Things I'm grateful for in 2008

Assalamualaikum and Greetings

In a day or two we will be celebrating Awal Muharam (somehow I still could not bring myself to refer it as Maal Hijrah, oh well!). And a few days down the road we will usher in 2009.

Soon we will bid farewell to 2008, which incidentally marked the 20th anniversary of my father’s passing and. It was also 10 years after my youngest brother Azmir’s death. It has been a long time, but I can still vividly remember those days when everything suddenly stopped, and my life was never the same again.

Anyway, what a year 2008 has been. Looking back this past one year, a lot had happened and for that let me apologise in advance if I become a little melancholic here. But I figure this is the time and place for me to put in writing what 2008 means to me. A sort of a little reminder that I need to constantly “bersyukur” with what I have been bestowed, regardless.

Things I am thankful for in 2008
Being Alive.
I’m still alive, I have a decent job which allows me to enjoy my life, and I am quite happy with how things are turning out. It can be better, of course, but you cope with whatever life has to offer.

Being Me. As cheesy as this may sound but I quite like being me. Really. Of course, there were days when I dreamed of becoming someone else who’s more successful, wealthier, and more good looking (still do... hehehe). Having said that, I know I am not perfect but I am still the best version of me. And I really need to be better at being a son, husband and father and definitely a better Muslim. I must keep reminding myself that I have been lucky and fortunate, so I should be grateful.

My wife Azian. She is my life. Period. For that, I’m eternally grateful.

My two mothers. My own and my MIL. Two amazing and wonderful women and I’m thankful that they are in good health. Alhamdulillah.

My daughters Alia, Asma and Arissa. Come 2009, all my daughters would be in secondary school (and effectively making us look much much older). But the three girls give me a reason to get up each day and get through life. There is never a dull day with them around. Watching them grow up has thus far been a wonderful journey. As they grow older, all three have of course develop their own distinctive characteristics and personality. But in many cases they are also alike. Like the fact that they are very much enamored with anything Japanese and The Cullens.. which still baffles me endlessly! And oh.. did I mention that all three are also the three most beautiful girls in the world (of course I would say that), and I love them with all my heart.

The rest of my family. I thank God every day that they remain healthy and alive. Apart from the occasional fever and flu, we are in pretty good shape. InsyaAllah.

My friends. I must say that the year 2008 is definitely my Jejak Kasih year. Thanks to the advent of technology, primarily the mobile phone and Facebook and also this space, I’ve managed to rekindle long lost friendships – some of those that I have not meet for over 27 years since we left school. I didn’t realize that I’ve lost touch with so many friends over the years. I guess it was just one of those periods when everyone was too busy getting their life in order, and getting ahead in the rat race. I regret not being in touch with a lot of good mates from the past, but I am not too sure if I can do much more than that. Sometimes I just feel like the stuff at work and at home take most of my energy anyway, so there is very little left in the tank to do anything else. And it is certainly very pleasant to be able to finally get in touch with my UM brothers namely Ishak, Hanafi and Halim (we are forever bound by a common experience all those years ago and yes we need to look for Salleh); my school buddies especially Adzman who came over for Raya this year and Roshazmi as well as Harman and Man Hon (and Man Hon, yes I’ve seen the pictures of our reunion last August, which of course I missed – that was really a blast from the past.. can't wait to meet with all of them soon); and friends from work especially the awesome Azwan (I’m saying this because I could not thank you enough for belanjaing me the chicken butter hari tu) and many more like Chandra, T2 and Michelle. And it was also wonderful to make new friends over the last 12 months specifically Hafiz ( you are one good guy, bro!) I would like to think that all my friends have accepted me with open arms and without prejudice. For that I’m forever indebted.

My new job. I’ve changed jobs thrice this year and I cannot even begin to be thankful for the current job. I’m enjoying it very much. Alhamdulillah. It is not a room with a door, but a normal workstation. But I’m happy. And it is close to everything I’ll ever need to get my job done – the photocopy machine, printer, surau, and washroom.

The bookstores. The place I go to whenever I am stressed out and needed to spend some quiet time. Apart from my favourite like Kino (which I must frequent more often) and MPH, there’s a new cool haunt – Book Axess in Amcorp Mall. Brought my daughters a few weeks ago and they too fell in love with the place. Expect to see us there more often. And at Borders too (especially now that some nice good hearted PR practitioner had mailed me Borders’s discount card – Thanks).

My home. It’s not big but it’s cozy. And its home!

My TV. My primary source of entertainment. Thanks Astro (but can we go slow on the celebrity weddings, please?).

My PC (at home) and the Internet connection. Thank God, otherwise I'll be lost.


Amazing Shots!!

These pictures arrived at my inbox yesterday... and it's pretty amazing, don't you think?

Although this looks like a picture taken straight from a Hollywood blockbuster, it is in fact a real photo taken near a South African coast during a military exercise by a British navy. It has been nominated by the National Geographic as "Photo of The Year."

And you think you're having a bad day at work?

and here are several more amazing shots...

Holding a Sun
Hurricane coming!!
Beautiful Lightning!!!
What a Cloud!!

p.s: Thanks Edina, for these amazing shots..


Kisah Satu Tag

The last 10 days have been quite miserable for me. I was down with a high fever and although I no longer demam, somehow the flu that came with it has refused to go away. I've lined up a list of topics to post in this blog but I simply could not heave myself to sit down and try to write something intelligent. Too stressed out. Which bring me to this tag.. tagged by my daughter Alia, I've decided perhaps I could do this one instead .. just for fun... let's the tag begin..

1. Do you think you're hot?
Smokin' (okay, just let me berangan)

2. Upload a favourite picture of you.

Obviously, the pix was taken many years ago. But it remains my favourite. I just came back from work and my three little angels were fighting to sit on my laps... aaah heaven (funny that nowadays they try to not be seen with me.. hahaha)

3. When was the last time you ate pizza?
What kind of question is this? Suddenly asking about food... now I'm hungry!

4.. The last song you listened to?
Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up ( I accidentally typed Rick Astley on youtube and he was there... gyrating away! honest mistake)

5. What are you doing now besides this?
Actually, am trying to do some work but I'm using my flu as an excuse to wander off into this blog.

6. What name would you prefer beside yours?
Tengku Aaron Iskandar Ariff! Can?

People I tag...
I really don't want to tag anybody, but seeing that my cousins have not been updating their respective blogs, I'm tagging all four as an incentive. And I tag one best friend whom I was told actually blog too.

i. Anom
ii. Meor
iii. Yone
iv. Cha
v. Azwan (yes you! and give me your blog's urls please)

7. Who is (i)?
My wonderful cousin who has an amazing looking garden!!! Courtesy of her husband.

8. Number (iii) is having a relationships with...?
Azri. (and bilalah Azri nak datang USJ17 ni. Cuti dah nak habis ni..)

9. Say something about number (v)?
Awesome friend. The most prim and proper person in the whole wide world.

10. How about number (iv)?
What about her? She's so single mingle... I think..

11. Who is number (ii)?
My daughters' Ayah Ungge!!!


School Holidays …. que sera sera

The current school holiday is half-way through. Unfortunately, we have yet to go anywhere. And it looks that we aren’t going anywhere. Sigh!!!!

Apart from several sojourn to the nearest malls with friends and us, my daughters have been pretty much cooped up in the house. And most of the time, they are surfing the Net. Doing what teenagers are supposed to be doing online... you know chatting, downloading, uploading and lots of myspace-related activities.

Which bring my equally restless mind back to yesteryears when I was at their age. However, try as I might, I only have vague recollections of my school holidays. God! I‘m old. Either that or I led a very uneventful life.

But one thing for sure, most of the stuff that we did during our school holidays were outdoor activities. And more often than not, it can be seasonal too.

For instance, when Mohamad Ali and Joe Bugner came to KL to box in 1975, most of our holiday activities were.. well.. boxing related. I remember my late father even bought us a boxing glove. Unfortunately, he only bought a pair. So my brother and I had to be resourceful and we boxed with only one hand (it helped that I’m a right hand person while he’s a left-hand person). Oooh! Now I geddit, perhaps that’s the reason why Bapak bought only a pair in the first place!!!!!! Jimat!!
A year later, it was badminton fever siang dan malam. The reason? The nation’s 1976 Thomas Cup emerged first runner up to Indonesia in Bangkok. And the whole country went wild (never mind that we were trashed 9-0 by Rudy Hartono and Co) with excitement. Don’t ask me why?

But suddenly make-shift badminton courts sprouted up all over the country. Including one in our own backyard. So like many others we played badminton. Luckily, this time Bapak bought two rackets!!!

But our activities were not necessarily events-related. But somehow, one major activity was usually preferred over the others. Like one holiday season, everybody (and I mean everybody) would be playing galah panjang and when the next holiday season rolled by, it’s police and thief (I called it polis entry, don't ask) fever.
And sometimes, in my household, our activities can be influenced by the most popular TV shows of the day. Case in point, when Vic Morrow and his Combat team ruled the airwaves, my brothers and I became soldiers and ... err.. communists (once my elder brother and I got into a huge fight as both wanted to be a communist. Why? Because to our young ears, communist sounded so much more sophisticated than soldier.
Luckily, I don’t have a sister. I firmly believe that if I had one, we would definitely become Donny and Marie... hehehehe.


Bila bulan dan bintang tersenyum....

Tadi malam kami memandang ke langit dan terlihat bulan (sabit) dan bintang tersenyum.. Mahu baca lebih lanjut sila ke sini.
Melihat kejaiban sebegini memang bagus.. memang menginsafkan. Lalu teringat bahawa beberapa bulan lalu ada "download" beberapa gambar menarik tentang bumi dan alam semesta ciptaan Allah ini. Maaf saya sudah lupa dari mana saya "curi" gambar ini namun saya mohon pada tuan punya untuk memaparkannya di sini - agar sama-sama kita beringat... sama-sama kita menginsafi.. Sila "klik" pada gambar untuk paparan lebih nyata lebih jelas.