Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer

Happy Teachers Day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I was a teacher once. I do not know whether any of my students remember me. It does not matter. I have done what I was supposed to do and that’s that.

I remember most of my “cikgu”.

I was short of the school-going age when I was in Merang but my father put me in school anyway. Most probably to get me out of my mother’s hair. I do not remember any of my teachers name in Sekolah Melayu Merang. What I remember is one of mother’s cousins, Pok Kob, who was in the upper classes, feeding me with cuklat nissang every now and then. I remember too going with him through the field looking for a kind of grass to wipe the papan slate. I guess the teachers left me alone. That was the reason I could not remember their names. But I do remember the headmaster, Cikgu Weil. Cikgu Weil, a wiry dark-skinned man from Pahang was the local UMNO leader. Then (in 1949), nationalism was spread by, among other groups, teachers like Cikgu Weil. He went around shouting “Merdeka” at every opportunity. The kampung folks would respond with a hearty “Deka!” or “Deko!” depending on the dialect they were used to. I was not sure whether it was the nationalistic fervour or their dig at Cikgu Weil’s physical impediment. Cikgu Weil could not straighten his arm – an affliction known in Terengganu as “deko” (or “deka” if you are from Besut).

When we moved to Kuala Terengganu, I was enrolled in Sekolah Melayu Paya Bunga and we had a few unforgettable cikgus. One was Cikgu Lebo, a short rotund man who never seem to smile. Cikgu Lebo went around the school ground during recess to debok (thump) the back of pupils drawing on the sand.

When I moved to Sultan Sulaiman Primary school after getting through the Special Malay Class examination, our favourite teacher was Mr. Lau Kuan Jin who drilled us in English with a litany of “ A man in a pan” or was it the other way around? Actually it was “A man and a pan”. I am getting old.

When we moved to Kota Bharu, I remember Mr. Henry in SIC. He took us on expeditions to a waterfall in Pasir Putih. Later when I moved next door to the secondary school, we had Ustaz Abdullah Nakula who always tweaked our brain with trick questions. We also had a Mr. Menon who was overcome with passion on reading a passage from Shakespeare.

In Sultan Sulaiman Secondary School, Kuala Terengganu I remember many teachers who undoubtedly played a part in my life. There was Cikgu Rahman who encouraged my infatuation with art and Mr. Gurunathan, our Scout Master. And then there were the ustazs , Ustaz Mahmood Salim and Ustaz Manan. They never failed to liven up the class while giving us the basics of Islamic Studies. Ustaz Manan was unfazed by our silly questions. An example:

Student: Apa hukum hisap kopek bini kita ustaz? (Whats the rule on sucking on your wife’s tit?)

Ustaz: Hukumnya sedaplah. (Feels good.)

There are many more teachers that I remember from those days. To them and to all the teachers past and present, Happy Teachers Day, Cikgu!


| 1:57 PM :: ::
2 CommentsOldStyle:
  • Pokku,

    Yes, I remember that "A man and a pan".

    This is man.
    This a pan.
    A man and a pan.

    I think they change the book just a few years after my batch.

    My father (Ustaz Omar Ismail) replaced Ustaz Mahmood Salim when he performed Hajj in 1960 (ada gambor dalam school magazine)

    Sempat dengan Pokku?


    By OpenID akarimomar, at 1:50 PM  
  • Pokku, your writing is always interesting. i have shared one of ur posts "ddoktong" at my facebook. many likes it and i asked them to visit your blog. I wish to share ur writing about "mujor"... i found it so hilarious.. Do you know how can I get it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:25 PM  
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