Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lagi cerita Rawa

Prof Anthony Milner agreed to meet me and I invited Dr Kloos to meet the historian whose work on Rawa connected us all.

Starbucks, Plaza Mont Kiara. David came just before noon so we managed to exchange notes on 'orang dagang', Achehnese dan segala. Not long after, Tony and his wife Claire joined us. Hence, began very interesting discussions..moving back and forth issues in Acheh, Rawa, siapa orang Melayu, orang kelantan takda DNA Melayu and mrk dengar for the first time Alexander the Great bkn Iskandar Zulkarnain yg disebut di dalam Quran. What do you have pemikiran orientalis, Islamicist dan sejarahwan tulin (yg kata mana bisa anthropologist menterjemahkan atau mentafsir sejarah.Jeng jeng jeng...)

2 jam tak cukup but Nik came to remind me we were past our 2 pm appointment with someone.Alaa...tengah syok ni.Tony dan David kata di mana ada Rawa, di situ ada trouble.Ini tafsiran sejarahwan Barat. For that reason, I need to conduct my own study...shape it as I see it.

Kata David, soalannya bukan siapa orang Rawa tetapi mengapa ghairah nak mengaku Rawa sekarang.Dan kami debatkan siapa sebenar orang Melayu.Saya tanya sapa sebenar orang Belanda atau orang Australia sekarang di dunia global dan transnasional.Identiti itu bukan fixed...berubah ikut semasa.Kenapa nak kecoh mencari di mana Melayu asal...cari juga Belanda asal atau Australia asal...Tony kata org kata Mat Kilau tu orang asli.Apa tidak mungkin inter-marriage berlaku di Pahang.Ramai orang asli dalam hutan. Orang asal Australia abo.

Yes, hangat.Tapi kita suka.

Part 2

So I spoke to Haji Zabidin, Presiden Jalinan Rawa, living in Tapah.Panjang teromba kami. Kata Haji, mmg le nota Barat biased terhadap Rawa..mereka yg berhabis2an melawan Belanda di Indonesia dan kemudian sekutu Belanda Inggeris.Kata Haji, Rawa takda kena mengena dgn org Minang.Pi Minang takda masakan lemak cili api.Itu Rawa cuisine.Pas tu he said Rawa yg fair skinned tu asal dari Champa ..could be from China as well.Yang kulit gelap tu dah campur dgn India sbb zaman tu ramai pedagang India mencari rezeki di kota-kota yg didiami Rawa. He said Rawa Raub tak dokumen salasilah mrk...tak mcm Rawa Perak.He said ramai yg tau dah habeh mati.

Cucu cicit Mat Kilau tak ngaku pulak Mat Kilau tu Rawa.Konon Acheh cos' his title was Tenkiu not Tunku ke hapa.Mmg rawa ada disebut dlm hikayat Acheh which David promised to show me tapi not good portrayal (di mana ada Rawa, di situ ada trouble).

I dah semcm ada bayangan how my history novel gonna look like.Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Kak Ngah and I

I clocked in 3 hours of work sahaja yesterday.Family emergency. We had to fetch my ustaz to smuggle him into the hospital. :) Alhamdulillah no more gangguan. It will just be purely medical now for my poor sister.We pray to Allah she will be protected by Him all the time.Kalau sakit, ada ubatnya.I met a lady while waiting at the lobby (KN and ustaz naik dulu.I had to wait 30 mins before visiting hours). I tegor the lady next to me.She baru habis her 2nd chemo.Lost her breast to cancer (stage 2).I said makanan ke stress? She said stress.Sebab chaos caused by GST...(tanggunglah kau wahai pemimpin...dah la rakyat ditindas...sampai sakit pun ada). I told her maybe she should consider quitting her work and do what she enjoys in life. Before we parted, she said syukur she met me cos' I motivated her. Alamak..takut tersilap advised! I was just giving some options...May Allah ease her pain.Nampak steady je orangnya. Sangat tabah on the outside.But I did see some welled up eyes at one point.

Ijat is such a smart boy.We were arguing about mee maggie.Dia suka sangat mkn mee tu.I prefer if he eats something not processed..lots of fruits and fresh sayur2an. He said kalau mkn benda bagus pun tapi tak exercise, no point.I said kalau mkn halal je tapi not toyyiban pun no good.Baru 14 OK? On alternative medicine, he said I'm 100% skeptical.KN and I dah nak berguling2 ketawa.

Balik from the hospital and sending ustaz back, we lost our way.Battery down. Hadoi.Dua2 hopeless.I had to work from a bad memory..finally saw jalan pulang.KN had dinner at my place..she had too fly to Alor Star besoknya.If bwk baju, could have stayed the night at my plc,Subang Airport.

Terasa mak takda.If not, she's the captain of all things.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Behind time

So much happening at the mo that I am behind time for the first time.Usually by now, I'd just be waiting to close the sem. Come to my office and you will see tonnes of papers screaming to be examined.

Then the green activists came.The river project again.But I'm happy that we are still at it and getting more people involved.Prof Ridza was kind enough to let me go amidst another meeting with a biotech agency (what do I know! Fadzil and Naim were nowhere to be seen.They would have been more useful but I learnt much too)

Z and I went to visit Mek and Sal.We were going through some hilarious scenes but we pray that Mek will survive her ordeal. Dia kena sihir. May Allah protect her and all of us.

Went to listen to Msian great writers read at the French Language Centre at Lorong Gurney.Tash Aw was a big disappointment.He refused to open up.Tanya sepatah jawab sepatah and he read his work in French.Who is he hiding from? A mixed audience in Malaysia? I was right to say he was overrated when his book first came out.

Give me honest writers, please.Like Dato' Zurinah Hassan who also read at the event.And Dato Anwar Ridwan and Shih-li Kow.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Balik Kampong 2

It was an overdue thing but on Friday, Pyan and I set out to Raub to deliver our English workshop.After dropping Pyan at Seri Raub Hotel which Shimah booked him, I went over to Long's and slept over.Mek was at Kak De's.I planned to dine out with Suri..only to find out she had moved to Karak and now staying with her mom.My school gfs tak drive or live outside town so an early night for me! Too tired to drive to Kak De's.Some kids just died kat kolam ikan near her home.

We started around 8 am at Shimah's school.Raub has changed so much.Drivers are so reckless. One actually left his car running (pintu terbuka) as he went across the road to buy his breakfast.I mcm tak percaya! Never saw this while I grew up in my wonderful town. :) UiTM baru buka so there's this huge Old Town kopitiam where we went to have a drink (me and my gfs frm school days).Sharida was still in KL frm Miri on another reunion.I had to drive back on Saturday cos' Pyan nak jumpa golfren dia.Since he was driving, what can I say.Would hv loved to stay till Sunday.

The workshop went well alhamdulillah.There were 47 kids aged 12 who were very shy. Shimah mixed the groups...good classes mixed with lower ones.She wanted me to speak on how local gal did good. So showed them some of my travel pics.Then we showed them an animated vid clip and got them to write a short paragraph on why they liked/disliked the clip.As we went around helping the kids write and correct their sentences, we found out that they were smart.Some wrote we liked the clip because it was lively, colourful, yada yada but we disliked it because the reggae shark took ganja.Fantastic! So I spoke on why ganja or drugs were haram, yada yada. Within that hour, we managed to explain one on one basic grammar rules.I figured a teacher could not handle a big class alone.She or he needs assistance.Then only a personal attention could be given.Peer teaching is not new in some countries.

After the break, I got Pyan (who is award-winning actor and owns his own theatre house albeit small scale) to give some tips on acting..voice projection, movements on stage etc which he saw fit.Then we broke them into 7 groups and there were two groups within a group.They all had to act out and the best group would represent and compete at the final level.It's a trick to make the kids speak English without being shy actually.It worked! We might have a few going to Jalan Ampas. :D But out of the 7 groups, we picked top 3 (we got their English teachers headed by Datin Ho to do the judging).Aida and I helped Pyan to do the early saringan and helped them to polish their acting, pronunciation, etc.

Yup, we had fun. I do this for friends je (now Sulazli said owh, can you come to my school too? ).Ainin dah booked me for June.We did one last year (bdk yg screamed I hate Literature!)I am waiting for an invitation to speak at my mom's kampong in Semantan in which there are only 4 students! And I had offered to do free workshops at my old schools (MGS and Mahmud). Takda org panggil, takkan kita terhegeh2. I kasi free pun.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Balik kampong

I had to rush to the airport not long after attending Prof Muhd's daughter's wedding reception yesterday. It was great seeing some old friends who I had not seen for a while - Soak Koon, Tn Haji Rahman, former editor of Berita Harian, Prof Rosnah..nxt to my table Dato Baha Zain but tak sempat say Hi. Kak Ani looked gorgeous.Tak tua2.We all had Prof's latest pantun pocket book.Seronok kita!

Mek isn't well so I picked her frm Subang Airport.She slept over then all the KL clan dropped by and we read yassin for her and had pizza and bubur for dinner.She looked better with families around her. Too many funny stories despite her condition. Sal and kids pun slept over.Early today Kak Ngah pulak dropped by so we had bfast together.More funny stories frm kak ngah.Her young grandson Shad could see things (boleh nmpk hantu) so we had many funny entries on Shad's sightings (poor child).

Then just before noon, KN, me, Z, Mek and hubby drove bck to Raub to send Mek for her retreat at Long's.We had lunch at Long's..Kak De dropped by for a while.I think the last time we were in Raub was last raya haji.It's not the same anymore.I didn't even drop by my mom's house (kunci pun tak tau dgn sapa).Coming home, I showed KN mak's last clothes before she was hospitalised ...KN took wht I didn't want sbb too small or too short.Her baju kurung and kain batik which we had agih2kan I kept.Sedih juga handing over her last tudung with brooches when she almost bled to death (masa I bawak balik to the private hospital near my house on her last day at her usual dialysis centre).I brought them back to wash the bloodstains on her pants, tudung, etc.KN said she would wear the tudung.Tudung Syria.I know she still misses her a lot.Like all of us.

kedua mempelai, Mega dan pasangannya.

sempat berselfie with Dr Wong Soak Koon

Kak Ani and Prof Muhd merenjis anak dan menantu

at a different wedding (jgn tertipu!)