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)