Monday, December 08, 2014

Azlan & Faiza: Engagement


Two weeks ago, Azlan & Faiza turned from fiancé and fiancée to husband and wife. Alhamdulillah, the wedding ceremony in Besut, where the bride's family is from, and the one in Rembau, where the groom's family is from, were beautiful. More about the ceremonies later. Now, I would love to share the photos from the engagement ceremony.

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Syawal 2, 1435H, Besut. The engagement ceremony began with an exchange of gifts, followed by a discussion between both sets of parents. After all the important matters have been agreed upon, my mother presented a ring to her future daughter-in-law. Welcome to the clan, Faiza.

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The ceremony ended with a photography session and a feast. Simple yet lovely. The best part of the day was, always, the togetherness.

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I, who was assigned as the photographer, loved the smiles on everybody's faces. Even the otherwise serious groom-to-be smiled all day long. The brightest smile belonged to the bride-to-be though. Oh, she looked resplendent in the kebaya that my mother used to wear for her wedding.

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"Pohon pupur pohon delima,
Tumbuhnya rapat antara batang,
Di seberang sana bertanah lembut;
Sirih dikapur tanda terima,
Hajat beradat kami menatang,
Ini bermakna gayung bersambut."
Abdul Halim Salleh
Setaman Pantun Kenangan


Saturday, November 08, 2014

Aidilfitri: The Chembong Clan


Syawal 7, 1435H. After seven days with my mother-in-law in Kelantan, Kamal, Khalish, and I visited my parents in Negeri Sembilan. I, particularly, looked forward to the visit because all my brothers and their respective families were there, too. Imagine my family of three with a set of parents, five brothers, four sisters-in-law, one future sister-in-law, six nephews, and four nieces under one roof. Fun.

The documenter in me yearned for a portraiture session with The Chembong Clan, which I have missed for the past two years due to different holiday arrangements. The yearning deepened from the lack of photos with The Ketereh Clan as I was down with diarrhea. To my delight, everybody humoured my last-minute request.

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Syawal 8, 1435H. My mother's delicious breakfast spread energised us for the camera. Haikal, Hazim, and Harraz, my eldest brother's children, set the mood with their cuteness. 

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I loved my sister-in-law's choice of colour. All of them were resplendent in fuschia. Each of us glowed indeed. Must be the happiness. How I wished to be able to capture more, but time was not on our side.

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When my elder brother and his family stepped in front of my camera at the backyard, my mother was already serving lunch at the patio. It calmed the children, except for Khalish. The reason for the non-existence of our family portrait. Kamal, in between the tasks as my asssistant and the responsibilities towards our son, joked that we were in need of a professional photographer to photograph us. A great idea actually. 
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My elder brother and his wife beckoned my younger brother and his wife over only after a couple of shots, stating the complexity of modelling with four children. Oh, there were numerous photos of Anis, Haris, Arman, and Elis, but, all scattered. Meanwhile, Ivy laughed a lot at her cousins' antics, only to challenge her aunt with a straight face afterward. Heh.

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Another younger brother and his family were still vibrant despite being among the last to be photographed. Thanks to Arif and Ezara who kept everybody jovial. One was mischievous, another was playful. Too bad my youngest brother and his fiancée needed to attend to a personal matter when their turn arrived.

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My parents concluded the whole session. Chez Chembong was still full of laughter. While photographing, I simply felt the contentment of being a part of the family. Life with them, like the scene at the backyard, has been a delirium interwoven with every single adjective in the dictionary. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, all of us sat over tea, marvelling at those moments, cherishing each emotion captured in the photos. 

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Friday, November 07, 2014

Aidilfitri: A Visit


Syawal 4, 1435H.
The cemetery.

Aidilfitri: Ukhuwah


A recollection. My siblings and I used to play with her siblings when we gathered at our grandparents' place. She tied the knot with her beau last two weeks. Our grandmother returned to Al-Khaliq a week before the wedding. Each of us, albeit the difference in destination, moves with time. C'est la vie. 

On Syawal 1, 1435H, I celebrated Aidilfitri the way I did previously: full of gratitude. True, I felt the emptiness without my late brother-in-law and father-in-law, but I was thankful that the other loved ones were there to fill the void. 

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My youngest brother eventually spent an eid in Kelantan with the family after years of celebration onboard a ship with the colleagues. My mother loved the change. As for Kamal, he was happy to be by his mother's side. 

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Khalish, meanwhile, was his unusual self. Which I welcomed. Not only did he accordingly perform the solat beside his daddy, but he also attentively listened to the khutbah with the rest of the jemaah.

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What I always love most is the forgive and forget session. I have been aware that the concept shall be practised throughout the year. The mood during Eid is forever special though. The last Aidilfitri was no exception. As everybody recited the selawat, we shook each other's hands, followed by a hug. Within the ladies' circle, I, like other daughters, embraced my mother and mother-in-law longer. Kamal, within the men's circle, did the same to his father-in-law. Oh, he missed his own father tremendously.

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Aside from my father-in-law, the community also missed three late elders. We reminisced their wisdom and we reminded ourselves about the precious people around us. Even the otherwise reserved Khalish sensed the spirit of togetherness as he smiled more. 

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The day was blessed with an abundance of love indeed. Some expressed it through their words. Some, positive energy. I shared my heart by photographing the love itself. May the ukhuwah grow beautifully.


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