Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alhamdulillah

Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat

"Be grateful to Allah. And, whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for his own soul."
Surah Luqman

Kamal, Khalish, and I were thankful to be a part of Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat (Sempena Belanjawan Negara 2012) hosted by Sahabat Zikirullah Surau Batu, Ujong Pasir, and Tanjung Dirt Bike Club on November 12, 2011. Prior to the event, both hosts held a mega gotong-royong, during which they cleaned and refurbished the surau and its surrounding. Surau Batu has been declared a wakaf in 1894 and has been utilised by Sahabat Zikrullah around Melaka as well as Negeri Sembilan since 1990s to practise congregational prayers and zikir.

Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat1

Ayah Soh, a father figure among Sahabat Zikirullah, delivered a beautiful speech on gratitude. How he spread his spirit to the audience. Thank you for your wisdom.

Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat2

The representative of the Chief Minister of Melaka applauded the efforts to keep the surau alive with various religious activities. Insya-Allah, we will. Thank you for being with us.

Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat3

Everybody worked hand in hand indeed to make the program a success. Too bad I was not in the pink of health then. Otherwise, you could view more photos of people at work behind the scene. I fervently hope this is the start to more similar events. 


Majlis Zikir Kesyukuran Rakyat4

A little story on Khalish that day:

He was happy to be in his favourite attire, baju Melayu. The moment the three of us reached Surau Batu, the little boy followed Kamal to the men's wing. I took a peek. 

There he was, at the back of the wing, right behind the last line of adults, following each step of the prayer attentively. After the zikir ended, I went out of the women's wing to find whether or not Kamal needed my help with the three-year-old. Only to see him asleep in my mother's arms, at the verandah.

According to Kamal and my mother, Khalish chanted along to the zikir until he fell asleep. He was awake again came dinner time. We will bring you to more congregational prayer and zikir sessions, son.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Date with Him

Happy Me

Friday Onward

Friday again. Each Friday in November 2011 has been hectic. I vividly remember the start of the hustle and bustle of life, Friday, November 4, 2011, two days before Aidiladha.

Kamal and I decided to spend the festive holiday in Kelantan, with our parents. As always, we preferred to travel after office hour. More specifically, after Maghrib. Not that Friday though. Of all dates, my friends and I needed to present our analysis paper at a seminar scheduled on November 4, 2011, from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. At 11:00 p.m., my little family braved the traffic congestion to Kuala Lumpur to fetch Joey, Khalish's half brother.

The four of us joined the balik kampung exodus half past midnight. Twelve hours later, we eventually reached Ketereh. Double the normal travel hours. Hello, Saturday afternoon!

Aidiadha Holiday 1

Once in Ketereh, the knackered co-drivers and passengers were treated with lunch. The best treat, of course, was Ayoh and Mok's happiness. The next two hours were as heavenly, thanks to a siesta. 

Aidiladha Holiday 2

The household was up and about again for the latest addition of our big family's Majlis Aqiqah. Khalish, well rested, was hyped about every single thing around him. Thank you, everybody, for humouring the little boy's antics. 

Aidiladha Holiday 3

Special thanks to Ayoh and Joey, Khalish's closest chums throughout the holiday. They were never tired of Khalish. Even when the little boy seemed impossible to handle. 

Aidiladha Holiday 4

In Bunut Satut, all the attention was on Muhammad Abid, the one celebrated during the Majlis Aqiqah. His mother commented that he has Unclish's lips. Kamal and I replied, "Abid is way more handsome than Unclish." Yes, Unclish is a short form for Uncle Khalish.  


Aidiladha Holiday 5

Congratulations, Nazri and Farah. Welcome to the clan, Abid. We love you.

Aidiladha Holiday 6

Aidiladha on Sunday, in Bukit Mas. Sumptuous breakfast was followed by solat sunat and majlis ilmu. Alhamdulillah, Kamal and I learned more about our-true-selves from other knowledgeable friends and family members who shared their voices in the majlis ilmu session. 

Aidiladha Holiday 7

Khalish stayed still with crayons and papers, but, he requested for a brunch in the middle of the session. Joey joined us. I later stayed outside the hall to let the boys play. Iina and her children kept us company. Before Ayoh, Mok, Kamal, Joey, Khalish, and I went back to Ketereh, we had tea at Jack and Sha's new place. We returned to Bukit Mas the next day for a wedding. When we were not elsewhere for events, we chilled in Ketereh. Kamal and I want to be back there for a longer period next time, just to relax with Ayoh and Mok.
 

Aidiladha Holiday 8

When Tuesday arrived, the four travellers packed our belongings with heavy hearts. There was the sadness of farewell. There was also the anxiety of another exodus on the highway. One of Kamal's elder sisters came to Ketereh to help Mok with breakfast and lunch preparation. You read it right: lunch. How Kamal and I enjoyed the delish Nasi Goreng Kerabu up until dinner time. For the children, we made a number of stops along the East-West Highway. 

Aidiladha Holiday 9

One compulsory stop for Kamal whenever he used the East-West Highway was Yut Loy, a Chinese restaurant famous among Malay College Kuala Kangsar old boys. Unfortunately, the only food immediately available was toast. Forty-minute wait for other food. Thus a late lunch in Tapah. Quick dinner in Sungai Buloh.

Aidiladha Holiday 10

All in all, we had a good break from the norms. Alhamdulillah, not only we survived the unfamiliarity, we also had a great time. O, Fridays of December 2011, may you be kinder, please?

For the photo templates in today's post, my thanks go to:
Little Pink Strawberries for the glitter banner in gold,
Pugly Pixel for the fabric strip in grey, and
Three Paper Peonies for the paper in Adore series.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Golden Moment

The three of us watched the final of SEA Games 2011 football on Astro Arena that Monday evening. With millions of Malaysians elsewhere, we channeled our support to the Harimau Muda squad, who played their best against the host, Indonesia.

In the end, we stood for Negaraku, and sang along. The proud voices of the young Malaysians on the podium, with gold medals on their respective chests, inspired my son to request for an illustration. 'The Golden Moment' I interpreted it.

It might merely be on a doodle board, but, I am sure that Khalish has also sketched the gist of the illustration on his dream board. To strive for one's goal, score it, inspire yourself, inspire others, and, strive for more goals, score them, inspire yourself, inspire others. Tahniah, Harimau Muda. 

The Golden Moment

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dr. Khalish

How to Cheer Up Your-sick-self.

I must learn from Khalish the ways to cheer up one-sick-self. 

The fever I contracted was gone within two days. Not the cough and the flu. I only feel 99 percent better today. Thanks to my parents' effort to come to Bangi all the way from Rembau just to deliver a traditional remedy that came with my mother's testimony. Do not tell them though that I suspected a hidden motive behind their visit. They must have wanted to play with Khalish above all else. 

Children are fabulous. 

I remember how Khalish drenched half of the bed with his vomit one Friday night. The next day, he was feverish. I wanted to stay at home, but, the boy just wanted to be out and about. Needless to say, he enjoyed himself no matter what. That weekend, he made himself at home at Harvey Norman and befriended Mister Imagination at Ikea. 

Hence the "I must learn from Khalish the ways to cheer up one-sick-self". 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Combo Mambo

Unlikely Combo.

Fever, cough, flu, and sore throat. 
Whole grain cereal, soy milk, and grapes.
Assortment of pills and bittersweet syrup.
Class this evening and early tomorrow morning.

Unlikely combo.

The only combo that can never go wrong in my life is Kamal and Khalish as one team, being their cheeky, cheerful selves around me. One is away at work, and one is happy at the day care center. At least, I have nutritious smoothie both of them prepared for my dinner.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Cotton Kurung

Cotton Kurung.

My mother visited Vietnam a while ago, and, naturally, she was enthralled by the vast and varied selection of cotton fabrics there. Don't we love anything cotton? Unfortunately, my mother did not prefer to shop meticulously.

Being practical, she chose a few patterns nearest to her, which she liked, and asked the other ladies in the travel group, "are these as beautiful as I thought?" They were. My only comment was, "no wonder ayah calls you Mek Bungo; there are only floral patterns." She laughed at my honesty and said, "these denote my taste and those who receive the fabrics from me will remember me, me, me when they use them." More laughter.

Last Friday, as I packed my clothes for an Aidiladha holiday in Kelantan, I saw a paper bag neatly tucked at the base of the wardrobe. In it was a new pair of baju kurung tailored using a cotton fabric my mother gave. I remembered that I had not tried it.

The next day, I donned the baju kurung and I had to admire what I saw. The tailor might have forgotten that I specifically requested for no shoulder pad, having sewed the baju kurung while she battled with morning sickness and her two sons aged five and three. Nevertheless, even with the shoulder pads, which I removed once I found a pair of scissors, I loved the apparel.

Mainly because I instantly thought of my mother. The spirited and vibrant Mek Bungo. The one who fights the storms to grow, not only for herself, but also for others. The one who dares to show her true colours. The one who lives life to the fullest, in her own ways. The one who blooms. My mother and I may be different in innumerable manners, but, I pray that I am blessed with qualities as beautiful as hers. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Specialty

Khalish and Kamal.

When I needed extra me time, Kamal always created a space between his work and social schedule for Khalish. The man told me that he had no talent with children. From what I saw, he was actually excellent with them. With the help of the things he himself loved. One of the things: computer, of course.

For Khalish, Kamal has not only saved in the computer a number of movies and videos of the boy's interests, he has also developed games that could keep the boy captivated for a long, long time. Khalish loved the games so much, no matter how simple they were, that he would stop playing just to kiss Kamal over and over again, with occasional "I love daddy!" I am sure Kamal is addicted to those kisses and "I love daddy!"

Oh, I really want those candid kisses and "I love mommy", I am determined to learn Sketch Up to compete with Kamal's 'Popcorn' and 'Baik-Baik Jatuh'. Yes, the games could be absurdly funny, too. Nonetheless, first and foremost, I myself would love to plant more kisses on Kamal's cheeks and say "I love you" with all my being for the me time he has granted yours truly. I also look forward to uploading more photos of Kamal and Khalish with the computer to my Instagram. Heh.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Happy Together.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

That Day

Nine more days before Khalish turns a month older. He is now three years and three months old. Now, the nostalgic mommy longs to write about her son.

Although I love to read long, old posts on Khalish to re-live the happy, and most of the time, hilarious moments, I am not here to write about him in great details. My mind capacity sadly put aside those little aspects once I decided to take a rest from the blog to make way for supposedly big aspects of my life. Before the mind makes that a habit though, I choose to create a space for those little aspects again, here. Let me start with the day Khalish first wore one of his current favourite pajamas. 

Bedtime Story.

At home, as sleep time approached, he could be found by the book shelf to select books for story session. A routine both the listener, namely Khalish, and the reader, namely yours truly, love. Nevertheless, lately, my evenings have been occupied with either a class, or an assignment, or a presentation. Often, I found myself being carried away by all three. Way past Khalish's sleep time.

If I were not in class, I would be in front of the computer, eyes fixed on the screen, and fingers pasted on the keyboard. Until the boy brought his books to the table, and peeled me away from the work station. Not that I was a workaholic. I was merely clueless of the new field I have chosen to explore, thus the need for extra efforts.

That day, nobody came to my rescue. I was at the work station up to 10:00 p.m. Then, I noticed a familiar music, magically intertwined with a man's voice. Sometimes, a narration. Sometimes, dialogues. There Khalish was, in the living area, with a sleepy face that struggled to focus on the iPad screen. He was listening to Toy Stroy Read-Along as a substitute to our story session!

Khalish, I have bought new story books for us to read together during the university's mid semester holiday. To make up for those evenings you turned to Toy Story, or Oobie's Space Adventure, or Cooper's Big Bear Hug, or Moon Secret, alone. Oh, how I missed you.


No School, Please.

The next day, Khalish helped me with the family's breakfast smoothie preparation. The three of us enjoyed the smoothie together. I even read to the little boy while waiting for Kamal to bathe. As soon as Khalish saw the daddy clad in work attire, he realised that I was not ready to bring him out to a park or a mall. Instead, I was ready for yet another class.

He pleaded to stay at home with me. When the plea failed, he launched a silent protest, as seen in the photo above. It was both funny and sad.

He actually cried when I carried him into the car. 'No car seat, please', he pleaded with his body language. Arms secured around my neck, head on my shoulder. Still sobbing. This time around, the plea succeeded. 

In the car, I held him tight with one hand, and wiped his tears with another hand. We looked at each other deep in the eyes. That was when I told him, with all my being, "Khalish, daddy and mommy are always in your heart no matter what, and you are always in our hearts, too." That miraculously consoled him. And me. Oh, one more day before the university's mid semester holiday starts.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Lagu Tiga Kupang, a Cover by Khalish


After a whole day of classes and assignments (yes, my life seems to revolve around them for the past one month), I thank God for Khalish. He always reminds me that life is a breeze. The moment I started to be overwhelmed by the long hours spent in front of the computer for academic works, the boy would charm me with the thing he did. 

Here are videos of him, just being fun.

More than a Chair was recorded during one of those times I had my head buried under a pile of papers (a note: I am still adjusting myself to the sheer volume of papers to write - which I love, but, have not been used to after that break from work). Khalish has been playing on his own that Saturday evening. He cooked for Kamal, had a trip to Hong Kong with the grandmother, and talked about every thing under the sky with Iskandar and Aira. Imagination is now his best friend. The boy eventually brought me out of the pile of papers with a sketch on the use of his chair. He has used the chair as a slide before, so, it delighted me that he has found other 'uses' for the blue thing. I told him to keep the imagination as his best friend, for life.

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Lagu Tiga Kupang (a Malay variation of Sing a Song of Sixpence) is Khalish's favourite local nursery rhyme. One day, after the last class, I drove to the daycare center to fetch Khalish. I remember being on an auto-pilot mode, thinking about the endless assignments and how blissful it would be to indulge myself in a more creative activity instead. At home, the same thoughts filled my mind until Khalish said, "mommy, I want to sing for you."