The Ians' birthday celebration was the third such do for Khalish, after Ilham's and Idrina's. There, 19 days ago, he met a number of my maternal cousins for the first time, thanks to another cousin's invitation. Too bad my mobile phone acted up nearing the do that I could not return the cousin's call, resulting in The C Clan wearing white and brown, instead of red, the theme colour.
We had fun anyway. The birthday boys, the triplets, who are Khalish's second cousins, were so adorable. Kamal was inspired to go trigger-happy with his photographer buddy, my cousin's husband. Meanwhile, I brought Khalish around the party corner to introduce him to my relatives. Everybody thought that he resembled my uncle in many ways, they called him Tok Long Junior. My brother, Cajib, and I thought that he resembled the Paddington Bear. Either way, he is cute. Heh.
Happy third birthday, Ians. I hope my laptop would not crash again when the three of you celebrate your fourth birthday, resulting in a late post. Anyway, from the two bites of your cake that I managed to steal in between attending to Khalish's whims and fancies, I was convinced to get similar one for his birthday celebration one fine day.
Although Khalish co-operated well with me during my shopping expedition last Tuesday, he was somehow crabby most of the time. Teething at its peak, perhaps. What I am sure of though is the fact that Chech: Eccentric needs a new post about me and my colleague. Thanks to this particular tag:
Senaraikan 10 perkara tentang orang yang tag kamu.
I have done this. It was for Khai though. This time around, the ten facts revolve around Medcham CK:
A fellow Pegawai Tadbir dan Diplomatik colleague. He has been amiable all along the compulsory six-month diploma course for new officers, but it was during a number of outstation tasks that I got to know him better. Thanks to jalan-jalan cari makan sessions during those tasks, which required car-pooling.
Being half Kelantanese, I am always fascinated with the dialect. I first heard the word boko from Medcham. Dengar boko, ingat Medcham. Heh.
Besides his family, he is really into superb machines. Cars, to be exact. I have never known anybody in my circle who is as enthusiastic as he is when it comes to car and its technologies.
He is tall. One of the tallest among the batch mates, perhaps.
An adventurous soul who is game for anything and good at everything. Proven by the titles he won throughout the compulsory six-month diploma course.
A humble man. He might appear commanding, but it is only his physics. I, a borderline extrovert-introvert, could immediately be my-gregarious-self around him.
I like his sense of style.
I also like his sense of humour.
He is one dear brother in the service indeed.
Myself First name
Name you wished you had
When I was little, I used to question my parents about my name spelling. I preferred Nuraisyah. Years later, Kamal told me that he likes the existing spelling better. Noraishah with an o is more elegant, he said, while shah depicts grandeur as it is also a title for a monarch. I hear you, Kamal.
What name do people normally call you by
My parents' friends used to call me Shasha. My maternal grandmother teased her slightly dark granddaughters, me included, by calling us Putih. To closest family members, I am either Chechah or Kaklang. Otherwise, I am known as Aishah in the primary-school circle, Aishah MAK, which stands for Aishah Mohamad Ali Kamil, in secondary-school, and back to Chechah or Chech in university and working world.
July 19, 1981. In the middle of Ramadhan.
Hospital Seremban. Now Hospital Tuanku Ja'afar, Negeri Sembilan.
Time of birth
Single or taken
How tall are you
Wish you were taller
Yes, with longer legs. Heh.
Dark brown. Nonetheless, when I was little, I wanted to have green eyes.
Current hair color
Short or long hair
I would love to have long hair, but a shorter do is more practical, as well as neat, for now. Particularly with Khalish around.
Ever dyed your hair a bizarre color
Burgundy was bizarre for a first try. It was a leftover of a friend's hair dye. I also dyed my hair dark purple once, as recommended by the hairstylist. Surprisingly beautiful, I shall say. Ahem.
Glasses or contacts
Glasses. For the practicality.
Do you wear make up
Make up is fun, so, yes, I wear makeup. A minimum touch of face base and lip gloss would do.
Paint your nails
I would love to, but again, I have to be practical.
Shy or outgoing
Both. I am a borderline case.
Sexy or cute
Cute. Like Gumby.
Serious or fun
Serious and fun. Accordingly.
A turn on
Articulation, combined with politeness.
A turn off
This or That
Flowers or chocolates
Chocolates anytime. Make them dark and bittersweet. Praline is optional.
Pepsi or Coke
Vanilla Coke occassionally. Very rarely though.
Rap or rock
Rock. English kapak in particular, like Guns N' Roses' Don't Cry.
Relationship or one night stand
School or work
Digression: My ultimate dream is to own a school.
Love or money
Love for my romantic self. Money for the practical alter ego.
Movie or music
Musical movie. Love, love Evita soundtrack and the feel good Mamma Mia.
Country or city
Country, with a decent sundry shop that sells chilled Milo at least.
Sunny or rainy days
Sunny day, with cooling wind.
Friends or family
Have you ever lied
Yes. Time, mainly.
Never intended to.
Hurt someone close to you
Being very close to my mother, we tend to be extremely sensitive with each other.
Broke someone’s heart
Wonder what was wrong with you
At times, when I acted far out of the box. Too far.
Wish you were prince or princess
I am the only girl among my siblings, hence a need for imagination in order to survive the madness. I wished I was a Thumbelina, my favourite fairy-tale character when I was little.
Shaved your head
I badly wanted to when I was in form four, to have better hair when it grows back. My parents were against the idea though.
Noodle tastes better with chopsticks somehow.
Sang in the mirror to yourself
Never. I do sing in front of the mirror, but only when Khalish is there with me.
Frangipani and orchid. Bunga kantan is a favourite too, for Nasi Goreng Budu.
There used to be an energetic all-female group in Malaysia called Candy. I liked them.
Anything that suits the mood. From Hamzah Dolmat to Coldplay.
White, green, and brown.
All-time favourites are K-Pax, Contact, Wall-E, and of course, P.Ramlee's comedies. Nevertheless, I could hardly say no to musicals and romantic comedies.
Menawan keluarga bahagia. Heh.
The actual answer is similar to the song question.
Cheezels. I limit my intake for movie sessions only, which I have not done for yonks.
http://beingchechmak.blogspot.com/, social sites, and another ongoing project conceptualised a day ago.
Similar to Kamal's. Here and now.
Dolphin or bird.
Ever cried over someone
Over loved ones, yes, for various reasons.
Is there anything you wish you could change about yourself
A fun tag, hence a fun wish. Mr. Sandman, give me a sharp nose, please.
Do you think you are attractive
Yes. My adoring husband said so.
If you had to choose a fairytale as your life, what would you choose
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, for the wild, unexpected imaginations.
Do you play any sports
I love rowing and swimming. I used to play chess actively, too.
Syarat dan peraturan
Apabila telah terpilih, sila nyatakan 16 perkara paling rawak, sama ada tentang fakta ataupun hala tuju hidup anda.
I love to write. I used to read a lot, but the hobby is constrained to children books nowadays, as I read to Khalish. The random thought about writing and reading reminds me that I would like to borrow two books from the office library.
I was a disorganised person back in boarding school, so it amazes me still that I have morphed to be anal about orderliness. Particularly, at home.
I do not mind cold bath early in the morning. A really useful survival skill.
Since my pregnancy, I found myself not liking plain low fat milk as much as I used to. So now, I take soy milk or yogurt drink.
I am a morning person. However, I do appreciate a sleep-in during non-working days.
I am artistic although not necessarily great with arts. My latest interest is photography, albeit still at amateur level.
In fact, I am a true Cancer. Creative and sensitive.
My best friend, Kamal, has guided me to tone down the negative side of being unnecessarily sensitive. Isn't that wonderful?
Being prone to using the right brain most of the time, I admit that I often found myself technically challenged.
The way I pronounce the letter s makes me unique. A teacher whom last met me in 1995 recognised me instantly from the way I responsed to her question. She asked me in a crowded cafeteria, "ada orang duduk sini?", and I said, "tak, sila." No, my s is not pronounced with the tongue sticking out between the front teeth. It is just unique.
My best friend is Kamal.
My idea of a perfect holiday involves the beach. And, heaps of photos. With Kamal and a well behaved Khalish in them.
Cheese and chocolate. Mmm.
A borderline extrovert-introvert.
A borderline case when it comes to ironing, too. I love my clothes ironed, but the idea of it is too much to bear. I would rather complete a lengthy tag. Heh.
At the moment, I am sleepy as I have been awake since 3:45 a.m., changing Khalish's diaper, and nursing him.
Silalah hasut 16 orang lain untuk melakukan perkara ini. Kamal, 16 times, please. Ha.
Came the new year, I welcomed myself in the career world again. Receiving the letter that specified my latest placement at the ministry on Wednesday, little did I expect to be invited to the division's 2009 strategic plan workshop to be held the next day, in Genting Highlands. The lunch hour was spent on the telephone, discussing the best arrangement for Khalish. To bring or not to bring.
Although Kamal could tag me along as he had a project in Pahang, Khalish had to be left with my mother in Rembau. Surely she was delighted to have her grandson all to herself for three days as she has been alongside me since Khalish was born until the last day of my confinement period, but those 72 hours would be a despair for both Kamal and I.
This is not the first time we are out without Khalish. The first time, I had to sit for two assessment papers scheduled on separate days, while the second time was for a ten-year reunion with Seri Puteri chums. Nonetheless, this is the first time that we are without the boy for the longest stretch. Three days.
The moment I reached Awana Genting Higlands, I dialled my mother's mobile number to ask about Khalish's being. He was his happy self and surprisingly drank the milk from the bottle without fuss besides loving the puree that his grandmother prepared. Nonetheless, when the evening approached, he seemed lost. Poor boy, he must have expected my appearance by then, as I would fetch him from the nursery at such hour.
I miss him, too. I somehow keep seeing Khalish in every thing. From the way Kamal stirred in his sleep to the dessert served at the dinner buffet yesterday just because it contained sweet potato, an ingredient for one of Khalish's purees. Even the distant scent of a colleague's lotion reminded me of him.
The pain from the engorged breasts worsened the longing for his presence. Fortunately, I am surrounded by understanding bosses and colleagues, with most of them respectively having babies around Khalish's age, who empathised with my needs to leave the sessions midway for milk expressing. Again, I had another image of my baby flashing in the mind. The satisfied look of a full Khalish. Too bad I was invited to the workshop at the last-minute although I understand the undisclosed reason. I was out of milk storing bottles, and I could not shop for more pre-sterilised milk storing bags and a bigger cooler bag needed for a long trip.
With a maid coming within a month, thanks to my aunt's recommendations and my mother's efforts, Kamal and I vow to bring Khalish with us wherever and whenever we could. As much as both of us enjoy our intimate date here, we still miss him a lot. The parents' level of separation anxiety seems intolerably high.
A guy in Chennai tagged me and I am glad he gave me a reason to update Chech:Eccentric with items related to Chech. Not Khalish.
Nevertheless, firstly, ten things I know about the person who tagged me
Khai is one amiable friend whom I first knew when we danced in a closing ceremony of a course for new Pegawai Tadbir dan Diplomatik. Then, he asked, "how young are you?". Amiable, eh. Heh. However, in the case of him being asked to take out the sardine bone from its flesh as he cooked during Outward Bound School, he would be the total opposite of amiable. No, it was not me who asked him to do that.
If he participated in One in A Million season 2, he could have won it. He has the physique, the voice, and the groove. Not enough to beat Faizal Tahir though, thus season 2. Eh, layak dapat kain sari mewahkah kalau beri penyataan begini?
He is good with the microphone indeed. A capable public speaker. All based on the briefings given during courses in INTAN Bukit Kiara.
Like Chech to Khalish, he has a knack for Anuar Zain. Oops, Anuar Zain's songs, I mean. A must when he sang on the stage.
More about our experience at Outward Bound School. Just because we were in the same watch. Since then, I suspect that he associates me with "enjoy the now" mantra. I shared that mantra, which Kamal shared with me, during the ice-breaking session. Mainly because the others have stated the point that I initially wanted to say.
Stylish. Enough said. Which reminds me to catch a new programme, Stylista.
I just could not help noticing the following. He speaks with a lingering Negeri Sembilan accent. Must be the five years spent in Seremban.
He is honest with his opinions, but is simultaneously sensitive towards the receiving ends. So I think. Another reason why he is amiable.
I interacted with him the most during Outward Bound School actually. Throughout the stint, he always had colourful jargons like kokap. To me, it is colourful. Just an example. There are more.
I love reading his thoughts here. Honest, as always. True to the the blog's name, Naked Thoughts. Very entertaining as well.
Novel kegemaran saya
My childhood favourites consist of a series of titles. I loved Anne of Green Gables and The Malory Towers series the most. From my choices, I conclude that I was a very imaginative girl, bothering daydreaming, like Anne. I was also keen to be surrounded by girls, instead of the usual company of five brothers.
When it comes to Malay novels, I adore A.Samad Said's writings. My favourite being Salina. Great Malay literatures like that have indeed inspired a group of girls to write their own script for a high school version of Pekan Teater. And, we were number one.
I love Jibam written by Ujang. His character reminds me of Fei Mao. Both are mentally challenged, but are determined to stand on their own feet.
The Book Thief. This piece somehow reminds me of George Orwell's strong political views in Animal Farm, introduced during a Literature class, as well as 1984. I have yet finished reading the whole of 1984, but I decided that I really like what I have read so far.
I am also in love with Anthony Burgess' boldness in A Malayan Trilogy. I am going to get my hands on A Clockwork Orange. Soon.
Last, but not least, five things that I love
My photos. My laptop has crashed twice so far. The first incident was due to the use of Vista, and the second one was caused by extreme use. I now take it seriously as a warning for me to prepare a backup copy for all the photos stored there and those inside Kamal's laptop. Better still, make printed copies alongside the softcopies.
My laptop, a graduation gift from Kamal. Nothing fancy, but it is extremely tough. It has survived two severe falls and innumerable extreme conditions.
Khalish's items. They are simply cute. Simply adorable.
Insurance policies for my family. I wish I could save more. Hopefully, once the Employees' Provident Fund contribution has been cancelled from my monthly salary as I have opted for pension.