THE MESIAN-MESSAGE NO.83 OCTOBER 2008
A CYBER FAN'S SERIES
THE ANONYMOUS 5TH EDITION
SEREMBAN HERE WE COME
This was the morning of the 1st of September. I got ready for going to Seremban. Purpose? To attend Mahalingam
daughter Vaasugi's wedding scheduled to start at 10.30. Barry my youngest son would drive me there as
pre-arranged. So I woke him up when I was ready. We started from the house at 9.30. Barry took the LDP and
exited by the Bukit Jalil way. However, the drive was not that smooth as we passed through at least 4 toll plazas
before hitting the Seremban highway at Kajang. It was too long. At a rest place we had breakfast. The food was
terrible and cost exorbitantly.
We reached Seremban. Fortunately, Barry had the right of mind to turn at the right place after mistakenly taken
the Port Dickson way. He had the intuition to u-turn back and then drove right up to the Indian Temple. Yes the
wedding ceremony had already started. It was held in a spacious air-conditioned hall. We went to the front seat.
There I met our mentor Mr. Miles franked by his friends who had come all the way from Bentong. Barry went to the
car to fetch my camera. He rang me saying he was going to ferry someone to the hospital. Well, that was some
good deed given to him to do. I was pleased to hear that.
I took pictures of the wedding. The bride and the ladies looked best in their traditional saris. Mahalingam was
dressed in his dhoti with a headwear fit for a maharajah. His spouse, the bride's mother was clad in a rich sari
fit for a maharani.
SO MANY SAMYS
The guests were entertained to a sumptuous vegetarian lunch. I met a few Mesians like Samy, Ramasamy,
Plainalsamy, Kumarsamy. It looked like all the samys were there. For in the more than five hundred crowd,
there must have been more samys around! No, but there we also met a Subramaniam a student of Mr. Miles back
in 1963. But our mentor did not seem to remember this man clearly. What has happened to his photographic mind?
We used to admire our mentor's photographic memory for recalling names!
WHAT IF YOU HAVE ONE MANIAM TOO MANY
Subramaniam said he is now a lecturer at the University! Now we know we have a Mesian as MU Maniam. For
Subramanian is another Tom, Dick and Harry sort of Indian names. There are so many Manians around that the
community has refer the Maniams according to where they come from or some other symbolic indications that would
make recognizing which Manian is meant. For example, PJ Maniam, Puchong Maniam, Pandan Maniam, Old Town Maniam,
New Town Maniam, etc. What about Bentong Maniam? Yes, if you are talking far and wide about the Maniams you know
in the country. But if you are talking of the Maniams in Bentong, I am sure you might have to say Ketari Mainiam,
Chamang Maniam, Tras Road Maniam, Karak Maniam, etc. Why are these names so popular? Correct me, if I err what
I say. They are certainly Hindu holy names, aren't they?
This Subramaniam was a total stranger to me. You can't blame me this was not strange at all, for I have never
seen him before having left MES from 1956. More so, because I am not gifted with a good name remembering memory!
Many of my students nowadays I could not physically recognize unless they call me. What more to recall
The invitation card announced:
THE STONE HITS A SECOND BIRD
Since I was in Seremban, I took the opportunity to meet a cyber fan. He was Swee Lim, Yen. I beg your pardon that
sounds rather Western! He is Yen Swee Lim. I called him. Twenty minutes later Yen came. I was excited to meet him
after a lapse of more than two years of not seeing him. Yen took us to the restaurant where they serve the best
of ginger tea in Seremban town. Yes, we down a glass of ginger tea each. The tea was sweet and most
ginger-laced with the aroma of gingerly taste. This cyber fan Yen is a retiree. He was an English teacher
formerly. Now he spent his time relaxing in an out of town house far from the maddening crowd. He talked so much
of his new cheaply rented residence that we were tempted to go for a look see.
KUALA SAWAH, HERE WE ARE
So we hit the Port Dickson highway trailing his good old faithful a once prestigious Mercedes. When we reached
his abode, we had actually reached the end of the road. How's that? The road was a cul-de-sac! That is a
countryside region called Kuala Sawah! That was where Yen stayed.
The structure was a well-built brick and tiled house. It was a bungalow just beside an oil palm estate! The once
owner occupied house was now all his! The boss had absconded with all his children having become urban dwellers
now! There was plenty of land around. Yen now tilled the land trying to grow some herbs which is now his pastime
to pass away his time. Another secluded recluse of some sort, eh! No, the place is not that so sequestered at all
for he has a television set with many programmes available! Entertainment-wise he is not cut off from the outside
world! Peace and quiet he has, that's all. I really envied this his so tranquil dwelling facility! Yet, time
flew past too soon, as suddenly there was an awakening that we had to return to the city!! What a pity!!!
Barry drove through the rain. I told him to take the normal Seremban highway which led us back home without
having been driven away and gone astray.
FURTHER DIY TIPS FOR THE HOME
After reading the do-it-yourself tips for the home in the last issue of the Mesian, our mentor said, "the best
way to make a mirror shine is....... Crush up a sheet of newspaper and then wipe the mirror."
That led me top experiment this trick at home. I crumbled up a piece of newspaper and then
cleaned the mirror in my bathroom.
Sure enough after a few swaps, I could see my mug shot clear and distinct in the magic mirror!
But the mirror told me I sure was more wrinkled up than the newspaper!!
Another wonderful use of old newspapers is to wrap fresh vegetables for storage in the fridge. The newspaper
will absorb the moistures and prevent the vegetables from rotting. But if the vegetables are kept too long in
the fridge, they would be dehydrated by the newspapers and you would get the most wrinkled up stuff possible!
Nowadays, we use a lot of things made of plastics. Plastics are of many kinds such as soft plastics,
thin plastics, thick plastics, brittle plastics, etc. Once I wanted to drive an iron nail through the cover
of a plastic pail. The cover just cracked and there resulted a long crevice.
Later I remember how in my younger days, we used to improvise a sort of hot wire to drill a hole through a
piece of wood. We called it a "fire drill". No I do not mean a mass exercise to get us used to follow proper
procedures to disperse in a fire emergency! What I mean here is using a red hot wire to bore a hole through
plastics. "Drill" has many uses - one of those linguistic inadequacies that burden a word with too many jobs!
Get a piece of wire and heat up the tip on a gas stove. Then drive the wire through the plastics to bore a hole.
If you find no suitable wire, then grip an iron nail with a pair of pliers, heat it, grip it hard and drive the
red hot nail through the plastics.
Presto! Just one drill, what do you feel? The grip, that's it! To loosen the grip, pull the red hot rod in and
out for a few times. Twist the rod round and round. There you have dug into and made the hole loosen for your use!
Hey, you wise guys out there, any diy tips you would like to share. Share it before it is too late. Otherwise,
your inherited secret tricks will be dead!
WHAT HAPPENED THIS MONTH 50 YEARS AGO?
In our mentors October 1958 diary, were mentioned a whole list of people. They included high-ranking officials,
teachers, gentle and fair sex people, hardworking students, lazy bums and even rascals.
Mr. Ambrose, the Pahang chief education officer, visited the school accompanied by another officer Che Dollah.
There was also mentioned a senior nurse at the hospital named Beserah, a satellite town near Kuantan. By the way
all her siblings were named after towns in Pahang such as Lipis, Bentong and Kuantan!
The late Mrs Prince was a teacher who had to deal with a delicate case of two teenagers, who were caught
exchanging love letters. If they had been dealing with the edible edition, they could have escaped without
mention. But they were real letters all written in the most flowery language and well chosen characters from
someone to woo the other.
There was a mention of the teacher Osman Sham who had graduated from the University and left to be an assistant
district officer. He was a favourite among students.
In his diary, I came across the names of these people: Razak, Rosli, Jalil, Ghaffar, Tengku Abdullah,
Tengku Ahmad, Yit Song, Manan, Munzir, Zubir, Say Kuang, Bakar, Syed Adanan, Lum Kok Seng, Alias, Sunny, Ng Kim
Foong, Kow Yong, Rosly, Shek Phooi, Tan Gee Sin, Tong Ah Tai, Tat Pin, Zainal and Bala.
It was among these we found some rascals. A few nearly got into a gang fight if not for the intervention of
Mr. Miles. Why they wanted to fight? One said, "I don't like the way he walks". Another complained saying,
"I cannot stand the way he stares." What were these? Trivial aren't they? But they were the trials and
tribulations, the ups and downs of teenagers, I suppose. They have their aggressive instincts roused; probably
training for their defence to face the world.
There was a little utterance of racial slur. Also, there were cross racial romantic blurs. But all these were
discovered early, and dealt with by teachers, parents and the school authorities.
Where are all these people mentioned above now?
Some are still safe and sound and kicking around. Munzir lives with his family in Sungai Marong in Bentong.
Zubir resides in Johor in a town called Ulu Tiram. Tong Ah Tai had gone down under, I mean he has migrated to
Australia. Then Shek Phooi has gone over to the other side, I mean the other side of the earth - to Canada!
Where is the school clerk who dressed head-to-toes like the principal whom we called Bala? I wonder!
What about the rest of those guys? Are they still kicking around or gone over to the other side? If you are
still around, just call Ted Miles and say "Hey".
Hey! We can also read in the October diary of Ted Miles, about his moods having gone fiery. There were days when
his emotions were at nerves' ends. When he reacted our hair stood on ends. He descended upon someone who aired
his feet in class. He caught students reading magazines when they were attending a class. Then, he scrapped out
litters from students drawers after class. He watched behind classes unnoticed. He sprang upon hostel boys
playing truants to roam the streets. If he opened his mouth he would ask, "why?" Or he might say, "for pity
sake......!" On hearing that some really did shake!!
Yours truly was myopic and oblivious to all and sundry. I was as busy as a bee, pursuing honey. It was a time of
ecstasy for me!
So October 1958 passed. Students prepared for their exams so that they might pass. It was going to be the end of
another school year at last!
Guavas are often considered superfruits, being rich in vitamins A and C, omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated
fatty acids (mainly in the seeds which must be chewed to obtain the omega fats) and especially high levels of
dietary fiber. A single guava contains over four times the amount of vitamin C as a single orange, and also has
good levels of the dietary minerals, potassium, magnesium, and an otherwise broad, low-calorie profile of
However, nutritional value is greatly dependent on species, the strawberry guava notably containing only 37 mg
of vitamin C per 100g serving, practically a tenth of the vitamin C found in more common varieties. Vitamin C
content in strawberry guava, however, is still a high percentage (62%) of the Dietary Reference Intake for this
Guavas contain both major classes of antioxidant pigments: carotenoidspolyphenols giving them relatively
high dietary antioxidant value among plant foods. As pigments provide plant food their colors, guavas that
are red, yellow or orange in color have more potential value as antioxidants sources than unpigmented species.
Since the 1950s, guava, particularly its leaves, has been a subject for diverse research in chemical identity of
its constituents, pharmacological properties and history in folk medicine. For example, from preliminary medical
research in laboratory models, extracts from guava leaves or bark are implicated in therapeutic mechanisms
against cancer, bacterial infections, inflammation and pain. Essential oils from guava leaves have shown strong
anti-cancer activity in vitro.
FOLK MEDICINE APPLICATIONS
Guava leaves are used as a remedy for diarrhea and for their supposed antimicrobial properties. Guava leaves or
bark have been used traditionally to treat diabetes.
Hey! Did you notice this phrase: the seeds must be chewed to obtain the omega fats. It is line 4 of this article
in parenthesis. So consuming the seedless species, the omega fats you would probably miss. Talking about the
seeds we swallow them some crushed and some whole as we masticate the guava flesh. Some seeds will actually
pass through the digestive systems of humans and birds unscathed. What am I driving at? The local folks name
for this fruit: kai si koh (chicken droppings fruit). The fruit has no chicken droppings on it, but the seeds
are dispersed with chicken or bird shits. Hence, its widespread noxious name of a wholesome fruit. Let's lay off
jambu batu for the time being while to celebrate.