Assalam. Howdy guys!! I try to write in English for this entry. My grammar is bad but I still know the difference between grammar and grandma.I still believe you can understand what I am writing.. So,pardon me for my bad english.
I just came back from a 3 days excursion. Last 2 weeks, I met my HOD in front of surau. He is asking me about the additional assignment that he gave my group. Taking samples for him in a quarry in Niah. Well, we’ve done that and that was really killing us. I think the temperature there was more than 200 centigrade. With all the hot sun and the invisible rays. But back to the story, so he said that he will be going to Batu Gading for a carbonate project and me, looks curious and innocently inquisitive try to ask some stuff about carbonate.
For you who are not really knowing me, I’m quite a rock-freak. I can easily be excited when I am in the field and seeing new things. Or I found new ideas. So, he offer me to tag along.
So, there it is. Me, Dr Franz ,Dr Nagarajan and Abbas[my classmate]. I’m the youngest.The noob. Dr Franz is abour 50 years old.Dr Naga and Abbas I assume reaching 40. And I am just 22.
Dr Franz is a Germany.Dr Naga comes from India and Abbas from Iraq.From the era of Saddam Hussein and Post-Saddam. You know, the contry where Muslim brothers killing each other because they couldnt agree that the on that they should kill is the Allied forces who came and destroy their nation..They all come from countries with big histories.And each of them have huge experiences in life.. Can you imagine how I feel.Well, the picture below shows everything.
We went to Batu Gading in Friday. Batu Gading is situated in Long Lama. 5 hours journey by the department Nissan 4WD. Dr Franz brought his family because we are also going to his wife’s kampung. She is a Kayan lady.
So, we reach there around maghrib. The place was just a rice hut belongs to Madam’s Maureen[Dr Franz’s wife] sister. Just a small hut. With no electricity and no pipe water supply. And no celcom lines. You imagine that. I thought living my life without facebook and internet is bad enough. But this is no problem for me.
So, we arrived there and pack-out our bags and tools. And later we had our dinner. Just simple kampung dish. Fish and rice. It taste real nice.The fish were so fresh.And the family is so friendly. I do jama Isya and maghrib prayer and they allocate me a special corner to pray.
And that night, because of no electricity, that means no other entertainment,so we spend our whole night from 7 to 12 ,talking about politics, religion and life experiences.
We talk about the Arab Uprising, the Egypt revolution, the Iraq war, Malaysia’s politics and many stuff. There was one time when he questioned synically about Jihad. At some point I am agree with him where there are people who read the same holy scripture but interpetrate it loosely or to support their cause.
I am into Jihad.If one day war come to my country, or one day there will be a caliph and he instruct me to go to war, I will go.But that is different than go to a peaceful place and bomb the innocence children and women. If it is need for me to kill other man of the war for protecting my faith , Islam and the Muslim country, I will. If I am in Palestine, I will. I am a munafiq if I’m not.But provoking other countries, killing innocence people, that is not Islam to me in any ways. And what I had learn from the man that I called my teacher, it will never be a Muslim way.
A Muslim war is a gentleman’s war. We will never poison the water supply. We will not harm the innocence children and women. We will not kill the old. We are advised not to take slaves and need to free them. We cannot cut down the farms. And we will never force the people to embrace Islam but only to accept the kindness and peace that it brings. That is what I told my HOD when we talk.
I do have some kind of habit not to easily agree. My team mates said that I always object what my lecturers said. I am no clever. But when I really know something, I couldnt stand to hear and listen to something that is I cannot agree with except I have definite reason to believe. I have problem respecting what people saying . This is because I have problems to respect people. Respect and being polite is different. I could be polite to everyone. But I only respect experiences and knowledge.
There was one time when I met this man before he become my teacher, I doubt what he said. Yes, I listen to him because all of it is new things to me. It took me a year to trust him. I check what he said and what he teach me from the haraki books that I could found. One time when he told me about the Usul Isyrin, I checked it again to see wether he is telling the truth or not. And the point when I give my full trust on him is when I stayed at his house for many days during the holiday and I see from my own eyes what a man he is, and how his family is.No one can fake his life for too long. So, that is the time I know he is a very honest person who is willing to sacrifice anything for Islam.And if he is going down, I want to be the one who is just behind his back going down with him anywhere he will brings me.
I am a man like that. That might be my weaknesses.I used to been advice by my friends that sometimes I look down upon others. Not that I because I am arrogant, but I have trust issue if it comes to knowledge. But then again, I’m not an intelligent person if you want to check me on my exam result.
Continue our conversation, I said, only the honest can make an honest interpretation for the scripture. Well, we had seen with our eyes the case of Rasul Melayu Haji Kahar and Ayah Pin. They read the same verses in Quran but they claimed they are the God. They are the messenger. You see how destructive it can be if honesty is not applied.
From what I learn from my respected teacher, he said that level of man can be divide into :
You see how high a mukhlisin,an honest person is in Islam. A mukhlisin will not take bribes or take the people’s money if he is on highest hierarchy of power.
A mukhlisin will hold the dunya on his hand but in his heart only Allah with him. A mukhlisin knows that he must be very careful because Allah will asked him one day what had he done for everything that had been entrusted upon him.
That is a mukhlisin. An honest person. Honest is still downgrade compared to a mukhlisin. That is like a super duper honest with nothing you can compare of.
After the hot conversation, we came to conversation about experiences. Well , I dont have anything to talk about as I am still a kid compared to them. I learn a lot how to be a good employee. I learn from Dr Franz about morals and work etiquette. It sounds hillarious when he told us about some incidents happen in Shell during his work.
I take my oppurtunity to ask his advice for my career. I will be graduating this sem,insyaAllah. So , yes ., he did told me lots of things.What company is good and what is not.
But the most important lesson is :
1.Knows what you want. If you want to stay in your country, marrying a beautiful girl and live peacefully with the childrens, than find a quiet job that dont let you to travel. But if you are wiling to experience the world, go abroad.
2. I quoted directly from him, ” Tajul, if one day you work abroad, dont mess around with girls. Girls can never be cute, They rarely are cute.Maybe. But the moment she become too cute, there is something wrong with the picture…………” and this conversation continue to an extent that I dont need to tell it here. I think you get the picture. He advice me about marriages rather than carreer. And yes, I do learn from him. Be careful with your choice. It maybe looks simple, but usually it is not.
For me, in career view, I want to be like him. I admired him since he teach me in my 2nd year. He is a geologist that have his own class. No one can mess around with him because of respect of his experience and knowledge. I am not respecting a person because of his position but I admired experience and knowledge. I sometime shaking myself with anxiousness talking with him and my teacher who I mentioned earlier.
Well, we continue our conversation but each of them are very meaning ful. You see, talking with educated people with vast experience is a lot more difference that talking with some one who doesnt read. We can talk ideas and idealisme without loose our respect. We can talk about the embrassing memories that we have without being ashamed of it because we know they are the experience that need to be inherited to the younger generation. It is a very high conversation in a very odd place;inside a jungle.
So, then the next day, without taking a bath, we went to the field. It was situated about an hour from the hut. We need to use ferry over Baram river to get into the quarry. So, I and Abbas, become the noob of all of us becomes the guy who breaks the rocks and put it into sample bags without doing too much talking. After all I will not talk if I dont know what I want to talk about. I do read about the area’s geology before I was going but pure reading is so much different thatn experience that they have. They are like the interpretor for the rock, telling how they were born and how they form. I took my chance to ask lots of question.
You can see me geting crazy when I am in fields. Never stop asking questions and always run to find a good sample of rock. That is me. My friend, Aiman, said dont be too excited when I am in the field but I cannot help it.My curiosity take over my body.
Next , after the tiring work, we went to the Long Lama town to pack the rocks. Atleast, a bit of civilization. When I was working to pack the rocks, my HOD said to me ; ” Tajul, I wouldnt dare to ask you but it will be not polite if I’m not…Do you want beer?” Hahahahah. Seriously, that does not irritate me but it certainly seems funny.Well, the way he offers. He is a huge guy with broad smiles. You can imagine that. I decline. Of course.But beer and geologist can never be apart. I mean non-muslim geologist. It is like a geologist culture.
After having our meal, we went to another outcrop. Just for a visit. To find metamorphic boundaries in Rajang fm. The best part is, we couldnt find the quartz that we want to find in the outcrop but we found it when we take our bath in the river nearby. We took like 2 hours having fun in the river. It was good. I found myself a few good samples to bring back for my collections and the findings are remarkable.
We straightly went back and again have our conversartion while waiting for dinner. Being with educator, it will be mistake if I am not asking about studies. Well, both the lecturers told us about our friends performance, our junior , the first and second year student..with all the troubles they had.. How caring the lecturers are. They are teaching honestly. Prepare us to the world which is coming.The world of working adult.I learn the qualities that they want for a geologist.
Being me, I couldnt stop asking ,so I start my conversation ;” but Doctors, I am a lousy geologist. I couldnt even make a simple theory right.” Before I could finish my question, Dr Franz said ” You certainly are Tajul.But you have curiousity and enthusiasme. That are only the two qualities that I need. Intelligent could get you somewhere. But with those qualities, you can reach where you want but you might be slow.But that is still ok”
I am writing this not to brag about myself but if you are reading this experience and how they teach me and share to me, you could understand that you can never stop being curious. Never stops to want to learn. Once you stop questioning, your life will stop to abyss of darkness.I hate it when people dont read or dont seems to interested on something . It makes me frustrated.I also learns that from my FYP supervisor; Dr Dominique..And I hate it when other people stops someone to ask a good question. But a stupid idiotic question asked just to create nonsensical laugh deserve a good kick in the face.
Then we stop for dinner. Guess what they offer ; Musang masak cili api, tenggiling masak sambal and porcupine masak sambal. Luckily they still have fish. If not , I will be die starving that night. After performing my prayers, we have a sape show from the family and a bit of ngajat dance then I go straight to sleep.
The next day, as we finish our work , we just go straight back to campus. We depart around 1 and along the way, the HOD talks again about his experiences and ask me about our seniors. Yep, I learn again what the lecturers see on his students. Well, we always blame the lecturer but if we are them we want to our student atleast to be a competent geologist. So, why become angry. The work is for us to become more better.Well, my senior wherever you are, if you are reading this, they are quite missing you guys. So, if you are coming to Miri, visit them. It will be very great to share your experiences.
Well, there are still lots that I dont write here. But I think this might be the stuff needed for a tazkirah from the experience I had.It was a short 3 days trip.But certainly a meaningful one!!!