Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Two birthdays. One, happy... the other, not so

There are times when someone would come up to you wanting to tell good news and bad news, and you're then asked which one you would like to hear first. This post is somewhat like that. I'll start with the good news...

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!'

Angah at 11 months, Taman Cempaka, Johor Bahru.

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.

Angah (3rd from left) and his room-mates in the after-dinner pose

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.

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.

25 comments:

D said...

I'm glad I caught this post early. An excellent piece on the birthdays of two people close to you. The second one, however, is much more touching...

I have so many close friends who were born in january. 20th january is also my dad's birthday. somehow, I'm a little sad this year as I can't pick up the phone to call him and wish him Happy 78th birthday. He just left for his umrah so I have to wait for his call instead.

So I'm extending a special prayer for your Angah, old buddy Badique and my dad - May Allah bless you all with the best of Iman and taqwa for the coming year...

Patricia said...

What a heart-warming post, Fadhil.

A belated happy birthday to your son, and here's to many more!

And to your friend, Badique - may these wishes be doubly potent.

I'm offering up a prayer to the universe for both your boys.

pakmat said...

..life is like that, oldstock..sunshine and roses a second and halestorm and snow the next..the petals just opening for your son, bringing with it all the hope and promise of a life spreading out way beyond the horizon..and for your friend, a constant fight for survival..holding onto the tether of life..there will be a time for him..for God, in his Most Gracious and Passionate ways, showers His blessings in mysterious ways...

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Oldstock,

Chinese features, u meant like thick straight hair, mata sepet & big flat nose ka???...hahaha. That kid of yours must oso got chinese kiasu traits too, insist on coming out on the 18th. Literally translated ‘Sup Fatt’ in Cantonese meaning for ‘Sure to Prosper’ one lah, very auspicious day! Me on the other hand, born with Malay features lah, especially in the nether region, wink2..hehehe.

Wah u look so rugged & groovy in the 80’s. That pose of yours is simply awesome!

Anyway belated Happy Birthdays to your son & good friend. My best wishes for his full recovery.

Cheers,
Tommy

lili said...

Salam Oldstock,

First of all, Happy Belated Birthday your son, Angah. The food and company must be so good judging by the 'wiped clean plates', eh!

And then...that pose you strike... wahaha, posing habis..wa cakap lu!!

To your friend, Badique... he is one lucky guy to have you as his friend. Semoga dia sentiasa dilindungi Allah dan bersabar dengan ujianNya serta disembuhkan dari penyakit yang dihadapi...And to you too, for making a friend's day meaningful with your visit ...Amin

Kama said...

Mixed feeling baca posting kali ni Oldstock. Happy for you that Angah is doing well tapi terharu atas Badique's condition. Kama doakan segala ikhtiarnya berjaya..

Zendra-Maria said...

Oldstock, both the birthday boys are Capricorns by astrological sign - a fine symbol too, one which they share with me, but that's only how far it goes as my birthday was last month.

I wish both your son and friend well.

3yearshousewife said...

I usually take bad news first then good news. Somehow it feels better that way.
Wah, your pose lagi mengancam from your son.
It's good to know someone share my birthdate. A good friend of mine lost her mother on my birthdate. All the best to your son and the very best wishes for your friend.

drwati said...

what a pose, mr oldstock!

college days- never to miss a free dinner :) pandai betul kekawan angah tu ambil hati selepas menge'pau' hehehe

salam to your fren Badique

cancer is everywhere, sigh..

Nurie said...

A heart warming post indeed...

Happy birthday to angah (sama geng la- January babies)and my doas to your friend badique.

Looking at your pic inUK and yr son, you two actually look the same lah..muka u pun ada jugak ala ala chinese gitu ;-)

mamasita said...

Angah is a very charming boy.Please kirim my belated birthday wishes to him..my nephews ada 2 orang belajar kat UiTM..entah2 Angah kenal yer..

And extremely sad to hear about the other birthday guy Badique..hopefully dia sudah dapat ketenangan dan kesabaran yang tinggi menghadapi this dreaded C..
May he continue to cherish his happy days always with his wife and children even though hes sick.
And semoga Allah panjangkan umurnya dan pinjamkan dia kesihatan yang sebaik mungkin..Ameen.

Aizan Suhaira said...

It's interesting how you arrange this particular entry. The first one about youngsters with their whole lives ahead of them and the second one about a friend from your youth.

It saddens me to read of Badique's illness. And I shudder to think of the time when I have to face such a situation.

Oldstock said...

Dear D,

Thanks for the wishes and prayers for my son and my old pal. I hope your dad is doing ok over there in tanah suci.

Oldstock said...

Pat,

Your kind thoughts and prayers are most appreciated. I wish I can do more for my friend.

Oldstock said...

Pakmat,

In his current status report in FB, my pal thanks all who have wished him birthday greetings and offered prayers for his recovery. Semuga Allah Azzawajalla yg dapat membalas segala kebaikan.

And then he says, mungkin terlalu lama enjoy... maka diberikan masa untuk bertaubat dan mendekatiNya.

Oldstock said...

Tommy,

Interesting way you look at being born on 18th... I hadn't seen it that way. This second son of mind is not quite kiasu but he is a bit picky compared to his brothers... pakaian nak smart, makan nak sedap... things like that.

Hey, everybody's groovy in the 80's! I've got some more classic pics of those days... maybe I'll scan and put them up here a bit later.

Thanks for the kind wishes.

Oldstock said...

Salam Lili,

Yes the food was not bad but I guess if you have six hungry young men, they'll wipe anything clean, delicious or not.

Initially I was in 2 minds to insert that pic but it was the only one I had with me and Badik in the same shot. But what the heck... it's a unique pose alright.

Whenever possible, I've made it a point to go visit a sick friend as soon as I get the news. Previously, I used to postpone such visits, always thinking I'll do it later... until some time back, I got the news too late.

Oldstock said...

Kak Kama,

It was with mixed feelings too that I posted this story. Feeling happy one day and sad the next. Saya pun mengharapkan ikhtiarnya berjaya.

Oldstock said...

Zen,

Thanks for the kind wishes.

Oldstock said...

As,

I actually have another pic of my son and his friends in more playful pose but don't know why I didn't choose it.

So now, every time my son celebrates his birthday, I'll remember yours too :-)

Oldstock said...

Doc,

Pose time muda remaja dulu... young and carefree :-)

Memang dah agak dah kawan-kawan Angah tak kan lepaskan peluang makan free. Sekali-sekala takpe. I actually bought a birthday cake dari Resipi Rahsia which I passed to son after the dinner for him to enjoy with his friends bilik balik ke bilik.

Very sad when any close friend or relative gets the Big C. No new developments on the medical front ke Doc?

Oldstock said...

Noor,

My youngest son is also a January baby. His birthday is next week. Masa diaorang kecik-kecik dulu, we combined the celebrations for the two brothers. Jimat sikit, hehehe..

I'm of Banjar stock and orang Banjar ni kebanyakan kulit cerah dan ada Chinese look sikit. I'm not that obvious but I have cousins who can pass of as amoys anytime.

Thanks for the doa for my friend.

Oldstock said...

mamasita,

If my son read your compliment, sure dia kembang semacam je... he's a real charmer, that boy.

My friend is facing his Big C ailment in quite a calm manner. His facebook status do not mention the disease... I got to know it through another friend. Not once in my two-hour chat with him did he mention about regrets or bad luck or despair. I'm not sure if I can have the same degree of calmness.

Thank you for your doa.

Oldstock said...

Aizan,

Now that you have mentioned it... the arrangement of the stories do have that complementary link although I didn't plan it that way. It was just that the first birthday story came first.

I'm not sure how I would face the same situation too. Let us pray that kita dijauhkan dari dugaan sebegini.

anneaziz said...

Salam Oldstock,

My daughter and your son is 1 year and 5 days apart...and how time flies...

Your post on an old friend Badique is really touching...to meet a good friend after so many years and in a frail condition..

Doakan yang terbaik untuk Badique.