… over the rainbowS..
When I was still a janda (tak berapa nak terkesan), I struck up a friendship with this chap online. I can’t remember exactly where we met online, prolly some ruangan mencari jodoh for fat chicks or summat coz our boy Nando Torres here likes his wimmin on the thick and chunky side.
We lost touch when I remarried… but he emailed me again earlier this year saying that he may be moving out to Southeast Asia to be with his Pinay love and was coming to KL in December. Apa-apalah laboo… I am not about to go and meet you anyhoos. (He and I have a … “history”… one I am not about to go into here. A very dear friend here knows wot transpired.. *nervous laugh*)
He wrote me a couple more times after that, messages which I ignored for the most part… except for the occasional courteous, “hope you are doing great too” in response to his good wishes for me.
Just recently pokcik started moyan because his Pinay girlfriend has turned out to be a liar. She told him he was an engineer but from what he told me about her, I am more inclined to think that she’s either a maid or a nurse. He told me he went celibate in NYC for the past year and a half, in loyalty to her. Muy pendejo, verdad? The Pinay may have been kangkang-ing all over Cagayan De Oro and Cebu City for all he knows.
The upshot of it all, she had promised to send him money… and of course she hasn’t up to now. Next thing I know he is reminiscing about our “closeness” and trying to hit me up for a couple of Ben Franklins.
Hel-lo? He may be a pendejo but I am not.
Harap muka hensem badan sado jah but wot a bleedy loo-hoo-ser.
I started going to Arabic classes nearly 2 months ago now. Initially it was just to support a friend who had started an ‘academy’ of sorts in the area where I live, teaching Quranic tajweed and Arabic.
My interest was piqued in the language after the first month, so I decided to sign up for the Intensive Arabic Programme offered by the Islamic Online University (IOU). I could have joined the Madinah Uni Arabic course but having to drive all the way to Section 9 in Shah Alam for classes, I didn’t see how I could be consistent with that. The IOU allows me a certain level of freedom as to when I can attend classes and finish the modules so it works for me perfectly.
Anyhoos.. akak moyan ni coz of the ustadz who teaches at the Academy. This Ustadz was brought in by my friend to teach tajweed and Arabic. He’s not local and he struggles with his English. When I first signed up, I was wondering how in heck was I going to learn Arabic when the ustadz can barely convey what he needs to convey to us because his English is so poor? But I soldiered on because I was thoroughly enjoying learning a new language… and was doing my own research/study outside of class anyway.
Lately I noticed the ustadz seems to make it his personal goal to put me down in class. Whenever I answer correctly, which is 95% of the time (I work hard and put in effort), he would just totally ignore me or never bother to reward me with an “احسنت” that my fellow classmates would get when they get something right. OKlah.. aku bukan hadap sangat dengan your puji-pujian… but when you start to say stuff that put me down and humiliate me in class then that’s bleddy not on.
He started class off today by asking everyone whether we can read Arabic. All of us read the Qur’an so I guess we can say that we “can” read Arabic, albeit with diacritical marks to help us pronounce the words correctly. Reading Arabic text, is quite a different kettle of fish as there are no diacritical marks (baris atas, bawah, depan as the Malays would say.. fatha, kasrah and dhamma in Arabic) to help one along. When he came to my table, he asked me whether I could read the text on the new handout he had just passed to us seconds before. I didn’t say, “YES! I can read..” I just hesitantly said I will try and proceeded to read the first few sentences of Arabic text on the handout. He cut me off very abruptly with an “OK” and strode to the front of the class.
He started to pokpek pokpek… then said, the sister *points to me at the back* just now said she could read but she read it wrong.
He then proceeded to read out the paragraph correctly, which was exactly like how I read it except for one connecting vowel (harakah) which was governed by a grammatical rule that we hadn’t yet been taught. Apakepoonders kau nak kena kata “the sister said she could read” and then proceed to highlight my mistake, one which would have easily been committed by everyone else in the class if they had been asked coz none of us had been taught that particular grammatical rule YET?
Macam kau nak kata sebenarnya aku tak pandai baca la kan? Padahal dalam kelas kau terpaksa tanya aku jugak in the end when the others are just busy with their ‘errr… errrmmmm’ upon being asked any question.
Each time I answer a question right, he will ask me a FURTHER more DIFFICULT question… It’s as if he wants to catch me out, set me up for a fall. This is why now at 2:20am I am up reading, building my vocabulary coz I want to give him proverbial slaps in the face each time he tries to set me up for a fall in class by answering each question he asks me correctly. Padahal orang lain get asked kanak2 Ribena tadika level questions. I get asked convoluted grammatical questions, even the NAMES of each grammatical rule.. segala Ta u ta’nith ussakinah la.. ya u mutakallim lah, ta mutaharrikah lah, nun an niswah and segala bagai toknenek Arabic grammatical terms lagi.
The others will get simple “ما هذا؟” questions that only require, “هذ١ قلم” kinda answers. Apakepundek? Kucing aku pun boleh jawab.
I suspect pundek berjanggut perut boroi ni has been told stuff about me by The Sanctimonious Prick Ex. I am sure none that was told to him was anything good.. knowing him. I know he knows him. Kaymark tak kaymark?
Anyhoos, I have been planning to quit classes at the Academy once my IOU classes get underway. This Friday’s class will be my last at the frikkin’ Academy. My friend was kind enough to set up the Academy for this bleddy ustadz so he can earn some income whilst here in ماليذيا but dasar tak sedar diri. A whole family of students (mak pak and 2 daughters) already quit earlier this month… coz no one understands wot he’s on about (more than) half the time.
Nota kaki: Moyan in Malay is sooooo much more satisfying!
Perhaps it was rather unfair of me to label the person I meant in the post titled “Grace” as being without grace.
The person I meant is a lady who goes by “Kak Ani”. I met Kak Ani during Ramadhan 2012, whilst performing umrah. She was very kind to me, offered to share the food she and her lovely daughter Jaja brought to the Masjidil Haram from their hotel for the breaking of fast every day. I could only contribute dates and packets of maa’moul, they made lovely fruit salads and cool desserts which we would hurriedly eat before the imam called out the takbiratul ihram for Maghrib prayers.
Kak Ani is a widow, with the elegance and cultured air of an Asian Ava Gardner. She owns businesses up and down the East Coast back in Malaysia, the beautiful country we both call home. She told me she’d come to perform umrah and stay for the entire month of Ramadhan every year, having no husband to worry about any longer and children grown enough to care for themselves.
I would always book a spot under a fan hanging from the soaring arched ceilings of the first floor of the Masjidil Haram, plant myself there from after Dhuhr and leave only after taraweeh for the day ended. Kak Ani and daughter favoured the same women’s area that I did so that was why we met every day. On the second last day of my stay in Makkah that searing July, Kak Ani gave me a book of du’as, various supplications for different situations. I still keep it to this day, referring to it from time to time.
On my last evening there, we somehow didn’t get to sit together. The spot under the fan that I had booked for that day was suddenly surrounded by a group of hefty ladies (believe me, gargantuan me is a size ‘M’ there, not the XXXXXXXXXL that I am here *rolls eyes*) of vague Middle Eastern origin. It was nearing the last 10 days of Ramadhan, the number of people coming into Makkah were increasing exponentially, it was difficult to even find standing room in the Masjidil Haram. I saw Kak Ani and Jaja wave at me from a spot quite far from where I was sitting. I debated whether to move and join them but I saw that they hardly had any space for me where they were, so with a regretful shake of my head and a smile I wordlessly declined their invitation.
That night I nearly fainted from heat stroke whilst standing in taraweeh. The afternoon’s 50-degree heat did a number on me. (Fasting in such conditions were a wonderful challenge! 🙂 ) I left the masjid after 8 raka’at because I didn’t much fancy the chances of anyone trying to carry me out of the mosque in case I fainted in trying to do 20 😛 The next day there was a mad rush to leave Makkah, I didn’t even have Kak Ani’s number to say goodbye.
Flashforward 2 years, whilst chatting with a friend from Tranung, she mentioned Kak Ani’s name I was like.. whoa Nelly.. I know that woman! To cut a long story short (it won’t be Kekwat if it ain’t long-winded), I got her number and sent her several long(ish) Whatsapp messages. I apologised for not joining them that evening when I declined their invitation and said I felt bad for not saying a proper goodbye.
All I got was *bunyi cengkerik* in return. Whatsapp’s Double Blue Ticks of Doom told me that she had read the messages.
Ah well. Maybe she doesn’t remember me. Perasan sangat akak ni memorable.
Last night I had a bad dream.
It wasn’t scary or of the horror movie variety… but all I could remember there was a very sinister vibe to it.
I remember covering my face with my hands and crying.
Next thing I knew, a calm voice in my ear.. “I am here.. I’m here… Ssshhh don’t cry,” his warm hand rubbing my back.
Things haven’t been easy lately but right at that moment I felt blessed and deeply thankful for … everything.
We are living in such a graceless society. Not many people have the grace or the willingness to return a good gesture even with a simple thoughtful message.
IMHO, dealing with people with humility, appreciation and grace is a sign of class, of good upbringing.
Then again, what was I expecting?