I’ve travelled quite extensively over the years (due to my work) but for some reasons, three state capitals – namely Johor Baru, Kuantan adn Kota Kinabalu – escape me.
Funny thing is I’ve been to all the states in Malaysia even Sabah (went to Labuan two years ago and took a ferry trip into the State and went river cruising somewhere) but never managed to visit the state capital - KK.
But somehow 2009, I was presented the opportunities to finally menjejakkan kaki at these three state capitals (and in my book it means the city centre itself and its famous landmarks).
Johor Baru – I’ve flown over JB countless of times especially in the 90s when we at Computimes have to take to turn to attend events in Singapore almost every other week. I even flew into Senai Airport once but instead of going into JB city centre, I went the opposite direction into Desaru. And that’s about it. And that's the nearest I've ever came to JB until May this year. So it was real pleasure when P1 Wimax held an event there and I was fortunate enough to join them. And I finally saw the Tambak Johor with my own two eyes and enjoyed the sea breeze in Danga Bay.
Kuantan – Okay, I’ve skirted around Kuantan a couple of times on my way to Terengganu and Kelantan (somehow you don’t have to go through Kuantan town to get further into the east coast). And this year, I’ve been to Kuantan twice. And the seafood by the beach.... aaaahhhhhh!
Kota Kinabalu – Finally KK. Was there in November. More seafood thanks to Veena. And its pretty there (well I was at ShangriLa Tanjung Aru and of course the view from my hotel room is simply breathtaking). I didn't get to do much while here (wished I've joined the rest for Island hopping sojourn on the last day though) but I'll would love to come back. But more importantly, this trip completes my dream.
Not that we were not “together” before but as far as I can remember this is the first time that all of us went ‘gaga’ over a book or rather a book series. It doesn’t happen with Harry Potter (Yan does not like it) and certainly never with that over rated Twilight saga (sorry girls but I could not even bring myself to complete the first book let alone… urgh… never mind).
I’m talking about Percy Jackson & The Olympians, a series of adventure books written by Rick Riordan, and like I said itsbased on Greek mythology. The series begins with a young boy named Percy Jackson who is diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia discovering that he is the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea. In the process, he learns that the Olympians still exist, along with many other figures and monsters from Greek mythology like Titans, cyclopes, and other creatures.
In the stories, author Rick Riordan has moved the Greek Gods from the Mediterranean to America (the new civilisation kononya) – where now the Underworld is beneath Los Angeles, Mount Olympus is 600 floors up in the Empire State Building in New York, the Island of the Lotus-Eaters is in Las Vegas – and all of the monsters, gods, and adventures have been brought up to date, in a way that is funny for the reader but respectful of the original myths.
But what excite us most is that the series are really funny, fast-paced, and really well written. Riordan did a wonderful job of making all the characters endearing, even the kids who are bullies and the not-so-nice kids. And although you can get lost reading the series because there are so many characters and monsters and creatures to remember, I truly enjoy reading it. And whadaya know, a movie based on the first series -The Lightning Thief - will be coming to theaters early 2010. Can‘t wait.
Cuma seriously, I was rather puzzled because the series escaped us for four years (until Asma bought the first series) as the first one was published way back in 2005, to be followed by The Sea of Monsters (2006), The Titan’s Curse (2007), The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008), and recently the final book in a series The Last Olympian came out not too long ago. (And of course we now are proud owners of all five plus one guide book called The Demigod Files).
But better late than never. Trust us.. Percy Jackson and the Olympian series are amazing read. We are suitably entertained!!
Kalau jumpa awek cun, sebaik nya kena la tunjuk macho and gentleman. Bagi salam ke and introduce diri. Jangan main cekup sahaja tangan anak orang
Kalau ikut main rentap saja tentulah awek cun pun terkezut and cuba menjauhkan diri. Dan jangan gigih mau tarik itu awek cun jugak kena pulak mak dia ada kat situ.
Dan agak-agak la ya... kalau orang dah tak sudi jangan main paksa-paksa lak.
Sekian untuk peringatan pada hari ini.
Our union is love. This is the love which you inspire in me. True love that comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights.
Happy 16th Anniversary, Babe! And We're Good! Alhamdulillah!
Love and Thanks.From: Sang Suami
And now for my this year's Raya entry.....
Day One: Woke up early... somehow most of us find it easy to wake up early on Raya day. Went to the nearby surau for Solat Raya. Whoaaa, nearly missed it as they started early. The solat, I mean. Oh, this year, we did not balik kampung. Long story.
Back home, the ladies are all ready in their Raya bajus. Soon after, brother in law Abg Lan and family came over, followed by another BIL, Nyah Ji and family. Lepaking and eating were the order of the day. They stayed on until evening. A few nephews and a niece stayed on to spend the night at our place. Then in the evening we decided to go bowling (yeah tuan-puan, we went bowling) at Sunway Pyramid. Well, at least we did not go in all the baju melayus and kurungs like some other people there.
Day Two: Early morning, Yan went online googling for pancake's recipe. Yes, pancakes for breakfast. While Yan cook with Nisah, the boys went swimmng. And I was on FB. Then we had a long leisurely breakfast which started around 9am which ended around noon!!! After Zuhur, we drove up to Abg Lan's place in Sg Buloh for some lawatan balas. Fantastic spaghetti carbonara awaits us there. Delicious. Later that night, cousin Anom and Nasir came over.
Day Three: Tummy ache. Akibat lupa diri on the first two days of Raya. Spending most of the day in bed trying to sleep off the pain. By night time, felt better and decided to go out for dinner at our favourite place Fig & Olive in Sunway Pyramid.
Day Four: Busy day. Many more people came over. As we were already sick and tired of segala lemang rendang, Yan decided to serve nasi putih and masakan kampung this time. Delicious. People streamed into our homes from noon till quite late at night. Alhamdulillah.
Day Five: Did absolutely nothing. Except late at night, went out to buy bercucuk satay ayam at USJ8. Sedap la pulak.
Day Six: Woke up very late. Then realised that I've to go to work today. Kelam kabut satu round. Alas, walked into the office dengan selambanya at 11.30am!!!! Went to Solat Jumaat at the Taman Desa mosque. Whoaaaa, masjid kosong. Apparently, many people are still in kampung and on leave. But the khutbah, with its multimedia presentation and all, is very humbling. MasyaAllah! After work, went to raya at my brother's place in USJ3.
Day Seven: Busy day. Before noon, drove to Cheras to attend majlis merisik Nisah, our niece! The rombongan sebelah lelaki came on time and as the only available uncle, was entrusted with the duty to represent the soon to be bride's side. Stammer my way through successfully. And then it was lunch feast. Makan lagik. Left soon after as another niece, Shida, was already on her way to our place. Reached home and Shida was already there. Chit chat some more. By 6pm, made our way to my uncle's place in Shah Alam for Raya open house do. Makan lagik....oooh heaven!!!
Day Eight: More tetamu came over. Long lunch and Yan baked cream cheese carrot cake, my favourite. And, yes I seriously need to start my puasa enam soon. Tomorrow, perhaps?
So, that's my raya this year. Thus far....
So out came the old photo albums where I searched for old Raya photos. Unfortunately, there were not that many photos and certainly none when I was in the primary school years. The fact is I really do not remember much about how I spent my Raya with my parents and brothers - except that we usually would drive to my Opah's place in Lahat (near Ipoh) after the solat Raya and on the second day of Raya, my Bapak's mum and siblings would be coming down to our place in Temoh for some serious Raya "lepak" session. That went on for many years, ever after my Bapak's passing.
Here are some of my Raya of yesteryears that I managed to .. err... salvage:
However...one of my most favourite Raya happened in 1993... when I got engaged on the second day..
to sarung the cincin to this beautiful lady
I didn't go though... the rombongan left for Kampar and I went to sleep. This is me after they all got back from Kampar. Happy man!
As for Raya with kawan-kawan, we normally visited each the on the thrid or fourth day of Raya... like this Raya in 1983 when my Form 6 buddies came over to my place in Temoh. Those good old days!!!!!
As you turned 14, it is also a time to rejoice that you have remained in Allah SWT’s perfect protection in all forms and ways starting with your health, beauty and intellect and ending with the days he has allotted you unhampered by crippling disease and or lack or loss of intelligence.
And what do you know, exactly 30 years on, here I am staring at PMR (again!) - that all-important exam for the 15-years olds in the country.
Yes, my Alia is 15 this year. Thanks to my beautiful eldest daughter, I am relieving those nerve-wrecking moments of 1979 again and again. In fact, we celebrated her birthday on August 10 recently.
Of course, it feels it was only yesterday when we brought her home from the clinic and I was hovering anxiously around my wife trying to help her gave our baby her first bath. Today, we still hover around our eldest daughter – “urging” her to study and to do her chores.
Anyway, here’s a poem for my Gegenemaye:
There Is No Map To The Journey Of Life.
There is no book to the journey of life, and the road you are destined be mother or wife, will seem at times to have bedrock of fear but never forget sweat pea, I am always near.
Watch for the souls who like trees root in soil, for fear that there heart is the thing they will spoil. Don’t let them lead you to alleys of dark, where you’ll be forced to protect your light and your heart.
Some live as victors and challenge the past, some never get there and live as a cast. I know of life that the road is not clear, but you have your bapak Alia, I am always here.
There is no map to the journey of life, so live to be whole, not just girlfriend or wife. Souls like ours need pasture & plane, and your soul my girl will be restless, again and again.
As you journey ahead your spirit will speak, it is for home you are heading, it is home that you seek. Where that is only you can find, let your heart lead the way and just follow behind.
While I am out here ahead in some way, I hope the signs I write, you’ll find on your way. Read them and do what you will, at the end of the day its your heart to fulfill.
If there was a book to the journey of life, yours would be bound with the pain of my strife. It would heal and protect and ease your pain, and help you find your feet again.
The words would be written with the depth of my love and never forget I am with you, be it here on earth while I’m still alive or even after I’m gone.
For they are unworthy possessions
They bind you
Without you realizing
They hinder your natural design
And make you completely blind
Choose your obsessions
For they are unworthy possessions;
They are the weeds,
You; yourself choose to grow.
Some seeds are rotten..
Still you keep them, them, you don’t throw.
And after the tsunami
You wonder why you were destroyed
By; your own army…
Choose your obsessions
For they are unworthy possessions;
They determine; the extent of your regression…
Although we must All have some,
Eggs turn into chickens
Choose your obsessions
For they are impressions
Which can determine your future
& Tomorrow’s positions
The journey; and the final decision.
Choose your obsessions
For they are unworthy possessions
by Siddharth Anand
I think tennis is the sole purpose why we subscribed to sports channel over Astro. Because I don’t do EPL or err football, that’s for sure. Which I guess is a good thing for the rest of isi rumah as I won’t be fighting for the remote control except during Grand Slams.
Anyway seeing that I was kinda glued to the telly earlier this month watching the Wimbledon, the wife decided to finally join me and learn a little bit about the games. Now, for a newcomer, understanding how the points are accumulated in tennis can be a bit confusing and tedious. Come to think of it... memang pun!!!! So it took us (Asma and me) a while to make Yan understand the whole concept of tennis.
However, by the time the singles’ finals were underway, I’m happy to note that Yan has finally able to grasp the whole thing. Which let us to these two conversations:
Ladies Singles Final
Serena Williams was clearly dominating the game, much to Yan’s dismay who for some reason (she thinks Venus more better looking????) was rooting for the older sibling.
Yan: Ish ish kenapa ngan Venus ni hari ni?
Asma: Oh dia ada masalah kewangan tu!!!!!!
(I love my daughter!!)
Men’s Singles Final
As Federer and Roddick battling out point-by-point and set-by-set, Yan was watching very intently.
Yan: Okay, I know. If the score reach 6-6, then both will go into tea-break!
Us: (Ketawa berguling-guling)
(I simply love my wife!!!)
It has been rather a trying two weeks for me but life goes on...
And when I watched Jermaine Jackson sang this song at the memorial, it brought back many memories. I believe this is one of my almarhum Bapak and mak's favourite song. This and Tudung Periuk. Anyway, Happy 74th Birthday to Mak. And I miss Bapak! We all do!
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
(Note: Pix taken about a year before Bapak's passing. Possibly the last picture taken of him with Mak at our place in Temoh, prompting Asma to say that house (or rather the decor) still looks the same today. Hmmm).
Sejujurnya saya tidak mengetahui bahawa Laskar Pelangi itu sebenarnya adalah sebuah novel tulisan Andrea Hirata yang kemudiannya diadaptasi menjadi sebuah flem atas judul sama lewat tahun 2008. Dan sejarah perfileman tercipta bilamana filem itu muncul menjadi filem pecah panggung paling laris di Indonesia. Ever.
Yang saya tahu Laskar Pelangi adalah sebuah lagu dendangan kumpulan Indonesia Nidji yang menjadi kesukaan isteri saya. Memang lagunya merdu lantas saya jua amat menyukainya. Namun seperti lagu-lagu lain saya tidak begitu memerhatikan baris lirik lagu itu. Saya mendengar sekadar untuk merasa tehibur.
Sehinggalah pada Mei lalu saya singgah di blog sahabat siber saya Saudara Feisal (matsalo.blogspot.com) yang bekerja di Indonesia dan betapa beliau menyukai filem ini. Ini membuatkan saya menjadi teruja untuk menonton filem ini. Saya ada juga ternampak novel Laskar Pelangi ini di geri PTS sewaktu menjenguk Pesta Buku Antarabangsa di PWTC April lalu. Namun saya ini umpama orang Melayu lupa diri yang lebih meminati novel-novel berbahasa Inggeris hanya sekadar memandang sahaja.
Sebenarnya buku ini adalah tetralogi buku karya Andrea berkenaan kisah masa muda beliau di Belitong itu sendiri. Buku berikutnya adalah Sang Pemimpi, Edensor dan Maryamah Karpov. Buku ini juga tercatat sebagai buku sastera Indonesia terlaris sepanjang sejarah.
Dua hari selepas saya menonton Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen yang mengujakan sangat dan ketika saya di bawah sedar masih terbayang-bayang peperangan hebat antara puak Autobots dan Decipticon, tiba-tiba ada rakan baru dari alam siber memberitahu bahawa Laskar Pelangi The Movie boleh di download di Internet.
Makanya malam itu saya bersama Asma, anak dara nombor dua saya, berjaga lewat menonton Laskar Pelangi. Verdictnya? Without a doubt, one of the best films ever.
Tiba-tiba keterujaan saya terhadap babak peperangan antara mesin dalam filem Transformers hilang lenyap setelah menonton filem ini. Kini apa yang berlegar di pandangan saya dan di fikiran saya, hanyalah 10 orang anak-anak di sebuah kepulauan kecil di Selatan Sumatera lewat tahun 70an yang menangis, ketawa, bermain dan menyusuri hidup susah amat sambil terus-terusan menimba ilmu pendidikan. Novel ini bercerita tentang kehidupan 10 anak dari keluarga miskin yang bersekolah (SD dan SMP) di sebuah sekolah Muhammadiyah di pulau Belitong yang penuh dengan keterbatasan.
Dipimpin dengan penuh kasih sayang oleh guru besar Pak Harfan serta guru wanita cekal Bu Muslimah, 10 kanak-kanak ini adalah:
- Ikal – watak Andrea Hirata Seman itu sendiri.
- Lintang; Lintang Samudra Basara bin Syahbani Maulana Basara
- Sahara; N.A. Sahara Aulia Fadillah binti K.A. Muslim Ramdhani Fadillah
- Mahar; Mahar Ahlan bin Jumadi Ahlan bin Zubair bin Awam
- A Kiong (Chau Chin Kiong); Muhammad Jundullah Gufron Nur Zaman Syahdan; Syahdan Noor Aziz bin Syahari Noor Aziz
- Kucai; Mukharam Kucai Khairani
- Borek aka Samson
- Trapani; Trapani Ihsan Jamari bin Zainuddin Ilham Jamari
- Harun; Harun Ardhli Ramadhan bin Syamsul Hazana Ramadhan
Filem ini punya segala-galanya bagi saya. Lakonan mantap, lakon layar berkualiti tinggi, runut bunyi membuai emosi dan sinematografi nan indah. Sebagai seorang yang juga membesar di tahun 70an di sebuah petempatan penuh bijih timah, kehidupan di Belitong yang melatari cerita ini agak serupa dengan latar belakang zaman kanak-kanak saya. Lalu saya amat memahami. Walau hidup saya tidak sesusah anak-anak di Belitong ini (kerana selayaknya hidup saya lebih mirip dengan anak-anak di Gidong – penempatan orang-orang lebih berada di sana), namun paparan Laskar Pelangi amat dekat dengan hati. Syukur di tempat saya anak-anak tidak disekat untuk bergaul walau berbeda kelas penghidupan.Malah kami bersekolah dan bermain bersama.
Kembali kepada filem ini, garapan ceritanya amat meruntun emosi maka saya pasti anda akan ketawa terbahak dan mengalir air mata tersentuh rasa di sepanjang perjalanan flem ini. Kalau anda pernah menonton Slumdog Millionaire yang menang banyak Oscar itu, Laskar Pelangi ini pada pendapat saya adalah lebih baik. Jauh lebih baik.
Saya tidak punya apa yang boleh diperkatakan lagi. Cuma saya hairan amat kenapa cerita sebegini hebat tidak ditayangkan di Malaysia sampai hari ini. Malah DVDnya juga tidak ada lagi dijual di sini (tetapi dengarnya sudah lama ada di Singapura).
Apapun, keesokan paginya, setelah isteri saya bersama kakak dan ibunya bertolak ke Kuala Pilah, saya mengajak ketiga-tiga anak dara saya dan terus saya memandu laju ke MPH di One Utama untuk membeli novel Laskar Pelangi serta Sang Pemimpi. Buku lain sudah kehabisan stok. Dan novelnya – diadaptasi dengan baik sekali oleh PTS untuk pasaran Malaysia - itu sudah membuatkan saya kembali insaf dan kini mencintai sepenuhnya bahan bacaan bahasa Melayu.
Bapak: Pergi beli dan bacalah Laskar Pelangi. Anda pasti akan merasa lebih berinspirasi. Tidak banyak buku yang dapat melakukah hal sedemikian. Dan kalau boleh tonton filemnya jugak... susah mahu jumpa filem yang boleh mengalirkan pelbagai rasa emosi seperti ini. A+ dari saya.
I only have one word - FREAKING AWESOME! (oooh okay its two words). Now I'm too pumped up to sleep. Gotta have another go at the movie, I guess.
Aidil, the handsome active guy, finally met Zara, the ohhh so beautiful and graceful girl and they hit it off together. Kami yang tua-tua riuh-rendah seronok ... as usual. Aaaaah ....babies...
(Both pix were taken last weekend at my bro-in law home in Cheras using my old battered phone ... hence the quality.)