Sunday 30 May 2010

..mi rhythm..

.it is one of the frailness of ordinary mortals that we are unable to see the future.. not even Nostradamus...

..back then, footloose and fancy free, even though marriage was a possibility, I did not see myself as a polygamist..I thought I would in all probability marry the girl of my dream, have kids, a house, a car, some cats and just whither, grow old and fade into the a young man of 25 pushing 26 enjoying his time in Kota Bharu, you do not think of the just let it comes to you..but the future has a way of winding along its own course..

..and for the boys of the band Suara Kilat, as well as the patrons of the several nightclubs that dotted the low night skyline of Kota Bharu,  from Prince to Suria,  the beat goes on...kept lively and vibrant by them...moonlighting as musicians by night and working as daily rated staff of the then LLN by music were provided by them and several  members of RTM, Kota Bharu..a buddy to all of them, pakmat enjoyed easy access to all those places, with the boys sometimes signalling my presence by playing 'La Virgen De La Macarena' on the guitar to a cha-cha beat... gaining a reputation as a night-stalker and a 'kaki tino' (Kelantan speak for a womaniser), it did not helped at all with his endeavours with Audrey..yes, he was guilty to most of the charges..but there were several things he managed to the big city of KL or in KB...drugs, drink and sex with sex-workers..then marijuana was only 50 cents a stick..I could not make myself to like the taste of beer or the effects of ganja..and I could not make it with the girls of the night..that lil appendage would not listen to my command..I think at 26 I was just a guy who loved to have fun...and the company of girls. a lil bit blue, yes..but not yellow..and I loved the beat of cha cha cha...

..but try telling that to her mother..

Friday 28 May 2010


..its a Friday, after all..time for family...visits to grandchildren..and a glimpse of what Kelantanese are listening and viewing..have a nice day, all...

..buaya darat..crocodiles that prey on land...cheers..

Wednesday 26 May 2010

..Kota Bharu 1970..and a date.. was an incredible time..Kota Bharu in 1970...the streets were filled with Fiat 124 Specials and Datsun Triple S'es... food were cheap, RM1.00 would get you a sumptious breakfast, and the rent was low.. for a young man whose pay as a clerk was RM333.65 cents per month, it was careless was for the day, 'for tomorrow we die' and 'what are friends for if not to die for?'..Hoover Hotel and Restaurant at Jalan Dato Pati was the place to linger and meet up with the gang..Restaurant Sun Too at the end of Jalan Temenggong for ice cream with your date after a movie..and movies were at Panggong Lido, perched on a rise by the river bank along Jalan Post Office Lama..

..where once stood Panggong Lido is now site for the new LKIM building..
remembering the words of Awang Goneng, pakmat was there 
one evening, to take this photograph..and to walk alongside it..
trying to catch those voices, laughters and tears of a time, 
forty years ago..I caught a glimpse of a young
 man peering through the ticket booth, a little bit
anxiously, but the voices are gone..they disappeared along with 
the dust and bricks as the 
building came tumbling down... 

.unbeknowned to most 1970 marked the beginning of the end of an era...those care free, swinging times were about to end..street protests and Mageran was around the corner. for Datuk Mohd Asri Muda, it was to be his last term as Chief Minister..but for a young man in love it was dating time..she took a chance on him and he took her to the Panggong Lido..we walked there from her home at Jalan Kampong Sireh, less than a kilometer away..I could not remember the movie, but I remembered the walk gave wings to my feet..but she knew nothing about my thumping heart...we talked and we laughed...the night enveloped and conspired with a certain intimacy only couples knew..

..Sun Too as it is now...forlorn and forgotten..

Saturday 22 May 2010

..the courting..

..I did not know it then..but when I came back in the late sixties, I was going against the tide..times were uncertain, then..Kota Bharu, long known as the Paris of the East was about to lose that tag..Britz Park, the place of loud music and svelte joget girls and dark nooks was winding down and closing its gates..and so were the night-clubs..biding its time before the order to close..Pantai Cinta Berahi lost its passion and became Pantai Cahaya were scarce and people were leaving the state by droves..looking for better opportunities elsewhere..some to become settlers with newly opened land schemes..those with a little bit of skills in construction left for jobs in was the lull after the May 13th incidence..the New Economic Policy had been forged, but too new to bear any was the worst and the best of times..

..but for a young man madly in love it was courting time...and finding the going rough..for her mother would not have anything to do with him..this two bit clerk, more uncouth than unkempt..and she would served him unfiltered coffee without sugar everytime he went a-visiting... but he went, nonetheless, time and again, going clickety-clack with his Vespa..and parked it gingerly under her porch, and waited anything from 10 to 20 minutes before the front door opened..and he drank the coffee like as if it was beans and all...  was the time of the Bee Gees. Ray Coniff and Los Indios Tabarajas..and an end to the glorious days of Malaysia Cup when Singapore was a participant..Dali Omar left for Australia..

..and a  young man in love found himself the centre of mirth by friends and relative alike..for having designs on Audrey..but through it all he was unfazed..he may not have power, position or wealth..but he had this inner confidence..

Thursday 20 May 2010

..the towering feeling..

..'and oh..the towering feeling...just to know that somewhere you are near'..

..I  met my Audrey..and the streets of Kota Bharu was where I skipped and jumped in youthful ectasy..I surrendered to the raging in my heart and all the pain and the conflicts  that came along with being in love...and how I struggled to keep it hidden.
..but, was not yet time..and I fought against fighting it I lost myself in the town that accepted me like a long, lost son..there were parties, nightclubs, hot dance-hostess who could do everything except dance and the band boys of Suara Kilat and The Streaks..I sang and I danced..but the tempest that whirled within refused to be quelled..I bought myself a Vespa..and found that every street, every road, every lane led to her house...

Wednesday 19 May 2010

..the return..and the first touch.. was, by any standard, a tumultous courtship..we met almost immediately after I plonked my suitcase on the stairs of my mother's was heavy with books, with  some clothings pressed within it..she was there about some dresses, ( late mother was a seamstress..)

..she flashed me a smile..and I just stood there at the bottom of the stairs, taking in her smile and laughing eyes..
'Mamat,' said my mother, from her Singer, set facing  a window, by way of an introduction, 'From KL. My son.' ..yeah, I remembered thinking, your  prodigal son..

..used to the ways of the city, I extended my hand, 'Hi.' ..she took my hand as my mother pedalled on her sewing machine..she asked appropriate questions..I answered appropriate answers..without realising it, we slipped into English..hmm..I thought, an English speaking damsel in Kota Bharu..not bad..

..only later  was I to know that she was a teacher, a  distant relative and single..and have 'captains and officers     among her suitors' as my mother emphatically told me..and I smiled at my mother..Kota Bharu was out there, waiting for me...and since when did I let a little bit of rank and position fazed me?..

Monday 17 May 2010

...the early years..

....I was not born into property..there were no inheritance of any kind..and when I set myself adrift in KL in the sixties, preferring work to studies, I knew that in the country of my birth, I do not have a home that I could go back late mother was staying in a house owned by her husband's relative in Jalan Gajah Mati, Kota Bharu..not having born nor spend my growing up years there, the house sheltered no fond memories that I could relate to..
..sometimes I did not even bother to go back for Raya..preferring, instead to linger in KL, my adopted city..even though home was in Brickfields, where I rented a 3bedroom flat with 5 others, I was familiar with almost every part of KL, having covered every nook and cranny..
..but there was only so much of KL that you can take...even a stone gets tired of rolling after some time..I was 25..and tired of the tinsel and neon..tired and ridden with little debts..kedai mamak to the bookstore..and still slightly immature to see through a relationship..I needed to start anew in Kota Bharu..a cooperative loan settled all my debts and I was off to Kelantan, on a transfer that was approved within a week of putting it in..and it was early a town I was not familiar with..hardly the hometown that I would like it to be..but it was a swinging town, then..and it did not take long before I merged with it..enjoyed its vibrant night life and took part in its nocturnal activities..I embraced the town as it accepted me and I met my first wife...

Friday 14 May 2010

..on health and a prayer..

..what is a man without his health?.. he a king or a slave...a rich man or a pauper..they are nothing once their health is gone...all the soldiers in the world to the most powerful of kings mean nothing.. they are powerless against the onslaught of ill-health..

.. an old man without his health is worse...what is pakmat but for this lingering remnants of dubious health..?

..Lord. I thanked Thee for this brief moment that Thou has bestowed upon me..
..Thou has blessed me with lasting eyesight, that I may see..
..ears that I may hear..and good health that I may be free..
..and a constantly beating heart..
..that I might savour the might of Your mercy..

Wednesday 12 May 2010

..the send-off and felda jengka, pahang..

..they met when she was a student and he was hanging around after SPM..she the daughter of police parents, and he the son of a Felda settler.. they had their nuptials among the hills in Camerons..and last Saturday was the sending off of the bride to the groom's home, Kg New Zealand, Maran, Pahang..

..the bride's paternal uncle, Haji Saari bin Din, had insisted on being host to the 'menghantar ceremony'..and he was the Regional General Manager, Felda Eastern Territory, whose office and home  is in Felda Residence Tekam Resort, a few kilometers  from Bandar Jengka.,  a six-room double-storey house on a small hillock..Kampong Tun Razak..paying homage to the man responsible for Felda.. the clan arrived and gathered, pakmat interviewed Hj. Saari casually.. over sumptious dinner and breakfast so graciously prepared by his wife..(gulai tempoyak ikan fatin was out of this world)..and was told that Felda is the largest single owner estate  in the world, exceeding 855 thousand hectares of developed area RGM he covers 37 regions, each with its own Manager..and that on average, each settler receives an income of RM2500.00 per mensen....aside  from their income as sub-contractors, entreprenuers and service providers..all economic activities in Bandar Jengka are operated by Malays..
..pakmat interviewing Hj. Saari, (in red), to the amusement of pakmat's present mother-in-law..

..the morning before the send-off..pakmat took the photo..pakmat 
dressed the groom as the wife painted and prepared the bride..

..arrival at the groom's home, Kg. New Zealand..Hj. Saari leading the
charge.. and the groom with his samping askewed ( my fault)..

..sunrise from the hillock of Hj. Saari's home..we enjoyed our breakfast 
as we enjoyed the sunrise..

..pakmat took the Gua Musang - Kecau - Kuala Lipis - Kerambit - 
Jerantut - route to Bandar Jengka..the scene above is of a respite 
after Friday prayers at Kuala Lipis mosque, 
overlooking the railway station..

..we left for home through the Ulu Jabor-Kuala Berang road, leaving New Zealand and the newly married couple around 5 in the evening..they will be there for  a week..before proceeding to Langkawi, where the groom has been posted as a police officer..we left them there at the sunrise of their life..good luck and fare thee well, both of pakmat went back to the sunset of his life.....

Monday 10 May 2010

..camerons and a wedding..

..when the wedding ceremony is held in the hills, Cameron Highlands, you cannot help but be surrounded with  flowers..a profusion of them..of various shapes, shades and hues..adding colour and a certain vibrancy to the occassion..

..but this flower needs some pruning..

..and the father marrying his daughter to this gentleman..
..pakmat bears witness..

..look at pakmat's shoes..I misplaced mine and wore my son's Nike..:)

..I know I shouldn't..(heck, I am no Lady Kama) but the bride's father insisted, and it was my niece's wedding, and I already looked ridiculous in my son's Nike..and I could not resist the pakmat belted out a song... my wife looked away..and my children disappeared...a lil girl who did not know anything handed me a stalk..and I felt twenty-five..