Friday, November 16, 2007

Remembering Allahyarham Shahrol Nizam

Remembering Allahyarham Shahrol Nizam

by Yusoff Shaffirul

…Having completed four TN Data Center moves, I decided to keep momentum and proceed with MNI dev move. After the Hari Raya holidays, the first weekend was catered for MNI production move. The Move itself was a success, albeit completion only at 1030pm that Sunday. What follow suit the next day, was something I was totally unprepared for. I had been anticipating calls form the various Application leads and Users on the post migration activities, instead the first call I received that morning was from Aris Abdillah. Not having stored his mobile number, it was a pleasant surprised to learn that it was Aris. Composed as Payung has always been, he asked me if the 'news' were confirmed. I remembered my shock and struggle to remain calm, I told Aris I need to make a few round of calls to check, however deep in my heart- we knew people don't joke about these kinda things. It was indeed a sad sad day that following Monday for me, upon learning the death of a close friend, brother and comrade in our own ways.

Shahrol Nizam Yusof, or simply Shahrol as I have known him, passed way that morning of October 22nd 2007, leaving behind a heavily pregnant wife and 3 beautiful daughters. His fourth child was due to be delivered in 2 weeks time. At the time of writing, I learned that his wife had safely given birth to their baby boy last Friday. Shahrol death came as sudden news to many of us. We were only in our 31 st year, and he did look so healthy. Post mortem report indicates that Shahrol died of heart failure, due to some blockage of the vessels inside the heart.

I remembered Arwah as a very nice kid back in my school days. He was in 1 PK 1, and Arwah was a jovial, cheerful lad who is generous with smiles and grins. Among my earliest memory of Arwah, was during our get to know conversation, and I could clearly remember him telling me he was from Kuala Nerang Kedah. We immediately convert to our northern slang since that, and get along quite well in school, partly because we are in the same Sulaiman House. I always thought Arwah to be quite religious. He entered the hafazan Yasin competition sometime when we were in Form 2 or 3, being those few who were struggling with my Quran reading back in school, I remembered my utter amazement back than at anyone who could hafal the entire surah! I did not remembered who eventually won the competition, but I sure hope those early promising moments of his life are indeed testimonials of his deep faith in his religion, as Arwah lies in transition to the hereafter.

I guess we see less of each other as we go along the higher Forms, partly because we were in different dorm and stream. Subsequently, after SPM I heard Arwah got to study in the UK, where he eventually met his wife and subsequently married. I guess he was those few who marries early in life, and is blessed with about 9 years of marriage life with beautiful children. I remembered him holding a reception ceremony upon coming back from his studies; Arwah took the trouble to send me an invitation card to his function in Kedah. By now, I guess he had move to Pokok Sena. I remembered this well as upon coming back to Penang from UM for one of my breaks, my dad was enthusiast in telling me I got a wedding invitation from a friend in Pokok Sena. Despite my token grunts of having my mails opened, immediately I recalled it might be Shahrol, and upon looking at the card it was confirmed. I was happy for him, sadly, I do not have the opportunity to attend his function than. Looking back now, I wish I had, I wish I had taken more trouble to be present on important occasions such as those, as the realms that we live here 'temporarily' in this world certainly did not register back that, despite the consistent and random reminder we always get from time to time.

I only met Arwah again after a long, long time. I couldn't remember if he attended our 2003 reunion. If any of you culd, let me know, it might be the first time I saw him back after so long. Maybe my memory is failing me, but I did recalled seeing him again sometime early in 2005. I knew he was working in Petronas, and on one occasion I was seeing Rafizi ('94) at Suria KLCC, Arwah joined us. That was how I learned that they were very close friends. I must admit that Arwah look very different form the days I know him, overnight, he has grown tall and lanky, not the short and small guy he was in school. And the he did look different with his beard and moustache that he kept. He remains though, the soft spoken intelligent person I used to know, and the occasional glimpses of the wry smile and unmistakable grin did affirm to me that this is indeed the Shahrol that I know.

Since than, we met a few times, notably during a Malay College Fund Raising Dinner sometime in March 2005, organized by MCOBANITA, a joined wives of MCOBs association, in view of the 100 years road show. I think Naman was there too on that occasion, and Arwah was there in his capacity as a volunteer to usher the invited former teachers of MCKK. I asked him, how did he got involved with these activities, and Arwah said, he felt a compelling urged to get himself involved with any Malay College activities as his way of giving something in return, to the school that nurture him to become where he is today. I remembered that conversation well, because Arwah later gave me a lift back to my office at Jalan Melaka where I parked. I had stayed back to help him see the last of the guest teachers leaving, and we escorted a painter teacher who was holding a small gallery exhibition in conjunction with that dinner. Little did we both know at that time, why Arwah was rushing to do his bit. From Rough's blog, I realized that Arwah had done many other Koleq- related activities, including helping organized the present debaters training session with the old debaters/ coaches. We parted ways that night with the usual promises to keep in touch etc… promises that is always hard to keep in this mad mad world we live in.

The next time, and probably last I saw Arwah was during the MCOBA Annual dinner in 2005, in KLCC Convention Center. We chatted til the wee hours in the morning. Again being part of the organizer committee, Arwah had dispatched his duties exceptionally well that night. He was involved with the Sound and Lighting queue for the event. I joked that he has finally fulfilled his wishes to be part of MCCC after leaving school. It is this kinda jokes that really binds us, old boys as we recalled an era that we leave behind.

Some time this year, Arwah text msg me to say that he is on Utusan Malaysia first page picture, in a picture with the President of Petronas, Tan Sri Hassan Merican. I cant remember exactly what the original news was about, but it was a picture of a round table meeting with many parties, and Arwah was part of the meeting delegation, probably in his capacity form the corporate planning unit. I did call him and congratulate, and said that I look forward to the day people text me and said they were on the same picture with him instead, as future leader in Petronas. Arwah confided with me, very humbly as he was, that it was such an insignificant and small role in that meeting he helped organized, but it was a memorable moment in his life, to be part of his CEO's delegation, and Arwah had a lot of respect and passion for his organization and work. I was happy that I convinced him, any small contribution matters, and in his case, it was helping the economy of many lives that Petronas touched, not to mention to the country. So yes, he got every right to celebrate that day.

We have lost another brother and comrade in our own unique family, but the memory and goodness or Arwah should remain in our harts forever, in discharging all our duties to the best of our abilities, as a genuine budak Koleq. I'm sure that is how Arwah would have like us to remember him.

Our last contact came on Hari Raya eve, Arwah text me to wish Selamat Hari raya, Maaf Zahir Batin, mudah – mudahan segala amalan di bulan Ramadhan yang lalu di terima Allah. Again I regretted badly that I did not manage to reply the many sms that came on that day, including his. But I did amin kan his doa, that mudah – mudahan segala amalan yang baik dibulan Ramadhan yang baru berlalu di terima Allah. Maybe Arwah knew it was going to be his last Ramadhan. I sincerely pray, it has been his best. Ameen.

Semoga Allah merahmati & menempatkan Allahyarham Sharol Nizam & Allahyarham Kamal Erfan di kalangan orang2 yang beriman, dan orang2 yang dikasihi Nya. Am in.

Al- Fatihah

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