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Showing posts from September, 2008

Eid traditions

It is almost that time of the year again. Children aren't complaining as much as they used to, as if transfixed on an idea of what the next few days would promise them.  Adults seem to have a distant look in their eyes, as they mentally start their journeys of 'balik kampung', even before the workday is officially over.
Excitement is buzzing through the air,  and everywhere, the atmosphere seems charged with an almost magical energy.
Eid is only a few days away...
Soon the hunger will be satisfied.  Soon the wallets will be full of money 'extorted' from relatives.  Soon the happy faces of family and loved ones arriving at the doorsteps, arms outstretched  and full of embrace.
As the countdown to Raya grows nearer, families start their ritual traditions...Some start buying ingredients to prepare the sumptuous array of ketupat, rendang, and sambal kacang. Some start taking their best curtains out to the wash, or even buy new curtains to show off to the neighbours.
My family …

Premature Mid-Life Crisis?

"Sejak bila lu jadi mat rempit beb?" (Translation: Since when did you become a street racer?) Were the first words that blazed onto the screen of my Dopod PDA Phone when I told my cousin that I had bought a bike.
I mean...Is it that strange that I happened to work my butt off, save up, and buy one of the meanest most beautiful bikes I ever set my eyes on? I mean...just look at it... Shiny jet black finish, laced with highlights of blazing red, topped with rugged racing streaks... 
I think I just wiped a tear off my face...
No, no, don't get all worked up... I haven't gone off the wall. It's just that with the increase in fuel price, it seems silly to spend RM600 just going to and from work every day... Think about it, that's a month and a half's pay for my maid! Just to get to and from work! 
So, I figured this would be a good compromise - maybe 2 or 3 days a week going to work by bike, and going to the local stores, local eateries, and even the local mosque, …

Return of the MC

Sounds like a line from a rap song doesn't it?But no...This time it isn't. The MC in question here is me. Lately I've been getting a lot of requests to become MC (Master of Ceremonies) for official UTM functions. The last one I had to do was barely two weeks ago... But I really had a lot of fun for that one. It was entitled "Hi-Tea With Her Royal Highness Raja Zarith Sofiah", and yes, I did meet Her Royal Highness and chat for a bit with her. In many ways, she surprised me more than I would care to admit... For so many years, at the end of our Friday Prayers, the Imam would recite a du'a which would be considered strange to people who are not from Johor, because at the end of the du'a, the imam would launch into a roll-call of all the members of the Johor Royalty, asking the Almighty to bless each and every one of them... The interesting thing is in my observations, many people would just simply zone off at this point, simply because for many people, the …

Of parents and Ramadhan

Ever since I can remember, especially in my younger days in the UK, Ramadhan for my household had always been a solemn affair - especially to a young boy of pre-teen years, who would rather be outside the house playing with his friends, or simply idling and wasting time - what young boys like to do.

But of course, this month was different from other months, and I would notice a big change in my parents. They would seem quieter and more inward-focussed than usual, busying themselves with prayer and other religious duties. I used to remember my father telling us that during the month we shouldn't be too frivolous in our actions, and that we should not watch too much TV, or get lost in too much entertainment. Instead we should devote ourselves to Allah, thinking about Him and how to please Him in every way we can. This we did by increasing our readings of the Quran.  In fact this was what was expected of us, and this my father ingrained into us every day.  When it was nearing Maghrib, h…

My nightmare come true

This is it. It's finally happened.
The stuff of bad dreams for many language teachers has today materialised for me, rearing its ugly head, scoffing at my abilities as a language professional.
This is an actual letter from one of my students as part of their coursework.
Final year student. Soon to graduate and meet the workforce of the nation.
Read it and weep...

Inside the Forbidden Kingdom

It has now been a week since we uprooted ourselves from our old house. Come to think about it, that house was really special...

It was the first house that my wife and I stayed in as a married couple..

It was the first house my son came home to after he was born..

Three years is quite a long time by my standards, seeing as to how much we used to move around in my childhood and teenage years.

But it's time to move on.

The nostalgia of my old house can in no way compare to the euphoria of living in my very own house. Every wall is a labour of love. Every blade of grass a blessing from God. Every nook and cranny a hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered.

It's like waking up in a hotel room every single morning. I know that like a new relationship, the 'honeymoon period' is not going to last, but I'm enjoying every single moment of it to the max!

Here are some snapshots that I would like to share:

Living room. Modern concept. Lots of contrasts between white/cream and bla…