Friday, January 29, 2010

Selamat Pengantin Baru

I'm writing a special entry today in dedication to my cousin, Athiah Ilyana Dato' Abdul Samat on the occasion of her engagement and wedding solemnization ceremony tomorrow. She has finally found her mister right in Azizulhasni Awang.  The ceremony tomorrow will be more of families and close friends affair as the couple is due to return to Melbourne in February. The wedding reception is scheduled for December 2010.
Semoga Allah melimpahkan rahmat dan disertakan dengan doa berpanjangan hendaknya jodoh ini. Amiin.
Here's wishing you, Yana and Jojo, all the very best and heartiest Congratulations!
A song for the pengantins-to-be...

Monday, January 25, 2010

The House On Top Of The Post Office

I pass Jalan Bagan Luar maybe once awhile. Not as always I used to. It used to be the main road that leads to everywhere. With the opening of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR), I seldom pass that road anymore. The BORR has become my frequent route to get me to the other side of town in Prai, or to use the bridge, or to take the ferry, all in less than ten minutes from my place in this northern part of the mainland. The time travel does make it shorter but the money spent on tolls is a bit exorbitant! But I like using this new route mainly because I enjoy driving along the coastal road where the sea is so scenic.

From the flyover at Jalan Pantai, I could see the house above the Post Office. I never miss giving it a glance every time I pass by. But today, I just had to stop and feel the energy of this old house that was once my childhood playground, and not to mention, the favourite place of all of my siblings and cousins...

As a little girl, the only 'kampung' I knew was this place. My late grandmother lived with my aunt whose husband was the Post Master. Obviously, every school holidays and Rayas, that was the 'kampung' we went back to. A 'kampung' in a busy town of Butterworth. This house faced the busy road and across was the district hospital. We would cross over to the seaside passing through the hospital grounds and played at the beach. But I'm telling you now, there is no more of the old hospital nor the seaside. The BORR has taken up most of the land that leads to the sea and with the newly built North Butterworth Container Terminal, the area by the seaside is out of bounds.

Sitting in my car, I eyed the steps that would take us upstairs to a wide grille-door and again up the equally wide stairs that led to the main entrance. There stood the main hall, the family corner and the formal dining area. The house was so big in the eyes of this once little girl that she thought if it were to detach from the post office downstairs, it could easily pass off as a bungalow on a sprawling land. Ah, it is very nostalgic just by looking at its facade. You know, the old charm feelings...

I really wanted to knock on the door and help myself inside the house but fearing I would intrude the privacy of the new master, I simply allowed my mind do the wandering. Every single moment in that house came alive as I reminiscing. In fact, every time I pass by this house I swear I could have seen my cousin, Kak Ja standing near the banister! It is as if they have never left...

My eyes caught the 'lemuni' tree still standing tall near the staircase in the medium-sized garden. I remember stirring up Sunday mornings to the sweet aroma of nasi lemak lemuni wafted through the whole house. It was on my aunt's menu that nasi lemuni was staple at Sundays breakfast. My late opah was an excellent cook and with the help of my youngest aunt, and a maid they would be cooking a storm for the whole bunch of forever hungry kids. Needless to say, breakfasts there were almost a riot! Our opah had a tough time disciplining the young ones... yours truly, included!

The house was always abuzz with activities when school was out. Every room filled to the brim with wailing babies, jovial teenagers and sometimes grumpy cousins... er...thousand apologies to the 'tuan rumah' cousins... hehe...Doc Faisal and her youngest sister Da! But of course, we were small and we quarrelled and made up again and fought again.... still there were no love lost!

There was this room at the back of the house where all of us loved to hang-out. A raised platform was built for reasons I did not know to this day; but it sure was our very own stage for performing our 'beauty contests' and 'talent time' shows. It was hilarious as I recalled. The winner seemed to be losing 'friends' when the game was over! Getting silent treatments and cold shoulders were normal that we stopped playing until everyone had forgotten and the game resumed when we got bored again!

And when it rained every day during the monsoon seasons, I watched in glee as the elder cousins and my siblings gathered around the record-player, put the vinyl records on and sang along to the old folks songs endlessly. I really loved this moment. Silently I sat in a corner and sang too to, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again', "Goodnight Irene", "Greensleeves", "Clementine", "Oh O Where Have You Been Billy Boy?", and many more. That was the only time when the house was in order and we became so affectionate to one another...

Opah's room had two windows. One, facing the road. I loved lounging in here and watched the world go by. At night when we were fast asleep, the sudden screeching sound of fast cars rudely awaken us. It was something we accustomed to that going back to sleep was no hassle, unless, of course accidents occurred which somehow, very rare.

The other window faced the neighbouring police station. From this window we could see the activity that took place below. There were also two police officers' offices facing directly toward the window. It was at that fated window when on one fated day, my late sister who was sitting on the ledge had caught the attention of my soon-to-be brother-in-law. From that moment he set eyes on her, he made inquiries about her through my 'tuan rumah' cousins. Opah's room suddenly became the 'head-quarters'  for deploying the young ones as messengers and for holding the many late night snack parties with food came from the man whose heart had been stolen. Opah was indeed very sporting. All these were done stealthily from our formidable uncle and aunt! I hope Doc Faisal remembers this because he was one of the very daring messengers... hihihi!

I guess this is all for now and will continue in the near future. I'm back at the present, very much alert from my constant musings as I see someone flipping the curtains upstairs looking down on me... Gotta go now!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

For My Eyes Only

Salam to everybody...

This is the fifth day I am wearing my new pair of prescription glasses. Normally, it would take two days for me to adjust myself with the new lenses but this time around I have yet to adapt with this changes. I don't quite understand why. Could it be that I have opted for a 'Hoya' brand multifocal lenses from the one 'Essilor' which seemed compatible with my short-sightedness? I have been using the multifocal lenses for the last six years without much ado before but now I get distorted images especially when I read and eat. By the way, I used to be short-sighted... but not anymore. I've been warned that I'm long-sighted too and the power has increased these past two years (so much for having old eyes, huhu!). But I don't see why it has got to do with distorted image? Now that I'm experiencing headaches and also double-vision. Sometimes I can't help but get amused too, when I start tilting my plate because I thought my rice is spilling from the side away from me! Things get higher from anywhere near me and lower at far end... Nah, this line confused me even! What am I saying? Have to see my optician once again to rectify the problems. Hi index  multi-coated multifocal lenses are not cheap, you know... and Hoya is already the cheapest option.

But then again, it could be that my poor eyes are so tired of wearing glasses since I was ten... hmm... but then, then, then again... I'm so grateful I still see. :)

Enough of my complaints...let's check out my lunch on this hot afternoon.... simple jer, cuma gambar ayam goreng tak ada...

Gulai asam rebus batang keladi.... very the nyaman, uols!
sayur lemak buncis...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dia Buat Dah....

MyC woke up Saturday morning to a rambling stomach. She said she could do with just pancakes for breakfast. But I was already half-way through frying rice. So, pancakes sounded refreshing too and being the 'ibu yang kadang-kadang mithali... yang kadang-kadang masih main tali...' I whipped out the batter as MyC volunteered to cook them later. Sorry la... tak sempat nak letak gambor! Nak jugak showcasekan my favourite version of pancake... the cream cheese pancakes with strawberry sauce, y'all! Nigella's recipe lagi! Akak kan.... kadang-kadang ferasan jugak jadi minus her boobs and bum lah kan... muahaha... sambil masak nak melatih MyC, giving her some tips of easy cooking whatever... hehe...!!! While the batter sat to rest, I had my shower and MyC set the table.

She was good for a beginner. Well (shrugging my shoulders!), anak sapa kan? Hmm... sedap weh, cream cheese pancakes ni.... dah makan yang ini, tak makan dah pancake yang biasa biasa tu! Rasa masam masam...sikit manis... pastu mula ler nak bercakap macam Che' gu Sha'ari.... bantai cakap Jarman!

MyC sebenarnya dah buat hal semula. Itu yang dia punya nak mengipas *bon*** mummy dia! Hehe! It all began on Friday, when she called from school asking me to check the internet on dot government something... Huh, she was offered a place in Sekolah Menengah Sains Kepala Batas. I was adamant about not letting her go and all these boarding schools stuff. So, had to slow talk her as she suddenly showed an interest of going. 'mummy, Puan Jamaah, my former principal is now the principal of that school' . Hmmm... I knew it! Dalam hati, "ade akak kesah?" Ho ho ho! No. Full stop.

At noon, 'P. Osman' dropped some mail in our letter box and as expected, the offer letter was among them. Like the first time she got the offer from MRSM, the excitement resumed. I for one wasn't. Takpe lah Girl... sekolah kat mana-mana pun sama, janji rajin usaha jer, insyaAllah, pasti berjaya. Macam-macam akak gula-gula budak sorang ni. Mulalah buat contoh orang tu orang ni yang belajar kat day school ni jer. Morever, the school she's going now is a 'sekolah kawalan'... sekolah bestari lagi. One moment she was okay, but when friends who got the same offer wanted to go, she became restless again. Alahai.... sorry, babe... I wasn't born yesterday... I know you too well!

As of yesterday, she was her usual self, pestering her papa to take her to Borders and spent the quiet afternoon with her new toy at the bookstore's Starbuck, overlooking the beautiful Queensbay's waterfront... while mummy splurged on new books.... hmm... So, kalau akak sonyap seminggu ni... faham-faham jer lah.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Of Old Friend, Old Flame and Daddy Long Legs....

Recently, I received a text message from an old friend. She has been looking high and low for me. I was surprised to get her message and after numerous sending and replying, I felt it was only apt that I call her... huh, tak larat nak taip dah! Seronok dapat bual lama-lama macam tu. The moment we spoke for the first time in many years, we forgot that we are now two very much grown-ups. There were many catching-ups to do and each question would not start without that... "eh, you ingat tak...?" Oh, it was so nice to go back in time and laugh at ourselves like we were two teenagers all over again!

Then came one big question that totally hit me hard... " you marry that guy?..."
Ouch! When I told her it was somebody else I marry, she went..... "laaa.... all those waiting... kan ke you rajin tunggu P.Osman  hantar surat-surat dari Australia tu... kesian ... what happen?"
That was hilarious! Okay, nothing happened guys.... he wasn't meant to be my jodoh! Hehe! So sorry, no story on this. Akaq kan suka tease you all! (Oh yes, by the way P.Osman was our way of saying POSTMAN!) Muahaha!

But one thing for sure... my friend and I still love the book we used to share - "Daddy Long Legs". Heheh! Even though we were big girls then, we did not fancy Mills & Boons and the likes. When I mentioned I had bought a new copy of Daddy Long Legs some time last year, she was ecstatic.

Well, it is always nice to have old friends looking for you. The good old days is never erased. The memory lane is never closed. Every single event be it happy or sad is cherished by and by. Perhaps, this is only a beginning of a renewed friendship that hopefully will link us to other close friends that we have lost touch with.

"Make new friends, keep the old... one is silver, the other is gold..."

Have a nice weekend and do enjoy this vc from my favourite animated series way back in.... 1996? 1997?
Daddy Long Legs...with one of my favourite songs....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What A Feeling!

Driving along the coastal road this morning heading for a meeting, at such an unimaginable place, I was greeted with a beautiful sunny morning. I have always love morning drives where there's 'happiness' in everything I see. The sea glistening in a distance and the island across seemed cheerful bathing in lots of sunshine. Almost instantly my spirit somewhat lifted. I had been in my lousiest of moods for the past few days. Getting out of the house had been rewarding after all. Making my way through the hustle and bustle of this industrial town was a breeze too, as the morning rush had gradually slowed down. The brief meeting, (between two complete strangers), was made easier when the other party had waited just before the stipulated time. Hmm... a half-way rendezvous at the lay-by at the Penang Bridge! In less than fifteen minutes... the Royal Al**** changed hands! Heheh!

(Pic: Penang Island from a distance....)

Back at home... the melancholy feelings looms. I hate it when I am all mushy and tearful. There's a lot in my mind lately... apart from my feeling under the weather over the weekend and saw myself confined in bed most of the time. Then there is this stabbing problem of my already bad eyesight. But no worries... I am okay once I have written this entry. Writing helps release the tension. It usually works! Really, I'm okay guys!

And here's my simple lunch.... so comforting, I wish I could serve everyone!


Koayteow  Hor... (macam wantan hor kat Ipoh tu...)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Miera's Song

While browsing my facebook homepage, I stumbled upon my niece's notes and proceed to read on. It took a second or so for me to immerse into her thoughts. It was a couple of notes she penned about her late mother, my beloved sister. What tugged my heart-string was her innocent confession of not really knowing the mother she lost when she was only nine and at the same time sympathised her youngest sister who, till these days is still clueless about their mother. Then, like an open dam, I cried like the day my sister died...

Miera wrote in such casual yet endearing manner about her mother with accompanying wedding photographs of my late sister as guide. Miera kept on heaping praises about her mother's beauty that she said, unfortunately, she did not inherit... but made up for her brains that she (Miera) has. "...sayangnya aku tak mewarisi  kecantikan arwah ami (mummy)... but at least, I have her brains.... arwah ami seorang yang terpelajar dan sangat pandai... and I'm proud that ami had studied in STF..." At one part I burst out a giggle when she wrote, " betapa cantiknya ami... patutlah arwah addy (daddy) sangat memuja ami!"

When it got to a part about the famous black and white portrait of my sister, which apparently everyone of them (Miera has two brothers and a sister) had resized, and slipped it into thier wallets, the memory of her just flashed before my eyes. It was one portrait that once upon a time became an obsession and prized possession of my eldest nephew, Hezri, that he hanged  it so conspicuously in his living room in Johor. I had the same feeling as told by Miera about this particular portrait....

...The first time I entered Hezri's house and on seeing the enlarged picture of kak Nyah, I was overcome with emotions. I went a bit hysterical. My crying would not stop and I was inconsolable. It was the feeling of that she was still around.... seeing her at the doorstep, with open arms... welcoming you... and suddenly, upon reaching her, she was nowhere to be found... And they say, crying is infectious, my poor mother too drowned in her own sadness. To us, losing a sister was devastating but to a mother it was more than that. Anyway, the touching part came when Miera said her mother's eyes in that portrait bore some sort of a mystery that she wished she could decipher them. Yes, I clearly remember that.

There is a question hang in the air posed by Miera's youngest sister, Umai. " Can I ever be like her? I wish I could know her... why was she taken away from me so soon?" Ahh...this is hard... But I left a comment for her anyway, that the least she could do is by having some of  kak Nyah's good qualities. Arwah was way too nice... a compassionate person.  Her humility always won people over, even though she knew she was a 'somebody's' wife.... that did not change her. She was beautiful inside and out...
If only you knew her...
*Umai was only three when her mother passed away. Yes, I was there.. in fact all of us were there on the day her mother died. She was oblivious of the solemn situation. She was seen playing and sometimes burst out laughing loudly until someone had to quieten her. But when the time came for kak Nyah's body to be wrapped up, she suddenly became pensive.. and clinging to her sister, Miera, who herself was still small, she tore all of our hearts when she said, " Ami kena pakai stokin ke? Kesian ami... nanti dia sejuk kan?" Ahhh.....

I can go on and on and on.... but, Umai, since you have been brought up by a different hand, I will not interfere into your less known qualities that has become ingrained through years you've passed through. I know, you've been asked to forget your mother...

Then again,  it pleased me when Miera, in her notes, exclaimed to her surprise that the wedding dress she had designed and hope one day she will wear on her big day was exactly the same one her mother wore! See, the apple won't fall far from the tree!  And to that, she (and me, included) couldn't have thanked her other aunt, Wan Chu, more,  for lending her kak Nyah's old wedding photos. ( I didn't know Miera was in Ipoh last weekend and was there digging for her mother's stuff!)

I think I have to stop now... my poor heart could not take this anymore. Redha saja. But before that, I just had  to tell my gentle readers that the four of them were tested with another tragedy when their father, some years later after their mother's demise, was brutally slain in his own house by intruders. Sadly, Umai was there to witness the murder. Her late father, was then the  A/Ocpd of Kulai, and the news of his death became headlines because it shook the nation of the daring killing of a police personnel. Nothing to be proud of, but the children, as anyone could imagine were traumatised.  

To my nieces Miera and Maira., and nephews Hezri and Ezwan, ...Ateh always pray for your well-beings. I love you all all the same... even though everyone in the family says Ezwan is special to me in a way...

Al-Fatihah buat arwah kak Nyah....

Monday, January 4, 2010

No Manic Monday!

New year or old, my mundane routine continues. Waking up extra early just before Subuh is quite normal when school re-opens. When everyone has left for their respective places... a sense of liberation surges in me. Yippee! Now that I have this house all to myself. I'll have breakfast as and when I like... no headaches of minding what to cook or buy for breakfast! I can start lunch maybe early maybe late, but before MyC's gets home from school. The one session school she goes will only dismiss at 2.30pm and she would probably be home by 3... if the traffic is bad. What am I talking about... I'm partly contributing to the traffic snarl come first day of school!

I started off this morning with straightening up the house - sweeping, vacuuming, dusting and mopping. All this done in style... hehe... with the radio blaring to a volume that I guaranteed won't disturb my neighbours... and my singing that carries, somehow! hahaha! I do that on purpose - my neighbours are all at work. Memang merdeka habislah akak! While the washer is on, I plan for the day's menu. As early as eight o'clock this morning, I left for the market.

Just when I thought to cook lunch early, (so that akak boleh lepak kat blog orang...hihi..) the phone just couldn't stop ringing. One after another, the calls kept coming in. Okay, I exaggerate sikit... but each came with the interval of fifteen to twenty minutes. One call came from kak Zu who chatted for awhile and then telling me later she has forgotten what she had wanted to talk about! Note to kak Zu..."drink warm honey every morning!"

Alright, first day of school semua kerja beres on time. Lunch is superb; for I know MyC's first question when she sees me around to pick her up later. Betul pun, masuk je kereta, dia dah tanya,
" mummy masak apa ari ni?" Ah, she must have missed saying that line for six weeks!