Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesdays With Bapak

Bapak, Oh Bapak -- October 30 2007

So many odd things flashed through my mind as I stepped on the gas along the Damansara highway enroute to Bapak's last Thursday evening.
Adel and Shaira sat quietly in the car. I could see that they were visibly shaken.

I was on the road some time after Maghrib.
Ya Allah! Is this an auspicious time and day for someone to leave us?

What an Eid we would all be celebrating this year. And what a year this will be, I thought as I traversed the traffic.
Didn't we just lose Kak Eda in March?

It was the call I received from Nina earlier in the evening.
If the turn of events or the entire situation had been different, this would have been a very sad posting.

"Kak Ena, Bapak has not stopped going to the toilet...I am so worried. I am at work and I will be going home after I have put the phone down," Nina said, in an unusually low voice.

This frequent-visit-to-the-toilet affecting the elderly during a certain time in their twilight years worries me.
At least three elderly people -- our relatives -- peacefully died after their more-than-three times visits to the loo.

I'm not a doctor, and that is probably why I got worried. Little or no knowledge about bodily functions prior to death, but having your mind littered with unconfirmed medical "knowledge" based on limited witnessing of events, often leads to assumed knowledge.

Er..you know what I'm getting at?

Ok. We all thought this was bad news. That Bapak was going to, you know, "go" that night.

I can write about it so blithefully now, But that Thursday "malam Jumaat", my mind was racing with thoughts that Bapak was very very unwell.

My dear niece, Sara Hamidah (Nina's eldest child) was the one who called up her mummy.
So worried she was about her Datuk's frequent bathroom visits all in one afternoon.

"Mummy, already 10 times. And now he's is going again," the 10 year-old said over the telephone.

Sara has amazingly taken the welfare and wellbeing of her Datuk to be her responsibility while her mother is out.
In fact, that of all the occupants of the house.

Adel and Shaira wasted no time in getting dressed when I called them from my office to say that I'd quickly buy some packed nasi goreng from Rasta (a food court in Taman Tun Dr Ismail) and then fetch them to go to Datuk's because Datuk "may not be well".

"What do you mean, mummy," Adel responded, alluding to a need for elaboration and clarification.

I did not want to set the alarm simply because, in all honesty, I didn't know the "prognosis", as it were.

Bapak could well be having just a tummy upset/stomachache.
Then again, was his system signalling the end?

"Datuk sakit perut. We'll just see him and make sure he's ok. He's very old, you know".

However, deep in my heart, I knew that Bapak would be okay. I mean, I am no saint. But I didn't think that Allah SWT will be taking Bapak away, with us all being prepared for it.
I think we have to earn that kind of "sign" from God Almighty. He was not going to let us have it easy.

Still, the doubts and concern were there.

"Nina, should we tell everyone?"

Nina said she'd call the doctor, Dr Baljit Singh, (a very very handsome doctor, WE ALL might add), have him come over and check Bapak and see what he had to say.
THEN, we will call the others.

But, it was not to be. Worried that Bapak could indeed be unwell, everyone was informed and everyone went to Bapak's.

The handsome doctor must have rushed to see Bapak after he got a call from Nina because when I arrived, "the doctor had just left".

Which means -- not that we have missed the handsome doctor, no - but that Bapak was okay, after all. At least that was what I figured.

"So, how Bapak?" I hollered to Kak Olin who was at the gate with hubby, Azmi and her children, Khairil, Khairena and Marissa.
They all did NOT look sad or woeful.

"Sakit perut. Constipation. Too much lying down, lack of fluid, lack of movement......"

"Thank God!", I said. What a relief.

Kak Olin and her family were already about to leave.

Apparently, I was late. Everyone else came and went. Nina was smiling. My step-mom was shaking her head, and smiling.

Oooh. I just love good news.

I went to see Bapak in his room. He was smiling. Now, let me correct that. He was grinning.

"Bapak....what happened to you?", I asked.

"Tak ada apa....." He grinned, ever so widely now.

Nina pulled me aside.
"He is wondering aloud what the fuss was all about! But I told him he went to the toilet, at the last count, 25 times..
And you know....he was such a good boy in the presence of Dr Baljit. He even swallowed the ubat that was given to him, in front of the doctor.
The doctor said, Tan Sri, you must do this and must not do that, and so on. Bapak smiled and nodded his head.
The minute the doctor left, he said to Mak Cik -- aku tak nak makan ubat ni. Back to being the stubborn old man," Nina said, heaving a sigh.

I looked at Bapak and smiled. Bapak had never liked to visit the doctor. He hated hospitals.
"It's the smell," he used to say.

Like I said. I love happy ending. I said that to Kak Ton too.

I had earlier told Kak Ton: "Kak Ton, you just started blogging. Let's hope and pray that your second posting is not about Bapak....."

Yes... we all like happy endings.
I'm off to Kak Ton's for our Mee Rebus on Tuesday.

It's still the Eid and here's a warm Salam Aidilfitri.


metoo said...

Thank God Tan Sri is fine. He's a very strong man.

Wow! "Kak Ton' has a blog now? I must rush over and stir the pot. LOL!

Anyways, Kak Ton was the one who passed me your blog addy some time ago but I was too busy then. And this is the first time I'm here. So ... "Hi!" :) You may ask Kak Ton who metoo is. ;)

acciaccatura said...

salam kak ena,
alhamdulillah kami dapat jumpa Pak Samad. memang berharap dari rumah lagi, macam main event untuk petang tu. semoga Pak Samad sentiasa dilimpahi rahmatNya.

KLConfide said...

Hi Kak Ena (as Minx calls you, hope you don't mind)

We've met on those several occasions that i was with Minx but didn't really get to talk with you.

When i read your piece on your Bapak i remembered my Bapak. It made me miss him so much.. our conversations, his jokes, his pinches on my cheek, his stubbornness, his buck teeth, his hugs.. everything.

My Bapak left us last year on 3rd October (10 ramadhan)just 2 days after my birthday. He was 63 years old.

Sometimes i wish i told him how much he meant to me. I wish i told him I loved him more often. I wish i could hear him say how proud he was of me. I wish i hugged him more when he wasn't too weak to hug back.

Although it is too late for all that, I know deep in my heart that my Bapak loved me and is proud of the woman i've become. Proud that i'm a fighter and i stand up against injustice and corruption. Proud that i stand up for the principles that he taught me.

So kak Ena, I would like to thank you for this article. It did strike a vein in me.

ahiruDin aTTan said...

Hah, and there he was at the Open House the other day, grinning at everyone. As usual, he asked each one ..

"Ni siapa?".
"Rocky, Pak Samad .."
"Rocky mana?"
"Rocky .. kawan (Datuk Seri) Rahman Maidin .."
"Muah haha!!"

"Siapa ni?"
"Zam, Pak Samad."
.. "Muah haha!".

"Siapa ni?"
"Aishah, you were my lecturer".
"Padanlah kau bodoh."
"Kalau aku lecturer kau, padanlah kau bodoh".
"Muah haha".

"Hah, siapa?"
"Sharifah, I was your reporter".
"Ah, aku ingat yang cantik2 aje".

You get the drift.

He was happy. He told one of the senior editors from NST that he enjoyed the company of people. Pak Samad always had people going to him, for advice, help, discussion, etc.

It was good to see him the other day. Most of us had no idea what you had to go through just a few days earlier.

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Sis Ena
Sara Hamidah is a credit to both her parents. She is a classy young lady. No doubt about it. If I may say what is my first impression - I think Pak samad is so in love with your step mum. Didn't he say something sweet to/about her during the impromptu photo shoot?

Dhahran Sea said...

Hi Nuraina,
You really got me worried after reading the first few lines! Yes, its good to have happy ending... inshaallah, kita doakan with the 'bakti' that Pak Samad gave to the society in his own ways over the years, he'll be taken care of by the All Mighty. Salam.


yes. he gave such a fright. i couldnt even tell my colleagues because i was not sure what would happen.
i was supposed to send them ti the airport the following day as they were leaving for Delhi. Yet, I was worried that if Bapak was in bad shape, I would not be able to send them. I was trying to work ourt how to tell them without giving them a shock.
So, thank God, Bapak was ok.

and thank you for visiting.
(Yep...i just asked Kak Ton about you,......)

Sesat said...

Dear Nuraina,

I read the first three paragraphs of "Bapak, Oh Bapak" with my heart in my throat.

Love the happing ending.

zaitgha said...


Your first 2 para made me stop breathing for a second...exactly how i felt at 9.00 am on 25th April this year....i was alone though on the Seremban to KL highway because all the boys were in school....can you imagine i was doing 150 to 160km per hour with my tiny black car...

When i got to my dad's bed i sat beside him and hold his hand while recited the Yassin...then i whispered the syahadah to his ears...he was in my arms when he let go his last breath....i called the doctor and that was it...hes gone...how i long for his smile...he had the sweetest smile and he was fond of calling me nut head( long story on this) ...

dont get me wrong here, this TWB did not make me sad just made me remember that fateful day...

and i am very happy that your dad is fine...at least i could say i have met your dad in person last Saturday he he...though i didnt have the gut to say hi to him that day.....and thank you for this lovely posting...

maria a samad (kak ton) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kerp (Ph.D) said...

whoaa...at least now i know me and Samad Ismail, as in the real deal Tan Sri samad Ismail have one thing in common. the smell of hospitals turns us right off!!

Akmal said...

Kak Ena,(you don't mind I called you that, do you(",)?)

Well done, you did the thing a son or a daughter should; get worried sick when you heard somthing bad about your parent.

If you did read Mastika, you should already knew what's wrong with some of the youngsters nowadays. They went to far...simply said, up to the extent that they might get their parent killed! So sad when we have the generation of tomorrow that have already proved that they cannot lead.

mekyam said...


This is brilliant. Who would have thought sh*t could make a good story. Suspenseful too. Hahaha!

I love a good story... and this is one! :D

kak ton said...

I arrived at section 16 with abg ani after mahgrib a few minutes after that handsome doctor. :)

I wasnt in the room while bapak was being examined because Mak cik was there in attendance.

While I was in the kitchen making coffee I heard bapak throwing his tantrums. I know then that he was ok, he was being his normal self & that the doctor was already gone.

I checked into his room, there he was sitting on his chair, grinning away.

I asked him if he was ok, he replied "kenapa?" - like I was making a fuss over nothing.

But of course I was terribly worried when Nina called to say he was not well having gone to the toilet "20 times".

"Diarrhea?". Then what?

That was certainly worrying, kan? Sakit hari Khamis, petang Jumaat pula. Petanda baik? Pemergian orang-orang yang soleh?

Anyway, it turned out to be constipation.

Alhamdullilah, he's ok.

Ena, didnt you see him having a ball of a time laughing away & teasing arwah kak eda's friends on Saturday?

elviza said...

Good God Kak Ena, you scare me for a while.

Can't imagine what was on your head after Nina called.

*Hugs Hugs Hugs*


metoo: thank you for finally visiting. Kak Ton has told me who you are....

accia: terima kasih kerana sudi ke rumah Bapak.
Terima kasih.Kak Ena seronok Accia dapatdatang bersama suami adan anak-anak.

KLconfide: thanks for visiting. i'm sure i know you.
i am glad i struck something in you with this posting. hope to see u again.

zai: how devastated you must have been. but you were with him as he breathed his last.
AL Fatihah for your beloved father. we will nver stop missing our parents....

PrincessJournals said...

what a scare. i couldn imagine how u felt when u receive the call. thank god all is well sis.

IBU said...

Kak Ena....hisshhhhhh! "Suspen" tau!
Glad it was nothing serious. Pheww!

Dancy said...


Sigh.....seems your father and my father are in the same league....very good actors esp. in front of doctors. Should give them an award ......

My father is so " allergic " to the word doctor.....mention that he needs to see one and he would put his foot down adamantly . He said ...he was okay until he went to that doctor ......I don't have any high blood pressure...that doctor made up that story .....

My dear sister is the only soul who is around to hear his ramblings and grumbles....enough to increase my blood pressure too....if I am there . Ensuring bapak gets to the doctor is one that is full of threatenings and bribes plus emotional blackmail .

But once he is with the doctor he is so full of cooperation and sweet and nods his head when the doctor told him to take this and that medicine . But we all know it is a task to get him to consume all those toxics .

Despite all that bapak is still active and uses the bus each morning to do the marketing . We don't allow him to drive anymore ....This raya he was surrounded by all his great grandchildren ...9 of them and the eldest is 15 years old . I could see him grinning from ear to ear though he can't remember their names .....

Que sera sera .....come to think of it ....when I get older and losing my hair ...i wonder will I be like my father .....yunno I could be worst then him ....

Touch wood......

Salam .and how was your raya ?

WANSHANA said...

Dear K.Ena,

Thank you so much for Saturday.

We really wanted to go and jumpa Pak Samad before we left, but as our little hero was already VERY restless, and tugging my hands, my head, my legs (just about everything!) pleading to go home, AND knowing how "garang" Pak Samad is, we thought it was better if my hero tak create a scene in Pak Samad's living room that afternoon...

So, so sorry...

But, we could see that he was well - tak putus-putus melayan tetamu :D

Syukur alhamdulillah.


aMiR: The pleasure was ours! Thank you for making time to be with us for the small gathering.
About my dad adn my step-mum -- hmm... i suppose so, you know.

Dhahran: sorry to terkejutkan you all. thank you for reading on! thank you for visiting.

Sesat: Phew! got your heart out of your throat. eh?
Thanks, Sesat for being a sport.
you know, if you ever come (back) to Malaysia for Chinese New Year or Christmas....do do do do contact me, Kak Ton or AbuRabu.
and i will say the same to Mekyam too.

Kerp: Haha....we had to have the doctor voer because Bapak would not want to go to the doctor..
Aaaaah...something in common with Pak Samad.. actually, who likes hospital,..kan?

Akmal: thank you for visiting! anymore on the bees?

Mekyam: hahaaa.... i had to write about it. Bapak gave us a bl..dy good scare!
and then he turned around and asked what the hell was the fuss about????
Duuh... (we all-lah yang duuh)

Elviza: sorreee, ek...
nasib baik you're young kalau tidak heart misses a beat....

farina: i know... hope didnt shock you too much.

Ibu: maaf-lah, ek..buat kejutan.. tapi cuitan saja.

Dancy: i think old people are like that..i hope i won't be. but sometimes, i think we have no control over our emotions, our mental make-up.
take care.

Shana: you are so welcomed. thank you for being there.
so glad you came with ayah and your lovely children.
pak samad garang dulu2 saja. dah tua2 ni... very tame-lah. very docile. heheheh.



you know....i brought sharifah to see bapak and then he said that and he ws cackling and laughing.
thank God, sharifah knows Bapak sangat2-lah.
when he responded that way, sharifah, smiled and remarked: "that's Pak Samad. He hasn't changed one bit!"
my poor step-mum, was aghast, almost covered her face with her hands, thinking that sharifah would be so offended.

sharifah smiled and told her that that was okay bcos Pak Samad was just being Pak Samad and she was glad he responded that way.


Kak Ton: Memang lah panic. degup jantung.

but....ALhamdulillah, all that was not so well, ended well.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

yeah, staying in hospitals can adds up to your sickness. especially during maghrib time, to be lying on hospital bed can make you totally depressed for no apparent reason. and knowing how full of life tan sri is, the last thing he wants to be is in the H...

whoaa..such a scary word...tapi bukan halloween.

Hi&Lo said...


Please let Sara Hamidah know she is a real heroine. Only ten but takes her responsibility so seriously. She is also very perceptive and has the aptitude to be in the caring profession.

I don't think you all were over-reacting. The slightest abnormal sign must be referred to a doctor.

As we get older, our systems are slowing down. Digestive disorders can lead to a lot of other health problems. Hi fibre food may help a lot.

Mariani said...

Dear Kak Ena,

You really scare me... Sementara nak habis baca, I feel like flying to your bapak's house immediately.

Dah dua minggu tertangguh, nak visit him. First week we were at Section 16/9 tapi hujan too heavy to go to your bapak's house. Last weekend, barang2 tertinggal kat rumah pulak, so postpone lagi. Hope this week tak ada aral melintang lagi...


kerp: yes...i can imagine.
that said...i think old people have their moments.
bapak has his "sad" and melanholic moments too.

take care, kerp.

Hi&Lo : oh yes...isn't she just! she is such a responsible girl. sometimes we all worry and tell her not to have the world on her shoulders.

the other day, we went out and she saw this "nenek" outside a shop. she was selling keropok and kerepek.
she bought RM5 worth and later fretted that she didn't buy RM10.

I told her not to worry, that it's ok.

"tapi kesian nye nenek tua tu," she said, teary-eyed.

i told her some people are not lucky..that they have to earn a living...
but then, you never know, this nenek may just be doing it becos she loves doing it..maybe she doesn't know how to stay home...
but we play our part to make this world a better place, sara...

thanks H&L..

Mariani: salam aidilfitri! datang lah kalau senang..
kuih raya masih ada.
tapi lontong, maybe dah habis.
Mak Cik wll make mee hailam or kuey teow goreng.

kalau datang lunch...ada nasi and lauk pauk. simple2 saja.

Mat Salo said...

Alhamdullillah he's okay, Kak..

Sesat said...

Nuraina said:
"you know, if you ever come (back) to Malaysia for Chinese New Year or Christmas....do do do do contact me, Kak Ton or AbuRabu."

That's exactly what I will do the next time I set foot in KL. The lure of the renowned Mee Rebus is just too irresistible.

malaysianminx said...

thank god kak ena, jantung i berenti kejap..alhamdulillah he's alrite..

makes me think abt how our lives can change drastically at the drop of a hat..

love tuesdays becos of u :)

Zawi said...

Glad to hear that Pak Samad is OK and still being himself. Way to go Pak.

mutalib saifuddin said...

alhamdulillah, he's all right.

and ask him to consume the ubat in order to get well soon.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

sorry, tumpang lalu sikit..

whoaaa...Mat Salo making his rare appearance from the swamp!


matsalo: Alhamdulillah... so...bro, we won't see you at MRT for a might long time, huh?
take care, ya! and please those stories coming.

sesat: YAY!! goooooddy.
Can't wait!
I'm hoping Mekyam would do the same if/when she comes back for a holiday!

malaysianminx: thank you. my dear. and hope you have a brilliant time in the south of france.....do pick up some French before you go there...you know...just simply-laaah

Zawi: Memang, Zawi, Bapak buat we all panic..

mutalib: adoi mak! kena psycho Bapak-lah kalau nak dia makan ubat.
we need to persuade him....slowly, steadily...

kerp: Yahooo.... Mat Salo came in!

wansab said...

Dear Ena,
I am truly glad that Pak Samad is ok now. Reading what Rocky wrote of what transpired that Saturday, I am now smiling to myself, remembering what Pak Samad said to me when I told him my name and introduce my kids to him - the very same 'thing' that he said to me 18 years ago when as a rookie reporter I tried to be smart aleck and 'menjawab'. Muaha ha ha!
BTW, thank you again for inviting us.

BaitiBadarudin said...

Alhamdulillah, Pak Samad sihat semula.
When I greeted him on the day of his open house, I was tickled when he asked me, "Kau tak ada boyfriend ke?" with a naughty twinkle in his eye!