Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Open House Sakan

I've been receiving a number of Raya Open House invitations for the 27-28 Oct and was discussing with my wife how to go about attending them. After finding difficulty in deciding which house to drop, we finally decided to go to all of them instead of picking and choosing. So that was the beginning of a hectic weekend.

Early Saturday morning after a light breakfast, I went to Bangsar to meet up with a lawyer to sign some documents. Meanwhile my wife went to her friend's (of ITM days) house for a tahlil. We have earlier planned to leave the house around 11:30am so that we can reach the first open house by 12:00 noon. I returned home at 11:15 and got the kids ready but my wife only returned home at 12:20. Apparently the tahlil which involved only ladies had dragged on forever. You know ladies, once they meet it will take ages for them to get started on their program. My wife even skipped the food knowing that we are eagerly waiting at home.

So, we started on the wrong note in terms of timing. The first house on the agenda was Oon's (my staff in TARGET), located in Puncak Alam. Since this was the first house we helped ourselves to quite a bit of the healthy servings of food that was available. There was BBQ chicken and lamb besides rice, laksa and a lot more. I decided not to touch the lamb but had 4 pieces of BBQ chicken.

We left Puncak Alam at about 1:15pm, stopped at the Surau in the area for Zohor and moved to the other side of town in Taman Permata, Hulu Kelang to the house of a senior government officer whom I had many dealings in my work. The roads around Batu Caves were quite heavy with cars. This friend of mine was just awarded a "Datuk" by the Sultan of Pahang. I just has something to drink at his place as I'm still full. We stayed for about 20 minutes and left. Along the way I picked up some banners that I had made for my mosque.

It was now 3:30pm. We had spent quite a bit of time on the road. We are now heading for Haji Hamid's house in Bangi. His open house was between 2:00 to 4:00pm. Since it was almost 4:00 by the time we got to Sungai Besi toll, I called to check whether the open house is still on. We reached his house at about 4:30 and I met a few of my High School's friends. At about 5:15, we left Hj Hamid's house and headed for Hj Zahari's, another school friend who also come from my kampong. He stayed in shophouse where he conducts his curtains business. Looking at the stuff he had, he must be doing quite alright.

We left Bangi at about 6:30 and headed for Melaka. We have another open house in Air Keroh Melaka which starts at 8:00pm. We stopped in Air Keroh rest area for Maghrib prayers before proceeding to Tiara Resort. The house of Nor Ismail was full of people when we arrived. Nor is an architect, so you can expect his bungalow in Tiara Resort to be something special. Apparently, he took one and a half year off from work to supervise the building of his dream home. I pity the contractor, it must have been a nightmare building a house for an architect who does his own supervision :-). I met a few of my High School friends there, Hj. Ir A. Rahman Said, Ahmad Jamal, Zamani, KM Yaakob, A. Malek Abdullah. Jaffri came earlier and left before we arrived. We wanted to drop by Malek's house before calling it a day but the kids were too tired after a long day. We finally made our way to my sister-in-law's house in Serkam. Before going to bed I managed to catch Manchester United's game with Boro which they won 4-1. So all in all it was a glorious day capped by my team winning big.

Sunday started very early as we had planned to go to a few houses. We left Serkam around 10:30am after breakfast at my sis-in-law's. We headed towards Melaka town. I had planned to stop at 2 houses, Hj Rahman Said and Malek. First up we went to Rahman's house. I just called him to check whether he was in. I've been to his house once before with my late father for Hari Raya (must be 2 years ago). I had trouble finding his house and wasted a few precious minutes. We finally found his house and his DO wife managed to cook up mee goreng for us rather quickly. I initially thought his wife was a DO knowing Rahman is not known to joke much but he later told me his wife was a Dapur Officer.

I left Rahman's slightly after 12:00 noon. I had initially planned to be in Tampin by then. So I had to sms Malek telling him that I had to skip his house this time around. Sorry Dole, I promise I will visit you next time. We reached Tampin (Bob's house) around 12:40. Ghafar Baba (Bob) is marrying off his new daughter (another story for another time) and I thought I should be there to share his happy occasion. Slightly after 1:00pm we left Bob's house.

Nor, Bob and me

By the time we reached Simpang Ampat toll it was 1:30pm and I'm supposed to reach Bangsar (Razip's and Awie's house) by 2:00pm. An impossible task, definitely not in my Naza Ria with my wife and 4 kids, so I sms Razip that I'll be at his house around 2:30pm. Still a daunting task but at least doable, give an take a few minutes. You see, Razip had delayed his lunch invitation from 1:00pm to 2:00pm to accommodate my trip from Tampin, so I must at least make a genuine effort to be on time. Anyway, we reached Bangsar around 2:45pm. My kids had not been to Razip's and Awie's in a few years. We used to visit them for Hari Raya without fail. My daughter was looking forward to see for herself Auntie Awie's new house. We met Shariff, Syed and Umie, Maimah and of course Awie's siblings and their spouses. Sle couldn't make it as he was outstation while Ruslan Ghani was overseas.

We stayed for a while and left around 5:00pm and headed for Kota Damansara, the last house for the day although I had planned to visit my cousin in Subang Jaya later in the night. The last house was Azlan's, my colleague from HeiTech Padu. For the last few years Azlan and wife kept inviting us for their open house and we managed to find them for them. After all his son is a school mate of my 4th son, Aizat.

When we reached home it was time for Maghrib. The whole family was spent. I managed to take a nap just after Maghrib and also woke up around 11:30 in time to see the Liverpool-Arsenal game which ended in a draw. I was hoping for Liverpool to win so that Man Utd will remain top of the table. However, considering Arsenal hit the post twice and their players missed open goals on another two occasions, I guess I should be grateful for the result.

Oh what a weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

10 tahun sebelum Merdeka

I would like to share this video that provides another perspective of the events that happened before Merdeka. Some may even say it shows some of the REAL Pejuang Merdeka.

For best viewing let the video play out once and press "Replay" so that you will not experience the interruptions.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ziarah Sahabat

At Rahim Ani's house (Rahim at far left)

At Rosli Md Tan's house

Sempena bulan Syawal yang mulia tahun ini, beberapa orang sahabat dari MHS telah meluangkan masa untuk melawat rakan-rakan yang kurang bernasib baik kerana menghadapi masaalah kesihatan. Kami telah merancang untuk bertemu di rumah Rosly Sanusi di Seksyen 20 Shah Alam sebelum bertolak kerumah Rahim Ani di Seksyen 27 dan seterusnya kerumah Rosli Md Tan di Seksyen 16.

Rosly Sanusi
Kami menggunakan rumah Rosli Sanusi sebagai tempat berkumpul sebelum berkonvoi kerumah Rahim. Lagipun beliau tahu dimana letaknya rumah Rahim. Rosly Sanusi telah hampir 20 tahun tinggal dirumahnya di Jalan 20/2 Shah Alam. Semasa kami sampai beliau sedang sibuk membuat persiapan untuk memasak untuk kenduri kahwin jiran beliau. Rosly ialah seorang kontraktor kecil yang membuat prasarana untuk Telekom. Selain itu beliau juga banyak membuat kuih untuk hari raya dan hari perayaan lain. Beliau juga mengambil kontrak catering disekitar Shah Alam. Pendek kata beliau memang "all rounder".

Saya sampai agak lewat juga (sekitar pukul 2:45 ptg). Semasa saya sampai, Mokhlis, Ghafar danHj. Hamid telah pun sampai. Selepas itu beberapa orang lagi sampai termasuk Azhar Haron, Syed, Mazlan Md Zin dan Nurjihad. Sekitar pukul 4:00 ptg kita berangkat ke rumah Rahim Ani di Seksyen 27. Setibanya kami di sana, Sdra Wilmie menunggu dalam kereta sementara Sdra Mazlan Minhat dan Jeffri Jabbar telah pun berada dalam rumah Rahim.

Rahim Ani
Rahim Ani bertugas di JPJ Padang Jawa. Beberapa bulan yang lepas, tahap kesihatan beliau telah merosot. Walaupun tidak terasa sakit, beliau mengalami pandangan berganda dan lemah otot sehingga tidak berupaya menampung berat badan sendiri. Dengan bantuan seorang jiran, beliau telah menjalani peperiksaan doktor di Hospital KL pada awal September 2007. Beliau disahkan mempunyai ketumbuhan di bahagian otak. Pada 26 Sep 2007 beliau telah menjalani pembedahan dikepala untuk mengeluarkan ketubuhan tersebut. Alhamdullillah, pembedahan tersebut berjaya. Semasa pertemuan kami beliau nampak ceria dan tidak dalam kesakitan. Cuma otot masih terasa lemah, kata beliau. Pandangan telah pulih. Memori beliau juga masih baik, malah banyak cerita-cerita lama terutama semasa beliau "membantu dan menemani" Norjihad masih dapat beliau ingati. Cuma ada perkara-perkara yang berlaku baru-baru ini agak samar buat beliau.

Satu perkara yang saya agak terkilan ialah apabila Rahim memberitahu kami bahawa beliau telah mengambil keputusan untuk berhenti kerja. Saya kurang bersetuju kerana saya rasa beliau patut teruskan bersama Kerajaan yang mempunyai banyak kemudahan jika beliau terus berkhidmat. Saya pasti beliau akan diberi tugas ringan sekembalinya beliau ke pejabat. Pada pendapat saya, semasa beliau mendapat tahu beliau mempunyai ketumbuhan tersebut beliau merasa yang beliau tidak lagi mampu bertugas lalu membuat keputusan berhenti. Saya berharap ada sahabat atau saudara beliau yang dapat menasihat supaya Rahim memikirkan kembali keputusan yang telah diambil. Kita yang telah lazim bekerja, jika tiba-tiba duduk dirumah akan mudah ditimpa kemurungan dan tahap kesihatan kita akan terus merosot.

Walau apa pun, saya dapat lihat, lawatan sahabat-sahabt pada hari baik dan bulan yang baik ini telah memberi kecerian kepada Rahim. Malah isteri beliau menyatakan kepada saya bahawa memang Rahim nampak gembira dengan kehadiran kami. Beliau berharap kami akan kerap datang untuk menziarah Rahim dimasa akan datang. Walaupun saya tidak berkesempatan untuk berkawan rapat dengan Rahim dengan lebih lama semasa di MHS (sebab beliau dan ramai sahabat lain berpindah ke ABC) saya mempunyai beberapa episod menarik bersama beliau yang saya rasa ada antara sahabat yang juga masih ingat dengan jelas. Tetapi cerita ini tidak patut dinukilkan disini. Takut nanti menjadi bahan bukti :-)

Rosli Md Tan
Rosli Md Tan tinggal di pangsapuri kerajaan seksyen 16 Shah Alam bersama isteri dan 4 orang anak. Isteri beliau bekerja dengan kerajaan negeri Selangor (kalau tak silap saya). Rosli sebenarnya telah menghadapi berbagai masaalah kesihatan sejak beberapa tahun yang lepas. Malah menurut beliau, dia telah tidak bekerja sejak 10 tahun yang lepas. Tetapi Rosli yang kita kenali memang mempunyai hati yang sangat cekal dalam setiap perkara yang beliau lakukan. Beliau memulakan persekolahan di sekolah Melayu Air Pak Abbas, Alor Gajah dan datang ke MHS (memasuki kelas Peralihan, Remove) cuma berbekalkan satu ungkapan bahasa Inggeris iaitu "Thank You", kata beliau sendiri. Tetapi berkat ketabahan, beliau telah berjaya melanjutkan pelajaran hingga ke UK.

Rosli sebenarnya cuma berada di MHS sehingga Tingkatan 3. Selepas LCE beliau telah pergi ke RMC untuk pelajaran menengah atas. Saya ingat Rosli sebagai orang yang membaca doa dan Yaasin semasa ramai orang yang "terasuk" di asrama lama dulu. Saya juga ingat beliau sebagai orang yang cuba mengalahkan saya dan Azhar Haron dalam permainan pingpong, tetapi sehingga hari ini masih belum berjaya. Menurut Azhar, semasa mereka bertemu di UK pun Rosli mengajak beliau bermain pingpong, tetapi Azhar masih menang seingga Azhar menghadiahkan bat pingpong beliau kepada Rosli.

Kalau nak cerita pasal masaalah kesihatan Rosli, saya rasa satu hari pun tak habis. Boleh buat buku. Tetapi buat mereka yang tahu, saya rasa, ada beberapa perkara yang kita boleh buat iktibar. Diantaranya:
  1. Bantuan oleh sahabat beliau Sdra Ajmal (juga bekas pelajar MHS) sehingga membolehkan Rosli berjalan kembali setelah hampir 3 tahun terlantar
  2. Sokongan guru kita, Cikgu Rejab
  3. Sokongan yang tidak terhingga dari keluarga terutama isteri dan anak-anak sehingga sekarang. Isteri beliau patut diberi penghargaan dalam hal ini.
  4. Semangat juang yang kuat dari Rosli sendiri sehingga sanggup belajar matematik Tambahan dalam bahasa Melayu untuk membolehkan beliau mengajar tuition dalam matapelajaran ini
Walau pun demikian, saya rasa, secara psikologinya Rosli masih belum berjaya keluar dari kemelut kesihatannya. Kalau ada sahabat yang rapat dengan beliau mungkin boleh memberi bantuan untuk memulihkan semangat beliau dalam hal ini. Beliau telah mengalami beberapa perkara yang cukup mencabar dan untuk kembali seperti sedia kala memerlukan masa yang lama. Bantuan dari kawan2 pasti diperlukan.

Demikian sedikit sebanyak coretan aktiviti ziarah pada Syawal kali ini. Untuk kawan2 yang turut serta, saya ucapkan terima kasih yang tak terhingga. Seperti biasa Sdra Mokhlis menjadi koordinator dan kali ini dibantu oleh Sdra Rosly Sanusi. Diharap dimasa akan datang aktiviti sebegini dapat diteruskan. Untuk sahabat2 kita Rahim dan Rosli kita doakan mereka cepat sembuh seperti sediakala.

Hussin Othman

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A quiet Eid

It was a quiet Eid for me by all counts. We left Kelana Jaya at about 6:30pm on Friday, the eve of Eid. We had brought along some dates and drinks so that we can buka puasa in the car. I thought that by driving during iftar we would escape the expected jam as most people would stop at the rest areas for buka puasa. I may be right or maybe most people have already reached home by the time we hit the highway. There were a lot of cars but the traffic was moving. However all the rest areas were full to the brink when we passed them. We finally reached my kampong at about 8:15pm, not bad at all.

All my siblings and their families have reached home. Two have even left for their in-laws after sleeping one night at the house. One of them is just about 2km away while the other is in Gemas. But the kids who were left behind were having a ball of a time. Apparently, I now have 36 nephews and nieces. Add that to my 5 children, my late father now have 41 grand children and one great grandchild.

I woke up very early on Saturday, gathered about 10 nephews, got in my Naza Ria and visited the graves of my parents. A few of my nephews attended religious schools so we had no problems looking for people to recite the doa. I had my Eid prayers at the usual place, the kampong's PAS centre. I've been doing this for several years now, ever since my late father left UMNO and joined PAS at the height of the Reformasi years. While waiting for the prayer to start, I cannot help but felt sad that my father is no longer around. He would be one of those who would recite the takbir.

After prayers, I went home straight to sallam and seek forgiveness from my Makcik. I sat by her side all the time as I know she will feel very alone receiving the sallams from her children, in-laws and grand children (almost 50 of them) without her husband for the first time. Sure enough she cried. I cannot help but feel sad myself.

After that I took my family to visit a few relatives who are closed to me. My siblings grew up in Singapore while I was brought up by my grandfather in kampong so I had a different set of people to visit from my siblings. To cut a long story short, I just got to know that two of the people whom I addressed as Mak Long and Mak Ngah passed away very recently, one just before Ramadhan and the other 10 days before Shawal. I was quite close to Mak Long and I did not visit her last Eid. I can still remember the look of her granddaughter when I asked her "Mak Long mana?" when I visited her house. Apparently everybody forgot to inform me about Mak Long's demise. I realised that a lot of my uncles and aunties are indeed getting a lot older. I have to take time to visit them more often, lest I'll be missing them forever before I know it. I managed a few houses before all my kids started complaining about being tired and wanting to go home. At night I went to visit my sister-in-law (my wife's sister) in Serkam. She has been very helpful to our family since the day I got married. By the time I got home it was almost midnight and I'm almost half dead.

The next day, it was another round of house visiting. This time I brought my Mak Cik back to her kampong in Batu Berendam and then visited a few of my late father's old friends. I also managed to squeeze in a visit to Cikgu Rejab's house in the afternoon. He was one of the hostel master's who took care of me when I was in High School. As usual he was so happy whenever I managed to visit him. Without fail he will remind my children to "belajar rajin2, jadi macam ayah". My children must have been fed up with this reminder. But I feel we should take more time to visit our ex-teachers who have done so much for us but got back so little in return. Their only satisfaction, in my opinion, is seeing their students succeed and showing their gratitude towards their teachers.

The night of second Shawal, we had planned to gather at the local warung. We did not expect too many people as we know many will be busy with their own plans. But I was pleasantly surprised as we had Rahman Ali, Shafie Ibrahim, Hisham Daud, Mokhlis Maizan, Juwara Abdullah, Md Nor Johan, Sanusi Jalil, Ibrahim Jagung, Azman (I did not recognise him) and Azhar Haron. Even Capt Dato Rahim Aziz and his brother dropped by for a while but did not managed to stay as they had a family gathering at the time. Rahman Ali had postponed his trip to his in-laws in Batu Pahat just to be with us. Md Nor had to leave early as his wife kept calling. Juwara also had to leave early as his father in law is waiting for him to return before he locked the house. But early means 12:00 midnight. By 1:00am I had to leave too as I began to receive repeated smses from my wife. You see I promised her that we will leave "very early" the next morning for Kuala Lumpur to avoid the jam. But it was a worthwhile night. Juwara took a lot of pictures which I hope he will post to our e-group.

As promised, I leave early by (8:00am) the next morning and headed for Banting to visit my wife's auntie.

So it was a quiet Syawal. I had planned to visit more houses but there just wasn't enough time. I wonder when there will be enough time if we do not make the extra efforts.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eid Mubarak

How time flies. It seemed it was just yesterday we started fasting and in less than 24 hours it is already Syawal. This is my first Syawal without my father. When my mother passed away in 1981, I just returned from the States and started working. Now, my daughter just started working and I lost my father. Its going to be a lonely Hari Raya for me but being the eldest I'm expected to be home in Melaka. I don't know what it will be like but... life must go on.

At the beginning of Ramadhan this year, I resolved not to break fast outside the house too often. At the end of it I realised I was at home maybe about a week in total. The rest was at the hotels and in the office. Breaking fast in the office was okay. Our caretaker prepares his Bangladeshi fare every day. It consists of basically peas and rice. I started trying this dish 3 Ramadhans ago and have now gotten used to it. In fact I've begun to like it. But breaking fast at the hotels I think is a real waste of money. The average hotel Ramadhan fare this year is RM80 per pax. How can we eat this much worth of food after a full day of fasting? But our clients seemed to relish breaking fast at hotels and we are sort of forced into it. The other reason why I hate breaking fast at hotels is I'm most likely going to miss my tarawikh prayers.

Whatever, first Syawal will be on Saturday. I planned to drive back to Melaka after iftar on Friday. I'll take a slow drive, maybe we will stop in Banting before proceeding to Melaka. Hopefully we can have a taste of rendang Cik (my wife's auntie) in Banting.

In Melaka besides the normal visits to relatives (many are already elderly, so we need to visit them now) I plan to visit some ex-MHS friends. Maybe even hold a small gathering on 2nd Hari Raya. The plans are grand and I hope I can execute them.