My First Book!

Allow me to be self-indulgent with this post. You see, I've always wanted to have my name etched on the cover of a book. I've always wanted to write a book. I remembered telling my aunt Mak Kecik (she's the closest aunt then) when I was in my early teen that I want to become a writer when I grow up. I believed she still remember what I've said all those years ago and she wasn't one bit surprised when I ended up being a reporter about 20 years ago.

But, being a procrastinator tegar that I am, I've never got around to realise my dream of having my name up there along with my favourites JD Salinger (berangan kan?), Jeffrey Archer, Pramoedya Anantoer and more recently Khalid Hosseini, Feisal Tehrani and of course Rick Riordan. Yes, I have dreamed of becoming world famous fiction writer for the longest time. Alas, I keep on dreaming....

Until a couple of months ago when my boss proposed that I took up the "challenge" to take on the project of writing a coffee table book for the Proton Vendors Association (Proton as in the car maker, ya). The association has approached my company Berita Publishing to produce the book for them. Well, not exactly the fiction that I so wanted to write but I figure this was a good opportunity to get the ball rolling. So I agreed. Little did I know that it would be a one hell of a ride as the book this proportion normally would take at least six months to publish. But I did it in two freaking months. Let's not dwell on the details nor should I complain about its quality (of course I would like to have more time to make it more ... err... better).

Suffice to say that for two months, my life revolved around the book and only the book. It was a challenged all right but at one point I wanted to even give up. But the boss Charles Raj and my colleagues spur me on. For that I'm forever thankful. I also have to thank Irwan and Hazel for having to endure my endless rant.

But mostly I have to thank the wife Azian and my three kids Alia, Asma and Arissa for their immense support throughout. They too have had helped along the way and I cannot imagine having to do this book without them. And to Mak too for her doa.

And Alhamdulillah, the book came out a week ago and was launched by the former Prime Minister Tun M at a dinner a few nights ago. Although still having that feeling that more can and should be done, I too was feeling profoundly proud when the book "PVA- The Journey Continues" was revealed that night. And personally I do hope my journey to finally write a fiction will kick off too soon ... very soon. So my journey continues...


Two days of de-stressing myself!!!!

Things have been rather daunting at work this past week and when Saturday rolled by, the car decided that it too needed a visit to the mechanics. Alahai. Yeah, that's life - full of ups and downs.

Not that I'm complaining for life has been good to me and my family. Alhamdulillah. So (I guess it came with age) I decided to de-stress by doing something fun (and stupid la jugak on my part). I challenged the wife to a cook off... a duel I was destined to lose lah. But I was very taken up by that Top Chef show currently on 702. So after parted with a few hundreds of RM at the car workshop, we (the wife and I) rushed through USJ Taipan buying stuff and ingredients for our 'Top Chef' contest. And it's decided that the cook off will be based on bread and mince meat. Ambitious sungguh, babe!

Once home, we went straight to the kitchen to start the competition.. ya bukan main lagi. And we roped in my daughters to act as judges (with my mom making a guest judge appearance hahahaha).

It was real fun as I was totally into the whole reality TV mode and I was running around the kitchen (a first) trying to emulate those contestants in the real Top Chef. Berangan tak sudah lah kaedahnya. And to make it even more seronok I decided to be the bad guy and let me tell you... oh it was such a joy trying to sabotage my competition (you know hide her stuff and all and trash talked my way around trying to rile her up so that she hilang fokus).

But in the end, we ended up with two dishes that's not too bad. Not bad at all!!! Now we present you our creation:

This from the wife... Kacang Phool with French Bread served with onion and green chillies with caramelised tomato salad.
And this from me... my signature (kunun2nya) spicy ginger spaghetti bolognaise served with garlic bread. True winner.. chewah!

And then on Sunday pulak, as I felt I need more de-stress session, the wife and I drove over to the Summit USj which is like 5 minutes away from home to watch Red, starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban and the delightful Mary Loiuse Parker.

Its a action comedy flick that we found enduring and funny (although the critics in the US slams the movie - but who cares , man... we were thoroughly entertained.)

The movie is about Willis, Freeman, the deliciously funny Malkovich and Mirren playing ex CIA operatives in RED, which stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous, who have to come out of retirement after leaked government secrets makes them all targets for assassins. Parker plays Willis' love interest.

It was fun good old action comedy movie ( a bit of a road trip movie pun jugak as it took you to several US cities) and is devoid of the usual 3D related technology (now so prevalent in big blockbusters). Great movie for someone who needs a break from pressure cooker life.

Okay, now I'm all ready to go back to work!


Another boy joins us!!!

Its a joyous Ramadan for Keluarga Haji Mior Mahmud extended family as we welcome the latest addition to the clan when Yone gave birth to a 3.2kg baby boy (cute ya amat!) on 3.9.2010. In Penang. It's grandson number three to my uncle Ayah Anjang and Wan, apparently joining Wan Chu's club of three cucu lelaki. Tahniah Yone and hubby Azri. And the new baby nephew celebrates his birthday with Mi Yong aka Anom and second cousin Azam.

(pix was "stolen" from the proud father's FB, naturally)


Sepuluh Adab Puasa... peringatan untuk diri sendiri..

Setiap orang yang mengerjakan puasa perlu mematuhi beberapa peraturan dan adab yang akan menyempurnakan ibadah tersebut, di antara yang terpenting :

1. Menjaga lidahnya daripada berdusta, mengumpat dan mencampuri urusan orang lain yang tiada kena mengena dengannya.

2. Memelihara mata dan telinga daripada melihat dan mendengar perkara yang dilarang oleh Syarak dan perkara yang sia-sia.

3. Mengawal perutnya daripada merasai makanan dan minuman yang haram atau mengandungi unsur syubhat, ter utama ketika berbuka dan berusaha sedaya upaya mungkin untuk menghasilkan pemakanan yang halal lagi bersih.

Ulama silam pernah berpesan: ``Apabila kamu berpuasa, maka perhatikanlah apa yang akan dijadikan makanan berbukamu dan di manakah kamu akan berbuka?'' Ia adalah panduan yang terbaik bagi mengawasi diri daripada terjebak dengan unsur-unsur makanan yang tidak halal.

4. Berusaha menjaga kesemua pancaindera dan anggota tubuh badan daripada mendekati atau melakukan maksiat dan perkara sia-sia. Dengan demikian ibadah puasanya akan suci dan sempurna.

Terdapat ramai yang memenatkan diri dengan berlapar dan berdahaga, membiarkan diri terdorong kepada perlakuan dosa dan noda, kerana itu puasanya rosak dan binasa dan keletihannya tidaklah berbaloi sebagaimana maksud sabda Junjungan s.a.w.: Ramai yang berpuasa tidak mendapat ganjaran daripada puasanya melainkan lapar dan dahaga! (An-Nasai)

Meninggalkan maksiat menjadi kewajipan kepada seluruh orang Islam sama ada mereka sedang puasa atau tidak, apatah lagi bagi yang berpuasa, ia lebih dituntut dan diwajibkan.

Sabda Rasulullah s.a.w. : Puasa itu adalah `perisai', sekiranya seseorang dari kalangan kamu sedang berpuasa janganlah dia bercakap kotor, melakukan keburukan dan berbuat bodoh. Jika ada orang lain yang mengejinya atau cuba memeranginya, maka hendaklah dia katakan kepada orang itu : Saya sedang berpuasa. (Riwayat Bukhari dan Muslim)

5. Janganlah membanyakkan tidur pada siang harinya dan makan pada malamnya, bahkan bersederhanalah pada kedua-duanya bagi menyelami keperitan lapar dan dahaga. Dengan demikian sanubarinya akan terkawal, keinginan nafsunya akan berkurangan, hatinya ceria. Itulah rahsia dan intipati puasa yang perlu dicapai.

6. Jauhkan diri daripada mengikut dorongan nafsu ketika berbuka dengan beraneka jenis makanan yang lazat-lazat. Sebaik-baiknya adat makannya sama sahaja pada bulan puasa dan bulan-bulan yang lain.

Penggembelingan diri di dalam mengurangkan tuntutan jasmani dan keinginan perasaan, memberikan kesan positif terhadap kecerahan hati nurani yang amat dituntut, terutama pada bulan Ramadan.

Mereka yang menjadikan keinginan nafsu perut sebagai tunggangan akal mereka ketika berbuka yang menyalahi kebiasaan pada bulan-bulan lain, sebenarnya terpedaya dengan pujukan iblis dan rayuannya yang bertujuan menghilangkan barakah (berkat) ibadah puasa mereka, nikmat limpahan ketenangan daripada Allah s.w.t., kekhusyukan diri ketika munajat dan berzikir kepada-Nya.

Sepatutnya orang yang berpuasa mengurangkan kadar pemakanannya sehingga terserlah kesan puasa itu pada dirinya. Kekenyangan adalah punca kelalaian, kealpaan, keras hati dan malas melakukan ketaatan kepada Allah s.w.t.

Sabdanya : Takungan jelik yang dipenuhkan oleh manusia adalah perutnya, memadailah baginya beberapa suapan yang dapat meneguhkan tulang belakangnya. Jika dia enggan, maka berikanlah sepertiga (bahagian perutnya) untuk makanan, sepertiga kedua untuk minuman dan sepertiga terakhir bagi pernafasannya (Riwayat Ahmad dan Tirmizi).

Terdapat ulama yang mengungkapkan kata-kata berikut: ``Sekiranya perutmu kenyang, anggota-anggota lain akan lapar (akan menurut turutan nafsu), tetapi sekiranya perutmu lapar kesemua anggotamu akan kenyang.''

As-Salaf as-Soleh (mereka yang terdahulu) mengurangkan perkara kebiasaan dan dorongan diri serta memperbanyakkan amal ibadat pada bulan Ramadan secara khusus, bahkan itulah adat mereka sepanjang masa.

7. Tidak menyibukkan diri dengan urusan duniawi pada bulan Ramadan ini, bahkan mengambil kesempatan yang ada untuk beribadat kepada Allah dan mengingati-Nya sebaik mungkin. Justeru itu dia tidak melakukan perkara duniawi melainkan sekadar keperluan hariannya atau kepada mereka yang berada di bawah tanggungannya.

Demikian yang selayaknya dilakukan pada bulan Ramadan yang mulia ini, sama seperti pada hari Jumaat yang sepatutnya dikhususkan bagi amalan akhiratnya.

8. Mempraktikkan amalan sunah seperti segera berbuka apabila masuk waktunya, berbuka dengan buah tamar (kurma) dan jika ia tiada memadailah dengan segelas air serta melambatkan makan sahur.

Nabi s.a.w. berbuka dahulu sebelum Baginda mengerjakan solat Maghrib.

Sabdanya : Umatku sentiasa berada di dalam keadaan baik (berkat) selama mana mereka mempercepatkan berbuka (apabila masuk waktunya) dan melambatkan makan sahur. (Riwaya Ahmad, Bukhari dan Mus-lim).

9. Menyediakan makanan berbuka kepada orang yang berpuasa sekalipun dengan beberapa biji tamar atau segelas air. Sabda Baginda s.a.w. : Sesiapa yang menyediakan makanan berbuka bagi orang yang berpuasa, baginya ganjaran seumpama pahala bagi orang yang berpuasa, tanpa mengurangi sedikitpun pahalanya (orang yang berpuasa). (Riwayat Baihaqi dan ibnu Khuzaimah).

10.Memenuhi malamnya dengan amalan sunat seperti solat tarawih, witir dan sebagainya. Adalah dinasihatkan kepada para imam supaya tidak mempercepatkan solat tarawihnya seperti mana amalan kebiasaan sebahagian besar mereka di masjid dan surau.

Perbuatan tersebut menjejaskan mutu ibadah solat tarawih mereka kerana meninggalkan `wajib' solat tersebut seperti, meninggalkan tumakninah semasa rukuk dan sujud, mencacatkan bacaan al-Fatihah sebagaimana sepatutnya lantaran ingin cepat dalam mengejar waktu sehingga meninggalkan makmum di belakang tertinggal rukun-rukun penting dalam solatnya.

Amalan tarawih seperti itu menjadi tidak sempurna dan berkurangan pahalanya kerana itu berwaspadalah terhadap cara demikian dengan kembali mengamalkan ibadah solat seperti pada waktu-waktu lain, menyempurnakan qiyam, bacaan al-Fatihah, rukuk, sujud, khusyuk, hadir hati dan semua peradaban solat dan rukunnya.

Bagi makmum pula disyorkan supaya sentiasa bersama imamnya dalam mengerjakan solat tarawih itu sehinggalah selesai sama ada sebanyak 20 rakaat atau pun 8 rakaat.

Sabda nabi s.a.w. : Apabila seseorang menunaikan solat bersama imamnya sehinggalah imam itu (selesai dan) beredar, dikirakan untuknya (makmum) pahala qiyam semalaman. (An-Nasai).

- Petikan Nasihat Agama dan Wasiat Iman tulisan al-Habib Abdullah bin Alwi al-Haddad.


Facebook oooh Facebook!!!

Entah apa lah tarikannya, Facebook kini menjadi mainan ramai orang. Contohnya, sudah ramai ahli keluarga sendiri yang dulu buta komputer, kini berfacebook.
Saya sendiri tidak terkecuali. Pantang membuka komputer, pasti gatal tangan untuk klik ke laman Facebook. Malah saban hari juga saya menanam azam untuk tidak membuka Facebook untuk hari itu, Dan sepertimana azam untuk menguruskan badan, azam untuk tidak berfacebook juga tinggal azam semata-mata.
Terkadang terdetik juga di hati untuk deactivate akaun FB namun sayang pulak... di sinilah saya dapat mengetahui cerita-cerita terkini sahabat handai serta kaum keluarga tanpa perlu menelefon ataupun berjumpa bersemuka.
Tapi sungguh akhir-akhir ini saya agak jemu sudah dengan Facebook. Dulu memang rajin amat untuk menulis status di Facebook. Tetapi kini sudah berkurang amat minat yang satu ini. Mungkin sudah kurang ilham. Dulu juga saya sibuk bermain Fishville di Facebook (mujur tidak berFarmville yang lebih popular itu), tapi itu juga sudah saya tinggalkan.
Jadinya sekarang ini masa di Facebook banyak digunakan membaca dan melihat profail2 serta status dan foto kawan-kawan yang masih rajin 'mengupdate". Sekali-kala saya juga meninggalkan jejak komen di wall mereka.
Apapun, beberapa bulan yang lalu saya mula berjaya menjejaki lebih ramai rakan-rakan sekolah yang sudah hampir 30 tahun hilang tanpa berita. Sungguh paling seronok bila dapat berbual bicara dengan rakan-rakan lama ini. Facebook rocks!
Dan satu lagi saya juga amat senang membaca status2 berupa nasihat serta peringatan terutamanya dari beberapa sahabat yang berjawatan Ustaz. Ada juga status dan komen yang kelakar secara berhemah...
Namun Facebook juga tidak kurang dengan "anasir-anasir" kurang enak... ramai sungguh yang meninggal komen kurang ajar, ramai sungguh yang suka bermegah-megah dan ramai sungguh yang mengeluh tidak berhenti-henti. Ish! sungguh tidak larat membacanya. Tetapi kadang-kadang terfikir juga, mungkin status saya ada kala juga berbaur sedemikian rupa. Kalau begitu, saya mohon maaf ya, tidak sengaja! Oh ya, spam yang datang hadir juga acap kali merimaskan.

Dan kini saya tertanya-tanya pula... apakah motif tulisan blog kali ini? Hahahahahahah!


Introducing Ariel

Hello. My name is Ariel (it used to be Bulat but somehow my new masters decided to rename me). Anyway, I’m one year old. I used to stay in Bukit Jalil until two months ago (or was it three months?). Now I lived with a family of five in USJ, Subang Jaya. I don’t really know why these people adopt me. Maybe they wanted “someone” to provide comic relief for them (as whenever I did something that’s remotely funny, they’ll laughed their heads off!)
Sometimes, I just need to put on my cutest face, and they would go “auwwwwwww”!!!! Pelik la humans ni!

But having said that, I must say living here, now, is okay. They, the masters, feed me well. I can’t possibly ask for more, right? But it can be boring too – especially, for some reasons, they don’t allow me to step outside of the house.
that's me... bosan ya amat!

So, I try to sneak out whenever possible, especially when they are opening the doors to go outside. But more often than not, they manage to stop me from doing so. On those occasions when I managed to get out, they would usually scream in horror, as if something bad just occurred. Strange people, they are. For goodness sake, I only wanted to take a bit of fresh air and roll around outside. (okay, maybe find a boyfriend too la… but don’t tell them!)

So most of the time, I’m cooped up in the house. And most of the time, its up to me to amuse myself. Tough.

...So I roam around looking for things to do or some insects to play with...

..me sleeping some more....

And let me tell you about my masters (bodek sikit la)... there are five of them in the family...

The first one is the only male in da house... they call him Bapak (although one person call him abang, I have to check why). I'm guessing that this person is rather afraid of me... as he hardly pick me up. He will only pat me or tickle me occassionally. But I know he's harmless.

Then there's this lady they call Mak (or Yan as the only male call her... again I have to check why is this so). She's hillarious, I tell you. And she's motherly too... so that's why I always like to snug up to her especially when she starts to sit in front of her PC. (like above....). She always laugh at the slightest antic that I make.

Then there's this girl call Alia. I am rather perplex as she's the only one the house who doesn't have a room mate. Yes, she has a room all to herself. I suppose I was brought in to be her new roommate (and I like her room too as I can while away by the window and look at all the yummy birds outside). But she always close and lock her room making it so susah for me to enter. How la like this? I wanna be your roommate, okay?

Next is Asma. She's hillarious too. The other day I caught a cicak and I was so proud of my self and brought it to her to show off la. And she had a major freak out moment then and there. Heh. Strange creature this girl!!
And finally, the youngest of them all is Arissa. She's the closest to me. And she likes to dress me up like the pix above. I look ugly, right? And she likes to play plastic bags with me too. In my book, that's a cool person.

Oh yes, there's one other person at home currently. I'm guessing she's the mother of Mak. I call her Opah. She's a gracious lady and always talk to me like I'm a baby. She's funny too. She always got my name wrong... sometimes she calls me May (or something like that la) and sometimes sesuka hati sahaja she calls me Danial and Aidill(!!!@#$$%%???). Euwww that's boys' name!!!!!


Shout! Absolutely fetching!

The Stars: The delightful Tisha, Shaney, Ning, Nikki, Tria and Joanna.

Its a good thing that I have absolutely no idea what Shout! The Mod Musical is all about when we went to watch it on the opening night at KL Pac last evening. I was rather busy earlier in the day so much so I had forgotten to Google the musical, as I usually do if I’m to watch a movie or go for a show.

And I’m glad I didn’t (Google it, I mean) as what happened in the end was a real super pleasant surprise. Shout! The Mod Musical is indeed an excellent off-broadway show.

The musical was Broadway Academy’s debut presentation, featuring golden songs from yesteryear. Apparently, BA is the first Malaysian company granted professional licence to produce Broadway musicals from New York with homegrown casts.

Set in Britain, the musical is about modern magazine Shout!, which focuses on 1960s music, fashion and liberation. It revolves around five girls – homebody Orange Girl (brilliantly played by Ning Baizura), slutty Green Girl (delightfully funny Tria Aziz), awkward Red Girl (versatile Shanel Shanty James), icy but beautiful Blue Girl (the classy Tisha Zarina) and loud American Yellow Girl (fabulous Nikki Palikat).

With a shimmy and a shake, the girls (in patent leather high boots, tight skirts and psychedelic outfits from the 60s) belted out hit songs from that era such as To Sir With Love (Lulu), Downtown (Petula Clark), Diamonds Are Forever (Shirley Bassey), Wishin’ And Hopin’ (Dusty Springfield), These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (Nancy Sinatra) and Georgy Girl (The Seekers).

Besides singing, they talked about new fads like Beatles, Twiggy, face creams, the Pill and independence. They also sent in lonely heart letters to Agony Aunt Gwendolyn Holmes (played by the amazing Joanna Bessey) who thinks every problem can be solved with “a fetching new hairstyle” or “a new shade of lipstick”.

We certainly have loads of fun watching and ‘experiencing’ the musical. Yeah, it was an experience. Ning and gang were all equally fantastic with wonderful voices and brilliant comic timing (ntv7's Audition season one champ Tria Aziz is simply hilarious. The music was great and the choreography was easily eye catching and feet stomping. The crowd really got into it.

And as I said earlier, I'm glad I didn't read about this show before going as I might want to cmpare these girls with the original performers (but when I got home, I've youtubed and watched another mat salleh's off-broadway version.... and I have to give our girls the thumbs-up).

I believe that if you are into musicals ala Mamma Mia, this one is not to be missed. Naturally, this high-energy musical held my undivided attention throughout. It brought me back to the lively music of the sixties. A nostalgic trip, indeed. (no, I’m not that old - started my schooling years in the 70's okay!)). But really, if you are from that era, you can't miss the joy. I was smiling the whole time. My teenaged girls seemed to enjoy most of the 60’s music for the first time as they were tapping away in their seats.

So if you are wondering what to do these next few days, why don’t you check out this musical. It’s magically groovy!

Shout! The Mod Musical runs from July 15 till 21 at Pentas 1, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Sentul Park, Kuala Lumpur. Showtime is 8.30pm (with extra 3pm shows from July 16 onwards). Tickets are priced between RM96 and RM225. Tickets can be purchased at Axcess ticket outlets or KLPac’s box office. For details, call 03-7725 6175/4047 9000 or browse broadwayacademy.asia.


Cerita Bola Saya.....

I’ve never been a fan of football.... so it’s no biggie that the on-going World Cup does not affect me. For instance, you won’t find me staying up to watch the matches (why, even the 7.30 pm matches also I don’t really watch) – and that will definitely include the final.

That doesn’t mean I do not follow the goings –on of the matches. Being a perpetual couch potato, more often than not, I found myself veering off to the sports channels just to keep up with the latest score. Yeah, I love all those trivia things and I guess learning, as an example, about France’s spectacular exit from this year’s tournament is rather thrilling.

What astonished me the most, however, is the fact that my two oldest girls are into this World Cup. Naturally, they are rooting for Argentina, or to be more precise Lionel Messi (whom I only realise existed when he was used by Astro in that World Cup ad where he uttered “in HD” to that young girl and her parents).

Speaking of rooting, I still do not have a team to support although I am really leaning to see a new nation to win the World Cup this year. So it means, I’m definitely not supporting Germany, Brazil (am still heart broken when they were ousted by Italy in 1982), Argentina (sorry, girls), Italy (still cannot forgive you guys for that 1982 turn of event) and good old England (still think, they are the most over rated team this year). Somehow, I’m okay if Uruguay wins their third trophy this year, though).

See, I’m big on trivial and useless information – I can remember all those historical (if you can call it that la) facts and figures – like that 1982 Brazilian tragedy. Although, I’ve never once stayed up to watch any of the World Cup finals in its entirety, I can still recalled the heroic Mario Kempes in the 1978 final, the entertaining Dutch team led by Johann Cruyff in 1974 and the hugely tedious 1990 final between Argentina and Germany, because I did watch highlights of those matches, and many more, countless times.

Anyway, because this time around there’re two ladies who are following it more closely than their Bapak, the World Cup do creeps into our conversations at home and we have had some good laugh at that...

Conversation One:

The Two New Fans (aka Alia and Asma): Yeah Argentina won!!!!!
Bapak: (Looking bewildered)
Mak: Mak tak tahu la nak sokong siapa this World Cup ni.
Alia: Sokong Argentina la....
Mak: Ha dah tahu.... Mak nak sokong Turkey!!!!
Bapak: (dah gelak guling2 with the girls) err Turki tak masuk final la this time...
Mak: Laaaaa... tapi orang Turki handsome2.... and then dia orang pulak tu Islam.

(So, How?)

Conversation Two:
(this during a chat session over FB between me and my friend Hazel (with apology ya Puan!)
Mior: .... tu la kan..... masa Argentina lawan Greece yesterday.....
Hazel: Wait! Greece ada masuk World Cup????? Bukan negara dia orang dah bankrupt ka? Apasal dia orang main?

(Mior then gulling2 jatuh ke lantai again)

Conversation Three:
(This was when the girls were watching the replay of Argentina Vs Greece)

Mak: Heyyy... ni dia mamat yang kat dalam iklan tu (obviously referring to Messi)
The Two New Fans: Ha betul la Mak... tu lah Messi!!!
Mak: Haaaa... Maxis?

(And I rest my case!)


It's the girls' day out ..... with Bapak in tow (muahhaahhaa)

This school holiday, we didn't go anywhere (as if we always go on vacation during holidays la pulak ya). But nevertheless, I still feel guilty seeing the girls got cooped up in the house throughout the two-week holiday. So I did the next best thing - I ajak them jalan-jalan to shopping malls whenever I got the time. Like last Saturday.... my two oldest girls and I (their mom was busy with her work and needed to be online the whole morning while their youngest sister .. well... she just went to sleep after staying up all night doing her anime stuff or whatever that she's doing) went to Mid-Valley and Suria KLCC (which was a quite an event for us la on account that we normally lepak2 at Sunway Pyramid or at those wonderful Mall in Mutiara Damansara sahaja).

We left early and by 9am we were already driving into Mid-Valley car park. I was extremely excited no doubt looking at the near deserted parking lot and quickly parked the car right in front the entrance's escalator. The reason for that early morning sojourn was that we wanted to check our the Scholastics' Book Buffet promotion. As we were very early, naturally they were not opened yet. However, we got to check out the books there first la and it was decided that although the titles were interesting, Asma really wanted to get hold of Michael Grant's Gone novel (as she already bought the second one in the series and couldn't really understand what's going on... until she reads the first one).

So we decided to lepak-lepak at McD while waiting for the bookshops (mainly MPH) to open. We also took the oportunity to jalan-jalan ke Gardens.
Gardens is as always... more quiet than Mid-Valley. But then the girls found it nice...
... especially when Alia found out that there's a totally kick-ass art store there... can't even remember the name of the store
Then we stumbled upon Borders... woohhoooo (that's me trying lo look cool...)
... but it didn't work out kan? I mean, me trying to look cool.
Anyway, Borders didn't have the book that Asma is looking for.... so
... we made our way back to Mid-Valley and into MPH... where the search continued. The thing was that upon checking with their computer system, the elusive book was stated as available... but even with the help of the good people at MPH, we still could not locate the book.... hrmmmmph! So it was decided then that dah alang-alang keluar ke kota raya, we might as well try our luck at Kinokuniya.... So off we went to Suria KLCC pulak..
... and yes we found the book at Kino finally. Lega. And then we had lunch. Japanese. Nyum...nyum..

The End.


Bila jumpa balik.....!

29 years later. (from left Ooi Lee, Nora, Sumawati, Salina, Azizah, Adzman, Mior , Amran, Azhar and Harman)

For some reason, I never really fancy myself going to reunions… be it school or college reunions. Numerous American TV shows that depicted reunions as a painful experience somehow contributed to the feeling. I could feel my stomach curdle just thinking about it. Why would anyone subject themselves to secondary school or college again, even just for a day or night? Surely the only people who actually go to those things are the wildly successful with something to show off.

Don’t get me wrong. Secondary school wasn’t that bad for me, compared to some of the tortured stories I’ve watched from those TV shows. I had some good times, made some good friends (which, unfortunately, went separate ways once we got our SPM/STPM results), and tried to be under the radar most of the time since I was devoid of any talents whatsoever. And I also tried not to fail exams (which I was not very successful at, though). I think I learned a few things in school here and there, but math DID turn out to be useless just like we all contended. I definitely had my insecurities and embarrassments, but I got out relatively unscathed.

But last weekend, saw me attending my very first reunion (more like a mini reunion, really) in Ipoh. And you know what, I enjoyed it tremendously. And I want to do this more often now. I realise I have lots of friends and I want to stay in touch and be friends all over again. Life’s too short not to be cherished this way.

Masih muda

Catching up


A Reminder for Self!

terlalu susah hati dengan urusan dunia. Akhirat itu lebih utama dan hidup di sana lebih lama dan kekal selamanya.

sengaja lewatkan solat kerana perbuatan ini tidak disukai Allah swt.

tidur selepas solat subuh, nanti rezeki tersekat kerana di waktu pagi itulah pintu rezeki dibuka.

makan tanpa membaca Bismillah dan doa makan, nanti rezeki kita dikongsi syaitan.

keluar rumah tanpa niat untuk membuat kebaikan, takut kalau-kalau kita mati dalam perjalanan.

biarkan mata liar di perjalanan, nanti hati kita gelap diselaputi dosa.

menangguh taubat apabila membuat dosa kerana mati itu boleh datang pada bila-bila masa.

ego untuk meminta maaf daripada ibubapa dan sesama manusia kalau memang kita bersalah.

mengumpat sesama rakan taulan, nanti rosak persahabatan kita dan hilang kebahagiaan hidup kita.

lupa bergantung kepada Allah swt dalam setiap kerja yang kita lakukan, nanti kita sombong apabila berjaya dan kecewa kalau gagal.

bakhil untuk bersedekah kerana sedekah itu memanjangkan umur dan memurahkan rezeki kita.

terlalu banyak ketawa, nanti mati jiwa.

biasakan berbohong kerana ia adalah ciri-ciri munafik dan menghilangkan kasih orang kepada kita.

suka menganiaya manusia atau haiwan. Doa makhluk yang teraniaya cepat dimakbulkan Allah swt.

pertikaikan kenapa Islam itu berkata JANGAN, sebab ianya ada hikmah tersendiri. Allah swt lebih tahu apa yang terbaik untuk hamba ciptaanNya.

baca saja coretan ini. Sebarkan kepada saudara sesama Islam untuk kebaikan bersama.


Me and my trifle

I love food. No question about that. And because of that I enjoy being in a kitchen. Though I don't cook that much, seeing that the wife is somewhat an expert there, I do have one or two dishes where I think I can make it as good as she does. One of which is a fruit trifle. Yeah, I know.... it's horribly easy to do a trifle but still.... (there's a reason for this and I tell you why in a minute).
Anyway, for the uninitiated, a trifle is an old English dessert dish made from thick (or often solidified) custard, fruits, sponge cake, and whipped cream. These ingredients are usually arranged in layers with fruit and sponge cake on the bottom, and custard and cream on top. See, how easy it is to make a trifle... just put all the ingredients on top of one another. I learned to make trifle from my very close cousin Iza (herself a wonderful cook) when I was still a bachelor.
Once, when I was still engaged to my wife many years ago, I brought a specially made trifle (prepared with love,of course) to her mom's place when I went visiting. Apparently that was the first time the wife ever encounter a trifle. I felt so pandai then (though I was told later that she wasn't that crazy with the trifle but her niece Faizah and nephew Zaki polished it off from the casserole).
However, over the years, the wife has acquired the liking to trifle (she even shared the recipe with her sister and relatives) but for some reason she always prefer me preparing it. It's always: "You make it much more delicious la!". Always. Even when I ask her to do it instead. Always that same line. Hmmm.... now I wonder why!!!!!

Trifle, anyone?


And we went out..... what else is new la...

It's Mother's Day yesterday, which if you ask me, was quite apt as it gave us good enough reason to go out and partake in one of our favourite things - makan-makan. Yes, despite the pervasive influence of commerce on the observance of Mother’s Day, we do take our time to ... urm... celebrate the day but of course in our own way la... not the fancy and lavish and expensive kind of celebration.

So off we went to this makan place that we just discovered, right after my SIL and MIL left our place around 3pm.

Here're some of the pix:

The Mother waiting for her....
... awesome platter of grilled lamb, beef, chicken
Both Asma and I were having sizzling steak... and it sizzles in our mouth, I tell you.
and I find even its Iced Lemon Tea was sensational... can you imagine that?
And this Iced Milo was nice to look at...
The eldest and the youngest went for their mandatory pastas, of course. Here's Arissa enjoying hers. Btw, that gentleman sitting in the background.... that's Mazlan --- our sub-editor at Malaysian Business where I work.

After stuffing ourselves, we then decided to jalan-jalan ke Amcorp Mall - now one of our favourite haunts especially on Sundays. For those who do not know, Amcorp Mall literally comes alive on Sunday because of its Flea Market. We can just walk around aimlessly looking at all the wares and knick-knacks on display.

See, the girls walking around tanpa arah tujuan... (that's after their mother successfully haggled her way to buy some Pokok Daun Kari at one of the stalls)

Oh by the way, one of the traders at the Flea Market is Halim, Nisa's husband (our niece). So naturally, we went up to his stall. Halim sells all these stuff for hobbyists.
That's Halim (with cap) - his stall is located on the top floor of the mall. Do drop by as he has quite a selection of stuff that will surely be of interest for you hobbyists out there.
This is the boss' wife - Nisah and my wifeThe best thing about Halim's location is that, it is fronting this book shop. Book Xcess is definitely the place to go for cheap good books....and mags too
... where Alia went crazy buying all her foreign fashion magazines at real low prices.
All in all, Amcrop Mall is really a cool place, in our book la, as the girls also bought some dresses at dirt cheap prices.
As for us, we were just happy to walk-walk with the girls. Aaaah, life!! Alhamdulillah.


The Boys of 2010!!!

This past month or so.... our family welcome two more new addition - both boys.

Just recently, my cousin Anom and husband Nasir became proud parents to Muhammad Zikri Mohd Nasir. This is Zikri...

And a few weeks before that, another young cousin Razif and wife welcome their second boy - Aisar Marzuq.

Well, if you ask me, they do look somewhat alike, no? But then babies tend to resemble each other kan. But then again, they're second cousins anyway!!!
Congratulations to both parents and enjoy the ride!!!!

(Trivia: the two boys are cicit number 22 and 23 to Allahyarham Tuan Haji Mior Mahmud and Allahyarhamah Hajah Yang Kamariah -- whoa that many already!!!!)