Thursday, 31 December 2009

..a Thursday morning prayer..



..Lord..

..cleanse me of this shit and maggots..
..and let my death be a point of rest..
..for I yearned a place in your eternal village..
..let me sip from the spring of Al-Kauthar..
..for truly You are the Giver of mercies...
..and the Receiver of repents..

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

..how do you measure pain?...

..we tend to quantify things into units and measures..distance into kilometers, light years..mass in cubic meters..murders in degrees..1st degree or 3rd degree murders..as in burnts..but how do you measure pain..? or sufferings..? how do you put a scale on sufferings?

..there is saying in Malay that goes.. no matter how heavy a weight in the eyes of the beholder, heavier still the shoulders that is carrying it..

but pain and suffering is something so personal and private.. something subjective..definitely not definitive... a quiet demeanor and a smile hides an individual's suffering..we cannot detect anguish that is hidden.. we just do not bother to see, for we just sally along with our life, no really caring to see things amiss within our family, or within our neighbourhood..

yet, we are, after all, of one author..interconnected, through space and time..until death diminishes us..like that nine-year old, snuffed out of her life..and dumped into a retention pond..

..how, then, do we measure the pain and sufferings of her parents..? her grandparents?..

Sunday, 27 December 2009

..Fridays..

..this old man loves Fridays..he would normally rushed back from his morning prayers, have a quick changed of clothes..jogging shoes, t-shirt and sweat-shirt..patted the cats that milled around his feet..and off to the beach, 4 kilometers away.. Pantai Irama.. catching the sunrise as he arrived...



..ahh..a tryst with the sun..a meeting with the sea heaving its chest..and a lovers carress from the breeze..


..to walk barefoot as the waves slowly teases with its foamy crests...feeling the sand under your feet and your walk feels soft and springy.....a playful wind blows hair askew, and you don't care, as you try to avoid the waves that try to lap your feet..seagulls flew above answering with shrill calls the laughter of youths playing ball on the sand ..and you look to where the sea meets the sky, and a soft red orb casts its spell on you as it rises..pushing aside the clouds..opening the sky..



'hi, pakmat..hi pakcik..'
smiles bridging the sea..
no man, indeed, is an island..


..and later, on the way back, I would stopped for some nasi kerabu at Kak Jah...Cabang Tiga, Kubang Kawah...


.....the spread of various nasi that they had was enough to water this oldster's mouth..nasi dagang with gulai tuna, nasi berlauk.. gulai ikan or ayam, pulut pagi with red beans and grated coconut..and a variety of kuih..by 8 o'clock, a good crowd had gathered..at rm1.50 per packet, pakmat got his in a jiffy..being a regular..

..life goes on for this old coot..far cry from the maddening rush of old..it has more or less settled..like that sand on the beach of a calm sea..footprints left, lingered and vanished...shimmering in the morning sun..

Friday, 25 December 2009

Zaiton Abdul Hamid

..Zaiton, in her hey-days..


..as a kid I was in loved with her..as a youth, she was the woman of my dreams..now in my old age, I believed that I am still a little bit infatuated with her...


..present day..pic taken from her cousin's webpage..

.and she doesn't even have traffic stopper looks..or the body in the class of Marilyn Monroe..but on the silver screen, no matter what roles she played, she always managed to exude wholesomeness..something genuine... an aura of innocence with a captivating smile that is somehow appealing and sexy..a sexiness not of the wanton kind..but a demure sexiness..

..there is something kampongish in her, akin to a flower, melur, that village belles decorate their hair buns with..she teased with a pout and the male audience sighed..

..the first time I saw her was in the movie 'Hang Tuah' as Tun Teja..but it was in other subsequent roles... from Anakku Sazali to Seniman Bujang Lapok..that she shone..known simply as Zaiton, pakmat will always be a fan..



..when movies were in black and white...and heroes were named Hassan and heroines Ani..

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

..lets be a bit appreciative..

..sometimes we are just not appreciative enough of what we have..we thought others' lawn are always greener, other people have a better life than ours..we think poorly of our own selves, our family, our country..foul-mouthing it at every opportunity and chance..we tend to think that whatever we have, it is not as good as others have...used to having steak for dinner, we forget the sheer luxury of having it..we forget that others are lucky just to have burgers..

..sometimes we cannot see the train for the people...

..public transport in Pakistan..

..pic courtesy of blogger Wakparpu - Ragam Seantaro Dunia..which
can be acess here..

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

..TGNA, jandas, ibu tunggals and andalusias..

..pic taken from Ahmad Cendana's blog..


..when our very own TGNA expounded that ulamaks should lead by getting into polygamous marriages, this old coot waited for the fall-out..nothing less than radio-active, I am sure..seeing his reasoning was ulamaks are in a better position to handle the multiple wives, with their knowledge of hadiths and verses from the Quran..'they can be model polygamous husband' quote from NST.. but as to how a model 1st wife should be, our TGNA did not mentioned...

..in the blogging world, nothing less then the head honcho of NST herself mentioned it..but only in passing..I read the comments..but thought it wise that I did not comment, being in deep water, as it were..and my knowledge of swimming confined to some rudimentary breast-strokes..then Kata Kama dealt with it in her blog...and this old coot went a-visiting, but followed Ahmad Cendana's advice to not get into brick-throwing range..and stealthily crept out..

..feeling safe amongst my own kind, (meaning amongst men and a countryman) I commented in Ahmad Cendana's blog..but events have since overtaken TGNA's recommendation..the delectable actress ('What I have done is the best way') has since married the well-known parliamentarian..and a 20-year-old Ummu Khair Fatimah MRamli extols the virtue of being the 3rd wife.."Such marriages promotes closeness in a family.."

..sheesh...

but since there is always two sides to a coin..I cannot helped but noticed that the exhortations are from the younger side of the coin..the seconds and the thirds..TGNA should also listened to the older side of the coin..ulamaks or not...or maybe he should also recommends that men marry ustazahs..since they, too, are conversant with the hadiths and have a better grasp of the Quran..

..but one thing, pakmat is certain..its gonna take more then the sanctions from TGNA and the ability to quote hadiths and verses from the Quran for the ulamak to avoid the p&p short-range missiles (pots & pans) from landing on their foreheads and other parts of the anatomy..

..selamat menyambut tahun baru Hijrah...

Monday, 21 December 2009

..smile..

..sometimes I forgot to smile..I am so engrossed in not doing anything, in not going anywhere, I forgot this simple act of charity...and yet I expect others to at least smile at me..and grumbled when they don't..I feel that it is my right to have them smile at me..for I reciprocate easily to smiles..


..3rd cucu, a week-old when pic taken, learning to smile..

..once at a supermarket, the cashier was a bit curt and showed a sour face when checking this old coot out..and I responded by telling her to at least smile a bit..its charity...
'No time for charity,' , was her reply, 'Putting up with the antics of the customers.' she continued..
'Eh, girl, all the more reason for you to smile lah,' this old coot said, 'Don't spoil that pretty face of yours by being a sour-puss. '
'Come on, smile a little.'


..1st cucu..nothing is more infectious than the smile of children..

... later, as she totaled up my purchases, I smiled widely at her and she made a feeble attempt at smiling back at me..starting from her eyes but not really reaching the lips.. 'Like that lah,' I said and walked off, just as her smile reached her full red lips..We should always have time for charity..the young man behind me gave me a thumb's up..


..neighbour's daughter..
..children are quick with their smile..



..there was a time I could easily sweep a girl like that off her feet, given half the chance, but now being able to coax a smile is good enough for me...:)


Saturday, 19 December 2009

..a break..

..pakmat takes a break..with Bond.. a string quartet..four talented and beautiful girls, 2 Brits, 1 Welsh and 1 Aussie..

..talent with beauty..an irresistible combination for pakmat...Elspeth Hanson, 1st violin, Eos Chater, 2nd violin, Tania Davis, viola, and Gay-Yee Wesdterhoff, cello..



Thursday, 17 December 2009

..football..

..I thought tonight I saw something of old that I have never seen before..I used to see it when I was a kid..when I ambled up Merdeka Stadium to see Malaysia played..but that was in the sixties..I used to see it when I burnt my butt at 4 o'clock in the afternoon on the hot concrete seat of Stadium Sultan Mohamed IV, Kota Bharu watching my home team, Kelantan played..but that was in the seventies..since then I never bother to see...for, as far as this old coot is concern, when it comes to foot ball, there is nothing to see...

..but tonight for the duration of the game, I saw it again..the persistence..the spirit..the play your heart out without losing your cool attitude...and most important of all..I saw the pride of the boys for just the honour of playing for their country..it showed in there strides...it showed in their eyes..forget about the goal..it was just a fluke, aided by an injured keeper..it was the spirit that carried us through..that and some shrewd strategy by Raja..yes, Vietnam made a grave error in judgement for not substituting their keeper...false pride made them blind...they did not see what this old man saw from Bachok..that our boys were like baying wolves sensing blood..for they were, indeed, attacking like a pack of wolves against a stronger prey..

..but as Rizal Hashim said, it is victory at the lowest platform outside Malaysia..but for this old coot, it is enough..maybe there is hope, after all, for football..

..do you remember your first child?....

..do you remember the joy of having your first child?..if you're the newly crowned father, then, you must remember the anxiety, the cold-sweat, and the endless pacing, with trips outside, to stealthily draw on hastily lit cigarettes..and, often, lighting the butt..speech becomes incoherent..and pulse-rate hits the roof..


..birth of 3rd grandchild, a son, to 2nd daughter, Lina..

..and if you're the newly crowned mother...do you remember the pain and the anguished?..the long, drawn-out cry?...and the relief?..pain interweaving pleasure.. a drowning that gives way to ecstasy and release when your baby is held for your view?..all wet and bloodied?..it is God's gift that came in the form of a miracle..an attestation of His faith in both of you...there are tears in your eyes, but you are unaware..there is a thumping in your heart, but you don't care..as your child snuggles close..seeking your breast..as the glow of motherhood slowly embraces you..


..4th grandson..


..ponder awhile..

...we may now scrape the stars and split atoms..but we cannot controlled our birth..or choose our parents..or how we are to be conceived..such as it is..but once born, it is our right to live...to life..


..4th grandson, being spoonfed air zam-zam..

..and not to be shoved into toilet bowls..thrown into monsoon drains...stuffed in dust-bins where red ants gathered..or casted into shallow rivers like pieces of rags...no...


..a beaming father, sil with 2nd child...



..being born is never requested or pleaded..



..no measure to a mother's love..even in the cat world...


..but once born, it is their right to live...to life...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

..titbits and cousins..

..on returning home after my morning prayers, I would normally take a brisk walk...along the road that fringes mine and my neighbours' houses..Mekbu, on being released from her cage, would follow me.. being blind, she would trot in a zig-zag manner..with Pakpong darting here and there after imaginary preys..

..on a open field before the road dropped onto padi fields, Ayam would be waiting, having been let out earlier as I left the house..together we caught the sunrise...


..I was baking scones when Piere and wife Su decided to pay me a visit..we have not met for more than 30 years..he is a cousin and a successful quantity surveyor in KL..they were here for a wedding in Kota Bharu..as they glided in with their SUV, the scones were in the oven...I led them to where the scones were being baked..daughter Auji prepared tea from teabags that had Chelsea stamped on it..and we had tea with scones dipped with wild honey..later my wife joined us..she bought some pisang and tapai goreng, fried fermented tapioca, which Su had never tried..we all enjoyed them with the scones and the wild honey...and I thought it was a beautiful blend of East and West..


..Nikidah, a cousin who has made Adelaide, Australia, their home, called one morning to say that she is in Kota Bharu with her family (husband and two teenage sons) and they are coming over for breakfast..

"What are you having for breakfast?" She asked.
"Quaker oats broth and toast."
"Ok, we'll buy nasi berlauk."

...they spread their fare on the kitchen table..wife makes tea..

..they are looking for recipients worthy to receive zakat..since pakmat has helped in identifying a couple before, who are now receiving RM200 - RM300 per month from them, perhaps pakmat can continue and find one or two in Bachok..her husband is a successful businessman and is now on a 'payback to society' blitz..

..as we enjoyed the feast, I thought how ordinary this multi-millionaire looks..but then, God giveth to whom He chooseth...


..seeing that there is a bonus in my pension this month, I took the children for a makan in town, as their cousins, Wani and Shahira were with them..later Akram wanted to try his hand at bowling. Feeling expansive and generous, I said ok..it has been decades since I last bowled..Bowling hit KL in 1963, if I am not mistaken, with Jackie's Bowl near the old Race Course..and a game was only RM1.50 then..

..on my insistence, we trooped to Perdana..'where papa used to catch your mother bowling with her boyfriends thirty years ago..' Its showing signs of aging, worn and jaded ...but not crowded, ideal for beginners..amid the shouts and laughter from the children, this oldster managed to return a score of 115..with a solitary strike and missing several easy spares..
but I thought it was not too bad for an oldster pushing 65..

..
I topped off my breakfast this morning with fresh, red cherries from Melbourne, Australia..my neighbour returned last night from a week there, attending to their second daughter's convocation as a doctor..Doctor Arifa Saufi...

..
as I enjoyed the shining, red cherries, I could not help but reflect...it is not too difficult to lead the good life..if I could learned to be thankful for the little things that God has blessed me with, I do not have to be a millionaire..for, in a way, I am already rich..



Sunday, 13 December 2009

..a cat, blind as a bat..

..let us pause a while..
and imagine that we do no have the sight to see..
will we be just as blind? ..
like those that have eyes to see?..


..blind Mekbu with her litter of two, Jin and Jan..


how I take for granted..
this ability to see..
like as if it is my right..
when it is only God's gift to me...



..Mekbu, a week old..resting on her mother, Ayam..

that I may see..


....a month later, an affliction to her eyes rendered her blind..

the twinkle in your eyes as I held your close..
the red of your cheeks..
your lush wet lips..
imprints from a kiss...


..trips to the vet failed to get her sight back...
...it is incurable, they said..

or a walk in the dark..
where shadows lurk..
and trees swaying..
from unseen breeze...



..but for Jin and Jan, she's their mother..
blind or not..

but, above all, that I may read...
Your Words..

Friday, 11 December 2009

..the return..


..they were at the airport..it was a gathering of sorts..she was with their 2 daughters, sils and grandchildren, he was with his 3 teenage sons..it was 11.00 o'clock on a Tuesday night..they were waiting for the arrival of their 3rd daughter, Ida, husband Tom and their two children, Adam and Sofia..with Sofia their latest granddaughter..all of three months old..and it was Sofia's maiden trip to Malaysia...



..anxious grandma at Arrival Hall..

...she was my third daughter..when she was in Year Six, Primary, and entering her Lower Secondary, her mother and I parted...it was not easy for everyone, especially her..Ida had always been independent..being the third, and left to her devices most times, she had to be...and to top it of, she was accepted into one of Malaysia's premier school for girls...Tun Fatimah Secondary School, Johore...and the general concensus was she was to go..."but I want both papa and mama send me," was her terms...setting out terms at a tender age of twelve..and I said,"ok,"..mama agreed..so, swords and daggers sheathed, we left together for her first day at Tun Fatimah...


..Lina, welcoming committee..

..and later, I was to make frequent trips to Johor Bharu..almost once a month...in my Mazda 626..a 12 hour journey...departing Thursdays and returning Saturdays..journeys made out of guilt and love that was not expressed...


..settling in...


a few years later, I was to repeat that journey with her mama..she had landed a Public Services Department scholarship to do a degree in Business Marketing, Greenwich University, England...only this time the journey was to Subang Airport, Kuala Lumpur..to send her off to London..she graduated soon enough..but she did not returned..


...Tok Chom, giving Sofia a lookover..

she met Tom, instead..and on a fateful day, a call came..."papa, I'm getting married"..to a native of England..to a Thomas Marsh..and will papa please delegate the power to marry her off to an Imam here in London?..and, somehow, I was not stumped..neither was I flabbergasted..matter-of-fact, I have half expected it..only later was I to wonder..will she ever returned?..


..Amnan, with niece, Sofia..



..the wounds had all but healed..but the welts remained..things had more or less petered out..like that soft glow in a setting sun sky..a smile that came like the soft breeze from over a bluing sea..

..there they are, pa...as they caught a glimpse of Tom..

..he could not put into words his feelings upon seeing Adam and Sofia.. grandchildren born of a union between two different galaxies..their future he could but hazard..it is beyond his ken..and way beyond his time..

..in a silent prayer, as he took Sofia in his arms, he gave his thanks to the Almighty..

Thursday, 10 December 2009

..a case for Tiger...

..friends, I am not here to bury Tiger, for, indeed, he deserved to be buried..neither am I here to praise him..but all the papers say he is a dishonorable man, but I have no reason to dispute that, seeing the things he had done..

..but consider this..he is disputably a remarkable athlete..at an age when most men like him are still uncertain of what to make of their lives, he has already earned an estimated 110 million US dollars from being the highest paid athlete in 2008.. he was the youngest and the fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour..the youngest to achieve the career Grand Slam..and the only player to be awarded the PGA Player of the year for a record 10 times..the first non-white to win the Masters..everything about golf increased due to him..prize money..tv audience..golf's popularity as a world sport..and he is just 30yrs old..plus one or two years..sheesh..after all that, something has got to give..some seams have to break..

..for it is known in the highly competitive atmosphere of world sports, that the athletes are men with high sex-drive..footballers are allowed to bring their WAGs along where ever their game is held..sex before a game is a performance booster, they say..sex romps have always been part of the international sports scene..whatever the sports..

..and Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is a highly tuned, highly toned athlete..a superman if ever there is one..born December 30, 1975 in a society where premarital sex is the norm, couples lived together without the sanctity of marriage and have bastard children with no one raising or batting an eyelid..men can marry men..women with women..where sex is lauded as free..and we expect him to be a saint..?..when where ever he goes a trail of willing spreads follow?..

..it is hard to be a saint with all the satans crowding...

..to me, his singular mistake was in getting married..other than that, he is just a product of the times..

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

..hijrah..

..from the realms of my imaginations, a post inspired by a comment from Oldstock..


..when they met, he was a swashbuckling forty-year old..married with children..
cocksure and confident..self-assured as a government officer, mid-level but with enough power to be surrounded by friends real and artificial..within his circle he reveled in being well-known..

..and she was in her mid-twenties.. a girl from the province..fair of complexion and a ready smile on her face..hiding her disappointment at her failure to further her studies at a tertiary level..and a lingering regret for turning down an earlier offer she had received whilst in Form Six for training as a teacher in a governmental college..

..and nursing a slightly bruised heart, he was to learn later..

..they met and she viewed him with revulsion..this male strutting around like as if the earth that he strutted upon was his..and all the girls were for him to court..but the dislike was mutual..this little provincial girl looking lost and beyond her depth within their mutual friends..not even the cerebral kind that he could connect with...but it developed into a relationship of sorts..parleys and taunts resulted in an assessment of values..enough for his wife to confront them..and an admission extracted..and a month to end it..

....he was like that little, silvery ball launched in a pin-ball game..flippers flipping..a nudge and a push..ding..a knock here and a tap there..ding..steady as you go..ding-a-ling..straight down..into a bottomless pit..

..he shivered when she slowly poured water mixed with slices of lime-fruit on his head..pieces of lime stuck in his hair as the water formed rivulets down his naked body..as she stooped to take another scoop, he looked up to see her intent face, murmuring a prayer..though she chose to ignore it, he smiled at her as she continued with the ritual of bathing him..

..he sat on the steps of the kitchen....'I come to ask for the hand of your daughter....I am already married and I have children..'

Monday, 7 December 2009

..why..?..

..certain things make me sick to the core..when I see images of a battered, bloodied face of a 3-year-old girl, dead from battery and rape, I just simply cannot stomach it..no, such beastly acts should not be happening here in our country...it is totally incomprehensible..

..news these days not only showed the sadistic side of man.. it also hardened us..surreptitiously..for it is such a daily occurrence..it has made us callous...we just flipped casually through the papers, as we chatted with friends..or watched it on the telly while sipping coffee..safe and cosy as we nestled up with our love ones..It has not much effect on us..for we worry more about our world within our own little bubble..

..in truth, this old man does not know how to react..for I know that for the victims, there is no hot coffee..and nestling up with love ones does remove the pain, or the trauma..

..and I know that merely shuddering upon reading wanton acts of violence does not help to prevent it..

What is it that we are doing wrong? Or are we too apathetic as citizens that we just couldn't care less anymore? If ours is a decaying society than we are guilty of allowing it to be so..

It is the ultimate degradation of the human society.. When fathers prey on their daughters, and brothers and friends take a part in it and enjoy the feast..then, there must be something that we are not doing right..for such people came from somewhere..have parents like you and me..go to school.. learn religion..have aspirations..friends..girlfriends..

..and yet..something shorted..in the labyrinth of the mind, a pervert lurks..a circuit broken..and society failed..for we cannot detect them until after they ran amok...by that time it is too late...

There must be something I am not doing right..or is there a Hyde and a Jekyll in everyone of us..? ..with the Jekyll taking control when the circumstances are right?..

..O Lord..keep me on this path that You have chosen for me..let me walk with You on this final journey..

Thursday, 3 December 2009

..others' husbands..

..no gal in her right mind would marry a married-man..the idea itself is abhorring and repulsive..asked any girl and her spontaneous reaction would be, like as if there is no other male..translation from Malay, macam takada jantan lain..

..of course, there are the razor-bladers, out and on the prowl for preys of wealth..but they are few and easy to spot..but what about those where the men are not really of means, not much influence, either.. neither sporting signs of affluence..? and yet they formed the majority of polygamists..ordinary guys on the street..or simple kampung folks..

..in Bachok, men who worked the soil, look after orchards, plant padi, tobacco..with a few heads of cows and goats...illegal taxi-drivers, night-market operators...they are attracting girls enough to want them to marry these husbands of other women..

..what it it that drove them to do what they find repulsive..?

..someone said that men after forty are philanderers..men are philanderers at any age..it is just a matter of recognizing them and keeping your distance when meeting them..and these days, checking up the background of anyone is easy as abc..just needs a little initiative..

..is it because the attraction is too great?..they say men of power are irresistible to gals..but these men have not the power to attract a piece of dead weed...no..it must be something else..

..maybe there is some truth in this pre-ordained stuff..after all as you are breathed life in your mother's womb, death also comes with it..and your life's bounty..

..pakmat used to be a polygamist..take it from this ole mule's mouth...it's not easy..getting married is easy..but from then on, it is one helluva roller-coaster ride that left me spin-dried of emotions..just numb..but then, men tend to carry more load than they could..and women seldom says what they want.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

..arranged marriages and learning love...

..a few generations ago in rural Kelantan, Bachok especially, marriages were mostly arranged, and early...girls were known to be arranged for marriage as early as when they were thirteen or fourteen..transiting between dolls and husband within a night...and boys marry in their late teens or early twenties...

..engagement ceremony of niece, Wani..


...early marriages had almost always been the tradition among Malays.. arranged by their parents..

..my present mother-in-law, now in her seventies, married before puberty, when she was just twelve..and I remember my late father-in-law telling me in one of his frank moments with me, whilst resting after tending to his cows, how he had to wait a few years before consummating the marriage..

"I waited a while before I could really touched her, not knowing much myself."

He was then in his late sixties.. and I remembered him looking fondly at his wife as he said it. We both guffawed, to the perplexed look of my MIL...

..my neighbour's daughter's marriage..
..Siti Zamrah with husband Rosli..


..these days we cannot wait to fall in love and marry..whereas in days of yore, you marry first, and learn to love each other later..as my wife's parent did.

..imagine getting to see and speak to your bride for the first time only on the first night..and to discover that she is just a little girl yet to attain puberty..

..Siti Zamrah in her bridal chamber, listening
to her husband accepting her hand in marriage..


..but those marriages tend to last..there were few divorces..maybe because women were not really emancipated as they are today..and education to women then was not an option..and parents played a major part in charting out their destiny..

..but acquaintances today do marry, only to divorce on knowing each other well..whereas before, strangers marry, learn to love each other and stayed married...until death do they part..

..but it is easier to fall in love today...what with love being extolled in every facets of our 'modern society'... where every songs and images alluded to it..so much so that our youth are carried away by it, forever looking for that 'true love'...putting importance on courtship..without caring for commitment, patience and devotion...qualities stressed by our elders when they entered into arranged marriages...both not really knowing what love is, but discovering it together..and learning about it together..enjoying the beauty of love as it grew..the flower as it bloomed..

..and that to Pakmat is simply beautiful..


..all pics taken by pakmat..

Saturday, 28 November 2009

..space ship earth..



"We travel together, passengers on a little space ship,
dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil".
Adlai Stevenson, 1965.


..earth, in orbit around the sun..


..earth, view from the moon..

..someone said that we are all astronauts, hurtling through space on board our space ship earth..

..well, if we are, taking into account our limited time on it, and since there aren't other ships that we can go to, shouldn't we then try to get to know each other better?...instead of wishing damnations upon each other?...

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

..first love..

..they say you'll never forget your first love..but then, do you really know which one is the first? ..maybe it is just puppies..for the heart is not like that flower that blooms once only to wither and die..it is able to enjoy a myriad of blooms..with different shades and hues..each one is a first..for the heart is the garden..and love is the flower...

..and if there is a first love..it follows that there is a second, third or fourth..so what happened if your marry your first...and later you had your second love..?..and the second turns out to be better than the first?...as it invariably will..we cannot simply jump ship..even if we were to drop anchor at the same port..there's excise and baggage to think about..

..then it is better to marry your second love..and let that sweet, poignant, syrupy first love adrift..untethered...into the misty sea of your memory...and hoped that there will never be a third..but who are we to foretell the uncharted seas of the future?..your third could be waiting behind a raft...and you are way past...


...he could see the henna stain on her hands..he tried to steal a glance at her feet..but she saw the glance and tried to hide them under the chair. But her movement revealed the stains and he smiled as her mother welcomed him..

..she was trying to say thank you but the words would not come..instead she shed a tear, silently, allowing the solitary tear to furrow her cheek..earlier she had pleaded for his presence..'See me as a bride as I see you as a friend.' ...he agreed, surprised at her eloquence...


..to my neighbour, Paksu, who died yesterday..he was 64...

..sometimes we give in to the Gentle Whisperer..
for he whispers incessantly..
and we falter along the gravel path..
stricken from the dark darts that he aimed at the hearts..
until we are reminded yet again..
of our journey's ultimate end..
several sheets of white..
pieces of string..
a fluff of cotton..
and a gathering of kins
and friends....

Al-Fatihan

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful:
All Praises to Allah, Lord/Cherisher/Sustainer of the Universe
The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Sovereign of the Day of Judgment.
You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help
Guide us to the true path;
The path of those on whom You have bestowed your favor,
not of those who have earned Your anger,
nor of those who go astray.

Amin...

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

..a lil on sacrifices..

..sometimes I wonder where would we be if not for the sacrifices our parents made for us..

..parental sacrifices for their children are seldom heralded..especially that of a mother..it is just taken for granted..and yet there is no limit to a mother's sacrifices for her children..from her organs, a kidney or two, to her time, to her money...to her everything..

..how many times had she put off buying that bangles that her children may get that new shoes for school...how many hours had she not slept that she may coo-cooed and hush-hushed her baby to sleep..and how many dramas and soap-operas had she missed that she may doused that fever in her child..and how many times had she sucked out the phlegm from her baby's nose?..asleep herself in a sitting position with her baby on her shoulder..that her baby may breathe..?

,..and you would think that by the time her baby reached kindergarten age, that it would be the time for her to get some rest..no..she will be there, too..keeping vigil through the window..a piece of cake in her hand, lest her baby be hungry..

..the list is endless as her love is...for there are some who would forsake her man, that she may keep her children..

..and for my mother, widowed on my birth, her sacrifice for me is the ultimate...

...she sacrificed me..

'..Zakaria, you are my brother, and this is my son, Mamat..He is six-years old...Please take him..Make him your son..Send him to school..Give him a chance for education..'


...Selamat Hari Raya Aidil-Adha...May your years be fruitful..your sacrifices worthy..And may God forever gives His Blessings...

..eels for soup..

..restoran An-Najah..

..we had eels-soup for supper last night..

..Wani's father, who was here to make arrangements for Wani's engagement ceremony, had a car-mishap two weeks ago in Bidor whilst on duty..the police Waja was pulped when he spun on hitting a puddle, rammed the divider and was rammed in turn by a tailing van.. he escaped with bruises and cuts...little shards of glass embedded in his arms...

..somebody recommended eels..to hasten healings for bruises and cuts...it heals external and internal wounds..rich in vitamins..and is also an aphrodisiac..

..the eels were gutted but not filleted..seems the cartilages(bones)
are in itself medicinal..Pakmat spitted it out..found
it too sharp for comfort, medicinal or not..


..hmm..also an aphrodisiac..pakmat pondered upon the thought..

..it has been sometimes since this coot has partaken eels..what with the vim and vigour taking a dip these days, perhaps the eels can perk it up, my vim and vigour...

..can either be taken with rice or dipped with bread..
..son and nephew preferred the rice..

..there are three known eels-soup restaurants in Bachok..there is one in Kubang Golok, another in Padang Melintang, and the most known, Sup Belut An-Najah, Bekelam, where we went..but all the three are popular with the night crowd and have their regular patrons...gentlemen, mostly..perhaps looking for cures to internal wounds...


..regular patrons of the restaurant..

..the lady who attended to us wore a full-face black hijab..adding intrigue to the soup, which was consumed with relish by pakmat, finding it hot and not too saltish..as to whether it works as an aphrodisiac, pakmat is not telling..try it and you be the judge..

Sunday, 22 November 2009

..something about rafts..

..looking a the raft made them nervous..it was just a collection of about less than 20 bamboos tied together..'It's meant for speed and agility,' said Jenal, the course leader. 'Easier to navigate the rapids that we're gonna meet,' he added, as an afterthought.

'Be prepared to get wet,' was the warning as life-jackets were distributed.

They were on the last lap of a week in the jungle, learning survival skills, Orang Asli style. A week of eating tubers, shoots and sardines. Drinking from crystal clear streams. Morning dips in cool pools at the end of waterfalls that cascaded from hidden hills. Camps were invariably made of stripped bamboo, collected from clumps found in abundant in the forest. You prayed to a compass and slept to the distant shrieks of elephants - and a bonfire kept constantly a-lit by the aborigines, lest tigers come a-prowling.

But the raft looked fragile. She looked at him with a question in her eyes. He nodded and they sat on the bamboo, trying to adjust their weight so as not to get wet. Armed with a bamboo pole about 15 feet long each, Ader and Sinario were to be their navigators and, he hoped, their saviors..

On a signal, Team Alpha glided out first, to the shouts and yips from the villagers that gathered on the banks. 15 rafts snaking downstream. Looking a the pole that Sinario so deftly used to push their raft, he judged the river to be about 6 feet deep and their speed akin to a gentle stroll.

An hour out of Pasik, they relaxed, slowly taking in the scenery as they glided silently past. The canopy of trees provided shade from the morning sun. He looked at his watch. It was 10 o'clock on a June morning, 1995. They did not speak, both within their own reverie.

A cackle on the walkie-talkie strapped to his waist warned them of a rapid ten minutes ahead. They looked up, but the river turned, and they could not see the lead raft. They could hear the soft murmur of the river as it rushed, unstoppable, through rocks, boulders and stones. The rumbling gets louder as they approached. Ader who was in front, tensed and widened his stance.

The leading eight rafts having cleared the rapids were now waiting by the banks, at the pool normally found after every rapids. As they shouted encouragement, he told her to hold fast onto the side bamboo. Instinctively they positioned themselves into a squat. Ader guided with his pole and the raft moved with the flow. Sometimes it jutted out as it transverse a drop, tilted and slid down between rocks and the white water. They were now both wet and beginning to enjoy the moment. Another dip and they laughed as horn-bills flew past overhead.

At the final drop before the pool, Ader slipped. The pole could not find a grip on the smooth rock. He lost his balance. As he struggle to recover, the raft hit the rock, tilted as it scraped its slippery surface. Sinario tried to brake the raft but the push of the river was too strong. Together with the raft they plunged into the waiting pool. As the life-jacket pushed him to the surface, he vaguely saw her below him. Her jacket had broken loose and floated past. He reached out an arm, grabbed her hair and kicked to the surface.

By the time they reached Bering, their camp-site, it was dusk. As he warmed his hands by the bonfire, set up on the sand, she came and sat next to him. When she turned to speak, he could see reflections of the flames in her eyes..

She spoke softly.

'Thank you.......tatak.'








...pleasure is the flower that passes..remembrance is the fragrance that lingers...
Uncle Lee.

..coots cry, too..

..it is easy for me to cry..sometimes for reasons negligible..and they say men don't cry..only girls do..but this old coot cries easily..lest you think of me as a sissy, let me tell you straight..I am as manly as they come..but I cry easy..tearjerkers make me cry..as songs from my youth..songs of yesterdays from YouTube like Wan Salman's Kelohan Dara will released that stopper-valve in my eyes and I will flood the room..so does songs like 'Pretty Blue Eyes' by Steve Lawrence..I supposed it reminds me of an era when I was foolishly young..and so much in love..with the girl next door...my classmate..and that Chinese girl with the pony-tail..

..and would you believed, I cried when my tabby, Ayam lost her beau, Bobi..something about her eyes when she looked at me whilst sitting pat on where they had him buried..but a misunderstanding that landed a punch on my face, cutting the brow, and ended with six stitches did not made me cry..but I cried, when reading the Yasin over the body of a dead friend..he was a shooting and a hunting buddy..many a days found us in some padi-fields somewhere hunting snipes and water-fowls..I cried profusely...to the surprise of his widow and children..

..I even cried when I found the scenery too beautiful, too profound for words..like that one night on some mountains, too tired to continue we had made camp...I looked up to a moonless sky, but studded with a trillion stars, so near I thought I could just reached out and grasped them..God created the Heavens for man..that we may be thankful..I looked up towards the stars and felt my cheeks hot with the tears that unconsciously flowed..

..and I cried, silently, when my second daughter gave birth to her first daughter..when she was put into my arms, trailing blood and wet..I looked at the miracle, squirming in my arms and the tears flowed..but I did not cry when my mother died..the tears came later..not at her grave..but alone in my room after a prayer..wishing that life has a rewind button..that it could have been better between me and her..and I prayed that God will forgive her sins in as much as He will forgive mine..

..no, crying is not just for girls..old geezers like me cried, too..

'How can you write if you can't cry?'
- Ring Lardner -

Saturday, 21 November 2009

..goose-pimples..

..sometimes we should just let go and gives in to the mood..our humdrum routine should be broken..

..so..

..set up that dinner for two..light that candle and off the lights..and shoo the children out, or into some corner..

..pause a little..for the children have grown..and we are not getting any younger..take this time to discover again that sparkle in her eyes..and hear yet again that ring in her laughter..

..let the constant patter of rain on window sills and panes plays out a rhythm of love and romance..and be a soothing backdrop.. for an encounter of the intimate kind..

..for goose-pimples are made of these..

..and let Nat King Cole serenades ever so softly..with a caress and a kiss..




..and later...much later..listen to Dan Fogelberg..

..and relax..

Friday, 20 November 2009

..a time for rain..


..after three days of continuous rain, the monsoon is
officially here..a week before that it rained for two days.
....then it stopped..and the sun came shining through...but we
know it was only a trailer before the main event.

..well, the main event is here..without a pause..
...except for one or two hours yesterday...when the sun
peeped shyly through the thick canopy of clouds..
..mothers tentatively took out their washing to dry..
..cats skittered on wet sand..

...and sweet-young-things took out their umbrellas..

..main street, Bachok..

..even the gods got wet..Wat Phothikyan Phutthaktham, Balai,
Bachok..serving the pocket of Thais in Balai, Kelantan..
..it rises more than 10 storeys high..


..fishing-boats are tethered and moored..and nets repaired..
..Pengkalan Petah, Bachok..


..Pantai Irama..rough seas and debris..


..a despondent fish satay hawker.. feeling the cold and
lack of customers on a Friday, Irama Beach..


..its noon, main road Bachok..


..even the bus stand becomes bleak during the monsoon..


..its raining, man..how do you expect
me to ride and get anywhere..?
..Pantai Damak, Bachok..


..casting nets for 'anak belanak'..favourite activity
during the rain..Irama Beach..


..but for Pakpong..time to sleep and get some warm..

..all pic's taken by pakmat with his Sony-Ericsson handphone..

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

..an interlude..

..they were having fried mee, mamak style..a plate shared, him with the fork and she was with the spoon..

Earlier they had walked together from the hotel where she was staying..where the rate was reasonable but the window air-conditioning unit shook the wall.

..they made an odd couple..the garish fluorescent light could not hide his wrinkles even through his youthful figure..but the woman with him could not be no more than thirty.

..in deep conversation, they were oblivious to the motley crowd around them..

..she toyed with her spoon held with a thumb and a finger as he spoke softly..

..'She deserved a better father than me..someone who has the time for her..and you deserved a better husband than me..someone who has the time for you..and I do not have the strength anymore to continue..or to travel..I do not have the strength..'

..He let his voice trailed....the silence between them was not broken by the blare of a television set high on a column..

..'You will never be transfered here and I will never be able to stay there. And we cannot continue like this. We are not being fair to her. And I am not being fair to you..'

'I am sorry,' he said, and looked up to see a pair of eyes looking at him, a hint of a smile forming.
But she did not say anything, letting him do all the talking.

Only later she asked, 'And you promised to let me be?' He looked back into those eyes he had known so well and nodded.

As they walked back, a soft drizzle caressed them, and carried them away into the night.

"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. "
Judy Garland

Monday, 16 November 2009

..pictures from everywhere..

..grilling sata..snack of fish paste mixed with coconut
and kesom leaves..3 sticks for a dollar..tasty when taken
hot and on the sand, as waves softly lapped the beach..


..a boy and his cat enjoying a snooze..
..cat is Ayam, spayed and over weight..
boy is son, Akram, gaunt and under weight..


..sessions court, Kota Bharu..pakmat's day in court..
..civil claim for son hurt in a accident..


..Deepavali for a pair of sisters..saw this family enjoying
their Deepavali at Cameron Bharat Tea Plantation..
..aimed my phone at them..their parents smiled with
pride when I said, 'take care of your daughters,
they're pretty..'


..BIL's wife down with dengue..warded at HUSM,
Kubang Kerian....dengue is always a threat in Bachok..
...despite numerous campaigns
and home inspections by the vector division..



..Friday prayers at Masjid Langgar, Kota Bharu..it is a
two-storeyed mosque..Pakmat preferred the upper level..


..Pakpong, getting his once in a while bath..
..cats figured prominently in home..with feed
bought by the sacks..



..son-in-laws..


..a birthday wish from my neighbour..both are
Heads of secondary schools in Bachok..husband is head of
a premier school..always busy and seldom seen..
..carrying out responsibilities that came with the job..


..the monsoon is here..Kota Bharu getting a bit
of rain..the domed building is the newly opened Parkson/Giant..
...you have to pay for their underground parking..
...unlike Tesco..market of preference for
this old man..where the shopping is relaxed...
..and place for prayers neat and roomy..


..Pantai Irama..getting some strong wind..


..even political posters are not strong enough to resist
the wind..there was a day when it was so strong,
it lifted my neighbours zinc and aluminium garage..
...felled a coconut-tree on another neighbour's kitchen..
..and lifted sarongs of unwary damsels crossing streets..



..niece Wani trying out her dress for engagement day
on the 2nd day of Aidil Adha..father is the traffic chief of Tanah Rata..
mother a police sargeant attached to the
Anti-Vice division, Brinchang..
..Wani's fiancee is also a cop, in Langkawi..
..and pakmat looking good..:)



..burial of SIL, wife of pakmat's elder brother, Johan....she died of
breast cancer..after a month hospitalised..may she rest
in peace..




..a fisherman back from weeks at sea..
enjoying a smoke and resting at the fish complex, Tok Bali..
..with the monsoon on, they rested more than they fished..
..Tok Bali is a favourite fishing spot for enthusiats..
..siakap and senagat, cousin of senagin, the catch..


..most of the pictures are taken with my trusty Sony-Ericsson that my children..ok, you know..one or two are with my daughter's Nikon S230 that we gave for her 16th birthday..