Friday, April 11, 2014

THE DAY A LIGHT FLICKERED OUT OF MY LIFE

Exactly 9 years ago, a light flickered out of my life and suddenly, almost everything took an unexpected turn. My whole world was shaken up and down and all over. My Abah's passing was a wake-up call for me. To be a much more responsible person. To be a little bit more serious. To start thinking about the future. To appreciate those around me. And so many other things as well. I had a few responsibilities back then but they were nothing that anyone could not shoulder. Everything started when I was at work and my Mum called to say that my Abah had slipped when he was coming out from the bathroom and he was bleeding from the wound on his forehead. Without even informing my superiors, I rushed home. He had to be rushed to the hospital immediately and I was advised to inform all my family members. He fell into a state of unconsciousness and three days later, he left us. I was at his bedside when he passed on. I know that he knew that I was there with him until the end. Up until now, I still get a little bit pensive when I think of him and life in general. There were so many things I did not do and could have done. Since his passing, I have become a little bit afraid. Afraid that I have not done done enough for those whom I love dearly. Afraid that the people around me are hurt by my harsh words and inconsiderate actions. Afraid of suddenly losing what is precious to me. A few days ago, I asked the 'ustaz' at my workplace to lead the prayers for my father after today's 'Yaasin recital'. A few of my colleagues who knew about my intention also wanted to join in the prayers for their late parents. What I planned as a small breakfast for my colleagues after the prayers became a much more elaborate affair when they contributed money and food for the breakfast. A few others even asked to be included if and when I want to do something similar after our weekly Friday 'Yaasin recital'. All went well as planned and I was glad that my colleagues and I were able to do something for our dearly departed. May their souls be blessed by Allah. Despite my missing him so much, I know that my Abah is in a better place, watching me and my family. Thank you, Abah for making me what I am today. Al Fatihah.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

FLIGHT MH370

The grave news that I heard on the radio tonight did not really surprise me and yet, it numbed me since I realised that the dreaded news that we had been afraid of knowing had finally been confirmed. To the family members of those on board of Flight MH370, my most heartfelt condolences to all of you. This tragic incident is a blow not just to those who are related to the victims but to all of us in general. I am sure there are many of us who want to know what actually happened but right now, we have to learn to be patient and rational. We also have to keep in in mind that we might not get all the answers to all the questions that we have. The better thing to do is to pray for all the souls on the unfortunate flight and to pray that we will be able to make it through this very difficult and tough time. Let's hope that there won't be any more speculations and theories that can only bring more grief and sadness to the family members. They have suffered enough and by posting any unwanted comments and accusations will only bring more pain to them. Let everyone mourn in peace. Al Fatihah for all the Muslim crew and passengers.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

FAKE USB FLASH DRIVE : TIPAH TERTIPU, BANG!

I can't believe that I totally fell for it. I really thought that I was getting a really good deal when the fact was I had been had. I bought a few USB flash drives and memory cards from a colleague who sold them at one flat rate regardless of their storage capacities. I should have known that there was something fishy about these USB flash drives. They were super cheap and I was too excited (and too greedy actually) to see beyond all that. Moreover, these fakes were sold by a very nice lady and because of that, I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt that she did not know that the products she was selling were fakes made in China. I wouldn't have felt really bad about all this if I had bought these fakes for myself. I would have kept it to myself that I was a fool who had been duped. I would have acted as if nothing had happened at all. I wouldn't want to be seen as stupid although by writing this post, I am actually revealing my own stupidity. What made the whole thing so terrible was the fact that I bought a few of these products not only for myself but also for a few close friends. I thought I was doing them a real big favour since USB flash drives and memory cards with high capacities could be quite expensive. I only wanted to share my 'good luck' with my good friends but it turned out that it wasn't 'luck' that I was giving them. Only fake gadgets which had been hacked so they would show higher capacities that they actually had. The one and only consolation for me was I gave these fakes to my friends and asked them to test them first before giving the money to me. A couple of them told me that the files they had saved in the USB  flash drives were nowhere to be found. Another friend reported that his notebook could not even detect the gadget. At present, I am still thinking of the best way to talk to this colleague of mine. I do not want to come across as too offensive or accusatory but at the same time, I also want my money back! I also happen to know that quite a number of my colleagues have bought the USB flash drives from her but I'm not sure if they realise about the nature of those products. I can only hope that this issue pertaining these fakes can be settled in a civilised manner as soon as possible.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

ENGAGEMENT GIFTS FOR A COLLEAGUE'S SON

One of my colleagues from work, suddenly broke the surprising news to me : her only son was planning to get engaged and she wanted me to help her with the 'hantaran'. She said that she wanted something simple since she was running out of time. The 'merisik' and 'bertunang' is going to take place during the Chinese New Year holiday and she has to make the journey to Melaka since that is where the girl's family lives. I told her to go back and discuss a few things with her son since I did not want to work without any ideas and plans. I needed information. I also told her that great news like this should be shared since many people, especially friends and family members, would love to contribute something for the 'hantaran'. Initally, she was a little bit reluctant since she did not want to bother other people. I told her that sooner or later, she still had to tell the others about the occasion and some people might feel offended for not being able to be involved. I was right (as usual, of course). A few people wanted to be part of it. A colleague lent the 'dulang' for the gifts. Two more colleagues wanted to give a fruit basket and cookies. Another ex-colleague helped with the 'lipatan'. Her own sister volunteered to prepare the 'sirih junjung'. And what did I do? Basically, nothing. I only told her to go and survey a few wedding supplies stores so she could get an idea of the concept and look that she (or her son) wanted. She went with her daughter and came back with the gifts and supplies needed to complete the 'hantaran'. Everything was nearly completed and she seemed very happy with the result. She still has to do the final touch since not all the flowers and decorations are permanently fixed onto the 'dulang'. But I guess she is going to have a fun time doing that with her family members who will be accompanying her all the way to Melaka. Congratulations, dear friend. You are going to be a mother-in-law soon!

Friday, January 24, 2014

FILIAL PIETY LAW : WHEN LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH

I read with great interest the different opinions given by Netizens regarding the need for law on filial piety in Malaysia and I have to say that the time is right to enact a bill that can protect the well-being of the elderly especially those who are in need of special care and attention. Filial piety has always been one of the key virtues emphasised in Asian societies and it is diminishing in importance at a very alarming rate. I am not sure what the root cause for this lack of empathy and compassion is but the number of cases of the elderly being neglected and abandoned in Malaysia is certainly growing. To me, the bond between children and their parents can never be broken despite children being abused, neglected or disowned by their parents when the children were young. Because of this, some people might think that they are not obligated to care for their parents since their parents did not carry out their parental duties as should be. It is sad to hear when children have to justify their reluctance to care for their parents due to some unfortunate events that happened in the past. There is no way that we can turn back time but there is always a way that we can correct a situation. Some people even try to shift the duty of caring of their parents to others. I have seen quite a few cases of senior citizens being left totally in the care of strangers. There have also been cases of children marrying off their widowed parents so their parents can be taken care of by their more able-bodied spouses. Some only send the monthly financial support and come to visit only once a year. Some send their parents to live with a relative or neighbour who is willing to keep an eye on them as long as the money keeps coming in. Some ask one of their siblings to take care of them and totally forget that they should be sharing the responsibility too.Some even go to the extent of quoting religious verses by saying that taking care of one's parents is the duty of the sons or the eldest or whatever that they can use to free them of the responsibility. Some who are more affluent provide servants for the parents and think that they do not have to do anything else since the servants are paid to take care of their parents. And the saddest part is when there are some who totally abandon their parents and leave it to various organisations to shoulder the responsibility without the slightest feeling of guilt at all. The examples that I have provided are not comprehensive but they might give us an idea how bad the situation is with some of the elderly. We have to look into this issue now since currently, there are more than 2.4 million people in Malaysia who are above 60 years old and the number is certainly growing. The Malaysian society is changing and the once accepted traditional way of caring for the elderly might not work anymore. Elderly care is not easy and can be quite expensive sometimes. It should be shared and that is why I think a new bill that can be proposed and passed. No one should ever have to spend the rest of his or her remaining days without adequate emotional, financial, social and medical support. At the same time, other aspects of elderly care such as accommodation, assistance, recreation and safety should also be considered. It is the right of every human being to live with dignity and that also includes those who are getting on in years.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

GOODBYE HITAM

It was a tough decision to make but I could not bear to see him suffer anymore. My tomcat, Hitam, had a condition known as sporotrichosis and just when I thought he was getting better, his condition turned from bad to worse. For the past few days, he refused to eat or drink anything at all. He did not even touch his favourite canned food and this made it much more difficult for me to give him his medication. The sores on his ears, legs, body and tail also started showing signs of bleeding again and his eyes and nose were also affected. At the beginning, I let him out of his cage so he could go out and enjoy the sun a little bit but he seemed to be in very serious pain and only rested among the flower pots behind my house. Deep down inside, I knew that the end was approaching and he would not be able to make it. It would be only a matter of time before he would go. I could have kept him alive until his last breath but I could not bear to see him like that. It was too much for me to take and I did not want to see him reduced to only skin and bones. A decision had to be made and quick. I had two choices : to keep him until the end or to put him to sleep. Neither one was desirable. The final decision that I took totally bothered my conscience. Never once in my life had it crossed my mind that I had to resort to something like this. To terminate a life was not something that I had condoned in the past. I realised that I had written before this how I did not believe in euthanasia or even mercy killing but all that went out the window when I saw how serious the condition Hitam was in. He was in great pain and there was nothing I could do to ease it. I wish I had all the magical power to end his suffering. I took him to the vet and after saying my goodbye, I left him in the vet's office. I had earlier consulted the vet since I did not want to make a mistake in my decision. I was offered to watch the procedure being carried out but I had to decline. I was not strong enough. Making that decision was devastating enough for me. I sat outside the office and waited. The procedure did not take long and a lot of things went through my mind at that time. I hoped I had done the right thing and I tried to convince myself that it was the best thing to be done. I prayed to Allah to forgive me if I had acted against HIS will. I know the decision I had made will haunt me until the end of my life. At 5.30 this evening, Hitam finally joined the others that had gone earlier before him : Nomot, Nenet, Mimi I and Mimi II. My tears flowed uncontrollably when his body was taken out from the office. The staff had wrapped his body and for that, I am forever grateful. I did not want to see his lifeless body especially in that state. I want him to be etched forever in my mind as the tomcat with shiny black fur and a patch of white on his chest. His body was still warm when I took him home. I buried him in front of my house where my other furkids are also laid to rest. I know he is now in a much better place with the others that will keep him company. Rest in peace, my dear Hitam. You were much loved and will be deeply missed. One fine day, we will surely meet again.
p/s This is one of the three pictures that I took of Hitam when he was still a baby. The flower basket was his favourite sleeping place.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 ROUND-UP (2009, 2010, 2011 AND 2012 RECYCLED)

Any great achievements for me? NO. Any extraordinary happenings? NO. Any exciting changes in my lifestyle? Definitely NO. Everything came and went like the previous years. Am I happy? YES. To some, it can be quite strange how a person can be happy and content when not much has happened to him or her. Yeah but that's me. I'm comfortably cocooned in my life at the moment that I don't think I want anything changed (unless it's for the better). At least, not yet. I'm sure that something is bound to happen sooner and later and I'll be shocked out of my pants when that happens. Till then, I'm going to enjoy the routine that I've created for the past couple of years and if there are going to be any changes, I hope they will be gradual. Some of my friends have commented on my laid-back attitude and I can only agree with them. After all, what is there to argue when everything that they say is true? Still, it doesn't mean that I don't work hard or put in any effort at all. I do but I don't think I'll be increasing the quota for my effort any time soon. Even then, I would say that what I've done is definitely much more than that done by some of my colleagues and friends. So how about that?

p/s This entry has been recycled four times already. I wonder if the same thing is going to happen next year...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BY THE RIVERSIDE 4

I used to go to this village when I was small, accompanying my parents whenever my cousin had a 'kenduri jijak tanah' for her children. My cousin is married into a Rao family that still practises this age-old tradition and for those those who don't know, let me explain briefly what 'jijak tanah' is all about. It is actually a ritual when a baby (usually when the baby is one year old or has started walking) can finally walk and step on 'real soil'. There will be certain 'accessories' that have to be prepared before this ritual takes place such as flowers of different types and colours (yellow is a must), bertih, beras kunyit, ibu kunyit, soil and a few others that I have forgotten. The house that belongs to my cousin's mother-in-law is located behind a small river that goes under the main road to Cameron Highlands. My cousin was back a few days ago and as usual, she would call my Mum. My Mum was the one who took care of my cousin and her older sister when they were small after their mother passed away. Actually, my cousin had been asking me and my siblings many times to take a look at a piece of land that belongs to my Mum and to do something about it since my Mum's property is adjacent to hers. Without much planning, I called my friend, FooArt and asked him if he would like to accompany us to my cousin's mother-in-law's place. FooArt who had earlier decided not to go to work on that day excitedly agreed to come with us. I tried to call my cousin a few times to inform her about our visit but could not reach her at all. I assumed that she was at her 'kebun' where there was no reception so I decided to go on with my plan. I was pretty sure that her mother-in-law would be at home. We arrived around 1.00 p.m. and luckily, she had just gotten back from her 'kebun' (just like I thought). Leaving my Mum to chat with my cousin, FooArt and I went to look around. The scenery really took my breath away. The village is still beautiful as ever and there is a certain air of peace and tranquility surrounding it. The river bank has also been fortified with big rocks (I think the whole thing is called revetment but I can be wrong) to prevent soil erosion. We crossed the small river which was really cool and refreshing to get to the other side. I really wish I had brought my shorts with me so I could really get in the water without worrying whether my clothes would get wet or not. Too bad I had forgotten them. Otherwise, I would have been splashing in the water! The visit was short but memorable and I'm going to make sure there is going to be another visit (a longer one of course) in the near future.
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

1 MUHARRAM 1435H

Today is the 1st of Muharram 1435H, the first day in the Muslim calendar and it's a holiday too here. To keep the good vibes going, I tried to do as many things as possible. It's definitely not a day of leisure day for me. To some people, I might not be doing anything at all but we all live different lives, right?. So here are the 'useful' things that I did today:

1. Went to the market in the morning. Could not find a spot where I usually parked my car so I had to drive around for a while before I found one. The market was buzzing but most of the fishmongers were 'on leave' today. Luckily, I still have enough fish in my freezer. Bought some red and green chillies, anchovies, coconut milk, parsley, green onions and some veggies.
2. Washed and hung out my laundry to dry including the curtains that I took home from my workplace. It wasn't that sunny this morning and I was truly hoping that it was not going to rain today. It did drizzle a little bit later in the evening but I had already taken all my laundry and the curtains in at that time.
3. Washed the veggies that I bought at the market and stored them properly in the refrigerator. Prepared lunch for me and my Mum. 'Gulai lemak ketam' for her and 'ikan bawal masak cuka' for me. No veggie dish since I put cucumber in the 'masak cuka'. Not forgetting my Mum's favourite dish at the moment : crispy fried anchovies with lots and lots of shallots and chillies.
4. Sat and talked with my Mum while she was having her lunch. I had already taken a very heavy breakfast so I did not feel like eating at all. Made sure that she took her pills after lunch.
5. Mopped the whole living room and sprayed some lemon-scented air freshener. Should have bought some fresh flowers this morning at the market though.
6. Went to the car service centre to have the mechanic look at my car. There is a slight vibration on the gas pedal and it's probably nothing at all but small things like that can really make me paranoid. Was told that everyone was busy at the centre at that time and somebody will be coming to my house later to get the car. It looks like I have to walk to work tomorrow morning but it's going to be good exercise for me anyway.
7. Went to the vet to check on my tomcat with FooArt. 'Hitam' had been missing for a few months and when he came back during the Eid celebration, he had cuts all over his body. His sporotrichosis is quite severe and he is going to stay at the vet for another week before I can take him home. He was pretty excited and kept meowing when I came to see him. He looks better now and his appetite has definitely come back. The cuts are healing well but recovery is going to be slow. 
8. Ate a piece of chapati which was quite nice while FooArt had a very late lunch.
9. Went to the ATM to send some money to this guy from whom I'm buying some CD singles. Can hardly wait for the CDs to arrive since I'm planning to make some new karaokes using the instrumentals. This time, I'm planning to do 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' by Savage Garden.
10. Went to the pharmacy to buy a few things which I do not want to mention here.
11. CoCo and Yen came over for a while. CoCo looked a bit worn-out and Yen was engrossed with his 'we-chat', as usual.
12. Did some ironing and was only halfway through when CoCo called to ask me and my Mum out for dinner. He said that he was craving for some seafood.
13. Went for a very lovely dinner with my Mum and CoCo. While waiting for the food to arrive, I went to check out this new restaurant serving hot chicken wings. The wings do look good on the menu so maybe, I can try them later.
14. Went back home and started this post.
14. Gave my other four cats some light 'supper' before going to bed.

So that's how my day went and so far, no unnecessary drama at all. Hopefully, I will be able to get a good night sleep since there will be lots of things that I have to do at work tomorrow. I pray the year 1435H will be as smooth-sailing as today and I will try to be better in everything that I do. InsyaAllah,

Monday, October 28, 2013

HI Y'ALL!

Remember me? It's been a while since I last updated this blog and boy, do I feel guilty neglecting it. But so many things have been happening since my last post and I just did not have the time and desire to write anything at all. I did not even post my 'Hari Raya' greeting like I usually did for the past few years. I have been in the 'slow' mode for the past couple of months and I won't go into details why I left this blog in limbo. To tell the truth, I still want to keep this blog and I still want to share a few things with those who come to visit it. I admit that this blog is one of the avenues where I can pour my heart out though I realise that I am not that bold when it come to expressing my feelings and emotions publicly. I still have this fear that I might regret what I have posted. I know there are a lot of people out there who will simply write whatever that they feel and think but I am not them and I can never be them. As I have written before this, there are many things that I would rather keep to myself. I will still be posting from time to time but I don't know how frequent that will be. In the meantime, I will willingly go with the flow and see where the tide will take me...