Monday, March 21, 2011

Fly Away Zack!

The five sisters. (Front from left) - Ana, Ani, Izah. (Back) - Idah and Kama. (Not in picture) - Liza (residing in the US for the last 20 years). Thank God we have managed to age gracefully..

(From left) - Ana, Idah, Izah, Kama. Ana lectures in UiTM, Idah manages a unit trust fund portfolio, Izah is a retired counselor while Kama is in public relations.

The happy couple - Zack & Zetty.

Father & son - Hisham (left) & Zack (right).


My sister Idah, whom I rarely see these days since she moved far across town last year - from Taman Tun Dr Ismail in KL to Kayangan Heights in Shah Alam - spent the recent Saturday afternoon with yours truly, reminiscing about the twists and turns in our respective lives.

Idah looks set to become a more constant feature in my life once again now that her son Zack has finally untied the apron strings by returning to Taman Tun to raise his two young ones on his own with wife Zetty.

I'm glad Zack had chosen to return to the neighbourhood he grew up in. He went to school here and still has lots of friends living in the vicinity. And I'm just a holler away, so to speak.

Zack's a pilot with Air Asia, so he's away a lot. But with all of us nearby and his children's 'Popo' (that's Idah, who simply refuses to be called 'Opah') hovering anxiously (I guess that's what grandkids do to you), Zack can rest easy.

Idah and I share a lot of similarities in our respective lives. We both were, once upon a time, divorcees raising our kids single-handedly; she has a son and a daughter (Emy) while I have two of each.

We both struggled with our respective businesses in the early years - me in public relations, she in unit trust. Mine unfortunately went under with the 1997 financial crash, but she had managed to keep afloat.

Today I can afford to take it easy, syukur alhamdulillah, although I still do the odd copywriting and translation work to keep the mind alert. The days of real struggle to put food on the table and keep the kids in college are but history.

Idah too has fared well. All her hard work has borne fruit; she now manages a multi-million ringgit portfolio, lives well and travels often. And she deserves every luxury that comes her way.

Her ex, Zack's father, is a former RMAF fighter pilot now flying commercially. It's thus no surprise the son takes after the father. They are both serving the same airline; it's wonderful to see them standing side by side, looking smart in their uniform.

We seem to breed pilots. Besides Zack and his dad Hisham, my sister Ani is also married to one. Ex-RMAF chopper flier Mohd Som (we call him Atan) transports oilmen to and from offshore platforms.

Their son Atari and son-in-law Feisal also fly together with Zack. In addition, three uncles are flying with the national carrier.

I learn a thing or two about pilots. One, they are away most times and two, they earn a helluva lot. I can't say more because I don't know much about the job although I certainly understand the demands and risks involved.

All my life, I have always considered flying an aircraft, commercially or otherwise, a glamorous enough vocation. And they look so 'segak' in their starched white shirt and their perky pilot cap.

Zack recently got promoted to Flight Captain. This young man, who once served behind the counter at Taman Tun's Secret Recipe while waiting for his SPM results, is today a proud husband, to Zetty Safinaz, and doting father, to Qadri & Zuhra.

When he was in his late teens, Zack and his sister Emy bunked in my house for a while when their mother temporarily shifted the base of her unit trust business to Terengganu. He bowled me over with his courtesy and quiet demeanour.

I have never forgotten the lean times when his mum and I shared whatever little cash we had to put food on the table. Back then, a hundred ringgit really went a long way. It's a marvel how we managed to stretch it even further.

How could we ever forget the endless fried rice meals we fed our kids day in day out because we couldn't afford anything else. Until today I still feel a lump in my throat each time I cook fried rice.

All things considered, God is, and has always been, very kind. He teaches us a valuable lesson we are not likely to forget until the day we breathe our last, that 'patience has its virtues'.

To Zack, congratulations upon your promotion. We wish you success in your chosen career. One word of advice from this old cantankerous aunt of yours: Remember Him and thank Him always...

8 comments:

Wan Sharif said...

Thank you for sharing "a valuable lesson we are not likely to forget until the day we breathe our last, that 'patience has its virtues'."
May Allah be pleased with us sokmo!

HHalem said...

Kama,

"I have never forgotten the lean times when his mum and I shared whatever little cash we had to put food on the table. Back then, a hundred ringgit really went a long way. It's a marvel how we managed to stretch it even further.

How could we ever forget the endless fried rice meals we fed our kids day in day out because we couldn't afford anything else. Until today I still feel a lump in my throat each time I cook fried rice."

Sunguh-sunguh menyentoh perasaan.
I got the same feeling about nasi goreng. Kecik-kecik dulu kat kampong, pagi petang siang malam nasi gorenggggg semedang.

Then nasi sambal ulam-ulam-ulam, day in and day out.

Insya allah Berkat ulam, now awet muda.:-)

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
I so agree on the aging gracefully bit. Sangat menawan semua ibuk-ibuknya! purrr....meow!

Anonymous said...

Kak Putri,

rasa sebak sbb teringat pengorbanan emak dan emak mertua(kedua2nya ibu tunggal). Tapi emak tak pernah merungut. Emak belikan baju raya sekadar termampu, walaupun pernah kena ejek kawan2 tapi kami adik beradik bersyukur. Emak mertua pulak gunting baju2 lama dia untuk buat baju anak2.

Semoga Allah merahmati semua ibu2 yang telah banyak berkorban.

~seri~

Kama At-Tarawis said...

wan - sabar tu banyak sungguh hikmahnya.. ameen to your du'a..

halem - aah, awet muda... berbaloi makan ulam.. hehehe.. when i was a child, we hardly ate nasi goreng.. my grandmother would cook proper lauk..

cat - to think that all of us are in our 50s now (with the exception of my youngest sibling, who recently reached the four oh..)

seri - pengorbanan ibu, especially ibu tunggal or balu.. a mother's love knows no end..

GUiKP said...

Kak Puteri,
Heard this in Radio Ikim at 10.35 this morning:
Sabar itu pahit, tapi buahnya manis.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

GuiP - tepat sekali.. the only snag is kena tunggu lama to get the buah..heheheh

Anonymous said...

Salam Puan,
I always read your article and really amazed of the way you beautified your topic sentence by sentence interlaced with sweet anectdote which I felt like my own past experience. Congratulations. I hope you could write a novel or a book with a creative mind like yours.
In this article, " He went to school here and still has lots of friends living in the vicinity. And I'm just a holler away, so to speak."... a holler away tu sepelaung ke maksudnya.. :-)

Anak Kelana, UK