Sunday, November 18, 2018

Just Rambling...

Whenever I do not go out and lepak at the mall I would just sit at the Serambi and read a book. It was one of those day. It just 3.55 pm and the sky was cloudy, darker than it usually is at this time of the day. It looks like it may rain. I love the rain. Coming from the East-coast of Malaya, at this time of the year it rains cat and dog for days thus it kept the atmosphere cool. Folks had to wear sweaters to keep warm. I believe the temperature must have gone down since the coconut oil solidified. For me it was a nice time of the year where we get to wear cravat to work. I like wearing cravat and kept a few till these days. Well folks just daydreaming of the memory of my youth in Kuantan, my hometown. Ha ha! 

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Of Guardian Angel; daughters of late friends....

They say things happened for a reason and I do believe so. Let me relate here two recent happening which I believe is the way our guardian's angel works. First I saw a comment in Taib Wahab's Facebook posting where he highlighted the demise three years ago of a close friend Mohamed Ibrahim which we fondly address as Mat Bra. It happened that Mat Bra was one of my closest friend when we were attached to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports since the early seventies. Through this posting I got connected with Mar Ilyani Mohamed the youngest daughter of Mat Bra. The second happening was a young woman the daughter of a family, a neighbour in Cendering where we live when working in Terengganu. She saw a FB posting of a photo of me and spouse having dinner with my nephew's Hyree Ibrahim Kutty, her uni colleague. She Julaillah Mohd Sarif put two and two together and contacted me on FB. In the conversation I soon found out that both her parents had passed away. I was surprised of their demised. 

I am indeed happy that I got connected with these two young women, daughters of my late friends. God did act in a mysterious way indeed. To me it was such a beautiful happening. Alhamdulillah. 

Have a nice day.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Personal Space...

Yes, the personal space, a space of our own; a space in time and moment that we want for ourselves alone. A space that we want to be independence of anyone else. A moment in time that we want to jealously guard as our own and we have the right to have one; that special personal space in time.  As I journey on in life and getting there in my golden years, I yearn to have that personal space more and more and slowly and surely, I am getting there. It is not that easy, and I believe with perseverance and patience I would eventually get there. It does not mean that I want to be alone all the time. It is not that. I love to be with my loves one but that sometimes I do really need my own personal space. A time that I could dreams, whilst away in the clouds, contemplate, flirt in my mind and wonder of all the possibilities, to be able to spend time with friends on my own and on my own choice, without being subjected to other people reaction, want to be able to do my things my way. The way I like it during that special space in time. From the time we were born we have been subjected to live with others and subjected to be living in a common space in time. We are subjected to the rules and regulation that are made for us and that we are not being involve in the making it. We are program to believe in certain value and norms and we are expected to go on believing in it whether we like it or not. In a way we are subjected to live and conform with the values and norms of our parents and our own culture. If not, we would not be allowing to live comfortably in the society. Personally, I think this is wrong. We are human with individual brain and such we should be our own self always. Of course, with should conformed with the society rule and regulation as far as civil society is concerned but at the same time, we should be allowed to live our own life as we like. When I was living in the States some years ago. I found that I am freer to live as I like although I am a foreigner. I believe this should be the way forward. Making everyone happy and able to contribute constructively to the country and the world at large. We would not have all the new inventions and all the new discoveries if we are not allowing to think and venture on, on the belief that there are better place and things in the future. Had it not been for that freedom of thinking, we would not be able to communicate like we do now...i.e. the internet. All the new happening and inventions did not just happen. I believe it is because we were allow that personal space in time, to think and to take that risk and venture on.That makes our world a better place to live and enjoy life. In another front, if we want to makes our marriages life successful and achieve all those dreams together, we have to respect each other, especially in the aspect of giving each other that freedom of having a personal space in time, from time to time. It is only with the understanding that we are all individual and have the need of that personal space that make life so wonderful. And like I often said, it would be colourful as well....My friends that is life, have fun and enjoy life. 

Have a nice day.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Of Rice and Malaysian...

Yes, I am talking about rice, our staple food. That we cannot do without. It is our basic that we take daily. From breakfast to dinner and at time during teatimes where we had traditional cakes made of rice. Goreng Pisang [fried banana] cannot be Goreng Pisang without been coated with the rice flour. It would not taste as good with other flour. At time we just took this commodity for granted, as though that it is always there when we need it. That is why in the Malay culture it is a sin to throw even a single grain of this wonder grain call Rice. It must be given due respect for it has been the staple food of Asian for centuries. In fact, that's what made the Asian race resilience all the centuries.

Another aspect that should be known about rice is that it does not take much doing to get it cooked and ready to eat. Whereas for wheat, it takes many processes before it could be eaten. In rice what one got to do is to wash it and steam cooks it. And Voila! In mere fifteen minutes your get to enjoy it. As for wheat it surely takes more than fifteen minutes to even get a bun baked. So, as you can see, indeed Rice is a wonder grain. It grows fast and with the husk taken, it is ready to be cook unlike the wheat where it had to be turned into flour, kneaded into dough and then bakes before it could be eaten. That my friends are the wonder of rice.

Friends, there are news of shortage of rice in some part of Asia and this worry us as well. As for me I know very well when it is almost impossible to get rice daily during the Japanese occupation of Malaya from 1941 to 1945. Folks who could not get rice had to do with eating Ubi Kayu [tapioca] and if they get little of it they would use it for making porridge so that whatever rice they had could be used for a longer period. Well, that was then but now our markets are full of all sorts of varieties of rice. Both the local and the imported one are available all the times. From the cheapest to the dearest one where price is not controlled. So, when news that there are shortages of rice in some countries in this part of the world, we in Malaysia began to fear of rice shortage as well. To allay that fear the authority has assured consumers that there are ample stocks of rice in this country.

So folks do takes it easy and continue to enjoy this wonderful grain that we call Rice. The Ikan Asam Pedas [fish stewed in sort of hot/sour] as shown in the image above is great to go with the white Rice. It is one of the Malay traditional dishes that had been around for a long time and it surely could not be enjoyed without that wonderful white Rice. 

Have a nice day.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Going to School in 1946...

Both my parents were illiterate and yet they send their children to school. Until this day I could remember that day in January 1946 when I went to school when the school was reopening after the war. I remember vividly my father holding my hand and walk me to the Malay School [Sekolah Melayu Teruntun] at Jalan Gambut, Kuantan. From the shop at Wall Street [Now Jalan Mahkota] we walk across the Padang. Then along the path near the Government Office buildings and the patch of grassland to reach the school. I was then seven years old and excited and happy. When I was registered as a student my name was written as Idrus bin Abu Bakar. I was sort of shock and wondering for a while; why they did not write my name as Awang. All the while I was call Awang and never heard of the name Idrus. Then the teacher explain that my registered name is Idrus. It takes a while before I could get used to been call Idrus. In those days kids never get to see their Birth Certificate so I was totally lost. Now I have two names; Idrus at School and Awang at home and the Kampong. Until now my closed relative calls me Awang. In those days there were not that many Malay students in the English School. To get the Malay to study at the English School the British Authority at that time introduce a Special Malay Class in the English School where kids after standard two in the Malay School are move to the study in the English School, in a special class call Special Malay Class I and II. Here again my father made a very smart move by agreeing to move me from the Sekolah Melayu [Malay School] to the English School. Thus, after two years in the Malay School I move to the Special Malays Class I at the Abdullah School [English School] in Kuantan. Only after attending the Special Malay class for two years that we the Malay kids join the others starting in standard four. I study in Abdullah School until I completed my Secondary Schooling and took the Cambridge School Certificate in 1957. Because I went to an English School I not only master the English language but Bahasa Melayu as well. I became race and color blind and open minded and as patriotic as well. Had I just gone to a Malay School my future would be bleak indeed. At that time no one would want to employ you if you are not educated in an English School. Looking back my late father had a vision and that education is the best investment for his kids. 

Have a nice day.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Of Pollution...

I am back in Kuantan for a short break from the city life. Kuantan a small town on the east-coast of Malaya is my hometown. I grew up here and spend my childhood and my youth here. So, there are lots and lots of memories. In a way coming back here is sort of reliving those memories. I shall write some of it here. In the forties in the kampong where I grew up there was no air or water pollution. The well water was clean, and air was so refreshing. The word pollution did not exist at that time and no one talk about pollution. Now that with all the talk about pollution I realised that there was also no sound pollution as well at that time. The reason I am talking about noise pollution is that when we were living in the kampong in Kuantan we could hear every noise of the wild, the crickets, the frogs, the birds and everything else that makes sound. Since there were hardly any cars or buses, lorry or air plane flying by or any factories that create noise there was no noise pollution as well. The sounds we hear every day in those days were that which were created by nature. It was a pleasing sound and soothing to the ears. Now in the twenty first century the sound pollution is so great that one forgets the existence of the natural sound that we used to hear in the period when I grew up. The environment and the atmosphere were natural. Now it has change so much and it is not getting better. It is the same with water, we got our water supply from the well or the river nearby. It is clean and could be used for drinking even without boiling.  No one are found to fall sick just by drinking well or stream water. It tastes good and it is refreshing. Now it is not the same anymore, all the water we get now comes from the pipes, well or the river water are not safe to drink. To make sure it is safe to drinks it had to be boiled first. As far as the air we breathe, it smells refreshing those days, but now, what with the haze and other pollution it just smells different although the oxygen content is just suitable for the human consumption. Well that would do for the time being. Would write more some other time.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Our Marriage, A note...

While going through a 1962 Diary I found this written on the page of Saturday 3, February 1962:-

" Left Kuantan at 2pm  for Temerloh in a chartered Bus. Reached Temerloh at 5pm.  Got married to Asmah at 9.05pm. Feast and left for  home at 11pm,  reached Kuantan at 1.20am. "

A beautiful moment in my life. 

Have a nice day.