Category Archives: anecdotal

The Great Acceptance

Aha, apa khabar dan selamat datang.

2011 tahun getir. Mana ada tahun yang tak getir. Yang aku tahu, tak banyak yang berubah. Kecuali diri sendiri yang makin tua, makin terpaksa dan biasa-biasa saja.

Tapi 2011 juga tahun luarbiasa. Ada kesedaran. Tentang kelemahan diri, keutuhan niat dan survival. Barangkali sudah puas menghukum diri, ataupun tak larat dah. 2011 ialah tahun penerimaan.

Ini hidup aku. Aku pertahankan.

Bukan macam yang orang melayu kata ‘pasrah’. Terlampau defeatist perkataan pasrah itu bagi aku. Ini penerimaan Agung la, babi.

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Whirligig

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Taken almost a couple of years back when we were still living at the Kemunting house, 5 minutes from the fair. We had a go on the bumper cars (fun!) and S went on the creaky kiddy car ride (crap!).

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So, do radioactive spirits ride bicycles in Australia on election day?

  1. The recent election in Sarawak just reaffirmed my suspicion that I have no real interest in local politics. It’s bad enough that the winning side represents a whole lot of things I disagree with, the opposition offers no viable alternatives as to what would undo generations of misinformation, nepotism, corruption and bad fashion sense. Frankly, at this point, I don’t give a fuck. Or two fucks.
  2. I need a new bicycle. No, I want a new bicycle. Because the one I’m riding now is a hybrid with a front suspension fork and is almost as heavy as my fat ass. The blind consumer in me is drooling over something like Puyu’s Scott but will probably invest less lavishly on some old 80’s frame and build the bike up slowly.
  3. The campaign against LYNAS building a rare earth processing facility near Kuantan is gathering steam. Been invited to join FB anti-LYNAS groups and goaded by old punk friends to organise and reignite past flames of civil disobedience and dissent. Sure, who wants a radioactive dumpsite in their backyard, but truthfully, I’m ashamed to admit that in all likelihood I’ve been coaxed into the apathy of the middle class. The armchair revolutionary or the sloganeering beatnik are two personas I’m not comfortable with at the mo. I have been talking about this in classes at school though. See? I’m not such a burnt-out and pacified civil servant after all. Pbbthhhh.
  4. Two. I repeat two friends have expressed real intention in migrating to Australia these past couple of months. Greener pastures, ey? I don’t intend to dismiss these good, examplary Malaysians as defectors nor do I envy them (although I did sing “Malaysiaaaaa oh tanah air kuuuuu” to one of them). It’s just that I hate losing friends just because the place I live in is such a shithole. Awwww.
  5. Three. I repeat three occurrences of the paranormal phenomenon known as hysteria came to my attention this month. One of which happened right before my eyes as our school dance troupe were rehearsing their ulik mayang routine for a competition. They purportedly saw princesses (summoned by the music), one of which put a heavy selendang (scarf) made of gold on one of the poor girls. Screaming and fainting ensued, until a colleague ‘exorcised’ these beings by pressing on toenails and the usual verses. Shit. I mean, shit. I gotta move to Australia.

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Olahraga: Acara Mulut Laju

Tersentak ketika menjalankan latihan sukan (sebagai ketua rumah) menjelang kejohanan olahraga sekolah tahun ini apabila seorang rakan sekerja memberi komentar, dalam dialek pantai timur pekat, “Saya dulu sekolah agama, tak ada sukan-sukan ni semua. Elok je cergas sampai sekarang.”

Tidak dinafikan bahawa kadang-kadang memang terasa jengkel untuk turun ke padang setelah bertungkus lumus dengan kelas, kerja-kerja perkeranian dan segala karenah pelanggan dan birokrasi.

Namun hakikatnya, dasar pendidikan negara mewajibkan aktiviti sukan di sekolah. Justeru pentadbiran sekolah-sekolah cuba melaksanakan dasar ini dengan seadilnya dari aspek perkongsian beban kerja. Maka semua guru, tidak kira jantina, jawatan dan kepakaran, apatah lagi orientasi pendidikan (sains, sastera atau agama) wajib memikul tanggungjawab ini bersama.

Agak mengejutkan, (untuk aku, at least) bagaimana komentar sedemikan boleh dikeluarkan, dengan sewenang-wenangnya, tanpa setitis ironi, di khalayak ramai, termasuk pelajar. Bukankah ini mencerminkan kecetekan ilmu dan sahsiah si pengujar sendiri, memberi suatu gambaran negatif terhadap sistem pendidikan negara khususnya yang berorientasikan pendidikan Islam?

Nampaknya usaha ke arah pendidikan menyeluruh dan lebih progresif masih lagu suatu konsep yang abstrak dan jauh dari pemikiran kolektif segelintir ahli profesyen keguruan negara.

 

 

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Herpetology

We’ve moved into a new place. A bit of a change since the new house has 2 floors instead of the sprawling L-shaped single floor plan we’ve been accustomed to over the years in Kemunting.

The thing I’m going to miss most is the 6 am duel between the surau and the hindu temple next to the field along a substantial stretch of Jalan Kemunting. The call and beat of the faithful. A solemn,  unadorned  azan  before or after the parp and thump from the belly of the temple.

The old house had monitor lizards and squirrels and lanky black foxes that climb down from the tree next to the zinc-roofed park shed. I found a green snake once in the main bathroom. The porcelain blue sink broke providing entry for serpent to wiggle in from the  drainage. I panicked and told Abah and he panicked as well. Both of us pathetic little boys, grossed out by creepy crawlies. I hesitated on calling the fire brigade; it would be acquiescence to my cowardice. Abah took the old yellow bike and went to a neighbours to maybe ask for help. He got distracted and just made small talk with Pak Cik Ali or whatever his name is. I finally went over to the field opposite our house and offerred a bunch of kids some money if they could catch the little serpent whereupon a middle-aged chinese gentleman took hold of the situation and bumped the snake on the head with arwah Nenek’s walking cane.

My wife hurt her ankle in our room in Kemunting. She was on a chair, trying to get hold of a suitcase on the wardrobe so that she can pack up and leave me. The plastic chair broke, she fell and tore a part of the skin covering the flexor hallucis longus tendon above her right ankle. The yellow walls bore witness to blood and tears. There’s a  heart-shaped scar tissue (happy belated valentines’, baby) where the old wound healed to mark my guilt.

I wasn’t even home. I was the snake in the drainage, breathlessly gliding towards the light to escape from the filth below only to confront the error of my ways. Thumped on the head.

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Mancrush

So how the fuck you’ve been man. I haven’t seen you for, like what, five years?

There’s a photo of us in London, with it’s old clock in the background. We were overdressed as usual in our shiny red boots. And those Kangols, man. We were rocking in it like it was meant to be rocked: kampung style.

So K, my friend, lemme just have this out in the open: I have a mancrush on you. Not of the gay sort, you follow? We had some great times and I just think that men are allowed to have mancrushes. Like some people have for Lance Armstrong (“Manwhore“, Blair Waldorf) or Khairy Jamaludin (“Mr. Smarty Pants”, the population of Malaysia under 35).

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Bunion/bunian

I’m at school. A bunch of sixth formers are talking about invisible apparitions shoving them around and playing tricks on them. Bunians.

I’d just finished invigilating a lower secondary form and walk out to the corridor and see the Senior Assistant and proceed to tell her of the talk about these pesky creatures. She tells me that all of us should start using this new product. Some kind of cream or oil or ointment that would repel the bunians.

I walk downstairs to go to my car which is parked at school front. I am at the back where I meet a friend, Saiful who doesn’t even teach here (I last saw him 10 years ago). I ask for a ride to my car and he obliges. We get into his car (a late model Proton) which then begins to swerve around wildly. As if someone or something else is grabbing the steering wheels. I begin chanting verses.

I’m at home and talking to an unidentified member of the family about the bunian driver. The conversation drifts into another topic: the paranormal history of the house I live in. There is an entry in Wikipedia (searchable by address) about this house, apparently. You’ll find a list of people who’ve died here. I remember trying to avoid reading the entry.

I’m in a room in the house which peculiarly looks like a hostel dormitory, surrounded by family members (again unidentified/unremembered). There is a baby. Maybe a newborn because it is very little and wrapped in a white cloth. I carry the baby ans start to put it back down on the mattress when the people around me warn that it was taking a crap.

It isn’t crap at all. The baby just ‘gave birth’ to another small baby, about a couple of inches tall.

P, my brother comes into the room, picks up the newborn peanut baby and starts to joke nonchalantly with it, putting it against my mother’s earlobes (who’s apparently there all along), as if it was an earring.

I wake up.

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