THE MESSAGE MARCH, 2005 NO. 40
THE CHUI TAI FAN SERIES.
THE BALACHANDRAN NAIR EDITION
WE ARE ALREADY IN MARCH.
JUST MARCH ON.
BE HAPPY, HEALTHY AND STRONG.
HERE'S HOW WE CELEBRATE MR.MILES BIRTHDAY
ON the day of the celebration the birthday boy was up and about early doing
his usual chores. The early birds were Yap Yoke Ngoh and her brother Yap Kim Hee who
arrived at Mr. Miles's bungalow at exactly 10.00 a.m. Just behind them trudged in yours truly.
YEW KWONG AND HIS ENTOURAGE
As we were juggling with some mind twisting games, Lee Yew Kwong brought in his entourage
of family members. The cohort consisted of Yew Kowng, his spouse, 3 daughters, 1 son and
a son-in-law and 4-member strong, active and very inquisitive kids.
The little ones ran around and explored the house.I managed to hold one little boy's hand
and led him to look at the jungle at the back of the house.
He asked what were in there. I said,"birds, monkeys, wild boars and tigers?"
"Really?" My exaggeration of the presence of big cats did not work for he seemed not to
Okay, then I led two kids up the back stairs. They asked for the toy room. Yes, they found
a toy car and sat on it. Then they ran helter skelter and disappeared into the rooms.
Next Dr. Abu Samah drove in with our paparazzo Mohamed Noor from Kuala Lumpur. Abu Samah
brought in a cake with the following words inscribed:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD MILES
The scribe at the confectionary heard 'Ted Miles' from Abu Samad's mouth. But she thought
it more appropriate and much more endearing to write "DAD MILES".
Ha, ha, ha. Everybody burst out in laughter.
But our master said he has been called "Third Miles", and the worse one was something
like calling him a dead rodent.
While we were feasting, Balachandran called Mr. Miles from Port Dickson. He said according
to Hindu beliefs if you celebrate your birthday early, your lifespan will be cut short
by the number of days you put forward your birthday celebration! Later when the master
confronted me and said in jest, I am to be blamed for his impending four days of shorter
I said, "Oh my, tell St. Peter on your way up and debit my account up there accordingly."
Yet celebrate we must taking advantage of the holidays which is easier to get a crowd.
Voila, the crowd kept on increasing. John Chinniah drove in with a big pot of
nasi briyani and vegan curry.
Lu Ah Ngan had returned from Ipoh and made it in the nick of time to savour his former
teacher's nasi briyani. Ah Ngan's spouse, Mr. Lau seems to know a lot about Indian cuisines.
I learnt from him that the most internationally sought after foods are Indian dishes -
I mean the contents not the banana leaves. Ha, ha, ha.
Peter Chong drove down from Genting Highlands with a carload of children who are his son,
daughter, nephews and nieces.Their moms were "bricklaying" high up in the clouds
on mahjong tables.
When Lee Kim Thye and Lau Fei Chu came in they could only catch a glimpse of many of
the departing guests' cars to wave them goodbye.
Now in the house were left Mr. Miles, John Chinniah and I. However, before we could sit
down to have a cup of tea, a Waja came up and emptied its driver and passengers under the
rambutan tree. Foo Yu Pung brought in his sister Foo Yook Yoon and another cohort of kids.
Even after they have eaten, there was still enough food left for 5-10 persons.
When I left our patriarch instructed me to print a
TO ALL OF YOU WHO CAME TO CELEBRATE HIS ELEVATION TO AGE 78.
CELEBRATION & FELICITATIONS
JOLT THE IMAGINATION
(The following story may be a little personal. Skip it when you feel bored)
This was a Chinese festival. In the kitchen there was so much hustle bustle. The missus
was stir-frying. Lisa (my third daughter) and Ten Saint (her son) were around the kitchen
talking, teasing, tattling and chipping in. What a busy cooking scene!
TO THE GOD OF HEAVAN WE SACRIFICE
The missus said we should set up table to pray to the God of Heaven
(Tin Sun, in our dialect). So I laid out the table for praying. I improvised an altar
with a small flowerpot the missus took out for me. I filled the pot with rice grains
to stick in the candles and the joss sticks. I lighted the candles and the scented sticks.
No, the joss sticks - meant for last year’s lunar new year use - were too tall, heavy and
extra big. They toppled over. Dana helped me by putting in more rice grains. I set up
three little cups of tea and five little cups of rice wine. I laid out the chicken,
fruit and festival goodies, too. These items of food and drinks were offered to the
God of Heaven.
"Gosh!" I can imagine you gasping. "What Suysang, your style of faith and belief is
so shallow and that unbelievably simple!!"
Well, we have freedom of belief in our country, don't we! I am sure many of our kind have
belief that is only skin deep. It's just the culture, see!!
HAVE YOU EVER COME FACE TO FACE WITH YOUR PROSPECTIVE......
While the praying was going on, then Barry (my youngest son) and his girl fried arrived
with Dana (my youngest daughter) at the wheel. Gary (my second son) was in the entourage.
This was the first time Barry brought in his girl friend. So she is the prospective.....
We did not know her name yet. But they seemed to be good matching pair.
LUNCH TO CELEBRATE THE OCCASION
Lunch was almost ready. Everybody was excited about the goings-on in the house. Finally,
it was lunchtime. We ate at the round big Formica table. I sat between Dana and the missus.
Barry's girl friend was wedged between Barry and Dana. At Barry's right was the most
junior generation: Ten Saint aka Gautama. Next to Gautama was his mother Lisa.
Then came Gary seated between Lisa and their mother. Wow, what a crowd!
Take a head count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and still three members of the family were not
around. They are safe and sound but scattered and busy eh!
A THUNDEROUS UPROAR
There was a very happy ambience at the dining table. Oft times, they refer the missus as
the queen. Then I played a prank on them by saying so I’m' entitled to be addressed as
his highness, ain't I? Wow, there was a thunderous applause! A roar of laughter followed.
Everybody was so happy and enthralled. Appetite ran high and all totally forgot
about their diets.
(I beg your pardon, as the above story is none of our concern.
Yet it is the daily life style of a simple Mesian.)
A PORTION OF THE FESTIVAL FOOD FOR OUR MENTOR
After lunch, I suggested to the missus that we should give Mr.Miles a home cooked dinner
treat. She got ready the dishes and roped in the other members of the family to follow me.
The entourage left at 3:40 for the visit.
I drove out loaded with food and four members of the family. They included the missus,
Gary, Barry and his honey. My little Hero of a Malaysian car made it smoothly up the slope,
despite the heavy load! Only the hero's bottom occasionally grazed the uneven earthen road.
There was a drizzle. We invaded our mentor's bungalow.
A round of introductions put everybody at ease.
THEY EXPLORE OUR MENTOR'S BUNGALOW.... AND MORE
Mr. Miles showed us to the sitting room. I carried the food to the kitchen. We did not
stay long in the living room for soon the rest of us began to mooch around the house
browsing through our master’s antiques and exhibits all around. I talked to Mr.Miles for
a while. We later moved into the kitchen.
The others were there in the backyard. They even proceeded up the concrete steps and
visited his fishpond - the disused swimming pool. When they came down, we sat in the
living room. We had a short conversation and a photograph taking session. We left.
A POST MORTEM OF THE VISIT
As soon as we reached home, everybody was in an uproar talking about our mentor's abode.
Barry likes the quiet and natural surroundings of the place especially the backyard.
His girlfriend mentioned something. Then Gary said he likes things that were old and
weird and speculated that some of the exhibits were haunted. He likes all things visited
by the supernatural. They were awestruck with what they saw. Who wouldn't if he or she
personally set eyes upon those things and scenes!
You should come and get an eyeful too!!
A BOVINE TALE
Last month I spoke of my spelling ordeal. I was bedeviled by the word "buffalo" because
I could not spell it for a long time. I was called a "buffalo". In the so-called
sophisticated white collar and scholarly artificial social circle, to be called a
"buffalo" is a sneer labeling one as a buffoon, a dunce or a dullard. Oh my, how mistaken
are we the so-called educated echelon of society appears to be!
Recently, I have read an article in a magazine that totally tells me the contrary of
what we thought of the buffalo. You know what surprised me?
"The buffalo is a god given animal!"
"ngek, ngek, ngek......" That is actually the sound made by the buffalo.
According to a Chinese legend, the emperor of heaven once sent the buffalo down to earth.
Its mission was to find out whether we humans had a good meal every three days.
But the buffalo returned to heaven and reported, "humans were not having three meals a day".
What a turnaround the animal's report sounded! But we humans are benefited by its mistake.
The heavenly emperor punished the buffalo by sending it down to earth saying,
"You shall toil and wallow in the soil to make sure man has three meals a day.
It's your mistake. Fulfill it."
So the buffalo is a god sent animal to help us in the field especially in paddy
cultivation. It helps to pull the plough, pull carts, draw water and even give joy rides
to the farmer and his family.
In pre –tractor and pre-trailer days, I have seen buffaloes used by lumberjacks to
drag huge logs of timber to the roadside and back to the sawmills.
Once a farmer remarked in front of his family members, "if I die you will cry, but if
the buffalo dies we will all die", meaning they all will starve to death.
The buffalo is so important to the rice farmer that its presence in a farm is an
indication that the farmer is doing fine. A few heads of buffaloes show that he is
well off. No buffalo, poor soul! Lo and behold,
to plough his fields he has to borrow and rent a buffalo.
The produce from the buffalo are useful too such as milk, butter and ghee. Even
its waste is not wasted but returns to fertilize the land.
But alas, this is very sad indeed, buffalo meat tastes better than beef!
The steak-eating members of our kind are researching to replace beefsteaks with buffalo
meat!! Finally, that hardworking animal ends up on the table!!!
(info I read from an international monthly periodical).
Suggest a moral for this story and send it to me.
WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH MARCH 1955
50 YEARS AGO?
THE GREAT FORM III DEBATE
The Form III class had a debate on the topic:
"Homework should be abolished".
My partners and I spoke vehemently for the proposition.We stressed the importance of
play and leisure vis-a-vis homework. We quoted great men who had succeeded in life such as
Thomas Edison and Einstein, without wasting time in boring homework to please nagging
Our arguments were so convincing that we were sure to win. Cheers and applause
burst out clear and loud from the excited crowd.
You want to know the result? The judges declared a draw. Otherwise, we could have become
the students’ heroes. We could have been the first school ever to abolish homework!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
||CHUI TAI FAN
||TEH BOON TAN
||LOH KOK KEONG
||JOHAR BIN ZABIDIN
||NG SHUI CHUAN
||LOH FOOK CHENG
||A. KRISHNAN ARUMUGAM
||HAJI TENGKU PUJI
||LIEW CHOW YIN
||TAN SI HOOI
||ZUKIFLY B. ARSAD
SPONSOR AND MORE SPONSORS
Our sponsor this time is Balachandran Nair of Port Dickson. His business is insurance.
Many of you who were his close schoolmates might have missed this guy for ages.
Call him at:
email me to find out his number.
Talk of things of another age.
Well, when is your turn to grace the header of a future edition? Come in and join the
rest for the sake of maintaining the continuation of the MESSAGE.
SHE TAKES THE RIDE TO THE OTHER SIDE
Mrs. Wong Yeng Kee nee Chin Yoke Chin expired on the 3rd of February last. She has
hitched the ride to the other side at exactly 1.45 in broad daylight. She left behind
her hubby Wong Yeng Kee, two sons, two daughters and four grandchildren as her progenies.
For eleven long years the late Mrs. Wong Yeng Kee fought a demonic malady bravely till
the eleventh hour. Finally, she succumbed to a terrible terminal disease that had
plagued her part after part and organ after organ in her body.
Score of oncologists praised her cooperation and perseverance in her struggle to survive.
Family members and friends are surprised and impressed how she subdued cancer to
prolong more than a decade of her life.
When I peeked through the glass window of the casket at her remains,
I saw a face calm, peaceful and serene. She seemed to sleep like a child.
I mumbled a final "goodbye". May her soul rest in peace.
DEEPEST CONDOLENCES FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS TO THE BEREAVED FAMILY.
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