30 Sep 2009

Sazlina

I haven't visited Saz for sometime now - first there were my classes at UM then Sasrah came home and then it was Ramadan so now that Raya is over I feel that I must see her again. Its not that I havent thought of her - I have been thinking and feeling guilty that I've not seen her for a while now. Anyway today Shasha and I went over to see her. She hasnt really improved by leaps and bounds, though I must say that she's so much better compared to a few months before. At least now she can walk on her own though she still cant speak clearly. Her father says the neurons that connect speech in the brain are all haywire so that is why she cannot speak clearly. She understands us and knows what she wants to say but can't say them because of this. I felt so sad for her - she cried so much when she cant get us to understand what she wants to say. ITs really a test for her and sometimes I ask myself why she is so unlucky. Unlucky in love and unlucky in life. Poor girl. I told her father that I was going to UK so will not be able to visit in the next few weeks but I will try to see her again soon after I come back from UK.
It seems that very few friends have visited her in the last few weeks and she was feeling depressed. I guess that's the way of the world. When you're healthy and people can get something out of you , you'll have lots of friends. But when you are down and out, like Sazlina, they only see you once and then that's it. They will soon forget. It's been almost a year now that she had the stroke. I hope she will get better soon. I want her to at least get her speech back...

29 Sep 2009

All kinds...








Momo after he was shaved! Poor thing could not balance himself and the other cats hissed at him. They couldn't recognise him without his heavy coat of hair! Even Apin hissed at him. He looked so disoriented and sad....









20 Sep 2009

Idil Fitri

Family portrait without my youngest - Sarah. Taken in Semabok on first day of Raya.

Sometimes I wonder where the time goes - suddenly weeks have just flown by and now in fact its the all ready the first day of Idil Fitri. Today is Idil Fitri - the end of the Muslim month of fasting and abstinence from all things deemed worldly and unpure. I guess that means eating just enough to keep a body going - not over indulging at the breaking of fast, abstaining from impure emotions such as anger, hate, jealousy and envy and so on. The month is a kind of test for us. However, from what I see many of us ( me included) fast for the pleasure of eating all kinds of goodies at the end of the day, which actually beats the concept of Ramadan. Over in the middle east and Pakistan we hear of suicide bombs and shootings and people dying. What would the Prophet (PBUH) say I wonder if he were around. Its rather sad - just as was more or less prophesied on his trip to Heaven and it was said that he asked God to give him 3 boons. The third was that his people be not divided but Allah gave him the two boons except the third. And so it is that until today the Ummah is divided and would always be so until the end of the world.
On the homefront both my sons Rizal and Ridzuan are back. Shasha came on Friday night and Wan and Rizal on Saturday with Pauline and Sophia. She's two now my little grand daughter - a very talkative and cheeky two year old, her face always full of fun and mischief.

Friday was a hectic day with me going grocery shopping to prepare for all the festival goodies - the ketupat, rendang and sambal udang. I had bought the prawns earlier in KL (at the wholesale market) but still had to buy the meat and chicken for the rendang. This year most of my mum in law's relatives will not be coming over since mum has gone back to Semabok. It'll be just mine and Repin's friends and maybe my sisters and brothers.

Saturday was D day - all the cooking was done mainly by Yatie but I had to help of course. That night after the breaking f fast we all turned on the tv to listen to the announcement, but it was more or less already decided. The sighting of the moon would just be for appearances sake. And at 8.30 pm it was announced that Sunday would be Idil Fitri.

At 8pm though it poured. The rain came in sheets - not just a mild drizzle. The takbeer group would continue in spite of the rain but fewer than 30 turned up. I was getting worried when the rain didn't stop after one hour, but luckily towards 10 pm it stopped.
I always feel a pang during the reciting of the Takbeer, welcoming the new month of Syawal and praising of Allah and our prophet, peace be upon him. Visions of raya past fill my mind... I remember those days when both my parents were still alive and the takbeer in Banda Kaba was done by my uncles and other cousins. It was normally a festive occasion with all of us going to each other's houses to wish Id Mubarak. Children would be playing with sparklers, you can hear sounds of the takbeer on the radio in every one's houses and laughter and loud cheerful voices shouting out greetings. Those days have gone forever - they're just memories now. Even when I go back to my village, things are no longer like that anymore. I visited my old aunts - Mami Timah, Mak Esah and Nenek Soyah. Mak can't walk anymore - she has to use a walking stick to help her and Mami is worse. I gave them each a batik sarong and a RM50 angpow. Nothing much really, considering that they're the last of my relatives.

6 Sep 2009

Relaxing in Melaka

Its wonderful being home in Malacca at last. It feels as if we hadn't been back in ages though we did come back last week - just one day. There's so much to do here - weeks of dust to vacuum and so on. Oh yes, Cindy came with the new curtains and they are really pretty. The living room curtains are in apple green stripes with small pink roses and a rose sheer for the dining area. Upstairs Shasha's room is very retro, with bright green polka dots and Sarah's room has pale lilac stripes with pink roses. My room is the only one wthout new curtains. Even the kitchen gets a new one - a sweet pink and green with pictures of cups and kettles with roses printed on them. Looks like the theme is green this year as opposed to the browns and greens of previous years. Outside the garden is bloomimg too. I've added some more roses to my collection and hope these will stand some neglect because I sure can't be here all the time for them.
Ramadan here in Malacca is a peaceful time. Just being in Malacca is enough to banish all our stress. Repin especially gets to relax completely here though his idea of a stress free weekend is to sleep the day away. However he did get up top accompany me to the garden centre where we got more soil and some plants to add to our burgeoning garden. My hibiscus and the canna lillies are really blooming. After cutting off the diseased plants, the new shoots are coming back nicely now.
The week before I visted Yah in Shah Alam and she took Sarah and I for a drive around her housing area. She wanted to show me a special garden - all roses! And it was a real treat. I was so fascinated by the ability of the house owner to plant her roses I rang the door bell. The lady was so generous and friendly. She even shared with us her tips on growing roses - she used fish meal as fertiliser. She said that she bought fresh fish from the market (normally slightly stale 2 day old fish are cheaper she said) and chop them up into small pieces before blending them to make a fish paste. These she would bury inside the soil and around the rose bushes. And the roses really came out looking great!

3 Sep 2009

Ramadan

Its three days since Sarah went back to Russia. At least this time around she got to spend part of Ramadan with us at home. For 4 years she's been fasting in Russia, eating I dont know what. It isn't much but even a week of Ramadan with her at home is better than nothing I guess. Its now well into the second week of Ramadan - probably about 13 days maybe. I never counted actually - just followed the days as they come. Ramadan this year is quieter I feel although the bazaars are still running. I went to Alpha Angle this morning and it was very quiet - the car park was almost empty. Of course there are hundreds of people at the Ramadan bazaar which can be quite claustrophobic, however the malls are almost empty.
Our Ramadan bazaars here in Kuala Lumpur are quite something. Food of all varieties - some you've never seen before, most traditional delicacies and whatever kind of food - Western, Eastern, Asian and whatever - just name it and you can find it here. But of course you have to be wary - not all the food sellers are experienced cooks. In fact many are once in a blue moon cooks - trying to make a quick buck during the Ramadan. For the horde of office workers who throng the bazzaar anything that look interesting and appetising will do! Only the experienced shopper will know the difference between the real sellers and the 'fly by night' sellers.
I haven't managed to do any tarawih prayers yet though we did attend one at OUM the other day. What I really wanted to do was go back to Malacca and stay there for the whole month so that I can attend the prayers every day. But since my husband is here I guess I have to remain in KL, at least until close to Raya.
Today we started baking cookies for the Eid which will be on 20th or 21st of September. I think I'll bake at least 3 types - choc chips, pineapple tarts and Repin's favourite -using ghee. All so unhealthy but oh so delicious.
This raya will be Sophie's first that she will understand. Last year she was only 1 year old and sick with fever. Hopefully she'll be fine this year so that I can see her running around the Malacca house playing.