Saturday, December 1, 2012

Alor Star

                                                               Picture by Johnsonooijunsheng
Image: The Menara, the tower in Alor Star
Sourced through Wikimedia Commons (here)

It took a good part of six hours
then, by road to Alor Star. A journey
of love and hope. The first of many
through the years

It started way back forty-four years ago
That long and how time flies
I used to make it to Alor Star
for short visits. The courtship for
my beloved Shadah in fact started
a few years before that

It was Orientation Week on campus
I spied a shy lass with books and papers
in a sling bag looking with anticipation
A 'freshie' lost in the crowd
I was a 'senior' ready to pounce
on unsuspecting 'innocents' of
beautifully garbed young ladies
who had just arrived as new students

One thing led to the other
Many hours together,in the library
Visits to the Third Residential College
the residence where she put up at
Cheap meals at the nearby eateries
Or just walking hand in hand evenings
where there were open spaces within
Whispering sweet nothings just as other
couples bent on building a relationship
Those were the days of courtship
on a meager stipend of limited wants

We don't make visits to Alor Star anymore
My father-in-law had passed on, my mother-
in-law is now with us. Our house there is left
empty just so we still have a place to stay
should we make that rare visit again

How we miss the place. The food was
cheap with a variety of the local fare
The environment was healthy.  Many places
around were still undisturbed (perhaps there
were changes lately) The pace was slower
It was ideal for retirement.

Thanks for the memories, Alor Star!

Written for Stu hosting at d'Verse with Poetics: MISSING YOU


  1. Hi Hank, I empathize with you here. I miss some of the places I used to have reason to visit too. Sad how things change in this regard.

    1. It's not too far off from where we are now. We can be there if the reason demands. Knowing so is good enough for now!


  2. oh i hope you get to make that journey again...pretty cool as well to hear a bit of your story...a senior ready to pounce....ha....very cool hank....

    1. Yes, Brian! It normally got to that. The seniors looked around who to be 'friendly' with. In the process 'couples' got created.


  3. I do hope you get to go back there again. It seems to hold so many happy memories for you. You pounced on poor young freshies... tut tut (Smiling)

  4. This is beautiful and makes me smile. Did you go 'tawaf' the lake? Alor Star of course is most special.

    1. Yes Lisa, not recently but before, yes! There were places new to me then and it was fun! Apparently you are familiar with A.Star too, I gather!


    2. I was referring to the UM lake :)

      My hometown is Alor Star, I was born in Alor Star.

    3. The MU lake was quite big. Apparently it's smaller now, half its previous size. There was a canteen,the Student's Union and a barber's shop at the Agric Faculty side. Was it the same when you were there?

      You were born in AS! What a small world this is.You should be able to converse in the Kedah lingo with Shadah then! Pi mai pi mai tang tu 'aja!


  5. this touched a chord as there are also placed i used to go regularly and don't have reason to go any more...missing them as to hear a bit about your story as well..nice

    1. There must be strong reasons, I suppose so! Thanks Claudia!


  6. Yes, this pulled at the heart strings, more than just a tad. Worth a second read, I think...

  7. ..the best souvenirs ever one could take is,perhaps, the memories of a place or something we used to have connections or part with... priceless indeed and very portable... thanks for sharing Alor Star...

    good day!

  8. Lovely memories.... its beautiful..felt with every line....:-)

  9. You have portrayed some really beautiful memories here ... loved reading it :-)

  10. Such a journey it sounds like it was, sometimes places do fall by the wayside. Hopefully you get to go once more and then brag about it at your shore haha

  11. great narrative style here...almost like a set of polaroid photographs!! You brig the sights, the sounds, and our heart alive with this piece

  12. I enjoyed reading this. What nice memories you have of this special place. I like how you weave your college days and your courtship days into this. It's funny how much life changes through the years.

  13. And one of the strange things about special places, is that they so often were just around here when we were there no knowing that one day they would be just memory even when revisited

  14. Oh how I love this post!!!! 44 years ago - 1968? That's the year I was born, not that far from where the tower now stands, the old General Hospital. I'm really so happy U posted about this quiet small town (they may label it city, I still fondly think of it as my one-small-town)..

  15. This is really good. I love the opening stanza and how you built and followed it up through the rest of the piece. Great read Thanks

  16. thank you for taking us on this 'A journey of love and hope. '
    i miss spaces and places too

  17. I too often miss places -- so nice to see a poem about that!