A JOURNEY IN LIFE TO REMEMBER AND TO BE REMINDED BY
The journey in the afternoon was extra nostalgic as we entered Seremban town. This time with my No 2, a 26 year old TKC Graduate – the last of Bukit Merbah ‘tenants’.
I was eagerly explaining on the Bilal Restaurant (and the savoury triangle puff pastries came to mind) and Emporium Seremban, the those days SURIA KLCC to us to my husband and son. More to emphasise on how much Seremban has grown and expanded.
Paying homage to the place and relating it to an incredible institution that had raised us to be where we are today will always be communicated with great joy.
Settled in the hotel room and unpacked all work stuff for Monday as well, I enjoyed an afternoon siesta clearing my brains for zero expectations of the dinner do. My last working week had begun on Sunday with an intensive teambuilding round the clock program which took up much energy.
Chegu was punctual.
He was chauffeur driven from home – Bonda, PIBG Head and Deputy and myself awaited at the lobby with mixed emotions to receive this extraordinary, much talked about figure since the past few months.
During the new OGA Committee’s inaugral meeting with Bonda, PIBG and selected TKC teachers last November, we could already gauge Chegu’s character. A man with not many words but somehow his aura and persona had captured much of our attention especially when he gave a short thank you speech upon receiving the gift by OGA presented by Kak Chah.
Stepping out from the vehicle, Chegu came in his working attire, even with his working bag. We all teased him ‘Chegu nak sambung mengajar ke’ and he cutely said ‘boleh……’
The sense of pride and humility index spiked up so high as the five of us entered Royale Chulan’s Grand Ballroom at around 820 pm.
The uproar of young and not so young TKCians gave the ultimate impact in an ambience just like the red carpet experience of grammy awards ceremony equivalent.
Perhaps the red carpet organizer had learnt from us – TKC and TKCians can never be quiet unless at relevant functions; one of the key learning from school is to always be respecful and be context sensitive in anything that we are involved it.
I have to say that TKC’s organising committee had prepared a good line up of program from speeches to opening gambit of multimedia showcase and singing performances.
When dinner was served, ex students actually braved themselves and swept Chegu away from the table for photo taking and video recording – requests for Chegu’s personal messages to the respective batches.
It was obvious that Chegu was and is a hero to many.
That scene of hijacking Chegu from group to group was an organized chaos indeed where at one point, Bonda had to summon Chegu to come back to the VVIP Table to start his dinner!
The last formal event on the open agenda was the handing over of prizes from various parties and the official retirement document from Bonda to Chegu; the final testimony of 35 years service by the MOE.
All in all, the whole event was well ‘controlled’ up to that point. Bonda shared that she has been crying for days as TKC was preparing several functions to bid farewell to this outstanding individual. She felt that she had managed to compose herself well during her speech earlier. She thinks she did, that is. I was actually, secretly struggling to ensure my tears were being absorbed by my face mask.
As emcee quipped at the end for all to join a ‘send-off’ session outside the ballroom, the long awaited moment came.
Nearing the entrance, Chegu and us were stopped by an announcement to watch the screen as the emcee slowly but surely ‘unveiled’ the gift.
I was just standing besides Chegu, probably the nearest person by default.
I could gauge that he did not really catch what was going on when a picture of a black Perodua Aruz from a normal promo material was flashed.
I could not imagine what was going on in his mind. I seriously could not.
The intensity hyped up when the emcee said something like the Aruz is real Chegu Ahmad and it’s a gift with love and appreciation from TKC students. I can see Chegu’s eyes watered.
The screen then flashed a real, handsome black Aruz with a plate number AMD 8521 – live feat…..awaiting at the entrance…….then it sank a bit into Chegu’s thinking…..
The first word he clearly uttered was the Selawat for Prophet Muhammad SAW in a tone that will stick in my memory for long time. I can attest that it was a genuine expression of gratefulness for what Allah has Bestowed upon him.
The whole dinner group walked with him to witness his reaction when embracing the very very special gift he had just received.
Fellow teachers were telling me that this is a dream come true for him and that is well deserving. Chegu has been a big brother figure to them and that the values and lessons he taught them are just priceless.
We could see Chegu was trembling controlling his emotions. His eyes were filled with tears, hands shaking and probably doubting whether was he dreaming or not.
He mentioned that he thought they were playing tricks on him; that the Aruz is the Matchbox or Hotwheels kinda car hahaha……I laughed because I can’t imagine the line up of tricks or pranks that he had to endure to survive teaching TKC for 35 years. Probably if he monetises the hardships and sufferings into RM, it would surely be multifolds of the price of the Aruz itself!
A group of girls kept screaming ‘we love you Chegu…we love you Chegu’ not to mention the non stop uproar of applauses, giggles, laughters and sobs breaking the pregnant silence of the Seremban Lake Garden night.
The best description I openly shared for the moment when the cat was let out of the bag was ‘Chegu ni sebijik macam Mawi menang AF’ and many agreed with me.
As seen from some photographs being captured, Chegu was asked to go into the car and did the inaugural ignition. We could see that the cool Chegu Ahmad turned into a picture of a man with mixed feelings; totally stunned, excited, nervous, humbled, grateful, you can name it all…..
The evening ended up with unwilling goodbyes to Chegu, TKC teaching faculty, retired teachers, guests and fellow TKC sisters….
Working on virtual mode from Royale Chulan this morning after being part of the historical event gives priceless motivation and mood. Happy Pills for the week I call them.
Much can actually be learnt from Chegu whose farewell we had just celebrated.
Alhamdulillah is all I can say for being chosen to replace Kak Chah in representing the OGA last night.
It is indeed a precious gift from The Almighty to be a part of an event that puts us on another level of reflections, commitment, insights to humanities and also on open secrets to living a purposeful life.
A reaffirmation that above all, when we retire from our worldly roles, we must retire with an accomplished testimony as the best servant who not only is submissive to our Creator but also to have greatly benefited others. InsyaAllah, may the road to Jannah be paved and a space in it is secured for us all..
Forgive my overlooks as I pen in from the heart and not from the rule of a language.
Sometimes words to describe such experience are best composed through our mother tongue, so let me end this with…
pada pagi yang mulia ini kami merafak sembah kepada Mu
ungkapan kesyukuran kami mungkin tidak akan setimpal
berbanding akan segala kecemerlangan yang telah Engkau Anugerahkan
Pelihara lah dan Pertingkatkan lah tahap keimanan dan ketaqwaan kami kepada Mu
dalam tiap langkah dan detik kehidupan
Berkatilah segala usaha Chegu Ahmad yang baharu sahaja kami raikan majlis majlis persaraannya semalam
Jaga lah dia di bawah lembayung Rahmat Mu
Bahagia kan lah dia dan keluarganya setiap detik dan waktu
Berkati lah rakan rakan kami yang turut menyumbangkan sedikit sebanyak untuk menrealisasikan
impian seorang guru yang telah menabur bakti selama 35 tahun
tanpa tahu erti penat dan jerih
dengan penuh ikhlas dan sifat sifat keinsanan
sehinggakan akhlak dan peribadinya menjadi sebutan dari bibir ke bibir
yang bakal menjadi tanda bukti di negeri abadi nanti
buat barisan pendidik pendidik yang masih meneruskan menyambung perjuangan
bait bait doa ini pula kami panjatkan
semoga kalian terus tabah dan cekal menggalas tugas menjana pemimpin pemimpin teraju negara
-yang menjadikan Allah SWT sebagai paksi kehidupan
-yang menjadikan akhlak Muhammad SAW sebagai contoh keperibadian
-yang bukan sahaja bijak berbicara namun berpegang teguh akan apa yang di kata tetap akan di kota
-yang hebat keterampilan dalam penuh santun dan berbudi bahasa
-yang mana dalam kelembutan kedaulatan seorang permaisuri itu, kan tetap berteraskan
semangat juang warisan jatidiri serikandi serikandi terbilang nusantara ini
Dirgahayu Kolej Tunku Kushiah
semoga tetap ulung, mulia dan berjasa
Salam kasih sayang,
Dzalina Abdul Manan (DZ)
AJK Persatuan Murid Murid Tua MPM/KTK
Royale Chulan Seremban
from Malay Girls’ College/Tunku Kurshiah College Old Girls’ Association https://ift.tt/3GhsyxD