My Ramadhan : Day 12

A sunset over Shah Alam

Friday Day 12

The morning was quiet. I went into a half full classroom and felt sick in my stomach. Do I have to deal with this again this morning? I gritted my teeth, made some stupid jokes and continue the lesson. And as expected no one really paid attention. I stood there like a stupid ass and fed everyone with misery.

What a day!

But later that day my relative dropped by. My day ended beautifully. Alhamdulillah

My Ramadhan : Day 11

Al Hambra : the glory of the past

Thursday Day 11

The day we remember our teachers and what they mean to us. Everyone of us started to see the world through our teachers. In the early days of my childhood I had teachers from school. Most of them were very strict and “bekeng” to most of us. In the 70s we had mostly Chinese and Indian teachers. The chinese headmaster was very bad and totally unapproachable. That was from my perspective as a student. Are you supposed to fear you teachers? How does the exchange of knowledge will happen if you feared your teachers so much? Not much really. We had a few Malay teachers and they were no help either. I remember trying very hard to complete a peribahasa homework. I just could not sleep and cried in bed until mom came. She did not know peribahasa also so she asked me to get help from my brother. He helped a little and my stress level started to disappear. I am not sure I learnt anything from school; it just a place you spent until father came home from work.

Born and raised here…..not much has changed since I left

After school I went to a religious lesson at the mosque. The ustaz was really nice and he asked me to join the class as I was looking through the windows. I had no money to pay for the lesson(but later found out that it was free) or books to go with the lessons.the ustaz said it was okay just sit there and listen. And thats what I did. I owe a lot to that ustaz and pray for his good life where ever he might be.

Happy Teachers Day !Ustaz….

Ramadhan Day 10

The colours that rejuvenate an old palace in Marrakesh,Morocco

Wednesday

I was sickened by the IG suicide voting. Now we are on the map together with the rest of world in teenage suicide. Finally the beans have spilled and the true face of our youngsters have started to emerge. And that is a reality that we have avoided to discuss all this while. Nope we have a strong family unit, our culture is different and our kids would never do that.now what? Where should we start the blame game? As MJ said, start with the man in the mirror. Lets start all over again by admitting that our youth has problems and they need our help. In Uitm, as we are approaching the final exam week, many students will feel the squeeze until they find themselves in the corner and do not know what to do. Some contemplated suicide. Seriously. It happened. We were lucky that in Uitm we have a lot of safety nets that was able to capture this well before it worsened. In the front scenes and behind the scenes the safety nets are set up to capture the complicated thoughts of our students. Sometimes they want to be gay but then not all the time only when he has a boyfriend. Crossdressers feeling depressed and showed up all over the internet. Gay clashes were the worst because both could be at the verge of death. All these are real and happened right in our neighbourhood to our innocent youngsters. As I said, start with ourself and take care the ones around us close to us, boys or girls. Never to shun them away for being naive or misbehave.

Took them gardening

I understand well the pressure our youth is going through because I went through a rough time myself when I was young; being bullied and all. The psychological scars remain to these days and wish the culprits to die a slow death and suffer until his bones dropped. It was that bad. Feeling sad, reserved, isolated, frustrated, angry, raged,bad tempered, lonely, act of bullying and many more are signs and red alerts of youngsters in trouble. I work with my students by monitoring all these alerts and how serious they are. Once anyone of them popped up, I know what to do.

Mentoring program at the faculty

My students or any youth group in general live in their own complex society. As an old generation, I would have a tough time to understand and comprehend the structure of their thoughts and actions.but we have to dig in and get close to them. Only then we will be able to manage the situations.

The future of Malaysia is in their hands

Gotong royong program in Shah Alam

Good luck to all and may Ramadhan give peace and serenity so we find strength and reasons to walk our future.

My Ramadhan (continues …)

 

Ramadhan Day 7

Sunday. Gout attack. Period. So I scribbled this …..

Dulu kita kerdil menumpang bayang2 orang
Kini sudah gah pandai pikat hati orang

Dulu kita bodoh tak tahu tulis baca
Sekarang sudah pandai bermain kata2

Dulu kita hodoh tiada sapa yg nak
Kini sudah ada bini dan anak-anak

Dulu kita diejek pakai kasut buruk luka di betis
Kini sudah pandai berfesyen ala2 retis

Dulu kita tiada kawan punya badan bau kari
Kini sudah rapi supaya kawan tidak lari

Dulu kita tiada beskal nak pusing kampung
Kini ada kereta tapi x balik kampung

Dulu kita hidup happy2 aja
Kini kita hidup dengan apa yg ada saja


Indah sungguh hidup dulu2
Kini ia tinggal dalam kenangan

So don’t worry be happy …..

Ramadhan Day 8

The gout attack from yesterday was still there. You’d feel like to poke the burning bulge and let whatever inside to burst out. So painful. For those who do not know what a gout attack is…ask google. If you are over forty and woke up one day feeling like you’ve sprained your ankle and could not walk straight, the attack has started. In a few hours, you would feel so in pain you wish to get a knife and cut it out. You wanted to be so dead. Anyway, this is Monday and I have to drag myself to my classes; one in the morning and another on in the afternoon. I rushed out for the 8am class and when I reached the parking lot at my faculty, I just could not go on. I usually walk to the Engineering that would take about five minutes. But this morning, it felt so far away as I inched my way to the stairs. Forget it! It will take ages to reach my class. The walk was not only slow but painful as well. I never made it to my morning class. In fact, I missed the afternoon class as well. Maybe I should see a doctor and get some pills for this. I never did that too.

The pain made me so frustrated that I just refused to do anything useful. Fcuk it! I am old, I am mad and I am in pain. What else is there? I wanted to close my eyes and let it go away. Let the miserable things disappear.

 

Ramadhan Day 9
It was beautiful morning as I drove my son to his driving lesson. The sunshine was bright but pleasant and gave the springtime feeling from the places I used to be. But this is different, it’s home, the place I wont be leaving anytime soon. So, no hurry; no train to catch or flight to board. I’m home.

Nowadays, Shah Alam is home. It has been for the last 15 years. So far, we love it here; near to KL although I have seldom gone for anything important. Accessibility is good. People are friendly. The crime is low although scary sometimes. But we manage and keep our eyes open. I love jogging and there are plenty of jogging routes and parks in Shah Alam.

 

My Ramadhan

Ramadhan Day 1

 

The first day of Ramadhan has always been a nervous one. I am afraid the hunger would be too much for my body to cope with. But alhamdulillah, so far, I am coping very well. The suhr was simple with toasts, dates and hot milk …..my usual breakfast. As of today, my weight is 82.5 kg and this should be reduced by at least 10 kg at the end of Ramadhan, insyAllah. A bit superficial target but let’s see how far I can go this year. Usually I lost around 3-4 kg at the end of Ramadhan, but it would be back to normal by the second week of Shawal. Losing weight is always promising in Ramadhan but the hardest part is to keep it. Less weight means healthier days ahead with high mobility (for the aged ones like me) and dynamic. It also looks good in the mirror but that would be the last thing for someone like me. I don’t need to look beautiful anymore…just pleasant! I want to be pleasant among the Jemaah in the surau or when talking to my students. No more bad breath, stinking armpit or gross body odor. I can remember vividly during the days when people responded to my stinking body…. they turned around, coughed away or told to my face that I had a dog breath. As a young man I just could not care less….go away you are so mean!. But these days I would spend longer time in the loo to clean every part of the body until it smells good and nice. I have to do that just mainly for myself to ensure that the next bad smell will not be from my own body part. I can safely say ….. aargh he smells bad(and not me!). Hahahaha! And feel good about it. The morning breath is very frustrating either from your own self or someone you meet early in the morning. Being the first person to greet is very special but when it comes with a stinking smell you will feel bad and frustrated. The thing is that the bad morning breath is from last night (and not this morning). You might eat something exotic for dinner (like curry) and forgot to brush it away before bed. Sometime the habit is not there to clean your teeth before going to bed (and that’s terrible). All the leftovers between the teeth would work overtime during the sleep and you will wake up with a stinking garbage in your mouth. Even after the morning brush the smell remains, for some time, until it mixes with breakfast. When I had a latenight flight out of KLIA, I would find a few people brushing their teeth before the flight. That means most of them in the flight would go through the night without cleaned teeth. But once when I had a latenight flight out of Narita/Haneda, I had to queue up to brush my teeth. Everyone just finds a spot in the washroom and brush, brush, brush. I was amazed at first but then why not? It should be a common practice to brush your teeth at night…wherever you are.

 

Day 2

So, I survived Day 1. Thank God. It was not easy but at the same time fun. The night prayers were okay. We had a guy from Yemen last night leading the prayers. His voice was strong and read the Quran fluently. For so many years, I remember the night prayers were a big challenge. But, as time went by, you kind of calm yourself down and went with the flow. Sometimes you flew off to the castle in the sky and play with the princess and when you came down it was all over. It’s hard when you did not understand what the Imam was saying. I hope tomorrow will be better.

 

Ramadhan Day3

As I drove through Shah Alam this morning there’s a calmness in the air. The sun has yet to emerge as the thick clouds still roamed the high sky. I am coping well with the fasting at the start of the third day of Ramadhan. Being diabetic, hunger is like a culprit lingers around to spoil the day. So far so good and that culprit is well under control.alhamdulillah.

 

 

 

 

Ramadhan Day 4

 

I feel stronger today as, physically, my body has started to adjust with the fasting. But more importantly, today I realized that for the first time my family is getting bigger. Bigger in the sense that all my children have grown up and their needs and expectations have expanded. I have 5 children still the same for the last few decades; only last year we received a menantu, so plus one, and by July another one …..my first grandchild. Our children grow up and their needs grow with them. They need their own car, looking for their own house and manage their own finances. All of the sudden, I feel small and vulnerable at the tip of a family tree. Usually grand-dad is a figure to look-up in a family; who tells great stories and advice about life and the world. I am not sure I will be the one—– am I qualified to be a grand-dad? I wish there was a school that I could go to and get a certificate on how to be a fabulous grand-dad. When I see children, sometimes I love them dearly but there is also a time I hate to have them around. So annoying. I feel my time I spent with my own children was too brief and before I knew it, they have all grown up. I know that for almost thirty years I have them around, we were always together and near to each other. But somehow, at this moment, I wish we were a lot closer. We had bibik when they were small, so I could go off and work. Now I am not sure whether that was a good trade-off. And then we put them into boarding schools for most of their teen-ages. After that they went off to their universities for another 3-4year time period. By the time we are old and they are adults, we are nothing but friendly strangers. I am confused and frustrated to the circumstances that have put us in this scenario. The life that betrayed us. At the end of it you are left on your own—-sad and lonely.

 

 

 

 

Ramadhan Day 5

Friday. Frustrations reigned high today. The thing is that if you put extra effort and went extra length to feed your students with the latest method and trained them with the latest technology; at the end of the day, you want to see them use it. But, no, none of them will be using what I have painstakingly taught them in their project. I am sorry but did I deliver it wrongly? Or maybe not enthusiastically enough? Or maybe it was nothing new we can find it on the net thing ?? aah well, why bother? If they did not get it then you must have done something wrong. Plain and simple. Admitting that you are incompetent is the hardest part in teaching; but,it is the most important lesson you could have done to yourself. I have been through this so many times but every time it is harder than the last. Every lecture in every class is actually a lesson period for me. My students are usually passive but they are like a mirror hanging in front of you and would give a reflection of some sort regarding your teaching and the knowledge that you tried to deliver. Frustrations will creep whenever you feel the voice was not well-received or the faces leaving the class were as blank as they came in. Most of the time I just ignored the attitudes that were both pessimistic and rude. Young people are mainly stupid and just could not care less to watch their manners. They play with the stupid phone even under your nose; the message from the phone is more important than your subject. Once, I just Kungfu-kicked the bloody desk and told the student off. Not a good idea, I tell you, to do that anymore. Later, I found out that she was watching the lecture slides from i-learn because the slide in front was too small to read. Another student that I was about to kick out of the class told me that he was taking the notes using the phone. They are the millennial kids and do things differently. We need to bring a big heart into the classroom and entertain all sort of strange behaviors that we might encounter during the 2-hour class period. Easier said than done, of course. If I remember clearly, I could do that on a handful of days only. Most days were frustrations that sometimes turned into a rage.

 

I left the classroom speechless and angry to myself. Maybe all this while I pretend to be good and competent. Maybe I just pretend to like this job. At the end of the day, I swallowed all the frustrations and the heart-breaks and pretend they just never happened. Well, I have enough of this thing, I think, maybe I should do something else. Maybe not.

 

I think it’s time to retire.

 

 

 

 

 

Ramadhan Day 6

Saturday is always refreshing. The fact that I won’t be running as usual does not ruin my Saturday. I skipped the morning kuliah because the Ustaz has more ideas to run the country than the PM himself. I chose for a change and the ustaz kept blaming and condemning those who support the change as “pengkhianat”, “pendosa”, and will rise in hell with the chosen leader…… okay so no more these “ustazbawah tempurung. I want to leave to my children and grand children a bright and colorful future; not a place to live filled with filthy corruptions, stranded civilization and closed mindedness. Bibik will come today so the house will be cleaned and shining at least for a couple of days because by Monday it will be back to normal…messy. I was late for my usual trip to the pasar but during this Ramadhan month the pasar will be open well into the afternoon. I love to go and pick my favorite fish for the kitchen. Usually, I would go for the tenggiri, siakap, bawal emas, bawal hitam, tongkol and big fat kembong. And some sardines for my friends at the back door (a bunch of stray cats).

Undeniably, I love cooking. I do not know why a man like me loves to do such thing. In our society that is not normal because everything in the kitchen does not belong to man. Our culture is that a kitchen is not the place for a man. Whatever…..I hate cliché. Looking back to my childhood, I remember to be at home most of the time with mother. She stayed home to take care of us and sometimes work from home. She was a dressmaker. I would be her helper in the kitchen. When she was busy sewing, I would be in the kitchen helping someone to make lunch or dinner. I did not mind stuck at home with mother. Don’t go outside you will get run over by a car, so I was warned over and over again. My house was by a road side; a busy route between PasirMas and Rantau Panjang. The cars, buses and lorries sometime were driven by very fast. I was scared and kept myself safe at home. By 10 or 11 years old, I could manage myself in the kitchen, cooking rice with firewoods, and making simple dishes like fish soup (ikan singgang) and fried boiled fish (ikan rebus goreng). And they remain my favorite dishes until today.