31 Dec 2007

Last day of 2007

Today is the last day of 2007. I have been at my pc since this morning - finishing the PMR composition book. Now just sitting here, reflecting on the past year.
Well early in the year I was in Mekah, doing my haj. That was an unforgettable time. I was afraid before I went - after all the stories I've heard, of sinners who are not forgiven. I'm grateful - that I was forgiven, both by Him and by Repin. I wish I can go again - this time not for atonement but just to revel in that holiest of holy places, to worship the Almighty and to do all those nafl prayers I missed when I was there. I would like to go to the Masjid Nabawi too, to visit with the Prophet (pbuh) and just sit near his mausoleum and pray.
This year too we got our grand daughter - the irrepressible Sophia Meiyin. I love her so much sometimes it feels like my whole heart is full. I'm grateful to Allah for her - for giving her to her parents and giving her to us. I feel like she completes our life as I'm sure she completes Rizal's and Pohling's too. As you can see from the pictures I posted she is a happy child.
Outside of this tiny space of my life, this year too has been a year of upheavals and political turmoil, both in Malaysia and out. In Malaysia there was the Bersih campaign and the Hindraf protest. Both turned ugly though luckily nobody was seriously injured. I know a lot of people, mostly the young and the cynical, think that the Bersih Campaign is for the good of all and that our polls are clearly corrupt. I disagree with them. Rather - those people I feel had other motives for protesting, and none of them clean. Especially when you hear that Keadilan was at the bottom of the campaign.
Out in the world Pakistan is one country that has had a lot of upheaval in the past few months. Even before Benazir came back to Pakistan that country has been having problems concerning Musharaf's regime. Since her return things went from bad to worse. And now she is dead and I don't know what will happen to Pakistan. I wish the people weren't so volatile, so passionate about things, so violent in their passion. Moderation has its points too.
The world too is in a bad shape environmentally. Global warming has started to show its fangs and Mother Nature seems to be going bonkers with heavy storms and hurricanes all over the world. In Bangladesh and China severe storms and floodings have killed thousands of people. The same went to India, the US and parts of Europe. Is the end of the world really coming soon?
I hope next year things will be better. For us, Repin and I would like to go for our Umrah. I would like to see my children more settled in their lives - Rizal and Pohling with Sophia; Wan and Eliza I hope will really get back together if that is what they want. I think the girls are ok - Sara I hope will distance herself from Neville ;and Shasha - well she is who she is. I think she's happy as she is and happy too at Kinokuniya. I hope that she will continue her Japanese and one day get her dream job in Japan.
Do I have any resolutions for 2008? I wont call them resolutions - because whenever I make any I don't really follow up. But I do hope I will finish reading the Quran (and know its meaning); I hope too that I will pray all the nafl prayers every time, not just the fajar ones. I would ask God to give me patience - for I have never had that quality and I really need it. Repin is not only patient, he's always calm, unlike me. Must be the Pathan side of me.

30 Dec 2007

28 Dec 2007

Benazir

So it's happened finally. Benazir has been assassinated by a person or persons unknown. She was in Rawalpindi campaigning for the upcoming elections when a suicide bomber exploded infront of her. But eyewitnesses also said that they heard two shots at the same time and she was probably dead before the bomb went off. It's really sad and shockingly violent - I wouldn't want my worst enemy to die like that, let alone someone I've admired for some time. But howver shocking it is, I think its hardly surprising. After the last attempt, they all should have been more aware.
I admire her for her beauty, her elegance and style, her arrogance, her quick wit and her courage. It is her courage and fierce loyalty that brought her back to Pakistan even though she knew it may prove fatal.
People have died for her, thousands mourned her death and because of its untimely happening, crowds are going berserk everywhere in Pakistan. Mobs are destroying everything in sight - banks, cars even trains have been burned. The sad thing is that even a mosque was not spared...If Pakistan was on the brink of catastrophe, it has gone over the edge now and I wonder what will happen. Many have pointed fingers at Al Qaida, others at other Muslim extremists. But I think the silent majority are wondering and whispering... is it a conspiracy?

23 Dec 2007

Singapore


Am in Singapore now visiting Rizal and Pohling. Repin, Shasha and I took the express bus from KL - Odyssey. The tickets were not cheap - RM95, but the bus ride was not bad. The seats were wide and there was also plenty of leg room. They even had individual entertainment units - to watch videos or play games. I read instead and passed the journey quite pleasantly. The bus stopped for a few minutes at Pagoh Rest area - see picture - and I think I even nodded off for a while. We were also provided with a light lunch on board, which came as a surprise. It took us about 4 hrs to reach Singapore. Since the bus used the second link, immigration check was a breeze. No queue at all!

This is my first real trip to Singapore since my RELC days! And that was years ago. Singapore has changed and yet much is the same too. I noticed alot of new places, but what I loved best about Singapore is still the same - the greenness, the old buildings that are so well-preserved and the efficiency of its transport system. Aah.. a note - it can't beat Japan where efficient transport system is concerned. There the trains run like clockwork!!

I have gone through various stages of feelings for this country. Once it was just an extension of Malaysia - you could go across as if you were going to the next town or city. Until 1965 that is. Then everything changed - you need a passport to go across - first a 'blue across the border' passport. And now an international one. AAh Singapore - once I loved it like my own hometown. But then it changed hands. It belonged to another who gave it a complete makeover so you did not look anything like the sibling you came from. And then I hated you. After that I thought of you as soulless - but that again has changed. Under the PM Lee Junior I find Singapore more appealing, more personal. There is a depth about it that is so truly Singapore. It has made itself I think into a completely different country that the moment you step into the country - at the border - you are reminded that you are in a foreign land. But I feel at home too so that there is no strangeness at all. The sounds and voices are as in my own country, the people look the same, even the food is the same. And yet it is different too. It has its own identity that is uniquely Singapore.

I really love the way they look after their trees - mostly mature now- looking as if they have been there for centuries instead of only a few decades old. KL wants to be called a garden city, but I think Singapore achieves that effortlessly. Most of the roads are tree-lined, not just young newly planted trees but really old and gnarled ones. There are also lots of flowering plants - hibiscus, bougainvilla, even orchids along most of the roads. In Malaysia when they planted orchids in Shah Alam, after one month most of the orchids had disappeared( guess to where) or had died due to lack of maintenance. Oh I could talk about lack of maintenance till the cows come home but maybe let's just leave it at that.


Rizal's apartment is situated so near the MRT we could walk there. It's also near to the market and there is a mosque nearby. Today we went to Mami Mila's place and visited Mama Hashim. Talking to him and looking at him helping around the house one would hardly think that he has the big C. He is so active and insisted on helping Mami in the kitchen. Later Rizal took Shasha and me to the City Hall shopping centre - its a huge place linked to other shopping centres underground. But when we compare prices in KL I realise that its so expensive inspite of the sale. So ended up not buying anything!


Sophia is getting more and more cheeky these days. Tonight she didn't want to sleep - crying out loudly when her mum tried to put her to bed but smiling cheekily the moment Rizal took her out of the bedroom. That girl can really be cheeky at times. Will post some pictures later after we upload them.

21 Dec 2007

Idil Adha

Yesterday was Idil Adha.
Idil Adha is no longer as fun as it was years ago when both my parents were around. Anyway was just thinking how fast the year went by - last year around this time we were at Mina, preparing to go to the Jamratul to throw the stones at the devil. And now its already a year. Last year we didnt even realise it was Aidil Adha - we were so busy carrying out the different rituals connected to Haj.
Hari raya Haji is no longer "fun" as before. Even a few years ago everyone would come home for the raya - but this year none of my children came home - Wan was too depressed and Shasha had to work, Rizal is in Singapore and Sara of course is in Russia. They say once your children are grown up its easier - I think there are still problems, they're just different ones.
Anyway Saz came down to Malacca so at least I had company. Of course Repin was home too - we all went to Semabok as usual. Adi and his family were there and later Ipah and her family came too. Earlier I was in Banda Kaba - they were all excitedly planning for the family day. Everyone was talking at the top of their voices so I don't really know who is listening. I really wish I could go too - but without my own children what's the use? Wan is still feeling shitty about Elle's refusal to see him. Part of me feel it serves him right for dumping her without any real reason.I think that horrid Chinese girl had a lot to do with this. And I just hope he doesn't go back to her now that Elle doesn't want to see him anymore. Of course my heart aches for him but he should have listened to me.But I guess sometimes behind every thing there is a silver lining - he just can't see it right now. I'll pray that he finds a new girl - a good Muslim.

15 Dec 2007

Sara



Looking at Sarah's pictures on Facebook makes me realise how much I miss my baby.Everytime we have something here I think of her - what is she doing, what is she eating, is she ok? Sometimes I purposely block the feelings not wanting to feel that heaviness deep inside. Its the same with Rizal before when he was at WMU. I guess with firstborns and youngest ones its always like that. Not that I don't love my other two, but theyre always there - at home with me. When I cook something specially nice I always think what Sarah is eating tonight. Poor darling, having to contend with the cold and the foreign land and the studies.It's a long time before we see her again and I really wish she's coming home this winter nstead of going places. But I guess we must let them fly away free - they'll come home soon enough.

12 Dec 2007

Rizal and family



Got some nice photos of Rizal, Poh Ling and Sophia. Just look at that cheeky face!

4 Dec 2007

Melaka

Its been quite a while since I was in Melaka. The last time we went back we hardly spent a day at the house. Too many things going on - kenduri, visits to this and that relative and all kinds of things that could not be avoided unless you don't mind hurting the people you love.
What I want is to spend a whole day here in my home, pottering about in the garden, looking at my pond, pruning my roses. But coming home to Malacca is not just about staying at home, its about visiting my mum in law too. If we dont go over she might get hurt because she's prepared all kinds of food for her son so I guess its ok for me to sacrifice my day at home to be with her.
But oh... how I wish I can just stay home... and read a book, do a spot of gardening and just be myself.