tHE yOUNG mAN iN mY hEART!!!!!!!!!!!! A group photo outside the great hall. The Blurr image of a carnation from his bouquet Another blurr image of a bright yellow rose, another bouquet for him The dates were not adjusted from the camera... IT was actually 20.08.2008...20082008
Congratulations and jubilations, goes the song that was sung in silent mode simply because the wordings went "mute".
Alas! Another university graduation, a third one in the family so far. The beautiful bouquets were bought by Zaza for this young man. For the moment he is the only young man in our family until Amir Harith grows up.
The registered mail arrived from UTM Skudai, Johore in the early morning of July 2008. I opened in haste to look for something important to give my instant attention. YES! The accommodation is to be booked early, so I thought. Reaching out for the phone, I started dialing the listed numbers found among the sheets of printed scribes. One after another, as I was told, all the campus accommodation seemed to be fully booked. Had I known, I would have asked a professor friend to book for us earlier on.
Never mind. There were hotels and resorts phone numbers enlisted as well. Going through as quickly as I could, as though racing against "time", I looked for the least distant ones from the campus. Calls were graciously responded. A couple of inquiries seemed alright, but for now the price is the "main cause". The nearest available one was that of Pulai Springs Resort, 5 kilometers away.
Frederick, the sales supervisor seemed very polite and courteous. A couple of intermittent calls followed. I was actually juggling between him and my daughter, Tasha who works in a semi-government. I was trying to book under the government rate which was slightly lower than any others.
The days that followed, ended with Fred (as I addressed him) paying the deposit for us. A few days later, my daughter Zaza reimbursed him. Such a charming person, I thought. Later, he sms(ed) me saying,
"Aunty, I have upgraded your executive apartment and have also chosen a pool view for you".
"Wow! Thank you to that".
It was Tuesday, the 19th of August 2008. We decided to take a slow drive for so many reasons, one of which was the petrol price hike and if I might add, another would be the cameras on the highways that belonged to the Royal Police and Road Transport authorities. The toll prepaid card lent by Tasha was supposed to have a balance of MR80.00.
As soon as we touched its first exit at Sungai Besi toll plaza, the reading was read...MR42.00 (net). Haha! Lucky or not so lucky, we have to drive on. Our first stop was Nilai R&R to get some coffee for the driver and some snacks for the co-driver.
Many R&Rs were passed. The Pagoh R&R exit was just perfect to fill our tummies with a late lunch. I had some white rice, raw mixed salad called "urap", egg curry and some "petai" to contra my "Estee Lauder's Pleasure" scent. A cup of hot coffee which was "thick and sweet", perfected my meal for the "time being".
By the time we read "Skudai, UTM, Pontian" signage, it was almost 4:00 p.m. Hafiz was deep in his sleep when we dialed his number. The deep, husky and slow-paced voice told no lies.
"Get ready with your over night clothes and your other stuffs", ordered the driver, chaperon and big sister.
"Okay, I will".
Another call went through. This time, it was obvious that he had ignored the order, went back to sleep and not getting ready at all.
"I can't go and put up the night there with you and mummy. My friends are coming to fetch their robes and I am meeting some of them from KL (Kuala Lumpur)".
The rest of the conversations were "unrecorded". But anyway, he got ready by the time we reached his hostel. The campus is even bigger than University Malaya campus that we pass through daily. It spread over a vast area and we just wondered why some "insensible" people would not send Hafiz's motor bike sooner.
After checking into the resort which was just enormous, spectacular and worth coming...Fred's sms arrived.
"Aunty, I am now working in the Dorsett Hotel, in Johore Baru and sorry for not able to meet you. Now I am in a meeting. I hope you like your apartment".
So, no meeting and getting acquainted with Fred at all?
That night, my niece Zarifah aka Apah, accompanied us to the dinner to a place quite miles or kilometers away called Taman Cempaka near Angsana, Johore Baru. No photos taken...it was all eating, eating, eating and talking, talking and talking. The beautiful pool view was not snapped at all.
Early morning of the 20th, on Wednesday, we got ready and had an early breakfast. Apah came to our rescue and showed us a short cut through to the campus and a safe parking close to the convocation hall. Up and up the steps we went, left, right and straight to the Grand Hall.
Parents were seated in the make-shift tents and waited for the announcement calling us, "the guests" to line up and walk into the grand hall. Since we were some what late, we just stood by the side entrance. Once they invited us "in", we found a small exit and maneuvered into the queue. Sounded like some uneducated persons, right? No further comments to this deeds. Ha, ha, ha!
The under graduates from the photography club were busy getting ready all the equipments for video and photograph shootings. They all seemed so well organized. No wonder Hafiz was so keen on joining the club when he was in the City Campus. He became the club's president then.
The procession took place almost on time. All the eight hundred diploma holders from the Kuala Lumpur City Campus were presented with their certificates by 10:20 a.m. It was a quick and well organized event indeed. The family photograph taking sessions were all done outside the grand hall.
By 1:30 p.m, after having our own photography session and lunch, we left the campus and headed home. This time I took the wheels since the previous day's driver was very sleepy.
Congratulations Hafiz. Well done for the Diploma in Mechatronichs. But try to do better in the Degree In Industrial Computers.