Monday, August 4, 2008

"Class of 65 ,Malay College Picture Gallery"

Friends ,

Thank you Rosli Mat Ali [ Class 69] for CCing those picture gallery of class 65 .Most outstanding from the sea of greying ,balding distinguished figures is the youngish looking YB Dato Shahrir Samad .Despite his 100 % silver grey he still looks young and sprightly ,must be due to his daily running and brisk walking regimen !Most of the rest look their age .60 plus and tired !,except the forever youthful Effendi Norwawi .Make one wonder whether 'reverse osmosis' really work .Rumors abound that he has a new candidate for ' reverse osmosis ' beyond TJ .Lucky man !

Effendi and TJ aside ,those pictures brought back a tinge of nostalgia and sadness to me as I ponder on the vagaries of age , ageing and my very own mortality .It felt only like yesterday that we were pounding on the hallowed ground of "Eton of the East" ,young schoolboys ,pacing around the world famous Prep School ,Big School ,The Pavilion ,dreaming dreams of conquering and changing the world ,under the Big Tree ,and the occasional naughty 'double rations' before the bell !...and of course the scrambling for the odd last minute ,one or two vacancies, at High Table .

This kind of nostalgia and sadness always invariably bring me back to base :The One and Only ,The CEO of the Universe .My nostalgic mind fast forward from the mid 60's to the mid 80's , and that brought me to Mekkah .I could still recollect the friday evening 'usraf'' we medicos had at our makeshift Al Ghazzah Hospital barely 400 metres from the Haram .I was a young medical consultant then given the order to bring down the mortality of our feeble hajis and hajjahs down to half or less the previous years figure .

That we did despite people falling like flies from heat stroke at Arafah under the midday sun in excess of 55 degree centigrade ,one of the hottest Arafah Day ever !.It came down to less than a quarter from the previous year , alhamdullillah .

Can still remember the Ulama' who lead the Isha' prayer and gave us a short lecture that night . An old sage well known amongst pilgrims from this part of the world , known as Hj Mohamad Al Mandeleng ,from Sumatra long domiciled in Mekkah .Could still recall his parting remark :" We Muslims ,to be safe ,must be in continuous contact with our Maker ,just like the spark plug of a car ,always firing .No sparks ,the engine stall .No genius required .You pick yourselves up from there at your very own pace ."

Before we parted for the evening he taught us a short 'doa' ,very short that I doubt many in the audience that day were impressed . I was though ,because this simple doa I recite 20 ,30 times a day,and has kept me in continuous contact with the Maker eversince .

"Astaghafirullah halazim allazilailahaillah huwalhayyulkhayyum waatubuilaik ,rabbirfirli waliwalidayyak walmukmini walmukminat " ask for penitence and salvation not for yourselves only,but also for your PARENTS always and all other Muslims in general .We are all brothers and parents in Islam are 'special' people .

Very short doa .There are doa and doa's but since this one is short and has deep connotation and meaning I recite it everywhere ,during rukuk, sujud ,on waking up ,before ,during and after all my 'cardiac interventional' work , and whenever I feel stressed as I find this a great 'destressor' [ all doa's are destressors ] and today ,sadly after seeing the "Class of 65" picture gallery .Somehow this reminded me of my own mortality .

We all , from Class 69 downwards ,are at the 'margrib' of our life . One foot firmly planted on this side hoping we will hit that 4 score and ten with our mind ,body and soul intact[ may I add: Aqidah ],and the other one going to the 'other side' .The 'looks' on the faces of '65 does not inspire in me that most of us will hit that target .Thus the sadness .

Back to Tuan Guru Hj Mandeleng :It is all about Contact ,Contact and Contact .The rest you fill yourselves with Ilm ,Ilm , and Ilm .Then of course Amal .But without the Contact you can have all the Ilm in the world but one can end up like all the 'John Espositos' of the world :Full of knowledge on Islam but without faith and wisdom !

Allahualam .

Dr Nik Howk

PS :'Sedekah' Al Fatihah for the late Kamaruzaman Maaruf of Class 65 who has been called back to the Realm of the Unseen .I will always remember Kamaruzaman Maaruf as that wizardry ,fast 3 Q's ,that make the oppositions looked like wax stuck to the ground .Such beauty and poetry in motion .May his soul be placed amongst the blessed . Amin .

No comments: