Saturday 28 November 2009 ship earth..

"We travel together, passengers on a little space ship,
dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil".
Adlai Stevenson, 1965., in orbit around the sun.., 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 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 follows that there is a second, third or 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? 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... 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....


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.


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 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 her everything.. many times had she put off buying that bangles that her children may get that new shoes for 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 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 hasten healings for bruises and heals external and internal 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.. 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 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 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.. 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 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 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 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 the surprise of his widow and children..

..I even cried when I found the scenery too beautiful, too profound for 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.., 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


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

..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.. rises more than 10 storeys high.. 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, 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 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. 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 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.. 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 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..


..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.. have to pay for their underground parking..
...unlike 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 or two are with my daughter's Nikon S230 that we gave for her 16th birthday..

Sunday 15 November 2009

..once upon a time..

..once upon a time there was a group of boys who made the streets of Kota Bharu their playground, and a shared passion for music the bond..their band was The Kilat, named after the club that sponsored them, National Electricity Board, or LLN, Lembaga Letrik Negara, as then it was known...

..the year was 1970 and they were all in the early twenties..carefree and footloose..without any concern for the future..theirs was a world that orbited around the streets of Kota Bharu, be it it nights..and Hoover Restaurant was the meeting place every evening after work..and every night after a brief return to homes for a change of clothes and a bath..

..inevitably they called themselves the Hoover Boys...Sal May, keyboardist and lead singer..Yu Soh, lead guitar..As Re, bass guitar..Jein, rhythm guitar..Ro Pa, drums..and Mat Cho May, hanger-on, arranger, organiser of parties and errand runner..

..Kota Bharu swings in the seventies..with several night-clubs that offered live music and live dance-girls..and they were the boys that provided the music, together with a few others..earning a living during the days as labourers and meter-readers and music makers during the nights..days for the money, nights for the love of music and for the money..

..yes, pakmat recalled those simple times..those irretrievable, foolish and carefree times of youth..the camaraderie that existed amongst them..and pakmat remembers them fondly..

..for we are all in our sixties out the balance of our lives, the best we could, as quietly as we could..whilst giving thanks to the One and the Almighty..for His Tidings..For His bounty..

..a song from the Sal May..

Saturday 14 November 2009

..into each life..

..into each life some rain must fall..

..for some it is just a drizzle..but there are those that have theirs on the scale of gales and storms that threatened to inundate the homes..

..but the rain must fall..nonetheless..irregardless..for it is the nature of things that rain must fall..'s God's way..for we are His creations..and we need to be tested...lest we forget..of His Blessings..and His Might..

...of His Love..and His Mercy..

..but if all else fails..just be thankful of the heart that's beating inside you.

...and smile..

..for life is still worthwhile..:)

..the world oldest blogger..

..was a woman...Olive Roy, of Woy Woy on NSW's central coast, Australia..who died on the 12th of July, 2008..she was 108..

..with her death, the world oldest blogger was Maria Amelia Lopez, from Spain..but she died this year on May 20th..she was 97..

..there is no record currently who is the oldest..

..that both were women does not surprise me at all...women had always been outlasting men..not just in the conjugal bed, but in many other ways if one would care to admit..but then it is in the very nature of women to outlast men..

..the term 'weaker sex' is a gross misnomer if ever there is may have the brawn..but the pliancy of steel is with women..and I know their threshold of withstanding pain is far superior than that of a man..they may shrieked at a pin-prick and cry over a bruise..but when it comes to real solid pain, they will grit their teeth and bear it...

..take childbirth, no, let's go back a few months earlier..take child-bearing..if a man has to carry for nine months and go through the pain of childbirth, then the pill would not be necessary..every family will only have one child..for I know I will not go through it again..say what you will..and I know I am speaking for the majority of matter how much we enjoy conceiving..

..imagine in the times of Julius Caesar..of those born not of a woman..when laughing gas was not yet discovered..

..even old coots sometime missed their mother...

May she be in one of Heaven's Garden..May her sins be forgiven..and may His Blessings pour upon her like unceasing rain..


Wednesday 11 November 2009

..squirrels and baz..

..I do not normally shoot squirrels..not even for target practice..I prefer to let them be..oh, they are pests alright, feasting and boring holes on young coconuts..much to the dismay of the villagers...but there are coconut-trees everywhere..growing lush and green with each tree bearing 20 to 40 coconuts..what difference does it make if the squirrels feasted on one or two..?..or 10?...

..common preferred shoot..
The difficulties involved in hunting snipe
gave the term "
", a skilled anti-personnel
military sharpshooter..pakmat wikied this..

..and so, most times, I do not take part in any squirrel shoot in my village..I was of the mind that the damage to the fruit was minimal..and the squirrels deserved their share of the coconuts..but demand for young coconuts are on the 40 cent per nut, to those whose income is from selling them, a few taken by the squirrels is not an option.. the aborigines deep in the forest of Southern Kelantan, Pos Gob or Balar, squirrels are considered a delicacy..along with wild boar..wild boars are trapped.. but squirrels are brought down with a puff from the blow-pipe... as also monkeys that strayed into their line of sight.. darts with tips poisoned with gum of the ipoh tree...chak rayak, big feast followed after the catch.. do not get to see any harmed coconuts around their bamboo houses..

..and someone said squirrels is good for aging men like pakmat....the meat is heaty.. being not too sure about its 'halal'ness, pakmat settled with his daily intake of Pharmaton Ginseng...

..but sometimes the squirrels get out of line..they came in packs.. last year they destroyed almost all of my neighbour's durians fruiting on one particular tree..causing them to drop prematurely..bringing consternation to the owner..and this year that tree is fruiting again..and this year they sought my help, with a tentative 'Could pakmat possibly....?'

..I thought about has been ages since I brought the gun out..or purchased shells..but I still have two boxes of number 8's..

..since aging is natural and shooting is optional, I said yes..I will shoot the squirrels...and take care of that particular durian tree..and maybe get some of the adrenalin rushing again..

..nothing in the league of snipe shooting, of course...where the whole senses are tuned razor-sharp as you walked steadily the fields..breathing controlled, and gun at ready...waiting for that first flutter of wings, and the 'squeek' as the bird took off..and in that instance, the gun became an extension of the arm, a smooth swing of the barrel as it followed the flight, overlapped.... and the squeeze of the trigger, with the snipe in full flight..the wings folded on impact.. as the bird took a curving trajectory downwards, the gun is reloaded almost instinctively, eyes not leaving the spot where it fell....but the walk is still steady and unhurried..and the senses still keen, for other snipes, known to crouch at the first shot and will only took flight as you near it... I took out my gun and felt the years slipped by, I suddenly recalled the lines of Baz Luhrmann..

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you
and how fabulous you really looked...

..pakmat, 20 over years ago...

Sunday 8 November 2009

..papers, hair colours, andropause..

..the only paper-stand in Bachok town.. cannot read the papers whilst having breakfast in Bachok..not if you, like me, have your breakfast at 7.30 in the morning..the papers will only hit the news stands by 8.30 in the morning, earliest...

..papers in Bachok are managed by the late Pak Wel's family..his children has taken over the business, helped by their mother, since his death more than four years ago..yes, there is only one news stand..and only about 10 copies of the English daily, the New Straits Times, are available and sold everyday..and I used to wonder who are these ten people..not having the time to sit by the stand and take note of who buys them..

..the likes of The Star or Malay Mail are seldom available..but all the Malay dailies are there..including Harakah..

..Chuan, the goldsmith, reads the New Straits Times.. he will normally buy his from Kota Bharu, knowing that the availability of the NST in Bachok is not reliable..and I will normally read his copy..after he have done and read it, in the afternoon, on completion of my daily errands..children fetched from school..lunch cooked.. or bought from Pak Ya's beach front restaurant..and the cats fed..

..on one such an afternoon, as I was engrossed with Alika Rahman's piece on Dr. Pornthip's hair colours, Chuan sauntered to me casual-like and said, "You know what's wrong with you?'

I shook my head without lifting my eyes from the paper..I have reached the part where it was claimed she had already performed 10,000 autopsies..that is enough autopsies (read, cutting opened dead bodies) to last a life-time..

'You are having andropause. In women it is menopause. But you, at your age, you are having andropause,' said the self-acclaimed health expert. 'That's why you are moody. Hot and cold. Tired. No energy. No libido.'

He left to attend to customers before I could think of a suitable reply..but what he said stuck to my mind.

..that night I googled it said that growing old is natural. Feeling old is optional..and the lack or decline of a hormone testosterone in men causes andropausal effect in men..

..much later, as I nestled for bed, I sighed a sigh of is a condition after all..and if women have their menopause..well, we men have our andropause..since it is only a condition, I can deal with it.. a pair of new boots..

..sometimes the reason why wives put up with their husbands is because they're just comfortable with them..and keep their feet warm..

..apart from, of course, loving them more than anything in world..

Friday 6 November 2009

..little portions...

..things in Bachok comes in small is a small town, after all..where the pace is leisurely and one is doing a roaring business..but everyone is managing to my wife is..with her small hair and beauty shop..and her neighbour, the Chuans, a brother and sister team sharing one Chuan is a goldsmith and sister Pin manages a gift shop..

..Pin at her gift shop..

..unlike her brother, who is married with two daughters, Pin, in her mid-forties, is a spinster..customers will normally find them cheerful and easy to deal with most Chinese in Kelantan, both speaks Malay with a heavy Kelantanese dilect..

..Chuan, the goldsmith..

..whilst Chuan commutes everyday from Kota Bharu, where he has a home, Pin makes the little shop her home.. and home is where she takes care of her 74year-old father..who remains motionless for the past two years..on a bed and at the back portion of the shop...senior Chuan is totally paralyzed after a stroke that he suffered in early 2007..fed through a tube, and on schedule every day by Pin, only his eyes move..

..but his hair grows...

..every now and then, my wife will be asked to crop his hair.. the first time the request was made, she called me to ask whether it will be alright..the terms of her opening the little shop was men..I pondered over it when she called.. Chuan Senior is a friend..we used to chat and joked over stuff and damsels during his healthier I said ok..but I want to be there when you do it..

..not used to cropping hair in bed to a motionless head, my wife struggled..I helped lift his head..all the while avoiding his eyes..but it met, nonetheless..for a moment there, it was like staring into a bottomless a tear welled in his, mine filled..I murmured something to Pin..but I know he was trying to say thank you..

..later, that night, after Isyak prayers, I gave my thanks to Him..thank you, O Lord, for Your little mercies..if I must die, for I know I must, let it be with iman.. and let it be quick..let me not suffer, O Lord..for You are the Most Loving..and the Most Merciful...

Tuesday 3 November 2009

..thank you, Justiffa..

..this coot would like to thank Justiffa for taking me by the shoulders and helped point me in the right direction..I have reached that point in life when a little melancholia seeped unsuspectingly..and it takes the instincts of a woman to read, correctly, in between the lines of my postings, that I am headed in the wrong direction..not too way off, but a few degrees off center..

..the lines of Baz Luhrmann brought me back on track..with a smile in my heart and some tears in my soul..and you can bet, Justiffa, this geezer will do the funky chicken at 75..

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97
Wear Sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future,
sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists,
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh nevermind,
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you
and how fabulous you really looked,
you are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts,
don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy, sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind,
the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults,
if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life,
the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22
what they wanted to do with their lives,
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t,
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40,
Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary
What ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can, don’t be afraid of it,
or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurtin, but I've been waitin' to be there for you
And I'll be there just helping you out whenever I can

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings, they are the best link to your past
and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get,
the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard,
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander,
you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young
prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
Maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia,
dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off,
painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen

Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurtin, but I've been waitin' to be there for you
And I'll be there just helping you out whenever I can
Everybody's free oh yeah
Everybody's free oh yeah

..p.ramlee and me..

..when he died in May, 1973, I was a 26yr-old youth madly in love ..his songs were always on my lips and his movies in constant replay in my mind.. and much later, when karaoke was the rage, any sessions was not complete without his songs being sung..'Gelora" being the top choice for duets with girlfriends andwives ...and when 'Bila Larut Malam' was played, friends present will automatically go into 'kura-kuca' mode..

..P. Ramlee will always be part of my life, even almost 40 years after his death..I have seen most of his movies..and know most of his songs..even those that I did not know, I know snatches of it..

..but as to whether his songs and films has had an influence on me, I cannot really say..even though his films had a message for everyone...from etiquette on living together in communal houses, renting individual rooms, to the comical disasters of having more than one wife..and to the conflicts of a prodigal son...

..who does not know and quote his famous, 'Aiya..hidup susah, mati pun susah'?

..I supposed, like everyone else, I watched his films and cried and laughed, but never really took to heart what he was trying to say.. contented to just escape for a moment into his world..

..yet everyone that I know had one time or other, sang his song, or watched his movies... I remember as a kid, sitting on the steps of my grandfather's house, bellowing 'Engkau Laksana Bulan' to the full moon with my cousins until a shout from grandmother put a stop to it..

..bits and pieces of him is in everyone of my contemporaries..and even in present generations, being exposed to countless reruns of his films on television..

..we know his songs..and we enjoyed his films..we can remember parts of the dialogue..but as to what he was trying to tell us, we do not hear..we just do not bother to take heed of his messages..
..and that is a pity..and, in a way, we had failed him..we failed him miserably..

..but one song and one scene that is forever etched in my mind is 'Joget Si-Pinang Muda.' ..the beat is catchy, foot-tapping and finger-thumping rhythm, the lyrics simple...and the teasing between a husband and a wife, complete with that tongue smirk of Zaitun, goes straight to the heart..

...yes, I enjoyed the joget... as he flirted with Zaitun..but the message, that the relationship between a husband and a wife should sometimes be flirtatious.. be sexy.. is lost..which is a pity..


Sunday 1 November 2009

..yesterday's sun..

..the lines below was my response to a post in a friend's blog, Uncle Lee..I thought it deserved a place here in my a little window to this oldster's heart.

"..I have reached the stage where I have given up on most things..some due to health, like smoking...some due to expediency and lack of stamina, like fishing and hunting for birds and small game with my 12 bore shotgun..some due to propriety, like singing and dancing..all these I kept locked up in a small cupboard in some quiet part of my mind and threw away the key..your blog helped me retrieved that key..and I took out my dancing memory and relived for a while those days when I was young and foolishly carefree..dancing and singing the nights away..with a flame in my heart and a fire in my arms..I cannot bring back those times..and most times I let that cupboard of memories be..of days past..and I will not allow the tears for yesterday's sun hide my view of today's stars..thank you, made me recall the rays of yesterday's sun.."