Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When the fcuk-off letter is here

Today I was officially given the letter “ Ucapan Penghargaan dan Terima kasih” ( aka the fcuk-off letter) that will end my brief tenure at this place called InED. I have no regret just disappointment for this brief period of my long career path holds a contrasting perspective of life and work; humanity and responsibility. When I came to this place less than a year ago, I was overly excited as I thought it could get me to know the world. Usually the work involves visiting the many franchised colleges that run UiTM’s programs; and they are all over Malaysia. Hoping for sunshine to last till the evening but the rain came in the afternoon (ku harap panas hingga kepetang tapi rupanya hujan di tengahari….). something like that. Actually I was not expecting much in the first place but once you got into it you would like to give it the best and as a human you expect nothing less in return. I think I have to work on that a bit more--- the part to expect something in return because this is usually where the pain begins; people don’t always give what you expect for sometime they have no ability to do so.

My career path is like a journey that I’m on. I saw this opportunity that I thought would take me somewhere in my journey so I grabbed it. It’s not going my way; I knew that for a fact but I embarked on it anyway only to know I was up for a bumpy ride. Let me put it another way; I was heading to KB; that was my aim and without any doubt I knew I would get there. For the moment there was no bus going to KB, so I have to wait for God knows when. A friend told me to get on this bus going to Kuantan and maybe from Kuantan there would be easier to find another bus going to KB. I guessed it was OK so I hopped on. Ironically I knew the driver, ok this is going to be a smooth ride after all. There were many passengers in the bus and I thought they were all going to Kuantan. As I went in to find a seat I realized many of them did not like the driver due to his reckless driving. Soon I found these people are a bunch of really nice people; caring and like to share their food with each other. They gossip the driver a lot though. I was quite comfortable sitting and chatting as I was accepted right away. I learned a lot from these people even though we met in this brief bumpy bus ride. Many of them are older than me so they treat me like their younger brother. I felt so honored to be working with these people ; but soon the bus will reach Kuantan and whether I like it or not my journey will end there. As we reach Kuantan the driver just kicked me out because he said I did not have the ticket and some other reasons that I did not understand myself. OK I am going just don’t push it. That what makes it so bitter, so fcuking bitter.

Back in the faculty the Dean asked me to hold a HOD position. For some reasons I can’t say no In UiTm a no is a big sin; as it means your refusal to accept responsibility to the university which is punishable by “ academic death”. You’re finished. So I said , let me think about it; and she said, OK but you must start now. That was about two weeks ago and I have been attending meetings and events without any formal appointment letter. It’s kind of hard because it’s like going to a battle without any weapon; what I can do is to avoid any attack and save my ass. As of now I have started to realize that this position is not a piece of pecan pie, soon my ass will burn. But the problem is why that letter has not arrive. The appointment is from Deputy VC office and it should be here now. I guess they must be waiting to see what the future will look like; will it turn yellow? Yellow means trouble and we don’t want trouble makers to hold any admin post, do we? What can I say? I do have an invitation to an event on the 9th in KL and out of respect to the hosts , I might dress yellow. It’s clean(bersih?) and beautiful. So let’s see what the future holds.

In the meantime I will keep this letter close to my heart as a reminder not to expect too much of anything. Do it as a good deed for the sake of Allah.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beautiful things at the kampong

Coming home to your old kampong triggers old memories for the fact that you have been away for quite a while now and how far apart your life has been with the folks once to be your everyday pakciks and makciks. Life at the kampong is not only simple, we accept this as-the-matter-of-factly, but it represents the nature of humans as they live through the time. My kampong nowadays is a small town called Wakaf Bharu (although I come from Pasir Mas) about 15 mins from Kota Bahru. A close-knit community where everybody really knows everybody else—in fact they might even be related to each other. The folks started their day as early as 5 am when all sort of animal sounds would wake you up to the cold and breezy dawn. I could not even know the name of all those animals, well except for the cocks (I mean that male chicken), the crickets maybe or the birds. Some were strange sounds and even eerie like in the Dracula movies. But I was glad to wake up and wanted even to make my own wake up sound. The morning sky was still dark but folks were all up getting ready for the morning prayers, old and young walking or zooming with the motorbike to the mosque. It was dark because streetlights were scarce and you literally walk with your eyes closed; and everyone would find their own way through the darkness to the mosque. It’s the experience of my childhood that I recaptured and it seemed to be there all this time while I was away. Kampong folks especially in Kelantan are very religious; Islam is our day and night, we live and we die with it. It is as simple as that. I feel like to come back to this simple life one day. I guess that’s why most Kelantanese would come back after they retire, because if I were to call any place -- a heaven on earth, this would be the perfect one.
And you wonder why the city politicians could not conquer the hearts and the minds of Kelantan voters. The reason is obvious—they have no idea of what these people do at 5 o’clock in the morning. If they were, they would see an old woman clinging helplessly to a blind young girl walking through the darkness to the mosque. And that’s no fairy tale; it’s as real as the sky and the earth. I just could not believe my eyes when they walked by my side. As if the nation’s transformation program is only for the clever folks in KL where they talk about the sweet and the Brent’s, the hedge and the mergers, but never about us. We only have us to look after each other. As the matter of facts, Kelantan folks have survived with such mentalities for the last 20 over years when we vowed not to trust those clever politicians from KL anymore. We might not have streetlights but we do find hopes and sunshine in each other. Isn’t that what life is all about?

The sound of animals continues to embrace the morning sunshine. Everyone seems to retreat after the morning prayers and to let the able folks to put on the brave faces to fulfill the daunting modern life. I came home to visit my old mom; she seemed tired but healthy. The years of hard living can be clearly seen on her. She stumbled and fell every now and then but that’s normal for an old person she said. My heart crunched and crumbled when I heard that as if this one child has no ability to take care of his mom despite having degrees and all. You know we have tried that once, mom, and it did not work. You want to be at home where you feel free and comfortable. Do whatever you want and visit your friends whenever you feel lonely. I just want you to be happy and as of now you seem very happy.

I have an annex at my in-law’s where we stay during our visit and store our old stuff. The dusty shelves and furniture show that we have been away for quite a while. Although this is only home for the week I feel so blessed for this opportunity. I can’t wait for the next visit home which seems to be forever. Work ! Work! Work! Even during this break the phone hasn’t stopped ringing. About this and about that. Well, I should not complain, they pay me for that.

OK it’s time to go shopping. I need a new baju. Enjoy your break folks.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For Love or Lust?

Are you married for love or lust?....duh! how many times we have heard the question and still it looks like something good to ask. I am sure you all have your own answer to that but after 20 over years of marriage I would prefer to keep them both in my profile. Sometime I am in for love sometime it would be lust. Love and lust are like two characters in a movie; one is the good guy and the other is the bad guy. We love the good guy because he will get all smashed up but will eventually win over and lives happily ever after. The bad guy on the other hand will get all the chicks, done some nasty stuff and got killed at the end of it. I’d prefer to be the bad guy, not because I have been the good guy all my life and have seen nothing but heartache, but because it seems interesting and happening. Bad guys cast more character in the story line than the good guys. Love would give reasons when the bad things happened in marriage while lust would make it more colorful and interesting ( especially after 20 dreadful years). Love is like a sharp thingy that hooks to your heart; everytime someone tries to to pull it away from you, you would feel the pain...a real pain as the hook being ripped of your skin. One hook for you wife, one hook for each of your children and everyone that you love in life. This is real and you can feel it for yourself. That’s what love would do for you. Lust , on the other hand, is sex and everything else that would not be complete without such as lies, greed and being naughty. They are not necessarily bad but too much of it would damage your brain and your liver (that’s a joke apparently). But sex is something else we just can’t leave home without it; something that we need over and over again, amazing isn’t it? You would be tired of doing something over the years but not sex. Isn’t it wonderful to be alive and enjoy sex? Well you got the picture I am not going to turn this into an exotic entry but for us all to realize the magic of life that we all have tasted for so many years.

So people get married, divorced and remarried. That SY guy married his fourth and it was all over the paper like no one else has done it before. Big deal. Maybe sometime we feel intimidated by all these. Some men do feel intimidated and challenged their manhood. Nonetheless,I do feel annoyed sometime because this is my choice that I have made for my life. You want to do it go ahead just do not make a big fuss out of it. So now is the time people get married and do the khenduri---which I have so many to attend. I go to khenduri just because I have to, otherwise it is the last thing I would do. I hate it. I hate to eat at the same table with strangers, and you meet a lot of strangers in the khenduri. So you eat as fast as you can without enjoying the food just to shove it down the throat and done with it. Then when the host comes over, you would put a big smile and pretend you have the time of your life despite the miserable eating-with-strangers session. And the food seems to be the same everywhere, do they copy-and-paste the menu also? I mean who said all the khenduri have to have ayam masak merah, daging kicap, gulai sayur and acar timun. For whatever reasons I expect to see the same old food all over the place. I can’t imagine to spend thousands of ringgit for such khenduri so whenever I think of that I would slip a big tip into the host’s pocket to express my sorrow and compensate his effort. He must have done it because everyone does it but at the end of it he would be the one to bear all the costs. In Islam announcement of the marriage is necessary, the jamuan is not. Still thinking what to do when my time to do this khenduri is due....maybe in a few year’s time.