June 12, 2007

I feel like writing about a friend of mine. His name is Abdul.

During my pre-college years in Bloomington, sometime in 2001, I volunteered to teach elementary Arabic on Sundays at the neighborhood mosque; together with my fellow course mates. We were divided into groups of twos and assigned to teach, per pair, 6 – 8 kids aged around 5 – 7. Abdul, 5, was one of my students.

Abdul is African; Senegalese if I'm not mistaken. And I believe his father was a graduate student at Indiana University at the time. His father is a really friendly guy; often seen chatting and having a laugh with the other guys after Friday prayers. Abdul, on the other hand, was Eric Cartman trapped in Charlie Brown's body.

We gave the kids some assignment to work on one day and Abdul was the only one who couldn't care less.

"Dude, why aren't you working on the paper?"

"Cause I don't want to."

"But you have to."


"Cause I say so."

"Why do I have to listen to you?"

"Cause I'm your teacher."

"But you're dumb."

"I know. But I'm still your teacher and older than you are. So you gotta listen to me."

"You're still dumb."

As he grabs a pencil and copy another kid's answers.

We also used to have a small assembly after class where the children would gather around, together with us, to listen to Kak Rohany, the head of the Sunday school. So, one day after giving her speech, Kak Rohany gazed upon the students and found Abdul at a corner, hugging his legs with his chin on his knees.

"Abdul, is something wrong? Is there something you'd like to say?"

Everyone looked at him for some five seconds before he opened his mouth and said...

"I love you Sister Rohany..."

"Oh my dear you're so adorable. Come here and gimme a hug."

And the room was filled with 999, 999 smiles. It was one short of a million as I was barely touched.

Once, during Ramadhan, as us Malaysians were laying on our backs around the main area of the mosque, eagerly waiting for the break of fast, Abdul came into the hall. He rolled his eyes across the room directly towards a friend of mine who was sleeping, with a cap covering his face. Nobody really cared for his presence until he took a few steps back, ran, jumped and stomped his feet onto my buddy's stomach and ran away.

My last, fondest memory of the little fella was during Friday prayer, some twenty minutes before the khutbah. I was sitting around with a few friends before Abdul appeared, walked to me and said...

"Loser, loser, loser..."

Whilst pointing his fingers right at my face. And he ran away never to be seen again.

Abdul, you're a legend.



The whole story ko, aku duk imagine camne rupe Sister Rohany aje. Post la sekali.

Cara kau describe Abdul ni macam Badul jek bunyinya...

nak kira macho sbenanye air_syam(esyam ezzudin) lg macho do.tp no ofens aa, aku lg macho dpd ko.langit n bumi beza tu..hahahah..ke guano? barton xde dh ni..

pedot: brotha, kak rohany is a lovely msian senior of ours whose children were also in the classes.

snoop: badol lain do... he's not cartman in charlie brown's body. he's mgr in mgr's body ngahaha...

jeghi: bila aku cakap macho tu, esyam dah kita league lain. kalau aku ckp aku plg macho, maksud dia aku no. 2. esyam atas skali mmg takleh lawan dah. gi mampos barton loyalty my ass. thaksin punya duit kena freeze lak ni... sapa la bangsat kat thai bank gi letak duit dia dlm peti ais.

Memang macho doo kau. Sebijik macam Pierre Andre.

Asrif intan payung, kurus nye kauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

apa la bangsat kat thai bank gi letak duit dia dlm peti ais


cloudde: aku betul2 tak sangka ko nak guna modal pierre beb... susah nak predict ko nih...

kirah: haha aku baru lepas putus cinta tu... makan tak kenyang, mandi tak basah.

abd: try coming up with a better one.

abdul boleh jadik idola

apsal muke ko cam wak Jorno dari sumatera je weh?

aku pendapat sama mcm mazree je tp aku x cakap aa.kang ko kecik ati lak..tp maz pn dh bersuara.aku iyakan je aa..

maz: pasal masa tu aku mmg kerja journo pun. ko tak tau ke? letih do kerja journo... hooligan semua benci.

jeghi: mana maz bersuara aku tak dengar apa2 pun? ko ni, bila online kalau tak add org kat myspace mesti datang sini nak kutuk aku...

oi brader .. lu shrink kan gamba tuh ke kurus semacam je aku nampak

weekend nih ko buat mende? bawak bapak ko gi kedai gunting rambut??

Step it up a notch, son. Keep on having the same arguement over and over again will make people think that you're a one trick pony. Nice try, though. Gotta give ya that.

badol: at 23, goin 24... from the depths of my heart, i truly expect much better from u. kata dah dapat kerja... mana?

cloudde: ^

nice one serih.

serih mane kau? criter guitar kau nih tak abis lagi. ape # kau?

dude, bila nak belanja aku minum? panggil judd tu haa

maz: nice one apa? badol? wahahaha

rays: all set. i o u a hot lunch/dinner. maybe a slight deviation from ur weekly sabri binge with azman.

izan: oih jom ah bebila. but i dont have ur # nih. u just call juddy sat nite, chances are im with him looking at each other together with the other losers at some mamak; if he's not at his weekly breakdancing gig at clubs that is.

with the other losers at some mamak? i thought just the 2 of us, thinking about what the hell is wrong with us?

izan, hook us up with some SSP girls.

Haha! Dudes, I will be back from my backpacking trip, only tonite. I'll catch up with you guys one of these weekdays? Amacam?

Judd, will consider few options for you k

wak jorno? lawak lawak pitek. mane kau serih? aku ade byk criter azman nih. despite the long delays and bad weather... I still laughed all the way back to KL man. funnier that Linda Dreyfuss's commencement speech.

judd: no, we were thinking what's wrong with syah

izan: make sure u post them pics on the site ye

rays: monday man, monday... the liff will be there too. man im stoked.

erp..samping skolah ke serif?

bila nak jam. jari aku dah keras nak mampos dah niihhh

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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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