Friday, December 26, 2008

YEAR END NOTE

2008/1429H is waving us goodbyes.....Alhamdulillah, it has been a good year.

The year started for us with Abah beginning his sabbatical. Mama was ecstatic thinking Abah could then spend more times at home. Alas, it was not the case. He had to dash here and there, in and out of the country. And then, from early May to mid August he became a weekend hubby/father to us. It was heavily taxing on him. All the driving from KB-IPOH and vice versa. And fulfilling the demands from the 'forsaken' family...hehehe, we were bad,weren't we??

Anyway...we had enough of separation, don't wanna be separated ever again...unless it was for our deen as in Abah going out on khuruj fi sabilillah. We were terribly lonely without Abah around and it was during that time this blog was born, coaxed by Adik..... And, oh, I have a confession to make.....When Abah's research trip to Makkah was cancelled at the very last minute, I was actually glad and I'm quite sure that both Abang and Adik shared my feeling...( hung head in shame...) 

So, Abah, if you are reading this, WE ARE SOWWYY.....But, (ada but tu) I did pray for the best course to happen and He decided it. The thing is, we were not quite ready to be apart from you again soon after being reunited . InsyaAllah, when you go in January next year for that postponed trip, we'll be ready.

As far as school works is concerned, Abang has shown a tremendous improvement in Mathematics, Science and English but still very weak in BM. You got to work harder on it as you'll be sitting for UPSR next year. 
Mama is constantly worrying about this but Abah, as usual, is taking it very lightly, hemmph....but we have agreed though, that Abang will be attending a tuition class for the Bahasa subject. Mama has finally won the argument on tuition thingy!!! As for Adik, you have done very well academically,topping the class in every test and exam the whole year long. Way to go Adik!!! BUT,( ada but lagi) you still have to work harder on other things.

I dont wish to sound like a broken record here, so I'm not repeating them here. You know them by heart now anyway.....

On the other hand, Abang has been very good on that other things. I wish Abang will continue guiding Adik and you Adik, will duly follow Abang's examples instead of arguing and arguing!! 
 
I've recorded most events happening to us in 2008 in previous posts. Nothing dramatic happened to us ( except for the few that I made up...) Not until last few weeks when we were shocked to our bone with the news of landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa. Our own Ayah Long, (Mama's eldest brother) resided very close to that tragic site. 

Alhamdulillah, nothing untoward happened to them and they have moved on since. As if it wasn't enough, about a week after that, there were reports in newspapers about the same incident in Desa Melor in Rawang where Cik Lah and family recently moved into. Frantic calls were made and we were assured that everything was fine with them. When we then visited them, we saw that the site was quite far from Cik Lah's place. Mak Tok and Tok Ayah were worried sick with all those misfortunes happening around their children and they couldn't be within reach. Abang Hasif then added more drama by being warded at Kuala Kubu Baru hospital for dengue fever with platelet dropped very low. Mak Tok was reduced to tears by then and getting ready to go to KL.
But Alhamdulillah, everything ended well.
It was a good thing that most of Mak Tok's children decide to spend the school holidays at home with her, one family at a time, taking turn. The company make her smiles again.

We then went to KL and visited some families residing there. Mama went on a gastronomic trip with who else but kak chik Illa. Abah had to run to Ipoh for 3 days as the people from Perak Royal Medical College asked him to do some teaching. Meanwhile, Abang and Adik were having an overdose of cartoons and computer games with cousins in the same age group.

We made it to KL on record time of 6 1/2 hours with 3 stops. We started at 5 am, stopped for fajr prayer at Kuala Krai, then looked for tapai beras (for a certain someone who mengidam to eat them) at pasar Gua Musang and a quick toilet break. Breakfast was taken on the car. There were very little traffic on the road.

It was a completely different story on our way home. We were made to experience the agony our relatives have been suffering on every festive season. As soon as we got off the highways, we were faced with very dark cloud in Bentong . A stark contrast with sunny KL. The drizzles soon followed and never stop until we reached home. The car crawled with thousands other holiday makers. We saw at least 5 accidents. Abang And Adik slept away most of the journey, making up for the self-deprived sleep during the holidays. Mama, tightly wrapped in pashmina, fought the sleepiness and made small talk to prevent Abah from dozing off in that sleep conducive environment. At dusk we reached Mak Tok's place and by 8pm we were at our doorstep, noisily and excitedly greeted by Grey which clearly has been missing us as we missed her.

The new year will soon set in. Let us all pray that we will be better persons next year, in all aspects. I hope to be a better mother to both of you. The one that able to nurture your abilities and mould you to become good individuals.
InsyaAllah, the year 2008 will end in a good note as we just got news that our home has been chosen to host a masturat jamaat from Penang to camp in our house for 3 days starting Monday. Wait....it will be the 1st of Muharram1430H....so, its a good start for the islamic year as well.
Alhamdulillah!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

AN APPRENTICE

On the day of Aidil Adha 2004, when Abang was 7 years old, it dawned upon him that someday, he has to take over from Abah as Abah has taken over from Tok Ayah Wahab. As the Tukang Sembeleh Lembu Korban that is!!

Since small, he had seen Abah helped slaughtering one or two cows while Tok Ayah did the rest. The backyard of Tok Ayah has always been the preferred site for the occasion by the villagers as a small stream flows through it making the washing up of those bloods and cow shit easier.

In 2004, however, Tok Ayah decided to throw in the towel and handed down his special knife to Abah, saying he couldn't do it anymore.So, Abah ,single handedly, slaughtered all the 7 cows ......

Abang saw it and later came to us and thoughtfully said, "Abang nak kena belajar potong lembu ni, Bila Abah dah tua nanti, for sure Abang yang kena ganti kan?"
 
Both Abah and me were left speechless for a moment!!


From then on, every year, without miss(except for last year when Abah went for hajj, servicing in medical team) Abang would help Abah preparing for the Day. They would bring out the knives, sharpen them, prepare the ropes and few other things related to it. Abah would read again from the book of Fiqh on the rules and regulations of doing qurban . Paying close attention to the sunnah ways of doing it. We also got to hear again to story behind it all and the significance of this sacred rite.

More importantly, we would also be reminded of the importance of sacrificing parts of our property, time and even our own self for the sake of Allah. We learn how if we give wholeheartedly to Allah, He will reward us much better than what we expect, both in this world and in the hereafter. We will read the stories of the august companions of Rasulullah SAW , how they sacrificed their whole life for deen due to which, we are muslims today.


(Abah somehow is less "celebrated" than Tok Ayah. Everything would be prepared for Tok Ayah. The cows already tied, there would be enough people to hold it down, the coconut leaves laid down etc. Tok Ayah just step up, sembeleh, went home. People then give some choicest cut of the meat to him prior to distributing the cow to 7 parts. He just walk away, didn't even have to carry the given meat, people will send it to his house!! Abah , on the other hand, do almost everything himself, before and after slaughtering, and seems to enjoy it....... and Abah's duty sometime covered 3 kampungs, Sabak, Bkt Merbau and Chica itself.)


Two years ago, Abah slaughtered 5 cows in our backyard garden and we had to suffer the smell that lingered on for quite some times. The men dug a big hole to bury all the smelly things but somehow some were left scattered around Abah's salaks ,dokongs, rambutans and banana trees....Okay, yes, they gave nutrition to the trees, but , we'd rather buy the organic fertilizers in big sacks from the jabatan pertanian, thank you.


This year, Abah was again supposed to go for hajj, heading a research team , (a joint program his university is having with the Makkah's Ummul Qurra University) , but somehow, at the very last minute, the plan fell through.

Everybody else, including Mama, had pledged a part of cow to be sacrificed, leaving Abah alone. So, Abah hastily found a cow, ( thanks to Pak Noh, the friendliest local butcher ever) and rounded up 5 friends and relatives to join in. He even arranged for Mama's part at Mak Tok's kampung to be taken up by someone else enabling Mama to join in this lembu.

So, the 7 of us will share the cow and Abah InsyaAllah will slaughter it and you Abang, will have to be on your toes and look closely as an apprentice, hehehe ( how to recite takbir, the cut must be proximal to the larynx, the two arteries severed; just writing about this pun dah make me shiver eeei.....)This one cow wont bring much bad smell I hope and this time I'll make sure the men scrape everything off the ground...




I just want you to know Abang.....
Abah and me are proud that you have that way of thinking, but you really do no have to worry about that. I guess Abah was chosen by Allah not by Tok Ayah. He has three sons, Ayah Mat who had military background, Abah and Ayah Chik Razif, a maulana. Both Ayah Mat and Ayah Chik would be more appropriate choice if it were up to Tok Ayah. Tok Ayah himself is a gentle soul, very well-mannered gentleman and have this serene look about him. Hardly the type you would expect to wrestle with a cow, but Allah chose him. Not everybody can do it, even Pak Noh himself, who slaughters cows on daily basis said he cannot /would not do it. I dont know his reason, you can ask him when you see him at the mosque.....


So Abang, dont worry, if Allah choose you, no one will be able to say," YOU ARE FIRED!!! "( a la the trump guy) to you...hehehe.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

CHEESECAKE 4 CHAH

As per my lovely, chubby, sweet niece request, here are a couple of cheesecakes recipes that I've tried. (Cik Ma asked me to post it on this site as she is now reading my blog out of boredom ). 
This one here I made for Abang's birthday last year( I think) Ingredient: 
Base:
230g Biskut Marie crumbs (of course the original recipe used other kind of biscuit, but as usual, I improvise, its cheaper n easier to find)
30g caster sugar 
75g melted butter.

Mix all of them, flatten into the tin. Chill for 20 min.

250g cream cheese.
125ml whipping cream 
1 tbsp lemon juice 
70g c.sugar
3 eggs - separated 
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp custard powder

Beat cheese,add cream n lemon juice. Mix well, add sugar, yolks n vanilla. Lastly, add custard powder. Whisk egg whites to a smooth peak and fold into the mixture. Pour onto chilled base. Bake @ 175 C for about 30 min . (Slices of apples kat atas tu optional. I happened to have lots of them masa tu, so I peeled, cored and sliced them, cooked over low heat with some brown sugar and cinnamon powder, sampai dia lembut. Cool, arrange it in overlapping manner, glaze with warmed apricot jam. )
 
MARBLED CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE 
A: 
250g cream cheese- softened
60g caster sugar 
1 egg + 1 tsp vanilla ess.
B: 
180g butter - softened 
150g c.sugar 
3 eggs
3 tbsp cocoa powder}
120g self raising flour}
1 tsp baking powder}(these last 3, sift together)


A:Beat cheese n sugar, add egg
B:In different bowl, beat butter n sugar, add egg one by one, fold in flour


Assembly: Pour half of B, all of A and B again. Stir a bit to give a marbled effect. Bake @ 180 C for 45 min 

So, Chah..happy baking and please dont blame me for the calories pile up!!

p/s Chah, kena guna spring-form tin ya, ada ker?Kalau takdok, mari la pinje kat rumah mama. 


Note to my foodie buddy( u kno who u r):
ampuuun ya for publishing the photo. It wasnt meant to torture you....and pease dont keep on about me not cooking anything fancy when you visit. I wouldnt have the time!! What with frequent visits to Bazaar Buluh Kubu, Pasar Siti Khadijah, Pasar MPKB, eating roti coteks etc, etc...plus,your mum would be buying all kind of kuehs sold in S. Khadijah...where got time to eat my offerings maa!! And, dont forget the late nights soul searching chit chats....it caused me fatigue and sleepiness, so, no energy to be creative in kitchen!! wink,wink

Saturday, November 8, 2008

MAMA'S "BIG" TALK

Actually, it was a SMALL talk to a BIG group of SMALL kids..... Peanuts for most people, but MAJOR for me..... Hehehe...those who know me know what I mean....kan? (I must warn you readers, this is a long rambling write-up, read only if you are really-really bored and have nothing whatsoever to do)

It started with my friend Dr Aida calling me while Abah and me were doing our weekly grocery shopping. She said something about asking me to give a talk on moral issues to a group of standard 5 and 6 schoolgirls. I couldnt hear her quite clearly as we were in a noisy market.I kind of agree thinking that it's not a big deal. I've been doing it week in week out with those girls at the shelter home.

The next day, Abah brought home the invitation letter and I started having palpitation!! The letter was from Persatuan Sains Perubatan USM, inviting me to give a talk to a group of 300 students from SK Zainab 2. Noted that it would also be attended by siswa-siswi fasilitator, two other speakers ie male doctors, who would speak on issues like emergency and obesity, accompanying teachers and some other doctors....by then, I was positive there were some butterflies twirling in my tummy, but I read on. The talk would be held at Dewan Kuliah 5.... and I couldnt read anymore,I felt like vomiting there and then. Called Aida immediately and told her she has picked up a wrong person! Why ME! I am just a 'makcik', a stay at home mum(SAHM), just a small person...I cant possibly stand at the rostrum in a big lecture hall and speak into a microphone. I never dream to do that and I never want to do that.....What I have in mind is sitting cross leg with the girls around me where I could look into their eyes and they look into mine. Heart to heart talk,eyes to eyes....where they could ask me any questions how stupid they may sound. Better if I could touch them, hold their hands. That IS my style......That's what I do with the girls at the Home, that's what I did with the kids during our Read Aloud And Storytelling sessions in DAR NUR AZ_ZAHRA', that's also how we do in our weekly ta'alem program or whenever I was lucky enough to be chosen to go out on the path of Allah and then, chosen to handle an ijtima'i program . Of course, the audience are always ladies and children!!

Aida wont listen to my appeal, in fact, she laughed it off.....and said something like, "It is nothing la An...small kids je". And guess what...Abah said the same thing!! I then talked to my faithful friend Dr Noran and she seemed to understand my predicament and offered to help by sending a power point presentation on HIV/AIDs that she gave to primary school children. Err...thanks Noran, but I was hoping that you could help me a bit more than that, like taking over the talk?? No. she couldnt do it, she's a busy person, a Pengarah Kesihatan of a district...( i call her Puan Pengarah when I want to tease her) .
I then met our neighbour, Dr Norashidah ( Auntie Nora to you, Adik and Abang) and told her as well, as she is like an older sister to me. She STRONGLY insisted that I could and must do it.Gave me a lecture on how I MUST share my valuable experience working with problematic teenagers. She even suggested that I take some beta-blocker when I told her I might have a cold feet and tremble and faint and DIE!! ( as usual la kan, I exaggerate).
  This is where I realised that I have too many doctors friends and most of them are medical lecturers as well. Giving lectures are like breathing to them!!(meaning, they dont really understand my prob.) 
Tok Su came, I picked her up at the airport, told her and too late realised that she has been a university lecturer for as long as I know her,since I married Abah,that is. She of course,laughed at me and said she was sure I could pull it off easily and wont hear anymore of my lamentation...

At this point,I was like,why nobody understands me??

Even my own mother said I could do it and she sounded kind of proud when she said that... I started to question myself, why everybody is so sure of me when I myself are not?? It really is a mystery... 
Kak Chik Illa (aka Ms Cats Expert aka Mama's foodie buddy) then arrived on the scene bringing in much needed comfort....she UNDERSTOOD my predicament. AT LAST!! Thanks so much Illa...
She even gave some brilliant suggestions on how to solve this 'heeeavy' problem of mine. One of it was to ask Abah to replace me as I have always look up at Abah as my adviser, teacher, saviour, comforter(dual meanings..)bla,bla,bla....(the tele conference took nearly one hour...)


I felt light-hearted again and approached Abah, not before spending some time in front of the mirror, acted demure, offered to make him hot horlicks and then, very-very nicely and manja-ly asked him to do the talk. After all, he is some sort of motivational speaker in the campus and had also been invited to many schools in Kelantan. He said no and gave a plethora of excuses, citing ethics, clinical rounds, meeting with post-graduate students, research projects etc etc etc. I then proceeded to next step( as discussed with Illa),BRIBERY!! Offered to cook him the ikan kukus goreng for a whole week...didnt work either.Next,BLACKMAIL!!.....you dont want to know what I said, suffice to say that it didnt work at all!! Last resort, MERAJUK!!
  Then only, Abah took me seriously, be all what I always think of him and told me to do something that eventually freed me from that heavy feeling.

It is what I should have done in the first place....turn to HIM,The Provider,The Solver of all problem, ALLAH....... 

I did the 2 rakaats of solat hajat, asked for the best solution and that's it. Early next morning, Dr Adibah, the adviser, called me to confirm and I told her I couldnt do it, explained to her, she tried to pujuk me but at last she conceded. I felt SO relieved!!

BUT,.....it didnt end here.

Dr Aida immediately called me again, seriously listened to me this time.I put forward my alasan2 and she countered every one of it!!
1. I said I'm not comfortable with adult males in the audience. She said, she will put me as the first speaker and ask the other two not to come in until I finish mine. About male medical students, no worries, she'll just told them, it is a closed session for ladies only.
2.What if I have palpitations and couldnt speak? She'll be there to hold my hands...  
3.I thought hard and came out with another pathetic reason. My dream is to be an 'unsung hero'. I want people to know of my work,without knowing me as a person. If I started to make public appearance like this, tak jadi la unsung hero. She said, "but what about your obligation to the society?" She struck a chord. Yes, I do feel obligated to do this talk. Especially now that the trainees coming in to the shelter home is getting younger and younger, this group age is exactly the right target group for the talk.
4. Last attempt, I tried, "As the tajuk of the program is 'Sehari di USM', it is more appropriate to have medical personnel to speak, the kids would love to hear from them rather than a mere makcik like me. Or you could ask the ustazah from the islamic centre." But, Oh , Aida got answers for everything. She is a professor after all......(must remember to refer to her as Prof Aida instead of Dr Aida) She said she had tried all of them( Head of Social Science Dept( i think), Head of UPKW, the adolescence psychiatrist etc..anyone who could talk on moral issues). All of them have commitments somewhere else. Ustazah...no,this is not a ceramah agama.There's some non muslim students too and the kids should listen to something different. They've listened to Ustazah enough..... 

Looks like no escaping for me. Plus, I really hate to let people down, more so if they are nice ones like Aida and Adibah I then understood. I have to do it.I've asked Allah for solution, HE sends Aida with all the answers.

So, I DID it. 

Alhamdulillah, it went well. All from Allah. HE helps when we ask. I could never do that without HIM.

Thanks to all the names I mentioned above.I was so relieved when it was over, even felt glad I did it......... Would I want to do it again? 

                        NO,THANK YOU.

  p/s special thanks to Abang and Adik for listening to me practising and for all your suggestions, like, Adik: "Mama, tangan tu kurangkan skit gerak2, nanti budak2 pening, and cut down on emm,emmmm...." Abang:"Crack some jokes Mama, or tell a story, baru budak2 tak ngantuk". And a few others yg memang tak boleh pakai lansung and not worth mentioning!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

THE TWO TOK AYAHs

(Hj Abd Wahab b. Abd Rahman & Hj Mustafa b. Muhammad)

When Adik was 5, Abah introduced Adik to Seerah, albeit a basic ones. So, Adik went around repeating in a sing-song way, "Nama nabi kita Muhammad, mama nabi nama Aminah, abah nabi nama Abdullah....." One day, Adik came to Mama and asked,"Mama, tok ayah nabi nama cikgu aper?". Mama was like,"What?...cikgu, what cikgu?" And Adik, patiently, repeated the question, slowly and deliberately, as if Mama is the ' slowest' person on earth. "Ye laaa...Adik kan ada dua tok ayah, satu Cikgu Abd Wahab and another one Cikgu Mustafa, sooo, Rasulullah must have two tok ayahs as well, right.., what's their name, cikgu aper??" Mama laughed till it hurt..... Needless to say, Seerah then became one of the subjects that Adik loves and excels in. More often than not, she'll get full mark for this subject in every test/exam. Ask her any dates/events from the life of our beloved prophet, (only from year1 to year 3 syllabus laaa) she'll spell it out effortlessly. And Adik loves her two tok ayahs very much. And they her.... 

Both tok ayahs are cikgu pencen, known in their respective kampungs as Cikgu Wahab and Cikgu Pa, both in their 70's and both are prone to spoiling all their grandchildren. Luckily for you, Abang and Adik, you are the only two small cucus staying close to them. So, you get to manja2 more....but, more importantly, you get to serve them more, especially now that they are in their old age and get sick every now and then. Both of them appreciate your small fingers massaging their old bodies anytime....And Tok Ayah Wahab will exaggeratedly compliment your effort as usual, thanking you profusely and hugging you tightly. All these will be memories one day.......

Both tok ayahs are on medication for hypertension, but Tok Ayah Wahab had had a minor stroke before, so , his medication container is bigger than Tok Ayah Pa's. Recently, both of them suffered from gout almost at the same time. Yes, they do have so many things in common. Both of them like to stay put in their own home despite 'appeals' from their many children to go and spend time with them , mostly in KL and a few in Perak and Trengganu. Of course, the criteria of the house to be considered staying for a few days must be a walking distance from a mosque/surau, otherwise it will be refused point-blank. Tok Ayah Wahab now gives excuse not to travel because of frequent urination. He never want to 'menyusahkan' anak2 even though all his children would be more than willing to do anything for him. He will not let Tok, (whom he married after the demise of your real Tok that you didnt get to meet), call his children if he falls sick, but Tok would do that anyway, as we made her promise to call us even if he as simple as having a sprain ankle or just a toothache (extracting a teeth is not a simple process for him as he is on warfarin), or something like that....(I really dont know what is simple 'sickness' for old people.) As for Tok Ayah Pa, he divides his time to three parts, one for Allah, another for his household which now consist only of himself, Mak Tok and Ayah Su, and the rest for himself. So, we wouldnt find him at home for a total of 4 months in a year as he would be spending it on the path of Allah. He usually do it in segments ie 40 days at a time for 3 times in a year. He comes home, spend time with Mak Tok and goes again. Tok Ayah Pa had been to every nook of Malaysia and to quite many parts of the world as well on his da'awah mission. (Tok Ayah Wahab also went on several similar journeys prior to his deteriorating health) His dream is to die in one of his journey and had repeatedly told Mak Tok that his body must be buried wherever he dies. Whenever he's home, he and Mak Tok, much to their children amusement, despite their old age, are very much a loving couple.....Mak Tok always say, if not for his khuruj, Tok Ayah Pa would be a katak bawah tempurung as he would only know Kelantan where he had taught in many schools all over the state as he really doesnt like to travel,what more, without Mak Tok. 

Whenever Abah and Mama had to go some places where we couldnt bring you, both of you will gladly choose to say with Tok Ayah Pa, or to be with the 'sporting' Mak Tok to be exact. Adik would dig into Mama's childhood, trying to find out whether Mama was a good or a naughty child and would use the info to kena kan Mama balik whenever Mama tries to give her a 'lecture' on good behaviour. She would repeat the anecdotes concerning Mama she heard from Mak Tok and Tok Ayah over and over again. According to her, Mama was a cry baby and Tok Ayah said Mama was special as Mama was the only child who would lovingly go and hug Tok Ayah while all other siblings went into hiding whenever he got angry with our antics. I somehow do not remember that...... 



So, Adik and Abang, do enjoy the time you still have with them. Take the opportunity to do as much khidmat as possible to them. Make them happy.........Tok Ayah Wahab is always happy to listen to Abang reciting the surahs that he has memorised and Tok Ayah Pa is always saying how pandai Adik ambil hati dia....Once, Adik let him clipped her fingernails ( it is one of his favourite thing to do since we were small and how we always ran away whenever we see him with a nail clipper ) despite knowing that his sight is not really good anymore. He, naturally, cuts too deep and Adik suffered in silence so as not to offend him. Mak Tok found out and scolded Tok Ayah, warned him to stay away from nail clipper and other peoples fingernails......And Adik gained recognition from Tok Ayah!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

S's SAD STORY

On the second day of Raya, S, the 14 y.o trainee gave birth to a boy. I didnt get to see them until a week later when my class resumed. The baby usually stay with the mother not more than one week in the Home, but with people still in holiday mood, the adoption process was slow. Thus, I got to see her nursing the baby.....and the image stuck in my mind . And it is most disturbing.....


She is so small, that girl...lt was so not right to see her breastfeeding the baby. The breasts were naturally engorged and disfigured her and she had this bewildered look in her eyes.....

I cried there and then, which is not appropriate at all.


I always have a soft spot for her since she was referred to this Home by the JKM. She is a real rape victim as opposed to those alleged ones(where they claimed to be raped, but upon questioning, its always the same old story of following the boys home after a few dates....so, it cannot be classified as rape per se as they are looking for it!) . Raped by a stoned neighbour, assisted by her own auntie who is the girlfriend of the said addict!!


When she first came, she had this empty look on in her eyes. She is a pretty girl with big round eyes but those eyes are always staring through you, as if you dont exist. She didnt talk, didnt smile and cowered everytime we spoke to her.
During interview, she said nothing at all. 
The manager only got the story from her mother who is a factory worker. When I finally met her a week later, she opened up to me. Detailing the two occasions she was violated. She spoke with this small and innocent voice that really affected me.

The wretched drug-addict was subsequently arrested but guess what? His parents bailed him out and then, had the gut to go and scolded S's grandma for reporting their son!! Huh! some people.........


She gradually warm up to the kakak-kakak at the Home. After about 3 months, she finally "see" us....smile, and generally have purpose in her eyes again. It was really a blessing in disguise for her to end up here. She has stopped schooling after finishing primary school, therefore didnt read very well ,couldnt recite the qur'an, almost never pray and actually living no life at all.....

Nowadays, she reads confidently, finishing the muqaddam and jokes around with other trainees, even able to ask questions in class. She is well-liked by all, never brought any problem to the management, always helpful.I think she is happier here than in her own home.
Her family cannot afford the fee, so she is fully sponsored by the Home itself.


I shuddered thinking about the home she is going to go back to, few months from now. The small space occcupied by 9 other people including THE auntie and S's stepfather......I did talk to Abah about the possibility of 'adopting' her....Abah has no problem with the idea but I'm quite sure her mother wont listen to it. As for you two, Abang and adik, I'm sure you would like to have a live-in kakak......kan?? Let us pray to Allah to give the best solution for this......


As I'm writing this, M, the manager text me about not yet finding the suitable family to adopt S's baby......We do have a waiting list for adopting family but it seems that everyone wants a girl. And girls are rarely born here for the reasons known only to Allah.


Poor S...its hard enough to give up your own child for adoption.

Those tear-jerking moments at Oath Commissioner's I've endured during the days I managed the Home. A child is a child, however way it is born.....those girls would cry their hearts out forgetting that they never want the baby in the first place( some even tried to abort them.....) 
We tried to go over the adoption process as soon as possible, before the bonding of mother and baby set in to avoid more stress on the mothers.

Poor, poor S....it will be very hard for her as the bonding has surely taken place now. It's been nearly a month. I pray for a good family to come soon and take the baby to raise as their own.......

Sunday, October 12, 2008

SICKLY SYAWWAL

Actually, it started one week into Ramadhan with Mak Tok. High grade fever which then subsided after a few days but the lethargy remains for quite some times.
Mak Tok regained vitality with the coming home of her anak-cucu and much missed Tok Ayah who had been spending time on the path of Allah, spreading deen.
The other Tok Ayah( Abah's father) then took over. He couldnt even make it for Eid prayer at the mosque. And up until today, Tok Ayah is still weak. Being old, one thing lead to another. He is now suffering from gout and bad cough as well.


On 3rd Syawwal, as usual, we held our open house . 
Family members from 8am to 12am and friends after Jumaat prayer. We got Nasi Dagang with two types of curries, ketupat palas and rendang, nasi himpit and sambal su'un, satay, jelly and assortments of cakes and cookies. ( Thankyou to KakChik Khadijah and Kakak Naheed for helping out the night before, really appreciate it, next year, tolongla lagi....) 

 By 12, most of our family were here and soon after, took off for their respective long journey home. By 1 o'clock Adik was very quiet, didnt even smile when Aisyah and Anah came. Mama thought it was due to sadness of parting with her many cousins who had been sleeping over for the past few days. Rupa2nya Adik dah 'caught' the virus......

When they came in the morning, Pak Uda, Mak Uda, Kak Teh Naufa and Qayya were already squirming with fever . Ayah Chik Razif came alone as Cik La and kids were already not well. Mak who went home a bit later than others reported that she had to drive all the way to their home in Kota Damansara as Ayah had a high temperature and couldnt possibly drive.

Everybody else seems to pick up from there. Ayah Mat and family, Cik Jah's kids, Mak Su Pah's and even Mama !!

Mak Uda called yesterday inquiring about Tok Ayah and told us how Pak Uda is still not well. Let's pray that their family will be well soon as they are going to have a kenduri kahwin Abang Ngah in 2 weeks time.

That's the characteristic of this fever that everyone seems to succumb. Slow recovery. Maybe it's due to our body being weak after a month long of fasting. The kids loose their appetites and the elders ( me included) are aching all over the body, more so in the leg area . I personally feel my bones rattle and my joints click whenever I move. Got both of them arthralgia and myalgia.

My friend, Dr Noran, thought, instead of normal viral fever, it might be Chikungunya.....sad news is, there is no specific treatment for it.


I guess we all just have to endure it.....patiently, while hoping for rewards from Allah. And may it become the atonement
of our sins.......


Abang and Adik on the 1st shawwal.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

HERE'S HOPING

Ramadhan is leaving us soon....sigh.

Abang's zeal for tarawih somehow fizzles down though not totally out and Adik, on the other hand picks up.

In keeping with sunnah, Abah sometimes do the tarawih at home with us.... and one night, Abang fell asleep in tasyahhud during the first two rakaat. He didnt wake up until we finished the set, Abah recited do'a, cuit dia and he duly collapsed. Hilarious, really. 

After that, Abang would do the tarawih on his own ,sometimes only 2 or 4 rakaats, but never ponteng. And last night, Abang joined Abah's jamaah of i'tikaaf. Alhamdulillah....he has been wanting to do that since last year but mama and Abah were a bit skeptical as he was still prone to bedwetting every now and then at that time.

Both of you were given a some sort of check up list by your school whereby you have to put a tick in the boxes when you do the good deeds such as fasting, do the 5 solats, tadarrus, helping people,speaking nicely etc. It is supposed to be done before you go to bed everynight. But, Adik, true to her style, confidently and boldly put a tick on all the boxes of fasting and solat for everyday of the month, on the very first day the cards were handed!! 

She, of course, got an earful from Mama....

Contrarily, Abang would sit down and ponder and ponder and ponder....especially on the part of ' meninggalkan percakapan sia-sia'. Hemmph....

Few days ago,in the morning, Adik pestered Mama to let her help out as she noticed that the boxes of 'menolong ibubapa' on her card are mostly unticked. There was nothing to do really as we eat very simply, especially during this last 10 days where Abah's not home, away on his i'tikaaf. Mama will only start cooking at 6 pm. The house was still clean , the washing machine was already loaded, so, there's nothing to do....
So, I asked her to write down the shopping list as I was going to do the grocery later.

I dictated, she wrote.

Later, in Tesco, I couldnt help laughing as I pulled it out from my handbag. Neatly numbered and written: fetoochini,fresh milk, chesse, lazaniye sheets, carrots, salary,tofu,tempe, cat food, Preggo tomato pest and lots other misspelt items...I went home and made her do the correction!! hahaha....It's a good thing I was the one doing the shopping, kalau Abah, tak tau la...salary Adik??

Anyways.....

Alhamdulillah, all in all, I notice that both of you seems to understand the spirit of Ramadhan better. Adik even said she's feeling sad that Ramadhan will soon be gone. Though I'm quite sure the sadness will be gone as soon as you meet your cousins tomorrow at Tok Ayah's for berbuka.

Now she understands why, 3 years ago when we spent our last 2 weeks of Ramadhan in the holy lands, people were visibly sad and the mood was generally gloomy when it was announced that the anak bulan syawal had appeared. It was so strange for her and I couldnt make her understand as she was so used to scream ," yay, yay esok raya" upon the announcement by pemegang mohor besar raja2 with other small cousins back home year in, year out. Now, she says, she understands........

In Makkah, 3 years ago, adik was 6 and Abang 8. Both of you fasted fully despite the heat. Adik, seemed like a small girl, kept being offered candies and such by the kind shopkeepers every time we stop to look at their goods. Adik learnt to say, Ana saum....with pride, to the amused gentlemen. 

Abang would follow Abah everywhere and even did the tawaf sunat after zohor with Abah, as there were less people around, and didnt complain of heat at all....such a keberkatan tanah suci I guess.

It was during this time too that Adik gained the title of cucu kesayangan Mak Tok. Mak Tok was not very well most of the time and Adik would always give Mak Tok a massage and forever looking out for her . We would walk in three's. Abah, Tok Ayah and Abang while Mama with Mak Tok and Adik. Mak Tok and Adik would hang on to Mama's telekong. Once while going up from kaabah area to the masjid, a group of BIG Turkish ladies, rempuh us and we were separated and swallowed by the crowd. Adik loudly shouted Mak Tok's name and frantically groping for her hands. When I later asked her, she said, she was not afraid at all, just worried for Mak Tok.....Mak Tok, then, kept telling everyone back home about that incident and kept puji2 Adik la....

In a few days we will celebrate 'Idil Fitri. I hope both of you will keep in mind all your responsibilities as I wouldnt be able to locate you sometimes when all of Tok Ayah's clan gather. So many of us!! So, when prayer times come, please do leave whatever joyous things you are doing with your cousins and go to HIM. Abah and Mama might not be able to find you!! And mind your manners.....especially with the elders. And no fire-crackers, unless Ayah Mer supplies and supervises...

And here's hoping we would be able to undergo another Ramadhan and may it be more fruitful then this one......

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

RAMADHAN UPDATES

So, we are in the 2nd week of Ramadhan.....

So far so good for both of you. No complain of hunger, tiredness whatsoever, Alhamdulillah. Abang has lost a bit of weight as he is not eating as much as when he is not fasting. Nothing to worry about....As for the enthusiasm for tarawikh, Abang shows some improvement, Adik...hemmm, no comment.wink*

Abang was so enthusiastic, that on the first night, he prayed more than 20 raka'ats!!! Rupa2nya silap faham....hehehe...

Few nights before Ramadhan, Abah was telling us how Rasulullah did the tarawikh at home and Sayyidina Umar started to do it in congregation at the mosque during his caliphate. And Abah said something about the choice of doing it in 8's or 20's, and encouraged us to do as much devotion as possible in this blessed month.

Abang did the first night of tarawikh at the mosque with Abah for 20 raka'ats. Back home, he added 20 more as he mistakenly thought 20 means 20 salaams......Mama and abah were wondering while he was praying, ingatkan sembahyang hajat ke apa...

Abang,Abang....you are soooo pure and lurus!!

In the first week, Tok Su was here for a corrective surgery as she was not happy with the outcome of the surgery done on her broken wrist few months ago. Kak Chik came for iv antibiotic course for the infection on her knee and she is still here till the end of the week. We must thank Allah for giving the chance for us to have more pahala by having guests in our home in this blessed month of Ramadhan.

There's only one thing Abah and me want to stress here for both of you, while reminding ourselves.

Contrary to the wide practice everywhere, Ramadhan is not the month of feasting....We will try not to go to any Ramadhan bazaar as, being weak in imaan, it will surely defeat the purpose of fasting which is to fight our nafs. All those arrays of tempting food will make us buy more than our actual need and will then result in wasting and syaitaan will then laugh at us in their shackles. Without them around, we still cannot beat our nafs as we have been nurturing it all year long......

InsyaAllah, we will try to eat as simply as possible. 

Sahur for us has always been like daily breakfast with the same menu like toasts, cereals and the likes. Iftar, sometimes we will have a type of kuih, and sometimes we will just make do with kurma. Alhamdulillah, so far no complain from you.....As for lauks, two dishes are all that I will prepare, one with gravy and the other will be dry, vege is a must. We dont need many dishes....when we are hungry, anything would taste good, even nasi with kicap....which is what the poors usually have most days in their live....something we are fortunate enough not to have to face it.

So, my little darlings, let's make this Ramadhan as beneficial as possible for us....
Let's take as much of the rahmats of this month...
Let's recite as much Qur'an as possible, give away sadaqahs, do good to everyone and most importantly, worship HIM with more sincerity.....

p/s
I promised Abah to khatam 5x in this month.....but as ramadhan just started 2 days ago for me, looks like it is quite impossible....maybe 3x only, ok Bah...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A WEDDING AND TWO HOUSEWARMINGS

The last school break went by like a lightning......

At the beginning of the break, we were so busy furnishing our new condo. Mak Uda and family then 'officiates' it by being the first one to spend the night there. They came home for Abg Long Anas's wedding, who got hitched to Kak Izza, adding yet another MD in our family. Mama and Abah were terribly busy, but, Alhamdulillah, with so many of your cousins balik kampung, you were occupied and happy read didnt bother us.

The condo not quite ready yet as the front grill need to be altered. It may take another couple of weeks before we could hand it to Ridel Hotel to turn it into service apartment. Good news for you as you would still get the chance to use the swimming pool, just in time before Ramadhan. We did the 'housewarming' our way. All four of us did our sembahyang hajat individually and Abah then recited Surah al-Baqarah. It took him over 1 hour to finish it. That's it. May Allah bless this house. (Rasa sayang pulak nak turn it to a rented place. The Kelantan river flows gracefully infront with a breathtaking view and from our window we get the magnificent view of Masjid Muhammadi and Padang Merdeka. Very nice indeed. The bonus is, the mosque is walking distance. It would be nice to do the tarawikh prayers there. Hemmm, I might pujuk Abah to delay the handing over.......)

The wedding took three days, the aqad nikah, the kenduri at Kak Izza's and finally the hectic one at Ayah Mat's. Abg Long and Kak Izza make a handsome couple, bagai pinang di belah dua. Hectic it was because the invitees turnout was overwhelming. Abg Long, being so active in many NGOs and whatnots, have soooo many friends and almost all came!! As for Ayah Mat and Cik Ma, they are known for their very courteous way in dealing with people, thus respected by many and people came to honour them. In droves!!! By 5.30 pm all the food were gone and guests were still pouring!! Mak Uda and Cik Jae the Prof took over Cik Ma's kitchen and emptied the freezer and larder. They expertly turn everything into edible things....Mama, Abah, Kak Aishah, Abg Ngah and many others,one after another, ran to the nearby restaurants and took away their gulais and ayam pedas and tomyams in the big pots and pans. It was hectic alright but no one minded because we all love Abg Long. Yes we did joke about it and warned him not to get married again as we couldnt bear to go through this again.....Abg Long is loved by all uncles and aunties for his good manners and for always being helpful to others.
Here's a picture of the happy couple....

Abg Long Anas Karimi & Dr Nurul Izza

We then took off to KL for yet another kenduri. The housewarming of Cik Lah and Ayah Pa. They are so lucky to get a big bungalow with a stunning view of hills and waterfall!! Imagine sitting on the front porch while listening to the sound of waterfall....blissful!




 Breakfast al fresco in Cik Lah's garden.
                         Drunken sailors in full bloom





 At the nearby waterfall...with Nana.





The kenduri was of the opposite end of the wedding. Lots and lots of food was still there by 7pm. Ayah Pa, always the generous one, ordered too much. There were nasi biryani, nasi dagang and bihun goreng for main dish. The desserts were bubur kacang, tepung pelita, slices of watermelons , jellies and the neighbours brought many others. Almost all invitees turned up but most of them didnt eat much as there were also few other kenduris nearby on the same day. Alhamdulillah, it didnt get wasted just like that as Abah happened to know an Ustaz at the nearby Bukit Beruntung Madrasah. A call was made and some students came over and took the food back to their madrasah and saved us from membazir.

The best part was the gathering of mama's sibling. We got to meet the newly promoted Brig Jen Ayah Long...dah lama tak jumpa dia. Ayah Az just sent Cik Ti as he is on his routine 3 days a month of learning deen. We met Ayah Chik Ju, Pak Uda Firdaus and Ayah Ngah ......it was fun,fun, fun....Mak Tok was ferried from one child's house to another while we spent 2 nights at Mak's and the rest at the new abode of Cik Lah's.

We came home on sunday, meaning you two ponteng 1 school day....and now we are gearing up for the blessed month of Ramadhan. May Allah give us the the taufiq to do as much ibadah as possible to get the 70x rewards for the fardh and the reward of fardh for the sunat ones.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

OF RAIN AND SADAQAH.....

It's been raining everynight lately. Rain is good. We all love rain, especially when it comes pouring down at night time. It makes the night cooler and the morning after, fresher. Plus, we dont need to use air-cond at night....kinder on the electricity bill. And no watering the plants... kinder on my back...

Whenever it rains, I notice that both of you would immediately recite the Rain Prayer. Without me reminding or prompting, as in other occasions such as waking up from sleep or going to sleep for that matter. And lot more others....you know,where I always sound like a broken record!
 But I dont mind that because I'm always hoping to get reward from Allah for teaching good things to my kids. I always do it consciously......

So, when rain comes, you would recite the doa and remind each other should one forgets. And, would immediately say, "Chik Jah taught us this do'a. She said we would be rewarded as much as the raindrops if we recite this do'a." You always always say that....and I AM jealous of Chik Jah!

I must teach you other do'as as much as possible before somebody else teach you and get the rewards for it......hehehe,see how kiasu Mama is!!

Anyway, thanks to Chik Jah for that. May Allah gives you the best reward......

I hope, both of you, Abang and Adik, will always treasure all those do'as and hafadzans that you've been learning since small and make it a practice in your whole lifetime.
I wont be here forever to see to it......
In fact, I'm writing this now so that you could read it in future and be reminded of what Abah and me are hoping from you.

We hope that you'd be successful persons.That's what we are hoping from you. And you know how we define success.....

It's not about whether you will get to be a doctor, engineer , astronaut or in Adik's case, a zoologist. It is about whether you could live this life while at all time obeying the commandments of Allah, stay away from His prohibitions according to the way shown by our beloved prophet Muhammad SAW. That IS success in our book.

Abah and me try as much as we could to instill in you two, the value of the life in the hereafter. Try as we could, we are not always successful as we ourselves are so full of love for this world and the worldly things around us. The fact is, by teaching you, we are actually reminding ourselves. Isn't it great?
So, my darlings, let us be a family that always lovingly reminding each other, ok.
(Adik is doing very well on this. Always very vocal when critisizing Mama especially, hemmm......)

At this moment, you two seems to have some insight of the value of your good deeds.....Recently, we read a hadeeth about how if you recite 100 ayats in one night, you will be rewarded as one who spend the whole night in worship. I then noted, "oh, I just recited surah yaseen tonight, which is only 83 ayats...", a bit sadly.
Later on, Abang came near me and said, 
" Mama, I counted the ayats that I recited tonight and it was nearly 500 ayats. So, Abang nak sedekah kan Mama yang lebih tu so that you could get the reward for reciting 100 ayats". 

It was so sweet and thoughtful of you Abang!! It brought tears to my eyes......you are such a darling.

As for Adik, you are very fond of fasting. You've been doing the puasa sunat even when Mama is not. I just cannot remember fasting the whole of Ramadhan in my tender age, let alone doing the sunat ones. Both of you started to fast the complete month of Ramadhan when you were 6.

Abang always want to do the obligatory prayers at the mosque to get the multiple rewards . Sometimes Mama would discourage you from going....when it looks like the rain is coming and Abah is not around. I was worried that you'll be cycling alone in the dark and anything could happen. But you'll reassure me that Allah will protect you as you are going to His house. You made me ashamed of myself sometimes.....

So, Abang and Adik, please,please dont let anything rob you from these good habits....we must always keep improving ourselves. 

Lets make tomorrow better than today.....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

AZ-ZAIN... AT LAST

Alhamdulillah, Az-zain finally arrived on our shore....and makes my life easier in a way that I dont have to spend so much time reading all those frosty small prints at the back of frozen food wrappers at the supermarket.


Abang,you can now eat the chicken on our table with peace of mind....I hope it makes you happy.


Eversince he reads about the adverse effects on eating mass produced poultry quite some times ago, he has been reluctant to eat chicken. Questioning almost everytime a chicken dish appears(come to think of it, how come you'd never fire any q's when eating kay eff see?) ,"  Mama, ni ayam kampung ke ayam 'bandar'?"  Since it is not easy for mama to get her hands on ayam kampung, Mama is prone to resort to white lies...the answer would usually sounds like," I bought this at a kampung..."(while thanking God that we are actually living a place called kampung even though it is not actually very kampung ) implying that is some sort of ayam kampung....hehehe...sorry Abang. 
I'm sure by the time you are interested enough to read this blog, you would be able to forgive me,kan! As for the time being, you show no interest at all....unlike Adik who would from time to time check out this blog and never fail to declare that it is BORING. Adik!! you are the one who ask me to start blogging in the first place,show some encouragement la...
(she actually said,she could only understand the conversation parts and it is boring because there is no picture at all. I will post some picture once the know-how comes to me...InsyaAllah,by the time you are big enough to really read and appreciate this blog, you will see some pictures as well.)


Anyway....


Mama and Abah are so keen on Az-zain products that we decided to stock up on them...and what better way to do it othen than become a distributor? So,we went out and bought a deep freezer and stocking up. Mama sent out text messages to a group of selected friends,families and neighbours informing them about our new venture. Turn out that they really are supportive and are actually quite well-informed on halalan toyyiban food. So, Alhamdulillah...so far so good. The profit margin is so tiny that Abah said we have to be in business for 10 years before we got back on what we have invested....it was a joke, really. Profits is not our main concern. To be able to have not only halaal but pure food is. 

Az-zain products contains no artificial growth hormones and haraam materials such as hydrolized protein, bloodmeal and porcinemeal. They are also free from synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organism used to intensify production in the normal farm.


One of the bad effects of regularly feeding on this 'artificially' reared animals is early puberty which then will be followed by a series of social problem...being involved with the shelter homes makes me more aware of this. The age of trainees coming in nowadays is getting younger and younger. We even have a thirteen year old.....that's really makes me shiver. And to think that for one reported/discovered case, there would be tens more like it out there....


So, Abang and Adik, we dont want you to grow up faster than you should.....
(i would lose my two staunch admirers who think I'm the most beautiful girl in the world,the best cook ,the best storyteller and the best of everything...you would realise that it is not true once you grow up and out of my wings,huhuhu.....)


p/s
1. thanks to Cik Jah for forwarding the mail informing the arrival of azzain to KB. Nanti balik kelate,maghi la dumoh, kito blanjo make burger yg fat free,msg free and 90% meat.

2. to Adik...i've finally figure out how to add pictures....we start with a photo of Grey and others will come along, tungguuuu!!