Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The old mosque where I went for Friday prayer during my primary school years was situated by the same river that I described in 'BY THE RIVERSIDE 1'. On Friday, before I went  the mosque I would head to the market area which was just next to the mosque. The 'Pasar Jumaat' would be on and there would be a lot of interesting things and food sold there. I would put my 'kain pelekat' and 'songkok lipat' in my bag (together with my school books of course) and off I would go to the 'Pasar Jumaat'. I always went alone and up until today, I have always preferred going out to certain places all by myself. A few years ago, the local authorities decided to relocate the old market to a new place quite far from town. Back then, FYI, the boys (Standard 1 until Form 3) wore shorts to school. Only the upper form students wore long pants. After I reached the mosque, I would immediately wear my 'kain pelekat' over my sexy short pants to cover my 'aurat'. When I reflect upon the whole thing, it seems quite funny to me. After I took my 'wuduk', I 'd go inside the mosque to find a place to sit. I always sat at the back row because I needed a place to put my school bag. I was afraid someone would take my bag if I left it outside. There was nothing truly valuable in that bag actually but the thought of losing it was unbearable for a schoolboy like me. Sometimes, I would go to the river bank where I could see many other boys around my age playing and horsing around in the water before prayer time. Nothing seemed to trouble them at all. There would also be a few adults taking their baths in the river but unlike the boys, they wore the 'supposedly' more decent 'kain basah' (most of the boys were in their briefs). Passing through the town a few weekends ago on my way to Bidor, I was shocked to see the old mosque beside the river was being torn down. I found out from the locals that a new mosque would be built at the same spot. It is supposed to be bigger, more modern and more comfortable to cater to the growing number of people who go there for prayers especially on Friday. On my way back, I stopped for a few minutes at the site of the old mosque to take a few pictures of the area. Everything was totally quiet and there was nobody around. I closed my eyes for a while and in my head, I could almost hear the splashing of water and shrieks of joy coming from the river...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The haze which has been enveloping many major towns and cities in Malaysia finally makes its way to my hometown. Unwelcome, of course. It was only last Friday when the weather was still beautiful and clear. However, everything turned the other way around as the weekend slowly came to an end. I was hoping the catch the 'Supermoon' on Sunday night but I was totally disappointed when all I could see was a blurry, reddish moon in the night sky. At this very moment, the hills behind the mosque across the road have totally disappeared from view. The sky is grey and the temperature has risen up a little bit. I have always detested hot weather since it tends to make me feel tired, sleepy and lazy (actually, I sweat like a pig under the hot sun but I like to blame my negative attributes on something that can't fight back). Anyway, before I digress, let me get back to the issue at hand here which is the haze. I know it is quite impossible to expect fine weather all the time but I also believe that there are a lot of things in this world which can be avoided and prevented especially when it comes to something extremely hazardous like the current haze situation. In finding the solution, the cause must first be identified. Co-operation, instead of finger-pointing, is essential in ensuring that no repetitions of such occurrences will take place ever again. At the same time, the right thing to do is to own up to one's mistakes and not be offended when others seek explanations. Be a little bit more open to suggestions and ideas. Unnecessary accusations also need to be avoided at all cost since they will only lead towards resentment, ill-feeling and bitterness among those involved. This is not the first time the haze situation has swept over this side of the world but it can be the last if proper actions and precautions are taken. Let's remember that when something like this happens, it affects not only a specific race, a certain country or a particular region. It affects all of us regardless of who we are and where we are.