Saturday 30 January 2010

..London.. most people  my generation, I know most things about London, England..

.being part of the Commonwealth, we sang 'God Save the Queen' in school assemblies in the early 50's..and followed with rapture Princess Anne's progress throughout her teen years into adulthood..and Prince Charles was as near as a picture in our school bags...

..daughter in London..

..long before the internet, we were familiar with London's landmarks..seeing pictures of Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge often enough, enabled us to recognise them at a glance..

..when the Beatles burst into the scene, it was easy to identify with their was Ferry Cross the Gerry and the Pacemakers..

..a little cove in Winchelsea, East Sussex.. a schoolboy, I learned where is Stratford-Upon-Avon and places like Northumberland..and later as a fumbling youth in KL, I continued reading about it..a mention of anything London, I can conjure images of it in my mind's eye..even the beautiful Lake District with its rolling hills..

.. as a junior clerk with the then Public Services Department at Federal House, KL, pens, papers, and clips were from London, ordered through the Crown Agents.. I have a daughter there..with two grandchildren and a son-in-law, Tom, .. and home for them is about a hour's drive north of London..and when she talks about taking the Tube to work everyday, I can visualise her journey..facebooking along the way on her Iphone..

yet, I have never step my foot on it..maybe I never  will..unlike most people I never had the opportunity to..not because for lack of opportunities..but because I never tried for those a youth, or  as a n the sand of Pantai Irama, Bachok, I let all those opportunities slipped through my fingers..

..maybe, one day I will make that journey..and set my foot on Trafalgar Square..and walk through Kew Gardens..or gaze up the Tower of London..and ride that double-decker..and take a ride on that black cab..or  take that ferry cross the Mersey from Liverpool on the  Wirral..or visit that little cove in Winchelsea..


..but no...there is another journey that I have to make first..a journey that I should have taken years ago..when I have the strength and the means..but I was so taken up by everything that was worldly to take heed.. of that soft whisper that beckons....for then, the ears hear what the soul doth not..and the eyes  see what the  heart doth not...

.. I am looking forward to that day..and I am saving my energy and resources for it..for I realised, in all humility, that not everyone can be His guest..for inasmuch as I seek His Forgiveness, I also seek His Consent...God willing...

Friday 29 January 2010 country.. is the day of rest, Friday..and pakmat gives you Martina Mcbride..God Bless America.., pakmat is not much into the American Dream..or swayed  
by most of the values that it propagates..for pakmat is a proud 
Malaysian..has been for the past 47 years since 1963..before 
that,  for almost 18 years he was a proud Malayan..
..this is his land..and these are his people..he was born 
a Muslim and Islam will always be his religion..but since 
young he was taught to respect and appreciate that there 
are other religions..other races besides Malays..
other cultures besides the Malay Culture..
he grew up alongside them..seeing their differences
 and yet seeing through them..
..accepting them for what they are..
..for to him, then as now, they are all Malaysians..
..fellow shareholders on this little piece of land, our country.. small, that if it we were to grasp it by its isthmus.. 
..and throw it into the Grand Canyon, it will be swallowed 
whole..with ample space to spare..
a Stealth Bomber flying past, will not be able to detect it.. to Martina McBride..see the passion..the love 
she managed to exude singing her love for her country..
you can almost see her soul...bursting through her heart.. replace 'America' with 'Malaysia'..
..that's how much I loved my country, too...

..God Bless Malaysia..
..Our Home Sweet Home..

Wednesday 27 January 2010

..yesterday's sun..

If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, 
your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars 
- Rabindranath Tagore.

..I used to dread getting old..

..on a clear day, you can see forever..
..highest point, East West Highway..

.. I clutched at those little things that I thought would helped me retard it..not being one of means or power, I could not buy that red, open-top sportscar with horse-power enough to move a goods train..and flashed it at those delectable syt's and starlets...

..I could not do an expensive nip and tuck operation, either...

so I did the next best thing..I dyed my hair..having a wife in the hair business helps..but hair has a nasty habit of growing..pushing up the dyed parts.. with the silver and gold appearing at the stems..after a while it gets I stopped dyeing them..

'I can shave you bald,' teased the wife..sheesh...

.. or I could try marrying a girl one third my age..hey, its cheaper than that sports car.. it could keep me young..wrong again, I will only makes you will be panting just to keep pace..and the wrinkles will appear faster..not to mention a few teeth dropped along the, unlike Tommy's uncle, I could not Raise the Red matter how good the movie..

..but unlike hair, teeth does not grow..and even those planted root and canal teeth dropped..ordinary dentures broke..and so I told my wife that I had had enough of those dental appointments..just prepare me soft, chewable meals..soups and stuff that does not need too much munching..and  I will get by..

..I quit smoking..for they say that smoking made parchments of your skins..and my scent of smell improves greatly after that..ahh..that fresh, sweet breath of a granddaughter's kiss..'salam, papatok..'

..than Chuan, the goldsmith told me that, in all probability, I had andropause..I had all the symptoms, he flushes..irritability..mood swings..always grumpy..which, of course, was not in anyway helpful..I was at an all time the pits..

..but friends and a prayer saved me.. from plunging into a bottomless abyss..the friends were fellow bloggers and Chuan, the goldsmith, together they  poked and nudged me on...the prayer was at 3 o'clock in the morning, where I lay myself bare before Him..

..Lord, there is none Greater than Thou..You gave me longevity that I may reflect...and momentary youth that I may see the sun..

..let me now see the stars...

Sunday 24 January 2010

..lessons from the eyes of pakmat..

..polygamy has taught me a lot of things, of course..

..mostly about the general structure of women, ..their resoluteness in seeking justice for whatever perceived wrong that they thought they suffered..their softness, that hides a pliancy of steel.. their toughness hidden by their tears..and  their ability  to say what they do not mean..which caught this old man flatfooted quite a number of times, for taking them too literally.. also taught me that it is a rare kind of man, indeed, that can handle more than one wife simultaneously..irregardless of who you are..ulamaks or lay men..for it does not really matter what hadith or surah that you utter, there is always a counter..just ask Sisters-in-Islam..they have a whole array of arguments against polygamy..for if the pots and pans doth fly, a hadith spewing bard still gets it on the forehead.. also taught me about fleeting it is.. to find one that walks in when other leave is nigh impossible..

.. I married my second wife in 1988 at the ripe age of 43..I gained another wife..but I lost all of my a leper-sufferer, I was friends and foes I said, cats snarled and dogs barked..and birds dropped its droppings on me...friends that I thought  I could depend upon as a rallying point were not there..even my shooting buddies left me..I was hung up, high and was then that I understood the meaning of the word pariah..

..and I get obscene phone calls.. uncle called..
'Hi, pakmat, what's this I heard about you?'
'You took another wife?'
'What's wrong with you?'
'Then, why?'
'Must there be something wrong before I can take another wife?'
Silence.. sheesh...

..but most of all, it taught me how fragile are the children caught in a polygamous marriage..young or old enough, age does not matter...they suffered..they became collateral damage..but parents are too often engrossed with each other's fire-fight to care...for, yes, it is, indeed, a fight..for supremacy..for the upper hand..quarters seldom asked..even if asked, not given..unfairly to the children, they are asked to take sides..when they are of both sides..

..and it taught me about me..humbling as it is, it taught me of my a a brought out and laid bare all of my deficiencies as a father, in the eyes of my children..and worst of all, it taught me of my inadequacies as a Muslim...

..for I realized that polygamy is but one of God's test..of your iman...

Thursday 21 January 2010

..a trip, a wedding and a son..

..this Friday pakmat will be making a trip to Bukit Permatang of DSAI..pakmat will be accompanying an old friend, Nik Aziz, a shooting buddy of many years, to a wedding reception at his son-in-law's house somewhere in Kubang Semang, Bukit Mertajam..the bride is his second daughter, Lina...(Nik Fazlina bt. Nik Aziz)..the wedding was held a few weeks earlier in KL..this is the follow-up reception at the groom's home, Razman bin Dato' Dr.Abdul Rahim..

...pakmat is happy to he can also check-up on his son, Amnan, who is in his 2nd semester, UITM, Bukit Mertajam, taking a Diploma course in civil engineering....renting a house in a village nearby, he had asked for pots and pans, forks and spoons, rice-cooker and stove..that he may try turning out dishes at home..and a fishing rod..that he may fish at the many fishing spots in Penang...and we are happy to oblige..

..the wedding in KL..

.I have known Lina since she was a a child she was shy, reserved and angelic..she was the  baby without tantrums..every time I stopped by to pick up Nik Aziz, for our many shooting or fishing trips, she would be in her mother's arm, and I would  pinched her cheeks and commented how pretty she looked..she had always been and still is, the apple and mango of her parents eyes..and I know, to Nik Aziz, she will always be 'My Little Girl'..

..this song is dedicated to all the fathers out there, single or otherwise..
who, one day, have to let go of 'their little girl'..

..after my hiatus, (being  made an outcast of sorts after I took on another wife..friends left me...relatives gave me the evil eye..dogs barked and cats snarled on seeing me..even birds chose to drop their droppings on me) ..I have not met her..I seldom met her father, too..I retreated to get back my wind..but we were that 'old wood burns better' friends..we laid our guns to rest but our friendship remained, notwithstanding....and Lina left for college..(the once or twice I saw her as teenager, she has all the makings of a ravishing beauty..a flower almost blooming)..she got her LLB(Honours), met her beau and got married..and pakmat missed the wedding reception at her father's house..sheesh, I got the date wrong.. and home was a cute country house in Kubang Kerian..

..with all the children gone, Nik Aziz led a quiet life in a shaded neighbourhood with his ever-loving wife, Cik Nah..

..all the best, friend..pakmat wishes you well in your late years..and Lina, pakmat wishes you well, too..may your love for each other grows stronger with every new strength and solace in times of despair..reminders in times of happiness..and may God blesses you and keeps you both under His guidance...InsyaAllah..

Monday 18 January 2010

..drivers and manners..

..children these days take to driving like cats to stalking, ducks to water, hens to laying eggs..they do it so naturally..

..I reprimanded my 13yearold son for driving his mother's Wira in and out of the garage the other day..and it is an old model Wira with clutch and pedals..and he did it smoothly, I have to admit..but no, son, you must learn courtesy on the road first before you learn anything about driving.. for I have had enough with rude and discourteous drivers..yes, even here in laidback Bachok..unlike me, and maybe them, you have a father, and fathers are supposed to teach their children the rudiments of  being courteous on the road..especially to senior citizens, geezers and old coots like me..

..and courtesy is something that is rarely seen on the road these days..

..there was a time I was asked to ride a bicycle by some youth in a souped-up Iswara with a tailpipe as big as a monsoon drain..all because I slowed down on seeing a kitten meandering onto the road..which is ok by me since he could not see the kitten..

..but when someone parked his car just by the only empty car-park along the stretch where you have your wife's hair shop, and you honked a dainty, little honk whilst signaling that his car was blocking, he only glanced at you but make no effort to move.. you waited, thinking maybe he was trying to gather his brains together, or trying to jumpstart some circuit somewhere in his mind before his hand could work the ignition-keys..but still he did not you got out of car, knocked his window and said, 'Mister, can you please move up a bit so I can park my car?'

..I know that another person in my place would just whacked him on the  nose..but, as I always said to all my wives, one time or other, I am not that other person, I am me..

..and you would think that after such a polite request, he would..he did..but he also revved up his car a couple of times, you know, vroom--vroom, causing Chuan, the goldsmith to look up..and he also gave me a look of disdain, like as if I owed him tons of as if it was my fault his wife fumbled at the ATM machine...

..only a few days ago I got caught behind a bus with its hazard lights was one of those Sampai Kelantan Mesti Kahwin buses- painted fireman-red and the legend 'City Liner' emblazoned at the harm in dreaming, I thought... I was on the way was on the way to Bachok, picking up passengers along the way...there was a fair amount of traffic..crowds returning after an evening at the was difficult predicting whether it wanted to stop or to turn right, with both lights I did what any normal 65year-old would do in such a situation..I flashed my lights and honked..instead of pulling a little to the side and allowing me to pass, the bus picked up speed and stopped suddenly in front to pick up some passengers, all the while the hazard lights were on..even an old man like me cursed..and I did..and he honked me as I passed by..and this old man lost his cool and gave him the sign..

..and I am always a courteous driver.. even to cats, kittens and youth who displayed the P sign on the back and front but drive like as if they are professionals F1 drivers..

..what the heck...I do not deserved such treatment..

Saturday 16 January 2010

..the greatest love of all...

..every one falls in love, one time or another..and pakmat had his share of falling in love..for it is so easy to do a fresh-faced sapling in the big city of KLumpur in the 60's, I fell in love with every pretty face that  cared to smile my way..taking a special place was that Chinese girl who stayed on the second floor of the apartment that pakmat shared with five other bachelors, all of whom were from Negeri Sembilan..her name was Mary and the song was 'Ginny Comes Lately" by Brian Hyland and the guitar was an old kapok acoustic guitar that pakmat bought for RM15.00 from a friend..and many an evening was spent serenading her as glimpses of her was seen on her balcony..'Mary comes lately..' ..yes, I was innovative since young..

..later in Kota Bharu, a dance hostess who could do the cha-cha-cha  well, was pakmat's point of interest..for I could not helped but be charmed by the daintiness of her dance, but a jealous boyfriend with a sword put an end to it one fateful night and pakmat did not dance the cha-cha-cha for quite a number of months after the other hostesses could not do it as well as she did..which was all very well, as a few months after that Pakmat  got married, and said goodbye to my wayward ways...

..but life has a way of taking its on some flotsam in a fast flowing river, I found myself sucked into a whirlpool and the strong current simply dragged me wanted to drag yourself up the banks, but somehow, you could the end, you just go with the flow..with arms akimbo..

..after several marriages and many children later,  I can safely say now that I can looked love in the eye and thumbed my nose at it..having tasted its falseness, but enjoyed its fleetingness..suffered its heat..shrivel at its cold..for 'love fire heats water, but water cools not love'  contented Shakespeare..and did he not say that  'journeys end in lovers meeting'?

..for Pakmat it is a long journey..

..a journey that led me to this final love of my life..the greatest and ultimate love..that transcends time and space..yet it sears through my body like a thousand fires..and  like an ill-prepared suitor, I kneel in puny that I am..the foulness of my breath..and the decay in my flesh..the pus in my blood..

..and I bow my head..

..I love Thee with all my heart and me, Lord, what my soul seeketh..take my hand...and lead me on this my journeys' end..where lovers meet..

Friday 15 January 2010 of rest..

..yes, it Friday..and pakmat dedicates this song to all the mothers out there...whether single or otherwise..a song by Martina McBride..In My Daughter's Eyes..

Thursday 14 January 2010

..old friends, old wood...

..old friends are like  old wood..they make better fires..and when old friends meet, they usually start a small conflagration that others nearby may find it strange, if not alarming...conversations become animated and laughter unrestrained..for that moment they are lost in their own space time continuum..

a friend of my youth, Haji Wan Salman Ahmad dropped
by yesterday..after the boisterous hugs 
and pats on the backs, it was down to serious business..
recalling moments of our youth..lost on our own lane of memories, 
his accompanying two siblings and wife were bemused..

..its good to have old friends..they're like that good book you once relished reading and kept it carefully on a shelf , sometimes unattended for years but never forgotten..and each time you take it out, and flip through the pages, the familiar words and sentences will once again jolt your memories into instant recall..old friends tend to be like that, undemanding, but always appreciative of that little gestures that we give...and surviving in spite of  it.. Pak Soh's house, Bachok..Haji Wan's relative by marriage..

..its difficult to put a value on old friends..or how important they are in your twilight years..for they are gentle reminders..  we see in them what we have become.. the long journey that we took..the friends that we have lost..and we recalled the brashness of our we see in each other that tonal mellowness of aging...

Tuesday 12 January 2010

..girls, married men and Helen Reddy..

..gals who fell for married man should not feel so me it is not their fault..for in many ways, they were helpless..not because of their naivety or innocence..but in spite of that..for most men who are married, has developed the art of seducing singles girls to a level that combined both subtlety and patience to the extent its effectiveness is almost this old man on this..I know..

..there is no such thing as chance encounters, or an accidental touch..for everything is planned, only the girl is unaware..and there is no such thing as love at first sight..for no girl would give a married man a third glance..every move is initiated by the man..for when it come to stalking his prey, he has the patience of a saint and the covert moves of a spy..

.by the time the girl realised that it was an entrapment, it was too late..she had given him her was love..and as Helen Reddy said..he is such a descent man...

..but that descent man knew that a girl is virtuous until the day she falls in love...and love has a way of making a girl loses her virtue..

note: click comments for lyrics to the song...

Sunday 10 January 2010 job in the world..?

..Ben Southall..

last year, sometimes in May, a Brit, Ben Southall, landed what was touted as the best job in the world..he was paid close to RM400,000.00 just for six months of catering to some island and the sea surrounding was some reef, I read...all he had to do was blog about it..for view of blog click here..

...a few days before his term ends, he was stung by a deadly jelly-fish, Irukandji..he survives the sting..

..but how can that be? can the best job in the world holder be stung? ..and it sounds like a lot of hard work to me..all those diving and swimming around..and riding sun dunes through all those heat of the desert..factoring in the risk involved, I have to agree with NST's columnist, Syed Nadzri when he wrote that there is no such thing as the best job in the here for his views..and Southall does not even have a personal Lear jet at his beck and call...for the past six months he was stuck there on that a prisoner.. my mind, the best job in the world is not even a job.. they are the retirees and pensioners, like Uncle Lee, (whose blog can be viewed here) ..with all their loans and mortgages all paid holding well, and receiving monthly pension payments in the higher figures bracket... and their lump sum gratuity earning income from some trust fund or other...with their children all grown-up and gone .. they are free to do anything they want....they are free to laze along some beach..or climb some jungle tracks..or just pack and go on a cruise to Pitcairn Island and say hi to Southall..and later goodbye to him..or romp on the sand with their grandchildren with nary a care...or relax with a laptop and blog about their exploits and limitations and no tiresome time constraints...ah..that's the best job in the world...

..but to be eligible for this best job in the world, you must marry early and have children that by the time you retire, all the children have finished college and started out on their own..and you should not marry at fifty, as most men of affluence/influence are wont to pakmat did..even though pakmat did not fall into the well-to-do category..for then you will have children late..and spend your later years sending and fetching them from pakmat is now doing at 65...a big mar on the best job in world..even if you can afford a driver, minding growing up children at 60 is taxing no matter how you looked at it...

..and, of course, you have to plan you finances well..for once you retire, the banks will no longer give you credit..but then, again, you do not need credit, or your list of wants had somewhat diminished...and everthing else is accounted for and paid for..but you have to resist whatever itch that comes you way..which is quite difficult sometimes.. is like family..take care of your health in your early years and it will take care of you in your late years...everything should be in smoking and definitely, no drugs..apart from all that, just keep your fingers crossed and pray that you will live long enough...

..good luck...

Friday 8 January 2010

..its Friday..

..and Pakmat takes a rest..with Willie Nelson...Always On My Mind..a lil bit of country..sung the way it should be sung... a song pakmat used to sing...cheers..

Wednesday 6 January 2010

..1st half of my life..the happier times..

pics from the past............

..pakmat's wedding day..circa 1971..first marriage..I was 26..not very sure what I wanted out of life, but I was damn sure I wanted to marry this lady..she was an English teacher in one of the schools in Kota Bharu..and I was a lowly federal clerk..footloose and fancy free..whilst my bachelor friends were revving it up in swinging Kota Bharu, I got hitched..most of the guests were staff of Land Settlement Office, Kota Bharu..and members of bands Suara Kilat and The Streaks..that she agreed to marry me sent shock waves among family members and friends..I matched her sophistication with the ability to quote from Chaucer and Shakespeare..

..later we were to have 7 children..this pic was taken circa 1977..pakmat was attached to the Terengganu Police Contingent Headquarters, as their Finance Officer..somewhere along the way, I got 1977 we had our first 3 children, all girls..Tisa, front right, 24th May, 1972, Lina, half-hidden, left of Tisa, 29th January, 1974 and Ida, on her mother's lap, August 24th, 1976..pakmat on extreme right..

..on a police boat, class PA, visiting all the islands off Trengganu..on her mother's lap is Ida who later married Tom and make England her home..

..on an island off the coast of Terengganu..the boat in the background took us there, class PZ, a police marine the pic is the late Ahmad Salihin, left, holding his daughter, of RTM, Terengganu, to whom Wan Salman owes the song Kelohan Dara..a hit back in the seventies..

..our 1st son, Faiz, on our maiden trip to was 1984..and she was with our 4th daughter, Afzan..

..Afzan's 6th birthday, attended by Afnan and Anith..

..pakmat's late mother, Hajjah Aminah...of Melaka and Pahang descent..widowed on my birth she never stopped pining for her husband, the late Hamid, my father.. has a way of not turning out the way we wanted..but whatever way it turned out, I realised that it is the way God had wanted it to be...there are time I wished I can rewind and turn back the clock..for there are times when I jumped before I looked..and did not grasped what I should..and made decisions that led to regrets..

..on the final count, I may have missed some, lose some..but there are also gains..but whatever it is, it is what God had meant it to be...I have weathered the storm, life's trials and tribulations..

..out of my foolishness, I should think that I am now a little bit wiser..there is some remorse, of course, but I have seen and done most things..been there and done that..and for that, I am thankful..for I know that God, in his greatness, had given me what I deserved..a little bit of longevity that I may repent and be closer to Him..a little bit of bounty, that I may give thanks to Him...and children, that I may enjoy their careless laughter and smiles..and forever sees in them reflections of my youth...que sera sera...

Monday 4 January 2010

..pieces of white cloth.. response to a post by lili...of suddenly heta...

..the canvasses of my life..

..we say that children are like pieces of white cloth...its up to us as parents to ascertain the colours..

true..up to a point..

..but sometimes the canvas took on it own shade and hues.with utter disregard to the colours of their parents choice..consternating, yes...but we learned to adjust the paint..and accept that even pieces of cloth have their own minds..for such as it is with children..we can only prod and nudge..make suggestions..but in the end, much to our chagrin, they make their own choices...

..but what if the canvas is not as perfect as we would like it to be?

..any painter will tell you that the quality of the canvas is just as important as the paint..

..what if it is deformed?..or physically-handicapped..? or mentally-retarded? are we going to colour that canvas?

I always try to imagine, and cringed with despair at my failed attempts to set free my imaginations, the hardship and the throes of anguish, parents of such children have to go through, in trying to paint some colours onto their children...and I cannot put a measure on their sacrifices...or their love..the devotion and the patience..and the constraint on their time..

..for I know that if I were to slip into their shoes... I could never take on their load...

Friday 1 January 2010

..1.1.2010.. was just like any other did not hit me when I was at my usual walk along the beach..later as I was having my self-prepared breakfast, looking at Pakpong frolicking on the sand with Pakteh and Tupai, our three tom cats, it was still just another was at the office where I part timed that it got to hit me as I typed today's date..1.1.2010..and I froze a little as the enormity of it sank in..

..this old man had always been a 19-hundred man when it comes to dates..being born in the year 1945 or thereabout, as it life has always been about 19-hundred something or other..when 20 hundred came around, it took this old man a few years into it, before I could really feel comfortable about it..

..but now it is the year 2010...a decade past 20 hundred..and I sat there, staring at the monitor and saw all those years before me flitting past, slides of flashbacks..right down to the time of my first day at school, Government English School, Kuala Krai..and it was 1952..and I was uncomfortable in white shorts, shirts, socks and shoes...and I had never worn shoes before..or socks..and I remember hiding my feet when my maternal uncle gave me the once over..

..and I realised that I should be around 65-years old now, or thereabout..and I just read in yesterday's NST that the average lifespan for Afghans is only 43-years..and I am past that by 22 years..

..God has been kind to me by giving me a little bit of longevity..blessed me with several marriages..and many children and, to date, 6 grandchildren..and He has blessed me with gifts more than the stars studding a night sky..if I would but care to count..

..and I could only clasped my hands in inadequate thanks..seeking forgiveness for my transgressions.. to whether I will be around come 2020 is something beyond my ken..but for every second that I still am, for every new morn that I wake up to, for every dawn as for every dusk, for every birth and for every death..I bear witness that there is no other Most Gracious or Most Loving, than You..........