Friday, October 31, 2008

.: Over the moon :.

Life is a bliss.

At long last, I have received my precious connection! *whoopie! starts throwing confetti everywhere* Alhamdulillah. For the whole week, I had to endure the agonizing anguish of using a thy that shall not be mentioned sickeningly sluggish connection. *no more! no more!* The atrociousness is unspeakably sinister. *and my blog is supposed to be child friendly ... coughs* All that's left now is to find the time to savour it.

Thank you Lee!!!

"... I shall jump over the Moon for Joy!"

Charles Molloy's The Coquet, or, The English Chevalier, 1718

Hey diddle diddle?
2.44pm Malaysian Time

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

.: Wedding bells :.

Not mine.

Few days back, I managed to have a brief chat with a friend in Saudi. He's getting married! *sure, I've known this piece of news since I came back from Hajj, but this is for real!* It's only going to be next Jan, yet I can't resist being happy for him. ^ So like promised, I asked him to give me his address so that I can send over his wedding gift. Did not expect to get a Pakistan address. Should have asked him whether he's relocating back there for good. Somehow, I have a feeling the address is incomplete. Need to reconfirm it next time I see him online.

The only thing I have to figure out is, what do I give him? It's not like I have friends that have gotten married before. Given that he is my sister's adopted lil' brother, I suppose I'll have her pinching in some ideas. He's her adopted lil' bro. however I'm the one that keep tabs on him. *what?* Her reasoning is that I can understand what he's talking about. I have to admit, his English isn't that super. You have to give him credit for trying though.

It was quite funny how my sister adopted him. Her statement was something like this.

"You, become my little brother. Ok? You come to Malaysia, we take care of you."

As far as I know, my sis is not the kind to take immediate liking to someone. It must be because he's always smiling plus the fact that he looks like my cousin when he was a toddler. Even my mum likes him. They were saying how cute he is, and I do not deny that. Each time I see him, I have this urge to slap him unconscious. *I can be so sadistic at times. If I say that I feel like slapping you, chances are I find you cute. :)* Throughout our stay there, he helped us a great deal. There are other instances that are worth mentioning about, I'll leave that for later.

But it was sweet. :)
1.38pm Malaysian Time

Sunday, October 26, 2008

.: Festival of lights :.

Colors of Rangoli.

Been seriously caught up with the offline world.

Nonetheless, here's wishing to all Hindus a tremendously Happy Deepavali!
May it be a glorious celebration among family and friends. ^^

Have a blast. :)
1.39pm Malaysian Time

Thursday, October 23, 2008

.: Last vestige :.

The paragons.

You most probably have seen me running around, armed with a camera and erratically snapping your candid photos only to gleefully scurry away moments before you can even say "Halt!". *candid shots are always best*

Exiting in an untimely manner, I may not have the chance to personally thank all of you. By now, you guys would have gotten my email. For the ones that didn't, it was unintentional plus do relay my message to them. Here are the contents with minor alterations. Hereafter, kindly obtain my contact info from Sheila or Ms. Go. :)

Can't possibly mention all, so I'll list down the dept. and misc. entities that I'll be missing in no order of importance. Deep down, I can't thank you guys enough.

PMO - INSO - CIOCCD - GAO - FOBA - FOCIT - FOLA - FOEAT - FAS- AO - BNG - CAE - CITS - COPS - ACA - CCC - ELC - EXAM - FO - QAO - HRO - IGET - IMO - IO - LIB - OAR - ORD - SAH - SAO - SSD - SCU - SEC - STCM - GEC - GPO [Group President's Office] - PO [President's Office]

Not forgetting the people at ICSJ, SBN, INTImart, Dining Hall, Cafeteria, Bakery, Photoshop, Printing Shop, Sidewalk plus neighbouring establisments; Al-Salam, Times and Roswell.

Guilty of perjury. I just have to mention these people.
KK:: Taiko! When are you and Debbie having your housewarming? *hint*

Jess:: Thanks for all the advices brother. I owe you. :)

Sheila:: Lunch partner no more. Haven't tasted ur cooking in ages. *hint hint* Tell Vicky, all the best. :)

Mr. Ng:: Let's go hiking to Gunung Ansi and Bukit Melati! :)

Yun Ii:: Moi. No more dinner partner. :( Btw, I sent to you know who. :)

Eliz:: Vege food ... tau sa pia ... :(

Yean:: Gonna miss ur tong sui. *triple hints* Send my regards to Jia Hui. :)

Fam:: Son, take care. Bring your gf to see mama for tea ceremony. :P

Cherish:: When will the 3 of us go on a trip together? And tell Chew not to disable my email yet. :)

Venus:: Let's have lunch next month. :)

Kumar:: Ur lil bro got gf, go find ur own. :P u have grown. :)

Jerry:: Update me. And get a babysitter. :P

Mark your calendars, I'll be popping over come Graduation. Insya'Allah.

That's a wrap. ^^
11.05am Malaysian Time

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

.: Pasar Seremban :.

Seremban Market, the conventional one.

Recently, I followed my sister-in-law to do some grocery shopping there. Hence I went berserk. Took almost 50+ shots within 1 1/2 hours. *everyone might had thought I was a lunatic* I really love going to the wet market. That's where you get to find foodstuff not sold in major supermarkets even with the wide array of goods. Naming a few would be, freshly grated coconut; Malay, Chinese and Indian herbs; Cencaluk/Budu/Pekasam *fermented seafood*, traditional fares like Bak Chang, Dodol, Idiyappam and so on.

Besides that, the market gives off a cheerful and amiable atmosphere. Almost everyone started off their conversation with "Pagi" *Morning*, *Nak beli apa?" *What do you want to buy?* or "Cari apa?" *What are you looking for?". Even the non-Muslims say "Assalamualaikum" to the Muslims. An experience I had was with the fruit seller *the uncle with the wide smile above*. He was telling us that he grew up in an area dominated by Malays. After buying fruits from him, I said thanks and bade farewell. He responded by saying "Waalaikummussalam". It stunned my sister-in-law for a while. :)

From a distance, purveyors were teasing, laughing amid buyers. Another distance, several others were singing merrily. The marketplace: where faith and culture meet, blend as one, thus showcasing a vibrant display that marks the cornerstone of identity that makes Malaysians, Malaysians.

Where's my tau fu fa? *tofu pudding*

10.33am Malaysian Time

Monday, October 20, 2008

.: Fading nuances :.

A figure of speech.

“Sometimes people put up walls, not to keep others out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

Counting down ... :)

11.10pm Malaysian Time

Thursday, October 16, 2008

.: Arabian delights :.

The chocodate.

Had this in Saudi. *pic from je t'aime amer* It's basically dates stuffed with whole almonds and coated in chocolate. *tastes absolutely wicked*

For Eid, I did a bold attempt to make a mimicry version of my own, with a slight twist. Dates stuffed with whole almonds, covered by a layer of dough, then coated with chocolate, topped with chopped almonds.

The process is quite tedious since:
  1. You have to get your fingers dirty *and sweet* as you take out the seeds from the dates and stuff the toasted almonds. *made easier when you pop a stuffed date into your mouth each time you're done with a dozen* Don't ever lick your fingers until you're done. *unless you're making for your own consumption*
  2. Prepare the dough, wrap the stuffed dates *not too thin or it'd break, and not too thick* and bake it.
  3. Once it has cooled down, melt the chocolate and start dunking it in. *use a gigantic pot for double-boiling. In this case, size does matter since it cuts down the time.*
  4. Place the choco dipped pastry wrapped dates into cupcakes. *you don't want to lose any of that sinful choc. do you?* End it by sprinkling chopped almonds.
I tried it out with a myriad selection of dates. *there are tonnes stocked up at home* Didn't get to make much because I was using the leftover dough from my mum. Outcome? No pictures. It was long gone before I manage to take any. Can't say that I have destroyed the Dubai confectionary. Justice was made, I suppose. As it is, I already have requests for next Eid. :)

*What have I gotten myself into?*

On the bright side, I may just be upgraded to Pastry Chef. Adieu to my dearest precious dishes, kitchen sink, the such and hello to Mr. Oven, Mrs. Dough Mixer, brother Rolling Pin and sister Cookie Cutter. *i should really stop*

Haven't had breakfast.
10.45am Malaysian Time

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

.: Blog Action Day 2008 :.

On Poverty.

It's today, Oct. 15th. Read up about it from Stranger in this Dunya.
*Loads of gratitude for sharing. :)*

:: An excerpt from Blog Action Day 2008 ::
One Issue, Thousands of Voices

Global issues like poverty are extremely complex. There is no simple, clear answer. By asking thousands of different people to give their viewpoints and opinions, Blog Action Day creates an extraordinary lens through which to view these issues. Each blogger brings their own perspective and ideas. Each blogger posts relating to their own blog topic. And each blogger engages their audience differently.

__________________________ ~ __________________________

My first encounter with extreme poverty was during Umrah. The three of us, comprising of my sister, cousin and I made our way up Jabal Rahmah. As we made our way down, several destitute children between the age of 5 to 12 were begging for alms. It was an awfully devastating sight, as some of them ha
ve detached limbs, wore tattered clothing in addition to being tremendously undernourished. Considering that I had a few riyals with me, I decided to donate whereas my sister and cousin went ahead. From a handful of children, others started to appear. By then, I had ran out of riyals, hence I told the children that I had none left. It was the start of the most heart wrenching and disturbing moment I had ever encountered. They screamed, cried and pleaded. Some even tugged at my telekung *prayer clothes* and held tight onto me. Frantically, I called out to my sister. Pleaded to her and my cousin to offer alms. Alas, they didn't bring any with them. Consequently, my sister and cousin had to forcefully pull me away from the grasps. Up to now, I still remember that moment and I shudder every time.

Sure enough, there were beggars during Hajj. Except that the conditions weren't anything comparable to the Umrah experience. Even so, I believe that by offering charity be it in the form of provisions, supplications and so forth; we are achieving solidarity whilst alleviating the sufferings among our brothers and sisters. Insya'Allah.

Let's do our part. ^
10.02pm Malaysian Time

.: Shawal :.

Fasting the six days.

Coming into the 15th day, I have yet to start on it. First few days were filled with attending open houses held by relatives. *prioritizing my stomach above all ... how mortifying!* Nevertheless, thought I could kickoff last week. Little do I know that my plans will be deferred due to a condition exclusive to women. *i'm "bleeding" ... coughs*

Insya'Allah, I'll start in a couple of days. ^^

1.01pm Malaysian Time

Monday, October 13, 2008

.: Faraway scent :.

Circulating the silver sky.

Madinah. Had a loose screw, thus my sister accompanied me to get it tightened. *perhaps I should forgo the rimless* The optician didn't have the essential parts to fix it though he went out of his way to get it from the other opticians within the vicinity. *Thank you!* If he didn't do so and I didn't have my sister with me, I would be wandering aimlessly down the streets of Saudi. *and might still be there*

While the guy was fixing my glasses ::

Sis: "Those are really nice."
Me: "Where?"
Sis: "The black one."
Me: "Which one?"
Sis: "There! The black rimmed ones!"
Me: "I can't see!"
Sis: "Oh yeah. You're not wearing your specs, of course you can't."

Within the same day, we stumbled upon a perfume shop.

Sis: "Look! They have a perfume under your name!"
Me: "Cool~"
Sis: "Aren't you tempted to buy it?"
Me: "Why do I wanna buy my own scent?"
Sis: "It comes in a nice bottle."
Me: "Right ... no thanks."

Did a quick google and I have to admit, I am impressed. It is a spray perfume for men. *does this mean I smell like a guy? No offense.*

On the other hand, the perfume hails from Bahrain, manufactured and distributed by Syed Junaid Alam Corp. *I'm not paid to do this*

Splendid. :)
2.54pm Malaysian Time

Thursday, October 9, 2008

.: A song to the sun :.

Tears from the sky.

For the last few days, I’ve been out and about driving around. *an activity I loathe the most*. Strangely, the days that I go out on a vehicle happens to coincide with the rainy days be it thunderstorms, drizzles, showers or pitter patter rain drops.

Couple of days ago, I went out with a friend. By chance, my lady rain fluke brushed onto her. *pfft… being an inadvertent killjoy on my part* Mum constantly reminds me to bring the brolly. Call it karma, it rained down on me and yeah, no umbrella. Didn't matter as I'm rather used to it.

Malaysia, a hot and humid country where it’s summer all year long with occasional showers. Expect torrential downpours throughout the monsoon seasons, and you are tremendously welcomed to get damp, soggy or drenched plus getting chilled to the bones. *no rain dance needed... just be armed with galoshes, raincoats or any other stuff*

Whichever suits you.
8.51am Malaysian Time

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

.: Droplets of the past :.

Streams down amid the shadows called time.

- Wind chimes -
Rain, rain, go away,

Come again another day.

Eternally entwined.
5.27pm Malaysian Time

.: Mishka :.

Open house, 4th day of Eid.

Mum played the role of Chef de Cuisine, sis the Sous Chef, uncle was the Aboyeur, sis-in-law the Chef de Partie, which leaves me as the Commis *upgraded from a kitchen assistant* and Escuelerie *commonly known as the dishwasher*. Dad helped with the heavy stuff, while my brother and aunt were M.I.A.

Despite the fact that we could have catered, mum decides to cook. She advocates home cooked food. Her rationale is that you don't know what kind of stuff outsiders put inside and whether it is prepared hygienically. Some of that thinking must have rubbed onto me. Anyway, it's more fun that way. Take it as family bonding time. When my mum cooks for others, she really cooks for their hearts' content. And her spread, quantity wise is equivalent to a Chinese wedding dinner.

Close to 1pm+, my sister's friends arrived and she had to retire from the kitchen. Things were rather topsy-turvy there. Guests were supposed to arrive after 5pm. In the meantime, I was tied up with other preparations. I reckon that Iqbal and family noticed me as a klutz, so they offered to help to which I refused. Being such nice people, they totally ignored me and continued helping.

The little one, Mishka *hope I got it right* is the sweetest little angel. Extremely pleasant, delightful and courteous. I'm sorry for not stopping you on time. It must have taken every bit of your strength strained on that fragile stature of yours just to move the chair. I'm sorry again.

To Iqbal and family :: Thanks for being such wonderful people. I would have loved to spend more time with all of you, but I was really rushing for time. Pertaining to Facebook, we know you're kidding. If not, kindly feature my sister only. You have my blessings. *kidding, do wipe that thought away or she'll massacre me*

To my beloved, compassionate, benevolent, and beautiful sis to whom I shall never swap with :: I never cajoled them into helping me. They're nice people, simple as that.

To family, friends and others :: Thanks for helping and coming. To the ones that didn't make it, there's next year. Insya'Allah.

I'm surrounded by good people. ^^
12.23noon Malaysian Time

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

.: I told ye to stay :.

A matter of choice.

“Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it.”
Malcolm Wallace, Braveheart.

All my life, my family gave me allowances to do whatever I want. As compared to my sister, I have more freedom. *no inkling why* Due to my active involvement in extra-curricular activities in school, there had been times when I was forced to come home late or had to stay away from home. My sister never really got to do any of those. She’s living it now bit by bit. Even so, my parents do impose several restrictions when it comes to social issues and etc.

Throughout Hajj, the responsibilities that came with my freedom become more apparent. Next to my uncle, my mum appointed me as the navigator to the mosques, shopping malls, pharmacies, bookstores, restaurants and any other establishments of importance. *me, the human GPS* Alhamdulillah, I had an acute sense of directions. It really wasn’t that hard. It was like Hansel and Gretel following the trail of pebbles. All we had to do was follow the India flags, instead of white pebbles to get back to the hotel plus there were many Malaysians and Indonesians around if language was a barrier. More often than not, I was allowed in and out of the hotel anytime.

Over there, my mum made friends with some of the Malaysian students. Mum was asking about the dates market, thus I replied we could always go there by cab. To my astonishment, the guy reprimanded me by saying it’s not safe for women to get in the cab, you shouldn’t be going places on your own, the people here aren’t as nice as you think they are and mother, please talk to your daughter. *Somehow it felt like deja vu and why is he calling my mum, mother? Indeed we are brothers and sisters, and I am conscious of your concerns, however at that instant it felt so wrong. Sorry, it’s just me being a brat."

All this while, I thought that no matter where you are, it’s the same. There is no safe or perilous place. It is how you carry yourself. My faith tells me that Insya’Allah, Allah S.W.T shall shelter us from misfortune if our intent is to do good. If something untoward happens along the way, the reason lies in Allah S.W.T. and it is at our best interests. For some, conceivably I’m being somewhat optimistic.

There-anent, I’m vindicating that I could easily go to mosques and musollas during Hajj. In Malaysia, it’s not as simple as that. The instant I tell my mum I want to go to one alone, she’ll ask me to wait for someone or to disregard it altogether.

Now you tell me, which place is safer?
9.36am Malaysian Time

Monday, October 6, 2008

.: Ayat-ayat cinta :.

Verses of love.

An Indonesian Islamic romance novel by Habiburrahman El Shirazy. Read 7 chapters of it. So I wasn't patient enough, cheated and skipped over to the last page. Wrong move. The ending almost made me in tears and I have yet to read the other chapters. Perhaps my sister was right ... I have a soft heart. *coughs*

----- :: To my sister :: -----

No. I have not gone mad. Remembered the look on your face when I purchased the novel. Priceless. Although I am fully aware that you have the e-book, I much prefer to acquire the physical version even when the cover is distasteful to my liking. *it's the color* Afterwards, you asked why on earth did I buy it, and I never really responded besides saying that it piqued my interest. Tip - keep on guessing. :)

----- :: To my friends :: -----

No. I have not fallen in love. Wipe that smirk off your face. All of you jolly well know that I'm married to my work.

Self note:: Thank God none of you are aware of my blog. XD

The movie rendition of the novel will be shown this Sunday. Reviews from critics state that it's not as good. Having a high-imagination, I doubt it'll be up to my expectations.

Back at work.
12.01 noon Malaysian Time