Selasa, 30 Ogos 2011

It’s your friend!

This is a story about my old neighbour back in Kuantan. They live in a fine wooden-cement house in front of mine, separated by a small field and a surau (prayer house). The man of the house , who is also the breadwinner of the family , is an nice man whom I call Pak Cik Mang. Married to a woman who is now a domestic engineer, both of them are blessed with 6 children, 2 boys and 4 girls.
     The story happened several years ago when I was playing pangkoh on a stone table under a Payung Indonesia tree at their lawn. Together with me was Udin (the second in their family) and others from the same neighbourhood.
     Suddenly, the phone rang in the house. Kringgggg!
     The phone rang again for the second time. Nobody pick it up yet. Then, the mother, in her deep Kuantanese accent, shouted at her children;
     “Telepoen tu!!!” (the phone!)
     Then, Kak Long, the eldest in their siblings, probably  watching TV in the house, began to shout in her deep Kuantanese accent;
     “Udin! Gi la angkek telepoen tu!” (Udin! Go pick up the phone!)
“Ahh! Mende aku nye?! Aku tengoh maing pangak ni! Aimi!! Kaweng ngka tu!” (Ahh! Why me? I am playing pangak here! Aimi !! must be your friend on the line!).
     The second child replied furiously. His eyes  still fixed upon the cards at his hand.
“OOOO!!! Mane ade! Bakpe aku nye?! Akaf! Kaweng ngka yang sokmo telepoen ! Gi la angkek tu!” (Hey! Ridiculous! Why me?! Akaf!! It is your friends who  always phoned here!! Pick up the phone! ).
     The third one shouted back angrily. She dared not to ask her big brother again to pick the phone up.
     “Aaaahh!! Aku tengoh nok maing pangak ni! Ayak tu ade dekek! Suoh a die angkek ! Ayak!! Angkek la tepon tu !! Kaweng ngka yang sokmo tepon !!”(What?! I am playing pangak here! Ayak is near at the phone! Ask her to pick it up! Ayak!!Pick up the phone!It’s your friend who phones all the time!).
     Akaf replied in the same loud tone and the same accent. He who was actually not holding any piece of card, had been watching the game attentively instead.
“Aaahh!! Bukeng kaweng aku! Bakpe aku nye! Didah! Ngka angkek la !!”(Aaaahh!! It is not my friend! Why does it always have to be me?? Didah! You pick it up!!)
Ayak shouted to Didah, the youngest in the family. She was clever enough not to use “it is your friend” excuse as Didah is still in kindergarten and it didn’t make sense if she had any friends there who knows how to use a telephone. She might think that because she is a few years older, she was not bound to the honourable job of picking up the phone.
     As the words of “Ngka angkek la” remained shouted at each other by the siblings, the ringing ended together with the words of “Kaweng ngka tu”. They will have the same "ritual" whenever the phone rings. Sometimes, when the parents interfere, someone in the family will just have to pick the phone up.
     This little anecdote is actually a reflection to our very own society. From high respected leaders of the country all the way to the commoners.
Have u ever heard of a story of a piece of paper lying on a floor in a classroom?Where the members of the classroom are Somebody, Everybody and Nobody? In the end, the paper is still lying on the floor.
     Have you ever heard the old Malay song of “Bangau Oh Bangau”
These are little things in this large world that we may have not given any attention to.
Do you agree if I say that all the problems in this so called beautiful world started with the letter “I” ?
     Yes, the word problem doesnt start with the letter "P", but it starts with the letter"I"
Think deeply. Free your mind. You may learn something today.
Pangkoh - Means pangkah or cross (X). A card game ussually played by 4 to 8 person. Use the same card used to play poker (Malay call it daun terup)
Pangak - another name for the card game of pangkoh

The Phonebook

In the darkness of night, without any single interesting programme on  TV, bored with the  computer games, without any movies or dramas to be watched, without any books to read, and without any mood to do anything that could get rid of the boredom that has been overwhelming the mind and heart, often leads us to our very own bed, lying and staring at the ceiling in our light-off room.
     Without any limb moving, our body stays still. However, our mind starts to be hyperactive, flashing all those old memories back, and sometimes, altering those events with our own creative imagination, due to the word “IF”. Our hyperactive mind also, sometimes, begins to reflect our future plans and dreams; mine would be wearing size 30 pants and scoring every exam.
     Our hand then begins to reach for our cell phone, unlocking the keypad. If the word “1 new message” or perhaps, “1 missed call” appears on the screen, this entry would end here. But, if not, this story proceeds, telling the readers about how our eyes begin to stare at the screen, while our head try to figure out, what brings this involuntary act? Why does my hand reach for my cell phone?
     Alas, our thumb is way faster than our brain, pressing those buttons, until the list of contacts in our phonebook appears on the screen. Involuntarily, our thumb begins to press the “down” button, revealing all the contacts; their names and their phone numbers. As those names appears, our mind keep flashing memories, merely voices and pictures, up to a certain point, where a line finally forms in our brain – “Nak mesej sape eh?” (What message to send?), or “Pe cite la bebudak ni” (Wonder what  these people are up to?).
     Then we began to check our credit balance, whether it is sufficient enough to make a Talk SuperSaver. If our credit is not enough, the story ends here, but if it is enough, we might be pressing the “down” button again, while asking ourselves – Who should I ring?
     Ringing our friends of the same sex would only make us uncomfortable no matter how much we miss them, as such act will be considered as gay and irregular. A phone call to friends of the other gender would only result in a prejudice in our mind, fearing that those friends of the opposite sex to think that we like them. Moreover, we always feared to be greeted by the most irritating line – “Ai...Rindu ke?”( You miss me?)
     The confusion always exhausts our mind, enabling us to finally do the thing that every doctor advises us to do at night – SLEEP.
     This is the story of a pathetic group in the community, commonly known as  “TEENAGERS”. Do you ever experienced the same story? I do.

I use the word "WE" in this story as I have no doubt, that there is somebody out there, who will read this story, and reply "I do" to the very last question in this entry.

Wan Gayah, Cekgu Bedah & Monsoon

India is a wonderful country with diverse colors and cultures. Fertile lands with rich sources underneath it, India attracts many investors and businessmen leading to booming international trade. One of the biggest and famous S of India would be its Bollywood movies.
     Cliche yet thrilling, Bollywoods never fail to amuse its fans. I remember one of its fan was once my house maid by the name of Wan Rogayah. An old lady from Kijal, we used to call her We Gayoh. She did most of the house chores including tending to me when I was 5 years old if I'm not mistaken.
     Being at work doesn't stop her from devoting herself to every Bollywood movie on air, usually on Friday afternoons back in those days. After all, it was only she and I left at home when the movie was on air.
     The movie would be screened at about 2pm and would last at least three hours. And my cartoon time would start around 4.
     There would always be a war between us when my cartoon time was supposed to be on air. And of course, that was around the time when her Bollywood movie was at its best part- THE CLIMAX.
     I remember that I would be crying out loud and rolling on the floor to force her to switch the channel, while she, without a single sign of being disturbed, glaring at the TV screen, watching an epic fight between good and evil and said to me in enthusiasm;
     "Kejak dek kejak, tu napok tu ye tengoh gocoh tu!" (Just a minute, look at them fighting!)
I was never good at Maths. I really couldn't get my hand on it. Hence, I chose this math-free path. This math-phobia that I suffer reminds me to my primary school math teacher named Zubaidah.
     Cikgu Bedoh was not known  for her gentleness. Every single mistake would end up with a slap on the face, a brutal pinch at the belly, or a one-metre long ruler landing on your palm.
     I remember her favourite line when we couldn't solve the maths problem given;
     "Itu pon tak tau buat!! Itu sambil berak bole buat tau!!!"(Can’t even do a simple thing like that!! That can be done sitting in the toilet!!)
     Well, it was a Standard Two question after all.
     So when we were given maths homework for our semester break, again the cliché’ line of hers was barked.
     The innocent boy in me back in those days didn't take it metaphorically.
     So what do you do if you have a disciplinary teacher as your mother, Cikgu Bedah as your math teacher and a soaring rectal pressure with lunatic inferior rectal nerve?
     It was the traditional Malay squatting toilet bowl and I squat there grumpily. It was supposed to be a holiday! Grrr!
     Using my mother's small stool that she used to wash clothes as a table, I began tackling those pesky questions.
     "Bior betul Cikgu Bedoh ni. Wat sambil berok pong dok leh gi gop!!"(Cikgu Bedah can’t be serious . I’m sitting in the toilet and I still can’t do the questions!!)
     This monsoon season here in southern India reminds me of our very own monsoon in the east coast of  Malaysia, or  known as ‘musim tengkujuh’.
     Monsoon is where most outdoor activities are halted including football. Fishermen desert their job for a while, mending nets and boats instead.
     Though football has stopped for a while here in Manipal due to awful conditions of the field, I remember that monsoon never stopped our football activities back in our childhood time.
     In fact, it was the most awaited time of the year! We wouldn't really be playing football actually, but rather enjoyed sliding on the wet and slippery field.
     The consequence paid by us that time was none other than our mother's wrath. I remember that one day during my innocent time my mother got fed up with my dirty muddy shirts.
     "Mak nak mu basuh sendiri!! Sekarang jugak! Pandai sangat main padang hujan tu kenape??!!"(I want you to wash it yourself!! Now!Who told you to play in the muddy field??!!)
     She thundered around the house, followed by an absolutely painful pinch at the triceps. So I went into the bathroom, rinsed my shirt, sprinkle some washing powder and began brushing the mud stains. After a while I got tired of it. So my creative mind started to tell me that I should use a variety of detergents.
     The following one hour was spent with me trying different shampoos, lotions, and all other bottles  I could find in the toilet.
     The long time that I spent in the toilet "washing" ONE piece of shirt brought curiosity to my mom. So she went into the bathroom to see the progress. And that time, I was trying a bottle of which the label had worn out.
     Seeing that, she went terribly mad, which ended up with pinch and ‘PANG’ on my back. I immediately finished up my washing and headed outside to hang it.
     I had no idea what made her so angry. As I grew up, I learnt that the very bottle that I was holding at the time she entered the bathroom was a bottle of feminine intimate wash.

Isnin, 29 Ogos 2011

Disangkakan Panas Hingga Ke Petang…

Apakan daya, panas yang disangkakan hingga ke petang, rupa-rupa hujan yang mencurah di tengah hari. Ikatan kebahagiaan yang diharapkan berpanjangan, terputus jua di pertengahan  jalan. Rumahtangga yang dibina hampir sepuluh tahun lamanya, berkecai juga akhirnya akibat  kehadiran orang ketiga.
     Walaupun Nirmala akur dengan takdir yang menimpa, namun dia begitu kesal dengan ketidakjujuran suaminya yang sanggup menduakannya.
     Sungguh Nirmala tidak menyangka yang suaminya sanggup bermain kayu tiga di belakangnya. Sedangkan mereka berkahwin atas dasar cinta sama cinta, sejak mereka mereka berkenalan di universiti lagi.
     Pada mulanya Nirmala tidak mahu ambil kisah apabila ada saudara-mara dan rakan-rakan yang bercakap mengenai suaminya. Ada di antara mereka yang pernah terserempak  suaminya dengan wanita lain.
     Kemesraan yang terpamer antara suaminya dengan wanita itu, bukan sekadar rakan biasa. Itulan kata-kata mereka yang pernah menusuk pendengaran Nirmala. Tetapi Nirmala masih mampu bersabar.
     Anggapan Nirmala, mungkin saudara-mara dan rakan-rakannya itu tersalah orang. Tidak mungkin suami yang disayangi dan dipercayainya itu sanggup melukakan hatinya dengan berkasih-kasihan dengan wanita lain. Lagipun, apa kurang dirinya? Dia tidak pernah mengabaikan tanggungjawabnya sebagai isteri dan ibu kepada dua orang cahaya matanya yang masih kecil itu.
     Namun Nirmala terpaksa juga bersemuka dengan suaminya, apabila dia mendapati ada perubahan terhadap suaminya. Suaminya kerap pulang lewat ke rumah selepas kerja dan sering pula tidak cukup wang. Sedangkan selama ini masalah itu tidak pernah dihadapinya.
     Setelah bersemuka, suami Nirmala akhirnya mengaku yang dia telah pun bernikah dengan seorang staf di pejabatnya hampir enam bulan lalu. Suaminya terpaksa berkahwin dengan gadis itu kerana kedua-duanya telah terlanjur dan gadis itu telah termengandung.
     “Kenapa abang rahsiakan daripada saya? Kalau saya tak tanya abang, mungkin sampai bila-bila pun saya tak tahu perbuatan terkutuk abang tu!” bentak Nirmala.
     Ternyata suami Nirmala telah bersedia dengan alasannya tersendiri. Katanya, dia belum bersedia untuk berterus-terang kepada Nirmala. Dia masih mencari masa yang sesuai untuk menceritakan segala-galanya kepada isterinya itu.
     Namun Nirmala tidak dapat menerimanya. Hatinya begitu terluka dengan perbuatan curang suaminya. Kemaafan yang dipinta suaminya, tidak dapat melembutkan  jiwanya yang amat kecewa itu.
     Sesungguhnya Nirmala tidak dapat menerima orang ketiga dalam hidup mereka. Apatah lagi dia sememangnya tidak sanggup dimadukan. Dia lebih rela mencari dan membina kehidupan sendiri, walaupun berstatus janda. Itulah keputusannya.
oleh: Mazemie Maz

Kucari-Mu tapi tak jumpa

TIBA-TIBA terpacul di benakku. Kata suara hatiku. Bicara tentang kebenaran dalam kehidupan ini. Apa-apapun yang kita lakukan kadangkala kita rasa kita betul, kadangkala kita rasa kita tak betul, lalu kita pun meminta pandangan daripada orang bijaksana sehinggalah orang bijak sini.
     Lantas jawapannya berbeza-beza ke berbeda-beda, antas kitabpun mencari formula sendiri dengan menggunakan akal sehingga kita rasa kita yang betul. Bagaimanapun kita rasa macam tu sekejap sahaja. Lepas itu kita pun andaikan mengikut kefahaman sendiri berlandaskan ilmu yang kita tahu dan faham.
     Cuba kita tengok tanduk lembu ada dua kebiasaannya. Anda akan jawab betul tetapi biasanya benda yang betul tentu lurus tapi kita lihat tanduk lembu itu bengkok.
     Sehinggalah kalau hendak buat lucu atau gurau sikit. Dalam sembahyang yang betul betul lurus ialah ketika kita berdiri betul. Yang lain semua bengkok. Rukuknya, sujudnya, tahyatnya…tapi itu pekli atau perbuatannya.
     Jadi jikalau hendak cari jalan lurus tiada. Kalau ada semuanya mesti kembali kepada yang empunya atau pemilik yang mutlak. Apa-apapun sepanjang hayat ini, apa yang kita cari itu lah yang kita dapat. Carilah selagi boleh cari sehingga yang kita cari itu kita jumpa.
     Tapi awas kalau masih tercari-cari tak jumpa kenalah bertanya kepada yang arif sebab panduan dah ada cuma kita tak bersua lagi. Sama-sama kita berdoa agar apa yang kita cari kita jumpa.

Aku Si Montel

Mazemie Maz bersama tauke blog dan penulis Ghazali Ngah Azia
di Percetakan Niagariang
Aku anak pertama dalam keluarga. Sejak lahir dan sehingga usiaku tujuh tahun, tubuhku memang agak montel. Aku berkeadaan begitu mungkin disebabkan aku terlalu banyak makan dan suka makan pada waktu malam.
     Berbagai-bagai ikhtiar yang ibuku lakukan supaya aku kurang makan. Namun semuanya tidak berhasil. Sebaliknya selera makanku semakin menjadi-jadi.
     Kalau makan nasi, aku pasti akan menambah dua atau tiga kali. Selagi belum betul-betul kenyang, aku tidak akan menolak.
     Sekiranya seleraku tidak dituruti, aku akan menangis sepuas-puasnya, sehinggalah kemahuanku akan dituruti.
     Sehinggalah pada suatu ketika, aku melihat perut ibuku yang semakin membuncit, kerana sedang mengandungkan adikku.
     Ketika itu aku tidak begitu  mengerti apa itu mengandung.
     Tetapi aku menjadi begitu risau apabila melihat perut ibuku yang semakin membesar. Disebabkan keadaan itu, ibu agak sukar bergerak dengan bebas.
     Bila aku bertanya kenapa ibu jadi begitu, ibu menjawab: “Ibu jadi macam ni sebab ibu makan terlalu banyak. Kalau Amin makan banyak, Amin juga akan jadi seperti ibu,” ujar ibu yang membuatkan berlakunya perubahan atas diriku.
     Perubahan yang aku maksudkan ialah, sejak penjelasan ibu itu, aku tidak lagi suka makan banyak. Malah ada ketikanya aku tidak menjamah makan langsung, kerana takut menjadi ‘memboyot’ seperti ibu.
     Keadaan dan perubahan sikapku itu, ada kalanya menimbulkan kebimbangan dan kerisauan kepada ibu pula; membuatkan ibu kerap memujuk supaya aku makan.
     Namun disebabkan tidak ingin melihat operutku memboyot seperti perut ibu, aku akhirnya  dapat mengurangkan kemontelan tubuhku ketika aku berusia tujuh tahun.
oleh: Mazemie Maz

Amal Jariah Itu Apa?

Tauke Soon Lee Trading tidak banyak bertanya itu-ini mengenai sumbangan RM300.00 yang diberikan lalu meminta aku menuliskan sendiri ceknya.
     “Ini mahu tolong orang miskin ha?,” tanya isterinya lalu aku segera mengiakannya.
     “Saya dengar cerita, you selalu tolong orang miskin dan orang susah. Betul ke?,” aku tanya bagaikan murid sekolah.
     “Sikit-sikitlah. Kita mesti tolong orang miskin,” katanya seolah-olah ingin menyembunyikan apa yang dilakukan sebelum ini. Dia seolah-olah ingin menjelaskan, bila tangan kanan memberi, tangan kananpun tidak tahu.
     Bagaimanapun dia meminta pertolonganku memasangkan sepanduk itu di bahagian hadapan papan iklannya.
     Tanpa membantah, aku cuba memasangnya dengan memanjat tangga yang kuambil dari bahagian belakang kedainya. Seriau juga aku dibuatnya kerana sudah lama tidak memanjat.
     Hasrat untuk memasang sepanduk itu tidak kesampaian kerana tangga terlalu rendah. Atas nasihat Shariff Ahmad, aku memikul tangga panjang yang ada di rumahnya lalu berjalan kaki sehingga ke kedai Soon Lee.
     Mungkin simpati melihat aku terkial-kial meletakkan tangga, Zafar, pekerja Restoran Syed Maju segera membantu. Tubuhnya yang tinggi kerana berketurunan Pakistan memudahkannya melaksanakan tugas itu.
     Bagaimanapun keesokan harinya, tauke Soon Lee Trading meminta aku mengubah kedudukan sepanduk kerana menutup papan iklannya.
     Kali ini Pak Udin, pekerja dari Indonesia yang sedang berurusan dengan Shariff menghulurkan bantuan. Ternyata, bantuan mudah diterima walaupun dari warnanegara asing.
     Sewaktu kuhulurkan RM20.00 sebagai upah, kedua-duanya menolak dengan lembut. “Bukan menolak rezeki tapi… ini antara sumbangan saya.”
     Setelah iklan Soon Lee Trading, Rizal (Mamak) pemilik Restoran Syed Maju turut bersetuju untuk memberi sumbangan yang sama. Begitu juga, jiran sebelahnya, Rahmat (Mamak) pemilik Pasar Mini Paroi Jaya bersetuju membeli satu muka ruang iklan di buku cenderamata.
     Peniaga Melayu? Walaupun banyak bertanya itu-ini, sehingga hari ini, belum seorangpun lagi menghulurkan sumbangan. Jadi, siapa yang lebih memahami amal jariah itu?

Jumaat, 26 Ogos 2011

Rumus Sendiri

Benar kata orang, alam persaraan itu adalah satu alam yang cukup bebas lepas. Bebas dalam konteks boleh melakukan apa-apa sahaja selain yang ditegah agama dan budaya.
     Kita tidak perlu lagi `mempertahankan baju pegawai kerajaan’, Perintah Am sama ada Bab A, B, C atau Q. Jadi aku manfaatkan sepenuhnya apa yang mahu aku lakukan asalkan bahagia.
     Semalam, hampir sehari suntuk aku menghabiskan waktu membantu Pertubuhan Khairat dan Kebajikan Kariah Paroi Jaya untuk mencari dana kebajikannya. Tarikh 10 September telah ditetapkan untuk Majlis Jamuan Makan Malam. 100 meja akan dijual yang setiap satunya (10 tempat duduk) bernilai RM500.00 (murah sahaja).
     Bagi menampung kos pencetakan buku program dan lebihannya akan turut menambah dana, aku dan Shariff Ahmad (Komentar Hari Ini, TV1) menawar diri menguruskan carian iklan.
     Peliknya dalam dunia hari ini (mungkin terlalu gerun peristiwa lalu yang cuma didengar), Nazir Masjid sendiri bagaikan mempertikaikan usaha kami.
     “Pastikan semua kutipan dibuat melalui resit pertubuhan,” katanya dalam suara Sang Pemerintah Agung dalam mesyuarat kelmarin.     
     Kalaulah tidak sabar, mahu sahaja aku membatalkan niat untuk menolong itu. Terfikir di hati sejak kebelakangan ini, `lebih susah untuk menjadi baik daripada untuk menjadi jahat.’
     Bagaimanapun prejudis nazir aku abaikan sahaja. Sudah dua kali dia menguji kesabaranku. Bulan lalu, rostrum yang aku tempah setelah mendapat arahan Setiausaha Masjid, Ustad Abdul Hamid Jaman ditolak mentah-mentah atas alasan rendah walhal rostrum itu direkabentuk berasaskan keperluan semasa (mudah mengendalikan komputer riba. Kalau tinggi, lenguh tangan dibuatnya).
     Inilah antara kekangan yang dihadapi generasi muda dengan yang tua yang terlalu rigid pegangannya. Baginya rostrum perlu tinggi dan kerana ketinggian itu bolehlah menyembunyikan sebahagian diri untuk lebih yakin berhadapan audiens (sukarnya keluar dari kotak, fikir hati). Pasal rostrum aku hilang RM850.00
     Berbalik kepada carian iklan, sejak jam 11.00 pagi aku tawaf dua deret kedai Taman Paroi Jaya. Sambil membawa rate-card yang aku design sendiri, aku menawarkan khidmat kepada mereka yang ingin mengiklankan perniagaannya di samping beramal jariah.
     Di samping membeli iklan dalam buku program, satu khidmat baru ditawarkan iaitu membeli sepanduk berukuran 15 kaki X 4 kaki yang mengiklankan Majlis Jamuan Makan Malam dan 1/3 daripada saiznya iklan ucapan `Selamat Hari Raya. Terima Kasih Kepada Pelanggan Yang Terus Setia Bersama Kami.’ Harganya RM300.00
     “No obligation!,” kataku kepada semua pekedai gentleman.
     Pelbagai pengalaman baru, aku alami. Pengalaman berurusan dengan peniaga Cina dan Mamak, dan tentunya sebahagian besarnya Melayu.
     Sebenarnya kedai Cina mudah di kira di taman perumahan yang mempunyai hampir 2,000 rumah ini iaitu Kedai Soon Lee Trading (dua unit) dan sebuah kedai telefon (menumpang B.A. Urusbina), dua restoran Mamak, satu pasar mini Mamak, satu Kedai Buku Mamak dan sebuah kedai Seven Eleven milik peniaga Cina yang semacam Melayu punya (taukenya tidak pernah dilihat dan pekerjanya semua Melayu).
     Peniaga-peniaga ini ramah melayanku walaupun khidmat yang aku bawa untuk kebajikan umat Islam. Malah mereka berterus-terang akan membawa perkara itu kepada bos mereka atau terus mengata,”Sorry! kerana tidak dapat membantu.”
     Bagi peniaga Melayu, ada yang berkerut dahinya (macamlah aku nak tembak kerana tidak membeli iklan) dan ada yang `menipu’, bos (isterinya) keluar walhal baharu awal bulan ini dia cukup bermegah kerana kedai makannya yang menawarkan 1,000 resipi juadah puasa itu.
     Tidak kisahlah. Kita bukan hendak paksapun mereka untuk beramal jariah tapi janganlah tambah dosa.
     Dipendekkan cerita, tidak seorangpun membeli ruang iklan itu. Hanya kira-kira setengah jam kemudian, seorang wanita yang ramah suaranya membuat panggilan.
     “Encik Zulkifli ha! Ini Soon Lee Trading. Kami nak beli iklan sepanduk RM300.00,” katanya lembut.

Rabu, 24 Ogos 2011

Kecil Lagi Diasuh Berpantun

Bilik Darjah Enam hanya terletak bersebelahan bilik Guru Besar, Cikgu Abdul Rahman Johan. Aku terpilih menyertai pasukan pantun bersama dua murid lelaki lain, Jo (Johari Kassim) dan Said (Md Said Bidin) manakala pasukan perempuan diwakili Suriah (anak Guru Besar), Asmah Abdul Rahman dan Zainab Othman.
     Seperti selalunya, aku gugup apabila berhadapan dengan budak perempuan walhal di rumah, adik-adikku semuanya perempuan.
     Pertandingan berbalas pantun yang pada awalnya lebih tertumpu kepada tema cintakan tanah air dan sayangkan keluarga; bagaimanapun tanpa disedari bertukar tema kepada cintakan lelaki wanita.
     Apa harap padi seberang,
     Entah berbuah, entahkan tidak;
     Apa diharap, kasihnya orang,
     Entahkah kasih, entahkan tidak.
Pantun yang dijual oleh Suriah kepadaku, bagaikan halilintar melanda bumi untuk kujawab. Tidak tahulah, aku seolah-olah merasakan Suriah sendiri yang ingin tahu pendirianku terhadapnya lalu... lidah kukelu.
     ”Jawab cepat! Nanti kita kalah,” aku tersentak apabila Jo menegurku sambil menggoyang-goyangkan tubuhku.
     Dalam suasana terkemamai, tubuhku terasa melayang dan cerlungan mata Said ke arahku membuat aku lebih tergamam.
     ”Masa tinggal satu saat,” Mohd Zaharil Kassim yang menjaga masa memberi ingatan.
     ”Kalau tidak dapat jawab, rakan lain boleh membantu,” Razali Othman yang jadi pengerusi, memberitahu.
     Buat apa mengharapkan padi,
     Sampai masanya dituai juga;
     Kalau Zul tidak hendak,
     Biar den yo!
     Jawapan spontan Jo, menggegak-gempitakan bilik darjah di hujung bangunan. Tiba-tiba Guru Besar muncul di depan pintu.
     ”Siapa yang hendak jadi menantu saya tadi?,” tanya beliau bersahaja. Jo tertunduk malu.

nota: perkembangan terkini.
Jo, mantan pemandu limosin LCCT, Said (komposer dan mantan pensyarah muzik di IPG Kampus Ilmu Khas), Razali (pesara CIMB sudah meninggal dunia), Zaharil (sudah bergelar Datuk dan bersara sebagai Atache Perdagangan di Jedah), Suriah (yang rupa Cina berkahwin dengan Cina), Asmah (pesara pensyarah IPG Kampus Raja Melewar), Zainab (berhenti sekolah takat Darjah Enam kerana jadi mangsa buku kena beli RM13.60) dan aku... lihat profil di Facebook).

Selasa, 23 Ogos 2011

Masuri S.N. dan Buku

Aku merasa amat bertuah apabila dicalonkan persatuanku, Persatuan Penulis Negeri Sembilan (PEN) menyertai Pengucapan Puisi Dunia Kuala Lumpur 2000. Mengapa tidak? Pesertanya adalah penyair antarabangsa yang disegani di negara masing-masing sedangkan aku cuma menghasilkan tidak lebih 10 sajak sejak dikenali sebagai penulis.
     Siapa tidak kenal Masuri S.N., Suratman Markasan, Edwin Thumboo (Singapura), Anne Fairbairn Am (Australia), Chiranan Pitpreecha (Thailand), Mohsin Ehsan (Pakistan), Susanna Checketts (Britain), Taufiq Ismail (Indonesia) dan ramai lagi.
     Lebih menggembirakan, penyanyi kegemaranku, Ramli Sharip turut bersama dalam perhimpunan  selama seminggu itu. Abang Ramli seperahu denganku sewaktu rombongan kami menuju Kuala Tahan, Pahang untuk bermalam di sana. Bukti adanya hubungan Ramli-Zulkifli, aku memintanya mencatatkan sesuatu pada antologi puisi yang diterbit khas.
     ”Hiburkanlah hatimu pada saat-saat tertentu,” itu catatannya pada halaman satu antologi yang bertemakan `Penyair, Alam dan Kemanusiaan’ sewaktu berkumpul di Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
     Oleh kerana kunjungan itu acara pertama pertemuan, aku mengambil kesempatan mendekati beberapa penyair yang kukenal sejak zaman persekolahan – Masuri S.N. dan Suratman Markasan.
     Bagaimana aku boleh melupakan `Ini Nasi Yang Kusuap. Pernah menjadi padi harap’, nukilan Pak Masuri? Lalu aku berbual-bual dengannya sambil membelek-belek buku di kedai koperasi DBP.
     ”Susah hendak dapat buku Melayu di Singapura,” jawab Pak Masuri sewaktu aku menampakkan wajah ingin tahu sewaktu melihatnya rakus mengasing-asingkan beberapa buku dari rak ke kaunter bayaran.
     Rasa ingin tahuku akhirnya bertukar kaget. Kira-kira 10 buah buku yang dibeli oleh Pak Masuri adalah buku tulisannya sendiri.

Apabila Priyanka Chopra Menggoda Tok Guruku

Sewaktu melihat anak-anak jemaah yang masih bersekolah rendah itu khusyuk sekali belajar mengikat serban sesama sendiri, aku lantas terpandang lebih lima helai serban di dalam almari pakaianku.
     Entahlah! Semacam perasaan kudus tertasdik di hati apabila melihat anak-anak itu riang bergurau sopan sesama mereka. Lalu, tercetus hasrat untuk menghadiahkan lima helai serban kepada lima kanak-kanak itu.
     Aku rajin membeli serban sewaktu menunaikan lima siri umrahku tetapi cuma memakainya sekali-sekala, itupun sekembalinya dari menunaikan fardu Haji pada tahun 1991 yang lalu.
     Sewaktu ditugaskan untuk mengambil  juadah makan tengah hari di rumahnya oleh Amir Sab, aku mengambil kesempatan untuk singgah di rumah untuk mengambil serban berkenaan. Kebetulan, rumah Amir Sab dan rumahku tidak berjauhan walaupun nama taman perumahan berbeza. Aku di Taman Pinggiran Golf dan dia di Taman Paroi Jaya. Untuk mengelak rasa tidak selesa nanti, aku sengaja mengajak sama anak Amir Sab yang juga Tok Guru Mengajiku.
     Entah bagaimana, Tok Guruku terlihat beberapa koleksi CD dan DVDku di bahagian atas papan pemuka kereta Toyota RAV4ku lalu dia meminta kebenaran untuk memainkannya. Tanpa niat apa-apa, aku membiarkannya sahaja hasrat Tok Guruku yang kujangka berusia sekitar 13 tahun itu.
     Fashion. Itu DVD pilihannya. Filem lakonan Priyanka Chopra yang turut memaparkan adegan-adegan yang tidak sewajarnya dilihat oleh kanak-kanak seusia itu. Filem ini mengisahkan kehidupan dunia peragawati.
     Mungkin kerana di rumahnya tidak ada televisyen dan dihantar pula oleh ayahnya ke Sekolah Tahfiz, Tok Guruku bagaikan terpaku pada skrin di papan pemuka.
     Dia meminta kebenaran supaya aku tidak mematikan enjin kereta sewaktu turun untuk mengambil serban.
     “Sudah!,” fikir benakku tapi aku tidak sampai hati untuk tidak menunaikan hajatnya. Lebih merisaukan tanda kuning sudah kelihatan pada papan pemuka, tanda minyak berada pada tahap simpanan.
     Dengan pantas aku membuka kunci pintu rumah dan berlari ke tingkat atas. Sambil serban berada di tangan, aku segera turun dan menuju kereta kembali.
     “Haji. Tidak perlu singgah di rumah. Saya sendiri akan membawa makanan itu,” tiba-tiba Amir Sab menelefonku. Katanya urusannya di Putrajaya, selesai awal.
     Tanpa bertangguh, aku kembali ke pusat perkumpulan jemaah iaitu di Surau Taman Dato’ Wan.
     Sesampai di sana, Tok Guruku membuat permintaan yang sama – jangan matikan enjin kereta sambil jari-jemarinya laju memain balik beberapa adegan yang digemari.
     Aku bagaikan tidak terpandang adegan-adegan itu dan rasa berdosa yang amat sangat menerjah dada. 

Because Of You, Hartini

That day as I was surfing Zulkifli Abu’s FB page about ‘ikan puyu ‘ dish, I came across the name Hartini Abdul Hamid. I took a long look at the name and the picture.
I just realised I didn’t know her but the name Hartini was one that I knew very well and will always be in my mind. That’s the name that dragged Erma Fatima to court. Who dragged her? Aziz Afkar and Creative Enterprise. The reason? Erma produced the drama ‘Hartini’ based on the novel ‘Hartini’ written by the late Aziz Afkar .I was involved because at that time I was the one who bought the drama and aired it on TV3.
     Everything started one day in 1995 (if I am not mistaken). At that time I was Director of Programmes for TV3. In one conversation with Erma I asked, “Have you read the novel ‘Hartini’?”
     “I have never even heard of the name,” said Erma.
     “Try reading the novel, could be suitable for a drama,” I said. Erma was at that time still popular as an actress. On top of that the first drama that she produced ‘Pengantin Popular’ reached the highest rating on TV3.
     She become more determine to produce good dramas. At that time I was looking for two or three good special dramas to air for ‘Hari Raya Puasa’. I remembered a novel I read in school when I was in form Four, ‘Hartini’. The love story between Cikgu Hartini and Cikgu Hamli suppressing their love and never revealing it. Great story.
     A week later Erma came to my office in Sri Pentas.
     “Done, I’ve read it and I cried like crazy over that novel ‘ Hartini’,” she said.
     “There’s no woman that does not cry reading that novel,” I said.
     “I want to do a drama like this story,” said Erma.
     “Refer to the producer about the copyright,” I reminded.
     “The producer is Pustaka Antara. I know the owner,” said Erma smiling.
The drama was completed. Great acting by Umie Aida and Nasir Bilal Khan. TV3 aired it on the second day of Hari Raya.
     Then everything came out in the newspapers.  Creative Enterprise claimed to own production rights over the novel and Erma never had permission to produce the drama.
     Creative Enterprise and Aziz Afkar later filed a summons to claim compensation against Erma Fatima and TV3. And I had to go to court. Up and down, up and down the court.
by Khalil Md Zain

Single Father

I am currently at home with my two sons, minus the mother who is in Langkawi attending a course for 10 days. I was looking forward to being at home with the two boys. I thought it would be great to be together, just the three guys at home, that male bonding thing, you know.
     I always enjoy being with them when their mother is not around. I guess I enjoy the challenge of being able to manage the household without my wife being around. I also love to confound the mistaken belief that husbands and fathers are helpless creatures who cannot manage themselves, let alone the children
     This time though ,things are not like what I expected. I can’t go anywhere with the boys since we are in the midst of renovating the house, so can’t leave the house. We are thus, stuck in the house, amidst the noise and the dirt and the dust.
     Can’t even eat downstairs because that’s where the renovation work is being done. I have to carry food and plates and stuff upstairs and set them for the kids to eat. When Umar wants Milo for breakfast, I have to boil water using  the water heater  I put on standby upstairs and then go down to the kitchen to get the condensed milk from the fridge for him. I wish he could be like his big brother Amir who drinks plain water for breakfast, lunch , tea and dinner!
     After breakfast and lunch I still can’t wash the plates in the kitchen since the workers are still busy doing their work and the whole place is very dusty. Got to stack everything and wait till 6.00 pm when they finish their work for the day.
     When they finish I have to sweep and vacuum the floor and then mop it . I can’t stand feeling the dust under my feet.  I also have to constantly wipe the dining table clean as it is always covered by a layer of dust.
     All the while the boys would be cooped up in their room playing their PS2 or in our room surfing the internet. And when they are doing both activities they would either ignore me or  chase me away for disturbing them. Hardly the kind of male bonding I had in mind at all.
     I always wonder why I become more efficient when my wife is not around. I do the laundry every morning and I hang them to dry as soon as they are done and I fold them every evening. When my wife is around I expect her to do all these. And when she is busy or tired the laundry will pile up as well clothes that needs folding before I decide I should pitch in and help.
     And I hate doing the dishes! I don’t mind doing other things but I always hate cleaning the dishes. But this week the kitchen sink is always empty. I clean the dishes promptly after every meal. I don’t just dump  them into the sink like usual.
     I am very proud of myself this whole week. I manage to keep the house clean and tidy. Maybe even tidier than when my wife was around. Tidier because I took the opportunity to get rid of old stuff around the house now that she is not at home! I could probably get into trouble when she comes back and can’t find some of her stuff.
     My sons are also well fed and healthy with no sign of any rebellion in sight. The fish in the fish tank are still alive, although they did go through continuous fasting for a couple of days. The potted plants  also have not withered , well not entirely. I did forget to water them but I still have 3 more days before my wife comes home. Still enough time for the plants to come back to life, I hope!
     I guess we need to be left alone some time to make us appreciate what we have and not take things for granted. I plan to be as efficient as I am now when my wife returns later this week because I can. It’s just that I chose not to do it.
     Last night I lay down next to little Umar before he went to sleep and had a thought provoking conversation with him.
     “When is Mak coming home?,” he asked.
     “In five more days. Why?,” I replied.
     “I miss her.”
     “But I’m around.”
     “It’s not the same.”
     “I know it’s not. I am more fun to have around.”
     “No you’re not.”
     “Why?  Don’t you like having me around?”
“I do but you can never have that special place in my heart that I have for Mak.”
     “What is so special about Mak?”
     “Mak is hardworking.”                                                
     “I am hardworking too”
     “No you’re not. All you do is eat , sleep and watch tv.”
     “But I am fun to have around, not like Mak.”
     “No you’re not. You’re annoying.”
     by Azlan Rahman

Rossa Gave Me a Kiss for Dancing Her Song in International Baccalaureate (IB)

Most International Baccalaureate (IB) graduates would agree that one of the most stressful times of their life was during their two years of IB. Stressful IB students, as I was back then, would do strange things just to take some load off our minds. For us, the IB boys of MARA College Seremban, we had an odd way of releasing stress: dancing! We would secretly download video clips with a dancing scene, and we would just dance to it. Most dancers enjoy the dancing itself, but for us, we just enjoy laughing at each other's hilarious move. Totally worked on releasing stress!
     That was when I saw Rossa for the first time in my life. She was on the screen of my friend’s PC, dancing to her chart-topping song back then: Pudar. “She’s drop-dead gorgeous!” my friend would say, and I would definitely agree. We were so obsessed with her dance that we completely memorized the dance steps. Once, while we did a motivation program for high-school students, we even did the dance in front of the students!
     Crazy as we were, we survived the two years of IB. Soon after graduating, I made a decision to go separate way from my friends and study medicine in Indonesia. I made the decision based on many reasons, but none of them include meeting Rossa (Indonesia is her homeland). By that time, I had forgotten all about Rossa.
     That was till two years later, when Rossa came back into my mind. I was having lunch with a friend at the time.
     “Guess what, I have a date tonight!” said my friend.
     “Wow! With whom?” I asked.
     “Ehem…a celebrity”.
     “What? Cool…which celebrity?!”.
     To tell the truth, I was expecting a name that I didn't recognize, because in Indonesia, they have lots and lots of talented celebrities that I can’t even catch up with their names! But I was wrong when she answered:
     It took me a while to digest it, and the first vision that came into my mind was a dancing scene from Pudar video, and us, the boys of IB, dancing along with her. ‘How in the world could my friend here get to date with Rossa?’ I thought. I was soon told that she entered a magazine contest, and as a grand prize, she won a date with Rossa! I thought this would be the chance for me to see her in real life, so I decided to tag along with her to the restaurant where she was supposed 'date' Rossa. I didn’t mind waiting outside, my plan was just to see her in real life, probably while she was walking out the door, escorted by the bodyguards to her car.
     So I was waiting outside when the main door opens. I was half-expecting Rossa to come out, but it was actually my friend.
     “Come on in, the photo shoot is getting started” she shouted.
     “Come in? Am I allowed to?”.
     “It’s okay, I even told Rossa about you memorizing the Pudar dance”.
     “Whaaat? How did she respond?” I asked.
     “Well, she was not quite surprised at first. But when I told her you are a guy, she was like: Yang bener?! (Are you kidding?!)”.
     Excited, I went inside to meet Rossa in person for the first time in my life. She was smaller than I expected. Maybe because most of the celebrities I met in real life are tall. Rossa is just  cute and tiny, but she’s beautiful the way she is. She may be small, but when she starts to sing, she’s larger than the world. So as a prize for memorizing the steps of Pudar, I got myself a kiss from Rossa. Okay, not a real kiss, but a kiss on a paper:
by Lutfi Fadil Lokman