Monday 14 January 2008

A letter to my sayang mamas 2

Hello all,

Awang Goneng will be at MPH Midvalley on 20th January 3-4pm for a booksigning session.

Hope to see all of you there.


We are now in Penang where AG is giving a talk on his book at USM on 17th December (ooops- its January!!) at 9am (while yours truly will be talking about what she does for a living.)


My dearest ones,

It has been a while since I last wrote as we do not have internet access all the time. Daddy and I are now familiar faces at the internet café in front of the KLCC surau after we’ve had a spot of breakfast at Delifrance. We pay RM8.00 an hour, which is a bit steep, but it is worth it because the place is clean and most important of all, we do not get people standing right behind us reading our emails!

I am now back at Pak Ajie’s after sending Daddy off at the UKM station heading for Gombak. Everyone is fast asleep. Tok must be so tired as she had had a long day today. We all trooped off for breakfast at Taman Warisan and Tok enjoyed a a bowl of mee curry which was actually someone else’s. She forgot that she had ordered nasi lemak. That is Tok. But it is amazing that there are certain things that she doesn’t forget. She was telling Hilman on his first day at school, that I actually cried and kept running out of the classroom on my first day at school! And that must have been some ^%$#@ years ago!

Tonight I am sharing Hilman’s and Iman’s room and watching them sleep so peacefully, I thank Allah that they are safe and sound surrounded by their loved ones. I hope and pray that five year old Nini who went missing a few days ago, is also sleeping safe and sound and being cared by someone who will not harm her but will return her soon to her parents. Yes, not another one, I hear you say.

It is every parents’ nightmare and this happened not long after poor Nurin Jazlin was found in such a sorry state after being abducted for nearly a month. There are some very unsavoury characters around and it is sad that we have to bring up children to be suspicious of people.

When all of you were small, I used to be so paranoid – I believe I am still so. I’d hold your hands so tight that it hurt. I used to sew our phone number inside your clothes, just in case. Let us pray that Ninie will be returned to her anxious parents, soon. Real soon.

It has been more than a month since we said goodbye at Heathrow and I remember thinking “It is going to be a long two months away from all of you!”

If truth be told, I really don’t know where time went. The Singapore book launch seems like a year ago and we’ve been whizzing up and down the country – all GUiT related trips. So far, we’ve been back to Trengganu twice and I must admit I have fallen in love with the place AND the people.

Remember I told you that after the booksigning in Kuala Terengganu, we were invited back by the Chief Minister of Terengganu. He suggested a wonderful and interesting idea – which materialised into an event called Sembang-sembang Awang Goneng. And that happened on 7th January at 3 pm at the Kelab Warisan on Pulau Duyong.

For the event, your cousin Mi and his wife Na bought Daddy a silk batik shirt. I must say I have never seen Daddy in a batik shirt and there’s always a first. I was presented with a similar piece of material which I sent to Mak Su’s tailor who made a baju kurung for me, fit for the occasion. Daddy was expecting about 50 people to turn up – instead, when we entered the grand hall, there were about 300 people , mostly pensioners and people old enough to remember events, people mentioned in GuiT. There was a big picture of Daddy on the screen and that was enough to give him a heart attack! Daddy talked for quite a bit, remembering his growing up days in Kuala Trengganu but when he spoke about the need to keep the people, the soul of the city, in the city, to grow with the development, he got a bit emotional and couldn’t speak for a while. I have never seen him like that, but then again, he had never been invited by the state to speak about his hometown. After the talk, the MB invited people to sembang-sembang, and exchange stories on Trengganu, but quite a few people stood up to speak about their concerns. A few spoke about the need for local writers to be recognised. Yes, I do agree with that.

Before the food arrived at our table, Daddy was surrounded by people carrying GUiT, courtesy of the state government. I don’t know how he managed to stand and sign all copies – but that he did, while answering lots of questions and posing for photographs.

Read about it here.

Earlier in the morning, he gave a talk at Universiti Darul Iman and considering students had classes to attend, many turned up and the hall was ¾ full. Suffice to say, Daddy is really enjoying doing the university rounds, speaking about creative writing, blogging and journalism.

We met a lot of people this time, his ex-classmates organised a reunion and one former teacher, his English teacher, in fact, turned up. The next day, his maths teacher came all the way from Ipoh after reading his book. If my maths teacher were to turn up searching for me, I’d run miles in the opposite direction!

Anyway, the stay in Trengganu was great. We stayed an extra day at Primula because I fancied
a walk along the beach after subuh. Every night I’d look out of the balcony – the south china sea right at our doorsteps! We could hear the roar of the waves lapping the beach…its mesmerising, fascinating but scary. I was in awe of nature , this creation of God. So, one morning, we decided to take a walk along the beach, and test the water, so to speak.

But, let me tell you something. A thing of beauty can also be dangerous.

Some very interesting people came to meet Daddy and one of them was French lady who had made Pulau Duyong her home. I remember visiting her in the 70’s. I just couldn’t reconcile the fact that we have all decided to adopt a foreign land but when asked where is home?, we had the same answer: wherever we happen to be at that time. I remember pencilling in “Going home “ in my diary on 2nd December. And I am home now. And when we meet again, that is home too for that is where you all are.

Daddy is doing more booktalks at universities in Penang and two more in Selangor. He is really enjoying it. He seems to be in his elements talking about writing. Anyway, Pak Su, Mak Su and I took him to an Indian barber yesterday. I was worried that they’d do a real goneng on him, so we briefed the barber carefully. We looked through Bollywood magazines on the rack, no, not the shahruh khan look, nor the kapoor brothers. Pak Su helpfully said: Yul Bryner!

Well, this will be all for now and I don’t know when I can get my hands on a computer with internet connections again. Will call. Missing you all lots but take this time to be together, look after each other and be friends, not just brothers and sisters. And of course don’t forget Tabby, Gizmo, Kissinger, Moaner and Snowbell. They are your siblings and friends too. Here, Daddy keeps feeding stray cats.

Oh yes, there will be a booksigning at MPH Midvalley on 20th Jan. 3-4 pm. Come lah…..hehe!

Lots of love,



LifeBloom said...

Salam K Teh

InsyaAllah be seeing you at MPH Midvalley!

Iskandar Syah Ismail aka DR Bubbles said...

Dear Sayangmamas,

Please look after my bride, Snowbella while I am looking after my 'mak mertua' (your mom) here.

For the sake of snowbella, I have reduce your mom's anxiety by driving the old van rather carefully this time when I become her supir here .No more 'extra brakes" from your mom this time.

menantu favorite kakteh,

DR Bubbles

ummisara said...

kak teh,

c u there! insyallah

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh, I just happened to click your blog today 'cos I needed to get in touch with some homey comforts. Coming to your blog is like snuggling under a warm blanket on a cold day. The day is cold because Nini is still missing. But my heart is wamr reading about your revisiting of Awang Goneng's roots. I saw you both on a morning tlak show, can't remember which channel, that showed you both visiting the old family home of Awang Goneng. Sedih tenguk rumah tu dah tak ada penghuni Kak Teh. Your Awang Goneng seemed so happy to be there, the wistful look that he had whenever he explained tresured memories of the past. My, how life has changed in 'Ganu. I hope it will never lose it's character, just as your AG hopes. How come could only see Mrs AG's behind only? Anyway, I never knew how wonderful writing a best seller could be in Malaysia. Is this a whole new breed of literary appeciation for blooks. You are setting a healthy trend here in blogosphere, both of you. As I partake of your feel good factor, I wish you all the best that life has to offer. Enjoy the fruits of your labour Kak Teh. You both deserve it. Let's pray that Nini will be found soon.

elisataufik said...

what a lovely letter!! I can imagine all the places you described.. makes me miss KT :)
oops, 'Bandaraya KT' now.
I can't wait to read GUiT (tapi entah bila lah nak dapat). I hope to read it before I make a trip back there this summer (Insya-Allah)

Stay safe, stay cool! :D

KakNi said...

Something like honey moon ya Kak Teh, jalan2 tepi beach....

OOD said...

Me too! Yes, again, hehe..

anedra said...

I cant get over the batik shirt! Frame tau gambar tu!!

zulomar said...

Kak Teh,

Terengganu is a nice place to visit & stay (for myself at least) with the beautiful beaches, islands and also Tasik Kenyir. However, we in Malaysia should improve on the cleanliness of public places & need to inculcate into our children & future generations how precious are our blessed lands. It's our responsibility.

On heritage preservation (& development which benefits the locals as well as tourists), I couldn't agree more with you, AG and those that gave the opinion at the Pulau Duyong function.

Well said.


Jane Sunshine said...

If I don't pop, I will be there on the 20th. I must be the only person left who hasn't heard AG reading.

Mama Rock said...

kak teh...where are you now? surely hard to keep track of you unless you are in klcc of course :)
hope to see both of you at mph - and before you go, give me a tinkle for a round of coffee, and if time permits, another round of prawn mee

Anonymous said...

Kak teh
Please inform me when the readings over in Penang ya...

Anonymous said...

Aik, makan breakfast kat Delifrance? Mana aci ni???

ManaL said...

kak teh,

I reckon he wrote with all his heart and emotion, and to be overwhelmed like that was not a strange sight for those who have read through GUiT.

Part tulis atas pasir pantai is soooo jiwang!!!!! u 2 must felt like travelling back in time to the 70s era ke? But i'd do the same too hehe....

And to think that u managed to be in msia during its 50 year celebration was amazing. It was like almost a year since u made that wish upon responding my comment....awesome innit?

Can AG still find some spots around his kampung area that remain unchanged for over 30 years or so?

Faten Rafie said...

wish I had known about the reading @ USM Penang earlier :(

Insyaallah next time.

J.T. said...

Hi Kak Teh

I love your cats' names. Does your Kissinger look like the human Kissinger???? :D (silly me)

Sounds like your are having a blast of a time back home (in Malaysia).

Oh! and that internet cafe ... sometimes it is just worth paying a certain price for privacy and convenience.

All the best and hope you have a wonderful time while you are there.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Kak Teh
As usual, a piece written from the heart. I've got tears in my eyes reading this piece and the one before this. said...

KAK TEH!!!! Ish, sayang I missed the chance to meet Kak Teh. Kalau Kak Teh datang Penang lagi, give us a chance to belanja Kak Teh lah. Banyak peminat kat Penang nak jumpa Kak Teh tau...

Nowadays I dah patah kaki sebab hubby new job, no annual leave. Kalau tidak, I mesti dah pergi KL to catch Kak Teh.

Whatever it is, enjoy Malaysia puas-puas ya...

ikanbilis said...

Kak Teh!

Mak Teh!!!

its been too long since i get my bump here so i got outdated and realizing you were in penang, i missed the whole book show!


happy new year though!

Anonymous said...

so sorry that i cant make it to mph today, i had a meeting. yes a meeting on a sunday.

hope sir will be able to visit our campus. will try to catch him there.


Anonymous said...

akum.. salam dari bumi dublin, ireland.. jemput2 la lawat my blog. :)

HCI said...

Ala Kak Teh,

I baru nak gi Penang this weekend, and missed him there. Ni dok ronda kat universiti tak nak mai ke Klate ke?

mad redo1 said...

coming out soon:

"Kak Teh's GUiT Travelogue - a Pictorial Diary of a Man Coming Home"


KC said...

kak teh, kak teh , kak teh!

i missed this entry and as a result i missed meeting Awang Goneng in person and didn't get my book signed!!!! :(



Anonymous said...

i'm of journalism student at studio penggambaran,USM..terima kasih sebab sudi berkongsi ilmu dan pengalaman dengan kami..sekarang saya sedang khusyukkk membaca GUiT..bak kata encik awang goneng,"sangatt mengasyikkan.."..=)

Karim Omar said...

Here is the link to AG's talk at last Sunday's book signing at MPH.

Apologise for the popping up watermark - will try to rectify it. Recorded in MPEG2 and had to convert to MPEG4 - as youtube limits file size.

latape said...

hello kak teh...I am currently doing a research on blogs in Malaysia...and would love to gain input from it possible if we can communicate via e-mail add is
do hope 2 hear from u soon..

Anak Mami said...

salam kak teh..

takpa, I know you are busy.. and sorry I had to leave early.. little d dok buat perangai..

my email add :

thanks kak teh..

madame blossom said...

hi kak teh,

guess what.. in Singapore, I went to Kino at Takashimaya - to look for the book, only to be told that it's sold out!

I'll be trying to get the book somewhere else.

Alhamdulillah on the success and congrats!

Anonymous said...

hi kak, i am so happy that abg wan's book is winning many hearts back in malaysia..send my salam to him and i'll continue doing good doa for both of you and for many more bigger successes to come.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Aiyo! I didn't know you were in Penang! Yeeeeee...Geram...USM is only about 5 minutes away from me...Yeeeee...

And I missed the chance to meet you...


*Cubit self*

Anonymous said...

Alice was not here with you in M'sia, but she was here on your post and has always been here to rejoice with you.

Berisman said...

Kak Teh,
I am glad you are having a lot of fun with awang Goneng here.Btw,i love the writing on the beach.Awang Gonerng was here(so was Kak Teh)-very romantic;-)

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Lat when he was talking about his books. Well done to AG!!! He deserves it all.

Ordinary Superhero said...

The scribble on the sand....ahh so romantic and original.