Saturday, February 5, 2011

To Sir With Love II

Yours truly, Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Besi headgirl and the tallest in class (even amongst the boys!). There were only 11 of us girls in Std 6A, 1966. The 4th girl from right is Hamidah (story here), my best buddy in school.

Seated 4th from right is Cikgu Din, our class teacher whilst seated on extreme right is Yusof Ahmad, the headboy, who eventually went to Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak (SDAR), Tanjung Malim.

Those long-ago days, boys wore shorts throughout primary school and prefects only donned pants on special occasions. Obviously, taking class pictures wasn't special enough.. :-D
Cikgu Din and his erstwhile pupil, 45 years on..

Tesco Damansara adjacent to The Curve is unfamiliar territory for I rarely venture out this far, my usual haunt being One Utama.

I was in Tesco only because I had learned that they open early (at 8 am) and close late (at 1 am) during the current holidays, and that they have two-tier shoe racks on sale, at RM8.88 as opposed to the usual price of RM13.90.

Considering that our family of four have more than 70 pairs of footwear between us, of which 7 are mine and 5 are Pak Abu's (why do these daughters of mine buy shoes like there's no tomorrow?), those stackable racks would definitely come in handy.

So there I was, deftly negotiating the aisles of Tesco pushing a still-empty shopping cart, with annoyingly wobbly wheels too, when the mobile rang.

What a pleasant surprise it was to hear the bubbly voice, with its charming Terengganu accent, at the other end of the line. It was Cikgu Samsudin Jusoh, known to all and sundry as Cikgu Din, my much-loved Primary One school teacher!

Cikgu Din and I renewed our acquaintance in March last year after a 44-year hiatus, at a very memorable school reunion held in Bukit Besi, Terengganu, where I was born and raised.

He was in town visiting his children and grandkids and had wanted to drop by our place before leaving for Dungun, where he lives, later in the day. Naturally, I was only too happy to have him and his family.

Cikgu Din, now in his 70s and rather frail physically (but very alert mentally), was much more than just a teacher. He was my beacon, my guiding light, my inspiration.

Even at such a tender age, I knew love when I saw one; I had loved him like a father, and he had reciprocated with absolute kindness.

I knew he had a soft spot for this gangly, fatherless girl he had taught from Standard One to Standard Six. He was steady and firm but never harsh, and was always full of advice and encouragement.

His ears were the first to hear of my aspiration to become a journalist. I must have been 12 then, in the final year of primary school, about to embark on yet another of life's journeys; the secondary school life.

He knew me as a voracious reader who loved writing and English and poetry, thus roped me in with clockwork regularity for school plays and debates.

He was my pillar of strength, who told me in no uncertain terms that I would succeed in my chosen vocation. It was those very words that had helped instil self-confidence that eventually shaped my future.

I had carried Cikgu Din in my heart throughout the years, always wondering if I would ever see him again. My feelings had never wavered, my affection intact.

And now, in the autumn of my life, we are reunited. Each time I kiss those withered old hands, I feel like a daughter lucky and blessed; Thank you God for bringing him back into my life....


mamasita said... made me a bit like a cry baby this morning.
The posting is so touching that I could feel the bond between you and Cikgu Din.
You are so lucky..Cikgu Standard 1 pun masih in touch with's a very rare opportunity for anyone..
May Cikgu Din be blessed with continuous good health to be your beacon and guiding light for as long as possible..Ameen.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

mamasita - i teared a bit too as i write this..

mekyam said...

this is so beautiful... i teared up reading it too.

DR Bubbles said...

Puan Puteri,

Bak kata Pak Harfan, Cikgu Din embodied what he told Pak Zul in Laskar Pelangi's film,

"Pendidikan itu bukan sekadar pelengkap kurikulum, ia mesti datang dari hati,".

Aida Marie Mohamad said...

Choked up reading this.

Not many of us are as lucky as you to have a Cigku Din in their lives.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
You and your Cikgu Din....pagi-pagi dah buat orang sedih tau! purrr....meow!

ninotaziz said...

Dear Kak Kama,
How lovely and nostalgic to read this. Favourite teachers are one in a million and it is a rare love and bond to share (sob!sob!)

Mrs Khaw, my dearest English teacher, wherever you are - I love you too!

Kama At-Tarawis said...

mekyam, Is, aida, cat,ninot - i am indeed very lucky to have been such blessed. cikgu din epitomises a teacher in its truest sense..

and i'm not alone. evwen among my former classmates, when asked which teacher had impacted on them most, rata2 the answer was cikgu din. he must hv done something really right..

Anonymous said...

Now that I see the 1966 picture I can recall Cikgu Din which brings to mind Cikgu Loh the Head Master. Don't know if he remembers me still. Would love to get in touch with him.
Mohd Som

Kama At-Tarawis said...

uncle som - i'll be in dungun 1st may, insyaallah, for the secondary school reunion. intend to visit cikgu din too. i'll ask him abt cikgu abdullah, mungkin dia tahu the latest ...

AWANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AWANG said...

Cikgu Din?

Shamsuddin Bin Jusoh...beliau merupakan sepupu kepada datuk awang (pangkat datuk sepupu kepada awang a.ka. pangkat tokki sepupu)

...tak sangka plak beliau tu cikgu kepada kak kama, nampaknya kak kama sayang sunggoh ke cikgu ding ni...ambe panggil dia tokki ding.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

awang weh - memang sayang sungguh..