Friday, September 30, 2011

Us at Di's

Us at Di's 1
Us, and the juniors.

Syawal has just ended. The last open house Kamal, Khalish, and I attended was hosted by one of my close chums, Di, and her husband, Wan. Great time there, thanks to the delightful hosts, the delish food, particularly the Ketupat and Kuah Kacang, my all-time favourite, as well as the presence of close chums with their respective families.

My only regret was the non-existence of my photoholic side. Blame the crabby Khalish, (as he did not have enough nap), the Ketupat and Kuah Kacang (enough said), and the high dose of laughter the close chums and I had (until one of the husbands commented that he has never seen the wife laughed as much as she did). Thanks again, Di and Wan, for the invitation.

Us at Di's 2
My best chum of all, Kamal.

Us at Di's 3
The early birds with the host.

Us at Di's 4
Zura brought blueberry muffins, which the children loved.

Us at Di's 5
Cuteness: the children. Photographed here were Ellery and Mirza.

Us at Di's 6
Aidan and Mirza with their respective parents.

Us at Di's 7
More family photos. Little Mirza and his parents, and little Inas with her parents.

Us at Di's 8
Yourts truly with Tiqa and Di.

Us at Di's 9
We love us.
The others who were not there, were with us in spirits.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Weekend, Summarised

From Rembau to Bangi.

A summary of my weekend in Rembau:

Majlis tahlil on Saturday, with all of my mother's siblings present, including her elder sister from Brunei.

(I wished all of my siblings were there, too.)

Feverish Khalish came Sunday, "because of tonsillitis" the charismatic doctor at Poliklinik Ibnu Sina diagnosed.

(Kamal and I liked that doctor.)

+ Two-year-old treadmill transported from Rembau to Bandar Baru Bangi, courtesy of its previous owner, my father.

(He was advised by a medical specialist to only do exercises that are most friendly to his joints, like swimming).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Khalish Draws

Animal Parade
Animal Parade

Khalish's class teacher and I had a chat yesterday. She was amazed with my son's long attention span when it came to activities that involved crayons and sketch pads. I told her, "we need a new set of crayons and yet another new sketch pad at home." That was how often he drew.

He draws on white board nowadays, which results in a need for new washable markers, too, as many are already out of ink. It seems as though he draws all the time. Before bath, afterwards, at school, in the car, at home, and before bedtime. An interesting phase.

Featured in today's posts:
Animal Parade
Geng Bas Sekolah
Khalish and Dolphin 

Geng Bas Sekolah.
Geng Bas Sekolah

He named all of his 'masterpieces'. 'Animal Parade', which looked like hieroglyph to me, was inspired by a story book he read every single day once upon a time. 'Geng Bas Sekolah' was a reminiscence of a school trip to Kuala Lumpur, by bus. When he drew a shape in each little square window, he mentioned his friends' names. 'Khalish and Dolphin' was his imagination, derived from a certain television program. 

Khalish and Dolphin.
Khalish and Dolphin

These are certainly masterpieces in his parents' gallery. Draw more, Khalish. Draw until you are out of names for those masterpieces. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Their 100-Acre Wood


The more Kamal and I look at photos of Khalish and his cousins at their grandparents' backyard, the more we want a house with a vast green garden. Even sans the photos, we can vividly hear the gaiety of the children's laughter as they explore their own 100-acre wood. Just the way we did that September afternoon.


Anis, the eldest among the children, led them outdoor. The boys ran around the backyard as soon as they stepped on the grass. Not Anis. She reached for a rake to sweep away the dry leaves. 


One of the boys, Arman, found a dustpan. He instinctively knew what to do with it. Transform the whole thing into a light saber. Heh. The coconut tree was his shield. 


My little boy kept himself occupied with an old ball. He ran and ran and ran with it until he fell on the ground. The white pants turned colourful at the end of the day.


In the meantime, Anis, done with her intention to gather the dry leaves at one spot for the uncles to throw later, joined Haris in his hunt for little wild mushrooms. The size might not be impressive, but the amount amazed us. Yes, it amazed me, too, as it was the first time I saw what had been merely a proverb to me. Bak cendawan tumbuh di musim hujan.


There were many wonders outside that I did not realise my mother's cousin, her daughter, and her newest grandchild came to visit their neighbours. Once inside the house, I also realised that Elis was already awake from her nap. I simply could not get enough of both babies, yet I had to rush to the backyard again when I heard Khalish's cry. 


There he was, chasing Anis to take the rake away from her. It was a hilarious sight. He saw me and begged for my help. When I strategised an escape route for Anis instead, he suddenly lay on the ground and laughed his heart out. Little did Anis and I know that it was only a strategy as well. He was able to reach for the rake when we stood nearer to him to see whether or not he was alright. Cheeky.


Haris was unperturbed by the drama. He was still enthralled by the mushrooms. I loved the way he quietly scrutinised the surrounding. 

Crispy Leaves.

Not for long though. In a blink of an eye, Haris got a hold of the much loved rake, and Khalish got jealous when he saw how well his elder cousin could control the tool. Therefore, whenever the former gathered the leaves at one spot like Anis did, the latter stepped on the pile and scattered the leaves around again. That was when Haris furiously shouted, "Khalish!"

Haris II.

I scooped Khalish up, tickled him so that he laughed and forgot about being scolded, and explained to him the advantage of gotong-royong. The little boy saw Haris' diligence and asked me for a way to help his cousin. Surprise, surprise.


They worked together eventually. Haris even taught Khalish the right method to clean the lawn. Anis and Arman were asked by their mother to take a bath by then. So, no more war for the rake and the dustpan. 

Haris and Khalish.

Haris took the long rake, and Khalish, the short dustpan. And they lived happily ever after at the grandparents' backyard. Oh, the parents wished.  

Until the little cousins meet again, this is Khalish's favourite tale of the 100-acre wood.

Senja di Chembong.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Relive, Again and Again

As soon as the six-to-nine class ended last evening, I drove back to an empty house. My two thoughts: firstly, Kamal's car will enter the porch soon with Khalish in the child seat and how happy the three of us will be when we greet each other at the front door, and secondly, I can use the quiet time to blog. The first thought came alive. The second thought slept with me.

There was another pattern to my new life. I did cherish the present, but, I also loved to reminisce what did I do at this moment two weeks ago. An example. 

That said, one fine evening two weeks ago, all of my siblings and their respective families gathered at our parents' place in Rembau for two days. The highlight of the days being congregational Maghrib prayer and zikr, followed by dinner that was prepared by both parents and the chef in the family, the youngest brother. Being occupied with text books and journals to read now, I can only relive such moments through the photos:

Barbe-queue :D.

Ayah loved to be in charge of the barbecue grill. Nonetheless, it was my younger brother, Cilan, who marinated the meats. Cajib, like the rest of us, appreciated their work by erasing the word 'calories' from the vocabulary. 

Parents and Children.

As I walked around with my camera, Kamal humored Khalish's whims and fancies. Similar way for other siblings with children. One parent took care of the children, and another either ate or helped with the dishes.


Children lent their colourful spirits to the event. They must have only one vocabulary in their mind dictionary: carnival! 


Meanwhile, the adults cooked and ate to their contentment. After all, we needed the energy to join the children's Olympics later. At least, 10000 calories were needed by each adult, ahem.

Ummi and Her Babies.

Among those present that evening was my sister-in-law, whose third child was just 14 days old then. Harraz was born in his father's car, on the way to the hospital. His mother welcomed him to the world on her own. Congratulations, Kak Nani, for your strength and calmness. 

Science at the Backyard.

Later that evening, my brothers added another sport to the aforementioned Olympics: Science at the Backyard. Yes, it was a sport. They sweated a lot to prove to the children that newspaper, folded in certain manner and lighted with fire, could soar to the sky. The safest form of firework, they claimed. The children cheered the loudest for this sport.


We went to bed later with the taste of barbecued lamb, the scent of children's sweat, and the memories that could be relived any time we wished to. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Liga Kampung

Liga Kampung.

The weekend was about merriment. Friday was about food and books, in the city center. Saturday was about cousins, from Seremban to Bandar Seri Begawan. Sunday was about a mini reunion of the alma mater circle, at an open house.

Such merriment reminded me of a day in Rembau two weeks ago. Five brothers and a sister, with their respective spouses and children, gathered again. The house became a 24-hour kitchen for both the Masterchefs and Sous-Chefs, a play school managed by the adept mothers for the exuberant children, a mini surau for congregational prayers and zikr led by the eldest imam of the clan, and a futsal pitch for the talented sportsmen. All were my favourite moments, and, my favourite moments have special places in this blog.

To begin with, here are photos of the said talented sportsmen in action, with glimpses of their ardent fans:

Liga Kampung II.

There were only four players as two brothers could only be in Rembau by Maghrib. Two on two futsal with a twist. One must hit a designated stool to score a goal. The fans on the main stand knew none of the rules, yet they stayed by the pitch to cheer for their respective fathers and uncles, right to the men's last sweat. 

Solo Act.

In my opinion, aside from the display of impressive futsal skills, the fans remained ardent because of the entertainment. Referees were appointed now and then by the athletes themselves. Criteria? Those who might favour them the most. Then, there was entertainment by the fans who simply dragged their chairs across the field for a better view of their favourite athletes, in the middle of the match.


Of course, the best entertainment of all were the goal celebrations. Never a mere plain "goal!" Always a spectacular spin and swing for the ardent fans and the official photographer. I was sure the children thought that such dance was an important futsal rule. 

Kaki Bola.

I have an intuition that the men's version of Liga Kampung will expand soon. That time around, the little children will create fancier rules, I further believe. I can hardly wait to photograph the future Liga Kampung.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Foto Booth Fixation

Bedtime stories failed to lull Khalish to sleep yesterday. Fortunately for us, it was the eve of another public holiday. An extended bedtime seemed fun.

It was. I introduced Photo Booth to Khalish, and, he experimented with it for one hour. Phew.

Kamal managed to do an office task and I was able to read two magazines before the little boy decided to include us in his experiments. Apart from photos that featured the two of us, neither Kamal nor I saw the little boy's self-portraits. Until this very morning. What a great laugh to see all the varied countenances and poses. Here are seven percent of the photos:

The Booth.

The Booth 1.

The Booth 2.

The Booth 3.

The Booth 4.

The Booth 5.

The Booth 6.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Need, Now

Kamal, Kamera, and I.

Kamera and I

Monday, September 12, 2011

About Chini, About Positivity

Aidilfitri in Chini.

The men barbecued pieces of mutton outside. The women prepared Nasi Kerabu and Gulai Kawah Kambing inside. The children played with each other both outside and inside. 

Syawal with the relatives in Chini, to Kamal and I, was simple, yet exuberant. What I loved most about the get-together was the talk session after the congregational prayers and zikr. People expressed their appreciation for the esprit de corps, and discussed approaches to reach our true beings.

A father figure reminded all of us to love others the way we love ourselves. An ethic we can see he himself live by. May we live life to the fullest, always. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gua Musang to Simpang Pulai

Syawal 3. Time to spend Aidilfitri with my family in Rembau. To avoid the impossible traffic from Gua Musang to Karak, Kamal and I decided to try the Second East-West Highway.

From Gua Musang to Simpang Pulai, we thought that we were in a different world. Definitely not the Kelantan and the Perak we knew. Obviously, it was our first time together on the highway. 

The route was longer than the usual Gua Musang-Kuala Lipis-Raub-Bentong stretch, but, the traffic was smooth. The scenery was also spectacular. So spectacular the scenery was that we were inspired to have a holiday at one of the national parks in Malaysia and practise with nature photography, as opposed to merely being trigger-happy from an open passenger-side window.

Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai I.

Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai II.

Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai III.

Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai IV. Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai V.

Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai VI.

The finale of the Second East-West Highway, before we joined the exodus on the North-South Expressway:

Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai VII.

Gua Musang-Simpang Pulai VIII.