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


Blogger Aida said...

Wow what a great sacrifce ur dad made for u to enjoy books. And look what a fine young woman, wife, mother u've turned out to be. Yes, we all have to make sacrifices once a while, one way or another.

Selamat menyambut Maal Hijrah.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Iskandar said...

two things.

1.glad that you are back!(apa pasal lama senyap aje dalam blog world?)

2.I am touched by your dad's sacrifice to ensure that you have good books around you.

I am too forever grateful for my parents to sacrifice their time and money for me to devour books since young.

Ok..tambah lagi satu to update you, library project dah start balik.Donation flows in already.Next weekend ada coverage dalam The STAR.Hope that will inspire more people to chip in for the orphans.

La ni ada di kg....kena jangkit batuk!

8:26 PM  
Blogger Nazrah Leopolis said...

yo lah, berhalal la yo. tak payah bekigho

10:50 PM  
Blogger JoKontan said...

Madam Oody.

Travel by warrant ! Haaaaa.

Tulaa caranya anok2 askar balek kampong OR jalan-jalan, suatu masa dahulu..

Once, around 1978, on our way to Limbongan Melaka, we took a bus from Kontan to Mentakab.

Wait for 5 hours @ Mentakab, took a train downsouth to Gemas.

Wait for another train 3/4 day, to Tampin. Sempat jugak pestering my Daddy for the Ferris Wheel ride at Gemas.

For a 10 year old boy, Gemas train station was huuuuuge !

Then took a bus from Tampin to Malaka. Another Blueish Pah Hup bus from Melaka Town to Limbongan via Pokok Mangga..

Eh ! I got summore....


Makcik polis-polis atas tuu still on sabbatical leave aaaaaa ?


4:21 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

salam Maal Hijrah indeed. i know i gotta try harder..

1. bz, same excuse :D
2. i even bought two of the same book, one in English and then the DBP BM version.

the library project, i do have some sen for you. Only my maybank2mu and cimb password dah tak ingat, so going to the bank yang leceh sikit tu. but ada. will transfer soon as i can haul my lazy bum to the bank!

Nazrah Leopolis,
sok, kau nasihat la sikit kek anak2den yo. kadang budak ni cakap oghang baghu nak donga...

bro jo,
in my itm years, i still travelled by warrant, KL to Kluang was less than RM10. Best. But the journey would take a minimum of 8 hours. But must be careful not to be on the wrong coach when the train pitstopped at Gemas, lest you would be rerouted to Kelantan. Payoh mu!

Polih mannis lleting tu nazrah tu? Hhmmph! :(

6:01 AM  
Blogger intan said...

You made me cry thinking of how much a sacrifice parents always make. I can still remember the udang galahs which my dad always pass over to me as he knows that I love them...sanggup tak makan bagi anak.

5:59 AM  

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