Articles, Opinions & Views: Life After Retirement...The Little Iban Warrior

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No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Life After Retirement...The Little Iban Warrior
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Sometimes I play golf, regardless of the time so long as my kakis (partners) are at the club, or have “coffee” in the evening that can last well past midnight. So you see, my schedule is awfully busy. “Boring lah Uncle,” said one of my pengkering kaki (associates). There is truth in what he says but who cares. One thing, however, is becoming more apparent now, I am getting less and less phone calls. It can become lonely at times but thanks to the radio programme “Light & Easy” the songs they play bring back memories of the good old days. Once a while I get offers to join in some nondescript business dealings but I prefer to decline because I do not have any clue about becoming rich. All these wheeling and dealings elude me for I am pushing sixty now.

What sort of business can I do at this age? “You are right,” my friend said. “ You have reached the plateau. You don’t have the safety net any more,” be bemoaned. “Be happy with what you have now lah.” I took his advice literally. I have not fallen into any kind of trap and hope I never will. The first couple of months after I left I felt a little scared when they did not credit my pension money into my account. I was lucky though, I had received a 4-month gratuity (golden handshake) otherwise I would have gone kaput. Anyway all problems had been resolved, thanks to those hardworking guys at the Human Resources Department.

Now come the most important question, what happen to my night life. Well, I do drop by occasionally at some of those popular Iban joints to cuci mata and “renew my license“. Of late my performance has nose-dived. I am beginning to feel that I am no longer the kingpin that once terrorised the karaoke and the pubs in Kuching, Sibu, Miri and some minor towns between Lundu and Simanggang (Bandar Sri Aman). I realise now that my Bidayuh friends are singing Iban songs even better that the original singers themselves. My Chinese friend takes centre stage at the hotel lobby in Kota Kinabalu singing Kadazan songs that put all my Sabahan friends to shame. This is serious I thought. When the yam seng cry reverberates, I cannot not hold my glass up high enough. I have difficulty keeping pace with these young “gladiators“. They are fit and strong. They remind me of my youthful days. Scary but that is a fact of life. I have to contend sitting at one corner, watching them downing the frothy liquid. Discretion is a better part of valour they say, I do not wish to differ.

For those who are about to embark on a lifelong journey of idleness (retirement) , here are some pointers for you: a. Keep fit and maintain your daily exercise. b. Pick up a hobby or two to keep yourself busy and to kill the boredom of having nothing to do. c. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, reduce the beer intake and try to keep off “smoke zone“. Good for your money and health as well. I am not a sour grape and I mean well. d. Do not severe your relationships with your former colleagues, try to visit them in the office or meet them somewhere else. It is very nice to know the developments that have taken place after you left. e. Do not fall for all those get-rich quick gimmicks. Leave that to your children. Enjoy with what you have now. f. Maintain your figure and dress smartly. Do not dress like an apek, it can make you look older. Do not overdo it also by dyeing your hair like some young urchins or you will have problems of biblical proportions later. g. Reserve some times for your daily/weekly pray. Do not be too serious and try to take over the priest or the imam for that matter. h. Learn to sing “Be Happy” and trust me you will be happy forever.

(Linus Lunsong is the author of
the book, “Little Iban Warrior”
published by Ipoh Echo recently)
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:40 PM  
  • At 3:28 PM, Blogger JD said…

    Thank you for the advise, lets have TTS whenever you are in KL. Regards JD

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