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.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Remembering the "A" Level college days. The 'ghosts' that haunt 51C...

Peace be upon you all. It's been three weeks since I last wrote anything about remembering the "A" level days, through the last article Remembering the "A" Level college days. The "scandal" with Ann, my dear sweet Ann.... Tonight I feel like remembering again. This has something to do with a prank me and my mates played on the juniors who were staying at our dorm 51C.

OK. This one happened sometime in the middle of 1989, after a year my batch, Batch 7 have studied in the PPP/ITM "A" Levels College at Damansara Utama. Hmm... whenever I think about our juniors Batch 8, I can't help recalling the number of pretty girls they have. But hey, this is not about the girls as that has already been touched in the article Remembering the "A" Level college days. The disco circuit of those days... and the girls , this is about the guys.

First, the change of 'guards'. As the juniors were about to enter college, our batch were told that there would be major reshuffles in the list of dormitory inhabitants. While most of the original 51C guys decided to move out and join other rooms, I decided to stick around. Apart from sentimental values, I was just too lazy to pack my things out. So there I was with Nash and Tonga being the original 51C guys who decided to stick around. Soon, the juniors came and about 15 or so settled in our room.

As usual in college, cliques were immediately formed as the popularity game continued. 51C was already a popular dorm when my batch first entered the fray. Now it continues to be popular with a new bunch of guys, the juniors who immediately invented nicknames and named their whole lot the "Brat Pack". OK, let me try to list the nicknames as far as I could remember. There was Ice, Wolf, Maverick.... hmm, I forgot the rest. But the ones I do remember when writing this seems to have their nicknames copied lock, stock and barrel from the then famous movie "Top Gun". Well, what do you expect?

Ah. Now I remember one thing. The juniors came in the during the mid-year holidays. All of my batch was actually on holiday but somehow I didn't feel like spending it at my native home in Muar and decided to stay on in the dorm. Yes, that is how I started to get along with the juniors. In fact during the first few days they came, the lot went around Kuala Lumpur city centre with me showing the way and decided to drop by Central Market. That's when we decided to make military-like pendants with our nicknames engraved on it. Yes, I remember that now. And we continued to wear the pendants for some time. This lead to many of the 400-plus Batch 8 guys and girls taking me as the leader of "Brat Pack".

Now, I'm not sure if that was a compliment or an insult. Seeing that the "Brat Pack" were considered as popular guys coming from the middle and upper-class society of Klang Valley, it could be seen as a compliment. Then again I was the senior and already popular enough on my own. When I think of that (yep, the pride likes to creep in), saying that I was the leader of a bunch of city-folk juniors who were mainly still wet behind the ears felt like an insult.

Never mind, it soon came around how the juniors were actually brats and some of the seniors thought let's make them grew up. It happened that as normal in any college, boarding school or even anywhere with dorms where youngsters stay out of the comfort of their own homes, ghosts stories are abound and we decided to add some more. A number of seniors (my batch that is) from different dorms decided to collaborate for the 'project'. The main leader was myself followed by Nash and Tonga, the original 51C guys.

So one night it started. I think it was only about 11pm or so when the lights went out. But I really can't remember this. Did the lights went out because we managed to create a local blackout or was it the dorm regulation that says the lights must be turned off after a certain time at night. Hmm... if I remembered correctly, a few days before that we started feeding the juniors every night with ghost stories said to have happened at the college, particularly in 51C. So they started getting feverish when suddenly they could smell the kemenyan (a type on incense) followed by a strong sweet smell in the air.

Now, Malay ghosts stories are full of instances where one can smell the kemenyan followed by a strong sweet smell. What happened was the minute the signal was given, Nash went to a corner of the room (it was dark then I think) and subtly started burning a small piece of kemenyan before spraying the room with perfume, actually one of those expensive branded ones. While that happened me and Tonga were supposed to go like "O'oo... its happening again!" while pretending to show slight fear in our eyes. Then we started calming the juniors. For some were starting to panic, being mummy's boys and such who have never stayed outside the safety of their own homes.

Then strange noises started coming down from the roof. For the record, our dorm is on the 3rd floor, the top floor of a row of shophouses. The juniors started to huddle together. Now comes the next stage of the act...

I can't remember Nash and Azmil's roles at this point. I think they were around to induce more fear into the juniors while pretending to help calm them down hehe! As for me, it's time to play the hero. "We can't go on like this!" I said. "It's time to fight". Hey, wait a minute. I seriously can't remember if all this happened in the dark or was there light. But I do know there's enough light at least from outside for us to be able to see each other's expression, hehe!

Anyway there I was climbing up to the roof using the escape door on the ceiling while the others prayed for my 'safety', hehe! Some wanted to follow me to 'fight' alongside but no, I told them. It's too dangerous. Something bad could happen to you. Besides I've done this before, hehe!

So I climbed up. Once clear from their view, I started laughing albeit while controlling it from becoming loud. For here on top of the roof, there were no fewer than 10 guys from my batch, from different dorms working their trade. Some were tapping the roof with sticks, some scratching it with bricks. If you were there, I'll bet you'd laugh your stomachs out. While down inside the dorm, the juniors were really scared.

Then I started making noises as if a fight was in action. Once in a while I shouted "Allahuakbar! (God is great) and such implying that I was using 'religious powers' to fight the ghosts, hehe! And soon the disturbances from up the roof abated as I went down feigning a blank face to show that I just got away from a very terrible ordeal up there.

"Ah! The ghosts were just too strong!" I told the juniors. "I almost didn't make it!" as some showed concern by trying to comfort me. The thing is they took it hook, line and sinker... except for one or two who realised what was going on but decided to play along.

I took my place among the huddled lot. Soon the noises from up the roof started coming again. That's when me, Nash and Tonga decided to sit together, only the three of us for our special ritual. "It looks like we have no choice but to concentrate our powers to drive the spirits away!" we told the juniors. And this only us can do. You juniors keep on reading the Quran and Yasin ( a verse from the Quran), we told them while trying to fight the sniggers...

My God, it was a really funny sight as half the juniors don't even know how to read the Quran as they were mainly very Western educated kids, brought up in posh neighbourhoods with not much Islamic education. God knows how hard we tried to stop ourselves from laughing. Anyway, our ritual finally 'calmed things' down, hehe. After a while we started going to sleep.

The story soon spread out among the juniors (and seniors too) of what had transpired. Some of the juniors of 51C were even thinking of changing rooms. Some wanted to complain to the college authorities because the room was haunted. Who knows when the spirits will attack again? For us seniors, something must be done quickly before the authorities found out what has actually happened.

A plan was devised. Our mate Derrick from another room was given the role of the senior who knows how to clear ghosts from a premise. He soon came knocking at our doors and offered his help wearing a long robe complete with the right headgear to make him look very religious hehe! Suffice to say the juniors started pouring their hearts out...

As the usual practice with actual religious men in such matters, Derrick asked for a glass of water and started reciting something before blowing into the glass. He then asked the juniors to throw the water out. With that, there was no more incidents of ghosts disturbing 51C. Life went on as usual without complaints. It took more than a month or so before the juniors realised what has actually happened.

p/s: Writing this piece made me remember an unofficial orientation session made by me and a few other mates on another group of juniors, the BTU (British Top University) boys. I think I will touch on this in my next article on remembering the "A" Level days before closing the whole series with what happened in my 7th trial at the student court. Good night! :]


Unknown said...

i dont remember this ! :-)

Radzi Sapiee said...

Ya ke? Habis tu hang jadi lebai takkan tak ingat kot? Hehe...