Sunday, 28 February 2010

..sex in class..

..the first thing that strikes my mind on reading today's headline about sex education in schools is perhaps they should also bring back further education classes for adults and teach sex education to adults and oldsters like me..seeing that the survey has proven how ignorant our kids are, it must be because the parents and grandparents are just as ignorant in that they are not able to teach their children and grandchildren a thing or two about sex..for to my mind, sex should be educated  at home..if at all they need education..to me all those porno clips in every kids handphone is education enough, graphically so, ..

..I do not know whether the survey asked specifically: Do you know that sexual intercourse causes babies?..instead of asking all those myths and whether wearing brassieres cause cancer..or where the hymen is..not sure whether this old coot knows it himself, 'cept that it is down there, somewhere..not having seen it in my lifetime..sheesh..after 3 wives, I should know something about its location...

..I think TGNA hit the nail on its head when he said that teen pregnancies are because of 'free sex'. I thought I heard my 13yr old son said the same thing...Question I like to ask all those that said it is because of 'seks bebas' is how do we go about tackling it?..or stamping it?..or put a check on it?..Babies thrown in dustbins and left in gutters and drains are happening in this state of Mecca's corrider as it is happening elsewhere..to put it simply, I would put it to declining morals, decaying virtue and easy access..

..and I think our kids know that what they are doing will result in unwanted babies..but they kept on doing it in spite of it..somewhat like Tiger Woods, the temptations to indulge in it is too strong...it is obvious now that our kids know what they are doing..sex education in class will proved what they have been doing is right..that sexual intercouse makes the girl pregnant..but they cannot help not doing it..so to this old coot..its better to start dispensing condoms whilst in sex education classes..with details on how to put it on right....at least it will stop the pregnancies..and it will be cheaper than the baby-hatches...unless, of course, our ulamaks have better ideas...instead of making general statements about seks bebas...or seks kebas, whichever way you look at it,,

Saturday, 27 February 2010

..Trengganu and me...

..it was one of those lazy Friday evenings when I found myself alone at home with the missus...Auji had left for tuition and son with his set of sepaktakraw buddies...except for Ayam, who preferred to be indoors, none of the other cats were in sight... presumably hiding themselves from the heat, at some cool spots outside..

..I was going through Awang Goneng's blog, Kecek Kecek...reminiscing  along with him on old Kuala Trengganu..

...I like to think that the best years of my life was in Trengganu..it was in 1974 that I was transferred there..on a promotion..taking up the post of the Contigent Finance and Works Officer with the Police Contigent, Trengganu...

my first son  was born there..in the old hospital, Batu Buruk...where the single storey wards lined the shore..with the sea as backdrop, the wards were airy with all windows and doors opened...and the continuous breeze from the sea, bringing cheer along with a tangy saltish taste to the air..hastening recuperation and adding romance to a couple celebrating their first son...

..and on a hot evening like these, we would made our way to a secluded beach just before Chendering after Kuala Ibai..you take a side road that led through some timber houses and suddenly you found yourself at a beautiful beach unknown to others...inevitably the late Ahmad Salihin. of RTM,  would follow with his wife and three daughters in his Toyota Corolla and and me with my three daughters in our Fiat 124 Special T, the in-car among younger generation then, aside Datsun Triple S........

..in Trenggganu, life connects with the sea and the endless beaches...we rented a house in Batu Buruk, also fronting the sea..and later moved to a quaint timber house at Jalan Kamaruddin - police Class F quarters meant for their civilian staff..at the junction of Jalan Sultan Omar and Jalan Panji Alam..

..as visiting all the Balais and Pondoks and whatever land the police owned, was an inaugural part of my duty-list, I covered the length and breath of Trengganu, including all of its islands..sometimes with a young electrical engineer from JKR, Zaini bin Omar, who shared the same wanderlust as me..and together we got to know the state intimately..and fell in love with it..a love, for me,  that lasted a lifetime...

..for salad memories were made there.

...inland trips to Pasir Raja via Kuala Jengai on a fast hydro-boat..almost shooting the rapids.. to a scenery of a languid lifestyle by the river
..scooping crabs in the wee hours of morn at Kuala Ibai flats..bringing home sackful of them..to be distributed among  friends..
..snorkeling in the cove of Pulau Tenggol and pondering sites for a Pondok Polis at Redang..cruising there on a state-owned boat, Dapat..
..hitting a round of golf in Batu Buruk public golf-course..there was a teacher, I remember, who cycled to the course with  his no 3 driver, some irons and a putter..nonchalantly waiting for me to arrive for a bet of ice kacang at a stall nearby...

..like Awang Goneng, I too lament the lost of old Trengganu..finding it strange trying to get myself around streets that were familiar yet foreign.. sometimes I yearned, too, for the Trengganu of old...when Bukit Bidong was the place I followed the big guys on a pigeon shoot and me with my smallish .22/.410 unable to shoot anything..and Pasar Payang for getting my supply of akok berlauk...and Losong for keropok lekor...Kuala Kemaman for belacan.. Kuala Berang for that delicious rojak mee..Merchang for air nira..

..or is it just my youth that I am yearning for..?

..(top pic is the shoreline of Dungun..bottom pic is of pakmat and 1st daughter onboard a police boat, pz class circa 1976..)
..

..

..

Thursday, 25 February 2010

..ayam, itek and the cats..

..if before..the women in my life..now it is.. the cats in my life..:)

..Ayam and Itek..both hardly a month old, 3 years ago..

..Ayam with daughter, Auji..

..Ayam on losing Itek..who drowned in a cat fight..


..Pakpong..

..Titi and Toti..


..their parents, Dodi and Moli...


..Lanun, son of Ayam..

..Itek..a non-conventional tom..

..Ayam with her litter of 6..the seventh died..

..cats have a way of evoking strange reactions in humans...there are those who cannot  stand them..urghh!! cats!! and detoured or chased them off with a stick..and yet, there are those who will pick up strays, washed them, feed them, give them names like Awang Jules, Angelina or Brad and take them through a short-cut straight to their hearts...for cats are intelligent animals, having developed through the ages the art of meowing and purring that will melt human hearts...


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

..pantai irama..


.. a beach close to my heart..and home..










..nothing like jogging by the beach on a Friday morning..

  






..and breakfast with roti canai prepared by this  husband and wife team..

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

..love and divorce...

..please regard the posting below as the musings of an old man, pakmat..I do not profess to speak with any measure of authority on love, marriage or divorce..least of all the guiles and wiles of both sexes..life knocks and tumbles sometimes affected my views..which could very well be off-kilter..but, for all its worth..I try to be honest..


..separation through a divorce after almost 20 years of marriage is not easy..

..they say in polygamy, you do not divorce your first wife no matter what happened..no matter how persistent is her requests..everyday..or every hour..or even if it is at every opportunity that you meet...for it is the way of the first wife to ask for divorce..to a woman a husband who takes on another wife is reason enough for divorce, no matter the circumstances..it is not in the manner of women to share husbands..inasmuch it is not the manner of most men to be monogamous..harems and concubines are kept by men throughout history..and kings, great men and lesser men, mediocre men are known to have greater loves outside the matrimonial homes...proving, perhaps, that the heart of the male of the species are fickle and does not endure..

..perhaps it is so....but it is not so..no...it is  just that some men can love several simultaneously..if the heart is the garden, love is like those flowers that bloom in it..and I  think, instinctively, women know this..(that is why they marry others husbands)..it is just hard for them to accept it, that's all....

..when I parted with my first wife, it is not because I loved her less..or I loved my second more..intensity  has got nothing to do with it..they are the flowers in the garden of my heart..a rose and a lisianthus...and even now the rose has its special place..but certain things..they just happened...I remembered the pain..and the tears..and the uncontrolled anger..sometimes men of 45 cannot control anything, least of all their life..let alone their emotions..and the guilt cuts through  like a hundred razors..and it was not through the pronouncement of divorce..it was through taklik..divorce through preconditions set and agreed...that makes it regrettable..

..but we parted, nonetheless..and I remembered the frantic efforts that I made to lessen the effects on my children..and the frantic travelling from one state to another visiting them..with one in Johor, another in Kuantan and another in Jengka Pusat..I think I spent more time on the road than with my wife..

..but in the end, I realised that certain things are just beyond my ken..verily I cannot unchained what has been ordained..it is His tests, after all..I may have faltered..and I may have stumbled..but I have made my peace..forgive me my sins, O Lord...

..

Saturday, 20 February 2010

..festivals, families and Pin...


(..I have taken the liberty of scouring for family pictures of fellow bloggers, 
pictures that they posted during Raya and Chinese New Year in their blogs..
.. families that formed the cells that gave identity to the
fabrics of our society..
..as examples of strong and loving families
 giving strength and colour to the society that they are part of..
..please forgive me if I transgressed..)




..oldstock and family.. of blog Just observations






..festivals, no matter the race, religion or creed is always about family..and friends...we looked up long, lost relatives, renew ties with old friends and seek out those forgotten..festivals bring out the best in us..through the joviality and laughter, we make rooms in our heart to forgive...our own faults and shortcomings... as we forgive others' faults and failures..


.it is also the time to renew our faith..in God, as we thanked Him for his Bounty and Blessings..in our fellow mankind, no matter what our belief or faith..for we are shareholders, all, on this little speck of dust, this little planet just a few kilometers away from the sun, that we called earth...our home..for we are asked to be charitable..with whatever bounty that God has given us..


..and for Pin, a spinster in her late forties, owner of that little gift shop next to my wife's small hair shop, Chinese New Year is always about family..having no family of her own, her shop is her home..where she stays with her invalid father..a stroke had left him almost totally paralysed..able only to move a little, a hand and a leg..other than that he lay prone on his bed at the back of her shop..powerless and motionless..at the mercy of Pin, his only daughter..for the past 4 years.. 

..to Pin her father is her family...

..and for the past 4 years, Pin had taken care of her father..washes and cleanses him of his shit and urine, changed his pampers everyday.. four times a day...prepare his meals, measured and blended, and fed through a tube, 5 times a day..including giving him his daily medicines..pills for hypertension and others related to his illness...every day without fail..rain, monsoon, or shine..Chinese New Year, Chap Goh Meh, All Souls Day, Raya, Christmas, Pin is by her shop and by her father's side..

..confined and restrained,  she simply goes about doing it stoically, quietly, cheerily, happily and with nary a complain..the word 'duty' never crosses her mind..she just does it lovingly..and through all her tender loving care, her father took on a healthy, rosy hue..but remained motionless..

...doctors who came for random visits marveled at how clean and neat her father is..not a whiff of foul smell..no stench..home-care at a level they had never seen, by someone who is not trained as a nurse..with bed sheet and pillow covers gleaming white .customers and friends who came to her shops looking for gifts and such never for a moment suspect that there is a invalid father at the back of the shop..for she is always cheery and always with a smile..

..naturally inquisitive almost to a point  of being a busybody, she will greet all her friends as they past her shop..'Cikmat!!! What are you carrying?'

..and I never ceased to marvel at her, too....this spinster of a Chinese woman who is all heart and love..she gave a new meaning to the phrase  'respect for your parents'..and to pakmat, Pin is a true disciple of Confucius  xiĆ o...filial piety..


..and everytime I remember her father, I gave thanks to the Almighty..for His little Mercies...
..O Lord..You are the Most Loving..and the Most Merciful...let my final days be with iman....

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

..gaps in teeth..gaps in generations...

..other than the gaps in my teeth, there is also this gap in generations between me and my children.. that sometimes  is a bit disconcerting..

..being of today's generation, they are tech savvy and knowledgeable about almost everything..from the latest gadgetry to techniques in bringing up children..which to this oldster is mostly a hands-off policy..eat when they are hungry..sleep when they are sleepy..when in my days we were to measure the amount of milk per feed and the number of feed per day..these days you give until they stop..forget about changing and washing napkins or nappy liners..now everything is disposable..sometimes even the babies are thrown along with the diapers..sheesh..

..and discipline is lax..you do not reprimand children, they say..you talk to them..well, how do you go about talking to them when they won't listen?..

..I used to tell my children that there  should be a reasonable difference in age between spouses..with the husband to at least be 3 years older..they rolled their eyes when I said that a man of 24 is much younger than a woman of the same age..I told my daughters to marry someone older, that you may grow old together..or marry someone younger and he will have a hard time to catch up with you..and they laughed at me..papa is so obsolete..and I said wait until you have several children, then you will know what I mean..

..but when it comes to choosing their life partners, children these days  acted on their own..parents come in only after the choices were made..and even if a father may have his objections, as I did with my fourth daughter's choice, here, they have a way of getting over those objections..and a loving father relented..only to sometimes regret later..and it is not in the nature of fathers to say, I told you so...but to take her in your arms, and wipe those tears..and pray that she will have the strength to face the situation...

Saturday, 13 February 2010

..70 and lonely..

..my eldest brother is 70..and  a lonely man since losing his wife two months ago due to breast cancer..he pines for company..and a wife.. his only daughter through a previous marriage is now a grandmother, leading a quiet life in a small village on the outskirts of Kota Bharu..and his only son with the deceased is in Kemaman, a clerk with Perwaja..he is 25 and single..having only two children does not ease the loneliness..

'Can't you find somebody around 50 for me?' he pleaded, almost sad...aound 50? was my first reaction...why should a 50yr old youngish woman marry an oldish man of 70?..but he is my brother..so I kept my thoughts to myself...'I can try and look for someone in between the rows of tobacco fields' I joked..

'Why not?' asked my wife, when I broached her the situation..better than getting a maid..she was thinking what I was thinking..yes, better than a maid..and she reeled of instances of elders who remarried after losing their spouses due to death..there are quite a number in Bachok...a few older than my brother..led by a couple both aged above 70 and both taken ill a month after marriage, much to the unhappiness of their respective children, who were against the marriage in the first place....against myself I laughed, finding the situation comical..I should not, of course..I could very well be looking at my own future..

'You don't know what its like waking  up nights to leak alone,' were the words he said in jest..but there was no twinkle in his eyes..and  for once, I sighed...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

..PAS, Chuan and Chinese New Year..

..if friends ask me what I do for leisure..I usually gave them a blank look..sheesh...I am a pensioner..a retiree..someone way past expiry date..everything I do is for leisure..

..seeing my grumpiness,  Chuan said I am having a bad case of PAS..and I said I don't care a hoot about politics..and he said it is the male version of PMS..Pre Andropause Syndrome..this goldsmith caught me there..I turned to face him, knowing that I have to think fast. He peered through a monocle at some piece of gold, hiding his triumphant snigger..Its not Pre, lah, I said..I have been through that..its Post Andropause Syndrome...and we both laughed, to the bewilderment of his customers...yes,  I am having a bad bout of PAS..enough to make life interesting..a little bit of absentmindedness, a dose of eccentricity..a dash of stubbornness mixed with crankiness..yet heavy on geniality..

..over the years, since being neighbours, (his shop is next to my wife's hair shop) we have grown used to our different ways..he got used to my tardiness and I got around his boisterous gregariousness..we tend to slip into English everytime we talked..more so when we argued, which is often..about current events and things that he read in the NST..and he would wait for me to arrive, which I usually do around about noon, jab his finger at the paper and make his point...he leans a little towards DAP..and he knows I am a government man, through and through...albeit a discontented one..

..but yesterday he was a Chinese bearing gifts..a box of Mandarins..mooncakes...a variety of cookies bought from Cosway..Menglembu groundnuts and all smiles..

..'How am I gonna eat the kacang?'
..'Ala..New Year lah cikmat..its for your kids..you use your gobek lah..' hmm, someone been stalking my blog..

..and so, in the words of Mat Bangkai, nka (now known as) Sofian with that killer boyish looks..

My dear friends (that’s everyone who reads this blog, OK?).... Happy Chinese New Year..keep that song in your heart..and joy in your soul..

..and in the style of Tommy Yewfigure who frequently drops url's around..(..'l' for lampooned) here's a song from my world before yours..(to quote Uncle Lee)...a song from down under...

keith locke and the quests 

...from Singapore..got you, huh?..my dear Cat-i-S?..:)

cheers...




Wednesday, 10 February 2010

..Mia Iman..

..Mia Iman..12 days old..

..my neighbour's eldest daughter gave birth to her first child 12 days ago..a girl weighing 2.9 kilograms..she was one of the breathtakingly cutest little girl that pakmat has ever seen, rosy pink of complexion, thick, dark, shining hair..and a pair of eyes so black it is like looking into a moonless sky...she is a doll, and looks like a doll..it is their first grandchild..and tokma, as they decided grandma should be called, took 4 days leave just to be with her grandchild..and tokma is a very busy Pengetua of a secondary school in Bachok...


..I took that little girl in my arms and remembered all the daughters that I have..from the first delivery to the second, to the third and to the last...the anxiety and floor pacing of the first did not diminished even at the last..all those measurements in cm and the smoking that was in chains...one minute inside the waiting hall, the next outside, furtively drawing in the smoke, lit with a shaking hand..eyes looking at the watch, measuring time against God knows what...yes, they are all God's miracles..for they came from clumps of dark blood...


..and Mia Iman was not born of a woman..complications with her umblical cord led to a caesar's..and the young mother, pale and weak from her ordeal, beamed with pride at her little white canvas..Mia's translucent fingers are too small to curl my finger, but I know she has already curled the hearts of those around her...


..I took Mia in my arms...this perfect bundle that God created through a union..and I was that young man again, holding through the stains and the blood, my first daughter..and tears that welled in my eyes mumbled my prayers that I whispered into her  ears..God is Great..


..and through my dying embers, I could feel  flames stirring...





Monday, 8 February 2010

..some of the things I missed

whilst younger now that I am older..
..mostly it has to do with teeth..for I hate wearing dentures..preferring to let my gums be..
..pic of a gobek..for crushing betel leaves and nuts....
  • ..I missed munching 'kacang putih' on the fly..it started with this Indian man who went around with a little table of nuts on his head and set it down just outside the schoolgate..5 cents would get you a fistful wrapped in a old newspaper cone..and you munched it on the way home...a habit I carried over into my later years until I lost almost all of my teeth on reaching 60..
  • ..opening coke bottles with my teeth..it does not come in cans then..and its macho snapping it off in front of giggling girls...
  • ..passionate kissing..there is not much passion when you got no teeth..and hers submerged in a solution...sheesh..
  • ..unrestrained laughter..cannot laugh unrestrained..lest others see my toothless gums..so I controlled my smile..and try not to laugh too much..which is good, actually..sort of keep you earthbound..
  • ..licking on ice-cream in cones whilst walking around in public....an old man with kopiah on head licking  ice cream??..but I remember sucking ais kepal balls at those mamak stalls near the round-about in Kuala Kangsar..at 5cents a ball..you just suck it as you walk around..until all the flavour is gone..
.other than those teeth related things, I also missed...
  • ..hittiing the road alone with my car every fortnight..sometimes once a week..for KL from Kota Bharu...irregardless the time of day or night..sometimes arriving in the wee hours of the morn..to the welcoming arms of younger wife..yes, I missed that...the long solo drive..air-con off and windows down..feeling the wind beating hair..and hair was kept fashionably long..and car was a 2liter engine shodded with 205/50 series wheels..racing against no one except yourself..and stopping for goreng pisang taken with brown sugar at that mamak stall just after Petronas on entering Raub via Sg. Koyan...
  • I missed the original lens in my right eye..a severe case of glaucoma and cataract caused it to be removed and replaced by an artificial one..my vision is restored, but it is not the same..nothing like the original..as in everything else.
..the salad days may be gone, but now in my  'gobek' days I still travel a little..fish a little..shoot a little...and sometimes even chat up that syt's a little..only they called me pakcik and I called them mek...no..they no longer have inclinations to call me 'abang'............






Saturday, 6 February 2010

..pic's around Bachok..


..full moon, Pantai Irama..

..there is no neon lights in Bachok.. night in Bachok is dark..you look up to a black canvass of a night sky and see the stars..and the silvery moon..

..and the few billboards around are not lit-up..with no bright lights to distract, its easier to see the sky..and almost see your past.. unlike in the cities..blinding neons hide the sky..and in the wombs of  hypermarkets, you do not know whether it is day or night..and only when you are above the neon, from a little  window of your 20th floor condo, do you get to see the moon..waxing..

..Yati's food stall, bus terminal Bachok...

..but like in big cities, we sometimes buy packed food for supper.. from Yati's food stall near the bus terminal, Bachok..she opens for business every evening after five..catering to government servants, teachers and school children..serving a variety of food, she is a boon to those who do not have the time to cook nights...pakmat sometimes buy nasi kerabu from her...but for some in Bachok, tau pauing  food home is a luxury...

..Pak Do Soh..

..he of an unsound mind...Pak Do Soh..there are about 4 of his kind in Bachok that I know of..meandering around town with that glazed look of one incoherent of thoughts..hit by motorcyclist one day, Pak Do Soh broke his ankle..with iron braces, he had difficulty moving..seen here on the steps of Kg. Sungai Mosque...drug abuse led him to his present state...


..the monsoon last year did not prevent this enterprising family from carrying on with the wedding..
as their house was surrounded by water, they built a dais on stilts and served their guest there...


..fresh fish are bought at Tok Bali..favourite haunt for anglers and picnickers..
but at RM8 to RM10 per kilo, it is sometimes cheaper to buy chicken.. 


..sil, Di and three of pakmat's daughters...Lina, Ida, Amy...

..life is always about family..they left the nest and built their own..leading their own life...bringing up their own children the best way they can..we taught them love, their mother and I, and they turned out loving..I turned up the mess, and they know what to avoid...

Friday, 5 February 2010

..a gentle reminder..

..yesterday pakmat visited a neighbour, 70, who suffered a stroke whilst cycling back from tending to his cows a few days ago..it has affected his left side, restricting his movements and slurring his speech....it started mildly but has since worsened..

..I gave my salam and walked through his many sons to sit by his side..he sat propped against the wall on a cotton mattress..a daughter was feeding him roti canai.. and he sipped water through a straw held in a glass by another daughter..he could not moved his hands..so I clutched and stroke his..there was no recognition in his eyes..

'Aren't you taking him to the hospital?'
'We have engaged a renowned  masseur. He comes every alternate days.'

I tried to tell them, gently, what little I know of strokes, what causes them..about blood clots and bleeding in the brain..and that maybe, a trip to the hospital would be better..they could ascertain things..but they were adamant that he be treated at home by this renowned masseur..seeing the reluctance, I kept my peace..

..later at home, I told my wife, in no uncertain terms..that when I showed signs of a stroke..


  • Sudden numbness, paralysis, or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
  • New problems with walking or balance.
  • Sudden vision changes.
  • Drooling or slurred speech.
  • New problems speaking or understanding simple statements, or feeling confused.
  • A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.

..
..to just bundle me up and send me immediately to HUSM, Kubang Kerian, no matter my protestations..no matter how stubborn I am..and no matter what others say...

..for a full bloom flower will one day wilt..oceans dry and stars dim..indeed, the only constant is You, Lord..

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

..six iron bars and the birdman of alcatraz..







 ..in 1962, even movies from Hollywood were in black and white..and Burt Lancaster stood tall among the lead actors of yesteryears..alongside the likes of Kirk Douglas..with the love scene with Deborah Kerr in 'From Here to Eternity' forever etched in this oldster's mind..scene of them kissing as the waves hit them was something that gave an impressionable young boy like pakmat difficulty sleeping...

..but it was the theme song of Birdman of Alcatraz that this old man remembered....the pathos and ethos of the lyrics somehow escaped me as a youth..but I remember the lines..'..for the rest of my life  there will be six iron bars..six iron bars..between me and the stars..' as intoned by Lancaster himself..

..listening to the song again on Youtube and reading the lyrics, make me realised that, at some point or other, there was always that  six iron bars that shackled pakmat from reaching out to the stars..for I have imprisoned myself in the cell of my mind...preferring instead to just 'hear from far, far away..the sound of a bird from an old yesterday'..

..and so I told my children..do not be afraid of the unknown..take that step into the dark..and follow whatever is in your heart..don't be like pakmat..who didn't know he  could fly simply because he never tried..shatter that six iron bars in your mind..just spread out your wings..for you do not really know what you are capable of..until you really try............

..click comments for lyrics..