"Now there are more overweight people in the world than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average… which means, you have met your New Year's resolution."
-Jay Leno.

Really? Yeay!


The Last Weekend of 2007

Time Flies. It's going to be 2008 soon. Just what have I been up to in the last weekend of 2007?

i. Saturday - The plan was to attend the book reading session in Bangsar and finally to meet and get my Growing Up in Trengganu signed by the author Awang Goneng. But I didn't tell a soul of my intended plan. Not even to the wife. Because I just don't want to get my hope high only to be dashed by some last minute thingy. And true to form, I was stuck in the office until late evening on Saturday. Sigh! Its year end where everybody go for a holiday and be merry. And I couldn't even go to a book reading.

Awang Goneng and his better half Kak Teh

ii. Sunday - Daughters said they need to buy more school stuff - seperti bags, tudungs and all. Drove them to Summit USJ, had lunch and followed them up and down the shopping complex. The truth is that both the wife and yours truly do not enjoy shopping with the girls anymore....too much walking around aimlessly. Window shopping. Exhausted, we went back home just in time before Zohor habis. So after Asr, with body aching all over, climbed onto the bed and was snoring away soon after. A couple of minutes later, Arissa woke me up and shoved my ringing cellphone. Naturally I was startled big time. Saw the caller's name: Samantha (hehehe). And I groggily answered the call. (Btw, Samantha is one of my bestest and sweetest friends - but she speaks very loud - quite a lethal combination kan .. sweet and loud!). She informed that she's with Awang Goneng and Kak Teh in Bangsar Village at that moment (they are her good friends masa kat London dulu) and perhaps knowing that how I long for a signed book by AG, she offered to buy me the book kat MPH and have it signed. Now, isn't that sweet? And then she passed the phone to Kak Teh. I was then trying desperately to snap out of my grogginess and sound clever at the same time. Because I look up to well-known writers/bloggers like Kak Teh in a similar fashion like my daughters look up to..er.. Miley Cyrus, that was a real surreal moment for me. Mau tak surreal, tengah ting-tong terkejut dari tidur. After exchanging pleasantries, we hanged up. Then I hit my head onto the wall. Why oh why, didn't I request to speak to Awang Goneng himself? Anyway, just in case I didn't get to see both you in person, Terima Kasih AG and Kak Teh! That gesture means a world to me. And to you Wan, do come over for dinner as the Tiramisu's waiting! Bila nak balik KL lagi?

iii. Later that Sunday- As I was too hyped up to go back to sleep, I decided to pay a visit to the barber - nak potong rambut sikit. As I was preparing to leave, the wife tiba-tiba kelam-kabut nak ikut. I was going: "What for?" She responded: "Nak tumpang baca URTV free kat situ la!". Ooooh!


The Wisdom of Isa A.S

(I do believe this entry is rather appropriate for us Muslims to ponder upon - even more so during tis season where everybody are feeling jolly!)

The following sayings of Nabi Isa A.S from traditional Arabic sources are excerpted from Walk on Water, a book by Hamza Yusuf. Please note that the names in parentheses indicate the hadith scholar in whose collection the hadith is found.

According to Ahmad, Prophet Isa A.S him was known to have said, "Virtuous action does not consist in doing good to someone who has done good to you -that is merely returning a favor. Virtuous action consists in doing good to those who have wronged you." (Imam Ahmad)

According to Malik b. Anas, Prophet Isa A.S, "Do not speak much without remembering God, for by doing so, you harden your hearts. Surely a hard heart is distant from God though you are unaware. Do not, like lords, look at the faults of others. Rather, like servants, look at your own faults. In truth, humanity is comprised of only two types, the afflicted and the sound. So show mercy to the afflicted, and praise God for well-being." (Imam Muwatta of Malik)

Once someone asked Prophet Isa A.S ,"How are you able to walk on water?" Prophet Isa replied, "With certainty." Then someone said, "But we also have certainty!" Prophet Isa then asked them, "Are stone, clay, and gold equal in your eyes?" They replied, "Certainly not!" Prophet Isa responded, "They are in mine." (Imam Ahmad)

Once Prophet Isa A.S met Iblis [Satan ]and Iblis said, "Is it not true that only what has been decreed will happen?" Prophet Isa replied, "That is true." Then Iblis said, "So throw yourself down from the top of this mountain, and let us see if you live or not!" Prophet Isa answered, "The servant does not test his master; rather, it is the master who tests his servant." (Imam Abu Na'im)

Prophet Isa A.S said, "You will never obtain what you desire except through patience with what you despise." (Imam Al Ghazali)

Prophet Isa A.S , the son of Maryam, said, "God has given me the power to give life to the dead, sight to the blind, sound to the deaf; but He did not give me the power to heal the fool of his foolishness." (Imam Al- Razi)

(Hamza Yusuf is an American convert to Islam who studied for several years under leading scholars in the Muslim world. He is the co-founder of the Zaytuna Institute in California and has translated into modern English several classical Arabic texts and poems.)


Pantun Untuk Anda Semua

Kepada Sekelian Tuan-tuan dan Puan-Puan, Saudara Saudari Semua,

The New Year is coming! And the election is coming! The election is coming! I have stumbled upon a rather appropriate pantun for all of us. It goes like this:

Kalau Mencari Tempat Mandi
Pertama Teluk Kedua Pantai
Kalau Mencari Pemimpin Negeri
Pertama Elok Kedua Pandai.

Just a reminder:
The elok here refers to his or her "keperibadian" and "kejujuran" (not someone who has gone under the knife or has been injected with botox bagai and now she or he spots a brand new look.
And the pandai here refers not to those who are pandai only berkata-kata, pandai using a penyapu to sweep everything under the carpet, or pandai hiding behind ISA, the police and the mainstream media as and when it suits them... etc etc.
Okay? I'm going to work now. Bye!

(p.s: the pantun was apparently uttered by a certain menteri sometime in the 80s. As usual I ciplak it here lah!)


I'm floored. I'm confused. I'm humbled.

I'm floored. This is such a delightful read. And when I grow up I want to write just like Awang Goneng and perhaps come out with my own GuIT (Growing Up in Temoh) too. That probably will never happen anyway. For one, I really can't recall a single momentous event ever while I was growing up. What a boring life!
Now can someone tell me how to get my book signed by Awang Goneng himself before he goes back to London? Anyone?

I'm confused. Till today I stilll can't figure out the police's (PDRM) priority. Or is it just me, er, simply being my not very clever self? These past weeks they merrily went on a "spree" of cleaning up the streets of Kuala Lumpur which suddenly were filled with sooo many bad Malaysians. Hmm, they must have been very busy. The thing is, what ever happen to Nurin's murder case? Any progress ker? Do let us know la ye? And please don't tell me there's no progress....

I'm humbled. My heart and doas are now with our brothers and sisters who are being hit by the floods in various part of the country. This is a dugaan Allah (one that I certainly could not imagine having to go through myself). At the time of writing this entry, it seems that the floods are getting worse especially in Pekan area. About 8000 people are stranded and the roads have been cut off. Now's the time to lend our helping hand. Those living in KL, please deliver your contributions to the Flood Relief Centre at Istana Pahang, Persiaran Raja Chulan, KL. Please contact Dato Nordin at 012-988-9149 or 012-900-7068.


Salam Aidil Adha

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha.
Moga Amal Ibadat Kita Bertambah Baik


It's the tag thing!

Noting that I've had trouble coming up with topics for this blog, Fauziah Ismail had tag me. And here goes....

1. Name one person who made you laughed last night.
Aishah, my wife’s niece. One of the most “blur sotong” person I’ve ever met. And here she is. Maybe one of these days, I'll compile her quotable quotes.
2. What were you doing at 0800?
This is am, right? I was driving to work.
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Blog hopping.
4. What happened to you in 2006?
I moved to a new job in a new company. Now that 2008 is coming, I’m so ready to move on elsewhere. Any opening anywhere?
5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Er, er no memory of that whatsoever. Sudah tua lor.
6. How many beverages did you have today?
I had air sirap in the afternoon, hot Milo and coffee during breaks and more air sirap for dinner. Diabetes, here I come.
7. What color is your hairbrush?
I don’t have one. Er, do I need one?
8. What was the last thing you paid for?
A “tapaued” Mee Rebus at Mydin for MIL.
9. Where were you last night?
In Ikea, Ikano Power Centre and The Curve. People watching and tengok lampu lip lap with my family, my MIL and my SIL’s family.

10. What color is your front door?
Dark brown – like the rest of my neighbours.
11. Where do you keep your change?
In a green mug on the dresser. In my pocket. In a car.
12. What’s the weather like today?
Can’t really tell. I was cooped up in the office all day from morning till around 8pm. Except when I went for lunch with Kamal and Raja. It was drizzling then.
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
I like durian and jagung, But only from Wall’s. But if it is from Baskin Robbins – all of it.
14. What excites you?
The wife. Wink. Wink.
15. Do you want to cut your hair?
16. Are you over the age of 25?
Yes. And enjoying it.
17. Do you talk a lot?
Not really.
18. Do you watch the O.C.?
What’s an OC?
19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Spielberg, Seagal, Gerrard. Can , aaa?
20. Do you make up your own words?
No. I’m not that clever.
21. Are you a jealous person?
Not really. I don’t know lar.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
Ahmad Nawawi. He's my best buddy when I was in Form Five. I just managed to track him again after 15 years. That's me and him when we were 18.
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.
Karaihanah. Another name from Form 5 days. After SPM never heard of her ever again. Almost 30 years ago.
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
My wife.
25. What does the last text message you received say?
“Rachel called you” from Hajar. It’s an office thing.
26. Do you chew on your straw?
27. Do you have curly hair?
No. Wavy yes.
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
InsyaAllah, Kuala Terengganu, sometimes in January. To visit the many places as mentioned in GUIT. And to visit my friend Ahmad Nawawi – he’s there now.
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Ada a few but would rather not talk about it. Buat spoil mood jer.
30. What was the last thing you ate?
Mee Rebus. Yummy!
31. Will you get married in the future?
Ha ha ha. I better not answer this.
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Haven’t been watching movies lately. Although apparently the wife has watched I Am Legend while the girls have seen Enchanted and The Golden Compass on their own. Kesian bapak, kena tinggal.
33. Is there anyone you like right now?
Yes. No need to answer that lah kan
34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
I try to do the dishes everyday. I like doing dishes. Boleh main air and sabun.
35. Are you currently depressed?
A bit. Solution would be money dropping from the sky.
36. Did you cry today?
Nooooo. Why would I?
37. Why did you answer and post this?
I want to. I have nothing better to do. I have nothing to blog.
38. Tag 5 people who would do this.
Shah - Why not? Indeed.
Pak Zawi - I know you owe us an entry on the bus ride experience from KLCC back to Amanputra Puchong, but what the heck, just do this one lar ye Pak.
Yone - Please do not stop blogging. Just do this one.
Anom - Lama tak dengar cerita. So blog this. And blog about Vientiane too. Please.
Yan - Oh, just do it!


Number 43

This bloke turns 43 today. Syukur Alhamdulillah di atas segala nikmat yang Allah pinjamkan selama ini. Amin. Ini juga peringatan bahawa ajal juga semakin menghampiri.


I'm still here but I haven't got a clue what to write lah

The above title could very well be my entire entry. Period. But I'm itching to write.. Let see, what's been happening in my life in recent weeks? Work is still .. er .. work.
Life at home could not be better. But the kids were stalking the Internet most of the time(hence the no show of postings here...yeah excuses!). But the wife and kids are in Lumut these past few days (will be there for a few more days). A kenduri to attend. And why am I here all alone? Oh Ya... I've got to go to work.
So life is pretty boring nowadays. I don't really watch the TV. Been missing so much so don't know what to watch anymore. Oh! Okay, I am following the The Amazing Race Asia Season 2. But that's pretty much it.
Oh yes! A few days ago I found myself at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. After the meeting, I went down to its Kedai Koperasi DBP on the ground floor. The last time I was there (I mean the DBP bookstore) was when I was in Standard Five. I remembered I bought buku Hikayat Malim Deman then. That was how many years ago? Many many years ago lah. This time around, I bought this :

This is a collection of short stories (cerpen) by Pak Samad from 1944 till 1991. Can you imagine that!! And personally, I must say that I find that the first paragraph of the first cerpen (Seorang Pengail - published in Semangat Asia in 1944) is rather absorbing. I was hooked from thereon. It goes like this:
Siapa yang tidak susah pada masa ini? Sama ada negeri itu berperang atau tidak, rakyatnya tetap menghadapi sedikit sebanyak kesusahan.

(Just wondering if Pak Samad is to write that cerpen in 2007, would he change the "sama ada negeri itu berperang atau tidak" to ... er.. "sama ada negeri itu diperintah oleh bapak mertua atau anak menantu". Er, I'm just wondering, okay?)


This Is Cinta!

Who would have thought that I will marry this wonderful and beautiful woman? I knew her when she was still a baby for she is my parents' best friend's daughter. But after they moved away to Kampar, we rarely saw each other. Almost never.
Then our mothers decided to play cupid - and we sort of went along with that, without qualms. (But of course, nowadays she would tell everybody that "dia kena kahwin paksa dulu!!)
We were almost strangers when were first married with only three outings between April 1993, when we got engaged and Nov 1993. Dating would not be an appropriate term here because it's not as one was simply a trip to my brother's place in Shah Alam with her niece Nisah while the other was when I picked her up at her office and sent her to Pudu (only once, okay). And the last one was when she accompanied me to a dentist in Kampar.
But like many "bertunang" couple we spoke on the phone almost everyday. However, when I dropped by at her place for lunch (which happened almost everytime I "balik kampung"), we hardly talked to each other. I just came, sengih-sengih, sembang sikit with bakal mak mentua, makan and balik. Prompting the MIL to ponder out loud, "telefon lama-lama banyak pulak cakap ya?" Yes, our pre-marriage relationships was on that level.
Alhamdulillah, after we got "nikah" on 19 Nov 1993, we found out that we are compatible in every imaginable way. And both of us work hard at maintaining that compatiblity.. even till to this very day.
I could not have asked for a better life than this one I'm having now. Because I'm spending it with Yan.
Thank You For 14 Glorious Years Of My Life! And InsyAllah, For Many More Years To Come!
Happy Anniversary. Cinta ini Tiada Akhirnya!


When you are bored.....

This arrived in the inbox recently. Since I've got nothing interesting to share (buntu lar), I'll post this instead. I'm really bored... need something to amuse myself.

See what's in your neighbour's rubbish/trash (Amusement Potential: 20-30 minutes)
You can learn a lot about people by what they throw out. You might uncover some dark secret about them. Plus, they might be throwing out something with value that still works, like a VCR or some magazine

Step off a curb with eyes shut, imagine it's a cliff (Amusement Potential: 2-5 minutes)
To get any benefit out of this one, you have to have a good imagination. Don't step off immediately, build up to the jump. Study the ravine below. Feel the winds at that altitude. Step off and...AHHHHHH!!!!!

Burn things with a magnifying glass (Amusement Potential: 5-30 minutes)
Ants are always fun to use for this, but burning the face of someone you don't like, under some circumstances, can be just as entertaining.

Blink wildly and then close your eyes really tight for an interesting light show(Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
See a variety of blobs, stars and flashes. Try to make out shapes and see if your subconscious is trying to send you a message (perhaps that funny shape is saying, 'send all your money to urban75.com'?)

See how long you can hold a note (Amusement Potential: 4-20 minutes)
Not that much fun, but it sure passes the time. Play with a friend, or try to beat your own personal best. Inhale deeply and then try and make a noise for as long as you can. Earn extra points for making your partner laugh or ending on an amusing note.

Try to not think about penguins (Amusement Potential: 1-5 minutes)
This is especially hard, because by trying too much, you remember what you were trying to avoid thinking of. If you try too little, you end up thinking about penguins anyway.

Use your secret mind power (Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
Pick a passing by and try to use your mind power to command them do something, like drop their bag or knock into someone. The law of averages dictates that sooner or later one of your mind commands will come true, so you can convince yourself that you really have super human powers and waste even more time trying them out.

Scratch yourself (Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
Go ahead, scratch yourself now. Even if nothing itches, go ahead. Doesn't that feel pretty good?

Rate passers by (Amusement Potential: 10-15 minutes)
Secretly award passers by marks out of ten as you go along, offering (unsaid) expert criticism over their clothing, hairstyle and footwear choices.

Pinch yourself (Amusement Potential: 1-3 minutes)
What is pain? Why is it unpleasant? There's nothing physical about it - it's all in your mind. Plus, after pinching yourself for awhile, boredom will seem nice next to being in pain.

Try to swallow your tongue (Amusement Potential: 1-2 minutes)
There's not much to say about this one. It is possible, but really stupid.

When watching TV – especially shows like CSI or Heroes - , repeat everything said in Manglish.(Amusement Potential: 5-10 minutes)
Sort of entertaining.

When watching TV, tune into Malay Dramas.(Amusement Potential: Lifetime)
Make sure you watch Drama Melayu with scripts that go like: “Ini failnya Tuan.” or “Adakah anda menemui kesukaran di dalam menghadapi pembelajarananda di sini?” (instead of “Okay ker kau belajar kat sini?”)


Celebrating life ... my way!

Mrsgoodthings@home went to school this morning. UPSR result out. She was initially .. er. calm. Until she reached the school and met with scores of parents .. mostly mothers. And everybody .. mostly mothers.. were on the brink of nervous breakdown. And naturally mrsgoodthingsa@home became agitated too. Who wouldn't when... mothers mostly... some unknown to her... came up and asked "what if my child didn't get 5As?" before moving on wailing to some others.
For crying out loud...it's not the end of the world! It's only UPSR. Tomorrow, all will be forgotten. Life moves on.
Having said all that, to My Asma, congratulations baby! Am happy for you. Congrats to your bestest friends too - Anis, Fatihah and even Amyrah. Stay cool, girls! And oh! yes, congrats to other anak-anak who achieved good results too. I'm sure your parents and teachers are bursting with pride and happiness. Alhamdulillah!
And, Asma, as I told you the night before, even if you did not get a single A pun, Bapak will be okay. Mak too. Just be a good girl! A good Muslimah Girl! That's more important, really!
And have fun and celebrate life! (and it does not revolve around string of As only)

By the way, yesterday both of us went to school for a Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan Sekolah. My Arissa received an anugerah for coming out third in her class. I'm especially happy and proud for when she's younger... for some reasons many pointed out that she's not normal. Granted, Arissa was rather slow to talk. Even her kindergarten teacher once told us to have Arissa checked by a doctor… simply because she still can’t read at the tender age of 5. Some teacher, right?
And "well-meaning" relatives and friends can be cruel too... how do you respond to words of "encouragement" like "dia ni cacat sikit!" when referring to then five year old Arissa. Imagine that? And do not get me started on the things said behind our back (yes words did get around!). For crying out loud...
So, excuse me yaa, this one I gotta celebrate. Big time! Wohoooo!!!!

I will never ever (never did, anyway) compare my kids with other people's children. You may ask about their performances in school and all that. I will answer it truthfully (depending on my mood... lar jugak). Period. Please, don't bother to compare yours to mine. And if your kids are positively brilliant than mine, don't you think such an exercise is rather pointless.
Afterall, I'm sure that you wholeheartedly believe that your kids are better than my kids, anyway. And I tell you... I am happy for your children. I really do.
But if you still insist on comparing them... just do it at your end. Please keep it to yourself, ya.... because I am far too busy......celebrating life with my kids and wife!


A Magic Moment I Remember

I was browsing the Net aimlessly these past few days. Can't think of anything worthwhile to blog. A classic case of blogger's block (it means plain lazy). So I hopped over to several blogs and read many dedications from husbands to wives celebrating their anniversaries. Ah! Very sweet. Oh! It's November already, no wonder so many anniversaries. Soon many Majlis Walimah will take place. Many more people will join the November couples to observe their anniversaries this month nex year. Alhamdulillah.

And I continued surfing. Then I chanced upon this poem. A beautiful poem, indeed. So I'm dedicating this one to My Yan.

A Magic Moment I Remember
A magic moment I remember:
I raised my eyes and you were there.
A fleeting vision, the quintessence
Of all that's beautiful and rare.
I pray to mute despair and anguish
To vain pursuits the world esteems,
Long did I near your soothing accents,
Long did your features haunt my dreams.
Time passed- A rebel storm-blast scattered
The reveries that once were mine
And I forgot your soothing accents,
Your features gracefully divine.
In dark days of enforced retirement
I gazed upon grey skies above
With no ideals to inspire me,
No one to cry for, live for, love.
Then came a moment of renaissance,
I looked up- you again are there,
A fleeting vision, the quintessence
Of all that`s beautiful and rare.
- by Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)


My 11 Year Old Baby Girl

This is Arissa, our youngest. To me she will forever be my baby girl. And when I'm in my mischievous mood, I'll call her "baby girl". Even in public. Which, of course annoyed her no end. And she would normally ignore me then. Arissa can be very funny in her own way. And can be quite eccentric. For one, she speaks a rather formal Bahasa Melayu. Orang sekarang kata skema. And she addresses herself as "saya" as opposed to her sisters who use their names as gantinama. Even now, she uses "saya".When she was around five and six years old, she even called me "Cik Mior", can you believe that? Luckily, that didn't last.
She likes the Internet. She spends hours playing stuff over at the girls-related website. And watches Hannah Montana at youtube regularly. Ooh! She's into copy pasting lyrics too. I guess that's rather normal for girls her age. But the songs.... I've never heard of lah.
And of all the daughters, she's the most unassuming. In my household, it means she's orang yang paling blur sotong.
One more thing, she's very protective of her Mak. Even from me! So Bapak still cannot sit rapat-rapat dengan Mak when Arissa is around. Isn't that just delightful?

Arissa around 4 months old. Adorable, eh?

Then her face became more "squarish". Muka petak. We always tease her about this.

Once, we were having lunch. Arissa was on the baby chair. Sedar2 dah terlentok tidur. Still our favourite photo of her.

Dah besar dah anak Bapak. Dak jadik diva ker?


Er.. Excuse Me, What Life???

This blog is titled The Life of a Bapak. But, sad to say that presently this Bapak has no life. Wait, ada life but its very the monotonously boring one, at least for now lah! I don't even have anything worthwhile let alone clever to post and share.

And I'm so tired with the goings on at the office. I'm too old for office politics. And I really don't have a brain to entertain er... the not so bright people who whine and whine when things do not go their way. And mind you, I'm not that intelligent to begin with. So imagine, what kind of people that I have to deal with... ooh whatever!

"A common problem at the workplace is confusing activity with accomplishment or results. That's probably why we spend hours on end in meetings, engaging in verbal jousting and exchange of semantics, completely oblivious to one simple fact: all the running around doesn’t really get us anywhere.Activities are often just cosmetic. At the end of the day, it’s the results that matter, you know." - a wise word from The Kimster.

But then again, this is life! Deal with it, right?


Spicing up Khutbah Jumaat? Can ...?

The truth is, more often than not khutbah Jumaat, week in and week out, do send many people to sleep. Paling tidak pun most will day dream rather than paying attention to the content of the khutbah.. and don't me get started on how noisy the kids can be at the back of the congregation.
Too bad really and this is what we get if an Imam is required to read a prepared khutbah that simply does not interest many people (think RTM's talk show). Yeah, maybe they can't do much about it, but then again the Imams can certainly spice up his sermon a little.. here and there. Just to jolt the jemaah...like what this one Imam, apparently in mid-west USA, who got up after one Friday prayers and announced to the people:
"I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."
But then again, boleh ker our Imams say something like this? Silap haribulan kena buang kerja. Eh, tak payah lar ekk?


Pipa is Three

Yesterday, Ayah Chik and family came over - beraya and at the same time celebrated the birthday of his grandaughter Pipa. Adorable! But the thing is that she looks exactly like Asma at this age. Why, when she saw our family photo taken about 10 years ago (when Asma was about her age), she was rather taken aback and quipped" "Eh! Pipa". And like Asma, Pipa too asks a lot questions over and over and over again.
After the mandatory swimming session, we had a cake cutting thingy with the birthday girl with her Umi, aunts and cousins. From left: Aida, Aisyah, Pipa, Alia, Asma, Ain, Arissa and her umi Anis.
After that Pipa went guling-guling on our bed. Suka lak dia. But she said that's Kakak's bed (as in Arissa's). And overheard a conversation between Pipa and Arissa
Pipa: Kenapa mak awak sembahyang? (as she watched Yan performed her Maghrib)
Arissa: Nak dapat pahala!!!


Islam: Fun Facts

I, for some strange reasons, thrive on trivia. Here are some interesting facts about Islam. Enjoy!!

  • The Majority of Muslims do not live in the middle East. The most populous muslim country is Indonesia, the 4th largest country in the world with 184 million muslims. There are more muslims in India than the combined population of Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and the whole of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • The following English words are borrowed from Arabic: Algebra, Zero, Cotton, Sofa, Rice, Candy, Safron, Balcony. And even 'alchohol' derives from Arabic : al-kuhl meaning powder. These are just a few mentioned here.
  • The first treatise on smallpox and measles was written by Abu Bakr alrazi (c.864-925,known to Europe as Rhazes). (Due to this) Inoculation agianst smallpox became a common practise in muslim lands. Despite this , Scientific text book credit the invention of a smallpox vaccine to Edward Jenner.(1749-1823).
  • Early Oxbridge students studied books written by muslims on mathematics, medicine, chemistry, optics and astronomy.
  • Adelard of Bath (a city in the UK) was a leading scholar of the middle ages. what made him famous was translating the word of muslim scientists from Arabic to Latin!
  • The 1860 city records of Cardiff (UK) show a masjid in operation in a converted building at 2 Glynrhondda St. Yemani sea men on their trips between Aden (in Yemen) and Cardiff founded this masjid.
  • The first purpose built masjid is claimed to be in Woking (South of England) with money provided by the ruler of Bhopal, in India (the Shah Jehan masjid was built in 1889).
  • The Islamic calender is based on the phases of the moon, with it being approximately 11 days shorter than the 365 days of the year in the Julien calender. Hence, the dates of our festivals move through the year.
  • The grand doors of our prophets (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) masjid in Medina weigh 2 and half tonnes each! Enormous quantities of "sag wood" was gathered from all over the world and shipped to the united kingdom to be dryed in computerised furnaces (the traditional drying process would have taken many years!). Even then , it took 5 months to dry the wood! the wood was then shipped to Barcelona (Spain), Where the main body of the doors where made. And finally the French even paid their little part, as the brass ornamentation was carried out in the city of Roi (France). Next time you visit the holy masjid, keep this entirely in mind!
  • It was only in 1932 the Kiswah (cloth of the Ka'bah) was wholly made by Saudis (citizens of Saudi Arabia).
  • The roof top of our Prophet's (SalAllahu alayhi wasalam) masjid in Madina is designed to be strong enough to carry addtional floors in the future.
  • Some verses in the Koran refer to man being equal to woman. Mathematically, the number of times the word "man" appears in the Koran is 24. The number of times the word "woman" appears in the Koran is also 24.

P. Ramlee.. The Musical - I Likeeee...

Ever since I watched my first musical - a “Sirih Bertepuk Pinang Menari” karya Sasterawan Noordin Hasan in the very early 90s - I decided that I like theatrical musicals.

Then when I was in London a few years later, I managed to catch the then immensely popular “Miss Saigon” with Lea Salonga and Jonathan Pryce at the West End and I was going like “WOW! Wow! Wow! Surely no Malaysian productions can ever match this” (The chopper scene alone blew my mind).

Which brings us to P. Ramlee The Musical. What can I say? I was there at the opening night and brought my family three days later. Dapat tengok dua kali, gua cakap lu! And of course, I enjoyed it. And I am so proud that we have our own musical production that can match the ones from West End or Broadway in every imaginable way. We have arrived! Yes. (clearly I didn't watch PGL.. The Musical, right?)

The Good!

The ensemble: The big ensemble cast did a great supporting job with good dancing and singing throughout. I especially like the three women-supporting cast who took on several different roles. Bravo to Ida Mariana, Maya Tan Abdullah and Izlyn Ramli.

Chedd Eddie Yusof: He’s everywhere too but as Sukardi, P. Ramlee’s best friend from kampung, he is pleasantly humorous.

Colin Kirton and Douglas Lim: The Shaw Brothers! Emtaq, emtaq!

The songs: The P. Ramlee songs are simply beautiful. The new songs… not bad..but love the opening number in Penang.

The props: Whoa... the locomotive and KTM gerabak alone were amazing.

Atilia: I am already a fan. As Junaidah the first wife, she's exquisite.

Melissa Saila: As Norizan the second dejected wife, she provided the most memorable performance. Her singing may be questionable (but then she’s no singer to begin with) but her acting..simply majestic.

Liza Hanim: I was never a fan but after listening to her singing live, I was bowled over. I seriously think that she sounded much much better than the singing Datuk. As Saloma, she’s simply delightful.

Sean Ghazi: Awesome. Enough said.

Atilia, Sean, Liza and Melissa. Terror.

Favourite moments:
Opening number in 1930’s Penang --- oooh very very happy (and I actually smiled masa ni).
The Penang-Singapore train ride --- ooooh my God!
Norizan-P.Ramlee break up scene – oooh very heartfelt (but really, was Norizan like this in real life)
The screening of Penarik Becha at the Rex Cinema – ooh clever!

P.Ramlee and Saloma courting scene – oooh priceless!
I’m so very very happy!
(Pix courtesy of MStar and www.jeffooi.com)



Suddenly.... it rains day and night. Since last day of Ramadan. And it's chilly here (wah macam kat London ler pulak). We don't have to turn on the air-condition even. And sometimes not even the ceiling fan. Must be the global warming thing....

Suddenly... Malaysians (actually the BPR) jadik efficient. Watched the news just now. And aren't you glad we are in Malaysia where the gomen people are so very effective and efficient. Must be the Malaysia Boleh spirit....

Suddenly.... people around me are somehow related to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. An aunt told us that the handsome Dr's family house in PJ is just a stone throw away from "our rumah Opah Chu". Okay. And Alia's friend's aunt was once supposed to marry the now lelaki idaman se Malaya. Check. Must be the weather...

Suddenly... oh whatever!


Teman raya sakan, weh!

It was indeed a fulfilling Hari Raya for my family and I. Alhamdulillah! It was really a Hari Raya at a most meriah tetapi sederhana proportion. But still, we had fun all the way. Bear with me, this is going rather long-winded. But as many years from now I probably won’t remember the details, the fun, and the joy, this entry is a marker of sorts.

30 Ramadan
Balik Kampung day. With my mom safely uprooted at my brother’s place in Shah Alam, we decided to push off from home after sahur. Which never happened as I stayed up all night right until sahur because was busy cleaning up the house (and Yan busy baking last minute cookies). And after subuh I went to sleep. Woke up only at 8.30am.
It was already 9am and the sun already up and bright when we left the house. And I was so ever prepared to be spending extra few hours in the traffic congestion. But it was indeed a beautiful Ramadan day as there was hardly any traffic worthy of balik kampung exodus on PLUS highway that morning. It was a breeze all the way right up till Tapah exit. Alhamdulillah. Macam bukan balik Raya lar pulak.... Sampai at my SIL’s place in Kuala Dipang, a couple of KM to the north of Kampar around noon.
And I went straight to resuming my sleep. Ahhh! Heaven. Woke up around 5pm, itupun my wife kata my MIL mintak gi beli mee goreng Mamak utk berbuka. Of all the food....
But malam raya was spent with just Kak’s and our family sahaja as the other brothers and sister and families would only join us the next day.

1 Syawal.
Woke up bright and early and feeling very much sihat. I’ve learnt the bitter lesson of not to gorge down food on the Raya eve as to jaga the tummy. A few Rayas ago I did just that and I suffered the morning after. Since I’m the only adult male around, I decided to go solat Raya in Kampar, mana ler tahu kot2 boleh terserempak ngan member2 lama. Kak’s young son Farid, dah lama lesap ikut kawan2 dia gi surau nearby untuk sembahyang Raya.
Anyway, Solat raya in Masjid Kampar sort of nostalgic as it was the place where I did my akad nikah many many years ago. And I only met my old classmate Amran Md Zain. Ropa dia macam tu jugak. Hmmm.
After the solat (which only started at 9.30am – rather late don’t you all think so) I rushed back home. Then we went to Yan’s kampung in Ayer Itam Labu – about 20 minutes away. First stop was pusara arwah FIL. Then we made our way to Yan’s aunt place, Wan Eda, not far from there. After the huu haa session with her children which happen to be our cousins yang jarang jumpa, we drove further in to Yan’s Uncle place Pak Usu.
And surprise, surprise, I met my old kawan baik from Form 6 days - Baharuddin. Sekarang dah jadi lecturer kat UPSI and dah ada anak enam. Last time I met Baha was like 17 years ago. Lepas sama-sama start kerja terus lost contact walaupun masing2 tahu rumah emak bapak masing2.
Then both Kak and us berpecah as we made our way to Temoh, my kampung. Ziarah kubur bapak and Azmir and opah and tok. Then pergi tengok rumah Mak jap and jumpa my cousin Lop. We also pergi beraya kat rumah my cousins kat kampung sebelah – rumah Kak Lebo and rumah Abg Udin. Oooh! Banyaknya makan. Beraya lar katakan.
After that I wanted to visit my other best friend masa sekolah in Kampar but the girls dah penat so decided to go home to rumah Kak. By then Yan’s eldest sister Yong and brother Abang Lan and their families sudah sampai. Cuma Nyah and the gang from Cheras saja still on the way.
So after solat jamak qasar, my head found a pillow and I drifted to lalalland in no time. Apparently, quite a number of sedara mara came by while I was drifting...... even Nyah and family pun sampai...
Around 10pm, Kak Encik and family also sampai to sleep over. She’s our cousin but the closest cousin and can be considered another sister even. After all she grew up in the same household as my wife and her siblings. And when she’s around, it was sembang2 session into the wee hours of the morning. The main topic of tete-a-tete that night warrant a separate entry but it was hillarious to the maximum, I tell you.
It concerned Kak Encik’s blow-by-blow account on what transpired while she watched our angkasawan blasted off into the space on TV a few days earlier. Suffice to say that Sheikh Muszaphar, you’ve got one die hard fan in Kak Encik. And she’s still praying that the capsule carrying our angkawasan back to earth will off shoot its target and land safely in Teluk Batik, Lumut instead. Yeah, Kak Encik lives in Sitiawan (not far from Lumut) and she’s seriously hoping that she will be able to welcome our hunky Dr back home personally. I say, whatever......

Rombongan Kak Siah pergi beraya
Baha and me - sekian lama tak jumpa

Group photos of the men in Cikgu Hasan's family. The uncles are all seated (plus the youngest cousin). Yang muda-muda sumer berdiri termasukla sorang uncle tu... hehe

The ladies group pix (MIL tak de sebab dia tgh shower). All the aunts are seated with the eldest auntie berdiri right in the middle... separating the cousins yang ayu sopan (on the left) dengan cousins yang lupa daratan di Hari Raya (to the right). Err, yang dentist tu should be in the right group lar!!!

Since I like this pix so much, here's another go... orang muda la katakan

2 Syawal
The early part of the day were spent at Kak’s place receiving guests yang datang beraya. It was only after Asar prayer that we drove up to Ipoh to Yan’s cousin Kak La in Bercham. And the mee rebus at Kak La’s place was sinfully delicious. Ishh! And we were stranded jugak at her place as the sky opened up real good. It was almost 9pm when we reached Yan’s sister place Yong in Simpang Pulai. The rest of the gang were already there and another feast of mee – this time mee kari lar pulak - awaited. As Nisah said, the mee was simply marvellous..

Second day terlupa pulak nak go snap snap happy. Only this one taken of my family before we ventured out to Ipoh.
3 Syawal
Apparently more people came over to beraya with MIL (like really ramai) but we weren’t there as we went to beraya at Pak Uteh's place - Yan's uncle - in Malim Nawar and later to my late grandmother’s place in Lahat. Only my aunts – Wancik and Chu - and their families live there now. Had lunch there – nasi dengan gulai masam, ikan bakar and air asam. Ooooh sedap!
We left for Kak’s place around 5pm and on the way back we stopped by Gopeng to buy Kelamai. Apparently only available in Gopeng, Kelamai looks like lemang only the buluh is rather white and its more like bingka rather pulut lemang. Sampai kat rumah we – especially those kids from KL macam anak Nyah and mine – were really amazed at this kelamai. Heboh satu rumah pasai kelamai. Hmm orang Perak yang praq senandung.
That night we had a bbq of burger and sausages. Jemu makan lauk raya ler nih. Another satisfying day indeed.

Inilah rupa rumah Opah in Lahat. When I was young, balik kampung means going to this house. 30 miles away from Temoh. The house has undergone renovation and tambahan sana sini like hundred times.

Gumbiranya bertemu Kelamai. Sessi membuka Kelamai. Nak kata jakun....

Oh ya malam tu ada sessi main bunga api. Tak sah lah raya kalau tak melanggar undang-undang, tak gitu? Arissa with her bunga api...

Ana and Hasri jadi chef bakar burger .

4 Syawal
The three families decided to go beraya di tepi laut in Lumut sambil beraya at Kak Encik’s place. Left home very early bearing the nasi lemak untuk dimakan waktu breakfast in Lumut. We had breakfast at Kak Encik’s before it was decided that rather than going to the more popular Teluk Batik (sure penuh ngan manusia punya) we booked a chalet for a day use at the Teluk Rubiah Resort.
Lagi bagus…. because it’s a private beach. Kena pulak Kak Encik had already prepared sumptuous lunch to go along at the beach. True enough there were only us berendam dalam laut that tengahari buta.
It was fun, fun and fun all the way. It was only at 6.45pm that we pushed off from Lumut back to KL. Lupa daratan…. Besok sudah kerja. Damn. And to make matter worse, the PLUS highway was jammed up especially from Slim River to Ulu Bernam stretch. Urgh. The journey that normally takes 2 hours stretched to six hours.

My anak dara posing tepi laut. Er anak aku ker begini?

Ha ha, ini laut kami yang punya!

And we played beach football too!

Bersantai di tepi pantai. Panas nya Ya Rabbi!

Yan's dream of riding a big motorbike finally came true that day. Here's Ana helping her Mak Yan naik motor. Ada clearer picture of her but I definitely cannot post it here, can I?
After a whale of a time at the beach, Hasri invited us all to his Atok's place - 10 minutes away. Oooh, impressive, typical rumah kampung. Kami sumer naik ke anjung rumah. Ramai rupanya kami... penuh satu ruang, habih berbalang kuih raya and berjag air limau.

That lady in blue tudung was my Form Two BM teacher. A charming lady really and I married her daughter (yang tudung hitam tu)

Anak-anak muda kami psoing depan rumah atok Hasri dengan rambutan muda - Alia, Fudhail, Nurul, Aisyah and Shida.

5 Syawal
Back to work dengan rasa lemah sekali. Hmm. And by lunch time, got a call that my aunts from Ipoh and an uncle from Penang are coming to our place at USJ17 to beraya. Oooh, rushed back early from work and together with Yan pergi shopping for something sebab at home there’s nothing. We decided to just prepare Mee Kari and for dessert, Fruit Cocktail.
It was only after 6.30pm Yan started to cook. Yang lain2, kemas rumah. Right after Maghrib, another phone call came in – this time from Abg Din, cousin Yan. Told us that they are coming too, enam buah kereta. And panic sets in. Kelam kabut. Open house pulak la jadinya. But in the end, semuanya selamat alhamdulillah. That night alone, almost 60 people came over beraya. Macam tak percaya…. Itu lah rezeki.

Arissa and her "cute little brother" Adi yang datang dengan tok and mak tok. Abah and Mama tinggal di Ipoh sebab kerja.

Tiga anak dara Mior dengan sorang anak teruna Meor

Wan checking out the spread. Anom sudah kenyang tak lalu nak tengok dah.

Yone and Wancik

Chu and Pak Su

One of the guest that night was Zul, who was my brother's classmate masa sekolah dulu. But he could not remember my brother even after I showed him the photo.
Keluarga Pak Hasan and Mak Nor enjoying the mee kari

Mee kari express, the menu for the night
And that was my Raya. How's yours?