Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Let Me Be

Let Me Be.
Photo: My Instagram*

Once every four years: February 29.

Once every day: Khalish's preference to lounge about early in the morning.

*First photo with iPhone 4S.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spirited II

Jab, jab, punch.

Lightweight Champion.

Photos: My Instagram


Good Day.
Once upon a spirited morning.

Monday, February 20, 2012


River View.
Salong, Chini
Photo: My Instagram

Kamal, Khalish, and I are grateful to be in a big family. The big family gathered in Salong, Chini, last weekend. Being with them reminded us of how pivotal togetherness is in our quest for a balanced life.

"Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life."
Albert Einstein

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Farewell, Kuantan

My Parents.

From Pantai Balok, my father drove my mother, Kamal, Khalish, and I to Kuantan for lunch. With a year of work experience there, he showed us places of both locals and tourists' interest along the way. Once in a while, my mother shared her stories on people associated with those places. A trip with them was never dull. Thank you, Ayah and Mak. 

Hai Peng.

The guide and narration continued through a back alley, a shorter passage towards a restaurant of my father's choice. As soon as the car exited the alley, I saw a branch of a kopitiam I often frequented during work excursions in Kemaman. Excited, I said, "Ayah, let's go to Hai Peng instead!" My father calmly said, "we are going to Hai Peng." 


Seated, we ordered our lunch. Not as many choices as Hai Peng Kemaman, but, the food and beverage were as delicious. I recommend its laksa. 

Brilliance I.

The coffee I had kept me awake throughout the journey back home. I was glad not to be asleep. The sky and the clouds surprised me with their brilliant displays. 

Brilliance II.

I loved the stark contrast of blue and white. I also loved the tranquility their combination offered. It was a perfect farewell to Kuantan.


On top of that was another perfect memento of the mini vacation: Khalish's hand on Kamal's. Both away in dreamland, leaving me with my own reveries. I foresee us, joined by other brothers and their families, in a place as beautiful as Kuantan.

Pantai Balok: Finale

It is a lovely Saturday morning in Bandar Baru Bangi. Rain at this hour always brings pleasantness. To Kamal, Khalish, and I, the rain evokes memories of last weekend. How we chirped all the way from the chalet to the beach the moment the rain that day stopped.

The damp sand. The chilled sea. The fresh breeze. 

Pantai Balok 21.

Pantai Balok 22.

Pantai Balok 23.

Pantai Balok 24.

Pantai Balok 25.

Pantai Balok 26.

Pantai Balok 27.

Those called for a dip in the water and a roll on the shore. Khalish's grandparents were very thoughtful to prepare sandwiches and mixed fruits for a little picnic. We dreamed about a fund to purchase a new serviced apartment next to the chalet, and laughed at the little boy's nonchalance about the sand all over his face. Ah, the smooth sand.

Pantai Balok 29.

Pantai Balok 28.

Pantai Balok 30.


A friend asked about the little chalet my family stayed at while in Beserah. I googled the address, and, I found more than I searched for. The name of the beach is not Pantai Beserah. It is Pantai Balok.

There I was, writing with all confidence in the world about my family's mini vacation in 'Pantai Beserah'. I apologise for the error. I must have been too excited about the vacation that I, the geographically challenged Chech, commited a mistake which might cause confusion to the blog visitors. To avoid further confusion, I have edited the posts, both in Flickr and Blogger, to change the name of the beach from Pantai Beserah to Pantai Balok. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pantai Balok at Dawn

Sunday. Kamal and I shared a wooden lounge chair on the beach, thankful for the opportunity to be with each other. Just the two of us. Thanks to my parents who cared for Khalish back at the family chalet.

We talked about the now. We sat still in silence. We walked hand in hand. We lay on the beach. 

No magical hues to complement our beautiful date. What we saw offered a sense of serenity nevertheless. The moon, enhanced by the silhouette of casuarina; the infinity of clouds in various shapes, with one, according to Kamal, like a dragon; and the foot prints along the beach that belonged to us and us solely. 

Pantai Balok 20.

Pantai Balok 17.

Pantai Balok 18.

Pantai Balok 19.

We only returned to the chalet when the clouds broke. There, we had breakfast with Khalish while watching the rain. What a divine dawn.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beach Boy: Afternoon Edition

Pantai Balok 14.

Pantai Balok still. Back at the family chalet, everyone took a siesta, which was great because it refreshed us for long hours on the beach. We were there from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Sand castles. Kite surfers. Cheerful smiles. Those were among other things we noticed.

Pantai Balok 9.

Bare feet, too, surely. My mother meditated. My father swam. Kamal and I, we sat side by side and enjoyed the best view in our life: Khalish, unperturbed, contented. 

Pantai Balok 16.

The sea was at low tide in the late afternoon. There were pools left on the beach, thanks to big, shallow holes formed because of the wave patterns. Khalish pretended to be a dolphin. 

Pantai Balok 15.

After a while, he remembered the sand toys. Back to them again. An hour later, his grandfather challenged him for a run along the seashore. So, they ran, and ran. Never mind the fact that the grandfather was way in front of him. He simply cherished his own pace.

Pantai Balok 13.

Kamal chased him and a game ensued. Two games actually. Firstly, the chase between father and son, and, secondly, grandson's solo chase for grandfather. 

Pantai Balok 12.

Everybody won. The victory run ended our Saturday afternoon in Pantai Balok. Time for fresh seafood by another beach came evening. 

Pantai Balok 10.

Pantai Balok 11.

Beach Boy

Pantai Balok 2.

Khalish is very serious about sand play. His principal: once a child reaches a beach, he or she must play with the sand right away. No beach wear required. Sand toys are bonuses.

Pantai Balok 4.

Kamal, Khalish, and I were in Pantai Balok, Beserah, last weekend, thanks to my parents' invitation. 2012 is the year for them to redeem vacation points from a certain company, and the stay in Kuantan was the first choice. My little family loved Telok Chempedak, so we looked forward to another beach retreat. We reached the venue at 12:30 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than the check-in time. To the beach we walked, of course. Except for Khalish. He ran. Upon our first steps on the beach, we oohed and aahed at the smooth sand and the vast seastrand.  

Pantai Balok 8.

The sun scorched, but the wind kept us cool. Kamal unpacked Khalish's sand toys just because the little boy was about to bathe in the sea. We chose a play area furthest from the welcoming waves. Why?

Pantai Balok 5.

He did request to change into a wetsuit, but, once garbed in one, he would stay at the beach until dusk. It was too hot to lounge there for seven hours. With a rejected request, he kept himself contented with a game: to run to and fro the sea and the play area. 

Pantai Balok 1.

The wind was on the strong side, providing the boy more joy to run about. He did not mind being covered with sand all over the face. Oh, he actually cherished every single thing.

Pantai Balok 3.

He was always happy being on a beach. Especially a beach as beautiful as Pantai Balok. The boy confessed his desire to stay there forever. No school, no barber. 

Pantai Balok 7.

My parents had seen an excited Khalish before. Nevertheless, the little boy's extreme level of excitement at the beach was new to them. So was his ability to swing moods; from such excitement as he roamed the shore, to total calmness as he built sand castles. More of such retreats with other family members to come, beach boy. 

Pantai Balok 6.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Nippon Tei

Nippon Tei 1.

Nippon Tei 2.
Photos: My Instagram

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Father & Son

Father & Son.
Photo: Instagram

Monday, February 13, 2012

Art of All Sorts

Eric Carle Clone.
I believed there was an Eric Carle within me, thus the ownership change. The book once belonged to Khalish, yes.
I adored the quality of its water colour, as well as its sketches.

A marvellous Monday it has been. One particular event deserves a celebration, and, all I think of is that amazing art shop.

Telok Chempedak III: Morning

Telok Chempedak 25 

If I were a flower, I would be morning glory. The moment the sun greets the earth, the moment the people pray for another beautiful day, I bloom. This, is the finale of the Telok Chempedak series.

On the last day there, I walked towards the beach immediately after Subuh. Camera in hand, consciousness in mind. It was to be the first time I witness the break of morning. Alone.

The morning broke. I bloomed. From this.

Telok Chempedak 15

To this.

Telok Chempedak 14

To this, and I wished I was not there alone. I wished Kamal and Khalish were around to marvel at the elements of surprise. The gradual, glorious, change of hues. 

Telok Chempedak 16

Nevertheless, to be alone as I sauntered through a new experience was an enrichment for my-true-self. More aware, my horizon expanded, my senses heightened. Marcus Aurelius shared, "when you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive; to breathe, to enjoy, to love."

Telok Chempedak 17

Telok Chempedak 19

Telok Chempedak 18

Telok Chempedak 20

Telok Chempedak 21

Telok Chempedak 22

I foresee another morning in Telok Chempedak. With my footprints along the beach. Kamal's and Khalish's, too.

Telok Chempedak 23

Telok Chempedak 27

Photos: Telok Chempedak, November 2011.