Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Untold Diary of A Mu'allim's Seasoned Car (Part 3)

You scratch your head. It has been spontaneous for you to do that whenever you are seeking for some sort of enlightenment.

You are looking for a conclusive solution. Therefore, you decide to make a phone call. The head scratching removes the blockade in your blood circulation around your cerebrum. You've got an idea. You call your dad. He has been your problem solver since you started to breathe.

You listen closely to his suggestion, give a little thought about it and decide to take his advice. So, you try pull a wire or two on your engine and try to start it again. You succeed but you know it will not last long.

Nervously, you drive the car to the nearest workshop. The time is ticking up. You need your Sweetheart to be repaired immediately.

You tell the mechanic about your problem. He and a few others diagnose it. As they are doing their job, the Queen of Your Heart and your VIP wait on a torn couch inside the workshop. The smell of oil and smoke sticks up deep into your throat. You believe that your passengers feel the same if not worse.

You move back and forth waiting anxiously the result of the diagnose. You are hoping that the damage is minor but as the time passes you know that you have to expect for the worst.

You scratch your head again. You have an appointment to catch and the time is moving. You must make a move. Therefore you opt to... (To be continued)

Vote now!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Untold Diary of a Mu'allim's Seasoned Car (Part 2)

Luckily, you manage to start your engine and continue with your journey.

Your sigh of relief tells the whole story. However, the challenge doesn't end there.

In a very short moment, your Sweetheart begins to show the same symptom again. The engine rumbles but the movement is not as smooth. It is as if someone is having hiccups. Your worriness turns to a nightmare. Once again, the engine stop.

"Oh, no. Not again!" You say to yourself. The embarassment becomes unbearable. It grows into frustration and that frustration almost turns into anger.

You move your Sweetheart to the side of the road. You open its hood and look at the engine trying to figure out what is really happening.

As you are doing that, you start questioning yourself. Your Sweetheart seemed okay yesterday. It was okay early this morning when you were driving it to look out for breakfast. Then, why oh why does it become like this at this moment? Why must it shows problems when it matters the most?

The questions are unsolved so as your search for the real problem of your Sweetheart. You are not a mechanic. You have to resolve to others to help you. You almost feel insignificant.

You take a glance to the passengers' seat and you can see a look of concern from both your passengers. You can feel the burden weighing on your shoulder. You can almost feel that your feet are sinking into the earth. (To be continued...)

What would you do? Cast your vote below.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: Lost

He owned a pen. He used it to mark his students' books, tick the attendance, draft his meeting minutes, and write something into his diary. One day, he lost the pen. He borrowed it to someone and that someone passed it to another person and so on.

A moment later, he realised that the pen was missing. He tried to track it to the first person who borrowed it. That person said, "Oh, I passed it to another person. Maybe you can ask him."

So, he asked the next person. To his dissappointment, that person also had no clue of the whereabout of the pen as he thought that he had left it somewhere for someone to take it.

He kept on looking. He went around here and there like a cat missing its kittens but to no avail. He went back to the first person who borrowed the pen. That person asked him, "Why are you so gloomy? It is just another pen."

He sighed and looked at his friend.

"Well my friend, it is just another pen. It's not the pen that I am worried about. I am worried about myself."

"Yourself? Why?" His friend looked confused.

"My friend, I am a teacher. A mu'allim."

"So, do I," said his friend.

"My friend, imagine that the pen is one of my students. One day, that student will be passed on to another teacher. He will bring together whatever I've thought him. He will bring along my legacy. However, I have failed to make sure that the student is handed over to the right person and thus I've lost him. I don't know what will happen to him. My friend, I've failed to make sure that I can take care of thing as small as a pen. What is the guarantee that I can take care of something bigger?"

His friend swallowed the thing said by the mu'allim. Eventually, he said, "Indeed, my friend. It is a lost for both you and I. It is OUR lost."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Crossover: The Untold Diary of A Mu'allim's Seasoned Car (Part 1)

You are moving to the next phase of your life. You put together a plan towards that phase. Today, an important event is going to materialise. You are nervous but prepared. Someone really important is going to be there. It makes you feel more nervous. You take a deep breath and pray to God that everything will go smoothly.

You take your Sweetheart; a seasoned car which age is the same as yours. You love your ride but you know its capability better than anyone else. Bringing together that important person on that ride has become a big concern for you. You whisper to your Sweetheart, "Please, I need this. Please bear with me."

As the engine starts, it begins to rumble. So, as your heart. You bring together The Queen of Your Heart because you need her to be there for both you and that important person. You finally pick up that important person and start the first journey together inside your Sweetheart.
Suddenly, something happens. Your sweetheart seems cannot carry on with the journey. True enough, not too far away, it stops.

You're really embarrassed. You can feel that one of the passengers behind is staring at you. You try not to look back. You are too terrified.

"Come on Sweetheart! Don't do this to me!" Your heart is crying out loud. You push the ignition key a few times to get the engine starts again but to no avail.

You sigh. You can feel that your plan for today crumbles into pieces.

You take another deep breath. You try not to give up. No matter what, things must go as planned.

You hold your key and start to push it one last time.... (To be continued)

So, what will happen next? Cast your vote below.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Diary of A Seasoned Car: 555

It felt like sailing a boat on a wavy ocean when driving this car. The absorbers had lost its function. I'd been considering to change them for a while.

So, finally I decided to do it. The comfort of my potential passengers was my motivation. Furthermore, I might take this car for a long journey in the near future.

However, the budget was a little bit overshot. It was my ignorance that I did not make an adequate research for the best workshop with the best price. It was a little bit impromptu.

Earlier in the morning, I went to another workshop to replace the damage front number plate. The plan after that was to replace one of the door knob. Halfway through I changed my mind. My mind was actually elsewhere. I was thinking about a potential passenger. And then the thought of replacing the absorbers suddenly became imminent.

Money was not a real issue. I had my savings and with that money I went to a workhsop in Bandar Baru Bangi to have the job done to the car.

To my dissappointment, it took them almost 3 hours to get the job done which was about 2 hours and 15 minutes later than what had been promised. There were even additional charges to the charge that had been initially agreed. Contractually, I could have cancelled the service. However, the work was half done (They had disassembled the necessary parts before leaving the car like that for me to wait for almost 2 hours. Great tactics!). Should I revoke the contract, I would be in a very disadvantagous position. They could leave it like that and let me reassemble the parts myself! Should I decide to continue, I had to pay a hefty price, yet affordable, for their service. Either way, I was sucker punched.

However, considering the lesser of the two evils, I took the latter. I'd get at them back later. From RM 490 to RM 561 to RM 555, I felt like I had been conned. I could only blame my stupidity should that feeling was not just a feeling. I admitted that I couldn't really think straight that day.

At the end of the day, no more wavy ride of the car. It felt better than before when driving it on bumpy roads. But at RM 555? I felt like that amount should had been put in a small tiny book called '555'. Well, lesson learnt; Do not go to an unfamiliar workshop to get your car repaired and when you couldn't think straight, avoid riding a seasoned car.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: The Truth

A lecturer once told him.

"There are two types of truth. The truth and the real truth."

The statement caused him to raise his eyebrow, "What's the difference?"

The lecturer said, "Well, you see... when two persons argue, both of them are telling the story based on their own exclusive perceptions and evidence, if any. What they present are the truth exclusively to themselves. Why? Because they believe it to be the truth."

"Okay," he said. "But then, how do we get to know the real truth?"

"It's all about belief. Which facts are more believable to both parties."

He chuckled, "I guess we won't find the real truth then."

"Well, I guess that's the painful truth that we have to accept, isn't it?"

There's only one thing about the truth that he know. It hurts. Recently, he had a 'Meet the parents' session at his workplace. It was a time where the performance of the students will be revealed to the parents. He thought this was a really good opportunity to dig up the real problems of his students, if any. He needed to know of any space that he could use to improvise both himself and his beloved students.

He had positive meetings with the parents. Both him and the parents knew that they share the same goal. To build a better tomorrow. The children are the future, there is no doubt about it. A parent told him in Malay, "Teacher, you can do anything to my child. Punish him if necessary. You can do anything as long as you don't break his bones. I just want my child to be a better person."

While he was not a keen supporter of physical force to use againts a 10-year-old child, he was left numb witnessing the determination of the parents to see their children to become better persons. Their eyes were glaring with hopes. He felt burdened but it was a burden that he had to carry when he decided to hold the title as a teacher. That's the truth.

However, in a very isolated case, a guardian of one of his students just couldn't accept the truth. The meeting was very short. There was not much talking. The guardian just asked him to pass the student's examination result. The guardian took off his spectacles and seemed to scrutinize it. He glanced at the student. She didn't look back at him. Her face was gloomy. That gloomy face left him wondering the reason behind it.

Then, without even asking him to explain the result, the guardian started to curse. Unpleasant words were heard. He hoped that only he could heard the guardian's voice. So, he took the best measure for the moment. Keep smiling and let the guardian talk. After all the mumbling finished, the guardian took off without even saying thank you.

He felt so devastated and terrified. He was terrified with the truth that the guardian was trying to convey. He didn't have the chance to know the real problem of this particular student and the guardian was so overwhelmed with his emotion to even try to discuss what really went wrong.

The beautiful world crumbled before his eyes all of the sudden. He was humbled by the truth. It is indeed painful to accept the truth.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Singapura Yang Tidak Kukenali: Ubah

Walaupun memegang taraf warganegara Singapura, tidak banyak yang boleh saya ceritakan tentang negara tersebut. Negara itu tidak lebih daripada Bedok Reservoir yang merupakan kejiranan di mana nyai tinggal ataupun taman permainan di Blok 9 Holland Avenue yang menjadi tempat saya bermain bersama-sama adik-adik dan juga sepupu saya setiap kali pulang ke negara ini. Singapura bagi saya tidak lebih daripada kunjungan hari raya ke rumah sanak-saudara ataupun menziarahi saudara terdekat yang meninggal dunia.

Jadi, apabila saya pulang ke Singapura, pasti ada sahaja perkara janggal yang akan saya temui. Negara ini cukup pantas berubah; orangnya, insfrastrukturnya, budayanya... Setiap kali saya pulang, ada sahaja bangunan baru yang naik. Kalau dahulu tidak ada Marina Bay Sands, sekarang tempat berkumpulnya tahi-tahi judi itu menjadi sebuah destinasi utama yang menjana ekonomi Singapura. Peluang-peluang pekerjaan terbuka luas dengan pembukaan tempat-tempat seperti itu. Ada yang menjadi penyambut tetamu, ada yang menjadi GRO, ada yang menjadi pembancuh arak, ada yang menjadi tukang cuci, ada yang menjadi pemandu, oh, pintu rezeki terbuka luas di sana. Berpusu-pusu gerombolan anak muda ke sana untuk mencari sesuap rezeki. Hasil yang diperolehi menjadi darah daging masing-masing. Darah daging anak-anak. Darah daging cucu-cucu. Cukup hasil itu untuk dirasai oleh 7 keturunan yang seterusnya. Hasil yang dijana daripada judi dan arak.

Bayangkan apa akan jadi Singapura di masa akan datang? Generasi-generasi yang darah dagingnya terpalit dengan hasil judi dan arak.

Perubahan-perubahan yang saya lihat itu sudah tidak menjadi satu kehairanan lagi. Saya tidak hairan lagi apabila masyarakat Singapura tidak lagi mempunyai tatasusila ketimuran. Saudara-saudara seagama saya juga tidak segan silu membuat maksiat malah ada pula yang mendabik dada membuka pekung masing-masing.

Tatkala saya meniti pinggiran Sungai Singapura, saya terpaku kepada tugu Stamford Raffles yang ada di situ. Masa depan beginikah yang dirancang oleh penjajah Inggeris ini? Masa depan yang dipenuhi dengan tahi-tahi judi, kaki botol, penzina dan anak-anak luar nikah? Nyata jika demikian, agenda penjajahan itu masih berjalan seperti yang dirancang.

Setiap kali menyeberangi tambak, saya akan menoleh ke pulau kerdil itu. Entah mengapa, setiap kali saya menoleh, pulau itu kelihatan semakin kerdil. Mungkin inilah perubahan yang paling jelas dapat lihat. Kekerdilan.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Diary of A Seasoned Car: Blinded

The journey continued. A few days earlier, recklessness had costed it 'an eye'. Immediate replacement was necessary as without the 'eye', the vision would be blinded when darkness falls.

After replacing the exhaust pipe, the next stop was a place to change the right front light of the car. The first visit to a scrapped car cemetery was not fruitful.

The search resumed to a nearby a workshop in Kajang. The place was suggested by the mechanic who repaired the exhaust pipe. True enough, it was much easier to find spare parts for the seasoned car there. It took about 3o minutes for the light to be replaced and the cost was reasonable.

Although it was not an original part, at least the view will no longer be blinded.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: Starry Night

There were hundreds of them in front of him. All eyes were on him. They awaited eagerly. He made them wait. He screened the floor. It was always the youngs sitting at the front. No stage was necessary to make him feel superior. He could just feel it. That nostalgic feeling.

It had been years since the last time he was doing this. He was really nervous about it. He thought his time was over but when an old friend came knocking on his door, he couldn't say no.

It wasn't a big part that he played that night. Yet, it was a really significant moment. He wasn't the real star that night. The real star was a group from a neighbourhood country. He knew little about them before they met eye to eye but when they did, he realised that they had one thing in common.

He couldn't thank more to all the people involved that night; his partner who had been brilliant with his artistic instinct, the organisers, an old friend and of course the real gem that night, Izzatul Islam.

He almost couldn't believe it that, the event that night went really smoothly despite the impromptu preparations. There was not enough time, not enough people to handle the event and considering the nature of event, there was not enough time to prepare for it but yet it still happened. It only took him a glance to the sky to figure out whose hands were handling those difficulties. Subhanallah!

The night felt beautiful and he thought of what more wonders awaiting in the future.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: Dream

He was there wearing an expensive black suit. Black and white. He didn't really love the colour but still he could feel the pride in wearing it. Sitting beside him was a really nervous defendant. He believed that guy was innocent.

It was time for the man in wig to give his judgment. Innocent. He inhaled deeply to surpress his excitement and exhaled in relief. He looked at the opponent and smiled triumphantly. Justice had been served. It was like a dream.

To his horror, it really was nothing but a dream. He couldn't afford those expensive suits. He had never been inside a real court. The nearest he had been was the lobby. It was just a dream.

The reality was far from that. The reality was he woke up early everyday and drove his seasoned car to a place he had never dreamt of before. The school. It was his battlefield with everyday struggles while craving for his dream to become true.

That struggles made him almost forget about his shattered dream. He had become more and more attached to the school. The people, the children, the place. There was something about this place that made him felt safe.

Until one day, that dream came knocking again. He was about to begin his class when one of his children asked him a question.

"Teacher, did you ever dream of being here?"

He couldn't answer the question. He couldn't lie too. With a fake smile he tried to swallow the reality. It was painful as hell.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Diary of A Seasoned Car: Roar!

Nissan Sunny 120Y. That 1983 model car was as old as the driver. Rusty voices annoyingly disturbed other road users. Such nuisance was understandable. The driver understood it.

The engine was still working although the strenght was fading. He loved the car and decided it was to time for a total make-over.

Considering his financial ability, he had to do it phase by phase. First of all, he wanted to get rid of the noisy roaring caused by some leakage to the exhaust pipe. That thing had to be replaced.

The journey began at 10.30 am in a serene Saturday morning. He didn't really know where to go so he asked his old man to facilitate him. Together, they went to the usual mechanic. Due to lack of tools and equipments, the mechanic suggested another workshop and they took the advice.

Situated at the side of Jalan Reko, the workshop was easy to find. There was a lot of exhaust pipes could be seen inside it. As described by the usual mechanic, they were the specialists.

They took less than an hour to make the repair. At the cost of RM 150, the annoying coughing was no more. The car was partly revived. The driver was fully satistfied. TG could be 'young' again.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: Teacher's Day

Once upon a time, he used to persuade his parents to buy a lot of gifts for his teachers. He eagerly wrapped the presents with the help of his mother. The wrapping looked clumsy but there was no question about his sincerity. He loved his teachers.

This time around, things were different. Instead of wrapping a present, he would be doing the opposite. His hands were full with presents. His stomach, with foods. It was not just him. His colleagues were also having the same symptoms.

From day one, the feeling blossomed into something mutual. Love. He became more and more attached to the children, something he tried to avoid when he stepped into this profession. It was not because he hated commitment. It was a necessity. He realised one day, he would have to leave them. He would hurt them so bad to make him regret it for the rest of his life.

The future for him was an irony. He wanted the children to become better persons than him but at the same time he was terrified that he would have no chance to see it with his own eyes.

He sat on at a corner with a plate of unfinished moist chocolate cake on the table. He looked at his children happily chatting with each other while enjoying the meals. Slowly he tried to swallow the painful reality. Slowly he wonder the pleasure behind such pain.

He was waiting for a present. A special present.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: English Week

Teaching English as a second language was not an easy task. We had to pause several times to make sure that what we taught was listened to and understood. It was a really challenging task. Patience was always at stake.

So, creative ways were invented to ensure effective learning. Children nowadays are different. A thin rattan cane is not the immediate answer to their development unlike old days. A pinch on their cheek and the teachers will start receiving enormous assault from the parents. That's one of the biggest challenge in a profession as a teacher.

All that angers were kept deep inside their hard. Slowly, they developed a rationale and overcame that disturbing emotion. God created humans with special ability. A mind to think and a heart to emphatise. It was a really tiring process for some but as teachers, it was inevitable.

Thus, he joined the other teachers under the English Panitia brainstorming the best creative ways to make learning English cool. Again, the process was energy and time consuming. They managed to meet twice to finally deliver the best activities for English Week.

The pre-event went as planned. He filled the school building with promotional posters. Students started asking him questions. He just smiled and said, "Just wait for it. It's something BIG!"

As the event kicked off however, not all thing went as planned especially with the activities in which he was in charge. There was a lot of last minutes changes. Things became a little bit out of his hands. Oh, he felt so sorry for those children who were really eager to join the fun but yet he had to deny them.

Despite that defect (he knew none from others), all in all, English Week had became an illustrious event for him since joining this profession. He saw the unexpected. The Speaker's Corner was hot and sizzling with unpolished talents.

It was a really fun week. The teachers really worked hand in hand to make the event successful. He had never seen such enthusiasm before. They really loved their job and he hope he could imitate such passion throughout the remainder of his tenure here.

The only regret was however, he still felt that he had yet to fully deliver. He knew there are still more of him inside. He just needs to discover. Yes, he must.

He must dream BIG, plan BIGGER and achieve the BIGGEST. And the BIGGEST achievement is of course, MARDHATILLAH.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: Judged!

A big mouth, a watch, a hanged-man and a book of statutes were chosen to symbolise himself by his old friends. Those symbols corresponded with his educational background in law.

He was deemed to be talkative (the big mouth), precise and punctual (the watch), knowledgable of the law (the book of statutes) and punishing bad people (the hanged-man). This was how people judged him then.

Standing there by himself, his educational background had little to do with what he was facing now. He was judged again. All plans went haywire and he could feel that he had lost his grip. He could only sigh and nervously waiting for the result.

As he expected, there was much flaws. Technically, as one of the freshies, those flaws could be forgiven. He realised that there was still a lot of room for him to improve. He felt relieved because he knew that he was yet to reach his peak despite the fading color of his hair.

But one comment really stung his conciousness. He knew that his pupils loved him but the rationale behind that love was a little big worrying. It was a real big question mark. An unsolved mystery.

It was never his intention to make them loved him because of his jokes. He didn't think that he he had that much sense of humour to make laughable jokes. He had never been a funny guy. But, yet, jokes were still used to attract his students to what he taught. It became a worrying realisation that the students might be attracted to him more rather than his teaching.

He cleared his mind and made some reevaluation. There might be the slightest of truth in it looking at the overall performance of his students. Some showed some improvement. Some showed none.

That comment had been a reminder for him. He might be loveable but not his teaching. Or he could do otherwise.

However, he knew that they were not the only choices he had. Why not be loveable and at the same time make his teaching loveable?

Looking forward, he understood that he would be facing a new challenge. He felt so excited!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: Cross!

He had been waiting for this moment. Once in five years. The waiting was lenghty enough to make him felt the excitement of the day itself.

Together with his brothers, they marched towards the land. Being far from his country, he had to travelled far. He woke up as early as 4 in the morning. The water was warm enough to make it easier for him to clean up himself. But the unfortunate still happened. He slipped and fell onto the bathroom floor. He managed to break a bath sink on his way down.

The other members of the family woke up and wondering what had happened. The truth made them burst into laughter. He could only scratched his head.

The journey from his family house to his homeland finally began. The whole 5 hours that it took was full of thought of the accident earlier. He wondered whether it was a bad sign.

At about 11 a.m, he went to the polling station with his brothers. He was excited. It was only the second time he would vote.

He went through the usual procedure. Along the way, he met some familiar faces during his NS days. He passed up his slip together with his ID. His name was there on the list. Then, he was given the polling paper.

He took less than a minute to make his choice. He put the paper inside the polling box. He smiled in relief. He thought he had done a good job.

Later, he was joined by his brothers. One of them asked him, "Did you tick of did you cross?"
It took a moment before something struck his mind. "Oh, my God!"

Now he realised what the accident that morning tried to signal him. Wasted. Five years and a 'tick'!

"Well done!" he said sarcastically to himself.

When the result came out, 1288 of the votes for his constituency were spoilt. He looked at the number with full of regret. He believed that he was one of them.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: Moving On

From a boy to a grown up. From there to here. From a graduate trainee, to a special constabulary to a teacher. Life for him was all about moving around. He had never stopped at one place for so long. It seems that he was destined to be a wayfarer.

He thought that with all the movements, he hadn't been at static. He felt dynamic. And he was happy living with that perception until a student of him asked him one question.

"Teacher, have you ever thought of building a new life?"

He smirked at the question but trully amazed that a 10-year-old girl could come out with such question.

"What do you mean?" He asked for clarification.

"You know. You have to move on, aren't you?"

He had a little knock on his head with that question. For him, this was something new.

"Teacher, how old are you now?" That little girl asked him again. He could see her friends giggled at her back.

"I thought I've told you of my age."

"I know. Poor you."


Ignoring the question, the girl asked him once more, "Teacher, why aren't you married? My brother is younger than you and he was married."

He was stunned. He looked back and reminisced of all his old friends. Some of them were already blessed with two children. And they were either younger or of the same age as him. He looked back at the girl and began to swallow the meaning of her words. When she said moving on, it was not about moving around. It was about settling down with a person and began a new journey together for eternity.

He smiled at this bright little child. "When the time comes, when I meet the right person, insyaAllah, I will move on."

The little girl giggled with her friend. She seemed glad to hear that. "We can't wait."

"Of course, you can."

There was a sigh. He was relieved. At the same time, he was also burdened with one question, "When, oh when that moment will come? When, oh when will you appear?"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: Home

The definition of home had always been vague for him. Was it the place where he was born? Or was it the place where he was raised? People from both the former and the latter kept questioning him of where does his loyalty lie. Where's home?

Being in both world had not been easy for him. Perhaps, people were looking at him with much suspicion to his loyalty. For them, he had to choose a side. He had to choose his colour.

Some people from the soil he was raised, perceived him as a person coming from a damned land. Due to his naivity, he didn't realise that he was discriminised. They took some of his right. They even played with his dignity.

Despite such ill-treatment, he kept a belief that this was his home. He had found more friends than foes. He found love.

Then, one day he had to return to the place he was born. To serve the nation. At that time, he was a grown up. He felt so proud that despite limited knowledge of that land, he was still called upon to form an integral part of the nation.

However, he was dejected for the emptiness he saw. People there had lost some hearts. People had lost their humanity. People had lost faith.

Despite all that, he still believed that this was also his home. His blood was spilled on this soil.

So home for him remained as vague as it was. He didn't care what people say. The only one clear thing for him was.. home is where there's someone waiting for him to come back.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: MASMA (Part 3)

They said it was melancholic. He could only smile cynically to himself. He knew the truth better.

He tried to be sincere in his words but he knew only God could judge that. The prayer was uttered. He chose his mother tongue to form the primary parts of the doa. He raised his hand. He began with basmalah and salawat to his beloved Prophet (PBUH). And then he said...

" Ya Allah Ya Tuhan Kami, Tuhan Sekalian Makhluk, Tuhan Yang Maha Pengasih Lagi Maha Penyayang

Dengan Rahmat dan KeredhaanMu, ampunilah dosa-dosa kami, dosa kedua ibubapa kami, dosa guru-guru kami dan dosa sekalian orang-orang yang beriman. Limpahilah nur dan hidayahMu agar kami tetap di dalam kembara menuju syurgaMu. Agar kami tidak tersesat. Agar kami tidak tersimpang. Agar kami tidak tercampak ke dalam kehinaan dan kemurkaan.

Ya Allah Yang Memperkenan Segala Doa

Kami tadahkan tangan kami dengan harapan dan penuh keyakinan. Kau permudahkanlah segala urusan yang kami rancangkan. Kau cekalkan hati-hati kami dalam mencapai segala yang kami cita-citakan. Kau hindarkan kami daripada segala halangan dan rintangan. Kau jadikanlah kami redha dan menerima segala yang Engkau tentukan. Kau bersihkanlah jiwa kami dari segala sifat yang membawa kebencian dan permusuhan. Kau eratkanlah hati kami dalam usaha meletakkan Islam agama yang diagungkan.

Yang Allah Yang Maha Berkuasa di atas segala-galanya

Kami ini sangat lemah. Berilah kami kekuatan. Kami ini sangat keras, Berilah kami kelunakan. Kami ini sangat bakhil, berilah kami sifat kedermawanan.

Ya Allah

Kau janganlah jadikan dunia cita-cita kami yang utama. Dan janganlah jadikan orang-orang yang zalim sebagai penguasa kami.

Ya Allah Ya Tuhan,

Seandainya ada kebaikan di dalam usaha kecil kami ini, Kau terimalah amalan kami yang secebis ini. Jauhilah kami daripada sifat riya’, ‘ujub dan takabbur. Lindungilah kami daripada berasa puas dengan amalan yang sedikit ini. Limpahilah jiwa-jiwa kami dengan kesungguhan, kesabaran dan ketabahan untuk terus menggali dan menggali dan menemui kepingan-kepingan rahmat dan keredhaanMu untuk kami jadikan bekalan apabila menemuiMu kelak Ya Allah.

Seandainya usaha kami ini masih kurang Ya Allah, bantulah kami untuk melakukan pembaikan. Agar lompong-lompong itu tidak lagi mencacatkan. Lindungilah kami daripada sangka buruk, dengki dan busuk hati. Buangkanlah titik-titik hitam itu daripada hati kami. Sesungguhnya sangkaan-sangkaan tidak mempunyai nilai apa-apa terhadap kebenaran. Kerana sangkaan-sangkaan itu akan menggelapkan hati-hati kami. Supaya kami tidak tersesat dan terjunam ke dalam Jahannam.

Ya Allah Yang Maha Pemurah Lagi Maha Mengasihani

Kami yakin kebenaran akan mengatasi kejahilan. Sebagaimana yang telah kau tunjukkan pada generasi-generasi terdahulu. Dan kami yakin bahawa generasi akan datang juga akan terus memikul amanah ini.

Ya Allah Ya Rabb Al-Malik Al-Quddus As-Salaam Al-Mukmin Al Muhaimin Al-Jabbaar Al-Mutakabbir

Kukuhkanlah institusi Al-Amin Bangi dengan dasar takwa. Suburilah ia dengan baja iman. Kembangkanlah ia dengan pohonan tawadhu’. Tumbuhilah pohonannya dengan putera-puteri yang berjiwa secerah matahari di tengah hari. Hiasilah ia dengan bunga-bungaan mahabbah dan aroma ukhuwwah.

Ya Allah Yang Maha Mengetahui Segala Rahsia dan Yang Nyata

Kami merayu dengan rendah hati dan kelemahan kami. Janganlah kau hina kami kerana dosa yang kami lakukan. Janganlah kau biarkan kami di dalam keadaan kebingungan dan meraba-raba di dalam kegelapan kejahilan. Sinarilah akal kami dengan makrifah dan ilmu pengetahuan. Siramilah jiwa kami Ya Allah dengan sifat takwa dan istiqamah. Balutilah jasad kami dengan kesihatan dan kesejahteraan. Berkatilah rezeki kami yang telah kau kurniakan. Peliharalah kami dan keluarga kami dari segala fitnah dunia dan cubaan.

Ya Allah kami hanya mampu memohon kepadaMu. Dan Kaulah yang Maha Mengetahui dan Maha Berkuasa untuk menentukan apa yang terbaik buat kami."

May Allah hear his prayer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: MASMA (Part 2)

The stage had always been his playground. Electrified by watching eyes and listening ears, together with his friends he gave the audience what One Faith was all about. It was not just about entertaining. It was about educating people to think.

But, that was history. He was alone. All alone on this stage. And he was given a different task. He was not there to entertain anymore but nevertheless he was still obliged to serve the same purpose.

In front of hundreds pairs of eyes and ears, he could feel his body trembled. He was so confused to describe it. Was it excitement or was it merely a sign that he was nervous?

When the MC called his name, he walked calmly onto the stage. He opened his netbook and put it on the rostrum. He didn't dare to look down to the crowds. Suddenly, he felt that the stage was too big for him. He suffocated.

He tried to be as calm as possible. He recited the doa which he had prepared earlier. Along the way, he stammered. He lost some of his words. Worse, he almost lost his mind.

He hid his shaking hand behind the rostrum. He felt that he had rushed his recitation. He felt odd but carried on anyway. He just hope the heaven heard his prayer.

There was a sigh of relief as his prayer reached its final dot. He knew it was not his best 'performance' , maybe the worst. Maybe there was a little tiny black dot in his heart which prevented him to do so. In silence, he asked for forgiveness.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Untold Story of a Mu'allim: MASMA (Part 1)

It was Saturday and he still didn't get it. Tasked with reciting the doa for the closing he was still combining the perfect words to make it memorable. He took out his tiny netbook, switched on to Microsoft Word and looked intently to the cursor waiting for the words to appear by themselves.

It didn't.

He looked at his maroon coloured shirt specially tailored for this day. It cost him RM 75 but he didn't care. This should be a special day. He wanted to make it speacial. All the burden was onto him as he thought of the people who gave him the task to recite the doa.

He felt so lost.

And then, he went deep further into his memory. He remembered. He remembered the most precious thing he ever met or would ever meet. It was not the all the VIPs who would sit there and waiting patiently to finish up his recitation of doa. It was not the people who gave him the piece of cloth which was transformed into a pretty nice shirt. It was not the eyes and the ears that would observe every words he would utter.

It was the children of Al-Amin. The future.

Then, like a fresh stream of river, the words came through his mind, through his little tiny netbook and finally filling up the empty pages. He shared what was written with his father, his father shared his thoughts. And there was only one the thankful to. It was the Almighty Lord.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim: PERTAH

Back to school. Back in uniform. He hate to say this but he felt a little bit restricted when wearing a uniform. Less freedom, he mumbled.

The colour changed from dark blue to green but none can be said about the colour of his heart. He stood there bearing hardly with a fake smile and enthusiasm. He did it not because of love but because of necessity.

He thought he suffered the most. He was wrong.

PERTAH was a camping programme where he had to accompany a group of students as a mentor. On the outside, nobody could question his commitment in doing his job. With limited knowledge and skill he tried his best to fulfill the need of the whole system. He felt exhausted, tired and almost frustrated. He avoided himself from cursing his luck because doing so would be a betrayal to his faith. He felt doomed.

Then, the night came. It was time for evaluation of the programme for the day. As the students were fast asleep, a group of mentors sat in circle sharing their mind about the programme so far. They concluded that the activities prepared by 'the host' was regrettable. Shortage of time and exahaustion were pinpointed as the culprits.

He listened hard and shared the feeling of the other members of the circle. He was touched when one particular mentor almost burst into tears expressing the burden that all the mentors had to bear. Then, he realized that he was wrong.

He was not doomed. He did not suffer the most. Others carried more burden than him and they had every right to complain but they didn't. They just did what they were obliged to do with tears of pain streaming from the bottom of their heart.

He emphatised and pray that all deeds done were seen in the eyes of The Most Merciful. In the still of the night, he looked upon the heaven and asked himself, "How could I say that I am a believer when I am yet to be tested?"

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Untold Story of A Mu'allim

It was 2:20 pm. Finally, the final class of the day. He walked to the class thinking of the relief afterwards. What a long day, he thought. As a newbie, everyday is a challenge for him.The first challenge was a new working environment; all of a sudden he got children. Not only one, but hundreds of them. As a single, he was struggling to defind the true meaning of fatherhood.

The other challenge was a new bunch of colleagues. He couldn't deny that all of them were great persons, with great visions. They even had greater commitment than him as some of them had a family of their own. The problem was, that commitment had become an undisputable justification to put on most of the burdens to singles like him. He sigh but never made any complaint. There's always a rainbow after a rainy day.

He made his walk with pride carrying all the burden on his broad shoulder. His new children greeted him. He replied with a smile. He taught and did everything to the best of his limited knowledge and skill to discharge his responsiblity for the day. So far, so good, he thought. The children were doing what they were asked. Everything was good until suddenly, he started to lose his grip. The children started to lose their attention. Some started to play. He moved around and patiently asked them to sit and do their work. They obeyed except for one particular child.

With a badminton racket on his hand, that child ran out of the class and aiming the racket like an M-16 and start making firing sound along the balcony. It was a very hot day, and the teacher lost his patient. Almost losing his mind, he shouted to the child. Suddenly there was silence. Suddenly, there was order. But it didn't end there, the teacher kept on scolding the child in English until the end of the day.

The next day, he went to the same class. To his surprise, the child that he scolded yesterday came to him and helped him to carry his things. He thought that this child had learnt something from yesterday's scolding. Before he began the class, the child looked at him innocently and asked him in Malay, "Mu'allim, apa yang mua'llim jerit-jerit dekat saya semalam? Saya tak faham lah." Dang!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Penjara-penjara yang telahku letakkan hingga aku terlupa bagaimana membukanya. Lantas, aku berputus asa. Membiarkan diri terkurung selamanya.

Penjara-penjara itu aku letakkan untuk menyembunyikan diriku yang sebenar. Bukan aku mahu dilabel hipokrit tetapi diri yang seringkali menyakitkan hati orang-orang yang ada di sekelilingku itu harus dikurung. Aku tidak mahu menyakitkan hati orang. Aku tidak mahu menyusahkan orang. Lantas satu lapisan penjara dibina untuk mengurung diri tersebut. Semakin ramai manusia yang penting hadir di dalam hidupku, semakin bertambah lagi lapisan itu.

Aku cukup gembira dikelilingi orang-orang itu tetapi sesekali walau sesaat, hati itu meronta-ronta mahu keluar daripada lapisan penjara tersebut. Cukuplah memahami orang lain. Fahamilah pula diriku ini.

Namun, setiap kali aku cuba untuk melakukannya, setiap kali itu juga ada yang tidak dapat menerima. Kerana takut menyakiti, aku membiarkan diriku terus sakit. Biarlah mereka bahagia. Aku akan gembira apabila mereka bahagia. Itulah pujuk rayu yang sering aku lontarkan kepada hati yang meronta-ronta itu.

Namun, hati itu terus meronta-ronta. Barangkali aku telah terlupa bagaimana caranya untuk membuka penjara itu tetapi aku tidak pasti berapa lama penjara itu akan dapat bertahan. Hanya satu sahaja yang aku pasti. Andai dinding penjara itu pecah, aku pasti akan menyakitkan ramai orang.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hari Sukan SRIAAB: Hari Pertama

"Weilawei..lawei,lawei,lawellok, olalek, o,ooo...". Pasukan Hijau memulakan sorakan,Merah, Biru dan Kuning menyusul dengan sorakan masing-masing. Hati yang lara sungguh terhibur melihat gelagat anak-anak itu.
Padang yang tadinya sunyi mulai bergempita dengan sorakan anak-anak. Masing-masing mahu menang. Masing-masing mahu menjadi juara.
Laungan semangat hanya sekadar mukaddimah kepada satu proses pentarbiyahan yang panjang. Generasi Insan Rabbani, itulah misinya. Insan Rabbani yang lahir melalui kekuatan jasmani.
Setelah berhempas-pulas dengan persiapan dan latihan selama dua minggu, hari ini mula menampakkan hasilnya. Acara yang dipertandingkan adalah sukaneka. Saya terkekek geli hati melihat kesungguhan anak-anak untuk memenangi acara. Wajah mereka mempamerkan suatu semangat yang mungkin sudah hilang di kalangan orang-orang dewasa.
Sudah menjadi adat permainan. Ada yang menang. Ada yang kalah. Cetusan emosi adalah akibat yang tidak dapat dielakkan. Tiada salahnya bergembira. Tiada salahnya merasa kecewa. Yang penting adalah cara kita mengawal emosi itu supaya tidak melarat kepada sesuatu yang memalukan dan mungkin memberi kesan yang buruk terhadap orang lain terutama kepada anak-anak yang sentiasa memerhatikan tindak-tanduk orang yang lebih tua.
Tamat hari pertama, pasukan Biru mendahului setelah memenangi banyak acara. Syukur alhamdulillah, hari pertama berlalu tanpa insiden yang tidak diingini. Mudah-mudahan hari-hari seterusnya juga begini jika tidak lebih baik.


Atas sebab-sebab tertentu, kisah di USS terpaksa ditangguhkan buat sementara waktu. Diharap kepada sesiapa yang menanti sambungan kisah tersebut agar sabar menanti.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Universal Studios Singapura: Fana

Pengalaman di USS mengajar saya tentang sesuatu: Jiwa tidak boleh dibiarkan kosong. Ada sesuatu yang sentiasa mengisinya. Sama ada baik ataupun buruk. Apa yang mengisi jiwa itulah yang akan membentuk manusia keseluruhannya.

USS mengajar saya tentang kekosongan tersebut. Jiwa yang memerlukan sesuatu tetapi di dalam tidak sedar, masing-masing masih bingung. Lalu, apa yang terhidang di hadapan mata itulah yang mengisi kekosongan tersebut. Hiburan.

Tiada salahnya berhibur kerana sesekali jiwa yang lelah memerlukan istirehat untuk mengembalikan sinergi. Saya tidak menafikan bahawa pengalaman di USS adalah sesuatu yang tidak mampu dilupakan. Sebuah cerita indah yang mampu mengepam pantas adrenalin saya apabila dikongsi bersama. Namun, di sebalik semua senyuman yang terlihat, 'kekosongan' itu ternyata belum terisi dengan sebetulnya.
Entah sampai bila USS ini dapat mengisi kekosongan tersebut. Apabila hilang manisnya, apa pula peranannya selepas ini?
Hati yang dahagakan hiburan, akan sentiasa dahaga. Apabila diisi, hati itu akan basah sementara. Kebasahan itu cepat pula tersejat. Lantas, hati itu menjadi kering dan mati sebelum hancur berderai menjadi cebisan debu yang berterbangan tanpa arah.
Mati hati, matilah manusiawi. Sesungguhnya Dia lebih mengetahui.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Universal Studios Singapura: New York City!

Klik.. klik.. Bang! Bang! Akhirnya pengembaraan saya yang sebenar pun bermula. Saya berada di New York! Hampir-hampir sebenarnya. Jalan yang diselusuri itu sedaya-upaya dicipta menyerupai kota metropolitan tersebut. Suasana retro cuba dihidupkan dengan muzik dan barisan pelakon-pelakon yang menghuni jalanan. Hampir-hampir saya merasakan yang saya berada di kota itu kalau tidak kerana cuaca yang membakar epidermis. Panas, sungguh panas. Cuaca terlalu terik sehingga mata saya hampir terpejam menahan silau mentari.
Bagaimanapun, mood untuk menyaksikan apa yang bakal terhidang di sini semakin membuak-buak. Adakah mana-mana bangunan di sini boleh dimasuki untuk melindungi diri daripadan sinaran yang boleh menyebabkan kanser?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Universal Studios Singapura: Senasib

Pertemuan itu langsung tidak dirancang. Sewaktu saya sedang terkontang-kanting di tengah lautan manusia itu, saya tiba-tiba terserempak dengan mereka mereka berdua. Salah seorang daripada mereka dengan kamera yang serba canggih meminta saya untuk mengambil gambar. Saya menurut permintaan itu dan setelah itu kami semua seolah-olah berjalan di dalam satu garisan yang sama.
Sedang saya mengingati nama Latif, nama seorang lagi kurang melekat di dalam kotak ingatan saya. Bagaimanapun, saya tetap ingat akan perbualan panjang yang terbit daripada mulutnya. Dia seorang yang begitu tertarik dengan Wing Chun dan juga spesis-spesis dinosor.
Tidak banyak keserasian di antara kami sebenarnya. Kami cuma ditakdirkan berada di tempat yang sama dengan nasib yang sama. Sedang yang lain-lain menikmati keseronokan bersama-sama di taman tema itu bersama-sama keluarga, kami bertiga hidup sebatang kara.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Universal Studios Singapura: Teruja!

Kembali menyambung cerita di USS. Sejurus tiba, saya tidak tahu hendak menuju ke mana. Tomoji yang bersama-sama saya di dalam bas sudah pun memberitahu ada seseorang yang menantinya di pintu masuk nanti. Melihat kepada ekspresinya, saya dapat rasakan bahawa orang itu adalah orang yang istimewa.
Rasa sesal menyelubungi kerana tidak mendapatkan tiket kedua supaya sekurang-kurangnya saya dapat membawa teman. Tidaklah saya terkontang-kanting seorang diri di situ.
Mujur saya bertemu dengan seorang lagi sahabat, SYJ. Dengan rasa simpati dia mengajak saya menyertainya dan juga abangnya masuk ke USS. Saya berasa agak canggung tetapi saya pasti lebih canggung andainya saya keseorangan.
Pintu pagar elektronik yang menghalang saya daripada terus meneroka akhirnya terbuka dengan memasukkan tiket yang telah diberi. Hati saya berdebar-debar. Sebuah dunia yang lain terbentang di hadapan mata.
Saya benar-benar teruja.