Monday, December 24, 2012


Kelantan welcomed Kamal, Khalish, and I last Friday the monsoon way. Since then, we have experienced 22 hours of rain and merely 120 minutes of sun daily. Refreshing.

The only challenge was the laundry. Two days for the laundered clothes to dry, unless they are aired near a fan. The dryer? Hibernation mode, enough said. Too minute a challenge though.

Alhamdulillah, my parents-in-law are well. So are the other family members here. Grateful, we gathered as often as our time permitted.

On Saturday, Ayoh and Mok hosted a lunch in Ketereh. My mother-in-law, with the help of my sisters-in-law and their respective daughters, cooked up a storm. Then, there were delish desserts by a niece.

Yesterday, another niece and her family invited everybody to savour the sumptuous food at Restoran Nasi Ulam Kampung Kraftangan. Kamal, Khalish, and I proceeded to a cousin's new house afterward, where the rest of her family members received us with a lot of stories. Entertaining.

Today, my eldest sister-in-law, her husband, and their children, as well as the extended families, call the whole clan to their place. More delicious treats await. Too bad Kamal, Khalish, and I need to depart to Bandar Baru Bangi after breakfast.

All in all, we are grateful to be in Kelantan again. May we be blessed with more opportunities to be with our loved ones. It is raining love, absolutely.

• Blogged from my phone •

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life, Celebrated

Iris is 3 (1)

My December mantra is "celebrate life", hence a reminiscence of one more beautiful event.

Iris, Khalish's lovely second cousin, turned three last September. Kamal, Khalish, and I remember how great her birthday celebration was. Thank you, Azmel and Lida, for the invitation. 

I particularly loved the party for these reasons:
+ Family galore. 
+ Details oh details. 
+ Opportunity to socialise, for Khalish. 

More stories accompanying the photos. My only wish was to photograph more, which was made impossible because I needed to be at Khalish's beck and call. Nevertheless, all of us had tremendous fun!

Iris is 3 (2)

Iris is 3 (3)

Kudos to Azmel's sisters for their creativity with the activities. Even Khalish, who was his usual shy self among strangers, was tempted to be a part of a game in the end. As for Iris, she was one graceful host. 

Iris is 3 (4)

Iris is 3 (5)

The reasons Khalish finally went out of his shell, albeit merely for a little while: 

Many children were garbed according to the royal theme. Among them was Azfer, one of Khalish's second cousins. It surely was surreal to be surrounded by the little princes and princesses.

Chocolate disguised as golden coins were at stake for one of the activities. Oh, the gleam in Khalish's eyes upon seeing those coins. Later, we knew why.

Back at home that evening, the little boy was so excited to play with a new set of Lego that he became extremely frustrated when I advised him to bathe first. In a blink of an eye, he morphed into a monster. Consequently, a clash ensued:

Khalish: I said I want to play with the new Lego first. Can't you hear me?
Kamal: Khalish, why did you shout to mommy? Even if you disagree, say it nicely. Apologise, please.
Khalish: No, I don't want to say sorry!
Kamal: No sorry, no Lego.
Khalish: You can't take it from me. It's my Lego!
Kamal: Who bought it?
Khalish: Me!
Kamal: How could you buy it with no money?
Khalish: Yes, I have money!
Kamal: Where?

There and then, Khalish revealed the content of the pocket on his shirt. A loot of chocolate disguised as golden coins. His so-called money. Kamal and I tried our best to stifle a laugh. Oh, the confidence in the little boy's eyes. 

Iris is 3 (6)

Iris is 3 (7)

Khalish loved Iris' birthday cake, too. Who wouldn't? A grand pink castle on top of a glorious hill, with fair princesses of various styles around. Then, there was also a delish ice cream cake for Alisha, another one of Khalish's second cousins, who celebrated her fifth birthday. 

Iris is 3 (8)

Iris is 3 (9)

My favourite part of the party? The chance to meet other family members, certainly. Parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, second cousins, nephews, nieces, second nephews, second nieces, and more from the family tree. Thank you again, Azmel and Lida, for the beautiful afternoon. 

To Iris, happy third birthday!

Friday, December 07, 2012

A Sense of Peoplehood

Jalan-jalan 1   Jalan-jalan 2

Eventually. A day that inspires me to write here again. The other days did inspire me to engage in a million of extraordinary affairs, but to post to Chech: Eccentric was never one of them. Absence triples my fondness for life documentation though. 

Aside from the blog, I happened to miss my parents, too. Thus this. About them. About us.

Kamal, Khalish, and I have welcomed their visits more than they have received ours, due to Kamal's hectic work schedule. "We love being in Bangi" was their answer to my proposal to drive to Rembau. Which was expected of my father and mother, who once drove to and fro Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu within a day just to attend a wedding. 

Now, they are in Sarawak, along with a group of friends. For ten days, the group embarks on an excursion across East Malaysia. All in the search of one's true soul. Togetherness is a part of the progress. 

Therefore, today's post honors one of my parents' qualities: spirit of togetherness. The photos may date back to Syawal 11, 1433H, the only time I tagged them along for Aidilfitri visit, yet, the value that both of them have shared shall remain eternally. To Pak Long and Mak Long's three daughters, whose houses my parents, my youngest brother, Khalish, and I visited that day, thank you for your hospitality.

Jalan-jalan 3

Jalan-jalan 4

Jalan-jalan 5   Jalan-jalan 6

Jalan-jalan 7

Jalan-jalan 8

Jalan-jalan 9

Jalan-jalan 10

Jalan-jalan 11 

Jalan-jalan 12

Jalan-jalan 13

Jalan-jalan 14

Jalan-jalan 16

Jalan-jalan 15

Jalan-jalan 17

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Sand, The Sea, The Soul

Pantai Merang 1

The beach. I long to lounge on one, the way my parents, two brothers, Khalish, and I did last July. Kamal's absence was missed, but, seeing the son's composure offered me a sense of wholeness.

Pantai Merang 2

Pantai Merang 3

Pantai Merang 4

Pantai Merang 5   Pantai Merang 6

Pantai Merang 12

Pantai Merang 7

Pantai Merang 8

Thank you, Ayah. Thank you, Mak. The stay at Pantai Merang was a perfect birthday gift for Khalish and I. There, we embraced the presence of people with our affection, we connected to those who were away with our remembrance, and we found a part of our-true-selves through all of them. 

Pantai Merang 9

Pantai Merang 10

Pantai Merang 11

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Khalish: Eccentric

Helmi & Ain 9

Khalish oh Khalish. Too shy to enter a house full of strangers once upon an engagement ceremony. Which was understandable. Yet, never too shy to take off the socks, put them on the hands, and pretend to be a gardener throughout the afternoon. Which was a curiosity. 


Helmi & Ain 1

So I heard about a 2013 wedding. The fifth in Chez Chembong. Congratulations, Helmi and Ain.

Prior to the news was an engagement. A simple and sweet ceremony at Ain's place, last July 14. Khalish and I were delighted to be there then, along with my parents and two younger brothers. Too bad the others could not make it to Terengganu due to work commitments. 

Helmi & Ain 2

Helmi & Ain 3

According to Malay custom, my mother was the one responsible to put the engagement ring on the bride-to-be's finger. She absolutely radiated happiness to receive another daughter-in-law soon. As radiant was the bride-to-be.

Helmi & Ain 4

Helmi & Ain 6

Hope you love being in The Chembong Clan, Ain. The cordial and colourful clan. The curious case, too, at times. Heh.

Helmi & Ain 8

Helmi & Ain 7

Monday, October 01, 2012

Chez Chembong

The Chembong Clan 1
The Grandparents and Their Nine Grandchildren: An Attempt at Portrait
As Instagrammed by yours truly.

The arrival of October 1 means the Muslims are less than four weeks away from Aidiladha. Another celebration, another chance to gather with loved ones. Which I look forward to. How I miss being with my siblings, the sisters-in-law, the nieces, and the nephews. Here are photos of them, on Syawal 8, 1433H, at my parents' place:

  The Chembong Clan 2  The Chembong Clan 3 

Introducing the latest members of The Chembong Clan: Harraz and Arif. The former, pictured with his mother, is the exact copy of my eldest brother. The latter also mirrors his father, my younger brother. 

The Chembong Clan 4

The Chembong Clan 5

The eldest of the children is the eight-year old Anis. Her father, my elder brother, always says that she is like me. Not physically, obviously. We simply happen to have similar interests. High five, Anis. Oh, yes, she loves to initiate photography session with everybody, as well. 

The Chembong Clan 6

The Chembong Clan 7

Of course, the clan is known for the dominance of boys. Among nine children, only two are girls. Can you imagine the chaos when the boys are under one roof? That particular weekend, all I managed to photograph of my son was a blur. No, the boy in green t-shirt with white collar is not Khalish. He is Anis' youngest brother, Arman, the same age as his twin. Yes, Khalish and Arman, the twins from different parents, share the same features.

The Chembong Clan 8

The Chembong Clan 9

To Harraz, Elis, and Arif, please remain in your babyhood a little longer. The adults treasure the peace that all of you exude. Particularly after the pandemonium caused by your respective siblings.

Finally, my siblings, with me represented by Kamal: 

The Chembong Clan 10