Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Salam Aidilfitri

Ketupat palas serunding daging,
Nasi dagang ikan tenggiri,
Hidangan enak dari pantai timur.
Buat sahabatku di alam blogging,
Salam ukhuwah di Aidilfitri,
Semuga berkekalan sepanjang umur.

Maaf zahir dan batin dari Oldstock dan famili.

Ar Raudah Mosque in Bukit Batok, Singapore where I'll be performing my Aidilfitri prayers, insyaallah.

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To all my blogger friends and everyone who has kindly dropped by, I wish you Happy Holidays. Watch what you eat, okay? Stay cool and see you after the break.

To tide you over until the next post, the following is the first part of my attempt at writing fiction. Just a short story that was first written years ago but re-discovered recently on an old 3.5" floppy. Luckily the file was still intact. Although written some time back, the story is still a work in progress (how's that for procrastinating, huh?).

A BINGO STRAIGHT TO THE HEART (Part 1)

It had been a very trying day. The drizzle that began early that morning further compounded the inevitable traffic jam in Kuala Lumpur on a late Saturday afternoon. My spirits weren’t particularly high that day; it hadn’t been for the past few weeks. There were problems at work and my car’s air-conditioning chose a nice time to run out of gas. Bummer.

I was in the lift lobby of the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital, waiting for the elevator to take take me up to the 3rd floor where my father was being warded. The lift seemed to take ages to arrive, as things are wont to be whenever you are in a hurry. I had not noticed the tall gentleman standing a few feet behind me when he spoke.

“Assalamualaikum. Sorry… but are you Junainah?”

I turned my head, slightly surprised to see a smartly dressed young man who somehow knew my name.

“Alaikum-salam. Yes, I am.” I replied. The young man’s face does not look familiar to me, but then again, I’m poor at remembering faces.

“You studied at Sheffield Hallam University about 5 years ago, I believe. I don’t think you remember me but I was at your house once in the winter of 1990,” he said. I was searching my memory bank when he continued, “We played Scrabble that day, together with Aida and your housemates. I’m Johari, Aida’s classmate, or former classmate I should say.”

The mention of the Scrabble game suddenly brought the memories flooding back. Of course now I remember! How can I ever forget that day; it had been a day of many `firsts’….

10 comments:

Michelle said...

Hey Oldstock

I know what you mean about procrastination. As far as I'm concerned, I'm QUEEN of Procrastination...

But your story seems to be starting off quite well! Looking forward to Part 2!

Oldstock said...

Michelle, you are just like my other blogger friend Verse, who claims that she's the queen of a certain nation called Procrasti... heheheh...

masterwordsmith said...

Oldstock,

Just popping by to wish you and your family Selamat Hari Raya. Hope you will have a meaningful time with your family.

What a lovely story...smooth flowing and one can identify with it...

More please...Don't stop writing...have directed my students to a few blogs - including yours!!!! (for compulsory reading heheheh)...

Take care.

warmest wishes,
masterwordsmith

Thanks.

Patricia said...

Hey Oldstock,

I am in English teacher/editor mode now, k: So my question is this: is this meant to be a short story, or the start of a novel?

It is excellent as the start of a novel. It starts off at a good pace, and picks up as you meet this guy.

'... a day of many firsts ...' makes us want to know more. The mark of a good story teller.

If a short story, however, the 'usual' way has been to start rather dramatically. So you'd use the same content, but mix it up a bit, and get the most exciting bit right at the top. You could start with the same line I quoted earlier.

Hahahah! Once a teacher, always a teacher lah! I do wish you'd finish this. It sounds to promising. And knowing you, and your quiet style, I think it would be good.

Too many of our local writers in English are so 'arty farty'. Maybe a generalisation, but that is what I feel. You, and your story, would be a welcome difference.

You write with a sincerity and integrity I find so charming and calming ;) So good for my soul. Your quiet style, is how I often think of you.

Hoping to read the rest,

Pat

Oldstock said...

Masterwordsmith,

Whoa... my blog as compulsory reading for your students? You buat I rasa segan lah! Don't put your hopes up too much. I'm afraid I may disappoint.

Thanks for the wishes. You enjoy the holidays too.

Oldstock said...

Hi there Pat,

When I first wrote this story years ago, I thought of emailing it to a few friends to get their feedback, comments, critiques or whatever. Of course, I didn't get to do that because I didn't finish the story.

When it crossed my mind to post the story gradually in this blog, I was hoping to get feedback or maybe even ideas, on how to improve. And knowing that I have a retired English teacher (*wink, wink*) as a regular reader of my blog, I was really looking forward to getting comments. So, Pat... don't hold back on your review of what I'm writing. As I said, it's still a work in progress. There's more to come (I hope!).

Err... me, writing a novel? Too daunting lah, Pat. It's just suka-suka, this writing thing.

Catch up with you again soon. Thanks.

HLiza said...

Selamat Hari Raya oldstock and to your family too. That's a nice start you wrote there. Kind of remind me I did have the same dream before.. to write fiction..but too many things got in the way..and I just don't know which language to choose..considering I've lost touch of the writing style for both Malay and English. So, I'll just wait for you first book to come out..he he..

Oldstock said...

Hi Hliza,

That may be quite a long wait... I can't even finish a `short' story, let alone a novel :-)

Why don't you try to write something too, liza. I'm sure you can. Write in whatever language you feel comfortable. We'll never know if we try, right?

Pak Zawi said...

Oldstock,
Selamat Hari Raya Idil Fitri.
I sincerely hope you will succeed where I have failed as a writer. Now I am trying to be a painter. Need all the lucks in this new endeavour.
Maaf zahir dan batin.

Anonymous said...

Selamat Hari Raya AidilFitri to you Oldstock and your family. Wish you the best in your story writing...