This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My brief take on Kajang... And some thoughts including that of my bike which suddenly came out!

OK... The current storytelling mood on Pulau Besar which follows the continuation of the journey to Negeri Sembilan is actually a break from the storytelling on my 'A' Level college days which started with the article Remembering the "A" level college days some 20 years ago! Just to get the juices flowing... published more than a month ago. Then again I'm prone to just shift my storytelling to somewhere else without warning. So here is another break... Or an interlude if you may call it so...

This is a picture of the town of Kajang taken from on top of a bridge across the railway tracks. The skyline have changed much since the town became famous for its rather tasty satay decades ago. If then, the town consist of about 3-4 rows of shophouses, now it's almost becoming a metropolitan of it's own... Why, it sits among the less than 5 cities and towns or so in Malaysia which have it's own ring road to disperse the major traffic plaguing its boundaries!

For information, my Malaysian identity card hails me as originating from Kajang... My father who used to work in Kuala Lumpur bought a house there in 1983 and since 1987 I've used the place as my official place of residence as shown in the identity card althought I've barely stayed there, having been born in Muar and raised in the state of Johor before continuing my studies in Kuala Lumpur and then flying overseas to England.

Now, I spent most of my time staying at my auntie's place in Ampang, that is if I'm not travelling all over the Peninsular. However these days, I tend to take a few days respite to be left alone at the Kajang house...

For the record, since my dad became a pensioner having completed his term of work in Kuala Lumpur about 10 years ago, he returned to stay in Muar, where my mother's side of the family hailed from. And thus once in a while only would dad and mum drop by at Kajang. Most of the time it is empty and whenever I feel like wanting to have my own private time resting and languishing as and when I feel like it without being disturbed, I would go there and stay to my heart's content.

Last week, I was in Kajang again. Except there's a big difference this time. I came with my loved big bike which I haven't used for the last 5 years!

You see, the bike had a major break down sometime between mid 2003 till the end or so. I haven't got the money to fix it and thus had to leave it behind where it broke down... In the village of Janda Baik up in the jungle and the mountains of the main range of Banjaran Titiwangsa, the area which became my unofficial place of residence from 2002 till 2005... When I'm in the midst of some heavy soul-searching and practically lived like a bum, a madman even!

Since my bike broke down, I had to rely on public transport most of the time. As I was in the midst of heavy soul-searching which me made travel a lot all over the Peninsular including to places unaccesible by any public transport, I became used to walking for miles on end without stopping and thus had developed a stamina which could rival my youthful days in school as a serious rugby player!

Now, I bought the big bike, a 535cc Yamaha Virago in 1997. Since I could practically go anywhere by bike including to places unaccesible to cars or any four-wheeled transport, I have become too lazy to walk. Thus I remember being so exhausted and famished whenever I had to walk a bit to places which I couldn't get into by bike!

The good thing is, the years of having to walk for miles have toughen me up at least stamina-wise. While I'm happy that I finally got my bike working again, I'm worried that I might lose the wonderful stamina if I got too attached to my bike again! Besides the petrol is much more expensive nowadays, almost twice the price I had to pay before the bike broke down...

Oh, by the way... It should have been repaired since last year as I had the money to fix it then. The problem is a friend who promised to get it back to form, a friend whom I gave the chance as he is a part-time local mechanic in Janda Baik failed to deliver. Not only that, he used to money for his own business while the bike was left to languish at his place to rot so much so that many parts were stolen there and I almost gave up the idea of seeing it up and running again for good! That is until I got the right encouragement from some friends while this particular part-time mechanic friend finally returned my money back... So 2 months ago I rented a lorry and took the bike down to Rawang where I found a nice Malay big bike workshop to do the job.

Two weeks ago I finally got the call that it was fixed. On Tuesday I took the bike from Rawang to Ampang and the next day did whatever was needed to put it officially back on the road... That is getting the necessary check-up to get it certified fit enough to run again after 5 years out of action and 7 years without a road-tax (yes... The last road tax expired in September 2001!), having the insurance covered and finally getting a new road-tax.

Thank God, the whole process was dully completed. And on Thursday, I finally brought it back to Kajang after more than 5 years!

As I'm afraid that I might lose my current walking stamina if I relied too much on the bike, I promised to walk a lot in between rides whenever possible. So on Friday, after the congregational noon prayers at the main mosque, I parked the bike just outside the southern fringes of the town centre and decided to do some walking. And thus I got to the far western side of town and felt like taking the first 3 pictures above.

The last picture here is actually taken on the way back to where my bike was parked at. Since I have poured out so much about my bike (honest, I actually just wanted to share these pictures of Kajang when the thoughts about the bike came out just like that!), let me put a picture of it taken last week ya! Here it is...

For more pictures of it, have a look at the article Yahoo, eh... Alhamdulillah... Moto beso aku boleh jalan dah! in the Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU . There, I'm finally satisfied for the night! Oh, almost forgot... I wanted to post some pictures of Janda Baik here before I call it a day. Have a look later! :]

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