1. Monday, 18 January 2010
On this date nineteen years ago, my second son was born. Harith or Angah as we affectionately call him, left the comfort of his mother's womb without too much complication. When I first set sight on him, I was a bit surprised that he didn't look much like his elder brother. His skin was very fair and his facial features were more Chinese than Malay. My wife even had to ask the maternity nurse if the baby really was her son.
At that time, I joked with my wife that if she had managed to delay the delivery by one day, our second son would have a lovely number as his birthday, 19.01.1991. She tersely replied, `Kalau dah nak terberanak tu, mana boleh tahan-tahan!'
I happened to be at our Kuala Lumpur Head Office on Monday and so took the opportunity to treat my son for a birthday dinner later that night. Before leaving the office at around 6pm, I sent him a text message about the dinner plan and for him to invite his room-mates as well.
It was raining very heavily in Kuala Lumpur as I drove out of the city on the DUKE highway heading to Shah Alam. The rain however dried up as I reached PJ area.
Upon reaching UiTM, I was surprised that five of Angah's friends wanted to come along. As long as the five of them are willing to squeeze in the back seat of my car, I am more than happy to treat them all to dinner. We went to Restoran Tasik Indah, the seafood restaurant located by the lake in the middle of Shah Alam town.
It was quite a sumptious meal and delicious too. We had fish, squid, prawns, lala, tom yam and bean curd. You can see the delight in the faces of the young men as they heartily tucked in the food. The plates were all wiped clean... and that made me very happy indeed.
During the meal, some of Angah's friends asked me about career advice and I was glad to impart some. I can see that they are all good boys and I wish them all the success in their studies.
2. Wednesday, 20 January 2010
One of the real advantages to sign up on Facebook is the ability to re-connect with long-lost friends. In the middle of December last year, I received an add friend request from someone whom I knew from our A-level years in the UK.
I first met this friend in December 1979 at MRSM Seremban when we attended the orientation that Mara held for students selected to go overseas for further studies. He introduced himself by the nickname of Badik, or as I later found out, he likes to spell out in the stylised form of Badique. In Malay, badik is a small knife primarily used as a weapon. How he chose (or was bestowed) this nickname was not revealed.
Four close pals in Wrexham, North Wales, UK circa 1980.
L to R : Khairil, Shahrin, Oldstock and Badique.
L to R : Khairil, Shahrin, Oldstock and Badique.
Apparently Badique had read my blog and knew that I frequently come to Shah Alam to visit my son in college. He left a message on my FB profile, inviting me to drop by his place at Section 30 for teh tarik anytime I'm again in the area.
Yesterday, I took the opportunity to do just that but I did not inform him beforehand, preferring to make it a surprise visit. He has his house address written as Taman Aisya in Kg. Jalan Kebun at Section 30, Shah Alam. I searched Google Maps but Taman Aisya is nowhere to be found. Jalan Kebun itself stretches for a few kilometres and simply driving along without any pointers would be too time-consuming. I then recalled a reply that Badique made to one of his friend's comments on a photo of his house... something about the house being located at the end of Jalan Haji Abdul Aziz. Another refined search of the map revealed a possible location and I decided that it was good enough. I could have simply called up my friend to ask for directions but I'm always game for a bit of adventure.
I headed out of KL using KESAS highway and easily located the Jalan Kebun exit. From there, it was just simply trial and error. I found my friend's house soon enough, based on the photo he had posted in his FB profile.
Apart from wanting to meet a friend I last saw in 1986, there is another reason why I really need to see him.
Badique is suffering from bone cancer. As I stepped into my friend's house yesterday afternoon, he was really surprised to see me but even after lapse of 24 years, he instantly recognised me. On my part however, seeing my friend in a frail condition immediately saddens my heart. Badique could not stand or walk properly without the aid of crutches. But he hides his suffering bravely and he remained in high spirits throughout our conversation.
For nearly two hours we chat about old times, about old friends we have lost touch, about re-discovering each other in Facebook, about our jobs both previous and present, and about our kids. We talked a bit about the cancer, but not much.
The cancer started at his pelvic bone but how far it has spread, he didn't say. And I didn't have the heart to ask. Badique has declined the conventional treatment of chemotherapy. He believes in alternative medication and is trying out remedies on a few fronts.
Today, the 20th of January, my friend Bahruzzaman Abdul Kadir a.k.a. Badique is 48-years old. Happy birthday, my brother. I pray to Allah swt for the success in your treatment and recovery. I hope to be meeting you again at your next birthday with you hale and hearty, insyaAllah.