holiday-penang00402008The road heading to the Wayne Gardner’s Chicane 

My memory of USM Minden surged suddenly when I saw a man we used to call “The Devil Himself” while I was having my breakfast in Subaidah Nasi Kandar in Sungai Dua.

Enter Uncle Singh or Mr. Kalmit Singh, now almost 60 years old, still smartly dressed in his uniform and an oversized turban bearing USM insignia. With over-speed rewind, I can clearly remember this fella riding his big bike during midnight roaming around Minden Campus. He is the famous Security Officer that brought shivers to many undergrads when he suddenly yet ruggedly appears out of nowhere in the middle of the night looking for offenders of University rules. Unfortunately we are too obsessed sharing our anecdotes that I ultimately forgotten about taking a photo of “The Devil Himself”. Kalmit has served as Security Personnel in USM since 1970 and now he is serving on contract basis.

After spending almost half an hour with Uncle Singh, I knew by then, USM, the APEX University is still the USM I fondly remembered. I then drove my kids to visit this University in The Garden and to meet all my heroes who still loyally serving this glorious campus.

Our first stop is The Security Department to visit a person whom I fondly refer to as my number one movie fan. Major (R) Noor Rizan Khalid, the Director of Security as I remember, never misses any of my movies screening during my varsity days. He would bring with him all his kids to watch the screening in the Film Studio. Now, it is my turn to bring my kids to pay him our respect.

sheih-noor-rizanSheih with Maj (R) Noor Rizan Khalid, Director of Security, USM

holiday-penang00172008Minden’s Hilton, where our Paris brother used to stay

Then we roam around the campus for a while and took a snap shot of ‘Hilton’ for our brother in Paris who used to be staying there. USM is developing rapidly but without losing the beauty that make this campus so romantically remembered by many. We also visited the VC Rock, Master Grill, Red House and all those memorable spot where lovers used to spell their vows.

holiday-penang00522008The old Rancangan Komunikasi Building

I am however felt very sad to see my former school building, The Rancangan Komunikasi and the annex building where the Film Studio was before is currently undergoing renovation. The Cherry tree by the stairs of the old Communication School also has now gone. To those from the class of ’94, the Cherry Tree and the stairs are very important landmarks for us. That is where we use to lepak no matter day or night, weekend or weekdays.

masscommGone, the stairs and the Cherry Tree

We stop by the new School of Communication to visit my ‘Tok Guru’ Assoc. Prof Hatta Tabut. We also were very lucky to be able to meet Abang Man, Abang Chik, Tuan Haji Haroon Awang and Dr. Mus.

Lastly, we take a drive to Canselori, that we used to refer to as The Forbidden City to meet Dr. Hamima. I am glad to be able to make this visit with my kids. At least now they have a glimpse of the Romantic Campus where their parents met and fall in love.

holiday-penang00192008L-R Abang Man and Prof. Hatta

holiday-penang00252008Standing L-R Prof. Dr. Mus and Abang Chik. Seated R-L Tn Haji Haroon, Abang Man and Prof. Hatta

What surprised us most, despite 18 years gap, those who we met were still the same, in every obvious sense. Be it Tuan Noor Rizan, Kang Hatta, Dr. Mus, Haji Haroon, Abang Man and Abang Chik, physically they are within the same size when we left them. It seems that after 18 brushing years, it hardly had taken toll on them. They are still the humble and loyal servants of the Academic world. I asked myself, is Minden a different world with the real world outside there? Maybe.



Current School of Communication

holiday-penang00222008Wef, Guli and Meqna lepak in front of the new School of Communication

During my four years in the beautiful campus, I roamed through all the streets. It carries too many memories about to many people and to many things. I can remember each of the streets not by its name but by the memories we shared. Those streets need no name.

new01182008What used to be Desa Fajar, The brightly lit first floor room (right) where I spent my first year and the third floor (right) where I spent my final year.