are in a cold climate country.

So it was a wonder that I'd go in at 8 am and finished 18 holes by 2 pm, and honestly, I was willing to have another go at 9 holes. No complain about the sun or of being tired.

Of course it helps that we were playing at Bukittinggi. The weather was just perfect! Cool with just a slight wind. Beautiful weather, I must say and I would not mind being here all day. Beautiful natural course - cooling streams snaking all over the greens, and of course, not forgetting, the real forest!
Oh my Golf! (OMG), the story of my golfing. One of the easier bunker, I must say.
How did I fare?

Very well, I must admit. For one who is not that comfortable with a crowd, I did very well. I really enjoy the company I was in. My flight was a bunch of misfit actually (yours truly especially), who should not be on a golf course, of course, but hey we completed our game. Three of the four in the flight occupied the bottom three placings, but really, who is counting?  I had enjoyed the weather, the exercise and had a great time - no money can buy that

Well, I paid RM300.00 for that. LOL.
Too small a print for you? Good!

Just fof the record, the tournament is with the oil and gas fraternity.

Years ago I was 'dipaksa-rela' sponsor for a golf tournament. Then I thought eagle was a bird, boogie is something from the disco era, so even though I was a sponsor, I did not turn up at the event at all. Now that's a true oil baron tournament, and I should have gone to rub shoulder with them, but I knew then I should not be there as I would be lost. Totally lost in their conversation.

In hindsight, now I know I should have gone. Missed opportunity.

This game reminds me of an incident in late 80s with my peers in Kerteh. The manager walked in into our room, while we were having small dscussions, and immediately asked me, without acknowledging others - about certain issues pertaining to plant problem. I explained the problem vis-a-vis process engineering. After he left, my peers commented that since the manager did not even acknowledge them and imediately asked for me, they thought I was the manager's blue-eyed boys.

I was bewildered by that remark, though coming from them, it did not bother me - we were good friends. I think they said it more in jest than anything else. So I told them, "How could I be a blue-eyed boy? I did not play golf with him (nor was I playing golf at all). I don't socialize with him either."

But I remember my remark about golf very well then. Golf is a social event for many, unlike say a game of badminton! Especially in Malaysia right now.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

That's not the way to treat a mother

Well, Mak is no longer around for me to wish her a happy mother's day.

I am not doing anything special, to be honest. I will normally read her the surah Yaa Sin after my Fajr prayer (on a weekday at the office), so I guess I'll read her the quran on a Sunday instead.

As importantly, I would like to reflect on a situation of  how not to treat your mother.

A mother nowadays is fast becoming a maid to the grandchildren, at the behest of their own children. It is sad, but I guess that's the price one had to pay for loving your children too much. I am against a mother having to take care of their grandchildren, by choice or otherwise.

It is not their job. They had spent their lifetime bringing us up and it is entirely our responsibility to bring up ours. We want to have some fun - and procreate, and then let the burden of caring for the children to our mother?

I came to know of an incident involving a mother, who had just returned from performing her Haj and was immediately asked - upon landing, mind you - to baby-sit for her grandchildren. If I were her, I probably need a month to recuperate, and prefer not be obligated to take care of anybody. Purely, unadulterated rest!

I found it distressing, and I was furious, to be honest. It is beyond comprehension actually. Apparently her daughter (and the husband) had planned it all along, and on the very same day she landed at KLIA, the husband had driven his own mother back to her hometown. His mother had been taking care of their children while his mother in law was performing the haj, and now that the mother-in-law cum 'maid' was returning home (to take care of the children), he can free up his own mother from such responsibility.

I know it is hard to believe, but it did happen the way I described it. It sounds too fictional, even to someone who knew the incident first hand. How about that for maximising the exploits of two mothers to take care of your own children and making the transfer of responsibility from his mother to his mother-in-law so efficient? Wow, am I supposed to be in awe? The two parents had fun making their children, and both want to work to earn extra money money to live a fast life; my say to them is to go and hire a maid.

(I am also against having maid aka home slave, but that's another topic.)

Sometimes I am not sure what we, as the children, are thinking when we treated our mother in that manner. Selfish would be one adjective to describe us, I guess. Shrewd? May be.

I told Arif last week as I was driving him back from LCCT after he had stayed in Kota Kinabalu as his base for the week, that when the time comes, he needs to care for his own children, and not burden his mother. I know many would be willing, and I am sure she would be willing, but there is a difference between doing something willingly, or being 'forced' literally or by circumstances.

I think, as a mother, one need to be able to differentiate our obligations as a grandparent. Yes, we all love our grandchildren - they are all adorable, but there's a limit. WE need to take care of our own health, and religion. As a child ourselves on the other hand, please, we should know better than asking for our mother's assistance. Ask her to doa for you and your children, but do not ask her to look after your children for you. That's why I had given Mak my strongest support for her stance not to care for any of her grandchildren when she was alive. I mean, she cared and loved deeply all her grandchildren, and would visit them when time permits, but she kept her distance when it comes to taking care of them.

Mine included.

She had done more than her own share of obligations by giving birth to 12 children and raising up 13. I need multiple lives to even come close to that. She was tired, I can understand that.

Moga Allah merahmati keatas ruh Mak dan dimasukkan kedalam golongan orang-orang yang beramal solleh. Amin.

Happy Mother's day.


To my friends who have grandchildren, or who aspires to have a few, hear this. It is wonderful that you love them dearly. No one can fault you, not even this blogger. Tapi kasih itu biar lah berpada. Your children have all grown up. Heck, they are even married, and adult enough to make babies. Many are doctors and engineers, teachers in their own right. Surely they can think and know how to care for their children.

Leave them - let them grow up. We can never be there for them all the time, not throughout their lives. We will go someday. They have to take care of their own families.  We can't be chipping in and assist them physically all the time. WE need to care for ourselves and work for our hereafter.

At times I think some grandparents are 'lebih sudu dari kuah'. Hahaha excuse me for using this Malay proverb. Don't shoot the messenger yah! I hope when my time comes, I would know how to behave myself. ;)