Monday, June 13, 2011


I would have walked or even crawled from Pasir Mas, Kelantan to Kuala Lumpur if I had known that WA Hulaimi aka Awang Goneng of Growing Up In Trengganu (GUIT) fame would mention me in his latest book A Map of Terengganu (AMoT). The ocassion then was the book signing ceremony of AMoT by the author which I had to miss. In AMoT I was mentioned not just once but TWICE. The first mention was in his introduction as a word of thanks together with several other prominent people who had in some way or other contributed to AMoT, and later on page 56 under the topic of A Long Way From the Shore.
Awang Goneng had personally invited me to attend the first signing session at RA Galeri at Solaris Bangsar which was open to invited guests and his close relatives only. The occasion was scheduled on 30th April 2011. Oh dear, I just returned to Pasir Mas from KL after my Umrah and the next trip to KL was only scheduled for end of May together with my wife. There was no way for a poor pensioner like me to make an unscheduled trip to KL. So I had to pass the occasion as well as the next signing occasion at Borders on May 8.
Fortunately for me, my lamenting of helplessness on Facebook and blog post by Awang Goneng in his Kecek-Kecek to get a signed copy of AMoT caught the sight of another blogger friend Fathil who goes by the blog name of Oldstock in his blog Just Observations. Fathil not only volunteered to get me a copy but to get it signed by Awang Goneng at the next signing ceremony at Borders!
When Fathil approached Awang Goneng to get the book signed for me, the author was surprised as he thought I had my copy signed already. I guess in the frenzy of his book signings, he lost track of all who came to him.
With the AMoT signed, Fathil sent me an SMS inquiring how to deliver the book to me to which I told him to keep the book till I meet him in KL when I will be visiting my daughter at the end of May 2011. Unfortunately it was only in 6th June that I was able to go to KL as I had to bring along my paintings for delivery to my children as well as a long overdue painting for Pak Pin, the prolific Kelantanese blogger residing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
While establishing contact with Fathil to arrange for a meeting, he decided to come over to my daughters place at Taman Amanputra in Puchong as he consider it as not far from his place in Bukit Jalil. Well that was very convenient for me as I had no wheels to go out during the day time to meet him in KL. The only way out was to use the bus and meet up in KL somewhere near Central Market where the bus stop is. That will mean an inconvenience for Fathil since he will have to be away from work. So he decided to come to Amanputra after Isyak.

This is Fathil aka Oldstock though he isn't that old compared to Pak Zawi. The grandchildren didn't want to be left out whenever the camera is taken out.

Fathil came over at around 10 PM and it wasn't really difficult for him to find the house even without the help of a GPS which is really a necessity in a city like KL. Over a drink and some fried kerepok, Fathil took out the A Map of Terengganu from his small backpack. He surprised me by telling me that my name was mentioned twice in the book which almost took the wind out of me. I didn't know that, I told him.

The signed copy by the author Wan Ahmad Hulaimi.

Can you see the name Pak Zawi in there?

I had promised Awang Goneng that I would be writing about the games we played using the beluru seed which he called buah gomok or buah ipir in Terengganu. Unfortunately that promise was not kept by me as my thirst for writing anything had taken a nose dive during that time and any postings made during that period was half hearted at the most.
Anyway we played almost the same way as mentioned by Awang Goneng under the chapter of The Game of Gomok on page 57 to 61 by using the toe to project the beluru seed towards a target. The only difference was the target which in my case was another beluru seed stuck sideway with the broadside facing the player. This game can only be played on smooth earthen floor which was then available around most houses in Kampong Kangkong, Pasir Mas where I grew up with my maternal grand parents as a child.
The other game we played using the beluru seed was spinning the seed which is suspended on a loop of string inserted via three holes with two holes on one side and only one hole on the other side. The momentum created not quite unlike the yo-yo will allow the player to spin the seed perpetually. I guess the description of this game can only be done by an expert story teller the like of Awang Goneng with his mastery of the English language.
After an hour of getting to know each other more, Fathil took leave and refused to accept any payment for AMoT. For that I will owe him a painting as he had purchased a painting from me before. Fathil, I will personally deliver the painting to your home in Johor as another visit to my adopted state of Johor where I had worked for 7 years is long overdue. Fathil will be moving home to Johor soon as he has a job offer as a civil engineer back home closer to his family. The best of luck to you with your new job and please enjoy the company of your family.
Fathil made a post about meeting me at his site. Please read it here.
All these acts by these two dear friends as well as many others that I didn't mention, really humbled me. Such friendship will always be cherished.

Pak Zawi enjoying AMoT while the grand children enjoyed being photographed while the eldest Lis enjoyed making faces.


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pak Zawi,
That was so sweet of Oldstock. I've been his silent reader and was surprised to learn he was at Aunty Zen's son's wedding too. Would have liked to make his acquaitance as I had with Dr Sam (another one I read silently) at the same event. It's amazing how relationships developed in blogosphere become real in the physical world. purrr...meow!

Pat said...

Yes, Zawi, you're right: our blog friendships are something special :)

And how lovely to be mentioned in Wan Hulaimi's book! I used to read him as an undergraduate, and I'm sure that if I actually met him one day, I'd be too shy and star-struck to say hello. He's an amazing writer.

Pak Zawi said...

It is great if we could develop virtual friendship to real friendship as through our posts and comments we could perceive each others sincerity before meeting up. What Oldstock did was beyond what i would expect of a friend who have yet to meet.
Who knows you too could be our guest in pasir mas?

Pak Zawi said...

Sincerely I never expect AG to mention me though we have met a couple of times but I doubt that what I have contributed to AMoT was special enough to be worthy of mention in his book.
AG and Kak teh are down to earth people. Don't worry about being star struck as they will approach you like their long lost sister upon meeting them.

Temuk said...

Pak Zawi
Lupa, dlm entri "Al-Manar" yg mana, saya ada komen, Awang Goneng bagaikan benih yg baik, jatuh ke laut pun menjadi pulau (analogi dari orang yg sukakan pokok!)I am a silent reader of his blog & am yet to get a copy of his AMoT. He is really good and I'm looking forward to reading AMoT. Salam bahagia.

Pak Zawi said...

He is no ordinary man as he is a graduate of Oxford. To be able to survive in London speaks volume of this man. A great writer with his own style.
Well it maybe too late to get a signed copy but if you ever go to London just bring a book along as your chances of meeting him is just a phone call away.

Robyn said...

Hello Pak Zawi, There seems to be no 'contact' button on your blog. I'm a writer based in Penang and I'd like to be in contact with you abt Kelantan. I'm on Facebook (are you?) -- could you message me there, or via my email, which is found on my blog. Many thanks,

Robyn said...

Ah, perhaps I should leave my blog address:

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Abang Zawi, your grandchildren are adorable! Awang Goneng and Oldstock are both awesome writers and so are you. All of you write about things that matter to other people and that invites discussion and provokes thought, and ultimately, this is what creates a blog following.

Pak Zawi said...

I have responded via the comment section of your blog. I am sorry for the late response as I never check the older blog posts as i presume there wont be any new comment.

Pak Zawi said...

Ee Lynn,
The grandchildren are definitely adorable. I am flattered by your praises. Bila nak singgah KB?