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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I Dream of Banting

as i was browsing for some 'interesting' pictures in a friend's computer (to protect his privacy, he shall not be named), i came across this picture:

and suddenly, all the memories came flooding in:

a long time ago in a land far, far away, a group of 'UM Induk rejects' converged in a place where palm trees grace the landscape and where the locals speak of a different tongue. that magical place was Banting, home of the fabled Kolej MARA. on that hollowed ground that was more affectionately known as KMB or MCB (depending on which language u prefer), i was fortunate to know some of the most interesting people i have met on this planet.
i guess it was written in our destiny, for approximately 7 years on, that small group of 'chosen ones' still convey daily if not weekly in a secluded town-house in the city of Petaling Jaya. for a place i stayed for only a year, Banting certainly left a lasting mark on me. what is it about Banting that made a lasting impression on me? is it because of the smell of keretek cigarettes blowing in the wind? it is the taste of tempe lasting on my tongue? or maybe the sheer secludedness from the reaches of civilisation has its effects on the hormonally-charged teenager i was then.
and to talk about Banting, this whole bloody blog wouldn't be enough. there were so many things that would be worth hundreds of hours talking about over a cup of teh tarik: the evil warden that was Badar who would make life a living hell there. the Portuguese headmaster by the name of Mathias who had this funny accent and lingo that would make us laugh into the night. the different kinds of teachers there, each with their own cute and funny personality. the intense rivalry between hostel blocks that would rival any Manchester derby. the awesome yet peculiar food they served to us daily (kudos to MARA for belanja makan). it wasn't all nice and rosy. but it was one helluva ride.
personally for me, Banting brought me into the real world; outside of my sheer narrow-minded head that was the 'mentaliti budak asrama'. it was the place i learned and mingled more with the other sex, being brought up in a testosterone-filled environment in school. it was the place i first fell in love (stop rolling those eyes, people), the place where i met these crazy bunch of people that i would grow attached to after all these years. it was truly a learning experience.
i guess us so-called 'Bantingers' were close because actually, there was nothing for us to do there except borak. and yeahhh...we borak like crazy. and why shouldn't we? TV was crap. no place to hang out at night, even the weekends. the only reliable source of entertainment was the radio. i think i could name all 40 hits on Rick Dees if u asked me back then. a certain blue coloured radio from Kuman comes to mind, not to mention Jack's cassette player which would sit nicely in the common room. i guess we would have gone bonkers without radio.
and when u think about it, Banting had nothing. zip, zero, nil...unless u count KFC as a landmark (ada 2 KFC beb). weekends at Banting would be a trip to the cyber-cafe, Laser Disc watching or maybe a round of snooker or video games at those sleazy-looking parlours which smelled of 'only-God-knows-what'. if u were more daring, u would take the one-hour bus ride to Klang just to watch a bloody movie. but the ride would be worth it if u had some source of motivation along the way, if u know what i mean.
even a trip to town was an adventure itself. we had to walk almost a kilometer to get to the bus stop. but i guess everything in Banting was an adventure. whether u're waiting for hours for that crappy mee goreng at the cafe' or taking turns doing the laundry, it was all unpredictable. sometimes we even filled time watching airplanes take off from KLIA. it really was a nice view from that huge 'tangki air'. i dunno, but i guess there's something about boys and 'tangki air' that just cannot be separated...hehe. but watching dawn break from that angle was marvellous, i tell ya.
it's been roughly 7 years since we first met in Banting. everyone in the picture above has changed. some have gotten bigger (most of 'em...hehe), some got smaller, some have gone on to better things but most are now working. (i think all kot). one has gotten married and a few will probably be doing so by the end of this year. your truly? same 'ol same 'ol, i guess. i changed too, but i dunno if it's for the better.
mannn...we were so innocent then. this picture was taken just after our 1st semester exams, so i guess most of us were thinking about how to spend the holidays. kahwin? kereta? rumah? what was that?? ahhhh...youth is innocence. innocence that is now lost.
o innocence, where art thou?

*Aku rasa geli pulak tengok posing camtu. Tapi masa tu bukan cool ke posing tak tengok camera? Alaaa..poster-poster URTV selalu macam tu dulu. Bukan salah aku jadi trend-follower (sambil menahan muntah)

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o