Thursday, June 28, 2007

I am Kelantanese

Another similarity between Kamal and I is our love for Kelantan.

We love the relaxed pace of life, the amiable dialect, the easy access to heavenly East Coast islands, the sumptuous food, as well as the colourful names they adopt, and the list rolls on.

Although my father is a Kelantanese, my paternal grandfather decided to reside in Kerayong, Pahang, where he was last posted to as a Police Officer. Kelantan was only introduced to my siblings to visit a spiritual teacher, who is also my grandfather's close friend. I was five years old.

When my mother retired by option and my father received a better job offer in Seremban, my family moved to Rembau from Cheras. Life became less hectic, presenting an opportunity for my parents to connect with the Kelantanese family, whom I now refer to as The East Coast Chapter. We went back to Kelantan as often as once a month. There, we were never short of invitations for a sleepover.

After a while, because of our frequent visits to Kelantan, my father decided to build a house on a lot bequeathed to a particular community by my grandfather's best friend. The house provides more reasons to visit the state, where we are embraced by the warmth of The East Coast Chapter. Aidilfitri and Aidiladha are celebrated here every year since my maternal grandmother passed away.

There are other gatherings, namely congregational Maghrib and Isya' prayer, zikrs, talks, meetings, and get-togethers. Nevertheless, we would love to be in Kelantan with no reason at all. Just to be there with our loved ones. Like what Kamal and I are doing now. It is simply spiritually uplifting.

I am indeed a Kelantanese.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Street Rembrandt

Inspiration derived from Street Rembrandt, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

I long to sketch in the pad again.
I long to commence the canvas project.
I long to shop for oil paint and brushes.
I long to find that watercolour which I have lost in 1999.
I long to sit by my niece and transfer her wild imagination onto a paper.
I long to visit art galleries.
I long to exchange techniques with Art 98 and The Best Art Teacher.


Wind Orchestra

Although I have not registered as a Seri Puteri alumnus, there is the desire to witness my former school's glory. Seri Puteri was not in the top three nevertheless in the Wind Orchestra Finale, Sekolah Berasrama Penuh, held four hours ago in Plenary Hall, Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

Instead, Kamal's former school won third place. Congratulations to the participating schools though. Amusing talents.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Decisions

A month after the six-month Public Management Diploma course, I received a letter of re-assignment from my former division to the Parliament Unit in my current division. Previously, a batchmate, A, was the ministry's co-ordinator in the Parliament, but she was re-assigned to INTAN. Nevertheless, another batchmate, B, who has been in the same division as the A, took over the latter's place right after the course. As soon as I moved to the the current division, the boss in charge of the Parliament Unit decided to continue the arrangement, while I co-ordinate answers and data in the office. I only had a taste of being the co-ordinator for Parliamentary duty when B was not around.

When a new male officer arrived, he was deemed more suitable to be the co-ordinator due to certain obstacles faced by women officers. B and I were back in office. The three of us were fine with the latest arrangement.

Meanwhile, Kamal and I decided to consult a gynaecologist to have a child. We were diagnosed with unexplained infertility as both were normal yet unable to conceive. Therefore, both of us needed to undergo a few processes to aid conception.

Then, for the next parliamentary session, the top officers decided to re-structure the division according to the post assigned by Public Service Department of Malaysia to each individual. That meant, I had to be the permanent co-ordinator in the Parliament. Crisis arose.

I discussed my predicament with my immediate boss. At that moment, I was undergoing treatments, thus a need for flexible hours now and then to visit my gynaecologist in Bangi, as well as Ampang, when the treatments involved a number of machines. If I were to work in the Parliament, I would have to answer to the ministry's Secretary of Parliament, Deputy Minister, and Minister. Oh, I would not have fixed office hours as the session could end as late as 12:00 a.m, which would be announced on the day itself. Not that I am not used to working late, but it was less demanding for the late hours had early notice and I could arrange my treatment schedules around that.

As there was no other way out, I opted for the last resort. I applied to be re-assigned to another division, with the top officers' consent. The application was sent to the Human Resource Division a day before the new top-most officer came.

While waiting for the result of my application, I was allowed to continue with the tasks in the current division. We worked day and night for The Document. Eventually, last two weeks, my re-assignment was made official. I were to go to my former division.

Nevertheless, the new top-most officer has started to like the team working for The Document. He could see everybody's potential. Upon hearing that I would be re-assigned to a different division, he discussed with my immediate boss about alternatives to keep me where I am. They came up with a decision.

Three days ago, the top-most officer met me to discuss his offer. It would be a loss to the team if I were to go. I told him that it would be a loss for me, too, because I have learned much in this division. However, I had to go because being in the Parliament would hinder my treatments.

Then, the offer: he would create a post for me, according to the re-structuring proposal, in the office, as the division does a number of ad-hoc tasks and is in need of an officer who knows his or her way around them. That would cancel the arrangement made when he was still not around. Two days for me to think it over.

After a further discussion with my immediate boss, I accepted. All because of these:

1. The main reason for the re-assignment application was due to the non-existent post for me in the office. I was expected to be only in the Parliament. The most senior deputy then, who was responsible of the division until the new top-most officer came, did not have the right to decide on a new post aside from the proposal for re-structuring as decided by the ministry.

2. The top-most officer himself would like me to stay there. So does my immediate boss, now that a post has been created for me, albeit unofficially.

3. If I were to go, I would only be able to do so when the new officers come early July. Consequently, my decision to stay does not affect the other division as it will get a new officer anyway.

4. Re-structuring of the ministry will commence mid or end of July. That means the post created for me will be official within a month.

I would love to thank the top-most officer and my immediate boss for the opportunity to stay. How eager I am to learn more from them and the rest of the team. Challenges are there, but they make my life interesting. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Everything

"The song reminds me of you."
So he texted.

You are a falling star, you are the get away car
You are the line in the sand when I go too far
You are the swimming pool, on an August day
And, you are the perfect thing to say


And you play it coy, but it is kinda cute
Ah, when you smile at me, you know exactly what you do
Baby, do not pretend, that you do not know it is true
Because you can see it when I look at you


And, in this crazy life
And, through these crazy times
It is you, it is you
You make me sing
You are every line, you are every word
You are everything


You are a carousel, you are a wishing well
And, you light me up, when you ring my bell
You are a mystery, you are from outer space
You are every minute of my every day


And, I can't believe, that I am your man

And, I get to kiss you, baby, just because I can
Whatever comes our way, we will see it through
And you know what our love can do




Kamal, you are a love text when work is getting impossible.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Connect

I have been guilty for being an excusaholic. Work, work, work. Because of that, I neglect to connect. Today, I know what I have missed.

My mother rang me twice in the morning as she could talk more now that she coughs less. My friend since primary school days called from England to share a personal thought. My younger brother left another message in my mailbox. I called him immediately.

Anis, my three-year old niece, urged her grandmother to dial my number. As soon as she heard my voice, she uttered those magic words. "Sha rindu Mak Lang."

There were more. Among them was the invitation to be part of a chum's big day. There was also a chat with another chum.

Now, I shall connect with my inner-self, with Hamzah Dolmat's Joget Sport Kelab Johore in mind. By the way, it was a surprise card from Kamal that made my day the most. Oh, the joy of connecting.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Two

Celebrating two years of marital bliss.
Happy Second Anniversary, Kamal.

Winks

Saturday, June 16.

My mother was not in the pink of health, but she insisted that I spend the weekend with Kamal. We deserve to be alone though because all three weekends since we moved to our place were occupied with gatherings, if not works. Little did we know my mother had a hidden agenda. She did not want us to be back in Rembau because there was an audition for a new programme on TV3, Casa Impian.

That Saturday, Kamal and I snapped photos of a space we thought was worth a makeover. After breakfast, we sped to Alamanda to print the photos. Afterward, we sped to Sri Pentas, Bandar Utama for the audition. There, I met a fellow coursemate. She told me that my husband and I had acted right by not going there in the morning or else we would need to queue. By being late, we could sit down right after the registration.

We were the 159th interviewees. My kiasuism told me to stay in Sri Pentas until our turn even though Kamal preferred to kill time in Ikea. My kiasuism had indeed given us Juara Lagu overload as it was the only programme aired in the waiting room. Juara Lagu 1986 until 2007. We had fabulous time with our lame jokes nonetheless. Well, all the waiting and no playing would make Kamal and Aishah a dull pair.

At 8:30 p.m., our number was called. The pair before us would like to revamp their bridal boutique. How could a mere living room match the brouhaha of a bridal boutique, eh. Again, Kamal and I held to the feel-good factor. Just enjoy the now. When we were asked to introduce ourselves, the interviewer remarked: "Fuh! Macam host." Ha.

The interview lasted for a good five minutes, including the part where I requested to add something not asked. I mentioned that being selected would be a great present for my mother as it was her idea that we participated in the programme. Both of us felt so.

After the interview, we decided to catch a movie in Cathay Cineplex. Prior to that, we had scrumptious dinner at Marche. My oh my, Shrek 3 was hilarious, but I spoiled the fun by announcing to Kamal my intention to retire early. Boo. Blame the process recommended by my gynaecologist. Heh. The silver lining is, Kamal was able to catch Formula 1 qualifying round.

The next day was our anniversary, which was quietly yet meaningfully spent at home.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Perseverance

Our real blessings often appear to us
in the shapes of pains, losses and disappointments;
but let us have patience,
and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.

Joseph Addison

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Say No to 3G

3G. I would be categorised under 'gebu'.

Gym again tonight.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A

Another appointment with the gynaecologist.
A lunch with The Ketereh Clan.
A girly outing.
A dinner with our loved ones.
A day with Haikal.
A chat with our parents.

A proper entry, I will write :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Under One Roof


Kamal and I were happy to receive the parents, the siblings, and the extended families at our place that weekend.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fun!

Question of the day and for the days since the telephone line from our rented place was rerouted to our home is "when can Kamal and I use the Wi-Fi in the comfort of our bed?"

Both wireless Internet services in the office have been exceedingly slow that I had to wait for an hour for my page to appear. The main Internet provider has blocked blogger. There goes my lunch-hour entertainment.

Something to cheer me up: I am wearing a new apparel. My first kurung Riau. Simple and classic. Shah Alam, where I found this piece, is a kurung haven.

I am going to the district again, from tomorrow until Sunday. Same hotel. I pray we could finish editing The Document soon. All I want now is a decent date with my husband. Kamal, let's bring our sports attire and go to the gym after my afternoon discussion.

Regret, I have one. Having to be away from home means I can't prepare for my family-in-law's visit this weekend. Then, I am uncertain whether  I could be excused from the discussion on Saturday, the day they will go to Bandar Baru Bangi from my brother-in-law's place.

The consolation: As Kamal will be with me in Shah Alam, he will be able to fetch my parents-in-law first as their bus stops there. I will be with them in spirit.

The nature of work in the division requires the staff to work without time concept. What 5:30 p.m.? What Ugly Betty? What weekend?

Yesterday, the officers reached home at 12:30 a.m. after a meeting with the Minister regarding The Document. It was not our first time. We have lost count, actually.

Fortunately, the team knows how to have fun. Therefore, have fun, particularly when you could reach blogger.com even in the most challenging manner. Heh.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Here, There, Everywhere

A personal history was created. I drove from Putrajaya to Shah Alam on my own. No map, no aid from Kamal, and no lost episode, too.

So, I was in Shah Alam recently. To be more exact, I was in Concorde Shah Alam since Thursday until Saturday. My colleague and I took turns behind the editor's laptop from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m., while the superior officers redefined The Document.

A dilemma ensued. My family friend would hold his wedding in Ipoh that Sunday. I spent the evening before the trip to Shah Alam ironing office attires, trying not to sulk about working on a weekend, while my family, including Kamal, have a great time at the gathering. As soon as I finished my house chore, Kamal received a call that forced him to cancel the trip as the cabinets would be installed that Sunday. Eventually, both of us sulked because we would be left with commitments, while our family have a great time at the gathering.

We must have wanted to join our family so much that God sympathised with us. On Saturday, the kitchen contractor asked Kamal whether they could complete the cabinet installment that day. Meanwhile, my most superior officer decided to adjourn the workshop earlier due to an ad-hoc task back at the office. My colleagues and I closed The Document at 1:00 a.m. Which meant, Kamal and I could be with our family on Sunday. Alhamdulillah.

The joy of being with the loved ones superceded the fatigue. I chatted with my mother about a plan and Kamal discovered a new thing about me. I also learned to like a lady who was insensitive to others' feeling, including mine. Not to forget, the Ayam Tandoori served during the wedding was superb. Nevertheless, the most unforgettable, I must conclude, was a particular Rojak Buah my father bought in Tapah R&R.

Next weekend, my parents-in-law will be in Bandar Baru Bangi. So will a sister-in-law's family. The other siblings-in-law and their families were in our place the previous weekend. Oh, I might have to ask for my mother's assistance to prepare the dishes. I just know how to prepare fried rice.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Shorts

Concorde Shah Alam. Since Thursday. Until tomorrow. The spontaneity. Until the connection at home.