In the evening, Tn Hj Shafie set up our teambuilding mood with a brilliant movie “Lashkar pelangi”. It’s about a kampong life in Belitung Indonesia and how this remote community struggled to save its dying sekolah agama rakyat. The story is about the realities of life and how each of us struggle to live and make a living; in the end some survived to live up to their dreams and some did not.The story is about the dreams we all have when we were kids like the rainbows in the horizon; so beautiful and colorful splashed across the sky. One character in the movie is the anak pesisir (anak nelayan), a genius kid, registered himself at the school and struggled to keep up with the school as he had to tend his small siblings because his father went off to the sea. That’s similar to our humble beginning and how poor we all were living in the 60s and 70s, but with the dream we struggled and make a better life. True enough, as in the movie, life does not always turn out to be as expected, the genius one was forced to be with his family while his friend had a chance to be in the place he always wanted to be —Paris. They all seemed happy though no matter how bad life has treated them.
The lady teacher, in another scene, sent a more direct message to us—“aku bukan impi ingin kahwin saudagar, Pak…..aku ingin jadi guru, dan di sini aku boleh jadi guru”. The school was a run down kampong house with no floor, no electricity or fancy cabinet; and yet this beatiful lady teacher chose to be there with the kids. The whole story was very emotional and touched deep inside; the tears trickle down my cheek as the movie went on. I saw this movie many times before but this time the atmosphere is different—there is a purpose behind the emotions. I guess this time the teambuilding event will be different from the one I used to attend before. I can start to smell the essence of academia and the connection that I need to mould between these strange faces. All of the sudden I felt a need to sort out my emotions and put them in proper places; I need to know some people. Looking around the hall, I was taken aback of how little I know these people…the names and faces look familiar but that do not seem to be enough.
There is a gap between the olds and the young ones; there has always been a gap but this time this gap-thing has to go one way or another. I was very skeptical about it but again , if not now, when would be the right time to abolish this gap. The very young ones speak a different language, they really do, and most of the words are not in my vocabs. My children teach me a lot of these words; their meanings and the proper context of use. They have developed a whole new culture that without much effort to know them , they will drift away from “our society” and set their own world with separate values and norms. I consider myself “old” because it is easier for myself to be old rather than young. I “failed” my youth and have no plan to go back and reminiscence the “bad and dark” old days. We were young once and every one of us know how it was in the old days…very hard and brutal. But that’s a different story. For me it’s a big deal because I am not good with people; everything involves other people will make me lose some sleep at night. A man cannot be an island, they said; but for me it could be the best thing that can happen to a man like me. Anyway, we were assigned an apartment with 3-4 other persons. I was with Mr Lau, Adzhar CTN and En. Juhari; we have never sit down together and talk so I guess this is a very good opportunity to get to know each other better. And we did. Things will be a lot different later when we go back to the faculty.