Monday, 29 March 2010

.. earth watch and a grandchild.., I did not switch off my lights that son told me something about Earth Hour..and I said, yeah..but its my hour, too..but I switched off the porch lights..and caught the eerie light of the almost full moon..and reminded myself to try and catch the full moon rise at Pantai Irama in a few days time.

.some one said it is an act of tokenism..considering the things we have done to ravage our planet earth throughout man's existence..I think it is gimmicky, considering how resilient Earth is..hey, it survived meteors that took the dinosaurs..

..I think the worry is misplaced..let us not fret about Mother has been around long before will matter the damage we render it..time has always been on its side..and one day, when we are gone, when all of human kind are gone, I am pretty sure that Earth will still be spinning around..and that is what we should be worried about..our very existence..for at the rate we are going...damaging our own chances of survival for short term gains...fighting for borders and space..we are on track towards ensuring our own annihilation from the surface of this earth..starting-point: Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

...instead of having Earth Watch..let's have Human Watch, let us take steps to watch ourselves from threatening our existence on this planet..let us ensure our children and grandchildren are left with the chance to savour the glory of sunrises..and the beauty of the full moon..let there be continuance of the human race.. pakmat did last night when 2nd daughter went into labor pains..,and watched the hours and the seconds before she delivered her 3rd child, a 8th 12.10 am this morning..

..tentively named Sarah, I held that pinkish bundle in my arms..I thanked Him for this gift..God showered endless miracles..but I could not helped but wonder..what sort of legacy are we leaving her..?..will she, one day, grows up and blames us for all the chaos that we are leaving behind???

Friday, 26 March 2010 eldest daughter..

..pakmat with first daughter, 38 years ago.. eldest daughter from my first marriage is 38 years old..married to an army man, she quit her job recently to be with her husband who will be transferred to KL after a promotion..she is quick-witted, forthright and direct..not one to mince words, she has a certain ability to play with them, as her constant updating of her status on facebook reveals... she would rather called a spade, a spade, without the dressing..most of her siblings agreed that she took after me..but they all accepted her for what she is..whose words may be laser, but the heart is always in its proper place..

..sometimes she took a dig at me..(no reasons why a father should be spared) the time I asked her to get a good number for the Avanza that she decided to sell has been with her for five years..her move to KL prompted her to change to a smaller car..having only a son, she does not need too much space..but she wants to retain her old registration nomber..

'Old car with new number plates,' she said..'I'll try to get DBP 7513,' she continued, giving me a meaningful look..I gave her a quizzical frown in return..not getting it...what's so special about DBP 7513?..

..'Alaa..papa..' she looked at me direct in the eye..'seven, five and one are the children you had from each mother...and three is for the number of wives'... and DBP? Dari Banyak Perkahwinan..

..yes, I was stumped..her quicksilver mind is faster than mine..and only later, on the way home, did I laughed..a guffaw that started slowly..but died before it could reached a crescendo..hmm..this daughter of mine..but I love you, anyways...

Monday, 22 March 2010 spring, ulu la, trengganu..

..sometimes, like last Friday,  pakmat leaves Pantai Irama behind and retreats to the Ulu La, Trengganu, where there nestles a quaint, two-tiered pools  of steaming hot water catched from little hot springs that gushed through rocks... from a source hidden deep in the bowels of the earth... is cradled amongst some hillocks and forest, where there also runs a small brook, Sungai Air Hangat, with bracing cool water running so clear you can see little fishes darting, just above the sand and pebbles..

...from rivulets such as these, years ago I slaked my thirst when trekking through jungle trails heading towards some aboriginal camps deep in Gua Musang virginal forest..she who was to be my third wife dared me to drink from water scooped with a bamboo cup fashioned by a Tok Batin..her laughing eyes egging me with taunts..but that was another time..another era.. is, indeed,  a charming retreat..and easily accessible...from Jerteh, you take the road T5 to Kg. La, 30 kilometers away...which is along the road to Ulu Keruak..past Bukit Payong and Felda Tenang...but the road is  JKR Grade A, and the ride is is only 80 kilometers from home in Bachok...

..from Jertih the scenery quickly changed from urban to fields of padi... and later, after Bukit Payong, shaded rubber trees and orchards.. which suddenly gave way to rows of matured palm trees, Felda Tenang...from Kg. La, a side road newly completed, will take you to the hot spring..the vista that greets you is of the Gunong Tebu Range, of which Ulu La Hot Springs is part of...

..the Hot Spring's Maintenance Committee charges RM2.00 per car per entry, irregardless of the number of occupants..and they did a good to keep the area and surroundings generally clean and the river debris-free. pic is the main is steaming hot and small enough to be cosy..first you submerge your  feet and keep still..after a while upon perspiring profusely, you may make an attempt to sink lower pakmat did...and felt invigorated and zesty after that..the pool is about 10 meters high from the river below..but just below it is the 2nd pool..which is deeper...and less hot..see second pic..of Auji and Cousins...

..from there the spring cascaded down onto the shallow, knee deep river..where children and adults alike frolic...but no matter what they do, the water remain clear..for the river is sandy, with coarse sand and pebbles, free of sediments and mud...

..the feast, prepared by the wives..budu with ulam pucuk daun gajus..a rare treat for pakmat..who most times abstain from budu for its high salt content..trying and succeeding at maintaining my BP at 78/128..Friday prayers was at Kg.La double-storey drizzled a little the day we were there, but it did little to dampen our spirits..for it is little pleasures  like these that make us appreciative..of little mercies...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

..p.s. to post ..its Friday..

...prompted by Tommy Yewfigure, that veritable magi in blogsphere I searched for the Cure's 'Friday I am In Love'..and found this fresh-faced kids putting across the message better..:)'s to you, Tommy..for life is, indeed, short...and for me, at 65, shorter still.. so I should not be complicating things...but try, instead, to just keep it simple...cheers to all of you...:)

Friday, 19 March 2010

..its Friday..

..Friday is many things to many people..for some it is the last day before the weekend..thus, Casual the phrase TGIF..thank goodness its Friday... the Romans a day of Venus, ..for most Christians, Good Friday is for planting seed, potatoes..perhaps taking it to mean the day of Resurrection..the Jewish Sabbath is on a Friday..and Aussies celebrate Red Bull Fridays, where they consume Red Bulls, an energy drink from Thailand, and the Thais associate Friday with the colour blue, the auspicious colour for the against red for Sunday..more reasons to paint the town red on Sundays..

..but for some, Friday is unlucky..sailors of yore refused to haul up anchor on a Friday.. and Friday the 13th is the ultimate in being of our very own Friday the 13th in the month of May, 1969..then I was a swashbuckling kid of 24 and in Kota Bharu, having obtained a transfer back from KL a few months earlier..

..and I remember the frantic phone calls that I made to check out my friends with whom I once shared a 3- bedroom flat in Brickfields..5 of them..and they were all Malays in a sea of Chinese and Indians..during better times we played football together at the railway padang..and got outselves invited to parties held by our Chinese friends where I learned the cha-cha-cha and some rudimentary Rumba..with a girl named Mary.. was with much relief that I later came to know that they were all safe and sound..sheltered and brought out of the troubled area by a group of Chinese residents..they owed their lives to some Chinese underworld lieutenants who gave them their Kota Bharu, it was curfew times..and I sat out the nights with my late mother..abstaining from all activities associated with the time..praying for the safety of my friends in KL.. Muslims, Friday is a day of also the day of Friday Prayers at the mosques..during which time it is forbidden to continue with worldly activities....until after its completion..and so pakmat rests..with a song from
Mali, Africa..M'bora...I do not know what it means..perhaps mamadou of blog 'Everything is Possible' can help..but I liked the beat..and the sounds of the kora..

Tuesday, 16 March 2010 peace with my past...

..a wish from a friend, on facebook,  'May you make peace with your past,' sets this old man thinking..

..I started this blog talking about Bachok..and somehow it centrifuged into a whirlpool that is my became a memoir of sorts..the words flowed along with my anger..and I supposed it a discerning reader, and there are lots out there,  I guessed it more than showed, for sometimes I released all plugs and write with my heart..along with my pain..and bias..and angst..and idiosyncrasies...for I told myself then, as of now, that I will be honest..maybe I have been too honest.. must have showed, too, that I am very much a romantic..and sentimental to boot..and that sometimes there is this revolt in me..this constant revolt in some dark corner of my heart that I find difficult to suppress..that surfaced and coloured my words....but I realised now that it is so unneccessary..this anger..this damning the said that anonymous  commentor, I must learn to let go..its like fishing..I have been through the its time for release..time to let go..

..they say age makes a man cynical..and I say that age makes you look back into your past, sometimes my age, there is not much future to look forward to, except, perhaps, death..and death has a way of coming today it came to a fellow  blogger, Ruby Ahmad..our path crossed but once in cybersphere, when I commented on Uncle Lee's blog..May she rest in Peace...

..but I supposed we all have our time...

Saturday, 13 March 2010

..pakmat's chronology..

..inasmuch Malaysia as a country had its formative years in the fifties and the sixties..from the Federated Malay States, Unfederated Malay States to the Federation of Malaya..(a term that pakmat loved best..Persekutuan Tanah Melayu..taking it to mean unity in a country) did pakmat..I considered the fifties and the sixties as my formative years, too..growing and maturing along with my country, Malaysia..

..the onslaught of the Japanese 25th Army..routing the British on bicycles.. was on the 13th of  March, 1945 or thereabout that I was Lemal, Pasir Mas, the tail end of the Japanese Occupation..where food is scarce, money of the banana kind valueless and life is cheap..even though it lasted only for a number of years..from 8.12.1941 to 3.9.1945, it was a life of hardship unparalleled in the history of Malaya..

..and took over KL..

..and I cannot imagine or put a scale on the hardship that my late parents must have gone through during those period..for when the Japanese 25th Army landed in Kota Bharu that fateful day on the 8th of
December, 1941 at almost 2.00 o'clock in the morning,  my eldest brother, Johan was 2 years old and my mother in confinement with her second son, Adnan....there were no stories to tell, but when her husband, Hamid, died in late 1944, she was a two months pregnant widow with two sons aged around 6 and 4..and a bad bout of morning sickness..but I was born, nonetheless..and through the pain and blood, she must have cried out for her late husband, as I must have cried out, too, gasping for air, in protestation of being released from the comfort of her womb...

..I know she struggled to bring the three of us up..the best she could..even thought the Japanese surrendered, nationalism was born, communism through the MCP became a threat..and a state of Ermegency was declared in unsettled her..a young mother trying to fill out her life with subsequent marriages that somehow failed to fleshed out the vacuum  left by my father's death..

..but in 1951 her younger brother, Zakaria, was a Assistant District Officer in Kuala Krai..and so to him she sought help..'Take this Mamat, my son..and give him a chance for education"..he took me and promptly send me to school..Government English School (Primary), Kuala Krai..and pakmat suddenly became an 'anak D.O.', whatever it means.. was the height of the emergency in Kuala Krai..the nights inevitably broken by the staccato sounds of gunfire and the days I was taught 'a man a pan...a man and a pan..' my first introduction to the Queens language..and rides to Kota Bharu was almost always on an amoured GMC police truck..

.. on 27th Julai, 1955, Malaya held its first General Election..I was in Standard was festival time in Kuala Krai but I did not know anything about it..I remembered the song, though..and the late Dato' Zainal Alam..

..when Tunku shouted Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! on the 31st August, 1957 I was in Form 2 and in Perak..Sultan Yusof School, Batu Gajah..reading Henry Miller alongside The Tale of Two Cities..and a thick sex manual that my late uncle hid in his cupboard..

..and when Malaysia was declared on the 16th of September, 1963, I was a temporary Federal clerk  with the Public Services Commission, Young Road, KL..having been appointed earlier on the 18th of May, 1963..managing to impress the interview board with my command of English..

..yes, I grew up and matured together with my country, Malaysia..been through its highs and lows..sang wholeheartedly God Save the Queen and stood just as proudly through the strains and drumbeat of Negara Ku.. in peaceful Bachok I made my retreat..leading my life as quietly as I could..the sun may have faded from my life..and I am enjoying the stars..but I know, for my country, the sun is shining just as brightly, through the storm clouds and the tempests...I leave thee in the hands of my children and my grandchildren..
..and to my parents, my mother who toiled during those desperate years, my father whom I never get to see...Al-Fatihah..

Thursday, 11 March 2010

..the 8th pic..


..was a picture of the Imam of Bachok District's Mosque calling our the azan, the call to prayer for solat Asar..there was a momentary breakdown in the electrical supply and the mosque appointed bilal was indisposed..I remembered being surprised when the Imam himself did it, wishing that he had asked me instead..but since he did not, I took out my handphone and took a shot of him doing it.

..the District Mosque is about a hundred meters from the beach, Pantai Irama..the above pic is the view from the mosque, taken through one of its is routine for pakmat to do the noon  and afternoon solat here..and later to slowly sip a cool glass of air kelapa muda  by the beach whilst reading the days NST..before fetching the kids from school, (65 and still fetching and sending kids to  have your children early and truly retire from the humdrum of raising kids when old..and leave the raising of kids to your children..) .

..but sometimes I came for night prayers, too..and catch up on the night market just across the mosque, as in pic above..and basked in the glow of the full moon..remembering the times in Trengganu, afloat on a small boat, fishing with some friends off the coast of Merang..not getting much fish, but astounded by the beauty of the moon..and the lights of a distant shore...

(I have been tagged by both lili of SuddenlyHeta and Cat-in-Sydney..(must be getting popular in my old age)..but the tagging stops here..there is this peculiar habit of mine of not forwarding whatever chain-mail or whatever that I am asked to copy and matter how much wealth it will bring me..or how healthy it will make me..and being 65 in a few days time, I have become set in my ways..:) 

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

..a little interlude.. I have been tagged by lili of Suddenly Heta to dig out my eighth picture from my eighth album, just for the fun of it, I am now digging for that eighth the chill out music from Africa..for only from Africa can such music emanates..songs that highlighted the kora..a harp like instrument found only in Africa..its like listening to an anguished soul, wandering in wide open prairies of Africa..

Saturday, 6 March 2010

..sunrise and newborns...

..sunrise, from in front of pakmat's home..
..back from my morning prayers,
I will normally be here for a brisk morning walk,
accompanied by my retinue of cats - Pakpong, Ayam, Pakteh and Tupai..

..having a home near the beach have its advantages..and having it just a short distance away, just enough to not get the pounding of the monsoon, added to the advantages..but where ever your house is in Bachok, it is not too far from the sea..and the sea is the South China Sea..spreading out into the horizon with a silhouette of Perhentian Islands a little bit to the north..

..early morning fishing.. the sea is in the east, you get to see sunrises..glorious sunrises..sunrises that will hold you enthrall and take your breath away..sometimes it is so petrifyingly beautiful, you just cannot help but gasp..and thank Him..for creating such is not in vain, you utter a prayer..

..scenes of Pantai Irama.. similar are new borns  to sunrises..they came in a cradle..and like the sunrises, bring with it hope -  through its colours, beauty and light.. lighting up every corner of the heart..every dark recesses..putting on smiles to ashened faces, wrinkled by constant toil..softening hearts hardened by squalor..evoking strange yet soothing emotions..and yet, unifying and healing through its soft rays..bridging families..

..3 of pakmat's 7 grandchildren..little sunrises, all...bringing light
and happiness into their world..along with hope for their parents..

..yes..having a home not too far from the sea have its advantages...

Friday, 5 March 2010

..jodoh and polygyny..

.marry not a woman for her beauty..or for her wealth..but  for her piety..or a man for his position and wealth, but for his virtue and religion...

..sometimes we agree that jodoh is something within His knowledge..we are taught since young, that God, in his Greatness have preordained three things when life is breathed into an embryo of 12 weeks..his bounty..his death and his jodoh...which could be once or several...and we are taught Qhada...that can be changed through sincere and ernest du'a..and those that cannot be changed..and all these are within His Knowledge..

..and when we parted, we say that it is the end of our jodoh..until he or she marries again..then we say that they still have jodoh..

.....even though Islam provides for polygamy, not either spouse can have more  that one spouse at one time, Islam actually provides only for polygyny, only the husband having more than one wife simultaneously..for Islam does not allow polyandry, where the wife can have more than one husband at the same time..polyandry is haram in Islam..saying, 'what if I have more than one husband?' runs contrary to what is allowed in Islam.

..taking into account the above, to me, there is no such thing as true jodoh or false jodoh..although there is a tendency  to think that the first marriage is your true jodoh..but if the husband takes on the second wife, then that second marriage as a false jodoh..or seeken seek, therefore you find..but whether 2, 3, 4 or 1, Islam provides for seeking out your jodoh..within certain guidelines..and it  does not necessarily end  with divorce will also end a particular jodoh..until, perhaps, another takes over..

..inasmuch as there  are those who lived  and died without meeting their jodoh, there are those, like pakmat, who had several within their lifetime..again within His Knowledge and all things are..

..but as to why me and not you, or why mine and not yours..that, I think, is not for us, as His Creations, to ask or wonder..for all things have His Hikmah..His Blessings..if we but care to ponder and reflect..


Tuesday, 2 March 2010

..happiest at 74..

..according to scientists, (NST feature, today's edition under Health) it did not say whether rocket or otherwise, we are at our happiest at 74..our contentment level will be at its peak and we become better at keeping negative emotions in check..according to Dr. Carlo Strenger, of Tel Aviv University, "If you make fruitful discoveries about yourself in the first half of your life, the second half would be most fulfilling. Most people can anticipate a second life, if not a second career."

..hmm..the trick is to discover things fruitful about yourself before 40..but before 40 you are busy..acquiring that property...fighting for that promotion..bringing up the children and seeing them through tertiary education..and spending all your meagre savings there..and for some, like pakmat, getting married again, and going through the rollercoaster ride only polygamy can give..there is hardly time to discover anything fruitful..hardly time for the mind to fruit..until now..but at 65, there is nothing else new to discover, let alone, fruit

..agree with the contentment level peaking, though..less responsibilities and financial burdens bring contentment..along with not much in the want/wishing list...'cept, perhaps, for a set of 65 you learn to control your wants...but a second career helps..not so much for the money, more for keeping the mind lithe and supple..if anything, I discovered that the mind does not aged..only your body does..which sometimes resulted in the mind willing but the body quitting..and so, pakmat learns to keep his mind in check..

..and the second trick is to be around until you reached the age of 74...a bit difficult that..looking at the unknowables and unforeseeables...but then, no harm in hoping..cheers..