Friday, December 30, 2011

Ariffin Mamat, Poet.

Ariffin Mamat (a.k.a. Pak Pin) grew up poor; his widowed mother tapped rubber to raise her orphaned brood, of which he was the youngest and only son.

Torchlight clasped to his forehead, the little boy would keep her company on those dark, silent misty mornings as she laboured from tree to tree.

Straitened as his family was, Ariffin was rich in dreams. He wanted to be educated and to succeed in life so he could help break the family's vicious circle of grinding poverty. 

Born and raised in Kemubu, Kelantan, Ariffin was barely 10 when his already depressed world crumbled with the death of his father.

All his young life, what little Ariffin had wanted the most was a pair of shoes, a luxury his mother could ill-afford.

Four decades and 40-odd countries later, Ariffin is a hotshot human resource professional honing his skills and plying his trade in the international corporate arena.

This Jeddah-based Malaysian expatriate could buy ten closetfuls of shoes, not to mention surrounding himself with material wealth, if he so wished.

Instead, the applied physics graduate-turned-HR expert wrote poetry and self-financed its publication.

His words, in particular the requiem for his late mother, reduced me to tears, thankfully in the privacy of my study. And if you have marshmallow heart like I do, you would too.

Without a doubt, Ariffin writes beautifully. His language is lucid, his words cut painfully deep. He wrote about love, about loneliness, about human foibles, about God.

'Mat Jiwang' to the core, Ariffin unashamedly wears his heart on his sleeve that Pak Abu and I feel compelled to keep Echo of Silence - Masih Di Sini by our respective bedside until the new year rolls in...

Echo of Silence - Masih Di Sini. This anthology of poems is currently marketed online. For details, please click on the link given at the foot of this article.

Team effort. The family setting up booth at the entrance of launch arena, The Oswego, Impiana KLCC. The bespectacled lady in yellow tudung is Aishah Talib, the love of Pak Pin's life.

A copy of the book encased in ice, to be chipped free during the launch. The ceremony was officiated by YBhg Datuk Johan Jaffar, Chairman of Media Prima Group, who also recited a poem of his choice to mark the occasion.

The freshly-minted author recounting his bittersweet journey into the world of prose. 

Kama back in the fold as emcee, but only this once, and only for Pak Pin (did this for a living back in the '90s). These days, the only microphone she cares for is the one in the karaoke lounge. 

Supporters and such, 70 strong, cramming the bar space. Thank you folks for your support. 

The Press Conference...

Featured on primetime news, no less. Way to go, Pak Pin!

A sampling of Pak Pin's poetic prowess:

You Don't Know Him

Like a speck of dust
his soul floats in the air
blown by a sudden gush
his reasons turn into despair
lost in the hour's rush.

He retreats into a loner's lair
no one knows him
and no one cares
no one misses him
and no one's here nor there
all alone tonight
he tussles with the angels
a glimpse of light
flames from melting candles
dreams he weaves, of love he has none!


Oldstock said...

Salam Kak Kama,

I had a peek at Pak Pin's blog yesterday and noted his mention that you helped organize the event... was wondering how come you didn't blog about it. At last, ada pun... hehe..

You are a natural behind the mike :-)

Kama At-Tarawis said...

oldstock - saya tolong2 sikit2 jer. tak boleh warwar, satgi ada permintaan serupa and get dragged into my old mould once again.. takmoh dah.. pak pin is a special case :-)

Frau J said...

Hi, Auntie Kama, is it available offline too?

Kama At-Tarawis said...

frau J - unfortunately not, at the moment, my dear. the bookstores wanted too much in terms of percentage (60%) so we wont be going to the stores. we are still working on alternative marketing strategies though..

AnnoyinglyAnonymous-LemanPulut said...

A Fellow Poet, all established and nationally recognised and endorsed! With books, rave reviews from the Press, and people crying reading them! And luminaries like Johan Jaafar, Kak Kama and others grazing the publishing event! Colourful and artful paperback covers!

Hehehe take that, Leman Pulut! Makes you wish that you are about a tenth as good a poet and half as handsome in countenance!


Kama At-Tarawis said...

leman, just remember, if ever you want to publish your prose, i am here to help you make it happen..:-)

Ariffin Mamat said...

Dear Puteri...i am both honored and humbled at the same time reading what you have written. Most gracious of you to put together such kind words for me...I am finally back in Jeddah after two weeks of whirlwind trip to Malaysia, the land my heart has never left.

I can't thank you enough for all your support and kindness.

May God bless you with good health, and happiness.


Kama At-Tarawis said...

quite an experience eh, pak pin.. hehehe.. here's waiting for yr next trip home, to work out a few promotional stunts.. :-))