Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Ex Teacher

My ex teacher Dr. Vijaya Samaravickrama was featured in the Sunday Star. After 50 years of teaching Dr. Vijaya has decided to retire though the desire to teach still burns bright within him. Read the full article on this link below:

To Dr. Vijaya, I say thank you for all the knowledge that I have gained from you. Enjoy your retirement and may god bless you with the best of health.

Read my earlier blog about him here.

Friday Oct, 26 2007

He had just switched on his handphone to call his wife in KL since he had switched it off during the flight from KL to Kota Bharu. I managed to call him after failing to reach him since 8.30 am when he was supposed to reach Kota Bharu. How surprised he was when I identified myself and he was wondering how on earth I managed to get his phone number. (He admitted that he forgot that he gave me the number via email 2 days ago. Age must have caught up with him I guess).
Mr. Vijaya immediately came out from the venue where he was scheduled to lecture on Buddhism at 10.00 am. He gave me a warm hug. After 45 years of seperation, the meeting was definitely nostalgic. It was then 9.15 am and I know at the most I have 30 minutes of his time.
After the usual how are you and all that preliminaries, I updated him on who is still around in Pasir Mas that he once knew. He was happy to know that En. Mahmood Yaacob, En. Zain Mahmood his former teacher colleagues at Sultan Ibrahim Primary School Pasir Mas and fellow Kirkby mates are still around and so is En Ahmad Rahman the former HM of Sultan Ibrahim Primary School. He was sad to know that Mahmood Mohd Zain who played The Witch in his MacBeth has passed away some years earlier.

Though he would be staying back in Kota Bharu for the night, his schedule of lectures was full till the night. He promised to allocate the evening to meet his friends and us his ex-students the next time he visits Kota Bharu which is done twice a year.

By his admission, he is not internet savvy and was arm twisted to use the email by his boss at Taylors' College that all future notices will be via email only and if he fails to attend meetings, he will have to face the consequences. A staff of Taylors' was assigned to assist him to learn how to email.

Sir, its only your refusal to learn that prohibit you from enjoying the good of the internet. If only you would open yourself to it, there is so much more that you can contribute to society and your religion via the net especially on the subject of World Religions which you specialize in.

Mr. Vijaya tried to dissuade me from addressing him as Sir, just call him Vijaya as we are now friends he said. I told him that he is the rare few that I will call Sir in this life, so please allow me to address him as that.

The staff at Taylors College addressed him as Dr. Vijaya when I was trying to first get in touch with him. So I have been presuming that he had done his Doctorate which doesn't seem to be the case as he admitted during the meeting. My apology to Mr. Vijaya and everyone else for the misrepresentation.

Taylors' College wont be retiring him just yet. They failed to find a suitable replacement to this teacher called Vijaya Samaravickrama to teach on Drama and World Religions. Thus he will contribute to society the way he knows best, by teaching.
Need I tell you who is the man in the white shirt?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Wedding In Pictures

A week before Hari Raya Idilfitri, the new porch which will be used for the kenduri was yet to be ready. The contractor was confident about delivering it before the wedding. He did and it was one day before Hari Raya minus the paint job. I had to do the painting myself with the help of my son and son inlaw.

The porch is now ready

The wedding procession to the bride's house.

The entourage.

The procession

The Akad Nikah

Azuan's marriage to Wan Hanizah Wan Din was solemnized on the 14th of October 2007 (My best birthday gift) at Mesjid Kg. Pauh, Pasir Mas. It was done after the Isyak prayers and was solemnised by the Imam. The 'Lafaz' needed only be done once and it was over despite the butterflies swarming in Azuam's stomach. He looked composed and confident.

' Membatalkan Air Sembahyang'
This was done when you touch your wife for the first time after being wedde and thus rendering the Abolution obselete.

The Hantaran
Gifts to the bride including the monetary gift of RM6,666. The figure is paltry compared to the RM77,777 given by a millionaire to his bride, but 6,666 is significant as it is equivalent to the number of verses in The Holy Quran.

The bride's return of gifts.

The King For The Day.

They look resplendent.

Posing for the camera

The bride is hungry.

The grand uncle reliving the moment.

The newlywed with the other siblings and their mum and dad.

The newlywed with the brides parents

With the eldest sister Azura, her hubby Joe and children

The Camerawoman Yani and husband Azrin (extreme right and extreme left) with the newlyweds.

With Lokman, the brother inlaw, sister Azini and neice Nur Aqilah Balqis.

En. Tantawi (Director of Alumni Center UiTM) his spouse Bahiah, Fatthiyah (my wife) Dr. Rohani Ibrahim (Director of Alumni Center UPM) and her spouse Dr. Yusof Salleh (Honourable Secretary UPM Alumni Association)

Datuk Mohd Nor Mashor, the Assistant Governor of Bank Negara (second from left) with the GM of Kelantan SEDC Tuan Haji Wan Yahya (in blue batik) were some dignitaries who graced the occassion.

A long lost friend Tuan Haji Zainal came for the wedding. We parted ways since 1969. Now we met again after 39 years.

Razin Irsyad guarding the presents

Curious nephew and neices anxiously waiting for the presents to be opened.

The nephew and neices helping to open the presents

The above pictures more or less tell the story of my son's wedding. It is the last wedding among my children. I hope Allah will answer my prayers that his marriage and the other siblings marriages will last forever. My wife and I has gone through for 34 years and is still going strong. Till death do we part


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Wedding Part 2

We would have lost our son Azuan if not for certain action by his friends on that fateful night in Dec 1997. A freak accident with his motorcycle on the way to supper with with his two other friends after a night of study while in University Technology Malaysia almost cost his life. He was then pursuing a degree course in polymer Engineering at UTM. The three of them were riding two motorbikes with Azuan riding alone infront. At a particular sharp bend his friends found Azuan sprawled on the road and thought he was kidding when he said he fell down from his bike. His friends thought he was kidding since they wasn't able to see what happened. There was no other vehicle on the road at that time to cause an accident.

A middle aged Chinese man later stopped by and noticing Azuan was feeling giddy and nauseating, told his friends to take him to the clinic. The doctor examined Azuan and realizing that he could be suffering from internal injury made arrangement to send him to The Sultan Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru. At the hospital Azuan managed to call his brother Azrin who was then working around Johore Baru. Unfortunately Azrin didn't answer the call. Azrin later found out about Azuan's situation and immediately called his mum. Since I was working in Gua Musang about 200 km south of Pasir Mas where our home is located, my wife Fatthiyah agreed to drive to Gua Musang and together we would drive down to Johor Baru.

We went straight to JB hospital. Azrin met us there. Azrin gave us a brief account of the accident as related to him by Azuan's friend. It was due to Azuan's collapse at the hospital that the hospital authority decided to operate on him immediately after a brain scan indicated there was a blood clot in his brain the size of a pingpong ball. Azuan was lucky that the brain surgery unit was recently set up a month ago under the charge of Dr. Suffian. Otherwise he may not be able to be operated immediately. Time was the essence of it, the longer the various brain part is allowed to be starved of essential oxygen, the more damage to various part of the brain controlling the various part of the body functions. Most important is of course the sight and memory function.

Immediately after the operation, my son was placed in the ICU. He was under sedative to make his brain rest so that it will repair itself sooner with the help of medication. Dr Suffian explained to us that his duty was only to save life. Anything else like ensuring that no brain part was damaged was still beyond the knowledge of man. He asked us to pray to Allah that our son will survive without any harm to any of his body function. That revealation was quite unnerving.

A brain surgery involved the removal of the top of the skull and taking out the brain from the head for futher surgery. In Azuan's case the blood clot would be drained off and after that the brain is replaced into the head. The part of the skull removed will not be put back immediately as the brain had enlarged due to brusing during handling thus it will not fit in snugly. Only after the brain size had returned to normal and there is no further need to operate on it will the removed skull section be replaced. We could notice the soft mushy brain under the skin tissue where part of the skull was removed.

In the ICU, Azuan was in a deep sleep but could be brought to semi consciousness by calling out his name or by applying hard slaps on his arms. By holding palm to palm we managed to get his reactions when we called out his name.

Azuan in the ward.

When his condition improved, the removed skull was replaced and the skin flap was closed. He was moved to the normal recovery ward after several days in the ICU. All this while he was fed by a tube put through the nostril. His hands had to be restrained as he had the tendency to remove the tube as it was irritating to him. Every time he the tube, it had to be reinserted by a nurse. Later on a hole was constructed on his throat to enable tube to be inserted direct to his stomach. This method is less irritating. I was taught to feed him since Fatthiyah wasn't comfortable doing it.

His memory was yet to be restored
We were there for 20 days until Azuan was strong enough to be nursed at home.
Azuan had no recollection of what happened during the period when he collapsed until he was brought home to Pasir Mas by car. On the way home I was caught by a police speed trap but was let off after incessant pleading with the traffic police.
Recuperating At Home In Pasir Mas.
Several months later when we thought he was well enough, he applied and was admitted into UiTM Dungun to take up a Diploma on IT. Unfortunately whenever he tried to study he felt sharp pains in his head. Azuan didn't complete the course.
Now some years later he has found employment with the central bank.
It is a great wonder that this son of ours who nearly lost his life is healthy and well to such extent that he can easily play strenous badminton games regularly. Once he joined his mates from the bank to successfully do the tough Head Hunters Trail in Sarawak.
Come this 15th of October, Azuan will be married. His marriage will be the last among the siblings and hopefully he will continue to give me many more bundles of joy in the form of grandchildren.
Everything is ready for the joyous moment. I can hear the workment banging on nails trying to finish off the job of the new porch. The porch will be part of the serving area for the guests which will be held outdoor.

Unfortunately the PC I was normally down and this old laptop is so slow, I cant put in any pictures to illustrate our preparation for the wedding.

Since this will be my last post before hari Raya, I would like to wish all fellow Moslem Selamat Hari Raya. For the non moslem, please do visit the moslem brothers as you are most welcome to join the joy of celebrating it.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

I Was Tagged

Nana of My Thought, My Place, My Sanctuary fame tagged me. It is the Ramadhan Tag which is about food and nothing to do about what is in your handbag kind of thing. I promised her that I will do it after I have posted the article about Azini Capital. To keep to my promise, nana, here are my answers to all the questions (I am not much of a connoisseur of good food so my choice maybe a disappointment to you. It will only reflect how simple a man I am and will be happy with the basic of foods).


  • Ubi kayu/keledek bakar (grilled tapioca or sweet potato)
  • Pisang bakaran bakar (very rare kind now even in Kelantan. I thought it was called pisang sekarang but Dr. Hawa of Mardi told me it is bakaran. She is an authority on bananas)
  • Pisang rebus (any suitable kind)
  • Jagong bakar
  • Keladi rebus


  • Ubi kayu rebus (boiled tapioca-seems to be the in thing now in posh hotels)
  • Ubi badak rebus.
  • Ubi gadong (could be extinct now)
  • Ubi Keling (Ubi kemili elsewhere)
  • Ubi keledek rebus


  • Tauhu sumbat (acquired the taste when working in Johor)
  • Agar agar (the simplest red one with nothing more)
  • Terubuk bakar (It is cheap in Pasir Mas. A fair sized ones cost RM15.00 a fish)
  • Bubur jagong
  • Anything else that I may fancy when I am at the bazaar today.


  • Air kelapa muda.
  • Kopi O kaw (just bought half a kg. recently).
  • Teh O with a dash of limau kasturi
  • Hot chocolate (Milo) (to get me to sleep after the kopi O kaw that usually keeps me awake)
  • Any kind of juice, pineapple juice is nice.

Am I done?

See how easy it is to feed me. My late mum told me when I was a baby I was fed on mashed boiled banana. That maybe the reason why I love those kind of food. Later when I was growing up it was a diet of mostly ikan singgang, ikan kering. Ulam-ulam was a staple in our diet. Once in a blue moon we had beef or chicken. That is why beef and chicken felt so good then.

I am not going to tag anyone else since I dont know if they will like it. The buck stops here.

Due to new development, I have changed my mind and decide to tag the following celibrities of the blogging world:

fye_d.flowright of 'Flying Without Wings' because you asked for it.

j.t of 'JAQUI's CURVE' because I want to know how non muslims will react.

mat salo of 'Borneo Blues', he is coming home and will be visiting the Ramadhan bazaars soon.

Lady Patsy of 'Lady Patsy's Chambers' to get her working on her blog.

pak idrus of 'in passing - malaysian', a lover of Malaysian cuisines.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The World is Full of Surprises

If only one of my fingers were to press on the enter key, Nick Habgood's email would be gone and I wouldnt have known its content at all. A new potential friend would be lost. As luck would have it I overcame my earlier fear that this email in my inbox from an unknown name could be another one of those African scam where somebody inherited some fortune and need some immediate fund to get it out of Africa. To most gullible people the prospect of sharing a bounty can always tempt them to part with their small fortune. Some Malaysians did fall for that scam.

Nick's email was peculiar in that it was in my inbox and not the spam box. The extension was a profound similarity with the name of my youngest daughter whose tale of childbirth and marriage was carried in my two latest postings. My curiosity overcame me and I opened the email. This was what Nick Habgood wrote to me:

(I have permission from Nick Habgood to reproduce this email and for any link to Azini Capital)

Dear Mohamad

I hope that you don't mind me emailing you but I have been reading your blog and noticed that your daughter's name is Azini. I think that it is a wonderful name. Please send her my regards.

In 2004 I set up a venture capital (investment) firm here in London, England. I wanted to find a name that was unique and for which I could secure the URL. I wrote down a long list of the starts of words and then a long list of the ends of words and then started putting them together until I found something that I was happy with. I came up with the name Azini and believed this to be a completely unique name. Now I am starting to learn that it is not as unique as I first thought. Lots of people ask me about the name and comment on how much they like it.

Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell me where the word or name "Azini" comes from and what it means. Somebody has suggested that Azini is a the name of a city in eastern Iran. Is this correct?

Many thanks

Kind regards

Nick Habgood

Azini Capital Partners LLP
Surrey House
Eden Street

I was stumped. I thought only fellow bloggers read my blog. Now I have a partner of Azini Capital of London reading it! I replied to the email explaining how my wife and me came to name
my youngest daughter Azini. infact all of my children has a name beginning with the letters Az with the eldest girl being Azura, younger brothers Azrin and Azuan. Azini is just the logical choice for the youngest daugther.
despite of his meticulous search for a unique name for his company, Nick Habgood has chosen one that happens to be the same name as my daughter who was born 24 years ago in 1983. What a beautiful surprise for both Nick and me. I have suggested Nick to visit Malaysia sometimes soon and he is considering coming during the next season of Le tour D' Langkawi, a cycling event which he would like to see.
For those friends in England, why not see how Azini Capital can help you to invest some of your surplus fund?. You can access Nick Capital and Partners via the above link.
The above is a picture of Nick Habgood with his partner Michael Bennett. Nick is the one on the right.

Nick, this article is dedicated to you.