Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Tuesday, August 29, 2006
This morning a few friends picked me up for breakfast and to meet up with more friends. Azhar, Zulkarnain and Amran came in Azhar's Merc to meet up with Azharuddin and Mat Hassan at the unpretentious Restoran Ros Fatimah next to the Sungai Mulia Mosque in Gombak. All of us were colleagues at one time or another.
Hj. Amran Hamid a.k.a. Ah Chong was in the room next to mine when we were both in the Overseas Service. I used to leave my monitor box on all the time and Amran always arrived in the morning way before me and got irritated by the "tone" signal coming out of the monitor. We got to know each other better when I was in the Sports Unit and Amran was then one of the better known sports commentator on TV. Years later when I was transferred to TV, I got a room next to Amran again. This time, I didn't have any monitors to annoy him.

Haji Azhar Ahmad was one of the better newsreader and commentator that came out of RTM. When I was in Kuantan, Hj.Azhar was the Director of Broadcasting (Easter Region) which made him my immediate boss. I didn't give him much problem and most of the time he left me to my own devices. Hj. Azhar was also the Director of Broadcasting (Southern Region) at one time and he would have gone much higher had his boss spoken up for him when needed to.

Hj.Azharuddin Hussein joined RTM the same day as I did. He retired much earlier than me though. Among the colleagues, Azharuddin was known as "The Bulldozer". He is not the shy type and never minces his words. He likes to dominate the conversation. Today was no exception. Azharuddin is a good tennis player and he still plays at the KL General Hospital. Pak Din is one of the few people in Malaysia who, with Allah's Grace, can cure people with his expertise in Reflexogy and Acupuncture sans needles. He uses a short stick instead of needles and he treats people for free. Today, he kept us to date on his numerous "cases" which includes medical doctors who played tennis with him.
Pak Din is a relative of Hj.Yusuf Rawa and he is a fervent member of PAS. He almost contested in the last election. Maybe he will contest in the next election.

This white-haired gentleman is Mohd Hassan, a true-blue Kelantanese. When I was still teaching in Kuala Brang, Mohd Hassan was already in RTM. He recorded my band's first performance in Kuala Brang.I doubt if it was ever put on air. Years later, after I joined RTM, I was sent to Kuala Terengganu as the Head of Programmes (Eastern Region) and I became Mohd Hassan's boss and fishing kaki. Most of Mohd Hassan's peers in RTM remembered his inability to lose his East Coast slang when he read, over the air "Tembok menembok di Tembok Berlin".

Samad Haroun did not plan to meet us today.He just wanted to have his favourite nasi lemak and lontong with his wife. It was a pleasant surprise for us to run into him for Samad is one of the nicest guys in RTM. Samad was in the Entertainment Section most of the time and I know less of him than of his brother Abdullah Haroun.

Last but not least is Hj. Zulkarnain Hassan. Zul was the first RTM "representative" in Terengganu back in the 60's when Terengganu did not have a studio or a station yet. He squatted at the Information Office in Jalan Air Jerneh and got around on a white Lambretta scooter. In his younger days, Zul reminds me of an Indonesian film star. Zul of course does not need that. He was famous in his own right as an excellent sports commentator on TV and Radio. Zul was also the Honorary Secretary of The RTM Veterans Association. He had to give up this post because of health reasons. He is stil recovering from a bypass.

I am praying that I will have more breakfasts with these fine people. InsyaAllah. Amin!
(Photos taken today with the Olympus E500)


Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I could not remember what happened to my first guitar. I do remember how I got it though. My father bought it for me from Keda Biang (Wee Hong Bian) after I promised him not to miss my daily solat. I wondered what happened to the guitar and sometimes to my solat.

My first electric guitar was a solid Hofner. It was stolen from my mom's cavernous but insecure bathroom. I never replace the electric guitar but I did get a few Kapoks which got misplaced or splitted beyond any reasonable use. After many years without a guitar, I bought a Yamaha acoustic guitar before my mandatory retirement. I discovered that I can't play the guitar as good as I did before (which wasn't much). I guess playing alone is not as much fun as playing in a band. I thought I played a decent guitar when I played with Subian (rhythm), Usop (bass), Tahir(keyboard) and Denan (on drums). We made decent music all over Hulu Terengganu and beyond. We got paid in kind instead of in cash. We got beras baru, durians, assorted fruits and petrol for our portable Honda generator. Years later, when I played my Yamaha, far far away from Hulu Terengganu, I knew why we were'nt paid. We were not good enough.

Now my guitar stands sulkingly in the store room, gathering a fine patina of dust. Once in a while it gets taken out to be played by my son (see pic above). He plays it better than me even though I did not teach him the guitar. I guessed he plays better BECAUSE I didn't teach him.

Today I took the guitar out and tried to coax the Aranjuez song out of it. My fingertips protested in pain. Mimi got worried and asked me if I was alright. I promptly stopped playing until she was out of earshot.

I am sure many of you have discovered that the guitar is one instrument that is so easy to play badly. It is also an instrument that you can easily hide behind. I have to punish my fingers more until I get the callouses on them as re-learn how to play the guitar again - at 61.


Thursday, August 17, 2006
The comments and emails received concerning my health choked me up. It was slightly different from being choked by constricting air passage. This old man thanks everyone for caring.

One of the emails was from Doreen L. Doreen wanted a quote from any of our leaders. Not just any quote mind you. Not "Apa nama..", " I am not aware" etc. but quotes about loving Malaysia, about patriotism. I cannot think of any. I am sure all our leaders spoke on patriotism at one time or another but for the life of me I cannot recall any quotable quote. I can remember JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country" but I cannot remember any homegrown equivalent.

As I explained to Doreen in my reply,the dearth of quotable quotes on patriotism is due to our leaders speaking off the cuff and mostly in plain, down-to earth language. I could be wrong and I would be happy to be proven wrong. Help Doreen. Qoute something patriotic attributed to any of our leaders - past or present.

Over to you folks!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The few regular visitors to this blog might have noticed that lately postings are as far apart as the hairs above a teenagers lips. This is not intentional. I would love to keep my regular readers by posting regularly. I have done that for nearly 2 years now. But now I am getting tired. Do not get me wrong. I am not tired of blogging or writing I am just physically tired.

You might want to blame your OCPD if your area experiences a surge in crime rate. I blame COPD for my tiredness. Last week my doctor confirmed that I got it. He was so disgusted that he forgot to prescribe the medicine. I had to phone him for the prescription.

I will still try to post as best as I can but like a sembelit guy, this blog would not be regular. I shall miss your interesting comments.

Until the next post, peace be unto you.


Monday, August 07, 2006
With many controversies around, both locally and globally, the truth is very elusive. It is more difficult for people to accept the truth when their mind is made up.

I was reminded of an old story of man who was sent to see a psychiatrist. The good doctor drew this on a piece of paperand asked the man "What do you see?"
The man replied "My penis."
The doctor nodded and drew on another piece of paper
"Now what do you see?"
The man answered " I see an ass hole"
The psychiatrist nodded again and drew another
"Now tell me what do you see?"
The patient quickly replied " I see the thing between a woman's legs"
The psychiatrist nodded. " Young man, you have sex on your brain!"
The patient protested " No I don't! You were drawing those dirty pictures, not me!"


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Have a nice day.