A Tale To Tell & Remember

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Wednesday, 29 November 2006

School used to be good (part 1 - Band of brothers)

I still remember the time when I play the game of war beside the classroom block when I was three at Sekolah Kebangsaan Gua Musang (SKGM), Kelantan. Our school was located at the heart of old Gua Musang town facing the real Gua Musang (which the town got its name on the first place). Our school was built beside Secondary and elementary Chinese school called Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Yu Hua and Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Yu Hua. We (SKGM and SRJKC) shared the same field for sport activities. I still remember watching the brass band of the Chinese school from my classroom (at standard three – it was located besides the field).

They were wearing red uniform and that does really impressed me so much. I never saw a music group playing musical instrument consist of a young student that was so discipline and as good as that. We (my young friend) played the game of war every Thursday morning (recess hour) because we were very much influenced by the previous night combat action movie shown on TV2. My platoon member consist of me-myself, Tarmizi, Iskandar, Uzi, Raymond and others (which I can’t remember the name). We were like the band of brothers. We would find ourselves some broken chairs that look like sub-machine guns to be installed to our so called made bunker.

And every break hours 10.00 am – 10.30 am, we will be sharing our lunch either at school canteen or at our bunker of course with fake machine guns nest on it covering our platoon. Tarmizi and Taufiq (they were brothers) always prepared to share their meals (home made burger) with me. Burger those days were only entitled to the rich family (My family couldn’t afford them). I do had an Indian friends at SKGM, but Indian community was really scant those days. They usually work at Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) and they lived nearby either near the train station or alongside the railway track.

Among my child friends, I always be the captain and I always lead. Those days we only can watch RTM channel (either TV1 or TV2). TV3 Transmission was really blurred and hard. And life as a child you could easily be induced with TV program. I remember after watching the previous night Malay drama about a police nailing thugs, we would re-enact the scene we watched during recess hour at the school yard. From standard one (it was 1 Chempaka or 1C beside the SKGM Surau) to standard four, I managed to be chosen as a class leader. Class assistant usually be selected among girls. The only class assistant which I remember till today named Kazimah. She was of course beautiful. She was my assistant at standard three at SKGM. Being a class leader you have to lead greeting the teacher whenever they entered the class. It was really honored to be a class leader when I was a child. Other than that, your job is to collect exercise books and send it to Bilik Guru. Of course that stopped when at standard four I was elected as a school prefect. I was more honored to be the school prefect because it was really hard to be chosen as one. You have to be good both in curriculum and academics to be a prefect.

Those days when I was at SKGM, my auntie was at standard five. Everyday my mother would gave me fifty cents for lunch. My auntie was better because my grandfather would gave her RM 1 for spending. I would persuade my auntie to her lunch money to me either ten cents or twenty cents. But my auntie would come to me and ask me to give that fifty cents and she would make a magic by changing that fifty cents to RM 1. I would stand and watch in awe as she made those magic. Of course I would be happy when I got the money because I now can buy a banjo (cost RM 1) that would be sold in front of the school every evening. My auntie name is Juliana and currently she works as a dental nurse in Kajang, Selangor.

I used to go to school by van (it was illegal by the road department because they are not registered). Those days at Gua Musang, it was hard to find legal transportation to school. There were no public transport whatsoever and there are no school bus offered or provided for children like us. I still remember when we had to re-route our way back due to the road department making some road blocks ahead.

At standard 4, we changed to a new built school at Sekolah Kebangsaan Sri Wangi (SKSW), Gua Musang. It was in front of the huge cave which we called Gua Katak (I never know the real name though). I happened to have the opportunity to explore it during tracking for SKSW boy scout. When we first launched the school song SKSW, I was very much impressed because it was made by our school music teacher. It was better than some current pop songs. Sri Wangi library is the first place where I learnt how to read books. If we had some tuition class in the afternoon, I would stayed at the school library to read. It is the place where I read about JFK that will be my future and long lasting idol.

I still remember the day (it was Thursday) when our arts teacher want us to build kites and represent it to school, I rushed back home that afternoon (my home was located at Taman Wangi) and phoned my father who was working at Kuala Krai. Kuala Krai was located about 100 kilometers from Gua Musang. That day was Thursday, and we were supposed to present our kites on the next Sunday (Kelantan school open from Sunday to Thursay).

Due to the long distance my father couldn’t make it because he already visit us last weekend Due to distance my father would visit us once a fortnight). I hung up the phone of course in somber mood. How can I make a kite, because I never made one. In that stub mood then I retire to sleep. When I woke up about 6.00 o’clock in the evening that same day, I saw my father was sitting at the back of the house with threadlike bamboo making a kite for me. It was a kite the type of a fish. Kelantanese would called it Wau Ikan. I only designed the decoration of it of course. It was yellow in color and after I present it next Sunday, our teacher hung it up at the School library. Of course I was very proud.

And when our teacher arranged a tour to Kota Bharu by some rented bus (it was two bus and a van) to an exhibition by a man called Zuilkifli (Zulkifli happens to be a young Malay who love to invent new things and unique gadgets at the middle of the 90’s), it was like a visit to Kuala Lumpur itself. It was really hard for us to be in Kota Bharu even though it is just 150 kilometers from Gua Musang. That is why I do encourage any teacher at any school who would like to make a tour to some place. It gives the students a new perspective to look upon and maybe the child maturity and complex mind might change to a better condition. I represented Sri Wangi for boy scouts to Sek. Keb. Paloh. It was really tough because Paloh was located at the heart of Kelantan. There was nothing there only palm oil plantation. But I do enjoy myself over there. We learn how to build up a tent and used that chemical mould to print something on the ground (for an example like a foot steps of a cow and a tire mark). I forgot that material called.

SKSW too is the place that I got my straight A’s in UPSR (those days it was 4A’s instead of 5). Thanks to all the teacher involved and responsible for my achievement. That year (1995), only 4 student’s got 4A. My good friend name Ijam got it to though no one ever thought that he will be getting it. There are stories about Ijam which I will tell you later. My headmasters at that time was Puan Zurita. Of course she was very proud of it that SKSW managed to be one of the best school at Gua Musang. But there’s still a long way to go. They (school) gave me a bicycle as a gift due to my good performance in UPSR. But during the presentation I was at Kajang (our family moved to Kajang because my mom got a new Job as a Health Educational Officer at Kajang). My grand father represent me during the ceremony. It was a le run bicycle and I do appreciate it so much though I never rode them because I gave it to my cousin who stayed at Gua Musang.
to be continue...

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