31.1.08

Muhibbah Tag

I was tagged by Shah of Cakap Aje about a post started by A Voice on Muhibbah. I am supposed to write something on Muhibbah.
However, one thing that’s evocatively certain, I can’t possibly write as meaningfully as Shah’s. So I’m in big trouble really, what with this clever brain of mine still not working properly. With that, please excuse me if you find this Muhibbah entry is particularly juvenile. Here goes…

Muhibbah is when:

a. My best friend in primary school was a Chinese boy named Lee Kwek Seng. He’s a clever boy. So I always ended up copying his homework. Good friend indeed.
b. My good friends while in secondary included names like Adzman, Nawawi, Yih Jiun, Wai Seng, Chee Wai, Murugan and Rajendran, among others. There were many more…naturally. And there’s Ranjit Singh too.
c. I was the only Malay boy in the school’s photography club. And usually after our weekly Saturday meeting, I rode pillion on one of my friends’ bicycle where they sent me to the bus station, five minutes away. Other friends would normally tagged along. All 15 bicycles. One Malay boy and many Chinese friends.
d. When I fell sick, friends like Lili, Yuen Pen, Christine and Radiance (yes that’s her name) became concerned and used to call me at home to bertanya khabar.
e. Once when I was already working in NST, I went out to lunch with Sivakumar, Juhaidi Yean and Hew Pit Ling. It was a Friday. After lunch, Siva dropped Juhaidi and I at the UM mosque for our Friday prayers. Both him and Pit waited for us in the car.
f. During one Chinese New Year, many many years ago, my colleagues (such as Shukor and the wife, Noq, Che Mat, Husaini and many others) and I went to Michelle’s house. We ate kacang-kacang , oranges and drank soft drinks. Then Michelle treated us to a KFC! Finger lickin good!
g. And once during Deepavalli, my Malay colleagues, our wives and kids, drove up to Klang to sample Chandra’s deliciously wonderful chicken curry and other makanan yang sedap-sedap.
h. Back at the office, more goodies awaited courtesy of Prasanna and Kody. Of course, once Raya rolled by, we’d returned the favour.
i. Speaking of Raya, my wife told me that her school friends would come in droves to her place to celebrate Raya. All her Chinese friends. And they would spend practically the whole day at my wife’s place. Really berhari raya. Makan and makan lagi.
j. Her best friend Doreen Fong would go one up. She would spend a night or two at my wife’s place. Regularly. And then they would turn the kitchen upside down experimenting with new recipes.
k. A neighbour whom my wife called Kak Yap would come over practically everyday to sembang-sembang and more importantly cooked dinner together with my sister in-law. During Ramadan, Kak Yap would masak-masak for them too. They would break fast together. Ms Yap would then sit quietly at the back of the room while my wife’s family performed Maghrib prayers. More often than not, she would be sitting in while the family did a tadarus (Quran reading) session too.
l. And did I mention that once when I was in my first year at the Third College UM, a Chinese coursemate of mine, whom I only remembered as Leong, woke me up early one morning. He said, “Mior, bangun sembahyang subuh!”

There. The spirit of muhibbah in action. No slogan needed. One thing for sure, I treasured all these friendships. Forever. I am blessed!

Apparently, I have to tag 2 others whom I feel are very qualified people to talk about this subject. Therefore, I’m tagging my dear friend Fauziah Ismail and my friend in Dubai – Idham of Clear Blue Sky (I know you are a good sport, Pak Payne. I’m sure you have a lot to share)

28 comments:

Kata Tak Nak said...

All the examples given there by you that the spirit of Muhibbah is there and alive. We are practising Muhibbah, just don't no politician come and try to stir things up. Leave it to us. We know what we want.

Beautiful entry.

U.Lee said...

Hello Mior, enjoyed reading of your close friendship with everyone.
I can imagine the fun you had too.
Me too, young school days.
I used to follow a Malay friend balek his kampong, past some padi fields...school holidays. Stayed in his kampong house 2 weeks, petang go collect coconut husks with pakcik, burn to keep mosquitos away. But pakcik stopped me from burning as one evening I volunteered, but put too many husks on top of each other and lighted it...like a fog decended on and around the house, ha ha. Everyone coughing like crazy, some neighbours thought the house on fire! I chabut. Ha ha.
After dinner, sit cross legged, by kerosene lamp, listen to pakcik's cheritas of how the "Jepun" arrived 2nd WW. Can still remember the smell of his smelly cheroot! Ha ha.
The fun was going into the padi fields, irrigation canals fish for haruan, keli, sepat fish.
Once three of us, my Malay friends and I cross a rickety plank bridge over a smelly, putrid canal...it broke when we three in the centre, suppose to have only one person crossing at a time,...up to our necks in dirty, muddy water...can you imagine the makcik when see her two sons and me covered with mud, still holding the bamboo poles, and fishes. Her exclaimation could be heard 1/4 mile away, ha ha.
Of course when some Kampong elders enquired about the broken plank bridge, we disappeared very fast, ha ha.
Oh ya, I became an expert at drawing water from a well with a rope and pail too, apart from eyeing the girls too.
Hari Raya time help the makciks row the dodol in a huge kwali, listen to their gossips same time, ha ha. I was one of them and proud of it.
When a friend's brother got married, I even helped to sprinkle scented bunga rampai on the bridal bed, whooohooo!
Itu the good old days for me, Mior.
You keep well, Lee.

zaitgha said...

this is wonderful posting....like kata tak nak the muhibbah spirit is around us and alive...my front and behind neighbors now are wonderful considerate chinese families...my good friends are Eurasion, Indian and Chinese.....

we are ok but our kids that i am worried.....

WANSHANA said...

I love this posting, Mior.

Yes, it is actually the little, little things that we do and share that are actually the big and important things in life. Sometimes we become too bogged down with technicalities which do not amount to anything pun, when we talk about the spirit of Muhibbah.

This brings back memories of my primary schooldays. My best friends were Karen Goh, Gaik Hong, Mageswary, Noni and Mastura. Sadly, we lost touch when I went to boarding school. I hope one of them is reading this so that we could rekindle our friendship.

Take care, Mior.

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Mior,

I totally agree with Cikgu: we are already practicing Muhibah as you beautifully wrote; who needs the pliticians?

Thank you bro, that was indeed good!

Mior Azhar said...

Cikgu,
True, sir. We don't have to even try to live in harmonny among different culture and races and religions. It just happen and the result is pure magic.... It is only when the politicians come into the picture that it suddenly becomes such a chore, and then problems after problems will crop up...

Mior Azhar said...

Lee,
Aahhh, what a fun childhood. I always wanted to go visit and play at a padi field too when I was a kid. I grew in a kampung allright but surrounded by rubber trees and tin mines. Not so traditional lar (in my mind then). But in the early part of my life, I too experienced drawing water from the wells, watching people row dodol, buat lemang the old way, even masak using dapur kayu. There was a small barn near my house where my grandfather stored the chopped woods to be used for cooking. Then there were various fruits trees like rambutans and mangosteen. Oooh I could go on forever reminiscing here you know.
And you know Lee, I would want to join you and the gang then. Soundsfun. Where was this exactly?
You take care ya.

Mior Azhar said...

Zai,
Yes, somehow I to am worried about my daughters... and the sad part is that most of their close friends are Malay. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it sure is fun to have friends from other races too

Mior Azhar said...

Shana,
Yeah, we don't need a slogan to tell us how to makefriends. It all comes naturally, Insya Allah.
I too secretly wish that my friends from school days are reading my blog in the hope that they will contact me again. So far, two of them have contacted me, Harman and Shiew Man Hon. Isn't that wonderful?
Hope you'll manage to do so too.
You keep well.

Mior Azhar said...

Salam Shah,
I thank you too. Somehow your tag brings back sweet memories.
Mior

tokasid said...

Salam Pak mior:

Thats Muhibbah in real life.What more can we ask?

Mior Azhar said...

Salam Doc,
Yes, we are doing fine on our own...if only those who haven't a slightest hint what's muhibah is all about could leave us alone?

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Mior
Thanks for the tag. A tough one but will get to it soon.

idham said...

pak mior...:-)

Thanks for the tag...will come up with an entry on that soon.

Even on foreign land, Malaysians of different ethnicities do come together - flying the same flag...MALAYSIAN.

like this posting...! just what we need in the count down towards the general election.

pakpayne

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

E) gets my vote as the most beautiful muhhibah spirit. true friendship and tolerance!

Mior Azhar said...

Salam Fauziah,
Thanks, I'm sure you will have a good one. Eagerly awaiting nih

Mior Azhar said...

Pak Payne,
Yes, would love to read about how muhibah is doing in foreign land..
thanks

Mior Azhar said...

Kerp bro,
And I enjoyed yours too. Could not have express it better.

Zabs said...

Salam Mior,
The many examples given by you here are pure examples of muhibbah being practiced.
I remembered when I was young, we used to cycled to the estate's housing for the Indian workers, at the back of our kampong, to watch the monthly show of a Tamil movie, and once a week watch the wrestling series at one of the houses there. Our kampong have no electricity yet at that time.
We just live like one big community wihout any racial feeling at all.
Salam.

aaa said...

Mioq, I went back to KJ on Monday morning and pulang Penang last nite. Had meeteng here, there and everywhere including NST. Met briefly with Kak Nam yang kalut tak cukup tanah - tak dan pun nak bergossip apatah lagi mengata kat sesiapa..ha ha ha...so, sorry tak sempat nak jumpa you kasi buku...maybe kita akan jumpa di wedding anak you, jika u jemput I lah...ha ha ha...Anyway, was in Langkawi over the weekend for of-coz, in the name of meeteng - again :( - and met up with Dee yang menjadi lady...opps...man of leisure menjaga tanah dan hartanya di pulau itu sambil bersukaria...(u do know that he is the tauke kaya owning chalets di tepi bukit kan) He looks happy and enjoying life.....uwarghhhhhhhhhh.....Before month ends I pulang lagi and this time, we will make sure it will take place - the meeting and kasi buku - not your anak wedding...ha ha ha......Selamat krohhh sambil mendengaq mercun di sana sini....

Mior Azhar said...

Salam Pak Zabs,
Yes, the good old days were really good, right? Juust like the Petronas ad. Simple yet nostalgic

Mior Azhar said...

Wan,
Hang memang!!! Anyways CNY ni tak balik sini ka? Pi mana lar pulak? Dgq kata ari tu pi Johor? Waaaah, very important hang la ni, no?
Just yesterday I bumped into Shariff Dol - he sends his salam to you. Dia ropa mcm tu jugak, ala2 muda.
And I didn't know Rosidi now is in Langkawi. Since when? The last time I heard he was in London, belajaq tak habih2 and saw his pix in a magazine (doing what else but be seen with the society people) last year. He was pictured with Kak Nam. I think.
And we better meet up this month jugak. Have a nice holiday.

idham said...

pak mior...done - but written abt muhibbah in homeland instead of in foreign land :-)

idham

Neeza Shahril said...

Salam kenal mior. I'm blog hopping from Idham. when you list all your non-malay friends, I remember my mom used to tell me, "ma tak kawan dgn melayu masa sekolah menengah sebab melayu tak sporting". I can't say much about that coz I was in mrsm during my high school. meaning all malays la..

but, when I was in States then kerja and got to mix with multi racial, I realize everyone is the same if he/she knows their boundaries and respect for each other.

It's cute how your chinese friend woke you up for prayer. It did show the concern... :)


neeza

Mior Azhar said...

Salam Neeza,
Thank you for visiting. Kawan Melayu pun ramai yang baik-baik. Kawan Melayu pun ramai yang kurang. Semuanya berpunca daripada diri sendiri. Kalau ikhlas, ramailah kawan, senang lah berkawan. Semuanya manusia, regardless of race.
Thanks again. And you take care (you kids remind me of my daughters when they were at that age - adorable)

Neeza Shahril said...

setuju tu. manusia sama je semuanya. Mior, kids masa kecil semuanya adorable sebab takde dosa. kita yang dewasa ni je tak berapa nak adorable. sebab... dosa lebih! heheee...

Neeza Shahril said...

lupa pulak tadi. sebenarnya pagi tadi nak comment pasal lagu Izwan Pilus ni.. neeza suka lagu ni (sorry keluar topic pulak hehee), both song and the lyrics tu...

Mat Salo said...

Brother Mior..

I think Chegu KTK said it best: only politicians want to divide us for THEIR own interest.

We Malaysians get along fine with each other until orang2 politik come to screw it up..

LOL! Ada lak Cinapek kejut kasi sembahyang subuh!