Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 - Year of Courage and Hope

It has been many years since I made a new year's resolution. I gave up because my resolutions unraveled within weeks. even days. From simple things like waking up at a certain hour of the day, to going to the gym twice a week, to earning a certain amount per month or year. As a result, instead of inspiring me, and spurring me on through the year it made me feel like a complete loser whose words are not to be trusted. A weakling, unable to achieve the simplest of tasks.

My hiatus from blogging has led me to many resources which made me understand that whatever I face in the physical realm stems in its entirety from my internal state of mind. And I that isn’t too difficult..I just need to change my mindset and everything will fall into place.
Hence I realise also that the clutter that manifests in my physical realm is due to the clutter plagueing my mind. That is the broad guidelines of the principle..and for someone like me, it gives me hope.

I realise that there is nothing to worrry about. So long as I am granted my time on this reality called Earth, I have nothing to fear. I and my children will be sufficiently provided for...and the extent of our provision is in direct proportion to how much I believe we deserve.

Knowing that I can change my life for the better makes me happy. Knowing that it is as simple as changing my thoughts gives me HOPE and COURAGE to try. It makes me feel less intimidated as opposed to methods requiring the identification of physical targets too scary to draw up due to my history of failures.

Hence today, taking the cue from a blog I avidly follow,
Zen Habits, I am going to be brave and make these resolutions . I think I will be able to keep it this time, because it isn’t anything mechanical but deals with my consciousness. It will be an experiment to see whether these theories are for real and see how it manifests in my physical realm.

Here are my Four Resolutions which I shall call My Commandments:

1. To be true to more pretenses
2. To practice gratitude everyday and keep a gratitude journal
3. To act from love and not from hatred or anger.
4. To believe I can be better then ever before and forgive myself if I err from this path

There are many more I can list but for fear of being over zealous and overwhelmed I shall start with these four.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Is there a Silver Lining In the Slush and Rubble..

I woke up with a start at 6.00 am. I rubbed sleep from my eyes to find the name flashing on the screen to be Kak Awe, my ex-husband’s sister. She wouldn't call at this hour unless it is terribly important. “There’s a landslide here..,"she said, "we are having a blackout.” That was expected, I thought. I asked her whether it’s on the way up to Bukit Antarabangsa as I saw some blue PVC sheets being laid on the steep slope along the road. "No,” she said, “it's at the bungalows. Abang Megat just missed it; he passed the location, just 15 minutes before it happened, and Ammar too. We are cut off...we are trapped in here.” I perked up...I obtained further details and finally managed to get a rough picture of where it actually happened....Yet the immensity of the disaster hasn’t sunk in. I found myself completely calculated, not really feeling, merely thinking, trying to identify solutions to the problem of them being trapped. Then, I remembered my sister, Nani. I told her I needed to call Nani because she hasn't called me, she is probably still asleep.
The first thing I asked Nani was, “You are having a black out now, right?"
“Yes, she said...why aaa?” she replied with a question...
“There’s a landslide, apparently about 7 bungalows affected...and you guys are cut off. No exit”
“Yes aa...where...Oh my God I can hear a electricity la, and water also very slow now. My battery running out. Lucky I charged the kids’ phones.”
“I will find out further and keep you wired. If I cannot get you, I will call their phones” I said.

I positioned myself at my watch post, in front of my puter.
There was nothing on the news yet, and when I googled, only old landslide stories appeared.

Later I opened my facebook and saw the first picture Nani posted. It was dark and I couldn’t see much. I saw the bungalow we all call the Cinderella house intact, and heaved a sigh of couldn’t be so bad...I thought. The road would be cleared within a day, at the most. Yet... a nagging worry was tugging at the back of my mind.

After half an hour, I saw Nani posted a brighter picture of the affected area. From her distance and angle, it still didn’t look too serious. It was only after 7 that the first news appeared on the Star Online website - 14 bungalows affected, and 4 people dead, 15 injured, 93 people rescued but 8 missing.
I began updating Kak Awe and Nani via sms and kept refreshing the page for the latest updates. I still thought it wasn’t too serious. I tried calling both of them but the line was getting congested. My heart constricted. A lump began to form in my throat. Fear and panic began to seep in slowly through my pores
Then Kak Awe called, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Slowly but surely I began to swell with panic. Then I saw the 7th update, which said that the 3 to 5 thousand residents who were cut off by the landslide will be evacuated...the graveness of the tragedy began to sink. I kept Kak Awe and Nani abreast with my SMSes.

Only when I saw the TV3 news, did I realise the immensity of the legs felt like jelly...and tears began to stream down my cheeks. I looked at my phone and saw a message from Nani: “Can you pick us up at Athenaeum”. I called Kak Awe and asked her whether she was planning to leave...she said she was discussing with her husband... I was already reduced to tears. It was then, that Shake called me to tell me that he will be there to help too, I was so grateful.

I went with Umair, Johan, Zara and KT. We stopped to get mineral water and lots of bread so that they have something to eat, and we set out. Shake arrived first.
Seeing Nani and her family, my fear burst into joy. I was so relieved but relief gave way to worry again, since Kak Awe and family were still not seen. Kak Nab, Kak Awe's elder sister were there with her son, to wait for Kak Awe. After knowing that they were already on their way, I decided to leave. Meanwhile, Shake waited to see if he could help Kak Awe's family with transportation. Alas they had enough cars.

I am eternally grateful to Shake for his big heartedness. A friend in need like him is such a rarity. I am so blessed to have known and met him.

We made a pit stop at Diva for lunch. I can't imagine what it must have felt for Nani...having to leave her belongings behind...and having to live in a crammed room in my house, no air cond and such. Water pressure is also lower in my house as opposed to hers

Being a Cancerian, home is my sanctuary...and I know how off balance I would be if I were displaced like her. But she took it with such tranquility and grace.

Later, we had to drive back to BA to send my clothes to the laundry. Even if everything looked perfectly normal around the Giant area, you won't be able to dismiss the highly charged energy there. It was like the air, the trees and the earth were trying to tell us something. They speak too, but their language cannot be can only be felt.

It was only during this time that the immensity of the disaster sank in. Sadness fell like a heavy curtain around me...My mind cowered under the onslaught of “what ifs” ...As we went about our business, I thanked Allah for sparing my family and so many more. But my thoughts went to those who have lost their loved ones and their homes. I thought of how they are unable to carry on their normal business as I was, and of how their lives are changed forever.

I have always been able to find a wisp of silver lining or two in my tribulations...but in this case, the overcast is too vast and heavy for me to discern any light, just yet...It was then did I realise how small we are, and how nothing is certain in this life...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Paulo Coelho's Statutes For Life

To open the virtual card, point your mouse to the bottom right hand corner and click.

I love this man, and I love the way he thinks and writes. I am inclined to agree with him, most of the time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

If Today Be Sweet- Thrity Umrigar

If Today Be Sweet: A Novel If Today Be Sweet: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I first read The Space Between Us by Umrigar, I was so mesmerised by her authorship that I was googling to find if she has any other published books. I was disappointed, then. That must have been about 2 years ago. A few days back when I was googling again to satisfy my craving for a shot of good literary work, I was elated to find quite a number of books by her and decided to take a trip to the bookstore to get this one. It is not as fast a read as the Space but as poignant and evocative as ever. Perhaps Tehmina's soliloquy touched me to he core because I am a single mother with a grown up son, whom I believe loves me as much as I love him. Perhaps Tehmina's closeness to Rustom reminded me of my mom and dad's closeness and how my mom is still coping from her loss when dad left her so abruptly due to a heart attack..perhaps. But definitely, without a doubt it is her gift to chain your attention with her beautiful flow of words, and the big heartedness of her characters..i recommend it to anyone who has a mom, has a wife, anyone who is a mom herself. It will make you a better person..surely...

Now I am craving for another good read..

View all my reviews.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I was first introduced to this ingenious creation when I was 9 or 10. A family friend who returned from a study sabatical from England brought this as a present for me, Uncle Darmis and Auntie Rohani. When I was 6 years old, my parents decided to send me to a good Kindy in Green Lane. The Kindy operator sent and picked up children, but where I lived was out of the way. I was then staying in Brown Gardens Gelugor. So I transited at their home, a quarters within the RECSAM campus.My parents would pick me up when they returned from school at around 2pm.At the time, LEGO was unknown in Malaysia, at least not in Penang. Those original LEGO pieces are still kept in my mom's house in Minden Heights along with a hodge podge of other LEGO and DUPLO pieces I later bought for my elder children.

A few months ago I bought a set for my two little heroes..and it was the best decision I have ever made to part with my hard earned money. Muaz would come home from school and pour the bucket out while he is transported into his own LEGO world. It took a while for me to train him to change and eat and have his shot of Sustagen first before he is allowed to play for half and hour and later complete his homework before he can continue playing. Never have any toy I bought managed to capture his attention in this manner. The way the boys play is totally different from the way I did. Obviously I wasn't as imaginative as they are, because I was merely copying what was shown on the box, but the boys let their imagination roam free and create all sorts of things. Lately I am recipient to many gifts from vehicles to Aircrafts to Robots to cute little homes. I feel a twist of guilt as I toss these creations into its bucket at the end of the day since my workstation gets cluttered with them..but I know more will come my I guess it doesn't matter..I only managed to take a picture of these three..but I promise there will be more to come.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


¿noʎ ʇ,uop 'sıɥʇ ǝʌol ı ˙ɹoɹɹıɯ ʎʞoɯs ɐ ǝʞıl sı ǝɟıl ɹno zoɔ 'ʇı ʎɹʇ ˙ʞuıɥʇ noʎ ʇ,uop ƃuıʇsǝɹǝʇuı ǝʇınb sı sıɥʇ
find it here


He has been waiting for this for a long time. 2 weeks is a long time for a child of 5..Every morning when I or his brother sent him to school he would be asking me to go along with him, to see him take part in a colouring contest. "Can you please come with me, Ummi. Can you come and see me colour in school. I will colour so nice for you..please Ummi." I would have to say, "It's not today, Muaz..but on that day you will be with your can ask Dad to take you, ok". Deep in my heart..I worry that he won't take Muaz and I know how that will break Muaz's heart. Muaz withdrew to a corner and sulked. Droplets of tears on his cheeks.."I don't want to go..". "Just two days Muaz..and you will be back with me again.." "I don't want to go.." he screamed..All I could do was hug him until his sobs subside. This has been the ritual everytime this issue is raised.

I feel helpless because the agreement is such. The youngest two has to go to their father every two weeks..the court has decided and I am not one to go back on my words. It is good that they have some time with their father, too. I know whatever God provides is always the best, and that belief has helped me face everyday with a positive attitude, even if it hurts me and appear to hurt my children sometimes. All I could do was hope and pray and trust. Meanwhile, whatever hurts or cuts my children came home with, I try my best to heal, because that is life. They will need to learn. And whatever joys they came home with I encourage and reinforce.

Friday came and went and the children were still with me. I am so grateful that things have worked out this way. So this morning we got ready to go to Muaz's school open day/art exhibition. The children sang and spelled and counted and coloured. While they were colouring, I had the chance to visit Muaz's class to see his artwork. After all was said and done, I had the greatest reward that not the rubies and diamonds in the world can match. Muaz came to me, kissed me and hugged me with great candour, and whispered in my ears, "Thank you so much Ummi. I love you so much". "I love you too, Muaz". "Do you think I am smart to colour?"(he always articulates his question in this manner when he has done something to make me proud) "I think you are brilliant, genius the most wonderful in the whole world, baby". Satisfied with the answer, he gave me a final hug and off he went again to play with his friends..

Muaz won a consolation prize in the colouring contest, but that is not important. Not to him, or to me. What's important is the fact that we spent time together and Muaz will have this archived in his memory. What's important is he knows that he is loved and we are always proud of him. Hopefully he will carry this values through in his life and when he has his own children, will appreciate and be proud of them, the way I am of him. I carry this value with me, because my parents bequethed it to me, and they lived the family values they preach. And it is those values that has kept me standing and held my children and I together during the hardest of times.

I am now floating with the joy of that appreciation that Muaz has showered me.

I am inviting you to share my watch this images I managed to record.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another Funeral

Another cousin of mine passed away yesterday. This cousin was quite close to the family, a first cousin, my mom's brother's son,. His dad, passed away when his youngest sister was about 2 or 3 years old ( I am not sure how old he was, then). My mom once recounted the incident of her elder brother kissing his children one by one as a farewell gesture, on his death bed and told Mom to help keep an eye on his children when he is gone. So, Mom and Dad kept their word and helped to ‘keep an eye’ on all his children. So at some point in each of their lives, they came to stay with us, so as to enable them to be placed in a reputable school, since school was (and is still even till today) allocated based on a child’s location of residence. So during that period, they became a member of the family; another sibling for me. They came to stay one at a time. So during that period, when my teacher asked how many members in the family I had, I remember always quoting two extra siblings, because there was always one of them in our family and I always thought that mother’s younger foster sister was my elder sister..

What struck me most during this funeral was that while I am lamenting about God’s “failure” to answer my prayers, there before me, stood a woman, strong and stoic as she came face to face with the death of her son. She has been well acquainted with Death, who has claimed so many of her beloved's lives, beginning with her husband when she was barely 30, and then a son, due to talasemia, when he was in his teens; and later another son, from the same disease; and today the latest addition of her offspring has been invited by Death to join those who have gone before her. And I must be a lot harder for a mother to see her child precede her , yet this mother who have lost three, did not complain. She surrendered and put all her faith and fate in the hands of Almighty God. While I?????

For that reason, this funeral was the most humbling experience for me. One that taught me to be thankful for all the children that God has blessed me with, regardless of the challenges that they face, or the challenges that they pose to me. It taught me to pause before complaining about my plight, and instead to seek the opportunity to find the blessings often hidden behind every challenge and hence practice gratitude for everything that God has bestowed.. It made me realise the wealth of wisdom behind everything that He bestows regardless of whether they are in the form of challenges or blessings. And that when we trace His actions to the roots, it will inevitably lead us to a point where we understand that they are all grounded in His Love and Benificence.

I saw the procession we made to the cemetry as a farewell gesture to a loved one, because we will not meet again for a long long time. But it is not like we will never ever meet again. God has explicitly described in the Quran , that we shall eventually do so in another world. I don’t know, perhaps we had the same procession in the spirit world before we were sent into our mother's womb..but God did not permit us to remember it, or we did not then have the physical facility to store the memory of that experience. And later on in the womb, we perhaps had the same procession or ritual before we were sent out to this world called earth...and now we proceed to another realm. With this realisation, instead of the deep seated fear that I used to experience when I encountered the death of close family and friends, I felt God's love cradling me and comforting me. I felt His Love and Benificence in the way He made us grow into these different forms, to cater to the environment in the different ‘worlds’ he has created for us.

I used to seek solace in other human beings to resolve or at least dampen the fear that I have about death, but now, as God made me stand alone, with no companion to share my fears, I begin to understand that another human can never give me the solace that I seek. It is only Almighty God who can bestow that boon, and this fear can only be overcome, by feeling His presence in the form of His LOVE and by being in communication with Him.

And I know that my cousin is in the lap of God’s Love now. He was a good man. And he is in a new world tonight..And the Prophet PBUH once said that if your sins are as far and wide as the distance between this earth and the sky, believe that verily, God's Grace is far greater than that!! (I hope no one will come and say that this is a false Hadith, since i am not too scholarly to quote the source..)

Saturday, May 31, 2008


"Mom, you’re lazy and stupid and ugly”, Mary said to her mom smiling a cheeky smile. Then she disapeared into the hall where the rest of the family were sitting, waiting for her to serve lunch

Maggie’s tears trickled down her cheeks. She wiped it off while she stirred her curry..
She could hear her husband Willy’s laughter...

Mary appeared again, “Dad said you are ugly and fat and slow,” the five year old puffy cheeked china doll appeared again, and off she went in a puff.

Maggie told herself, she doesn’t know what she is saying. She is too young to understand that it is not a joke. Mary was terribly close to her dad, the youngest and the favourite among the four children he sired with her. Tears fell like rain, as she wrestled to stop it, stifling the sobs that was battling to escape her throat. She must get lunch ready. She beat herself up for being such and incompetent wife and mother, who can't even make sure that lunch is served on time.

It's ok, she told herself, this is just an ephemeral world..when she dies, she will pay to enter heaven’s gate with her patience, and there everything will be perfect. Willy will love her just as much as she loves him, everything will be fine. It was said that this world is fleeting..compared to the hereafter, so she shall brace herself to face the worst here, for a better life there....

Lunch went uneventfully, with no one talking at the table, except Willy pointing out that the food was tasteless and telling everyone to close their mouths while eating.

“Tomorrow, you get Mary ready. I am taking her with me,” he said with a tone, which no one dared to challenge.

“Where to? just her? What about the boys?,” Mom asked.

“Just get her ready..” Willy said and got up to leave the table..


Mary hugged her mom, and clambered into the 4WD. She was quiet for a long time, until the car turned in a direction which was completely unfamiliar to her. “Where are we going, Dad?", she asked quietly...

“I am taking you to meet someone," he said looking at her with a tender smile. .

She looked at him, and felt a funny tiny sensation in her gut.

They turned around a final corner and she saw a woman waiting by the street. Daddy stopped and told her to climb to the back. The lady climbed in. Her lips painted scarlet..that was the first thing Mary noticed. Her eyes were heavily made up deep blue. Her cheekbones stained pink. The sweet smell of her perfume filled every nook and cranny of the car, and Mary’s nostrils, nauseating her. She must be pretty to Daddy's eyes. "Hi, you must be Mary,” she said as her red lips stretched into a smile. Want to come and sit with me? Mary knew she had to be polite, so she smiled and shook her head.

“This is Auntie Naddy, Mary..." Daddy turned around and smiled a brilliant smile. It was obvious that daddy was very happy, a certain kind of light seemed to gleam in his eyes. When was the last time she saw that gleam? It was so long ago, those days when he used to bring her and the rest of the family for holidays or for a good meal at a posh restaurant. It was almost like a dream. She has almost forgotten it ever she knows, Naddy.stole it..
Mary saw daddy’s hand slip across the hand brakes seeking for Naddy's. The tiny flutter in her gut, stirred again, a little more violently this time...can he do that? Something wasn't right. She somehow knew instinctively, this act was completely misplaced.

Daddy's hand found Naddy's and she saw him carressing her fingers while she carressed his. Mary felt a lump in her throat..but something told her to be silent. She felt like crying but the tears all seem to be stuck in her throat. The road began to climb...she wanted to ask where they were taking her, but she couldn't. She didn’t want to go with them, she just wanted to go home to Mom...finally they stopped. Mary could see a few Fairy’s Wheel and a Merry Go Roiund with horses...and a myriad of other rides. They climbed out of the car..Daddy held her hand, while Naddy took the other..."People must think she's your daughter..she's so pretty like you, " she heard her Daddy say and Naddy giggled, she couldn't look at them anymore. She felt so betrayed. Why? She didn’t know. Later, they put her on the merry go round while they waited for her on the ground..when her horse spun to the place where they were standing, she could see daddy hugging Naddy.. the flutter in her gut now became a violent stir. Her entire gut felt like pouring out onto the merry go round floor, along with her tears.

Just as the wrenching twist in her gut became unbearable, everything stopped.. Mary felt nothing..numb....

The rest was a blurr..

She walked with them, but registered nothing...

When she reached home, she neither smiled nor laughed nor cried..she hugged her mom dutifully. but did not cling with affection like she used to. She was silent..she saw mom's tear stained face but did not feel sorry anymore. She untangled herself and went straight up to change and laid awake for a long time in bed..

Friday, May 30, 2008

Muaz and Huzaifah's Space Oddysey

They took a box which once housed a TV, coloured the wings with crayon, even did a dashboard with the polystyrene..and they're off to space....

The creativity of babies..i just have to immortalise it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Reverend Countess Shakirah the Intractable of Gallop Hophill
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


The clock struck 11 again. The hour of bliss. He will be here soon. He is always on the dot, plus or minus two minutes. This is the hour she looks forward to every single day seven days a week, there's no holiday, no weekends, no annual leave, except for the times when he had to go away, out of state or out of the country. But even so he will call without fail and they will spend at least a few minutes to renew their vows and their love for one another. Just a few minutes to revitalise the very rare innate connection which they felt only they had.

The first time they met, they could almost pre-empt what the other was going to say. She could sense his sadness even if he was laughing boisterously pretending that everything was fly and he too could do the same. When she thought of him, within seconds he would call and they would chat about absolutely nothing for hours. In fact, whenever she was down or upset, that was the exact time he would call and the sun would peak through the clouds again and everything would turn around and be well again. She would know he was out of town, even before he told her.

11 was an implied agreement between them. No express promises were made, he would just be there rain or shine. Every time he sent her home after their rendezvous, the moment the car turned the corner near her home, she felt a deep sinking in her heart. She never spoke a word about it, neither did she plan to. But one night the words just bubbled out of her lips..”Every time we reach this corner, I feel really sad,” she said, looking out the car window, not daring to look at him. She felt like tearing her tongue and lips apart for betraying her.. " too," came the almost unintelligible reply...she dared herself to turn and look at him. And when their eyes met, their implied agreement was signed in blood. She wanted to just crumble into his arms, but that was totally unacceptable. So she braced herself until they reached her home. Before she melted, she said a hurried thank you for the lovely drink and ran off into her house.

From that moment on, every day at 11 pm he would be there to spend time with her. They would take a ride through town, go for drinks and sit in their crib for a chat. That was the time when they could be themselves, she was his sounding board, a place he could just bare open his problems and cry if he wanted to. He knew she would understand and sometimes she would even have the answers. She also could do the same. It was their time, in their little bubble, when the whole world was a distant dream.. they cried they laughed and acted stupid together ..those few hours every single day. 11pm gave them a reason to go through the entire day just to taste the bliss of the hour...11 pm washed their souls from the pains of the day’s reality. 11pm got them ready to face the next day with renewed dreams.. and tonight, just like every other night..she waits for her 11 pm.. all made up and ready to greet him...

“Hello auntie...are you ready? Oh you look beautiful tonight"

“He’s almost I look alright?” she smiled at the nurse who helped her up from the couch and handed her walking frame.

"You look lovely, Auntie."

“Come let’s brush your hair..make it nice and shiny.?" The nurse said kindly, as she ran the comb through her thinning hair which was almost all white now.

The nurse helped put her feet up and pulled the blanket over her sometimes gets chilly at night, even if the summer days are scorching..."If I fall asleep, please wake me up when he arrives, ok?"

“Sure auntie..good night”

“Goodnight. Dear..I never told anyone that I love him and always will...”

The nurse smiled turned off the lights.

She sighed...That completed her ritual in room 104.

And she braced herself for the ritual in the next lonely room of the Nursing Home for the Aged.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pre Breakfast Foreplay

He sat down on the bed and gave me the most loving look I have seen in a long time. I have been so busy, it's been quite a while since we had spent some time together. I found his longing permeating across the room too much to resist. Admitting defeat, I walked across , lay down next to him and held out my arm. His piercing look touched the very core of my heart. Ahhh I am truly defeated and happy to be too. The day’s chores stretching out before me slowly melted into oblivion along with his dilating pupils in his light coloured eyes. When he's like this..I am almost certain that he loves me with all his heart...He moved closer to rest his head on my arm while his ‘hand’ reached out to touch my shoulder ever so lightly. Ahh moments like this are so rare these days.

I reminisced about how it all began. It’s been almost three years since I’ve known him. I am certain it wasn’t really love at first sight even though I am generally smittens by the likes of him . He had such an attitude and I thought he doesn’t even look that good. Those days he used to snap easily and was ready to take revenge with a vengeace even on small matters like touching him on the wrong spot. But when i found out about his congenital heart problem, and that he acted like that due to the discomfort he experienced, my compassion eventually gave way to 'lurve' .

But he has changed so much now. His turning point was the day KT and Zara found him struggling to breathe, and we hurried him to the hospital. He was in the ICU for three whole days, leaving us worried about whether he was going to pull through. It was then that we found out about his ailment. He was born with a heart too small for his size.

When we brought him home, he reformed..Of course he still snaps when you really touch him on the wrong spot, but now I know what to avoid, it doesn't happen too often ...and now with him on my arm..i feel like the whole world is at my feet...sigh...

Then as we were both about to doze off...”Makan makan makan (Eat,eat, eat)” Zara’s breakfast call rang through the house....he pricked his ears and in a flash..jumped off the bed to join his fellow felines for their breakfast..and just like that ..he was gone again for the day...

Figaro..I love you :-).

Friday, May 02, 2008

A slice of tale

Maya’s sweat broke into beads on her forehead; funny however, that she’s feeling cold. She felt the numbness creep from her toes up to her ankles, slowly moving up to her knees. Her entire body ached, she didn’t know what to do..she decided to pull the covers over her head. But that amplified the sound of her drumming heart and made her already labourious breathing even more difficult. She changed her mind. She dared not turn her back to the window, nor does she dare turn toward it. Dared not sleep on her back, nor on her tummy, because Granny said that is how the bad spirits sleep and doing that would be an open invitation to them.

She heard it again a high pitched cackle which seemed to last for hours but probably was only for a few seconds..and it died off slowly. Then it was dead silence. The comforting humm of cars passing through the highway which can be seen from her bedroom window ceased by 2.30am. Just as the silence began to lull her to sleep..the cackle began again, and each time it did, it seemed to be getting closer to her window.

Even the clock appeared to be in cohorts with the cackler, by ticking ever so slowly. It’s now only half past three. It won’t be another 3 hours, at least, before the cockerel in the neighbour’s yard would cock a doodle doo, about the same time the army barracks would sound its morning horn to wake its inhabitants...another three whole hours before the world would come to life and the sound that wouldn't stop teasing her, would allow her to continue her slumber.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life My Friend

Sometimes Life has a way of making you feel that no matter how hard you try nothing is ever good enough. Many times, when you are already down, that is when life wrestle you to the ground. You try your best to do good, you set your mind to turn a better leaf the next day, and that would be the precise moment when it throws carcasses at you, and you will need to postpone your plan, because you need to clean it up. And when everything is almost cleared, and you eventually manage to pick yourself up, off it goes tackling you to the ground again, before you even manage to brush the dust off yourself.

Sometimes, you just help others because you want to help. You were not even thinking about God's merits, or that good things will come back to you, you just like helping people for the joy of it. But even then, life gives you challenges, as if to arm twist you into saying..'I shouldn't have helped'..Why, I wonder. Once I talked to God and told Him, if it is true that You try those You love most the hardest, please don't love me that much. I am tired of life, tired that I have to fight not just for myself but for 7 other lives.Tired of not being able to give them the best. Tired to have to keep telling them to be patient..Tired of saying I haven't got enough. .

The best part is, the challenges life throw at you, leave you completely desolate friends, no are expected to take everything in alone, whichever way you turn, you reach out, to the only people left that you trust, they turn their backs on you. You are left on an Island all alone to survive with next to nothing.

Life SUCKS to say the don’t want to have anything to do with life, you want to throw in the towel, you lose faith in friends, moreover the only friend that you trust, is the first to turn his/her back on you. All these has left you numb. You desparately need to touch the base of your sadness, to cry and let it out of your system..only then, you reckon, you will feel better...and it is at this point that your thoughts become silent.

In this deafening silence..a certain kind of peace pervades over you. You feel something warm rising up from the grounds seeping through you, warming you up from the inside. You wonder what it is...ahhh is it LOVE?..surely it is LOVE...Then HOPE followed suit. These two wonderful feelings fuse together and fill you up to the brim. You begin to swell with the warmth, slowly but surely it begins to flush out the negative feelings from your system. Once they are all flushed out, from every pore of your being, the concoction of love and hope seeps out in a kaleidescope of multicoloured light, spreading itself far and wide all around you. You become engulfed in feelings of gratitude, love, forgiveness and compassion. You make a decision to love and help within your means, regardless, simply because it brings you joy. You realise, the world doesn’t revolve around you and you forgive your friend for turning his/her back on you, and you promise yourself you will never do that to him/her. You feel the turmoil of the person who has hurt you, and you know in your heart she didn't mean to hurt you.. it is inadvertent, and you are conquered by the feeling of compassion and you pray that the person is given peace because she is forgiven and loved. And that thought gave you pure joy.
And just like that, everything else falls back into place.
Just like that, you are friends with life again.
Just like that, you acknowledge life as your greatest teacher and embrace it with all the love that you have
And you decide to enjoy your ride on this earth, and give the best of you to everything and everyone around you, before you settle in her womb.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Most Beautiful Sight To Behold

The most beautiful sight to behold, in my opinion is two of the best martial artists doing their "thang'. One kick, the other block, spin and punch and the other squat and toss about while swishing his leg causing the opponent to fall, but the opponent, using the momentum of his fall, immediately bounces back gracefully into an upright position and in doing os swing kick the agressor. Both sweating profusely..panting like a running predator..with the beating of the chinese drums thumping in sync with the beating of your heart yet melting into the background as your entire attention is focused on the impeccably choreographed movements of the two fighting men.
Ahhh ..i devour the sights and sounds of such fights especially when the two men are..JET LI and JACKIE CHAN; in the same wonderful MOVIE!!

Forbidden Kingdom is a must see for kung fu movie buffs. Jet Li is one hell of a martial artist. I fell in love with him when I watched the Tai Chi Master, many years ago. While Jackie Chan..I have watched so many of his movies, I can't even remember which one was my first.

Both have aged, but obviously haven't lost their sting. And this is the first time I saw Jet Li smiling a full smile..and acting in the same movie as crazy Jackie Chan. Brilliant movie, lots of cliche..corny jokes in some parts but once you block that out, and make a decision to just enjoy the show, it becomes a relaxing watch. It even has some great Buddhist wisdom to boot... The few that i remember can you learn anything when your cup is full...empty your cup..
The water is fluid and soft, yet it can defeat the rock (or something like that)
Revenge will only come back to haunt you..or something like that..i am not very good at remembering words of wisdom like that.
I will obviously need to find the DVD soon.

Friday, March 07, 2008

When there is divorce there's bound to be bitterness, heartache and animosity. My relationship with my ex-mother in law was very much like mother and daughter. It wasn't was just her. She was a warm and loving person who embraced anyone who walked into her life. Regardless of race or religion. It was an honour to be her daughter in law. I know how her heart broke when my marriage ended. We were still in communication during the last leg of my marriage. She tried her best to help us make amends yet committed to still be by my side if I decided to unravel my marriage vows. And that was exactly what she did. But I did not want to create a rift between her and her son and his new bride.I realised how hard it was for her to balance between supporting me and her son. I concluded that by taking me out of the equation, the task to reconcile with her new daughter in law will be made easier. Her new daughter in law also will not need to work so hard to figure out how to strategise to make me look like the crook :), Hence, I decided to stay away. I had to sever ties so that there will be no reason for the new forged relationship to weaken in any way. And part of the reason, was also selfish, I was too tired of being accused of many things I did not do, by certain factions. I just wanted to move on.

There's a malay saying which goes- "to swallow will cause the child's death, while to spit out will cause the father's death,". Such was the situation my ex-mother in law was in.

Reconciliation was made and I achieved my objective. But on her death, I had to contribute the final deed for her. To pray for her and do whatever I can to ease the burdens of her children. Cutting the pandan leaves, tying the last knot of her shroud..anything else. I realise how much I love her, and I know she loved me back after knowing each other for more that 20 years. I just hope, that from where she is now, she knows that.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tahlil for my Ex-Mother In Law

I know I am a little late to post for Wednesday. Now let me come up with the genuine excuses..i was tied up with all sorts of stuff in the day time..and had a meeting all the way in Cyberjaya and had to rush straight for my Ex-Mother In Law's tahlil (like a prayer and memorial). I realise how much i miss her.
Ties lost are reforged. I realise how much I missed my ex sister in laws. Well I hope i still qualify for Nablopomo. I have to rest now, coz it is really tiring and I have tonnes of deadlines to meet.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Ex-Mother In Law Passed Away

I won't be saying much, except that my ex-mother in law passed away early this morning. The reality hit me when I was there to help prepare for the funeral and when I saw with my own eyes her pale remains, as if in a deep peaceful sleep. I am still unable to diffuse the gamut of emotions which currently seem to feel like one big untidy knot in the very pit of my being; ranging from sadness to grief to fear to i don't know what..It is tough to figure this out on my own...I was able to be a pillar of support to others, but when it comes to me, I have to go it alone..but well and good..that is how it is meant to be. And thank God for my wonderful sister and my seven wonderful babies. I will post again when I feel better.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Under One Big Sky

As the day draws to a close, and I am completely blank about what I should blog about today, I begin to become restless. I have scribbles and scraps of ideas on things I would like to immortalise in my blog, but none well formed enough to justify a complete blog post. But I need to uphold my commitment to blog everyday for a month...and therefore to fill up this gap, I have decided to count my blessings.
There are many..countless blessings, infact. But one that deserves mention in this little space is that I am extremely grateful for the new friends I have made in the cyberworld through my blogging, and the bond with existing friends that I am able to strengthen. It is quite cool to browse through various websites and blogs to find nuggets of wisdom to fill the void within me and for me to carry along throughout the day, revelling in the beauty of the language and nuances used by the authors, seeing things I have seen all my life from one angle from a completely new perspective and knowing that I am not alone in my trials and tribulations, and that there are many who think like me. But to have a bilateral communication is truly something else, I feel like I have friends who speak the same lingo. And I am not lonely anymore. Thank you so much for reciprocating to my comments and for dropping by and leaving your comments so that I can return your gesture.

As I looked up to the sky from my balcony, I can see the peaks of the Petronas Twin Towers. (I live just 10 minutes' drive away from this grand landmark). And above it the sky with sprinklings of clouds illuminated by the towers' beautiful and expensive specialist lighting. Way above it the great big sky stretching out spanning this entire planet, forming an extensive roof above our heads..and I realise that we are all under the shelter of one gigantic roof, and it makes me feel close to everyone, regardless of where are feet are planted...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Brown Waxed Paper Brollies - Sunday Scribblings

It was raining outside as I was writing this blog. My bedroom draperies were slightly opened and I could see how beautiful the curtain of rain looked as it fell on my balcony. Sheets of rain which pelted on the wooden railings splattered into beautiful splinters of blue and settled into transparent saphire droplets.

I love rain. I love the world after it rained. It is as if the world has just returned from the launderette. Everything looks so clean, the trees and grass looks fresher than ever. And the greyish tar on the road looks even darker as if it has just been freshly laid. Even my soul feels as if it has been washed. And I love the sweet smell of rain. It reminds me of the time when I was little, in good old Penang.

My first memories of rainy days are of brollies made of brown waxed paper with ratan ribs. It gives out this distinct aroma which is unique and wonderful when rain fell on it. And whenever it rains, wherever I may be, be it when I was in Sydney or in London, or in Kuala Lumpur, the city I now call home, my senses will be taken over by this wonderful sense of smell, it is as if I am transported in an invisible time machine back to those days when I used to live in this little house, in a neighbourhood called Brown Gardens; where the neighbours were multiracial. A truly intergrated Malaysian society with an Indian neighbour on my left and a Chinese one on my right and some Malays, Indians and Chinese staying in the row of houses opposite ours. Every evening, when the clock struck 5 , I was allowed to go out and play. I and the other kids regardless of race and religion would play hop scotch, police and thief, skipping, kali toi, masak-masak and many other games which we never managed to christen with a name, but nonetheless enjoyed tremendously. Among the most significant memory I have of this era of my life is of the time when my Indian neighbours taught me how to ride the bicycle. I went for quranic studies at my malay neighbour’s house and we celebrated every religious celebration there was, with no discrimination. Those were the days when we used the waxed paper brollies which gave out the wonderful aroma of rain.

The gusty wind blew rain into my face and my invisible time machine brought me back to the current time in my bedroom. Back to the time of automatic opening, wind resistant, fibre glass reinforced plastic ribbed brollies.

Reflecting on what I saw during my “time travel”, I wish we are less discriminatory today. I wish that my children can experience the same warmth, friendship and solidarity among their multiracial, multifaithed friends as I had during the days of the waxed paper brolly. In fact their sense of brotherhood should be stronger now that 50 years has passed since Malaysia achieved her independence. How can we achieve this, if we as parents still can't put aside our differences and embrace our similarities, and grow from there...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sometimes we forget the most important questions

These last few days I have not been as strong as I have been or would like to be. I hover around different webpages which have given me inspiration, and later went blog hopping. I know i am supposed to be working, but there are times when I know the best thing to do is to just go with the flow. Need to hit bottom to the point where there’s no where else to go but up, and that’s exactly what I am doing.

As always, God showed me again how He answers our prayers, I came across this beautiful, blog, owned by an equally beautiful mother of two, called THE PAINTED HOUSE .
All her posts interest and amaze me. I relate to her, since I am also a single mother, but at this point in time, this post really struck a chord. Here is a link to her post:What is your unrelenting passion?

I wish I can be half as eloquent as her and as sure footed in this expedition through life on planet earth.

The questions laid out on this page of her blog made me rethink again about my life and my journey.
1. When was the last time you did something for the first time?
2. If you think life is hard, what are you comparing it to?
3. What do you pack to pursue a dream and what do you leave behind?
4. How would you introduce yourself to God?
5. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?
6. How many ways do you know to free yourself?
7. If you had 5 minutes to live, who would you call and why are you waiting?
8. If you don't have the things you want, are you grateful for the things you don't have that you didn't want?
9. What would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?
10. Do you know where you are on your journey?

Among all the questions, I find question no.7 most urgent. Maybe if we live our life constantly asking these questions, there will be less regrets.

Thank you Jane. It is wonderful to find your blog.I hope we can be friends.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I messed up my blog layouts again. I think I have done this once before. But I guess this is just like life. You take a whole lot of time and effort to build something, and it only takes a click of a button to destroy it. But that's ok, I will just need to rebuild it again, and I am sure this is going to be a really interesting journey.
I have lost all my buttons and links to my favourite blogs, but perhaps this is a doorway to new frontiers.
Yup, got my back pack ready, and I am off on my new adventure again

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I woke up in the morning feeling so down, I cannot even begin to describe it. A deep and profound sense of helplessness and despair was just hovering over me. I slumped back into bed, and just gave in to the feeling that began to overpower me...tears of sadness just trickled down my cheeks, and my silent sniffles eventually gave way to sobs. I wished I could just curl up into a ball and disappear..Signs have been showing me that i have to relinquish certain things that have been weighing me down, making me sad. How could I be so blind and stupid as not to see...

I needed to find my balance again, and there's only one way to do it:
I just let the whole emotion take control over me, i needed to get to the bottom of this all engulfing emotion which i have been bottling up for so long. I needed to feel and understand what it is that i am grieving so deeply about.

Grieving...hmm now that’s a clue..Somehow, i needed to get to my state of balance again, but what is this that is not allowing me to do that. I began to feel the deep sense of something terribly unpleasant bubbling up inside me..something which gave out this deafening high pitched whistling sound only audible to my ears...the kind of sound that penetrates so deep to the very quick of me..was it my ears that was the audience to this play of sound? can my heart hear?..does the heart have such faculties...LONELINESS...yes..It's you, isn't it..rearing your ugly head trying to grip and throw me off balance out of the ring just like a Sumo Wrestler. I am just completely sprawled and bruised all over, outside the ring of balance of course. I needed to get up, wipe off the dirt, and most of all heal the bruises of humiliation and rebuild my hope that there is still love left for me.
As I acknowledged Loneliness' presence, it dawned upon me that I have a full hectic day sprawled out before my feet, stretching almost endlessly. Denying and fighting him will do no good..that much, I know..this guy can be very persistent.
"Hello Loneliness," I greeted him.."I would love to sit and chat, know I can't, not now at least," I said.
"Huh, think you can handle me? You think you can make me go?", Loneliness replied with his normal arrogance, "What if I decide to stay?"
"Well Loneliness..I really mean it when I said I would love to sit and chat..but really not now..I love your company you know..but right now, we won't be doing justice to one another, so please please go home.."
"Bah! You can’t handle me, lady” he spat
Tears of defeat began to well up inside me and slowly feelings I have tried to keep at bay crept up on me, I began to feel that despair, of not having anyone to talk to at the same level, of the shoulder that I wish I have to rest my head once in awhile, of the grind I have to go through today, the financial problems I am facing all on my own and the list goes on and on...then..STOP!! I have to stop this! “Of course I can..I know you are trying to make me blame every other person that comes into contact with me for having you here..and ONE person in particular for that matter..but it is up to ME whether or not I decide to allow you to do that.. I said please but you wouldn't I command you to go home.." I conjured up all the resolve I had to convince him to leave..and he knew I meant it
“Please don’t send me home.."I noticed him weakening..and i began to feel refreshed
"Right now..why don't you take a break..go have a kit kat or something..go to sleep, you had a long night last night, bugging me..I need to let someone else take over your about Gratitude.."
“Ok call the shots as usual...don't have too good a day, coz you know, I'll be back..”
"You go rest Lonelinesss, you need it as much as anyone does..I will need you soon. Trust me, I will call you..very soon..I love you Loneliness, never make a mistake about you go now and rest.."
“Alright Mistress..I love you too, and that’s why I am here..I will be here when you call me..but please don’t make me wait too long, that is when I will go beserk and come uninvited when you don't need me.." Loneliness said as he retreated. I hugged him and bade him goodbye
"Hi Gratitude," I greeted her. She was all glowing and well, as beautiful as ever..brilliant and incandescent.."Thank you for being here. You saved my day life even :)"
"Look at these boys aren't they the cutest and the smartest thing in this entire universe," I said as we both looked at Muaz and Huzaifah sleeping soundly on my bed. I knew I will have to wake them up soon..and I will have to argue with Muaz that it was morning already..and he would say, “No Ummi, the sun is not up’s still night!” and the whole process which I have gone through every morning would repeat itself but now, more often than not, with great JOY..Gratitude and I smiled. I knew that morning that the day which would unfold would be wonderful is always wonderful to begin my day with a smile and Gratitude next to me. I took in a deep breath and gratitude squeezed my hand..Thank you God for keeping me alive today..for allowing me to erase all the wrongs that I have done and rewrite my life for another day. This is certainly going to be a bestselling box office and I, gratitude, and every other friend we have...loneliness, happiness, anger, pain, sorrow, laughter, jealousy..everyone..we all will add colour to this beautiful story...

Monday, January 28, 2008



The Making of an Animal Rights Activist?

It was a peaceful and lazy Sunday afternoon, round about 3 pm. I was lazing around in my room, reminiscing about the 30 year reunion my alumni organized yesterday. Such an eventful day..I thought…and thank God I am still alive to meet all these wonderful people who have made such a mark one way or the other in my life.....when suddenly

“What the hell do u think you are doing?” an angry voice rang out breaking the peace.
Now that voice is familiar…I thought.

“This cat pooed on my roof! Is this your cat?" came a male voice, equally angry.

“My cats are always in my house..they only come out when I am out..anyways, it doesn’t matter whether it’s my cat or anyone’s cat, you can’t do that to animals!” that familiar voice retorted in anger.

I was wondering what happened…apparently Zara saw this neighbour who was walking with his wife carrying a heavy wooden rod and chasing a cat. He aparently hit the poor cat with a vengeance and being an animal lover, Zara just wouldn't have it.

"You can't do that to cats, you know! It’s a sin!" Zara screamed with anger, by then she was already shivering. "If I catch you doing that again, you watch it! I will report you to the SPCA!”

“Report la..I don’t care” he shouted back at her and rushed towards her brandishing the stick. Zara stood her ground and just stared at him with defiance.

Thank God his wife had the wisdom to stop him,"Ok ok, you take care of your cat ok..." she said as she pulled her husband away from my dear daughter, trying her best to calm him down. Apparently they just walked away after that..

I am so proud of Zara for having the courage to stand up for what she believe is right.

It reminds me of the time when many years ago, I saw a baby goat, a kid, which fell into a drain, without much calculation, I climbed down to try and save it, only to find out that !) the kid was too heavy for me to carry..and worse 2)I couldn't climb out because the drain was too deep i got in, i can't while the kid bleated ...i had to put aside my embarassment and joined it in chorus "Help! Help!"..No one except for the young chinese neighbours who carried me and the kid out knew about this...I wouldn't leave the drain until they picked up the kid too .. but that's another story …

I know most people would just turn a blind eye to what this man did. Well done my are really something and I know you will be great, just as all your brothers and sisters will too. It doesn't matter what other small minded people who only know how to look for our shortcomings think and say. I am really really proud of you

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Moving on

The time is eventually up for me to end my sabbatical from my blogging. I have traveled far and deep, more into myself than anywhere else to seek healing and rebuild myself spiritually and emotionally. This journey has been most fruiful during the last 10 days or so. How little did I understand the strength that God has bestowed upon us humans, being the best of His creation. I praise Him for making me understand that all that I have gone through, and all the individuals I have met, loved and detested alike, were the greatest teachers customised by God and sent into my lap, especially for me. Some for a season, some for a couple of years, some for decades while others have lasted till this very day. That the only way to heal is to forgive ourselves and everyone and everything; and henceforth learn to love, without judging.

With this awareness and a renewed spirit, I am ready to continue on this journey of life, with the veil of judgment being removed from my vision.

I applaud and respect the person who has taken the chance and borne the accusations of betrayal in order not to betray his own soul and who has gritted his teeth and appear heartless when he disappointed another to be true to himself.

Many more lessons can surely be learnt..after all, a teacher once told me- "no problem no fun"

To the person whom I love and whom I hope one day will become my reality, I dedicate this poetry ,from the book by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, called The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.