About Me

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I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Dearest Ja…

There wasn’t time
For one last hug
There was no final kiss,
It’s those little smiles
That I so truly miss...

If you are still around, today will be your 21st birthday. Mak miss you so very much...

In remembrance: Mirza Ashran Mustafa (1985 - 2006)

Monday, 18 December 2006

World Heritage...

 “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living...” – Miriam Beard

December is a lazy laid-back month where people would want to take a long break away from office, go for a holiday somewhere far.

Those skeleton staff who need to take care of the department are also relax on their job. Meetings are kept to the minimal. Everyone is in festivity frame of mind. This is the month where staff will know of their performance ratings which will later translate into their bonuses and increments. This is also the month where staff will try to finish their annual leave and for some who have the pleasure of accumulating leave and have no plan to utilize them will be calculating the cash conversion for 10 days at the max. The rest of the leave if not utilized will be burnt to ashes…

As for me I have less than 10 days left. Usually I’ll be cashing in all my leave balance but last week while looking through the mails, we came across our Enrich points flyers and decided that we will convert some for free tickets to somewhere. And we have chosen Cambodia. Our plan is to visit one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia, the Angkor Wat.

I need to look for my khaki slacks and start packing my bag...

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Good Karma...

"Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing..." — Alexander Woollcott

I received this in my e-mail.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for other’s and Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love with reckless abandon.



Sunday, 10 December 2006

The passage of time

Another year gone. Time just seems to fly by...

(1985 -Sara, Iwan and Ja...)

Last night, while lying on my bed, I reflected on the happenings during the year. This is my year of joy and delight. This is also my year of grief and sorrow. Early this year I lost my youngest son, Ja in a road accident. This year my eldest daughter, Sara and my second son, Iwan graduated from their varsities. This year Iwan got married to Ella. And only last week Sara received her PTD result and will be going away next week to report for training.

To Ja, I miss him so very much. To Sara and Iwan, I will be missing them too. A few months ago Iwan and Ella moved out to stay on their own in their new apartment. As for Sara, I know she will be busy attending the PTD program and later will be posted somewhere away from home. I realize our children need to get out on their own. I am going to miss their squeals, smiles and laughter.

Time stood still as I watched them grow. Thinking about it, I felt a slight pull on my heartstrings…

All these years I hope I understood them well. I hope I have given them enough attention, love and care. And have guided them through every fear, through good decision, and blunder.

To my children I often said, “Life journey will never end at any destination because the destination for one is a milestone for another...”

Monday, 4 December 2006

An affair to remember...

"To a friend, our goodbye isn't painful unless we're never going to say hello again…"

(1 - 3 Dec, 2006, Andaman Langkawi...) 

Childhood sweethearts share an innocence
That, if they marry, lasts them all their lives,
An early sacrifice that makes no sense,
Save that something beautiful survives.

There is the sense that angels would do this,
A rightness like a rock before the sea,
A hunger for a symbiotic kiss,
For love as pure as it was meant to be.

And so it is for those who make that choice,
Who dare to love so faithfully and long
That each becomes to each a second voice,
Transforming merest moments into song.

How beautiful first love! Yet better still,
A love for life sustained by wish and will.

(Nicholas Gordon)

To a friend, our goodbye isn't painful unless we're never going to say hello again…

Saturday, 18 November 2006

Health Awareness...

“To have doubted one's own first principles, is the mark of a civilized man…” - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. 

At last I had signed up for the Health Awareness Program today from 08.30am to 2.00pm at the Auditorium. We had to wear appropriate clothing as there was a light aerobics session at the Lobby Area. Breakfast was served at 10.30am and Lunch at 1.00pm for all participants. I was supposed to take the blood test earlier but I was too busy with office schedule so I could not have my blood results analyzed.

A few well known doctors were available throughout the session for one to one consultations should we need more info on our blood test results or any related matters. Later, there was also an open panel discussion with speakers where all participants could get more information on matters relating to health, diet and fitness.

I had a handful of my staff joining me in this program. As there were many seats available, I brought Sara along. Some brought friends, relatives and loved ones to join the session.

Although it was only a half day program, it was quite fun…

Saturday, 11 November 2006

My birthday present

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves..." - Jean Baptiste Poquelin Molière

In Advance...

The past few days we’d spent happy precious time together. Thank you for the lovely birthday card and present, yang..

How many are the times
We get too busy
To take the time we need
To really share…

To say the words
That show our deepest feelings,
To say the words that show
How much we care…

I love you, yang…
With so much love, forever & ever…

Thursday, 9 November 2006

UiTM Royal Gala Dinner...

"There are two kinds of people in one's life—people whom one keeps waiting—and the people for whom one waits...” - Samuel Nathaniel Behrman


The last few days, my people have been running around back and forth between office, MOF and the Mint in preparation for the introduction of the UiTM 50th anniversary commemorative coins. Without the approval of the PM, the coins could not be launched during the Royal Gala Dinner, in conjunction with the UiTM 50th Anniversary.

Anyway, things turned out ok although I've not been very pessimistic in the beginning. I've been feeling a bit burnt out myself, grumpy and unreasonably demanding for results. It occurred to me I've been spending far too much time in my head, thinking about what ifs, and I've lost the heart on concentrating on other things equally important.

On the day of the Gala Dinner I received a last minute invitation from the RMM which I politely declined as we have already made arrangement to buy a table to be shared among our UiTM alumni friends. I heard that the RMM paid RM10,000 per table whereas the one that we booked cost us only RM1,000. And commensurate with where we were to be seated, of course!

Avoiding after-office traffic jam, we reached Sunway Lagoon Hotel quite early. The dinner was graced by His Majesties the King and Queen. There were long speeches by the VC of UiTM and later the Minister of Higher Education followed by congratulatory messages by the International Representatives. As our table was in the foyer outside the main hall, rather than listening to those boring speeches, we were busy spending time getting acquainted again, exchanging and updating news and laughing at classic jokes and old stories. Those stories may be stale but the moral that they may convey to the world is forever green and topical.

It was a long night. On the big screen, we caught glimpses of some VIPs and dignitaries yawning uncontrollably. Finally, around 10 p.m. dinner was served, to which by this time, I have emptied twice of the giant glass in front of me…

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Spirit of comradeship...

"Secrets make friendships stronger..."

Years ago, when the children were small, we used to organise Hari Raya Open House and invited our relatives and friends. It's fulfilling in a way watching them coming together celebrating and touching base, enjoying the wide variety of delicious juadah served at the buffet table.

This year we did not plan for an open house. But we arranged a small gathering of old friends at our apartment. Some of them we knew from way back in primary schools and some from our campus days. They came late afternoon, some with spouses and kids, some came single. The Satay Samuri, rendang, nasi empit and my kuah lodeh made a good match for the hi-tea. We had cream caramel and fruit cakes for dessert.

We noticed the changes among these old friends of ours. Their hair has changed from black to the more exclusive and respectable grey, in others it has completely disappeared altogether. Quite a number have accumulated bits of fats here and there, thereby giving them a more prestigious and prosperous personality.

And, we had a good time reminiscing…

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Manusia dalam perjalanan...

'"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity..."

Manusia Dalam Perjalanan

Hari ini: Menunggu, Menanti, Mengharap.
Kelmarin: Pun menunggu, Menanti, Mengharap.
Esok: Akan menunggu, Menanti, Mengharap.

Bila-bila pun: Menunggu,
Hinggalah Ridwan mengucap Salam…

(Mamat M. T.)

Friday, 27 October 2006

Unwind and relax...

“It’s an experience we shall always remember or an experience which, alas, we shall never forget...” - Julius Gordon

Last night before we went to sleep, we talked about the earlier mishap and thanked God that it was only a minor one. We talked about what ifs, and ended up holding each other close while we slept, valuing the precious borrowed time we had together.

The next day, to calm nervous minds, we decided to drive to nowhere in particular. We headed towards Segamat and stopped at the foot of Gunung Ledang, the legendary mountain where the Sagil waterfall located at the base is a local favorite picnic area.

From Segamat we headed to Kuantan where we stopped for lunch. We drove on to Cherating Beach, where we checked in the Legend Resort and spent the evening walking along the beach and watching the beautiful sunset.

Although we booked in for two nights, the next morning, we decided to go to Taman Negara. To access the park, we can either take a three-hour boat ride to Kuala Tahan, or go by land.

We decided to go to the park driving through a long winding road. The drive was exciting, the scenery lush green.

Along the journey, we recollected the experiences of our travels, local and abroad while listening to a compilation of songs of the 70’s and 80’s, which without fail brought nostalgic sweet memories.

To many visitors, Taman Negara is a favorite adventurous getaway where they can explore lowland forests or mountains along the marked trails.

As for us, we just want to spend our time together relaxing, while watching the motor boats carrying passengers across the Sungai Tembeling.

Visitors don’t often get to see wildlife unless they are very lucky. And we thought we were when a few naughty monkeys hurled green unripe mangoes at us when we passed under the mango tree.

Later, a huge wild boar passed us and disturbed our tranquil rest while we were drinking fruit punch and eating apple pie at the restaurant terrace…

I'm happy for the time we spent together. It would be more exciting if the kids were with us...

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Near miss, close shave...

"There's nothing sadder than getting to the end of your life and saying: I didn't do it right..."

It was the second day of Hari Raya and we were on our way to Melaka.

All my siblings were already at my parents’ house. Tonight there will be a majlis bertunang for one of my nephews. Our kids didn’t follow us as they have to start work right after the Raya holidays.

It was still drizzling when we started our journey late that afternoon. Earlier it was raining quite heavily. The road was wet and slippery, but the traffic flow was surprisingly smooth. Hubby drove carefully and slowed down when we approached the sharp corner of the Sungai Besi flyover bridge. We were engrossed in our conversation, when it happened.

In one split second our car skidded and slithered from the center of the road and hit the barrister. Hubby reacted quickly, managed to straightened the car but the road was too slippery and the car hit the barrister the second time. We were lucky that the cars in front and behind were a distance away and avoided smashing right into our uncontrolled car.

During that few seconds, hubby's biggest concern was to get the car off the barrister and avoid the car from flying over the bridge. My biggest concern was how my beloved kids will take to the news of losing both their parents at the same time. In that few seconds, my entire life reeled in my mind in slow motion. In my life, the last fifty years were littered with near misses and close shaves. And I was thinking that all it takes is this one particular moment.

I was not injured and neither was he. But we were shocked to the bone….

Monday, 16 October 2006

Timeless Moments...

"The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie..."

Timeless Moments

Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter
Love is itself unmoving
Timeless, and undeserving
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation

(Author unknown)

Maaf Zahir & Batin

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Belated Arabic Exam...

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence..." - Robert Frost

Since early this year, I have been attending the Arabic classes two nights in a week. The class was interesting and the Ustaz was good. We learned our lessons in a relaxed environment and most of the time we deviated from the syllabus to cater for some slow coaches and those who often took unauthorized absence more too often.

Although it was the policy for all students to have more than 75% record of attendance to sit for the final exam, only a handful of us met that criteria. The Ustaz being lenient and nice, would not report on us. The reason being only a small minority were of hardcore miscreants. The rest of us were good and obedient and never missed to submit our homework.

Towards the end of the semester, attendance got better and the class was full-house again. I made a point not to miss classes as Ustaz would, in between revisions, sometimes gave hints on probable questions for the final exam. A list of soalan bocor circulated among the 3 classes and students were all excited and geared up to sit for the final exam. Confident to receive the much coveted certificate, a licence to enroll for advanced Arabic class next year.

I was the unlucky one. I missed my final exam as the date clashed with my umrah trip. Sensing my frustration, Ustaz advised me to request for a special sitting at a later date. After I came back from my trip, I was engrossed in my normal busy life and forgotten all about the exam.

Until last Tuesday, when I received one sms from my Ustaz: ‘Saya dah arranged untuk awak ambik exam hari Khamis. Datang lah, pukul 8 pagi…’

This morning, sitting in one corner in the administrative office in Mesjid Negara, I took my written Arabic exam, while eaves-dropping on conversations among the office staff discussing about balik kampung, kueh raya, ketupat and rendang…

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Berbuka Puasa @ the Penthouse

"Fear and love are the deepest of human emotions..." Donnie Darko

All these years, somehow or other I managed to join the ladies in the Majlis Berbuka Puasa Puspanita. This year, Sara is joining me.

The AJK has selected the venue at the Penthouse in Block C instead of the Café. The choice might not be the best location, but judging from the status of some of the guests, it is decent and respectable enough for me. Tonight we have invited the DG’s and AG’s wives and all the Lady Directors. We have also invited Ustazah Kalsom to deliver a short ceramah and later lead us in solat tarawih.

The Penthouse is fairly large and spacious enough to cater for the majlis, generously furnished and with very airy living and dining rooms. Recently they have renovated and covered the balcony with tall glass windows with scenic views of the Royal Selangor Club and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. The 3 bedrooms used to cater for those who had to stay back at night to finish work. This usually happened when we need to finalise the annual accounts at the end of the year. Those days, no one will want to spend the night in the bedrooms in the penthouse, except only the brave and the daring. The rest, including me, will find comfort to sleep on the floor next to our work place. Those days, we spent the New Year’s eve banging on our calculators to balance our journals to the last cents. Computers were never heard of during my early years in the organization!

In the early 80’s, the Penthouse was occupied by a caretaker who took care and maintained the place well. Later when the caretaker retired, no one was hired to replace him. The Penthouse was left empty. Once in a while, the cleaners will clean up the place. And once in a while there will be requests for the Penthouse to be opened for a certain function. We heard that the penthouse is haunted. We heard so many ghost stories and eerie experiences from those who’d stayed the nights there.

Ghosts or no ghosts, the Majlis Berbuka Puasa went pretty well.

Monday, 2 October 2006

The Bentong Court Case...

"They say we learn more from losing than from winning..."

Any of you who have been to a court of law, be it high, middle or low – either as plaintiff or respondent, accused person, witness or defendant, learned lawyer or nosy observer – would not have failed to notice that the preliminaries are often long winded and not in any way related to the case.

And today I was subjected to these long winded preliminaries when I attended the court case in Bentong as an expert witness. After the oath or rather declaration to speak ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth’, I gave my testimonials and was cross-examined by the Counsel. What irritated me most was when I have to repeat my statement every time before he could comprehend it completely. Even His Lordship took pity on me and a few times stopped the Counsel from asking the same questions over and over again. Either he’s hard of hearing or he was not paying attention. The statement which normally take an hour or two, lasted the whole morning and the court has to adjourn for lunch break.

I was lucky that I was seated in the witness box when I presented my analysis, whereas, the accused would be all the time standing in his ‘kandang’ and perspiring on his feet. Fancy the physical strain, especially on the calf muscles and the mental agony, particularly while at the tender mercies of the Counsel.

The drive back to KL was uninteresting and a few times I nearly dozed off at the steering wheel.

Sunday, 1 October 2006

House warming party...

"Those who give have all things. Those who withhold have nothing..." - A proverb

Today, Sara and I will break fast at Iwan’s Mandy Villa Apartment. Ella is going to cook mihun sup for dinner! They have invited two of their girlfriends to join too. I fried cucur udang to bring to their house. We were late when we arrived and it was already time to break fast.

While we were having dinner, hubby called from the airport. Earlier he sms to inform that he’d already boarded the ERL from KL Sentral and will be breaking fast at KLIA. Tonight he is flying to Dhaka. He will be there on business for a week and will only be coming back next Saturday. And I am going to miss him…

Yang, love is missing you whenever we're apart, but somehow feeling warm inside because you’re close in my heart...

Sunday, 24 September 2006

Family Iftar...

“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity…” - George Bernard Shaw
When I woke up from sleep, my head was spinning. When I checked the clock, for a while I lost my bearing. Pukul 3 pagi ke 3 petang ni? I have slept like a log since after subuh. It is as though my body is having its revenge on me. I slept like I have never been before…

I rushed to take a quick shower and wake Sara up. Tonight we were having the family dinner and it’s my turn to cook. And the fridge and pantry were literally empty. We drove to Plaza Damas and bought loads of provisions which can last us till end of Ramadhan. In a jiffy Sara helped me cooked chicken curry, sambal sotong and mixed vege with button mushrooms. And of course, crispy fried fish and kicap with cili padi…

By 6.00 pm we had already finished with cooking. Iwan and Ella came from Mandy Villa with a bowl of sliced water melon. We started the breaking of fast with kueh-mueh and fruit juice. After solat Maghrib berjemaah we had buffet dinner as the dining table is too small to fit all of us. By 8 p.m. we cleared all foods and fruits and got ready to go to Mesjid Wilayah for the Solat Terawih. We completed Terawih around 10.30 p.m. and were stuck in a jam for quite a while as there were irresponsible people double and triple parking along the road.

I am happy to have the family for iftar and solat terawih together on the first day of puasa. I wish that my beloved Ja is here with us.....

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Dubai/Abu Dhabi Holiday...

“…By travelling I know I have possessed the world, more completely, more nicely than if I had captured the whole world by buying it or conquering it…”

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

The Holy Journey...

“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it...”

6 Sep 2006 (Wednesday)

"Ya Allah,
we seek virtue and piety from You
in this journey of ours
and the act which pleases You.
Lighten this journey of ours
and make its distance easy for us..."

Eight of us departed from KLIA at 0055. Transited in Dubai for 4 hours. Departed for Jeddah at 0800. Ustaz Shamsul Bahari, from Triways Travel was already waiting for us. Took a van to Madinah and reached the holy city after Asar. Checked-in at Madinah Hilton Hotel. Went to Masjid Nabawi for Magrib and Isya' prayers.

7 Sep 2006 (Thursday)
(Madinah Al-Munawwarrah)

After the Subuh prayer, got ready for ziarah at historical places around Madinah. Visited Masjid Quba’, Masjid Qiblatain, Masjid 7, Jabal Uhud and the Tamar Souk. All along the journey, we were enlightened with interesting stories and tazkirah by Ustaz Shamsul. After the ziarah, visited makam Rasulullah to say salam from family and friends.

"Salaam upon you Ya Rasulullah
from me and from the one who has requested me
to convey Salaams to you."

At the Raudhah recited the dua'.

"Ya Allah,
fulfill our needs,
and make our affairs easy,
and open our hearts
and accept our visit
and remove the fears
and grant us safety
and conceal our faults
and forgive our sins
and remove our difficulties
and let our end be with our good actions
and count us with Your pious servants
who do not fear or grieve by Your mercy..."
8 Sep 2006 (Friday)
(Madinah al-Munawwarah - Makkah al-Mukarramah)

After the Friday prayer, we doned our ihram and went for ziarah wida’ to bade goodbye to Rasulullah with a promise that we will come to visit again, Insya-Allah... Departed Madinah for Makkah at 1530 together with Ustaz Shamsul. Stopped to miqat at Bir Ali. Performed the sunnat-al-ihram, recited the dua' and talbiah.

"Ya Allah,
We intend to perform the Umrah,
render it easy for us, and accept it from us."
Reached Makkah at 2130 and checked-in Zahret Makkah Hotel. Had dinner and later entered Mesjid-el-Harram. With tears of longing, we entered and walked towards the kaabah...

"Ya Allah,
open for us the doors of Your mercies,
and make easy for us the means of livelihood"
Completed our 1st Umrah at 0100. Alhamdulillah... I thank Allah for allowing me to fulfill my promise to bring my two sisters to this Baitul-Haram.
9 Sep 2006 (Saturday)
(Makkah al-Mukarramah)

After Subuh prayer and breakfast, we went to Tannaim for miqat.

"Ya Allah,
Give us contentment in that which You have provided for us
and bestow us with Barakat therein,
and be a successor of all whom we have left behind... "

Completed our 2nd umrah at 1000. After Asar went for shopping. Bought a few jubah, sejadah and other buah tangan. After dinner slept soundly after a good foot massage.

10 Sep 2006 (Sunday)
(Makkah al-Mukarramah)

After breakfast, went for ziarah to some historical places around Makkah. Visited Jabbal Thaur, Jabbal Rahmah, Mudzalifah and Minna. We did not have the opportunity to visit the Jamrats because of the on-going construction works. Miqat at Mesjid Ja’aranah.

"Ya Allah,
grant us goodnness in this world,
and goodness in the hereafter
and save us from the punishment of the fire..."
Completed our 3rd Umrah around 1230 and in time for solat Zuhur. Slept whole afternoon till Asar.

11 Sep 2006 (Monday)
(Makkah al-Mukarramah)

After breakfast, we took a van to Tannaim to miqat. Everytime we drink air zam-zam we recite the dua'

"Ya Allah,
We ask You for beneficial knowledge.
and abundance in provision,
and cure us from every ailment..."

Completed our 4th umrah around 1030. Went for a shopping spree after Asar prayer. Slept tightly at night.

12 Sep 2006 (Tuesday)
(Makkah - Hudaibiah)

After breakfast rented a van to go to Hudaibiah to miqat. Met the Imam of Mesjid Hudaibiah, a Malaysian from Melaka. On the way back stopped at a Camel Farm to drink and buy a few bottles of camel milk. Visited Makkah museum. Completed our 5th Umrah around 1230 in time for solat Zuhur.

"Ya Allah!
We ask You to exhalt our fame
and to ease us of our burdens,
to set right our affairs,
to purify our heart
and to appoint light in our grave,
to remit from us our sins
and to bestow unto us the highest of degrees in Paradise..."

Received sms from Linda who gave birth to a baby girl named Aqilah. Both mother and daughter are ok. Alhamdulillah...

13 Sep 2006 (Wednesday)
(Makkah al-Mukarramah)

After breakfast took a van to Tannaim. Completed our 6th Umrah around 1030.

"Ya Allah!
Let not any of our sins go unfogiven,
nor any of our worries undispelled,
nor any of our needs unfulfilled.
Ease our task for us,
relieve our hearts and minds,
and end righteously our deeds..."
Slept till Zuhur. After Asar went to the bazaar for last minute shopping.

14 Sep 2006 (Thursday)
(Makkah - Jeddah)

After breakfast took a taxi to Tannaim to miqat for our 7th Umrah. After Solat Zuhur, performed the tawaf wida’ and recited the doa at the Multazzam.

"Ya Allah,
set right for us our religion
which is the safeguard of our affairs.
And set right for us the affairs of our world
wherein is our living.
And set right for us our Hereafter
on which depends our after life.
And make the life for us
of abundance for every good
and make our death of comfort for us,
protecting us against every evil..."

After lunch packed our bags and departed Makkah for Jeddah. Visited the Mesjid Terapung at the Red Sea. Checked-in and had dinner at Jeddah Airport.

Our flight to Dubai was delayed for almost 2 hours. Although dead tired, everyone was excited and looking forward for our short holiday in Dubai and Abu Dhabi...

My Travelogue: munmus.blogspot.com

Monday, 4 September 2006

My Hajj & Umrah rites

“The traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep...” – Margaret Mead

"And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men; they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways; That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days Appointed, over the cattle which He has provided for them (for sacrifice): then eat you thereof and feed the distressed ones in want. Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House.” (Al Hajj: 27-29).

Looking at the amount of time and money spent on my travel each year, a lot of people, especially close friends asked me a typical, mocking question:

“kau gi jalan round dunia ni tak simpan duit sikit untuk buat haji ke atau umrah ke? Kalau duit lebih tu sedekah le pada parents ke … adik beradik ke… anak-anak ke.. kekawan ke... bla bla bla… he he he…”

Hubby and I usually will just smile and ignore those remarks. Our parents, siblings and kids know us better to pass judgments...

When we started work in early 80s, we opened a deposit account with Tabung Haji. A monthly salary deduction of RM20 was a heavy burden to our pockets. Then, with our general degree our salary was a meager RM880. At end of each month the money was barely sufficient to pay for house rental, car loan and utilities. Eating out on Saturday nights was a luxury treat to the kids…

Over the years with each yearly increment, we increased our deposits. Over 5 years our tabung haji deposits were enough for us to perform the Hajj. It didn’t take us long to decide. In 1991 we registered and in 1992 we were offered to join the muasasah group.

In May 1992, we severed all ties with our family and home and started our journey for the Hajj Pilgrimage. Leaving our small kids behind, my late youngest son, Ja was 7 then. We performed the various duties of the pilgrim at all stages of the Hajj and completed the fifth and last of the rukun Islam. Alhamdulillah… In front of the Ka’abah we prayed for Allah to endow us with wealth and health, for us to be able to visit the holy lands again.

November 1994, we brought our 3 kids, my Mak and Abah and my MIL to perform the Umrah and after the Umrah we stopover in Amman, Jordan for a 3-day ziarah.

December 1996, joining a big group, together with our 3 kids we went to perform our Umrah again. This time we transited in Istanbul, Turkey for a 3-day ziarah.

December 1998, together with the kids, my parents and MIL we went for ziarah in Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt. Over there we were accompanied by my nephew, Abu Dzar, who was then studying in Al-Azhar U and be our tour guide. We then flew to Madinah and later we entered Makkah on the first day of Ramadhan.

November 2000, only the two of us went to perform the Umrah during the last week of Ramadhan. After the Umrah, when we reached KL, we had already completed 30 days of fasting and celebrated the Eid-Fitri. People in Malaysia were still fasting then.

September 2002, together with another 2 couples we went to perform the Umrah. On the way back to KL our flight was stranded in Sana’a, Yemen and we were made to stay for 3 days before the next flight. The 6 of us enjoyed our stay so much. And all expenses were paid for!

September 2004, we joined a group of a dozen people to perform the Umrah. After the Umrah the two of us transited in Dubai for a 4-day holiday. There, we met with my nephew, Nor Azhar, a Captain with the Etihad Airways.

We have always planned to perform our Umrah every other year and Alhamdulillah, Allah has granted us our wishes. And this year, Sara, my Mak and Abah, my MIL and my 2 sisters will be joining us.

Now, it’s time to go again...

My Overseas Travelogue: munmus.blogspot.com

Friday, 1 September 2006

Happy 27th Anniversary...

From him:

There’s no way I can ever thank you
Or repay you for even one beautiful minute,
But there’s one thing I can do…
I can love you forever, and I know I will…

Because something inside just let me know
Our love story has no end…

p.s. Happy Anniversary, yang. I love you so very much tau. Sampai bila2 tau…

From me:

I want to walk
with you
hand in hand,
across all the
years to come…

p.s. I love you so very much too, yang…

Monday, 28 August 2006

Double celebrations

"As you move forward, don't allow apprehension to get you in its grip..."

The children received their scrolls last weekend. Luckily their convocations fall on different days, if not we would have to split. IIUM 22nd Convocation was on Saturday through Monday and Sara was in the 2nd session on Saturday afternoon, 26 August 2006. UTP 6th Convocation was on 27 August 2006 and Iwan and Ella received their scrolls on that Sunday morning.

You’ve graduated
genuine smiles, relief sighs
and pride in our hearts
thrills of dreams come true
Enjoy the day
bask in the bright sun
The honor is yours,
we'll all share the fun.

To Sara, Iwan & Ella