This isn’t “The dark side of the moon Part 2” which would have a neat and logical continuation of the previous post. It’s about something on my mind right now, and since it is definitely related to the theme of “Recovery”, I want to write about this one first. I hope you all will tolerate the idiosyncrasies here where I tend to simply jump here and there without keeping to a set of topics.
I’ve also realised that maybe it’s better to just write whatever comes out and not approach it like I’m writing a book. And most readers must have realised by now that the posts here won’t be “systematic” with new posts more or less continuing from previous – something like Puteri Kamaliah’s What Will Be, Will Be series, for instance.
The Dark Side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd in 1973: There’s a song called Time in this album which I first heard in 1978 when I was almost 18; in a place that deserves a few posts of its own (my next post might mention it). And the song too deserves its own post – a song that I must have heard hundreds of times, possibly exceeded a thousand (But have not heard it even once since my arrest in Aug 2005 right until now).
This post actually started as a second comment that I had intended to write at Mat Salo’s WordPress blog (his `other’ blog after the one at Blogspot) in Time flies and waits for no one. I had written about this before but I’m writing it again: Having followed his blogs and seen his interactions with other people there and elsewhere, Mat Salo has become someone whom I admire and whose words of advice I value highly. This is the second time I was spurred into making a new post; the first being Life is about choices when I had reflected on Mat Salo and Hisham of School of Tots.
Mat Salo’s post is about his eldest turning 15. With Mat Salo here, each time I read family-related posts by him, I’d often remember and reflect on my own – especially my failings … which makes me respect and appreciate him even more. I had already made a comment in that post. But “something” would not go away, so I returned to it some days later. The following is my second comment for Mat Salo’s post AND a new post here (I hope you folks aren’t too confused)
[To brader Mat: The following is also to be regarded as a Comment for that Post]
I hope there’s no regulation about someone writing yet another comment after he had already made one here… a “Quota System” perhaps:-)
Actually, I suddenly remembered this immediately after I had clicked on the “Submit Comment” button … two of my four children have birthdays in November too. And there were other similarities with certain points of your post here. I’m a bit ashamed that I had failed to remember these at that time. In mitigation, I was very sleepy then (3:21 am) and had made that comment as my “last for the day”.
Or maybe it was in my not wanting to delve deeper into this aspect of living where I have failed miserably? Truth be told, I was/am thoroughly humbled by you with this post and a couple of others here previously.
Anyway, besides the mentioned “November” similarity, consider the following ones: (1) My son was 15 too in the 2005 story that I’m mentioning here. However, he was my youngest (as compared to your “eldest”).
(2) My previous comment on 5 Nov was his birthday. I didn’t remember that until; after I had sent it in. His elder sister’s 17th birthday is on 13 Nov.
[BTW she is undergoing a Degree in Education programme; as is her elder sister. Whatever the father’s problems with their mother, and whatever mutual hurt and bitterness harboured by each other, Thank and Bless the `lowly educated’ mother for her exceptional efforts in providing the tangible and intangible necessities for them (and with help from both sides of the families) during those years when the supposedly `intelligent’ and `talented’ father was sucked into and trapped in a morass of his own doing due to a moronic choice he had made.
Plus, he was also guilty of the inexcusable passivity and inertia “in not doing the right thing” by taking immediate and sustained remedial actions “as a responsible and right-minded person would have”.]
Well, that was something that I must bring out – as with a few other things in the previous post. How that come about is a combination of several comments made by different people not just at this blog but also “elsewhere” – other blogs, Facebook, SMS… maybe even Mohd Zawi’s visit to my house some days ago. It will require another post at least to state each and every influence.
But I’ll mention a few; just to show how “one can be influenced and moved into feeling and doing something when several factors or ingredients combine to create a reaction. Malaysian Tigress/Tehsin – her comments here, at Facebook, e-mails… This post was delayed because I was waiting for her permission to quote the following, even though it was “in public” (at Facebook). She had commented about this need to “bring things out”; which is what I’m doing with some of the previous posts and this one:
Any journey out of “hell” is inspirational in itself, Mat. Writing about it is cathartic, the final release. People like reading about it because it gives them hope too, not as mere voyeurs.It might strike something in themselves too that they never admitted to themselves.
Don’t worry about the past, just forge on. After all we can’t change it.
Anyway, I have one very happy memory when it comes to my children’s birthdays – for those two in 2006.
I was still under that court order, but was no longer at Pusat Serenti Gambang at that time. From mid-September 2006, I was among the selected 10 inmates “with exceptional records” from the other pusat serentis in Pahang (Gambang, Benta, Raub, Jerantut, Sungai Ruan, Karak) to become “residents” and undergo a special three-month pre-release programme at the Pusat Khidmat AADK (PKAADK) in Jalan Gambut, Kuantan.
People familiar with this town should know where it is – its neighbours are Sekolah Kebangsaan Teruntum and a shop selling kitchenware, with a government clinic in front. It is remarkable that two people who are now among my most trusted friends – in Sherry Nor-Jannah and her husband Nazmi – have their offices very close to it! Would have been GREAT had I known them then:-)
Anyway, I was thinking about these two children, and especially about their birthday – I wanted to give them something despite my situation. Well, God provided the way. Knowing that I “could speak”, “had an uncommon background” and “needed to be given some self-confidence before booting him home”, a couple of Kuantan AADK officers took me along for a session held for some 400 students and teachers at Sekolan Menengah Sungai Baging in Cherating on Nov 2. At the end of it, the school presented me with a RM50 note in an envelope (to be kept by the AADK until discharge).
That was it! I didn’t care that it was all I had – I wanted to give ALL to my children. And thank God for the kindness and helpfulness shown by the AADK officers… The following day, I mentioned this to one of the PKAADK officers – En. Alias – who helpfully offered to buy a Postal Order. And there it was the next day – a crisp PO for RM50 with the serial number J15763660 4 stamped “Bukit Ubi” and dated “3 Nov 06” (I still have the counterfoil; plus various other things from Gambang and PKAADK taken home as souvenirs for that most fruitful and memorable period of my life).
I stuffed it together with a short letter into an envelope and handed it to En Alias, with an International Reply Coupon (IRC) attached (David R in Seoul, Korea had sent me more than a dozen of them when I was in Gambang, God Bless him). A phone call the following week confirmed that it managed to reach my youngest (made out in his name) on Nov 5 (Sunday – working day in Kelantan). He then went with his elder sister by bus to the post office in Pasir Mas, exchanged it for cash, and bought a barrel of KFC to take home. It was indeed a most joyful and fulfilling moment of my life…