Thursday, February 26, 2009

.: Chapters in life :.

Starting anew.

The brother behaved indecently. Part of me would love to pummel him *he seems to be a good practice subject* The other wanted to engage him in intellectual preaching sessions. *had a hunch it'll be a horrific experience for him* Leveraging the situation, in doing so may prolong or worsen it, I opted to get off the vehicle.

Note:: There are people that use invocations on a daily basis in their conversations, and I have my utmost respect on them. This post is more of a self-reflection directed on my part, in saying it in speech or having it in writing.

The whole time, I wanted to launch a tirade on the accounts to someone, anyone. Ended up murmuring invocations, that reduced my fury. Then it occurred to me, just when did I start uttering it as if it is a normalcy? Do I mean it?

Never favor the idea of “just saying it” or “for the sake of saying it”. Simply repeating it thousands of times without a clear understanding of the substance, I suppose removes every single essence it harbored. Hence, I thought to myself, am I becoming the kind of person that I so had despised to be?

Used to reciting certain Surahs by memory while being oblivious to its meanings, I’m trying to set things right by going through materials on top of learning Arabic. *Alhamdulillah, my sister decided to enroll with me, class starts this Sunday*

Citing a partial section of a sermon in a Malaysian congregational prayer, "We are well versed in our recitals. Some can even read like the Arabs yet unfortunately, not many understand the context let alone the gist of it."

It’s like the blind, following the blind so to speak.
4.16pm Malaysian Time

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

.: Buah berangan :.

Water chestnuts.

Me:: Uncle! I wanna take your photo! || Uncle:: Eh?
Me:: Uncle! Smile!
|| Uncle:: *smile*

Direct translations of buah berangan from Malay to English is, daydreaming fruit. Mum used to buy loads of it from her workplace, thus explains why I was *still am* a daydreamer. Photos were taken at Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. Twas my first time here. Used to be a taboo area for me, imposed by my brother and friends. Apparently, they said one can find Chinese gangsters there.

Can't say I was prowling around to find one ...

8.23pm Malaysian Time

.: Home and away :.

The lives of the expats.

Some of my married friends left their family back in their home country when they decided to migrate to Malaysia for work, only to return home during festivities or breaks. I frequently find myself intrigued on their capabilities to deal with it. Several of my married friends, still stuck with their husband *coughs* detest the thought of being away even for the quickest absence of time, with one stating if need to be she’ll follow her husband wherever he goes so that she never loses sight of him. *she’s seriously keeping into the whole deal of, 'till death do us part' for real* I won’t condemn such reactions on the basis of lack of trust, insecurity, clingy or etc. and try to see it in a positive light. I’m still working on that.

Occasionally, when new faces arrive, friends go all disoriented in finding whether he/she jumped in the bandwagon of the lot that left the family. Common statements like; I can’t believe you ditch your family! Or They must be crying right now! On top of the classic, Why didn’t you bring them here? suitably blends into our conversations.

Honestly, it’s mind-boggling how the expats are able to come up with their idiosyncratic responses to such queries without illustrating any form of agitation by it. Other friends that go to their rescue, save the day with, Mind your own business! It’s terrible enough they have to leave home! You’re only alienating them by doing this!

It’s funny when a few advised me to stay clear from these people, indicating that some may take me as fair game. Friends being friends are only keeping a lookout for me.

I’m also asked to keep my distance from the singletons; that might be married, but pretends to be available. For the record, up there in that twisted mind of mine, I regard all guys as married, particularly when they claim they’re not. Every other guy is seen as granddad, uncle, brother or else when I’m sick in the mind, son level. *I’ve yet to find anyone that can stoop to be worthy of the grandson status* Hence, I’ll say I pretty much covered on setting my distance.

Friend:: You know what, you’re my very first Malay girl friend.
Me:: Dude, that sounds so wrong.
Friend:: Haha~ You’re funny.
Me:: I’m not being funny. It really does sound wrong.
Friend:: Haha~

The stares of disbelief I got after that.
10.39am Malaysian Time

Sunday, February 22, 2009

.: On garments :.

Going all traditional.

Friend:: I take my hat off the Malays and Indians. They are proud to wear their traditional costume anywhere. Us Chinese prefer to wear your traditional costumes instead of our own.

Prior to Chinese New Year, I visited friends in my former workplace. Like most days, I wore the Baju Kurung, the Malay traditional attire for girls, hence that sparked the remark from my friend.

Frankly, I seldom see Chinese adorning their traditional gear, though I’m in agreement on other races wearing the traditional attires of other races. Over here, it’s common to see Chinese wearing Indian or Malay clothes, vice versa. There are also instances whereby the public wears Arab, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese etc. traditional attire.

Considering I have loads of Baju Kurung, I don’t see any reason not to wear it. In Madinah, sis got me to purchase an abaya. It’s still hanging in the closet, like some kind of overdue party dress never to be worn, *believe me, it does look like that. Sis was raving on how it looks like something out of a fairytale. Alas, what was I thinking then?* I strongly believe that its sole purpose is meant to collect dust or otherwise to be infested with moth holes. As for the other races traditional attire, I have worn the cheongsam. In my kiddy years, cousins and I experimented with bales of cloth mimicking the way Indians twirl their saris, although that doesn’t count since we were merely fooling around. I do however have a dress, a synthesis of Indian and Malay, made from sari material. *one of the rare moments when I allow the tailor to go crazy on the creation; I guess the material must had provided the inspiration*

  • Do you wear your traditional clothes, excluding festive days?
  • Do you wear the traditional clothes of other races?
  • What do you think of other races wearing your traditional clothes?

I have friends that are alright with it, whilst some are totally against it. As for me, as long as it is within my dress code boundaries, I'm fine with it.

What's your take on this?
9.37 Malaysian Time

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

.: Only human :.

The day I trampled on my friend's nerves.

There were limited people that knew I was going for Hajj. The few that knew had almost the exact question …

"Don’t you think you’re a bit too young for Hajj?"

As far as I’m concerned, my Bruneian friends went for theirs in their early teens.

I kept the matter hushed up till the last day of work, when I text my other friends telling them about it. *I can’t let them think that I’ve gone missing again* Throughout that day, I have friends coming over my place giving me well wishes etc. That’s when I realize I have a considerably large network of sisters. Naturally, I expected friends to request me to supplicate for them. Some did whilst some stunned me for a while.

Friends:: So, after you’ve prayed for us, we want you to pray for yourself.
Me:: I can’t promise that I’ll convey all your wishes, but Insya’Allah. And it’d be strange if I don’t pray for myself too.
Friends:: We are referring that you'll pray on marriage. You know, you getting married and stuff. Getting the right guy. You don't need us to spell it out, do you?
Me:: Owh that. Well uhh … again, no promises. Uhh, thanks for the reminder. :)

Yeah, I was stunned. *coughs ... strange that they didn’t think I’m too young for marriage … coughs* It’s a good thing I left my cell at home cos I received similar texts.

And I totally forgot to ask. No, it wasn’t intentional. I really did forget. I may have asked for it indirectly though. When friends found out, this was their reaction …


Classic. :)
9.50am Malaysian Time

Monday, February 16, 2009

.: Breaking barriers :.

Exposing oneself.

A year plus since I started the blog. Started as an outlet to jot down Hajj narratives, evolved into the inclusion of multiple other anecdotes. In the same way, this applies to other correspondences i.e. emails with the blog as the catalyst.

Within each post, in staying true to the context; the flair, the prose, the responses, the photographs, what are the portrayals I may have envisaged to others about me?

The degree of the anonymous, secrecy and mysteriousness, I reason on it collectively. The perceptions in particular.

In view of that, in general to what extent have I divulged myself?

These things whether it is a negative or positive outlook do not have a direct significance to me, therein I am yet to be left mystified by the speculations.

4.26pm Malaysian Time

Sunday, February 15, 2009

.: Dancing queen :.

One of the cultural lineup performed at KL Sentral a couple of months ago.

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life,
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen.

~Dancing Queen, ABBA

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

~Japanese Proverb

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?

~Friedrich Nietzsche
It'd been 4 years since I last danced.
10.27pm Malaysian Time

Friday, February 13, 2009

.: Saint Valentine's day :.

Saying I love you.

Being blatantly frank, I don't celebrate it. Not because it has anything to do with the connections as a pagan festival, a day for martyrs, celebrating love etc. More of the fact that I perceive love is rejoiced everyday thus special days such as this never seem to exist in my calendar of events. Nevertheless, Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. :)

One of the discussions I had with Uncle Faiz Teh, the utterly hilariously sweet Chinese convert when I boarded his cab months ago.

Uncle Faiz:: I want to ask you, how often do you tell your parents you love them?
Me:: Maybe once a year. Displaying acts of affection in the household is quite uncommon.
Uncle Faiz:: That is not right. Doing so carries great significance to the receiver.
Me:: Precisely, but it’s pretty much understood. And if I suddenly start saying it everyday, I can’t imagine the reaction from my parents.
Uncle Faiz:: Even though it’s understood, saying it takes it to another level. The thing about us is we find it so difficult to say our feelings out loud.
Me:: I suppose, we cling onto the actions speaks louder than words concept, that we neglect the fact that words can move mountains. Sometimes, all it takes are just saying those few words.
Uncle Faiz:: Try it. It’ll bring wonders. :) To get you started, you can tell them I love them. :)

I believe he’s dead right on that.
After relating it to my parents, they both burst out laughing.

Dad used to hum, singing along to Bee Gees, Words. :)
9.39am Malaysian Time

Thursday, February 12, 2009

.: Al-Diwan :.

International Center for Teaching Arabic, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

End of this month, Insya'Allah I'll be studying Arabic every Sunday. To be precise, MSA [Modern Standard Arabic]; Fusha. My aunt and cousins took their 1st level at the center, but they're discontinuing due to distance. I reckon it takes about 15mins tops from my house so no excuses there. The only thing here is, whether I can stand 400 hours of it. [10 levels, 40 hours each] After the failure of various attempts to persuade my aunt and sis to enroll with me, I've decided to go ahead with it.

Mum:: So you’re over with Mandarin?
Me:: Going for the 3rd level. *the final level!!!* Waiting for the call.
Mum:: What are you doing while waiting?
Me:: Have a couple of courses in mind to fill in the gap, narrowed down to Arabic or Khat.
Mum:: Take Arabic. As it is you are the descendant of an Arab.
Me:: *what’s the connection again?* Otherwise, I can always take both.
Mum:: You must have gotten this from you dad’s side of the family.

Whatever does she mean by that …

What she doesn’t know is that I’m squeezing in a couple more agendas. *might as well throw those in as I have the time*

Note:: I did a little of Arabic and Khat years ago in religious school for 3 years. High school nullified the possibility to continue it. Mentioned somewhere I went for Umrah at the tender *coughs* age of 12. *how long ago was that again?* I remembered bawling at the Arab shopkeeper on my mum. Yes, in bits and pieces of broken bad Arabic. *I was a nutcase … or am I still?*

I don’t bawl anymore, leaving that to my little cousins. :P

9.35am Malaysian Time

Monday, February 9, 2009

.: Chap Goh Meh :.

The 15th night of the Lunar New Year.

The cool and peaceful surroundings in the old street of Melaka, Malaysia.

Source: Malaysia Postcards #41565

12.54am and I'm greeted with the familiar clashing of fireworks. *it can never beat the ones fired for the Jade Emperor's birthday* Today marks the end of the new year. To be frank, there are a couple of Chinese festivities that are celebrated concurrently. I'll elaborate a little of each, leaving out on the origins as there are quite a number of versions that I know of. After all, I'm an email away in case you require further information. :)

Chap Goh Meh:: In the traditional Hokkien dialect, it means the 15th night of the new year. The Hokkien community commemorate this day with prayers and offerings as well as the Chingay procession; a parade encompassing acrobatic acts, stilt walkers, lion and dragon dances, etc. while swaying to the beats from the gongs, drums and cymbals. As a child, I used to see the ones held back home.

The Lantern Festival; in simplified Mandarin 元宵节 [Pin Yin: Yuan Xiao Festival] or 上元节 [Shang Yuan Festival] :: On this auspicious occasion, houses are brightly lit with lanterns in which prayers are offered to the ancestors. There is another Chinese festival celebrated in Malaysia that is also known as the Lantern Festival, which is actually the Mid-Autumn Festival. That post shall be for another day. *it'll have to wait*

The Chinese Valentine’s Day:: Not to be mistaken with the other Chinese Valentine's Day, Qi Xi 七夕. *is anyone still with me?* Courtesy of my Chinese friends, I got to know about this festival last year. As I had a blast interrogating them, I suppose I can share the fascination people have on it. *me included*

Find a sea, drop an orange with your name and contact number written on it into the sea and pray to the heavenly skies that the person that picks it up will turn out to be your significant other, hence it is believed that the wishes made on this night are most likely to be granted.

Note:: Whilst ladies do the tossing, the potential suitors pick it up. *trust me, I'm not joking on this. that's really how it works!*

Customarily, they’ll celebrate it by going to the sea. In some places, it is substituted with the pool, river, etc. Fees are occasionally imposed on the visitors to throw or pick oranges. My colleague was sweet enough to ask me to come along claiming that it’s fun plus I'll have a generous helping of amusing moments. *now how often can you see a bunch of guys paddling to the sea, squabbling to pick a handful of bobbing oranges?* In any given day, I would have jumped in on the invite, no questions asked. *not exactly, I'll need to drag a few people with me*I would have still gone to it on my own if it weren't for the fact that I have something on. Guess I'll interrogate him the next day on how many oranges he managed to get. :P

On a side note, I’ve been driving friends mad inquiring whether they’ll be tossing or picking oranges, until one of them asked will I be tossing any of my own. My response was I prefer to toss it into the gastric enzymes deep within my abdomen. Naturally, it’ll have a good digestion.

To all Chinese:: Ermm .... Happy Valentine's Day? LoL. Let's have a brilliant time with family and friends. ^

To my neighbors:: Welcome back! Thank you so much for the oranges and keropok lekor! May there be many more cheers in our lives! ^^

And the fireworks display are finally over. :)
1.35am Malaysian Time

Sunday, February 8, 2009

.: Thaipusam :.

The day Hindus pay homage to Lord Murugan.

World tallest golden statue of Lord Murugan (42.7 metres) at the Batu Caves Temple, Selangor.

Photo by Ravi John Smith; Source: Malaysia Postcards #46629

Celebrated on the 10th month of the Tamil month of Thai, the climax is the grand chariot of Lord Murugan and colorful kavadi procession from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown to the towering limestone cliffs inhabiting the Batu Caves Temple. *approximately a 15km, 8 hour journey trek* Each year, the mammoth scale festival attracts close to 800,000 to 1.2 million devotees together with tens of thousands of observers comprising of various ethnic groups and faiths.

Other sights and sounds include, throngs of chanting pilgrims, the smashing of fresh coconuts throught the meandering route, thunderous drumming and the blowing of nathaswaram *wooden pipes*crooning devotional tunes, dances etc. As for observations, some devotess conform to a strict vegetarian diet, abstain from pleasure activities, meditation, carry pots of milk, etc. The elements of Thaipusam radiate a loud carnival atmosphere, making it one of the largest festivals held annually in Malaysia. The public holiday applies to states with a considerably large population of Indians. And yes, I'm on holiday. *our calendar is infested with festive holidays*

Literally mean burden is a decorated framework with metal spikes and hooks as long as a metre long on top of chains and ropes anchoring the entranced devotees' bodies as means of attaining penancy, fulfillment of vows or thanksgiving. One hardly shed any blood nor feel any pain from it. Faith, is the key ingredient to reaching to this level of religious observance.

Although Batu Caves is like 20mins from my house, I've never been there let alone witness the entire procession. Few years ago, my Indian friend invited me to tag along to have a feel of it . After hearing the itinerary details, I fear I may not have the endurance. *leave school at 10pm, 2am the procession begins, 4pm, leave Batu Caves* The last thing I want to do is trouble her on her auspicious festival. She filled me in on the details though. *it was her first time there*

To all Hindus:: May your Thaipusam celebrations bring the greatest of joys for you and your family!

Did I mention this is the time when vegetarian-based Indian sweets, goodies of all kinds are available? ^^

Tomorrow, is another festival. :)
8.35am Malaysian Time

Thursday, February 5, 2009

.: Malaysian Friday :.

Petronas Philharmonic Hall.

Located at KLCC. Posted some letters, a package and paid bills at the post office there. *Alhamdulillah, it didn't get lost in the mail!* Initially, I wanted to take photos of the Jumah prayers at Masjid As-Syakirin, after snapping a few at Masjid Jamek. *foreigners joined me in the photo-taking sessions; I wasn't able to pray* Needless to say, something cropped up, thus I had to discard the idea. Also, a couple of Muslim sisters questioned whether I'm a Muslim. Sometimes I can't help but feel totally out of place. :(

There are three fortresses for believers against Satan. These are: (1) mosque, (2) remembrance of Allah S.W.T. and (3) recitation of the Qur'an.

Ka'b al-Ahbar, Al-Munabbihat

Early last year, upon passing the area on a Friday, my non-Muslim friends noticed the men performing their prayers. The mosque can't accommodate to everyone so some of the men had to pray at the garden, carparks etc. Obviously, it was a remarkable scene for them. Spent about 15mins giving them a concise summary on Friday prayers.

Typical after Friday prayers scene.
10.21pm Malaysian Time

.: Time management :.

The long awaited post.

Seriously think that I’m in no place to write on this. Nonetheless, I guess there is no harm in having a kick at it plus I did agree to offer my two cents' worth.

Depending on the situation, my time management skills differ. In terms of planning, I plan by the day before, the hour, day, week, month, year and years on what, how, when things need to be done and analyzing the amount of time needed. Fairly easy to estimate for habitual tasks. The others will cover on the aspects of preparing, organizing, monitoring, prioritizing, practicality counting in the external factors that may bring on to the determent of my plans along with formulating contingency solutions. I try to figure out ways to cut down on time, fixing schedules in my head. I suppose, it’s better if I were to give examples of it.

Here’s my schedule for this month, on a daily basis. Generally, this is the flow.

At least the day before – iron, pack stuff.
5am till 6.45 am– wake up, does the necessary; chores, bathe, pray etc, goes to work.
6.45am till 9am – tricky because I rely on the public transport. *please read my post on driving if you haven’t* The public transportation can be really frustrating. Break-downs, delays etc. Fallback plans mean taking another form of transportation. Selecting which saves the most time is purely based on experience. Moments like this do not get me down as I liken it to being in “The Amazing Race”. Almost always, I’m already in the office by 8.20am.
9am till 1.10pm – Work and fooling around. All work and no play make anyone a dull person.
1.10pm till 2.10pm – Lunch. Or if I can pray, fully spent on prayers. Why? Because it takes 15mins to get to the mosque, 5 mins for ablution, 15 mins to pray and another 15mins back. Remaining 10mins is in case something crops up. Since I skip lunch, I make do with a heavy breakfast *8.20am – 9am is me time, gearing up for work and scheduling my day*. Off and on, there are snacks in my drawers for the extra sugar rush. *born with 2 functional hands, use it*
5.30pm – I hardly knock off at 5.30pm on the dot, albeit I make sure I’m out by 6pm. *Asar prayers and reaching home by 7.10pm*

The plan becomes sporadic when I'm out, but I keep vigil of the time spent. Centering on, how much time will I spend, and by when do I move or reach home. A little moment of truth, I don’t use a watch. Let’s stipulate that I like to guess the time. Perhaps, that helped in keeping me conscience of it. Some people may use watches to approximate time. I work the other way. Watches make me feel like I have all the time in the world. The same goes for calendars. Until now, I have issues in remembering the date. Deadlines have the propensity of turning me into the ultimate slacker. When one does not know, one may try to finish it later on.

Things may not turn out well. I may set a specific time, yet circumstances do render us helpless. Work that depends on the commitments of others, tends to land me in difficult situations. I’ve been called a meanie by my own sister because of my code of ethics in the workplace. She’s right. However, it relies on the individual to take it as constructive criticism. At work, I’m known to be meticulous in the sense that I scrutinize and peruse each and every detail, therein takes up most of my time. Eventually, it is clearly up to you to leverage whether you have the time to spare or else.

On the part of getting stood up, I anticipate it by filling in with reading, observing, thinking, doodling or slacking including doing work. I have issues in making people wait for me, though I have no concerns at all in being made to wait. Some friends are high on the "how long can Hajar stand till she bursts out at us?", so they ever so often wreck my plans. Patience is a virtue. I can't say that I'm virtuous. Sudoku does wonders. People taking too much of my time? Again, it comes down to expecting the purportedly unexpected.

There are people that say they don’t have enough time. There are the ones that say, there is always time. All this while, I believe that time is always there. Utilizing it to its maximum ability lies in our capability. Will we use it to its full extent, or will we waste it away?

Friend:: Hajar, you look busy. If you have time later, can we talk?
Me:: I have time now.
Friend:: No, it’s ok. It’s not important. You get your work done first.
Me:: You’re already here. It’s better for you to let out whatever you have right now. I can’t predict what happens later, and later may never come. You may end up not telling me what needs to be told.

As what I tell family and friends, even if I really do not have time, I will make time. And I’ll find ways of realizing it. Insya'Allah.

So much for not knowing what to write about.
12.41 noon Malaysian Time

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

.: Happy birthday :.

To the Jade Emperor.

Traditionally celebrated on the 9th day of the lunar new year.

Living among the Hokkien community for most of my life, I have grown accustomed to the fireworks and firecrackers displays. At the stroke of midnight yesterday, I was woken from my slumber to the crackles of fireworks that lasted till 1am.

Peeked through the glass panels of the sliding doors, in awe of the sky illuminated with the glorious shades of a spectacle of colors. Soon after, there we were, my sis and I standing in front of the house, beholding the fireworks while some of my neighbors paid homage to the Jade Emperor.

Sis :: Times like these remind me that we have many Chinese neighbors.

Fireworks and firecrackers are as far as I know, banned in Malaysia, although special permits are issued for certain purposes. Both items nevertheless, are practically an essential part of Chinese New Year. Without it, does not equal to a celebration. Even though we were disturbed with the loud bangs, *people, the next day is a working day! I'm sleep deprived!* I guess we got caught along with the manifested festive mood and couldn't help but join in the excitement.
On top of that, the kid in me went goo-gah allover. *sorry sis, I just had to use that term*

Ironically, a couple of hours earlier, I was in a state of uncertainty.

Being outside at half-past midnight, listening to the animated cheers from neighbors, reminded me of one of the jemaah sessions I had in Makkah. The speaker mentioned on how safe it is there, and that Malaysia fails in comparison. Yet, yesterday, it never felt any safer.

At work, just received a hong bao from a colleague. :)
10.04am Malaysian Time

Monday, February 2, 2009

.: Quickie :.

Instant entry.

These posts were floating around in my head since 4am. With moments to spare before I embark on that thrilling journey to the Kingdom of Household Tasks, I'll do a quick post on it. *cringes as it's the last day of holiday ...*

Children of Gaza :: Beautiful thoughtful project organized by Sister Farhana. Reminds me of the project held yearly by the MPH bookstores during Christmas.

Sister in need :: These kind of occurrences happen almost everywhere. Even in Malaysia. Nonetheless, as sisters, let's try to do our part.

Lastly, may the efforts of Sister Farhana and Sister Hijabee be of assistance to the ones that could do with it.

11.30am Malaysian Time

.: Revisiting Muzdalifah :.


Most of my Hajj stories are centered on the humorous light-hearted side. Today, we’ll go on the heavy part. I mentioned I was unwell in Muzdalifah. Because of my ordeal, I was fondly known as Hajah Muzdalifah. This, will be a long post.


No matter how many layers of clothing sis laid on me, the amount of rubbing her palms against mine to incite a little warmth, I was still greatly engulfed by the coldness. Stiff, feeble, daunted, literally on the verge of blacking out, I offered endless du’a to Allah S.W.T. to grant me the spirit, willpower, to keep me conscious. Strength was nearly fictional, owing to the massive lost of bodily fluids. Incapable of enduring it any longer, I asked for the doctor. Mum decided to approach the Malaysian Hajj authorities after seeing my deteriorating condition.

They and the mutawifs allowed my family and I to get a clear pass to Mina. Upon seeing my mum motioning us to cut the queue, the other Malaysian pilgrims began hollering curses. Even in my half-dazed state, I can hear the taunts. With the last bit of strength left, I told dad I’m fine. The amount of criticisms propelled had intensified. Relentlessly, I insisted that I do not want this. Dad said, "The family needs you to be safe."

The situation had taken a lot out of me that I actually fell down midway in which family had to support me. As I was nearing the bus, people no longer blasted curses. Echoes of sympathy filled the air. Few aunts helped me to get back on my feet. Now, all I can hear was “She is sick. I kept on apologizing to all of them. They responded with, “It’s alright. You better get going now. Take care.”

Briefly recollect the utterances of a familiar mutawif, “Don’t worry. I’ll carry your bags. You just get there.” Too frail to do anything, I gave a weak smile. Going up the stairs felt impossible. With each step I took, I can sense the Arab driver patiently looking at me as if; if I were to slip a step he will definitely reach out for me. I sat behind him, in which he gestured with a silent assurance that he’ll get me there safe and sound. Sis, following closely behind, sat next to me.

Transfixed with sorrow, streams of tears flowed out of me. Already numb to the physical pain, the pain I had was impaled from the inside. It hurts to know that accusations were thrown at us, albeit it was more upsetting knowing these ridiculed words came from people here for Hajj. Throughout the journey, I asked for forgiveness from Allah S.W.T for me, my family as well as the pilgrims. Blaming myself as the root of the problem, a few brothers and sisters later lifted the heavy load I carried with me.

"Little sister, remember who's in charge. It is His will."

Once in Mina, the medical team had insufficient medical equipment. They along with the mutawifs and Hajj authorities kept vigilant of me. They were concerned that I might faint at any given time as my BP *blood pressure* was dangerously low and my palms hardly have any traces of blood. During one of the Jamrah throws, sis panicked when my palms turned blue. I assured her saying that she’ll be the first to know if I’m losing it, and that Insha’Allah I’ll be fine. Other than that, Alhamdulillah, there wasn’t any major complication with regards to my health.

Circumstances bring forth the good and ugly sides of people. Attending doctor appointments off and on, I witnessed a great deal of patients along with the characters of the people amongst them. The medical team was seriously under staff, thereby doctors were forced to work round the clock. Under those conditions, I am marveled that they were still able to smile, be empathetic and remain controlled even when medical resources were depleting rapidly. Rationing, improvising were the only options.


Head doctor :: You are in pain, aren't you?
Me :: I'm okay. :)
Head doctor :: You may be smiling, but I'm a doctor. I'm sorry that I'm not able to provide you with the proper medication for now. I really don't want to send you to the Arab doctors. Things ... are different here.
Me :: I know. It's okay. :)
Head doctor :: I'm really sorry. Keep me updated on your health. If you're in pain, let me know. Don't smile. Don't laugh. Don't let it be. Be patient hajah. Insha'Allah you will be fine. I have you in my prayers and I'm speaking to you as a brother that cares for his sister.
Me :: Thank you. :)

The head doctor coined me as Hajah Muzdalifah. Posts on the medical team and mutawifs will be kept for another day.

Rereading my journal.
3.40am Malaysian Time

Sunday, February 1, 2009

.: Federal territory day :.

5.39pm and I'm up.

Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

It was just about 4pm when I started feeling slightly lightheaded, groggy all together. With a book in hand, entitled 'Does My Head Look Big in This', read a couple of pages, dozing off unexpectedly. *Chic-lit novels have that effect on me* Something jerked me, woken up abruptly and minutes later, a throbbing pain is existent within the confinement of my cranium. *urghh ... migraine* 5 mins down the road, the pain subsided. Alhamdulillah. *mine seldom last long*

What better way to start my day *eh?* than to read sister blogs. Heaps of gratitude to the lovely comments dear sisters. ^^ Insha'Allah, I'll scurry to your blogs to check on your nominees. :)


Today is Federal Territory Day, a state holiday for the federal territories in Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Federal Territories. Falling on a Sunday, the holiday is applied as well on the next day so tomorrow will be my last day of holidays. Come Tuesday, I'm back at work. *Noo!*

As of yesterday, my Mandarin Level-2, kawtim! *done with* I'm celebrating with ice-cream. :)
6.53pm Malaysian Time