Monday, December 29, 2008

None The Wiser

30 Dec 2008, 1015 hrs
Klinik Pergigian, Section X, Shah Alam

I had two wisdom teeth removed some three years ago. horrible horrible experience. The dentist had both feet on my torture chair with an assistant holding his waist. The dentist was in labor, PULL! PULL! but i was the one in pain.

After many hours he managed to extract one tooth out. And then the other one. Excruciating pain. My mouth were torn on both sides. Through the ordeal, i couldnt scream as the dentist had both hands in my mouth. Horrible horrible traumatising horror! And so torn mouth and all, i became the Joker only with less wisdom than he.


I have two more wisdom teeh that must be extracted out. Not for aesthetics purposes mind you, but more medical reasons than anything else. You see, my jaws are too small but my teeth are all huge ones - meant for tearing meat and gnawing timber. Like that of a carnivorous rodent. I certainly have neither room nor patience for wisdom, tooth or otherwise.

30 Dec 2008, 2206 hrs

I didnt get any tooth pulled out just now. Had an x-ray taken though. Apparently, only a quarter of the teeth surfaced. The rest stays inside the gum and jaw bone. You only get to see the tip of the iceberg. The problem is larger than titanic.

Both teeth require minor surgery to have them removed. A single surgery should cost RM400 to 500 (gulp). And it wouldnt be without risks either. Tell me, doctor, what are the risks? She explained that being in the lower jaw means that both teeth are near the nerves. Okay, so if surgery went wrong and the nerves are damaged, what can happen?
'you might lose the senses in the mouth, i.e you dont taste food'
Is this permanent or temporary?
'oh dont worry, in some cases, the effect dissapears after a day or two.' Doctor smiles.
in some other cases doctor?
'my friend is still suffering from it. It has been five years now' Doctor still smiles. Aiyoh, puan dokter, I know lah you have perfect rows of picketfences, but must you smile when telling me this?
Because if i cant taste what i eat, it will be a huge loss to mankind!

I made an appointment for surgery anyway but made a mental note to go check other clinics too. I couldnt help but noticed that the doctor graduated from UiTM and i know for a fact that their Dental Faculty is new. Not that i think dentists from UiTM is less competent than other graduates, but what with the faculty being new, graduates would at the most have only a few years of working experience. Just like having a P licence doesnt mean you are incompetent, only maybe not as experienced as other drivers.
For dental surgery, maybe i want an old experienced doctor.

After the scare, i went to Serenity Spa at Concorde to claim another present from the Ibu Ratu Hatiku writing competition. Yes, full body spa treatment. Massage, sauna, scrub and then milk bath. Best. Gigi sakit jugak, tapi best.

Rehat rasa.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Korban Sudirman and Barbra Streisand

When I was in primary school, I was always entering Quran recital competitions with my father. It was bonding time for us as we would be practicing and then travelled places together. He was the real champ, I was just a shadow that tagged along after him.

On one occasion, we were both representing TUDM Johor (I think) to the national competition held in KL. Maybe not, but it was the third stage. It was at some stadium but I couldn’t remember which stadium, maybe one in Kinrara. Is there a stadium in the camp?

We travelled by train, my Abah, another qari (or secretariat, I don’t know) and me. We must have arrived a day earlier, because we stayed for one night at South East Asia Hotel in Chow Kit. The hotel has been renamed many times since then, I think it is now Asia Hotel. Abah took me for meals at one of the stalls near the Masjid Pakistan. He refrained from ordering anything for himself and would only eat my leftovers.

‘Kami’ the movie, starring aruah Sudirman was showing at that time. I wanted so much to buy the book if not to watch the movie. Abah said, no, maybe later, after the musabaqah.

The next day, we moved to stay in some barracks in Kinrara. I remembered having a group of GI Jane pranitas (prajurit wanita) babysitting me. At first, I thought they were all men (they were dark-skinned with heads shaven close). Macho as they may be, they were all so taken with the song ‘Woman In Love’ by Barbra Streisand. So instead of practicing, I would be wailing away with them insisting to the world of our rights to love. It’s a right we defend – over and over againnnn waduhwaduh…

And a fellow child contestant, some kid by the name of El Hadi, who was representing TUDM from up north, was always escaping practice to play pinballs. Soon, I was playing pinballs with him, trying to sound like Barbra Streisand with whole troop of airwomen and when Abah fussed, would occassionaly practice my surah.

On the night of the musabaqah, I won second prize and Abah got second prize too. I received a trophy, a Quran tafsir, some cool cash and cloth to make baju kurung.

The next day, first thing in the morning Abah took me to town. We went to Globe Silk Store where I bought panties for my sister and bajukurung material for my mother. The first purchase Abah made with his cash prize was to buy me the Kami book. I think that was the only shopping he made. He took me to Pustaka Antara and then Dewan Bahasa where I finished all of the money on books and books and nothing else but books.

Then it was the journey back to Kluang – again by train.

It was many many many years later I found out from Mak that Abah was actually very broke when we arrived in KL. Travel was by warrant, and meals were supposed to be covered by Kinrara. Only we arrived a day early. Why, I don’t know. He could barely afford the meals I had. Kuala Lumpur in comparison to Kluang was considerably very expensive those days. It probably still is now.

I didn’t know. I could have used all the money I won to help the family, but he let me use it all on books. He even bought me the Kami that I so wanted.

Korban can be in many forms. Indulging your child with books because she loves them, is a form of korban too. He could have borrowed or taken my prize money for other better purposes but he let me loose in bookstores. And I went on a wild shopping spree. I never had that much money to buy books for. It wasn’t much, come to think of it, maybe less than RM200. For an 11-year old kid who never saw such money, it was a humongous amount. I was a hundrennair master of my own lair (hey it rhymes!).

Now that i am a parent, I can only hope that I could be half as good a parent as my father was.

Occassionally i borrow money from my kids - their duit raya lah etc. Have i paid them back? Tak ingat! Hmmm...

Nobody said korban is an easy thing to do.

If one day my kids get to read this, then this line is for them:
Sun, Dot, Tigo, halalkan lah yo hutang omak kek kau kok ado. Korban lah sikit untuk omak kau ni ahhh.. tak baik bekigho.

Note: This entry is inspired by Aidil Adha and conversation had with a couple of friends over lunch.


Life is a moment to space
When the dream is gone
it's a lonelier place
I kiss the morning goodbye
But down inside, you know we never know why
The road is narrow and long
When eyes meet eyes and the feeling is strong
I turn away from the wall,
I stumble and fall, but I give you it all

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Peyu btlor

I went to Kuala Terengganu the other day. By road. No, Yamtuan drove, I didn’t get to.

Geography has never been my best subject and so when I was asked to go KT, instead of flying I said to Yamtuan, let’s all go, let’s take a drive along the East Coast of Malaysia for the heck of it. After Awang Goneng’s rendition of the state, I have become hopelessly romantic about it. I imagined people walking aroung in kaing ssahang and songket, and they would all be speaking a language that I wouldn’t understang. I have never been to Terengganu and it would be my birthday too so let’s go, I said. Reluctantly, Yamtuan agreed.

And so we packed the car and started on the long journey to Kuala Terengganu. Man, I didn’t know Kuala Terengganu would be THAT far. It was SO VERY far. Very very far. If the earth was flat, then it would be at the very edge of it. Another step further and we would fall down into nothingness. THAT kind of far. We set out at 9 am and we reached Primula Beach Resort of Kuala Terengganu at 5pm! It was like a day at the office, only worse because we were all cooped up in the car. Cabin fever of the highest degree. By the time we reach KT, all of us were ready to slit each others’ throat. Yes. THAT bad.

And it rained incessantly too.

The kids took naps after naps after naps and everytime they woke up they would ask me, why was I taking them to a hotel that far away?

Sun looked up to his sister. To him, Dot was the coolest, cleverest chick ever. He wanted to kill time and tried to get English lessons from his sister.

What’s the English word for ‘posmen’? Sun asked.
Postman jugak. Dot answered.
Bukanlah, Postman Pat lah, Sun insisted. Thank you ASTRO Ceria.
What’s the English word for ‘payung’?
Umbrella, Dot answered, now rather impatiently. We were all bored and restless and tired.
What’s English for ‘hujan’?

Kesian my Sun kena kelentong with the sister.

After many rounds of English lessons, kelentongs, naps, yellings and fights we finally arrived at KT. Had bed sore all over our bums too!

Managed to eat nasi dagang everyday, but I saw no one walking aroung in sarong. I didnt get to see penyu laying eggs too. But i get to hold horse-shoe crab. My first. Awesome alien like creature. Blue blood too. Absolute-WOW. Terengganu is as beautiful as i imagined it would be. Beautiful and a soothing balm to KL-tainted souls. Only why does it have to be so far? Can someone please move the state nearer to where i live, just slightly after Gombak would be nice.

We are back in KL now after 3 days there. Just now I YM-ed Yamtuan, I said let’s go umrah. He said, can, so long as you don’t ask us to go by road.

No, Sir, never againg.