After 12 years, finally we managed to track down Saudara Ahmad Nizam Jembari. Well technically that was incorrect, as he "volunteered" to turn himself in after all these years, rather than traced and get caught. Che Mad officially registered to the batch's database and Male-ing List last week.
The last time I was in contact with Che Mad was some time in 2000 - I was still in London and he had already settled down in Michigan by then (or Chicago, I can't remember). From what I recalled, he was working with Ford or GM Motors, married with kids - so I did not expect that he would come back to Malaysia soon.
The conversation revolved around the last political crises the country went through - and our characters back in koleq rarely betrayed what we would grow up to become, for just as he was like-minded with me (as far as political orientation was) in koleq, he was also like-minded in many national issues in 2000. So it was very comforting to know that your old buddy did not change much.
Afterwards I came back and we lost contact. I did attempt to track him down for the 10-Year Reunion in 2004, but to no avail. In our minds, Che Mad will be in the US for a very long time.
The Male-ing List will be full of reminiscence especially from the Cagers next week. Che Mad was their captain from day one after all. Those who remember the first few Cagers' training, must have wondered how a baby-gorilla-like (whose at first glance couldn't have jumped higher than 3 inches) was made a captain, when naturally it should have been Syed Moto (the rest, is history ha ha ha). Anyway, they were a good bunchof people and Che Mad did stamp his mark on our lives as a batch in many ways. If my memory serves me correctly, Che Mad was also one of the KPKM Excos in 1994 (most probably looking after Welfare portfolio).
To Che Mad - welcome back and please don't flash American accent with us ha ha ha...
I came across a few batch photos (from the junior batches) and it strikes me that we were one of the very few batches whose batch photo did not feature anyone in a blazer. Everyone was in white long sleeve shirts and ties.
I can't remember whether we deliberately banned blazers, or whether it was by co-incidence. But I don't discount it was a result of our ("my" is more accurate) obsession with making sure everyone was equal and no one would stand above the other, since I was the one who arranged the photo shoot for Koleq Mag. I remember it was after inspection one Saturday morning (duuhh! takkan Monday kot) and Zahadin couldn't make it because his family was around.
When we arranged for the photo shoot, I was aware that the batch photo would become a lasting image of us as a batch. It was important to remind everyone (then and now) that regardless of who we were in koleq, or what we grow up to become - at least once we were of equal stature, accorded the same rights and had the same opportunities - for that we should be treated as equals, with those in KPKM, Prefects Board etc. exercising their positions as "first among equals".
I wonder whether the same feeling still has a footing in MCKK, especially with too much emphasis on the roles and influence of AJK Batch, Prep School & New Hostel prefects (self-styled "custodians"), even the wardens. I wonder whether a Joe Blog in a batch in MCKK now would have equal claim to the MCKK memory as the "stars" from his batch?
* The rambling is a result of physical pain and exhaustion I suffered when Fazurin dragged me kicking and screaming for a one-hour walking session up and down Bukit Antarabangsa, to prove to me that even fat people can do something about their obesity.
He was telling the story (while we were walking) of an obese in the US who could not even walk, who started out her exercise regime just by clapping, before moving on to standing, then aerobic - one year later she managed to bring down her weight to a healthy level.
I smiled and pretended to be convinced, although in my heart I was considering taking MC on Monday!