Skip to main content

Adel and his ball

If you ask me now, I wouldn't really be able to tell what life was like back in Malaysia.

It's like it was another life altogether. To tell you the truth, the only bits and pieces that I do remember were going to work at uni, and then going to work tutoring the Koreans, and then going home, and then going to sleep... Oh of course there were the occasional nights out, movies, dinner and so on, but they seemed to pale in comparison to the crushing weight of work and responsibility.

And if you were to ask me what I remembered of my son back home, I would say I remember him sleeping when I went to work, and sleeping when I got back from work... but of course there would be the weekends that we would enjoy together, where I would take him to the lake gardens and we would go jogging together with his mother, and we would end the morning with a trip to the local Mamak restaurant, where he would order his favourite items on the menu without fail - roti telur with dhal, and iced Milo... And I thought that that was enough for someone in my situation, with my responsibilities. There didn't seem to be enough time to do much else... Or so the excuse goes...

Until one day his Uncle Bruce comes back from the US bringing with him a miniature American football, and started playing catch with my son... Something I'd never done before... And so the trend would continue, every time Uncle Bruce and Cik Ngah (Sameerah, my sister) visited my parents, Bruce would always play catch with Adel, teaching him the essential skills of ball-handling, or at least as much as you can teach a 3 year-old). It became their thing, and I did not begrudge them of that.

But I think, somewhere in a small corner of my heart, there was a part of me that wished that I could be the one playing ball with my son.. but very quickly another part took over and told me that I didn't have the patience...

I totally agreed... back then... but I told myself that I'd make time, sometime in the future...

Fast-forward a year on, and here I am in New Zealand.

It is a breezy Spring afternoon, and a rubber ball is at my feet. It is cold, and I suddenly realise I am half out of my mind being out in the garden in my shorts at 15 degrees Celsius in the shade. It's not so much the 15 degrees as it is the biting North-westerly wind blowing from the Antarctic.

The ball sways slightly against the wind, and the Bob the Builder motif bobs up and down in a rhythmic motion.

My son is standing five metres away from me, face full of concentration as he prepares to catch the ball that I am about the kick. Suddenly he laughs and giggles, and starts teaching me how to kick the ball.

I smile.

I did manage to keep my promise after all, that I'd make time to play ball with my son...

But now that I think about it, if I had continued what I had been doing back home, that promise would have never been fulfilled.

This PhD has turned out to be a blessing in more ways than one...

Now to get inside out of the cold... What on earth was I thinking wearing those shorts???


anis said…
"This PhD has turned out to be a blessing in more ways than one..."
i like this quote.. (",)
life is full of suprises..
anis said…
"This PhD has turned out to be a blessing in more ways than one..."
i like this quote.. (",)
life is full of suprises..
Cat-in-Sydney said…
Yeah...what were you thinking wearing shorts outside? But do you notice how the locals dress? I was amazed seeing girls in micro skirts and sleeveless tops walking around in 8oC at night!!!! purrr....meow!
Jordan said…
Love this post. I know how you feel. I've been very lucky to be able to spend lots of time with Al, but there were still times when I felt the way you did.
As for clothing, well everything is relative. Back in Canada, when the first hints of fall start blowing in, everyone bundles up. But when it's winter and spring begins to bloom, on the first barely-nice day you'll see people out in shorts and t-shirts, even though the weather is probably colder than when they'd chucked their sweaters on at the end of the previous summer. Hehe.
Abdullah said…
Anis - hey, nice to see you here in my blog.. Too true.. Life is indeed full of surprises.

Angie - Hahaha! I know what you mean. These Kiwis are a hardy bunch I must say. My jaw dropped when I saw some of them jogging in shorts during the winter!

Jordan - I hear yo bro.. It's good thing I realised how much I was missing out on my son before it was too late.. I know of some parents who totally miss the window of opportunity and never ever get the chance to make amends. And I guess the Canucks are cast from the same die as the Kiwis eh? Except you your winter over there makes winter here seem like a walk in the park..
Jordan said…
Back home there was always this one postman who would wear shorts all year round, regardless of the weather. Needless to say, everyone thought he was nuts. But yeah, a lot of Canadians go out during winter without being all bundled up. Especially when they're waiting in lines to get into nightclubs! Haha
Ahmad said…
oh the beauty of life.. the beauty of life.. \{^_^}/

Popular posts from this blog


How does one forgive someone who has done them and their loved ones so much wrong?

This is a question that I struggle with, and have always struggled with for a long time. 
How does one push past the pain and suffering that a person had willingly caused, worse yet, caused to someone that they loved. We stand at the sidelines, and feel ourselves slighted, yet the pain we feel is minuscule, compared to the earth-shattering hurt our loved one experiences. Yet we are powerless, drowning in a helplessness, grasping for any lifeline that can pull ourselves out from the deep. 
How can we let go when hatred is all we know. A hatred that festered from seeds of dislike. This poison that we feed ourselves. Yet it is all we know. 
How does one tell oneself to let go?
If a person murders your son, and returns a month later, saying he is genuinely sorry; what would you do? He comes in and says he will pay for the cleaning bill, to wipe the blood stains off the floor, and to send the carpet for dry…

The End

I am in a hotel room.

It is unclear who else is in the room. It must be my family. But I am uncertain. I know I am in the room with people I love.

The hotel room is in a building that towers above ground level, and we can see all the houses below.

I am in Hawaii I think. How I know that I do not know. All I know is that we are beside the ocean.

I feel unsettled as I look out the window. Something is compelling me to look outside the window. It is getting dark. But I know by right it should not be dark. It is midday. And then I see it.

In front of me a huge storm cloud is gathering. But I start to quiver because it looks like no ordinary storm. The clouds are pitch black. Black as death. My eyes follow their shape to where they originate. I gasp.

I see a gigantic water spout, a tornado in the ocean, funnelling its energy to the black cloud. The water spout is also pitch black. Rain now pours uncontrollably. It is a hurricane at its full blast, but not just that. It is much, much more.

My first fast food experience ever

Growing up in the UK in the late 70s and 80s, it was almost impossible to get fast food that was halal. Definitely not like what it is today.

Back in the day, we lived in many different places when I was growing up, but I consider Bath to be my where I struck my roots.

As a kid you don’t really remember many things that were not within your immediate scope of experience. Everything was taken care of by your parents, and that is something I have go to remember again with my own children. Sometimes I expect them to be aware more of what is going on around them, but when I remember my own childhood, all we knew was we did what our parents told us, moved where they moved, went where they went etc.

Anyway, I’m rambling.

Back to what I was saying, It was literally impossible to get fast food, and all we could do was just imagine how the burgers would taste. Fries or chips was not too much of an issue because we were able to eat Fish and Chips, especially from Evans in the middle of town af…