The whole last weekend was spent with budak koleq; or koleq-related people; on koleq’s stuff. On top of that it was a long weekend – so it’s a few days spent entirely on koleq’s stuff during the very few long weekends that we have in a year. It did prompt me to think whether I seriously need to consider my priorities in life (to which Sdr Joe-Harimau concurred).
This is a glimpse of how MCKK dominated so much of our free time; in chronological order:
THURSDAY 21st DEC
Catch up with folks from Class of 2004 on university application and the plans for the next few years; in particular to press for the need to go beyond a degree to increase marketability
FRIDAY 22nd DEC
Meet up with Syed Asrul whom I last met in 2004 during the 10 year reunion in Kuala Kangsar. Syed was a close confidant and colleague in koleq dating back to the junior years until he was a fellow key person in KPKM 1994. Syed was also the person responsible for the cheering T-shirt for it was his bureau which introduced the t-shirt to replace the practice at the time of going to cheering in school uniforms.
Together with us were a few juniors from Class of 2005; with whom we discussed their preparation for university application, their aspirations and what they should be thinking at their age to accelerate the character building (and supplement the formal education they receive in colleges).
Had a long discussion with Syed – partly to catch up and reminisce (Syed was central to many things I – or KPKM – did in 1994); partly to exchange views on many current issues. He was one of the very few among us who chose the work for himself rather than get employed, so it was enlightening to hear the trials and tribulations a Malay businessman (without political patronage or who refuses to be part of the corrupt system) has to go through to make ends meet. What was more ironic was Syed’s own educational background – with a degree from a good US university and an MBA; he was more than equipped to do well in the business world; if not because of the amount of obstacles put by our own people. One wonders what will happen to the new upstart entrepreneurs who take up the challenge thrown by those in power to plunge into the business world, only to be frustrated and let down by the very system that was supposed to help them.
I thought it was good that the few juniors were with us, so that they realize that the “real world” is not as rosy as what many would like us to believe.
Sent the juniors home, we continued with our teh tarik – so went to fetch Ska at his place. It dawned on us that at this age, most people are married so it was no longer polite or proper to call a friend at 12 midnight for a teh tarik. In the end, it was either Bala or Ska – and since Bala is a top jambu, we settled for Ska instead.
Another 4 hours at Melawati and 4 hours later – I found out that Ska was involved in some productions before, which would become handy to us one day. We also discovered what this free-spirited hippy was up to lately (ha ha ha), as well as what others are doing. They never fail to amaze me at how much they have grown up and take charge of their own life in their own way – compared to all those years in KK when most were dictated to us.
Syed came back to spend the night at my place.
SAT 23rd DEC
Shahrol (Class of 93) knocked my door to pass two ties that he sponsored to be given to the captains of the debating teams. He did advise me to put something on in case in my sleepiness I walked naked to the door - so nothing untoward took place. He usually does hang around at my place if he drops by, but this time he has his wife (who is also a sporting wife who does not mind Shahrol doing all the koleq-related things he does) waiting in the car.
Left the place with Syed to pick Zaim (Class of 2005) who will spend the weekend with other junior coaches finishing the modules for the 2007 Debating Workshop.
Went for breakfast at Wangsa Maju, continued with unfinished discussions.
Since Syed is a property developer, he wanted to tour the Wangsa Maju/Setiawangsa/Wangsa Melawati area just to get the feel or if lucky stumble upon a property he may consider to invest. So we spent 3 hours going around the area interlaced with more reminiscence (again!) before I sent him back to his brother’s place in Wangsa Maju.
From Wangsa Maju, we drove back to Jelatek to pick Haqqa, Bucks, Helman and Ed (2006 and 2007 debaters) who were supposed to join Zaim to finish the preparation for the workshop in early January.
My place was turned upside down but the preparation was smooth, thanks to Canoe’s (Class of 93) very close supervision of the junior coaches. At one point he even reviewed the “presentation” of those modules (e.g. no header, no footer, wrong font used etc.) – so I must praise the juniors’ patience with our penchant for meticulousness.
I spent a good part of the afternoon cooking for them – and the work continued non-stop until around 9 pm. By that time we have to send Ed (who was quarantined all along since he would be participating in the workshop) home – so we had to cross one KL to send him to Subang.
SUN 24th DEC
Went out with Helman to buy breakfast for them and sent Zaim to LRT station for his batch’s reunion. Nearly dropped dead at the price for sebungkus nasi lemak nowadays, it’s been a while since I last bought a breakfast.
The boys continued working on their modules with Canoe, while I started cooking since Smash (Dr. Hj Tuan Syed Mohd Azhan, MCKK 1990-1994, PhD UMIST 2000, USM 2000 - ) and his family were supposed to drop by some time in the afternoon; as well as Chamat (who was back from Singapore for the weekend) and Jita (on long holidays until the end of the year).
Smash came at about 2 pm with Kak Rod, Athirah, Afiq and Kak Rod’s mother. My relationship with Smash has evolved from that of a teacher/coach-student to a close friend to a family since 1991. Smash was the coach/guru penasihat (together with Ben Class of 90, Cikgu Ejazi, Cikgu Shamsuddin and Cikgu Umi) responsible for the 1992 and 1993 PPM’s victory. Ever since those years, we have become like families and I spent a lot of time at his place when I was in the UK – while he and his family visited my family in Terengganu regularly even when I was not around.
As usual there were many common grounds to talk about – from the MCKK, families, the country all the way to the soalan cepumas; but of so many people Smash and Kak Rod fully understand what kind of person I am and the pettiness when it comes to a relationship.
Chamat came shortly after and Smash recommended that Chamat enrolled as a F4 (Chamat preferred to stay a thoroughbred so he was thinking about F1 in-take instead) since he could still pass for a 16-year old.
Smash had to rush back so by 4.30 pm everyone (including Jita who came just after Smash has left and brought with him two boxes of doughnuts!) took a break in front of the TV to watch “Dorm” (the hit Thai movie).
It’s been a long time since I last watched a movie that good, what more with good companies of people very close to you. It was really fun and the story could easily had happened in koleq because there were so many similarities – plus all the innuendos about jambus, “brothers” etc. It was like watching movies in koleq all over again (tambah tengok cerita hantu) with the juniors and senior (Canoe ha ha ha).
The juniors continued with their work, racing to meet the deadline we set for them.
In the mean time, Chamat and I went ahead with a karaoke session; not so much to demonstrate to the junior coaches (as we dearly claimed since they would have one module on vocal) but to catch up (the last karaoke that we had is way back in 2005).
I know Jita cringed once in a while, but he did admit that we were more musically gifted (ha ha) so he wouldn’t want to join our league after all.
Explained the proposal that had been going around the batch on pooling of resources to Jita and Chamat. It was quite smooth sailing with Chamat, but Jita wanted to become a devil advocate ha ha. I had a second thought temporarily thinking of the hell it would be in the Board meeting one day ha ha ha. But all was done in good faith and we are still on track.
The boys had almost completed everything if not for Canoe’s too meticulous review of the manner those modules were presented (typical consultant). We agreed that the boys will clean up their modules and e-mail the conformed modules (by Canoe’s standard) to us later.
Drove the boys to Putra Heights but ended up in USJ instead – so we dropped by at Taipan for dinner. Took opportunity to discuss their options once the results are announced, since all of them wanted to become accountants (not that I am complaining).
Then it was a confusing journey into the labyrinth of junctions that Putra Heights is – after a while I gave up completely trying to memorise Haqqa’s instruction because there were too many junctions and turning. Arrived at Haqqa’s place around 11.15 pm – and slowly found our way out of Putra Heights (which turned out not that bad after all).
MON 25th DEC
I was supposed to meet Pyan (Class of 98) to try to rope him into the Careers stuff we are doing with koleq. We can’t be doing it forever and as with all other things we did with koleq, perhaps what’s more important is to prepare the next team to take over to ensure sustainability – but I was too tired to go (and I had a house to clean!).
Harrie dropped by to give nasi beriani. Was quite touched since in my daily routines of leaving house early and coming back late – I have never been to his house all these years.
TUES 26th DEC
Scheduled to catch up with Class of 2004’s scholars due for overseas degree to find out their plan and set out priorities in university – so that they are aware from the very beginning what employers look for in 3-4 years’ time when they come back.
Do I regret not spending enough time on other things; on life beyond MCKK’s circles? So far it’s an affirmative no. After all, it’s not so much that traditionally we hang around koleq ever since we stepped out the gates in 1994, it so happened that much of the community service that we do now revolves around MCKK. Some of us have come one full circle – from university activities, student politics, actual politics before we land back where we started. The fact that it’s MCKK is a co-incidence, rather than by design.
For this is life – it’s but a tapestry of events weaved around a common theme. The common theme should not change, but the tapestry of events evolves and we make many temporary stops in our life before we move on again; only to end up at the point we began – though hopefully much wiser than before.