Saturday 31 October 2009

..on oldies and Zee Avi.. to this oldster has always been oldies..songs of the sixties..stuff by Matt Monroe (Walk Away)...Nat King Cole (Smile)..and angst-ridden songs by Cliff Richard, Steve Lawrence or Dion and the Belmont..

..but once in a while, when pointed out by features in the New Straits Time, I came across gems by today's youngsters that this geezer just could not ignore..that they are Malaysian is like putting in capital letters reminders to me that today's generation is on the beat and their music deserved a listen.. in point are, of course, Yuna and Zee Avi..that they are Malaysians and getting attention on the international scene makes this old man takes heed.. and a little proud..

Wednesday 28 October 2009

..some reasons why i loved Bachok..

..Masjid Paya Mengkuang,Kampong Sungei, near my house..
..I can hear the muezzin's call to prayer
as one of the speakers is aimed directly
towards my home..

..Mak Sah at her vegetables stall, Bachok small Wet and Dry Market..
...widowed and stoical,
she is cheery and always gives me generous discounts..

..searching for edible shells in shallow waters along the beaches of is fun outing for the whole family..

..wife is from Bachok..
..runs a small hair and beauty shop in Bachok, ladies only.. and middle-aged
mothers formed her main clientele..most are her friends..who often
dropped in not for the cut but for a chat..
..and respite from the shopping heat..

..Bachok damsels are known for their independent ways and friendliness..
..putting henna on nails..

..our often heard but never seen MP..

..wide roads, no cars..
..which makes driving easy for this old coot..
..even then, since retirement 9 years ago, had been signaled off
the road twice by a siren blaring, blue lights flashing lead outrider
of a motorcade ferrying god know how many v's ip to god knows where..
..leaving this oldster grumbling..if there are so many v's in their ip, can't the
plane or the meeting wait for them..?
..instead of dashing at neck-breaking speed..sending chickens
and cats helter-skelter..?

..wife giving coot a haircut..
..the only man allowed in when there are
no hens around..pic censured by wife....

..rm2 a packet for this steam rice with fried spicy chicken..
..asked why she sells it cheaply at rm2 a bungkus, she said she
pitied the school children who generally have
not enough money to buy..she adjusted
the portion and lower her profit..
..sunrise in front of home..the air is fresh, oxygen rich and
pollutant free..

..Pasar Malam, Pantai Irama, Bachok..
..held every Friday after Asar until 10 in the night..
..from bundle shoes to coconut floats..

..keropok lekor..
..unbeknown to most, Bachok has an active keropok lekor cottage
industry..mostly fringing the beach..

..all pictures except of MP(tagged from www) are taken with my handphone..the Sony-Ericsson K800i that my children will not be seen dead with..

..but I believe..

...I can go the distance..

I have often dreamed
Of a far off place
Where a great warm welcome
Will be waiting for me
Where the crouds will cheer
When they see my face
And a voice keeps saying
This is where I'm meant to be

Tuesday 27 October 2009

..they said.. children said I am cynical..and grumpy..

..and I said that I am trying to accept aging and trying to grow old gracefully.. friends said that I am like that goods on a shelf.. way past its expiry date..

..and I said that I still have it in me..but what it is that I still have, I really do not know..

..and my wife said, on seeing me struggling with those heavy flower pots, trying to arrange things, "Oi, abang, awak tu dah tua..buat cara tua.." (Attempts at translating what she said into the Queen's language failed..somehow I could not get the nuances of her jibe right.)

..the bank said sorry, you're too old for loans.. ex-wife said, see you in court.. granddaughter said, I love you, papatok..

Sunday 25 October 2009

..some things are inevitable..

..inevitably the wife of a close friend who had taken on a second wife for the past one year, came to this old coot, and spilt her heart out..pouring out her grievances amid sobs and tears..which put this old man in a quandary...after all her husband is a friend..and you do not generally bad-mouthed your friend to his wife.. she had just found out his 'infidelity'... so I hmmmed and I hawed..and I listened..and I waited until she has exhausted of things to tell..

..she wanted divorce.. and leads to a good bomoh..he had been charmed, she said. They all said that. Now that he had his new flame, she wanted out. They all wanted that, too. Her mind was set...She wanted me to show her to a good bomoh..Someone told her that there is a reputable bomoh in Bachok..and that Pakmat knows the man..

...her husband was one of those nouveau rich..had struggled as a contractor and suddenly found himself had it made..and like most men in such a position, decided to auger his position by taking another wife..

..I cannot help her on both counts..I cannot help put asunder what God had put together..and I cannot show her the way to a bomoh for I do not want to stand later as an accessory..

..and so, rightly or wrongly, I said I am sorry..

..little things mean a lot

..isn't this is what every woman wants from her man..? it too much to ask..? it too hard to give..?

Blow me a kiss from across the room
Say I look nice when I'm not
Touch my hair as you pass my chair
Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street
Call me at six, on the dot
A line a day when you're far away
Little things mean a lot

Don't have to buy me diamonds and pearls
Champagne, sables, and such
I never cared much for diamonds and pearls
'Cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I've lost the way
Give me your shoulder to cry on
Whether the day is bright or grey
Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile
To show me you haven't forgot
Now and forever that always and ever
Little things mean a lot

..but to find a woman who does not care for diamonds and pearls...

Thursday 22 October 2009


..enjoy the you read the post below..

..retreat to Cameron..

..everyone has retreats, private hideouts where they can forget their troubles and care.. a preteen, my retreat was under a mangosteen tree that grew in front of my grandparents' a youth in KL in the 60's, struggling to make ends meet and forsaking studies, preferring work, angst driven and pimple ridden, retreat was Bukit Bintang Park..the crowd..the dazzle of neons..endless music blaring from unseen speakers..Rose Chan and the joget girls.. times, retreat was the British Council, near Bukit Aman..but rarely..

..later, much later, a wife and several kids later, it was some part of the ocean, or some islands in Terengganu..adrift on a boat, reeling out live baits..where the sea meets the sky..

..after an attempt at polygamy later, retreat was Pos Balar, Gob, Teranek and every nook of the forest in Gua Musang, trying to make better the lives of Orang Aslis', whilst own was in ruins..

..but now, in my twilight, retreat is Cameron Camp David, minus the retinue of
FBI's and such..

..mesjid Abu Bakar, Tanah Rata..
..the only landmark that has not changed..

..Auji, trying her hand at picking rm40 at pick..
..strawberry has become the mainstay of Cameron's tourist attraction..

..Cameron Bharat Tea Plantation..

..Kea Farm..
..ripe strawberries..rm20 for 5 packets..

..but Cameron has changed..its was only at 5.30 am before subuh prayers, that I got to feel the brisk, bracing cool air that I used to enjoy of cannot anymore see the trees on hill-tops...they have been cleared and terraced for cultivation..the rapacious greed for money and profit is too evident never learns...and his folly never ceases..

..a bit marital..

..this geezer had his share of marital spats..being once a polygamist.. maybe more than a normal share of husband and wife quarrels..the wrath of a woman is something to be wary about and gives some credence to the saying that 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'..

..I supposed marriage is about finding common ground whilst appreciating the differences..and men tend to carry more load than they can carry...and women never say what they mean.. a way, spats with the missus give colour and add that much needed spice to marriages..necessary to let out pent up feelings and that later adjustments can be made..often, this coot has been given the silent treatment..and that extra clatter in the kitchen..pretending ignorance does not help..but helpful hints from the children does.. men do not see things like a woman does..and a woman seldom sees things beyond their needs..

..but whatever the cause or causes, everyone has their own way of dealing with it.. whilst an open quarrel in front of the children is a no, no..there are some that chose the privacy of a drive in the family car..which, to me, is also a no, no..for its easy to go out of control..both the car and the quarrel..which could easily ends up with both the marriage and the car in the to do it in an open field...and a mat spread out..for feuds are known to change into a romantic encounter..all it needs is just a kiss and a hug...

sometimes, I wished wives can be more expressive about their feelings..for husbands need reminding, too..and as this coot approaches senility, every reminder helps..

Saturday 17 October 2009

..i am racist..

..children do not know the difference..
pic from exif photostream at you exif..
..the caption was exif's.. a teacher from Kluang, Johor..

..I have become more racist these days..and I cannot help being so..5o years onwards from our first general elections..independence and the end of the emergency, the only tune our political masters kept on singing is about the double 'r', race and religion.. old coots like me had been reconditioned to be a little bit children and, without doubt, my grandchildren, too..

..yes, we have become a dynamic nation..our economic growth is the envy of neighbours..we have our submarines and even dared talk about nuclear energy..

..but along the way, we have lost a lot of things..mostly the ability to laugh at ourselves..we became kiasued in our compartmentalized lives tinged with racism..we dare not laugh at our little differences..afraid that it might hurt misplaced sensitivities..for, indeed, we have become hyper the colour of our skin, and the nature of our customs..we dare not even dare called Tanjong Keling, Tanjong Keling..afraid that it might hurt others sensitivities..shall we now renamed Masjid India, Masjid Malaysia?

..time was I can called an apek, an apek..and he will shouted back, 'hey, melayu' as a rejoinder.. and we thought nothing about it...we cannot make fun anymore of our idiosyncrasies and differences..

..somewhere along the way, we blundered..big time..and I dread thinking the legacy we are leaving our children and grandchildren..they have to make their way out of this mess themselves.. somehow... they have to crawl out of those thick shells that we have cocooned ourselves in..

Thursday 15 October 2009

..stations in life..

..whenever I chanced upon old colleagues or departmental mates of former offices where I once worked, I would, inevitably be asked, 'so..what are you doing now?' ...which will get various response from me.. sometimes I said, hbgm - hayong batu gi mari.. sometimes I said, nothing.. upon learning that I really am doing nothing, except enjoying my twilight years, they were usually surprised..

.. I understood their surprise...for they have seen me with my circle of friends that I usually moved around, then ..mostly successful men in the contracting and business field..but then I was a government officer, and friends were easier to keep.

...but as a government employee, I had never thought of being otherwise..even though there were opportunities..I had not really planned for employment after retirement.. I had then thought that retirement was the cut-off point between work(gainfully employed) and retired(finis..doing nothing..draw monthly pension, ..a slow walk towards the sunset.)

.. Called me stupid, if you must..for, indeed, I was.

.there was, of course, life after is just a matter of planning for it, do some adjustments and simply just go for it..age was never a factor..attitude is..but in this oldster's case, I just let it be..not wanting to be anything else except just a retiree..

..and, I think, on most counts, I am ok..not much money, but not much debts either..and sleep is sound..

..whilst not every one is destined to break through the clouds and play among the stars..we all have our station in life.. while others leave their launch-pad and took a trajectory that will take them up high, touching the moon along the way, there are some that remain below the launch-pads..not getting higher than the edge of the grass stalks..and not for want of trying.. or for the lack of will to dream..but that is their stations in life..and if, everyday, we give our thanks to our Maker for our daily bread, accepting His will, His designs, then, I think, God, in His Greatness, will give us His blessings...

...Happy Deepavali...

Tuesday 13 October 2009

..grandfathers were once fathers, too..

..when this old coot first became a father, way back in 1975, the joy was euphoric..tending to the firstborn was a shared responsibility..many a nights this oldster woke up to make milk..once, whilst still half-asleep, I had poured hot water onto the milk tin, thoroughly missing the milk-bottle..

..burping the baby was an art in itself, as also getting the temperature of the milk just right..

..but being a father carried with it a lot of responsibilities, I was later to find out, and later to learn..for children grew, sometimes faster than a father can keep up pace with..

..even though bestowed with an almost unlimited power, to make rules and regulations, power alone was not enough to was then that I discovered in as much as the judicial system of a country must be fair, but also seen to be fair, justice, and meting out justice, in the home is more complicated, especially when dealing with siblings rivalry..a situation aggravated with a mother-in-law lurking in the background somewhere..its to easy to forget that she was adjusting to grandmotherhood as I was to fatherhood..

..but I coped, trying to strike a balance between being too strict and being too relax..not really having a role-model, as I was a posthumous child, I tried reading on the intricacies of parenthood..good for broad outlines, but details, it was more of a learning on the job, the physical and the psychological sides of was trial by error all the way..

..used to the wiles of a woman, this coot is not familiar with the wiles of children..their quicksilver mind, their super-ability to read adults situations, and their endearing and manipulative ways..but, as I said, I coped..and I hoped I had not been too bad a father..

..there are, of course, a few lessons learned along the way..mostly a series of nevers ..paramount amongst them is never to lose your temper with your children..never, full stop...anger removes your sense of judgment..children do not understand uncontrolled anger in demeans the status of a father in their eyes..and anger makes you whack your child..which brings me to the second lesson learned...

..never whack your leaves scars, if not physical, then psychological, more often both..a child's memory is long, as a father's regret is just as lingering.. know the oft-mentioned Malay adage about crabs teaching its young to walk straight?..true..very was I to stop my sons from smoking, when papito himself reeks with stale smoke..? pollute the bathroom..pollute the hallways and the whole house, including the cars..? and I used to wonder why they grimaced everytime I offered my cheek to be kissed..huh..(Imagine the love that makes a woman put up with this foul-breath man)..

..but now that I am a grandfather life is more in cruise-controlled mode..I tried to keep my peace..I don't poke and I don't pry..I just enjoy and savour the innocence of my grandchildren..but sometimes, I wished they would refer to me...:)

Monday 12 October 2009

..a matter of aging.. English daily provided an interesting read the other day for this geezer.. and a smile, too..( I had a vague suspicion about it all along) seems studies showed that women gets grumpier as they grow older..whilst men gets happier..hmm..the common phrase 'grumpy old men' needs a relook..

..and at the age when women has broken every barrier (including sound) and transcends every field(even football fields)..they had happily left their nests to become ceo's and coo's, cooing happily as they went..assailing heights that would make ordinary coots like me dizzy..broke through the final frontier and became astronauts..there's nothing that they cannot do, or be..the most powerful job in the country?..nothing to it..they did it with flair and with sex appeal..causing this old coot to drool.., why aren't they happy as the years pile up?..whilst their opposite number are generally happier as they approach atuk, pakcik, uncle, or grandpa status?..

Tuesday 6 October 2009

..just a little bit off..

..a fellow jumaah at the mosque where I usually prayed commented that I looked a bit off.. a little, I said... actually I was around disheartened this old coot.. image of an infant floating in some backwaters with umbilical cord still attached sent shudders down my spine...a 16year-old lying unconscious after a brawl...and now fighting for his life...these images were enough to break an old man's spirit..and, somehow, at the back of my mind, were kept in constant replay mode..keeping my heart in a tight knot..and my head spinning..

..oh, God, have mercy on these poor souls..

..coupled that with images of whole villages being swallowed and buried piece-meal by avalanches and quakes, leaving behind not a single sign of life or ants in shifting sand..reminding yet again how puny and frail we are..but would we remember?...and would we learn a little?...

..pardon me if you see me walking around with a scowl on my face..I just could not smile..pardon me if I looked perpetually dazed and morose...I am struggling in my innards..that I may still have faith in my fellow mankind...

Sunday 4 October 2009 from my handphone..

..Itek, favorite tom before it drowned..

..daughter Auji with niece, Qistina..

..neighbour's daughter's marriage..

..listening to a briefing..gun license renewal exercise..

..downpour in Bachok town..

..Pak Pong enjoying a nap on favorite master's shoulder, me..

..home sweet home..

..Thompson's Trail..

..recollecting younger times..

..Bachok District Mosque..

..a mother's prayer..

..Ulu La Hot Spring, Terengganu..

..Auji, attempting a pose..

..Pantai Irama, Bachok..

..the above pictures were taken over a time with my dated, ( like me) Sony Ericsson K800i children would rather be dead that be seen holding it..but, like this dated oldster, it still has its useful features..and likewise, served its purpose..