Thursday, April 30, 2009

.: Inspirational words :.

Continuation to
Asma’s tag.

Honestly, I am thrilled with this tag, albeit I am rather uncertain on what is expected from me. Judging from Asma’s post, I reckon I need to list down words that are inspirational to me, hence I give you those words, 10 in all in no order of importance.

  • Sincerity in the extent of opening oneself to another, in doing things without expecting a reward.
  • Believe in God, your beliefs, yourself and having the courage to believe in others and the things that they strive for. The sincere belief that one has on oneself or to another, leads to hope to carry on.
  • Acceptance of the good and the worse, taking it together instead of singling one from the other. Sincerely believing and accepting that the good complements the worse and vice versa.
  • Willpower to attempt the impossible, with earnest effort coupled with belief along with absorbing the outcome of it. Where there’s a will, there is a way.
  • Optimism, even when the going gets tough. For every affliction, there is a possible solution to it. The path is embellished with roses and thorns. Believe that you can overcome it.
  • Persevere under any circumstance. The wait may be insufferable, but the result is worth the entire wait. Behaving over dramatic and surrendering to prejudiced advances will not solve things. The young and the reckless, not.
  • Compassion towards the needy, the old, the young, to mother earth herself. That is the trait that keeps us grounded, above all, humane.
  • Silence that speaks in its own language. Not as a silent treatment, but knowing when it is time to relent. Perhaps wars can be avoided if people will just keep silent, listen and feel the compassion.
  • Life is temporary. The life we have now is a transit section before heading on to the hereafter. We only have one shot to make it right; thus kindly have a bullish life and for crying out loud, do not thrash it. Life is what we make out of it. Aim for a good one, strive for it, and make the change yourself.
  • Love, similar to kindness is the language understood by all. While it crosses boundaries and possesses the ability to move the heavens, mountains and the seas, it can also withstand the challenges throughout the passages of time. Love empowers a filial child to implore to God for the goodness of his/her parents, it is the sole reason why a woman will hold on to her abusive marriage, it is the one sacred feeling that everyone seek from another and it has the optimum force to change the course of one's life.

The world is where I find my loved ones … if they no longer exist, neither does the world …

On the whole, these were taken from a chat log memory I had with a friend not long ago. We were discussing on a few issues, whereby one thing led to another and we ended up having this conversation. I paraphrased and summarized the points into a succinct paragraph to illustrate the words I had listed above. I didn't give much thought when doing this tag, practically prosing the essential aspects that ran through my mind so it may not be treated in a tactful manner. Then again, my meticulousness may bring about possible amendments.

Friend:: How can you remain positive?

Me:: Because with sincerity in doing things, I learn to accept the ups and downs in life in which optimism beckons me to move forward, to persevere underneath the pure madness life has to offer and to continue to have absolute belief that the things that I will for, will happen. Sometimes, when things get too heated up, silence can speak more than words can ever do and when it comes to providing compassion, the whole process repeats itself with love.

Similar to the previous tags, steal this if you favor it. :) But do let me know, so I can enrich myself with your perspectives, and perhaps gain a generous amount of wisdom from it.


Before I end this, did I mention tomorrow is a holiday here? It is! Woohoo~! Tonight, I'll be catching up on Vampire Knight [the anime] Season 1 and Season 2, experiencing the ultimate anime marathon that I have not had for nearly a year! ^^ Zero~! Zero~!


Mass post churning ends. Pheew~!
10.15pm Malaysian Time

.: I believe that I can :.

Courtesy of Asma.

The tag requires me to write 5 things that I believe I am able to do in life …

  • Lead the life that I want. *a living proof of it*
  • Become a better person. *striving towards it*
  • Be sensible, levelheaded and positive at all times. *optimism... good riddance to the entire negative chi clan*
  • Be there when someone close to me needs me the most. *I will make time and find a way to get there*
  • Be everlastingly grateful to Almighty God for the ups and downs. *Alhamdulillah*

Anyone can do this tag. Feel free to snitch it away. :)

Tomorrow is Labour Day!
9.22pm Malaysian Time

.: Special thanks :.

To my beautiful blogging sisters.

Ms. Unique for the 'Companion' and 'One Lovely Blog' Award. *Aww~ sweets!*

Kak Chik for the 'Beautiful Girls' Award. *crikey!*

Keeping with tradition, I shall pass these delightful awards to the lovely people in my list. And brothers, I'm sure there is a 'girl' in you, somewhere. :)

Next tag. :)
9.08pm Malaysian Time

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

.: Vulnerable basis :.

The untouchable.

The man walks aimlessly amid the throngs of industrious people; nearly knocking against the pillars, tripping over stumps and getting rammed by the middling passerby. Trapped in the darkened world that had become a primal part of his life, didn’t anyone notice the state he is in? The flimsy stick that serves as his pair of eyes …

As luck would have it, people are aware. They see him, yet they do not. Each one, anxiously, patiently, waiting for someone to become the savior to this man.

Why hasn’t someone helped him yet?

We’re all in this together, yet why are we all dying of loneliness?

And a soul emerges from the sea of people, takes the man by his arm, and guides him to his destination.

A duplication of this scenario repeats itself almost every week. People rushing to their destinations that they failed to take into account of their surroundings. The ones that do notice choose to look the other way. The compassion, extending aid to the needy, these simple gestures that take less than a miserable fraction of our 24hours have somehow rather died, withered away, lost in our pursuit for something more imperative than doing a good deed or scoring a brownie point.

Muslim women that witness the scene shake their heads in disappointment on the insensitivity reflected by the Muslim men. In contrast, why had they themselves held back in providing the assistance?

Could it be because the blind person, is a man?
9.40pm Malaysian Time

.: The task :.

Months flew by.

Being deeply loved by someone give you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

-Lao Tzu

Some time ago, my good friend gave me an assignment.

Good Friend :: Hajar, in 2 years time you have to find a boyfriend.
Me :: I’m too lazy. Why don’t we raise the stakes to finding a husband?
Good Friend :: Haha~ Well, if you find someone that you like, let him know. Guys are a little slow to notice. :)
Me :: Too complicated. We'll see how it goes. :P

Will I ace or flunk the assignment? I still have about 1 year and uhh … 4-5 months. Honestly, I am flunking since I’m not doing anything about it. Then again, you never know what Allah S.W.T has in store for us. :)

I did mention that my friend has to find a wife too hence, it has now become a race of who gets married first. :)

10.10am Malaysian Time

Sunday, April 26, 2009

.: 美麗的神話 .:

The beautiful myth.

夢中人熟悉的臉孔 你是我守候的溫柔

就算淚水淹沒天地 我不會放手

每一刻孤獨的承受 只因我曾許下承諾

你我之間熟悉的感動 愛就要甦醒

萬世滄桑唯有愛是 永遠的神話

潮起潮落始終不悔 真愛的相約

幾番苦痛的糾纏多 少黑夜掙扎

緊握雙手讓我和你 再也不離分

枕上雪冰封的愛戀 真心相擁才能融解

風中搖曳爐上的火 不滅亦不休

等待花開春去春又來 無情歲月笑我癡狂

心如鋼鐵任世界荒蕪 思念永相隨

悲歡歲月唯有愛是 永遠的神話

誰都沒有遺忘古老 古老的誓言

你的淚水化為漫天 飛舞的彩蝶

愛是翼下之風兩心 相隨自在飛

A memory that is still intact although it has been more than 15 years...

The familiar face in my dreams, is the tenderness that I await...

Even though tears flood the skies and earth, I will never let go...

Every moment passes in loneliness, because I have made a promise...

To my good friend ::

You may not realize the impact those several minutes had on me.
The fact that you said I am still a little girl, at least for that day can be nothing more further than the truth, and I had laughed it off in spite of it. Remembering the past, and brooding over it ... I preached that life has to go on, yet after all those years, this is by far the only memory that I have yet to let go and dare I admit, that the little girl you saw is in actual truth, fragments of the memory that I am still holding on to. The memory that I am forced to find again, during my moments of woe ... the memory that I didn't have a choice, and was the prime factor for causing it ... of me ... 15 years ago ... when the smiles, laughs and joys were directly taken away from me ... in which the little girl in me chose to remain still in time. There can be no words to explicitly describe it, nevertheless, I thank you so much for brightening my day, and always being there for me although we are miles apart.

____________________ ~ ____________________

I guess, no matter what, this little girl will always be a little girl.

8.43am Malaysian Time

Saturday, April 25, 2009

.: Masjid Abdul Rahman Bin Auf :.

Jalan Puchong.

With the exception of Fridays, this beloved mosque is where I go to perform my Zuhr prayers as well as implore to Allah S.W.T when things get a little too heavy for me. A place to reflect the life I am graciously provided with, and be gratified with it. The women's area is separated using removable partitions at the back of the mosque, and the ablution area is extremely spacious with curtains to separate the chambers.

Sekolah Agama Al-Ihsan [Al-Ihsan Religious School] :: This Islamic religious school is situated adjacent to the mosque. On my way back, give or take a quarter to 2pm, the students aged 7 - 12 will begin to gather at the entrance or inside the mosque's compounds before proceeding to the school. They like to run around the compounds, playing hide-and-seek with one another. A great deal of all this reminded me of my time years ago, back in the south.

Memories flooding in.
9.00am Malaysian Time

Friday, April 24, 2009

.: You are it :.

Tagged by Ash Mazelan.

Bold the statements that are true to you. Italicize the statements that you wish were true. Leave the fibs alone. Then, tag 5 people to do the same test.

  • I'm 170cm tall.
  • I don't know what I want at the moment.
  • I'm not happy.
  • I hate my friends.
  • I hate my life.
  • I hate my grades.
  • I can drive. [only automatic]
  • I'm bored of driving. [thankful for the efficient public transportation!]
  • I have a white handbag.
  • I love dancing. [traditional dances]
  • I go clubbing every week.
  • Shopping is bullshit. [frugality issues]
  • I have a tattoo of a star.
  • I got my navel pierced.
  • I have friends that take drugs. [medicine is a drug]
  • 90% of my friends smoke. [this might be true, but out of respect they do not smoke in front of me.]
  • I still hang out with my ex, even though our break up was nasty.
  • I'm studying fashion.
  • I have a business running.
  • I hate cartoons.
  • I hate someone.
  • I have 10 Lollipop handbags. [what's a lollipop handbag?]
  • I buy CLEO every month.
  • My parents don't know about my blog.
  • I have an iPod. [I prefer to eat my apple]
  • I don't have faith in the current "one". [eh]
  • My schoolmates know about my blog.
  • I wanted to be a fashion designer.
  • I love emo rock bands.
  • I hate it when people cancel last minute meet ups.
  • I'm a rebel.
  • I don't believe in love.
  • High school's filled with drama.
  • My parents have faith in me.
  • I've bought shoes this month.
  • A blogger bitched about me before.
  • I hate sports.
  • I heart Italian food.
  • I hate meeting new people.
  • I hate nail polish. [only had it once and I hate it for life]
  • The mother bear gives me hugs.
  • People should start appreciating me.
  • High school was the worst time of my life.
  • I have red hair. [this would be interesting]
  • One Utama is my second home.
  • I'm a guy. [this would be interesting too]
  • I'm scared of my Biology exam which I'm going to face tomorrow.
  • I hate vacations.
  • I believe in long distance relationships.
  • I'm going to get high and smoke weed soon.
  • I've robbed an old lady.
  • I'm starting to like applying make-up.
  • I was a tomboy.
  • At times I think I still am a tomboy.
  • I love bitching about people behind their backs.
  • I still have a best friend. [...]
  • I have a cat.
  • I hate surprise parties. [In reality, I do not exhibit exemplary 'surprise' traits ... I'll have a blur look, say "Ohh ..." and that's it]
  • I hate planning parties.
  • I'm hot.
  • I'm a sinner. [aren't we all?]
  • I've got a DS light.
  • I have a Wii.
  • I can live without music.
  • Video games are a waste of time.
  • I miss the father bear.
  • I love being in love. [ ... coughs ... ]
  • I know how to cook. [I love food]
  • I have 100% freedom. [but I clip my own wings]
  • Boys are assholes.
  • I hate Math. [not when it comes to governing my finances]
  • I'm happy with what I have. [Alhamdulillah. :)]
  • I love horror films. [care to recommend some good ones?]
  • I slept in my parents' room for 3 days after watching Scream when I was a kid. [I actually laughed at Scream ... psychotic behavior?]
  • My old friends keep in touch with me. [Hail technology advances!]
  • I don't read newspapers.
  • The news is such a waste of time.
  • Blogging is a waste of time.
  • I hate animals.
  • I can't live without make-up.
  • I curse like a pirate.
  • I'm happy with my 11 year old car.
  • I hate people that are smart.
  • I love Orange juice.
  • I can't drink for nuts.
  • I believe that everyone in their teens have lost their virginity.
  • I've got a new phone.
  • I'm going to get a new pair of shoes by the end of this month.
  • I love swimming. [I can't even float or do a wimpy dog paddle!]
  • I haven't worked out since March. [make it forever]
  • I think I'm fat. [seems like only my face is becoming rounder]
  • I love my friends and family. [:D]

Tagging anyone that reads this. :)

I broke away from my gaming addiction 4 years ago. The only console I still have is Gameboy Micro. Work made me put a halt in this area, along with my anime and manga dependence. Mum, upon knowing this drastic surety gave the impression of exceptional delight. The beauty is, afterward, I start to see and appreciate the little things that I had failed to notice beforehand. Like taking casual strolls, speaking to a neighbor, listening to the jibber jabbers from the birds, chasing the pesky squirrels, or having breakfast.

On the final point, I intend to reword it as "
I love my family and friends"; in order of importance. Family here is not restricted to blood ties. If I say 'You will always have a family in me', that radical statement brings tremendous weight. One that will ultimately change my course in life, if need to be. And as weird as it may sound, I have a ranking system on how far I will go for someone.

The beginning of another great day.

10.30am Malaysian time

Monday, April 20, 2009

.: Fifth lesson :.

Done a test.

New Teacher:: What is your name?
Me:: Hajar.
New Teacher:: Hajar? *scribbles my name in Arabic at the whiteboard* Hajar?
Me:: Yeah. *does he have a problem with my name?* My name is Hajar.
New Teacher:: It is Haajar. :)
Me:: Haajar. :)
New Teacher:: *:) starts explaining to the class* Haajar is a very very old Egyptian name...

Since kindergarten, I had grasped the idea that people are bound to mispronounce my name. I’ll introduce myself as Haajar, but they’ll end up with Hajar, Aja, Ja, and to cut this short, they just never call me Haajar. I figured that it must have been agonizing for these people; therefore I localized my name to suit their pronunciation to plain ole Hajar.

Took just about 19 years of my life till an outsider eventually got it right whereby the only ones that made justice to it are my Middle Eastern friends. As on that day, I wasn’t focused on my Arabic class, I had somehow rather neglected the fact that my new teacher is a Middle Easterner. I only snapped out of my trance when he accentuated the “Haa”. Nevertheless, the blame can’t be placed entirely on me as he sporadically slips in Malay words in the lessons; resulting to the off track moments.

My previous teacher *the one that picked on me, and still does when he has the time* is now occupied with the level-2 students, so the new teacher stands-in. If I associate my previous teacher as Santa Claus, sis dubs the new teacher as the BFG [Big Friendly Giant]. *coughs ... what are the likelihoods eh? coughs*

He is extremely particular in pronunciation.

New Teacher:: Quiet brothers. Let the sister speak. :)
Me:: --- Uttered an Arabic word.
New Teacher:: No no no. You need to put your tongue out.
Me:: I did.
New Teacher:: You did? But I don’t see it. :)
Me:: I did. *awkward, awkward moments*
New Teacher:: Ok ok. Then say it again. :)
Me:: --- Arabic word, take 2.
New Teacher:: Try to do this. *starts making a hissing sound*
Me:: --- Did a pathetic attempt at it. Sounded like an intersection of an asthmatic attack, and a pup whimpering for mercy. One of the gags of the day for the class.
New Teacher:: LoL~ No no. You have to put your tongue out, leave a little space to allow the wind to come out between your tongue and your teeth. :)
Me:: I did. I can’t do it. *more of, I won’t do it, but why risk an argument or explanation?*
Sis:: Put your tongue out.
Me:: I can’t. :(
New Teacher:: Ok ok. You’ll practice at home ok.:)

Couple of hours after reaching home.

Sis:: Mum, little sister refused to stick her tongue out when the new teacher wanted her to pronounce the words.
Me:: I did! The tip of my tongue was out.
Sis:: You have to stick it out more. Like this! I stuck out my tongue when he asked me.
Me:: That is just rude. Mum always say we’re not supposed to stick out our tongues. It is disrespectful and he’s a teacher. Even if the culture permits it or the language requires it … I will not condone it in the presence of people. Period.
Mum:: :)

Dang! I miss Santa.

10.55am Malaysian Time

Sunday, April 19, 2009

.: Fair-weather voyage :.

One or two moons ago.

The lady motioned to the man, only to be further ignored by him. She will not accept such ignorance. She called out to him. The man turned around, and faced her. She felt relieved. As she was about to say something, the man turned his back to her and proceeded into the lift, shutting the doors as she was coming right at him. The lady was devastated, till …

It was getting too depressing that I just had to step into the drama.

To cut to the chase, the lady came with her family. Her husband held the Malaysia public transportation map, took a wrong turn and landed himself at the interstate platform. Lady asked the man; the train officer for directions to the intercity rail. As the story unfolds, he left her without uttering a word.

In an effort to salvage whatever Malaysian grace, pride or dignity left, that was where I came in. I had time therefore I offered to guide her and her family, to which she declined because her husband has the map. Understandably, I gave her a rough guide and bade farewell the moment I caught sight of her husband. *a lost man that refuses to admit he’s lost may be agitated on the slightest obvious living thing*

Call it fate; we bumped into each other again. The lady called out to me and said thanks. Her husband was still focused on the map. Perhaps it’s a Venus thing. I sensed they were still lost, so I pointed her to the correct direction. On the other hand, she pointed at her husband, shook her head, threw up her arms and heaved a big sigh.

I smiled, shrugged my shoulders, waved and walked away.

Better to be lost than to ask for directions, eh?
5.21pm Malaysian Time

Thursday, April 16, 2009

.: Trail of mystification:.

When things became sidetracked …

This morning, as I was walking to work, I looked up to the sky, bewildered at its vastness … figured how little I am … it was then I questioned myself … a question that I had wanted to ask for months ... cringed at the thought alone ... did I make the right choice?

Or should I make another one to make it right again?

Am I moving too fast?

Is the challenge I sought for becoming unbearable?

Should the mind pay more attention to what the heart is saying all along?

Doing the impossible … Thinking of the impossible ... Believing in the impossible ...

Where has all the positive elements gone to?

Am I losing my confidence, my drive, my aim, my principles?

That was when God sent a guy to cut pass me with these words on the back of his t-shirt …

Anything is possible.

As long as you have faith in Him” whispers the mind and the heart in unison …
12.18noon Malaysian Time

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

.: Sinking indulgence :.

A sweet deal.

Family gatherings are a norm in my present household, it being held no less than every fortnight. Occasionally when I am aware of possible assemblies and I happen to be outside, it is likely for me to purchase food for the kids. The choice rely on where I was at the moment; ranging from chocolates to pastries; stuff that kids and adults *coughs* would die for.

Little cousin:: Ooohhh~ You bought doughnuts with the icings, cute little deco and stuff!
Me:: LoL~ It’s just doughtnuts.
Little cousin:: But these are the expensive doughtnuts! Oooohhh~!

Dunkin Donuts never strike to me as expensive. In contrast, J.Co, Big Apple and Krispy Kreme doughnuts are a tad bit pricier, but I consider it as reasonably priced. These little kids, whom are barely 7 thinks differently.

Things which I perceived as affordable are in fact a luxury to them. Quite a number of my belongings have been under the kids’ spotlight since the first day they set their eyes on it and the two things they can never get enough of is my computer and digital camera. With eyes literally transfixed on the computer screen, spell bounded by the screen saver and utterly enthralled by the images they captured with the camera; how is it possible for me to refuse them to savor this ounce of luxury?

Recently, they went through our larder, spotting containers filled with pasta and packages scrawled in foreign language, went totally ballistic with the ‘Ooohhhss’ and ‘Aaahhhss’ expressions before ending it with “You eat expensive food!”. The words may be words of curiosity, innocence, or sheer envy; whichever it is, by some means had provided me a realization to keep both of my feet on the ground, to be appreciative with what I am fortunately blessed with and to share it with the ones that need it more than I do.

Little cousin:: She’s back! Did you buy something for us?
Me:: Are you here to see me or to get something from me?
Little cousin:: To see you!
Me:: Good to hear that. :) I’m sorry cos’ I didn’t get you guys something.
Little cousin:: It’s alright! Seeing you is more than enough. :)

There are lessons that we can learn from kids. As a matter of fact, I’ve gathered that those lessons seen from their perspective are pure, untainted, and genuine. A world where they can be anything they want to be, and truly believe they will be.

Just got my Daruma card.
12.47 noon, Malaysian Time

Saturday, April 11, 2009

.: Scarlet labyrinth :.

Uncovering the identity.

Previous post; Crossing Borders dealt with the Malaysian hujjaj's travel pack along with the things obtained throughout the Hajj journey. As promised, here is a continuation of the article in aiding readers to distinguish a Malaysian hujjaj with another.

Typically, all Malaysian hujjaj will have these items with them. We were advised, not to mention also required to have these with us at all times. Even in the hotel.

Left to right::

  1. Steel bangle with the bearer's name, identification number inscribed on one side and the alternate side has the bearer's country and Hajj authority contact number.
  2. Travel sling bag - For each place that we go to; Medina, Muzdalifah, Arafah, Mina and Mecca we were given labels to stick on the sling bag and our ID tag; markings primarily for quick identification. Labels consist of i.e. name, flight number, serial number, passport number, camp number, hotel name, room number, bus number information.
  3. ID tag - In case you're wondering why my ID tag is blank, it's because we have another ID tag which I'm unable to publish here cos' it has my photo in it. That, plus the details of my Hajj account number and medical history [allergies, blood type etc.]
  4. Medical record book - Malaysia has its own medical facilities in Mecca; Aziziah Hospital and Syisyah Medical Centre thus, patients that have chronic ailments are often sent there instead of the Saudi hospitals. However, each KT or group has their own medical team. The book serves as a concise medical record book comprising details of appointments, medicine prescribed, comments etc. Extremely beneficial for those referred to a Saudi hospital or is required to obtain medication from the pharmacies. Soon after my Muzdalifah experience, I had 6 recorded clinical appointments, consuming 24 different types of medication in a span of 21 days, therefore I became adept in the medical terms and reading the doctors' hand writings. *an accidental case of cursive meets awfully ugly scrawls*
In spite of having these items as a precautionary exercise, there were cases of missing people then, though things weren't blown out of proportion. Alhamdulillah, the cases reported were handled well. The things proved to be effective in assisting the authorities to resolve it efficiently.

How to spot a Malaysian hujjaj if they don't bring any of these things with them?

Fairly easier to recognize the women because the majority will wear the white telekung [our prayer clothes] with ماليزيا sewn. On the other hand, the men sometimes wear the Baju Melayu top, or some kind of head gear [kopiah, songkok]. Some people create their own identification i.e. wearing different colored telekung, sew ribbons or flowers, or just put each other on an invisible leash. There are absolutely no problems in figuring out the Malaysian Hajj authorities as they are required to wear a blue colored jacket with the words "Tabung Haji"; literally means 'Hajj Savings' written at the back so we can spot them miles away. They're almost always nearby, scouring the areas in search of lost Malaysian hujjaj. I was approached by quite a number of them, commonly asking me "Do you know your way back?", "Don't you think you have strayed far enough?', and "Where are you going?". If you still encounter problems, try asking the vendors. They are exceptionally good in spotting Malaysians.

A bunch of other stuff that I retrieved from my Hajj travels chest.

Left to right:: A pamphlet from a Saudi medical centre, an empty bottle of zamzam water given by the Zamazemah United Office *garbage to you may be perceived as a treasure to me; given the opportunity, yes, I can be sentimentally unsound*, Hajj Graphical Chronological Events Guide, maps of Medina and Mecca, Panduan Kesihatan Jemaah Haji [Hujjaj Health Guide], a book collected at Jabal Rahmah, stoning of the Jamarats schedule, a compendium obtained at the departure gates of King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah and the flashlights given by my uncle to use in Muzdalifah.

Journal entries.
9.33am Malaysian Time

Thursday, April 9, 2009

.: Portrait of a marriage :.

The life of two.

Quite a number of Muslim brothers had this as their status updates;

Earlier I said it is easy to find a job and hard to find a wife but now both are hard due to Global financial crises!

Alternatively, in the real world, I’m surrounded by workaholics thus our conversations are more or less centered on work whereas sister blogs are more inclined to discuss on marriage issues. Tonnes of posts elsewhere discussed on mahr, dower, bride price, marriage ceremonies etc. Lisa’s entry; Islam's Perfect Wife Maintenance: Make Your Own Money And Marry Someone Funny sets the gears running, and I took it upon myself to extract the gist out of it coupled with paltry additions.

Wife maintenance; the wife is supported by her husband on what is required from him.

“but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis”

Al-Baqarah 2:233

The focal point then was, does the exact practice suit our present situation?

Before I make my elongated entry, this is not a personal experience as I am not married to anyone besides my job *this is besides the point, but I agree on her title*. Furthermore, I won’t be sharing my opinions much as I will only be repeating myself. *figured it doesn’t hurt for people to go-over Lisa’s insightful entry and READ*

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading remarks from sisters on their viewpoints. Brothers almost never post about this, except on the mahr. I suppose they’re preoccupied with piling their stash for a ridiculously imposed rate, and the whole idea of wife maintenance falling snugly on their shoulders, backs, and wherever that is appropriate *it comes as a package deal*.

If I were to see this from a solid ground perspective *coughs*, Malaysian mahr rate is not fixed; usually below 100. *unless you're referring to the princesses that can fetch up to 2.5k* It’s the “wang hantaran”; bride price/extra monies that cause the heartburn. Of course typically one has to include the engagement, the ceremony, yadaa yadaa yadaa coming close to 50k, if you’re lucky. *not inclusive of honeymoon, pre-bachelor/bachelorette party yadaa yadaa and more yadaa blah* A cousin that used to work in a bank disclosed that the majority sought personal loans for marriage. Not kidding.

Stuff that real world friends and relations had on marriage …

  1. Get married to someone who’s near. The nearer, the better. You cut down on lots of stuff.
  2. Find someone rich. Make it bloody rich.
  3. A foreigner is fine as long as he has the 2nd criteria. A twofold bonus if the exchange rate is higher.

While the only thing I see in common here is, $, has it really overtaken our lives? Years ago when my brother got married, mum envisioned the weddings of her daughters. I believe her heart skipped a heartbeat when I said I’ll have nothing of the sorts, strictly adhering on what I think is necessary and that I shall have no qualms in slashing the preventable expenditures myself, shredding to its bare essentials despite husband-to-be is filthy stinking rich, idolizes me to the max, and willingly showering all his wealth upon me. *Frugal, frugal behavior* Seems like henceforth I’ll withdraw from mentioning anything on myself, as this is far from being a “Confessions of a Frugal Series Episode 1” or “I am up for grabs” blog entry.

Reverting back to reality, one of the discussions I had with friends was, how low were they willing to go for their “wang hantaran”? *I was bored* The lowest I could haggle was 5k. *haggling … is an art that I am clueless in* If there are any decent single brothers that are in search of an appropriate candidate and agreeable to fork out 5k, I can suggest a couple of decent sisters that fit the bill. To the decent sisters, you may try sending in your applications to this brother here. *coughs*

Note:: The link above is obviously an April Fool’s Day prank, but hey, it’s an innovation really. *I did not apply* By the way, no promises that my matchmaking prowess will lead to a happy ending.

Weddings these days have certainly become over the top. Outdoing one another, overdoing it with the glitz, processions, performances [ghazals, kompang *small drum*, dancing, traditional martial arts etc.], decorations, dee jays, dedications, even karaoke sessions … akin to attending a parade…

Reiterating the statement I left at Lisa’s blog…

I’d much rather choose someone that chases after Jannah than a chunk of metal.

Metal gets rusty over time.
9.49am Malaysian Time

Monday, April 6, 2009

.: Midsummer night's dream :.

Robin Goodfellow;
a dream "past the wit of a man".

Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before, milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.

There I was, sitting in front of the mirror, all alone in the room. Crackles of sheer laughter emancipated from every nook and cranny of the house.

Mum:: It’s time.
Me:: I can’t go through this.
Mum:: What do you mean? You’re already engaged to him, and you can’t possibly bail out in the last minute.
Me :: I just can’t.
Mum :: I don’t understand.
Me :: I’m waiting for someone …
Mum :: LoL~ He’s out there already.
Me :: Not him. Someone else…
Mum :: You can’t be serious… Who is he?
Me :: I don’t know…
Mum :: When will he come?
Me :: I don’t know…
Mum :: Then why are you so sure he’ll come?
Me :: I just know…
Mum :: What if he never comes?
Me :: He will…
Mum :: Be sensible. He might not come at all.
Me :: He will…
Mum :: Why do you think so?
Me :: I know so…
Mum :: What if you wait for him but he never comes? You will regret it.
Me :: Mum, he will come … even if it means I’ll have to wait at the gates of the other world … eventually … he will …

And I woke up.

With eyes half opened, hands scrambling for the spectacles in the pitch darkness, couldn’t find it, muttered garbled nonsense, grabbed the cell, fumbled with it, squinted, saw it was nearly 4am, continued the senseless nonsense and crept back to sleep seconds later. :P

First thing in the morning, I related the dream to my sis, minus out a bulk of the conversation summing that I was firm with mum on the waiting part. Ironically, sis had a similar dream. Difference was, she married the person.

Sis :: You’re such a liar! You’re not waiting for anyone!

Or am I?

Fast forward. My friend said that I’d fallen sick ‘cos I’ve been neglecting my health due to work…

Surely when one is committed to something, one will do its best at it even at the expense of one’s own health … is it not?

In an attempt to deviate from the aforesaid contents, *coughs* it had been almost a month since my body clock automatically wakes itself up at precisely 2am. I have not programmed myself to do so. No matter how early or late I retire to bed, I will wake up at 2am on the dot.

So I concocted this conclusion after contemplating on it …

"How many more nights till you realize that God is giving you the chance to do the voluntary night prayers you had wanted to do so badly? Get on with it already!"

Note :: Some of the context posted are massively layered with obscured meanings. *coughs* Although the head is still spinning a little with mild coughs breaking out once or twice, Alhamdulillah, I am well again. Thanks. :)

3.47pm Malaysian Time

.: Magnified elements :.

Gripped by a fundamental question.

You’d think that staying in a Muslim populous country would be a smooth sailing feat in enriching yourself further in the quest of Islamic knowledge …

Think again ...

  • Not so when you don’t have many practicing Muslim friends *that still lives in Malaysia* to begin with …
  • Trips to Islamic institutions greets you with "Are you a revert?" or “Do you want to convert someone?" or "Why do you have questions?"
  • Unknown people saying “Judging from your dressing, you must be a student from the Islamic University.” *so yeah, that’s a random statement … only happens when I’m in my traditional attire*
  • Just about all of the programs held use Malay as the main medium. *sometimes I have comprehension disabilities… took me 1 bloody week to translate a 4-page government form for my expatriate friend to extend his visa. I am boldly admitting that my Malay proficiency is not on par with the general public.*
  • Some of the programs are held in places that I am unfamiliar with or requires me to cover quite a distance. Currently in the process of sorting it out.
  • Odd, odd looks and speeches coming from random people when you at long last get the appropriate time to attend a halaqah or Islamic talk ... *what's with the casual marriage, family digging talk anyway?*

Life itself is not easy as pie. *coughs* There are perks beneath each tight spot, therefore it is really up to us to bring out the best of things and taking it as one heck of a remarkably worthwhile journey. The abundant existence of other alternatives help tremendously in one's pursuit of knowledge.

The only thing that sort of depresses me is when in the name of goodwill, we advise people on their actions base on the amount of understanding and knowledge we have acquired but the consequence places people to counteract in an aggressive defensive manner even though things are clear enough that it is wrong.

There was a statement … "You start to think people will only take you seriously if you’re over the age of 25 and have a job. "

Sadly, that is not the case.
2.58pm Malaysian Time

Friday, April 3, 2009

.: Putu lady :.

Rain or shine.

You know you can count on her for those delectable fares.

Couple of months ago was the first time I saw her. Instantaneously, I was fascinated with her warm and bubbly nature. Not much of a putu eater, I only bought it twice. On my third purchase, after a 2 weeks absence on my side, she smiled at me and said …

It’s been a long time since I last saw you. Were you ill?

Then it downed on me that I may have made her concerned on my whereabouts during my hiatus. The fact that she remembers me together with the worried expression she had on her face left an unpleasant feeling inside, thus I try to pay her courtesy calls every now and then.

On that day, I told her frankly that I hardly eat putu, hence I won’t be able to purchase it that often. She asked whether I can eat any other Indian fare. *she had to bring up a topic that I can discuss at wits end* My response, a definite yes. She threw me a smile, wherein the next subsequent days she kept some of her other Indian fares for me. *I didn’t know she was selling anything else besides putu*

Today, I bought some putu mayam after close to 1 month of not seeing her.

I'm giving you extra since you're my special customer. :)

She's seriously feeding me well, and I am more than obliged to entertain her with that. :) To this point, I never get the chance to ask her name.


:: Addendum Apr. 5th 8.12am ::

Thank you Sister Serendipituouslife for bringing this up. :)

I've somehow rather missed out on mentioning what Putu is. Base on my knowledge, Putu itself means a kind of steamed cake/muffin or unleavened bread. Putu is made from rice flour, mixed with water or coconut milk. Depending on the variation; i.e. Putu Mayam [vermicelli-like], Putu Piring [small saucer], Putu Bambu [bamboo], the dough is steamed with or without the moulds. Screwpine leaves or juice are sometimes added in the water for steaming as an aromatic natural flavor enhancer. Normally, it is eaten with freshly grated coconut and jaggery [unrefined sugar; varying from golden brown to dark brown in color].
The jaggery are often substituted with gula melaka [coconut palm sugar], gula kabung/nau [palm sugar] or gur [date palm sugar]. With regards to the texture, Putu Mayam is lacey-like, Putu Piring has a soft almost cottony-like texture while the Putu Bambu is quite brittle.

There are other varieties of Putu i.e. Putu Tegar, Putu Ayu, Kueh Putu etc. but I'm only mentioning the common ones. In Malaysia, typically the Putu Piring and Putu Bambu have the jaggery stuffed inside the dough; often cooked/sold by Indians, Malays and Chinese. So far, I've only seen white or yellow colored versions of it, and I have never made it myself. Just the observer. :P

The picture above is the Putu Bambu, minus the sweet stuffing which is served at the sides. Hope this helps the readers to have a better understanding of what Putu is. :)

Note:: Putu Bambu can be savory or sweet. The sweet one is as described above, though if you exclude the sweet stuffing, it can be taken with curry. In Indonesia, the sweet version of the Putu Bambu is known as Kueh Putu.


Once more, thanks to everyone for the well wishes. I'm still recovering from the nasty flu, and I really think that I should exclude the gross details. Things are becoming better, Alhamdulillah, with me not falling rock bottom.

Scuttles for her ghastly medication.
10.15pm Malaysian Time

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

.: Kitchen series :.

4th day.

Of being confined in bed. Alhamdulillah, the stifling viral fever have subsided a little and I'm finally able to move around *in a semi-comatouse state*, dragging myself away from the comforts of the bed, pillows and blankets. Loads of gratitude to the ones that sent me messages to my cell, FB and email. To the ones that called, and I didn't pick up, sorry. The medication made me delusional, unable to distinguish whether the phone is really ringing or it's all in my head. Insya'Allah, I'll return the calls @ well wishes once I'm better.


In case people think that I haven't been in the kitchen ... :P
  • Pai Tee [Top Hats] :: Incredibly time-consuming to make. The Pai Tee casings [top hats] are made using metal molds. Normally, the fillings comprise of julienned jicama, carrot, and chopped shrimps. My aunt decided to break from the norm, suggesting to have beef and mixed vegetables instead. Took me nearly 2 hours just to finish frying the 'hats'. Anyway, it's great as hor’deurves.
  • Cucur Jagung [Corn fritters] :: Aunt found this recipe in one of her Indonesian recipe books, hence we tried it out. The ingredients are similar to the standard cekodok ikan bilis [Anchovy fritters], substituting the ikan bilis [anchovy] with jagung [corn] and chili.
  • Stir-fried Vegetables.
  • Sweet Bean Pau [Chinese:: 豆沙包 Pin Yin:: dòushābāo Hokkien:: tāu-se-pau] :: Steamed bun filled with sweet bean paste. Sometimes we have this for breakfast or tea.
  • Pistachio cake :: The original recipe calls for peanuts. There weren't any so I replaced it with pistachios. Dad said it tasted like something from his childhood. *it's uncommon for dad to complement like so* Needless to say, it only lasted 2 days.
  • Ubi Kayu Rebus [Boiled Tapioca] :: Super simple dish. Boil tapioca and sprinkle sugar on top. Mum used to mash this for us.
  • Fried Tang Yuan [Chinese:: 汤圆 Pin Yin:: tāngyuán]:: Made from glutinous rice flour. These were filled with sweet bean, boiled, coated with sesame and fried till golden brown. Usually Tang Yuan is eaten during the Lantern Festival, served in sweet soups or boiling water instead of frying.
  • Stir-fried Vegetables.

Mother nature have been playing games in the sense that on certain days we are blessed with downpours for all those puddle sploshing sessions, with other days being sunny and breezy for kite-flying. *yes, you can see kites in KL*

Aunt and mum do most of the cooking, but sometimes they get me to do a part of it. I dictate simple, easy, quick as well as healthy and good cooking so of late I've been dabbling with stir fries to complement the dishes. *stir fries are healthy?* As a matter of fact, yes. Although my posts beforehand are more of me baking, my forte is actually on stir fries. I won't be sharing a recipe on that though. :)

The one I'm sharing is one of the base soups for Tang Yuan; sweet bean soup known as tong sui [sweet soup]. A basic sweet bean soup comprises of 30grams rock sugar, 100grams red beans [red azuki beans], 6-8 cups of water and screwpine leaves. I cook by instinct *mum doesn't use measuring cups* so I'm roughly estimating the amount. The amount really depends on how thick or sweet you want the soup to be. Soften the beans by boiling it with water and screwpine leaves for 45mins till 1hour. Once softened, add in the rock sugar, cook till dissolved, discard the screwpine leaves and serve hot or cold with or without the glutinous rice balls. Thin the soup if the consistency is too viscous. Variations can be made by including orange rinds, lotus seeds, lotus roots, lily bulbs, longan seeds etc. or using brown sugar, artificial sweetener etc. topping off with crushed peanuts. :)

Best be off to make barley drinks, the best option for hot days and cooling off one's fever.

Work starts again tomorrow. :)
12.41noon Malaysian Time

.: Shadow play :.

Earth hour Malaysia.

Enshrouded by the darkness

Encased in isolation

Despite it all

A flicker of hope

Burns brightly in the corner

Hand shadow illusions.
10.57am Malaysian Time