Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I was guilty of not been up to mark as far as blogging and blogs hopping were concerned. Was rather busy with the latest exploration well (3rd well in a back to back sequence).. the drilling operations commenced tremendously well.. blessed with a big drilling jack-up that can be put into operation even in two meters of December tides.. while other wells have to wait-on-weather (cannot be fully operational). With that situation all eyes were on my team and as a team leader I was more or less have to be on my toes most of the times.. as always.. excuses :) ...

A verse in The Book told not to Defame Nor Call Each Other by Offensive Nicknames.

Qur'an 49:11 Surah Al-Hujurat (The Inner Apartments)

O you who believe! let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (Indeed) doing wrong.

I used to have many nicknames.. When I was in standard 1, somebody who wanted to spite my elder sister called me Awang Leper ( Flatfaced? Boy) . This nickname, a modified version - Wan Sharif Leper, stayed with me whenever I went back to Pulau Duyong. So if you happen to visit Pulau Duyong in Kuala Trengganu, famous for boat-making and recently as venue for Monsoon Cup.. There bound to be some folk around my age that know me as Wan Sharif Leper ;)

At the age of thirteen years old, I was blessed with the opportunity to study in Sekolah Dato' Abdul Razak (SDAR) , Tanjong Malim. I was accompanied by my uncle and was left just after he sorted out my registration and got me a place in the hostel. I must have missed my family and friends very badly then as the leader of hostel room then (was En. Kamaruddin Ahmad who later became a lawyer and a one time Selangor wakil rakyat) noticed my loneliness or longing. He told everyone in the hostel room that I behaved like a "pungguk rindukan bulan". Translated to be "an owl that missed the moon".. Corrected by my anonymous reader to be " like a nightjar longing for the moon".. Many rhaks to that kind reader.....A phrase used by the Malays to describe someone that missed one's lover terribly.

So that was how "orang bulan" (moon man) name was brought about and that was the nickname that I was known by my schoolmates and later brought over to varsity and even to my workplace. Although there has been some modification such as OB, orebule, Marc Bolan, Awang Bulang or just bulang etceteras, The name " orang bulan" is well remembered by my peers and juniors in SDAR. For some of you who have requested my email.. you would might have noticed that my yahoo email is ;) an email address given to me by our group email coordinator Wan Kamaruddin or TokWan Din.

On my first day in USM, I felt nice that new friends started to call me in full name.. this situation only last for one and half day.. a friend by the name of Salman Ahmad ( now a Datuk and is/was an ambassador to Australia) who were then approaching my hostel noticed me and called me by my nickname from a distance of some 20 meters for all my new friends to hear and so the nickname stayed with me for some of my close friends in USM;).

I do not know about other places but in Pulau Duyong (Trengganu) used of nicknames were rampant when I was there.. There were three Wan Ali on the island.. Wan Ali Semin (cement in English) earned his living by making objects using cement, Wan Ali Gemok (Fat Wan Ali) was the fattest of the three.. And my father who was a carpenter in boat-making was known as Wan Ali Tukang.

Having Muhammad as the most popular name on the island.. We used to have all kind of Mat or PakMat.. Some nicknames can sound unpleasant.. As name of animal can be the acronym like Itek(duck), Ayam(chicken) and some nicknames go after character.. ghogeh (flip- flop?) and jangok (always smartly dressed).. honestly most nicknames normally describe trades one was in and the nickname were used sparingly to identify the right person and were seldom used to humiliate anyone.

There were also three Muda who were selling sundries on the different location of the island. One was rather tall and went by the nickname of PokDe Tinggi(tall), one was very plump and went by the name of PokDe Gemok(fat) and the other was rather short and went by the name of Pok De Renek (short). PokDe Renek played an important role in my life for he was the one that extend his hand to allow my family to take our need from his sundry shop and pay whenever we have money.. We only managed to pay all our debt to him after my elder sister started working if not after I started to work.

Yes, the monetary debt we owed to PokDe Renek, we do managed to pay ...(borrowing from a phrase from a song "To Sir with Love" by Lulu) but how do you thank someone whose kindness has allowed a family of six to put foods on their dining table for more than twenty years..

May Allah blessed his soul (I came to know that PokDe Renek has passed away some years ago just before his nephew became my sister's son in law).

Have a nice productive day and stay safe.


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
What about a combi - orebule leper? Adalah hok nok kena penampor ni...teeheehee....the next time we pass by Duyung we'll surely look out for anyone who've ever known Wang Sharif leper... purrr...meow!

Anonymous said...

very honorable of you to acknowledge PokDe Renek contributions to your family. Most of the time, once the family become successful, the good deed always forgotten..

Anonymous said...

interesting post, Wan Shariff. I second anonymous's comment. Noble of you indeed, Sir.

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Cat-from-Sydney ,
Wow a combi - orebule leper?
Sound rather awkward ..Non?
Ehh kenapa pula kena penampor .. kan kita berseloroh nie?..
A cat that will on a look out for anyone who've ever known Wang Sharif leper in Pulau Duyong... mm.. my kampong might think that Wan Sharif is now beyond repairs hahaha!

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Anonymous ,
We should acknowledge and be very thankful for those who have contribute to our well-being, however small it may seem now.. Especially our teachers, ustazs, friends, colleagues and most important of all - our parents.
It was said that a person who is not thankful to human being is also not thankful to his Creator..

Wan Sharif said...

Noir dearest,
Thank you for your kind comments.
Honestly when I wrote and reviewed the part "but how do you thank someone whose kindness has allowed a family of six to put foods on their dining table for more than twenty years.." I was teary-eyed .. we have many relatives who can do better but it took a complete stranger (not at all related to my family) to lend a helping hand and to help for twenty over years...
I pray my readers and I can be that kind-hearted to people in need!!

Unknown said...

Ahhhh.... a touching post, especially the part of Pok De Renek's good deed. May Allah place him in Jannah with all the other solihins.

I am lucky to never had a nickname.Though while in MRSM, I was very, very skinny, I was called Sekeping Ahan.

But over the years, I've filled out and childbirths had added on the pounds, that name never came to stick!

Coffee Girl said...

orebule? That's pure genious! Sounds almost like a new form of cookie! Marc Bulan! Wow... talk about original! how do they come up with such names like that? It mustve been really nice being you, except for the Wan Shariff Leper part... hehehe that was a little bit nasty. I had a few nicknames too, but my fav is Adot... a perfect name to describe a chubby little mischievous smart kid. hehe

Al-Manar said...

It's all taken in good spirit. Those were the days, ore bule. You try the young ones today and the consequence may not be the same.

That SDAR is no longer there, opposite the Maktab Guru Sultan Idris, right? I was around there last month and I missed the railway crossing going into town. There is a high wall standing there today.

ninotaziz said...

"but how do you thank someone whose kindness has allowed a family of six to put foods on their dining table for more than twenty years.."

I have had my share of kind souls -one a one of a kind friend far away in California who by now, has forfeited all worldly luxuries to be a Bhuddist monk.

We think of them with gratitude and thanks to Allah for helping us find them when we were in great need.

Thank you for this wonderful post.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

so that was how orebule came about! btw, semalam (saturday) i met my brother fauzi (yr SDAR senior) kat rumah our sister in shah alam, ada makan2 sikit among us adik beradik. dia sampaikan salam pada yohwang. kalu 'jjuppa katanya.

with regards nama jolokan masa budak2, saya dipanggil Lonjong, for obvious reasons.. ehhehe..

Oldstock said...

Salam Ayoh Wang,

I got my nickname when I was in boarding school. Imagine that... only 17 years old and already called an old man! But I wasn't offended... many other friends had even more ridiculous nicknames and I don't think they minded at all (at least, I hope not). Names like Batak, Buta, Mamak, Nyamok, Buncit, just to give a few examples. Even the girls were not spared.

Nice and touching story about PokDe Renek. Some acts of kindness are beyond capability of repayment. As you said, the least we can do is to be kind to others too...

Cheqna said...

Ayoh Wang,

Thank you for sharing this, was grinning tengah2 malam reading some parts of it.

Semoga Allah SWT cucuri rahmat pada ruh arwah PokDe Renek.

Anonymous said...

Dato W is a good nickname also. Wak Sembrono memang dok kene lasong.

By the way punggok is nightjar, so better translation is "like a nightjar longing for the moon".

Wan Sharif said...

Ahan dearest,,
Ameen to you doa on PokDe Renek..
Sekeping Ahan! Ha ha surely that cannot last too long... Sometimes nicknames can be fashionable ... As you can see for the case of Ninot in Ninotaziz below.. She used the name for her blog and for her books ;)

Wan Sharif said...

Coffee Girl dearest,
A new form of cookies! Oh you are very imaginative...I am pleased to know that you love that perfect nickname of Adot... i would love to have that chubby little mischievous kid for a niece.. How about that. I think everyone will too.. Non? :))

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Abang Hassan,
I was a lil upset to get that awang leper nickname on my first day at school especially when the one who gave it was not in a rather kind mood.. Endured that for few years.. Then I came to realise that there is nothing much to it.. Let it be.. Not much heartache then..
When orangbulan name was given it came rather naturally.. Without malice.. And I was thirteen.. Lost in hostel of many older sometimes mischievous and boisterous boys .. approaching adulthood.. Would have a nasty consequence to protest then ..
Ah yes you are right.. there were still one hostel and one school hall ..Dewan Abdul Rahman Talib .. The last time I was there.. Few years back..
They put a wall to hide the railway track!.. How do we go to town then.. an overhead bridge?.. Oh Tanjong Malim...Nostalgia ;)

Wan Sharif said...

Ninot dearest,
I love the way you take it..
We think of them with gratitude and thanks Allah for helping us find them when we were in great need..
I used to lose sleep when my kind friends were non Muslim.. Used to offer prayer so that Allah will lead them to the truth.. But now I know better..
Thank you for liking this post..

Lee said...

Hi Wan Sharif, how you doin'? Still busy?
But you sure got one very interesting job too.

Ha ha, love that expression, Pungguk rindukan bulan'.
I enjoyed reading this posting.
You have a nice day and stay easy.

Wan Sharif said...

Puteri dearest,
Nice to keep the silaturRahmi strong... A foundation for successful life here and in the hereafter.. Seem to me your brother Fauzi has been keeping his weight and shape very well when I last saw him at your daughter's wedding reception.. Sampikan salam kembali saya kepadanya dan juga isterinya(I shared a few light moments with both of them that day). ;)).
We also have Long John in Sdar, he was also my classmate, roommate , officemate. ..even katilmate ( double decker bed) :)). I called him Long John Silver...;)
I guess they don't called you Long Joan then.. ;) non?

Wan Sharif said...

Fathil dearest,
You are called an old man at 17.. He he he. We did have someone called pakcik when he joined us in form four...
But back then we have a hostel room called the zoo.. Virtually everyone inside that room have nicknames of animal.. Itek, burung, etceteras..
Yes there kindness that cannot be repaid.. May Allah repay all those and may He bless us all with the same virtue and may He treat us kindly when we are recalled back to Him.

Wan Sharif said...

Cheqna dearest,
Nice to note that this postIng has made you grin while reading it.. We have tough time in Pulau Duyong back then.. There was and still is not much economic activities there that can make people enjoy a leisurely and comfortable life on that tiny island.."
Ameen to your kind doa..

Wan Sharif said...

Y M Anonymous dearest
Ha ha Dato W is the nickname I carried in my angling circle.. Given in jest... Knowing very well I was with the group to enjoy the companionship.. Not as an out- and-out serious angler.. You seem to remember the wak sombrono nickname as well... given to me by someone very educated.. But not in good temperament or faith.... Probably because of my nonchalant attitude toward my angling attempts..
May Allah bless you, your loved one and your families with Maghfirah, rahmah and Barakah sokmo..

Wan Sharif said...

Dearest Brother Lee,
Still busy with drilling for hydrocarbon.. Currently, the well is experiencing high pressure condition.. A risky situation that can at time cause blowout capable of maiming and killing people working on board of the drilling rig.. Has some success in this third well.. found substantial gas but not what we hoped for, a substantial oil find.. As of now I do have some 500 meters more to drill to find that precious black gold..
Ha ha.. Just as I thought.. you seems to like those peribahasa, gurindam, pantun and all that.. I believed we have our mutual friend .. Ninotaziz who digs those finer part of life..
How was your CNY in Canada... Extremely enjoyable as always I hope.. I will stay easy as always and hope you are too;)

R.A.S said...

When I was a young girl, I used to name call my teachers for the certain traits that they had...I should have not for what goes round DEFINITELY comes round. Now, I too am a teacher, a short one in fact and for that, I am the 'ayam serama' at school...

Wan Sharif said...

Ayam serama!!.. that was cruel.. but it all depend on you like The BOOK said ~~~if you forgive them.. truly Allah is Most Merciful, Most Forgiving..
To know that what goes around DEFINITELY comes around is a Rahmat.. I believed.. in the long run ;)