When I was a young senior (or an old junior) in form four, my lovely house, Razak, organized a writing competition. They made it compulsory for all students to take part…although I hardly remember all the details now.
The undisputed “King Of Writing” at that time was no other than a certain Hazri Azizan. He scored a good, above-average mark in every monthly test of Bahasa Melayu. His composition always made it to the top, regularly photocopied and circulated among other students as a benchmark. He was often praised by Mr Kipli Ali, our Jaafar Onn look-alike teacher at the said time.
Hazri was indeed a good writer. He followed the teacher’s instruction very well…and he possessed a rare creativity. His “3 warriors” piece, which he wrote for the competition, was a hard proof for his talent.
In 1999, when I was a raw form two student, under the guidance of Mr Kamarudin Othman (KO), I wrote something about a lifecycle of a housefly’s life. It was a totally useless piece, a crap composition, and up to this day, I still couldn’t figure out how on earth I got the nerve to write it.
It was a short story centering on a sorry housefly born in the morning, got married in the afternoon, divorced shortly after that, back to his wife again not long afterwards, and then in the evening was brutally hit to death by a woman when it accidentally landed on a so-called “Puding kelabu”.
A total crap however you look or read it, Mr KO rightly failed it almost instantly. He remarked that it was a negative composition…and the whole class altogether was having a good laugh back then. There was no hard feeling…because I wrote it purely for fun, not for grade.
In another case, we were doing a grammar revision, and we were instructed to construct a sentence out of a certain word. In one of the exercises, I wrote
"Gerakan mencari dan menyelamat mangsa banjir di kampung tersebut gagal kerana kampung tersebut memang tidak banjir”
I was a playful boy back then, and Mr KO hilarious approach to teaching wasn’t much of a help. I took a lighter side of learning, unlike my peers who faced it on a serious note. All this nonsense stopped once I was preparing for PMR examination. Mr Taufik was a somewhat serious character…and it was during this period that I endured a change to my personality.
In form 4, we were having a period of uncertainty. In the first BM class ever under Mr Kipli, he asked us to prepare a composition of 600 words. 600 words! That was a very long and tiring writing. Form 4 was a distance memory of form 3, where I was having a smooth ride. SPM was after all, a different league compared to PMR.
Back to the essay episode, the deadline for the writing competition was drawing nearer. Yet I still hadn’t prepared anything. Forced by the pressing deadline, I reluctantly headed to my locker one night to pick necessary items for writing. On the way up to the preparation class, I spotted a couple chatting and having a good laugh just under the stair.
And so I decided to write something about them. Just halfway through the essay, I felt very sleepy…and I wrote “ Kepalaku terasa berat seperti diikat setandan kelapa…”. In short, I was writing a true story just as the things happened!
In the end, after putting in some fictions towards the end, I wrapped up the composition with great relief. I was among the last person to hand in the essay to Mr Kipli. It was done in such a hurry. No way could it match the likes of “3 warriors” piece by Hazri. 3 warriors was a short poem about our three wardens at that time, Mr Safri and his two other members, the comical Mr Razali (Ragi) and Mr Yogi-B (because he is a drop bit like Yogi-B)
When the result was announced, how surprised I was. I beat Hazri to the second place, with the winner went to Hikmah, if my mind served me right. 3 warriors was down to third place. And my essay was printed in Razak’s monthly circulation. Quite an achievement for me…and I truly never expected that.
* Originally written under the title of "English : The Farcical Fuss"
* "3 Warriors" is a loose translation of "3 Sekawan", a Malay poem originally written by Hazri