Saturday, July 5, 2014

AL-FATIHAH : SHARIFAH AINI

She is one of my favourite singers and I've written fondly about her a few times in this blog. I even collect her albums whenever possible and now, she is gone. I knew that she was not well based on her absence on facebook after she stopped writing altogether at the end of last year. Before that, she would write almost on a daily basis. From her facebook, I got to know Sharifah Aini not only as a singer but also a person with a big heart. She would give motherly advice (she addressed herself as Ummie Sharifah to her fans) from time to time and allow her fans to get a glimpse of her life and home. Now, even her facebook is no longer there. I know that I'll be missing her posts and above all, I'll be missing her. Al Fatihah for a singer with a voice of a nightingale. Sharifah Aini, may Allah bless your soul and place you in jannah. آمين

Sunday, June 29, 2014

RAMADHAN 1435H

As I am writing this, I have already finished my 'sahur' and performed my prayers. My Mum can't fast anymore and it seems that for this year's fasting month, she won't be doing any cooking either. Her fall last month has affected her mobility a little bit and I have forbidden her to do anything that might can risk her health. I will be missing her cooking but that is a very small price to pay compared to her health. At the moment, she is still in the room, reading a few pages from the holy book after her prayers. It is very cool this morning, unlike yesterday which was scorching hot and I hope the weather is going to continue like this for the rest of the day and the month. There is not much preparation that I have done for this fasting month except for a little bit of grocery shopping that I did yesterday and that was that. A lot things have happened this year and I am taking everything slowly. I am also hoping that this Ramadhan, I can become a better person and do more for those who are in need. As usual, I pray that there will be peace of mind, wisdom, patience, forgiveness, benevolence and humanity for all.  آمين To all Muslims, have a wonderful Ramadhan.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

LET'S KARAOKE 30 : MICHAEL JACKSON - WHO IS IT?

Today is the fifth anniversary of Michael Jackson's death and I'm posting this karaoke as a tribute to him, one of the greatest entertainers ever. It was a very sad day for millions of his fans when the King of Pop was finally laid to rest five years ago. He was about to embark on a new tour and many of us were holding our breath to see what he had in store for us when news of his death came as a shock to us. His music has touched the hearts of millions of people and it'll be quite a while before we can find another entertainer like him. He might be gone forever but I'm sure that his music and legacy will live on. RIP, Moonwalker.

The single's cover

video

I gave her money
I gave her time
I gave her everything inside one heart could find
I gave her passion
My very soul
I gave her promises and secrets so untold

And she promised me forever and a day we'd live as one
We made our vows we'd live a life anew
And she promised me in secret that she'd love me for all time
It's a promise so untrue
Tell me what will I do?


And it doesn't seem to matter

And it doesn't seem right
'Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night
Don't you judge of my composure
'Cause I'm lying to myself
And the reason why she left me
Did she find in someone else?


(Who is it?)

Is it a friend of mine
(Who is it?)
Is it my brother
(Who is it?)
Somebody hurt my soul, now
(Who is it?)
I cant take this stuff no more

I am the damned

I am the dead
I am the agony inside the dying head
This is injustice
Woe unto thee
I pray this punishment would have mercy on me

And she promised me forever that we'd live our life as one
We made our vows we'd live a love so true
It seems that she has left me for such reasons unexplained
I need to find the truth
But see what will I do


And it doesn't seem to matter
And it doesn't seem right
'Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night
Don't you judge of my composure
'Cause I'm bothered everyday

And she didn't leave a letter
She just up and ran away

(Who is it? )
Is it a friend of mine
(Who is it? )

Is it my brother?
(Who is it? )
Somebody hurt my soul, now
(Who is it? )
I cant take it cause I'm lonely

(Who is it? )
Is it friend of mine
(Who is it? )

To me I'm bothered
(Who is it? )

Somebody hurt my soul, now
(Who is it? )
I cant take it cause I'm lonely

And it doesn't seem to matter
And it doesn't seen right
'Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night

Don't you judge of my composure
'Cause I'm lying to myself
And the reason why she left me
Did she find in someone else?

And it doesn't seem to matter
And it doesn't seem right
'Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night

Don't you judge of my composure
'Cause I'm bothered everyday
And she didn't leave a letter
She just up and ran away

And it doesn't seem to matter
And it doesn't seem right
'Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night
Don't you judge of my composure
'Cause I'm lying to myself
And the reason why she left me
Did she find in someone else?


And it doesn't seem to matter
And it doesn't seem right
'Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night
Don't you judge of my composure

'Cause I'm bothered everyday
And she didn't leave a letter
She just up and ran away

And it doesn't seem to matter
And it doesn't seem right
'Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night
Don't you judge of my composure
'Cause I'm bothered everyday
And she didn't leave a letter
She just up and ran away

And it doesn't seem to matter
And it doesn't seem right

'Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night
Don't you judge of my composure
'Cause I'm lying to myself
And the reason why she left me
Did she find in someone else?

WHITNEY HOUSTON 'I'M YOUR BABY TONIGHT' TOUR BOOK

I was supposed to publish this more than 2 months ago but I was extremely busy that I totally forgot that I was planning to do so. This tour book actually arrived in the mail after three weeks of waiting. Three agonising week, I'd say. When I saw the tour book being sold on ebay, I got extremely excited especially when I saw that it was quite affordable (it is always the shipping that puts a dent in my pocket). I immediately asked a friend of mine to get it for me. The only tour book that I owned before this was ABBA Live In Australia 1977 which once belonged to my brother-in-law. The ABBA tour book is no longer in mint condition but it is still part of my treasure trove. This tour book also comes with a large fold-out poster of Whitney dressed in torn jeans, leather jacket and leopard-print boots. I'd say she looked her best during that period before time and drugs took a toll on her. How I wish that the poster is not folded so I can make a big copy of it. The tour book is in very good condition and I did not regret to spend my money to own this piece of pop history (others might think that I should have spent my money on something else but hey, to each his own). There are many other tour books of hers available on ebay but this is the only one I can afford at the moment. In due time, I am sure they will be mine.

ABBA - Live In Australia 1977 Official Souvenir Programme.

I'm Your Baby Tonight Tour Book

Whitney's sexy pose and the poster.

The picture used for 'All The Man That I Need' promo CD single and the poster.

OLD FRIENDS

I was preparing my 'cucur bawang' for breakfast last Sunday when I received a phone call from one of my old friends, Ting. Ting and I became friends almost 25 years ago when we were introduced by my ex-schoolmate, El, who was doing his industrial training where Ting was working. Both of them became housemates when El graduated and started working with Tenaga Nasional. After I graduated, I stayed with both of them when I was looking for a job in Kuala Lumpur and I have to say that it was one of the best times in my life. The last time I met Ting was more than two years ago when he came to visit me during Eid. After that meeting, we only exchanged news through facebook and text messages. When Ting arrived, I saw that somebody else was with him. I jumped up and down with joy (yes, I did) when I saw Cik Nan with him. Cik Nan is also another old friend of mine whom I had not met for more than 10 years. We became friends through another ex-schoolmate of mine, Gush. Through Gush and Cik Nan, I got to know Mus and Mudasir. Time passed and everyone had to move on. I had to leave my carefree life and move to another state. Ting found a new job with another company. Cik Nan was posted to Vietnam and Mozambique and only came back a couple of years ago. El did his Masters and got promoted. Mudasir relocated to Penang. Gush adopted a child and moved to Kuantan. Mus quit his job in KL, finished his doctorate and became a lecturer in one of the universities up north. Everyone also got older and supposedly, more mature. I still keep in touch with my friends and we still laugh at our old ways and antics whenever we meet (which is not that often) or talk on the phone. Ting and Cik Nan did not stay long since Cik nan had to rush back to KL to catch a flight. Though we rarely meet each other anymore, I am happy and grateful that my friends have not forgotten me. We might have found new people in our lives, discovered new horizons and developed new interests but I know that there is always something special that binds us together. The times when we were young and naive and still trying to find our paths in life will always be cherished forever in my heart.

CoCo, Shi, Ting and Cik Nan getting acquainted while enjoying my 'cucur bawang'.

Monday, June 23, 2014

WELCOMING RAMADHAN KAMPUNG-STYLE

I am not sure about other states but here in Perak, it is almost a tradition to have 'kenduri menyambut puasa' (usually a week before the fasting month starts). One of my bffs, Shi, came back from KL since his family had planned a kenduri to welcome the fasting month at his late grandfather's house. My Mum and I was also invited and we went there at about 2.30. We went there after almost everybody had left except for Shi's family members who lived quite far away. There was nothing fancy about the food served but it was simply delicious. Everything was prepared by Shi's family members themselves. The main dishes were 'kari ikan merah' and 'ayam masak kicap' and there were also 'ikan kering masin', 'ulam-ulaman' and 'sambal belacan'. We had 'bahulu kemboja', 'bubur pulut hitam' and watermelon for desserts.  We sat on the floor to eat just like kampung folks do and I was glad I wasn't wearing my jeans! I ate more than I should but I just could not resist the fish curry. I gave it an A++ and I don't mind having it again! We.stayed to chat with Shi and his family and after that, I went to explore the 'kampung'. The 'kampung' is no longer what it was many years ago. The old mosque that was once used for Friday prayers is still standing but nowadays, only daily prayers are held there. Many of the elderly folks have passed on and quite a number of houses are abandoned. Luckily, Shi's family house is still occupied by his three uncles and this is where the other family members usually stay during family gatherings and Eid. All in all, I have to say that 'kampung-style kenduris' are still the best compared to the fancy-schmancy ones. Who needs fancy tents when the living room (and sometimes the front porch) is good enough to accommodate all the guests? Who needs food caterers who charge ridiculously when simple food cooked with love is what makes our mouths water? Who needs expensive crockery when the mismatched plates, bowls and saucers can function as good as the expensive ones? Certainly not me. I'd settle for simplicity anytime over something over the top.

My Mum, CoCo, Shi and Shi's uncle.

Shi's family members enjoying the food.

Shi's Mum.

CoCo and Mira smoking after lunch outside the house.

p/s Thank you Shi for inviting us. We love the food and we love you!

Friday, June 20, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY 2014!

It was going to be Mother's Day that Sunday and I was hoping to take my Mum out for lunch and a small gathering with a few of my friends and family members. However, my Mum fell in the kitchen on Friday, a week before Mother's Day and because of that, her right foot was slightly sprained. My Mum assured me that nothing was wrong with her foot when I left home for work in the morning of that incident so I was not really worried. At about 11.00 o'clock, I received a phone call from the guy who was supposed to ferry my Mum to and from the dialysis centre. He told me that my Mum could hardly walk. I immediately rushed home and I could see that her foot was slightly swollen. I took her to see the doctor and the x-ray showed that nothing was broken or fractured. I was grateful but still worried. My Mum was a very independent woman and before she started her dialysis treatment seven years ago, she still went to the market to buy groceries. She even went to pay the bills on her own. After she started her dialysis, she was still doing house chores that many elderly women her age had stopped doing. I was worried that she was going to feel helpless and lost since she could not do the things that she always did. To make matter worse, her fistulla on her left arm was also blocked. This happened the following Monday which also happened to be a public holiday. I had just sent her to the dialysis centre and had gone to buy groceries at a hypermarket nearby when I received another call from the staff at the dialysis centre telling me that no blood could come out from her fistulla. I was alarmed and I immediately left my shopping to see what was happening. My second sister and my niece had just arrived to visit my Mum but they could only see her for 30 minutes before I took my Mum to the specialist centre in Ipoh where she had her fistulla done more than eight years ago. Heavens must have been smiling down on me on that day because although it was a public holiday and most of the doctors were away, the consultant general surgeon was there. He had just finished a surgery and immediately came to see my Mum. He was a very nice guy and very soft-spoken. He took a look at my Mum's fistulla and told me that he could only determine the exact problem with my Mum's fistulla after proper scanning and examination. It seemed that my Mum's fistulla had narrowed a little bit and it was also slightly blocked. He advised me on what was best for my Mum and I immediately agreed to his suggestions. He arranged for a corrective surgery to take place on the next day and for the IJC (Internal Jugular Catheter) to be inserted temporarily before the wound on her fistulla could heal properly. The doctor also told me that the healing period for this kind of surgery differed for different people but he said he would see if my Mum's fistulla would be ready to be used again after a week. The surgery took a few hours and by that time, my youngest brother and sister-in-law had already arrived. One day after the surgery, the IJC was inserted through my Mum's internal jugular vein so she could resume her dialysis treatment. I decided to go on with the planned Mother's Day celebration but on a smaller scale. I could not bear to see my Mum on the hospital bed on that special day. Together with my younger brothers and sister-in-law, we took her to her favourite Chinese food restaurant to celebrate. I'm quite sure that the other patrons at the restaurant were shocked when we walked into the restaurant. There we were with our Mum who was sitting on a wheelchair with the IJC hanging from her neck and her left arm bandaged from the surgery. Lunch was fabulous and fantastic. My Mum looked really happy and she ate more than usual. My Mum's fistulla miraculously healed after a week and her first dialysis using the new fistulla went without any problem at all. My Mum had to stay in the hospital for a week and during her stay, quite a number of people came to visit. Those who were unable to visit sent their prayers. My uncle and his family including his grandchildren came almost every day. My neighbours drove all the way to Ipoh just to visit my Mum. My colleagues dropped by in the evening after work. My bffs, CoCo and Shi, took a few of days' leave from work to give me and my Mum moral support. My elder brother came back and called every day after that. My eldest sister brought her special layered cake which my Mum loved. My second youngest brother came every day before and after work so I could take a breather. Everything was well and I assumed that everything had settled down but I was wrong. The dialysis centre where my Mum went for her treatment had to be shut down temporarily because there were a few procedures that were not adhered to properly. We were given only a few days' notice and I had no other choice but to find a new centre for my Mum. Luckily, there was this one dialysis centre that still had a vacancy for my Mum. I also had to find some sort of help around the house since I had to go to work in the morning. Nobody would be at home to help my Mum get ready for her dialysis treatment because she still could not walk properly. I had also told her that she had to take a rest if she wanted to be up on her feet again and that meant no more tinkering around the house while I was at work. I was at lost until I remembered about this lady who used to help my neighbour's grandmother a couple of years ago. I managed to get her number and I arranged to meet her personally at her house. I told her my situation and what I expected her to help me with. Kak Minah (that is what we call her) immediately requested to see my Mum and I took her to my house so she could see what she would be dealing with. I also wanted both of them to get acquainted. She immediately agreed to help around the house but she would not be able to come on Tuesdays since she had to attend a weekly meeting. I could not say no to her request since I knew domestic help could be quite difficult to find especially at such short notice. I also asked her to do whatever that she thought was necessary around the house but her main responsibility was to help my Mum and keep her company. At the moment, my daily routine has changed. I have to wake up much earlier than usual because I had to fetch Kak Minah from her house before I leave for work at 7.00. I also have to send my Mum to the centre at 11.30 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I am thankful that my superiors understand my situation. At the moment, everything is going smoothly and I am planning to ask Kak Minah to accompany my Mum at home even after my Mum gets well. Both of them seem to get along really well. She is a jovial and funny person whom I am sure can make my Mum happy and occupied while I am at work. My Mother's Day plan might not have gone the way that I planned it to be but hey, every day is Mother's Day to me and I am grateful to Allah for giving me the strength and patience to do what I have to do. I am also thankful to those around me who have shown their support, love and understanding towards me and my Mum. Indeed, I am lucky and blessed. Happy belated Mother's Day to all and may Allah bless our mothers. Amein.

My Mum at the hospital's dialysis centre

My second youngest brother and my Mum after her first IJC dialysis

My Mum having dinner while using her newly-repaired fistulla for the first time

My Mum at the new dialysis centre

My Mum's IJC which I asked to keep after it was taken out

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.