Monday, December 10, 2007

This age

An interesting conversation I had today.


Ring..ring.. (me calling home)

My sister: Hello
Me: Adik, Mi (my mother) pergi ofis tak hari ni?
My sister: Tak..
Me: Ooo.. Mi masak ke?
My sister: *giggle* yes
Me: Kenapa gelak?
My sister: Mi masak special *more giggles*
Me: Masak apa?
My sister: Adalah, balik je lah, pukul berapa nak balik ofis ni?
Me: Nak balik la ni.. apsal?
My sister: Emmm *thinking loudly*
...after a short pause..

Kakna, tolong beli kek? Secret Recipe eh?
Me: *speechless*

Lorr... there you go, I need to buy my own birthday cake.. haish.. I went with my brother though, and he decided to pay since he's (his own words) too lazy to think of anything special to give me.. nevertheless, it was a very good dinner... excellent nasi ayam and good cakes too (we got several different kind of cakes, a slice of each mind you)

Thank you everyone for the wishes and the songs. I've gotten at least 3 birthday songs over the phone and my favorite is of course Syu's. Haha, not that the others are not good singers but she has recorded it and send it through MMS. While I thought it was just a picture with birthday greetings, it actually was a singing message. The timing? Perfect. I received and opened the message while I was having lunch with a client. He loved it and amused too!

I consider myself lucky and blessed to be granted a chance to finish another year of my life. People's expectations of this age, is a lot. I'm not too worried about that though. I'm more concern of my own expectations. This is not what I picture myself doing and having at this age. I expect more of myself. Time is running short. I need to catch up.

tick tock..

Friday, November 30, 2007

Monsoon

It was not the weatherman that forecasted there will be a huge flood in Terengganu. Nor was it the Monsoon Cup that started two days ago. Not the flashflood my client in Gua Musang been complaining about that almost destroy his plantation. Not even the raging sea with its waves slamming the shore in Pantai Rhu Sepuluh when I drove back from Kota Bharu. No, none of that. It was not until several days ago, when I was driving back from work, and it was raining quite heavily that I finally realized, it's that time of the year again, the monsoon...

I have always love winter. One of the best season I have lived in, I always say. My definition of winter is not the same as the calendar's. Mine is when the first flake of snow touches the Bloomington's land, then the winter season has started. So, it's really the snow that I love. It's hard to explain the feeling. But it felt like nothing can ever be wrong when it's snowing and nothing had been so far. I love the feeling, and when I saw the snow flakes gracefully dancing outside my window, I know it's that time of the year again. Nothing will ever be wrong.

I was surprised when the feeling of "it's that time of the year again" came to me several days ago. That means, I'm slowly letting go of my winter and accepting the monsoon. I'll miss winter though but I'll love the monsoon just as much.. I just know it..

It's raining almost everyday in Terengganu now and I love it..

Monday, November 26, 2007

Got tagged!

My sister tagged me.. I'm still very new in this concept of tagging and this would be the first time I got tagged.. so here goes!

LIST OUT THE TOP 5 PRESENTS YOU WISH FOR:
(a) Infinite open ticket to anywhere in the world for two(and of course with no expiry)
(b) Honda Civic Hybrid
(c) A bungalow with a swimming pool and gym and big yard (hahaha.. that's asking a lot eh?)
(d) Music and dancing lessons
(e) All this year feature gadgets.. especially the latest MacBook Pro..

LIST OUT THE REASONS FOR YOUR CHOICE:
(a) Simple. I love travelling.
(b) Hehe I fall in love with the honda civic, and since they just release the hybrid model, why not?
(c) I'm always too lazy to go out, so it's easy if I got everything at home..
(d) Haha, I always want to take all these lessons but they cost too much..
(e) informaaatics.. need I say more?

THE PERSON WHO TAG-ED YOU IS:
My ever so drama queen sister (she is so going to kill me for that, hahaha)

5 IMPRESSION OF HIM/HER:
(a) drama queen.. haha kidding, sensitive of others' and own feelings maybe sounds more accurate
(b) Pretty good with money
(c) Independent
(d) Loyal to friends
(e) Can keep a secret

MOST MEMORABLE THINGS HE/SHE HAS DONE FOR YOU:
hehehe I got a handbag last time she went home... i love it, it's really cute.. that is rather memorable..

MOST LOVED INVENTION (does not need to be technologically advanced)
wow.. this is really difficult... hmmm... I would have to say MacBook Pro.. and TV!!! where else would I watch Grey's Anatomy then?

WHAT DO YOU DESPISE THE MOST:
being lied to

PEOPLE YOU WANNA TAG : Syu, Ainur, Lina ING, Sari, Fadhil

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All righty.. I finally finish it.. can you believe that I took 3 days to do this.. I got stuck at the first question.. I think I want too much but when I got to (d), I'm absolutely clueless.. anyway, yay!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Just another starless night
a clowned face
a muffled cry
and the dawn is painted red
the aching pain that keeps you up at night.......

Pertama kali aku tergugah

Dalam setiap kata yang kau ucap
Bila malam tlah datang
Terkadang ingin ku tulis semua perasaan

Kata orang rindu itu indah
Namun bagiku ini menyiksa
Sejenak ku fikirkan untuk ku benci saja dirimu
Namun sulit ku membenci

Pejamkan mata bila kuingin bernafas lega
Dalam anganku aku berada disatu persimpangan jalan yang sulit kupilih

Ku peluk semua indah hidupku
Hikmah yang ku rasa sangat tulus
Ada dan tiada cinta bagiku tak mengapa
namun ada yang hilang separuh

diriku

-Bimbang, Melly Goeslow

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I started writing this entry with a sad story. It's been on my mind for one whole day.. nay scratch that, actually it's been a week that I started the countdown.. Today shouldn't be different than any other day. It has been 6 years and I have moved on, I am moving on. I love my life now, with its warts and all. But why oh why do I find myself picturing his smiles and hearing his laughs while I was walking through 'Pasar Malam'? Why, me, a person who thought life is better this way, found myself crying through my 'Pasar Malam' browsing which I'm sure left some of the pakcik looking scared.

As soon as I got home, I tried writing the whole thing, about his personality mostly, because that's what I promised myself to write when I first started this blog. It wasn't purposely created for him but was inspired by him. But why can't I finish my story? I started writing it only to find that I can't possibly finish it, which leaves me with this entry. Today is no different than any other day. Today shouldn't be different. It's been 6 years and I still miss him terribly.


One day, I'll write about him. One day, I'll write about Abah..

Saturday, November 17, 2007

the chair

sitting numbly, as the clowns twirl, waving, inviting..


hands tied, feet glued, and come a silent cry "it's the chair!

"i can set you free" a voice echoed and there emerge from the shadows, handsome prince with glistening smile, riding on white horse offering his hand.

Long she stares at the sparkling smile, grandiose suit and magnificent carriage, her eyes full of hope if only in a glimpse.

The clowns stop twirling and weird faces popping in, the audiences.

Take his hand! You will be free! silent shouts of approval stirring chaos in her heart and as she withdraws her hand, her heart filters a contrary plead.

"No, stop! it's another chair!

With hands held in mid-air, she turns around and her eyes found a man in ragged white clothes, breathless.

Audiences' eyes on the man in ragged clothes.
"Quest him what he may promise you"

Audiences' head turns in tunes sharply to the prince.
"Take a peek inside my carriage and you may find the seats are layered with the finest cotton world have seen, lined with the rarest leather and the seat so soft you will feel like you are sitting on the fluffiest clouds. Now, what can you offer?

Audiences's eyes sparkle in quest and the man in ragged clothes smiled sadly.

"Yet it is another chair, be it that splendorous. I can offer you the wings so you may fly, I can give you tails so you can swim, or train your feet to run in the greenest, longest field on earth. I am offering you the world"

Audiences' taken aback.

"You are promising the world. How would you free me when you are mere commoner"

And the prince laugh. Again the man smiles.

"For me to promise you the world is for me to promise you that I won't be able to free you from the chair. Neither I nor the prince may rescue you" he softly said.

Audiences gasping and the prince roars in fury yet the man smiling still in serene.

"I see no rope tying your hand. I see no glue holding your feet. Should all the forces on earth combined to free you, failure shall it be. It was never the chair, nor it capable of doing so. It's you. Never content with the ordinary, you sought the extraordinary, the prince. In waiting, you prison yourself in your thinking that ordinary is not good enough"

The audiences again gasping as the man snaps his finger and changes into a dazzlingly beautiful lady.

"Look is nothing more than pure deception and it blinds you to what is important in life."
Once again she snaps her fingers and vanish into thin air.

The audiences left.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A tribute

My camera broke down sometime 2 years ago. It's an old Canon Powershot with only 3.2MP that I bought in 2002. It's not an SLR nor it is like any other fancy cameras but I love it. And I think I took quite good pictures with it. Of course it won't be as good as those expensive cameras but I think it was good enough for me.. check it out:

http://anythingarian.my-php.net/

The page loads really slow but if you are from Bloomington and you miss the place and the seasons, it will be worth waiting.

I love taking pictures and I have always wanted to buy that expensive, heavy Digital SLR and I've been saving up for that.. But now, looking at all the pictures I've taken I don't think I need it. These are good enough for me. Besides, we have Photoshop right? Anyways, what I need is something light that I can carry with me everywhere I go (like I did with my old Canon)..

Just the other day, I saw an old Chinese couple holding hands walking in heavy rains sharing umbrella.. If I go back home and tell this story to my colleagues or family, I'm sure they would be staring blankly at me thinking "what's so interesting about that? But if I take a picture and show them, they might be thinking differently. When we listen, what we absorb mostly are facts, no feelings involved.. But with pictures, it could tell a thousand stories.. Each will look at it with their own stories.. I feel like crying at the sight and not having camera on hand. I think I'm gonna buy one, real soon.. Ok, maybe not that soon..
prioritize..

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The road less traveled

I drove my mother to our little town today because she wanted to find the crystal beads for her flowers. It was really difficult to find a parking spot since it is one week before Hari Raya celebration and it seemed like everyone in Terengganu were out shopping. So we decided to park somewhere farther than the usual; that is because my mother promised that she know the short cut. It was behind the Courts Mammoth, she kept telling me. I've seen a small path towards the flower store, she added. O-kay then, so she never actually take the road. Nevermind though, since I could see a path too, except that it looked rather jungle-y where the path leads. I could see now that my mother starting to waver as she took a step forward. Oh yeah, I can see the flower store, I said loudly and trying to sound as convincing as I could as I walked past her. She followed slowly behind me.

The first step into the 'jungle', I was surprised. The trees/bushes actually covers what seemed like a bunch of rumah setinggans in the middle of the town. Our first sight was a guy in his tights, taking a bath from a well. Yup, a man-made-well. We can't turn back now, it's too late. As my mother hasted through the houses, which attached to each other, I stole a glance around. Sure, our presence was highly noticeable. Everybody was looking at us as we walked, but I can't help but to look back and smiled. I noticed, though as confined as they may seem, they have quite a neighborhood. At least I can see a few Chinese and Malay ladies hanging out on their veranda.

We were out in 10 minutes. Seemed quick but I can't get over my surprise. I really wish I had a camera with me. It was rather an intriguing experience. Though my mother swore that she will never take the route again, and make me promised not to do so as well, I wasn't so sure.. I think, I'll take Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled literally.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

irony

I was watching Anugerah Era last night and there's this one performance by Akbar and Tukang Kata (I think that's what they are called) titled Manusia Lupa. The performance was rather brilliant, Tukang Kata did 'sing' his heart out with convincing remorse displayed on his face as he kept on repeating "Manusia Lupa" and with tears running down on his cheeks. Yet in front of him, the fanatics (that's what Astro called the 2 group of people who were cheering nonstop) are still cheering (like listening to a rock song) with their arms on the air. Hmm... how ironic.

**********************

funny how people leave their family, abandon their health for a piece of paper. Even more funny when the reason that we put to the hardworks are the things that we abandon.. we convince ourselves that we are working for a better future, for a good health, for a stronger family.. aren't we repeatedly told that prevention is always better than cure? ironic.

**********************
once upon a time

there was once a time
on green endless field
long grasses are dancing
gracefully to the wind
and the sun grins

there was once a girl
with unfaltering smile
an infectious laugh
and echoes her gentle voice
through rivers and mountains
humming the earth’s hymn

then the seasons changed
and the field dug
and the grasses slashed
and the wind enraged
and the sun strikes

the people are many
riding on monsters and bulls
carving the gentle mountain
draining the glossy river

and the girl is gone
and all that good are lost
and become memories
of once there is a smile, a laugh and a song

Monday, September 03, 2007

Gray

Right or wrong. One or zero. Halal or haram. Often, I am told that in Islam there is a distinct line crossing between those two. It is clearly defined in the Qur’an what is halal(allowed) and what is haram(forbidden) and nothing in between. This statement sure gives the critics a chance to say that Islam is an extreme religion. So, is it true? Quoting from Mr. Lex Luthor of Smallville from episode 'Aqua': “Only the na├»ve view the world as black and white”. Is there a gray area?

Islam is a beautiful religion and it offers a lot of tolerance. I hate to think that the Muslim are the extremist so this question has been bugging me for days. Since we are approaching the Month of Ramadhan, I’ve received quite a few emails regarding the fasting month. One of which, when I read yesterday just hit me. I wasn’t wrong! Islam is indeed a religion that is full of tolerance. Of course there can be gray areas. In fact it has too many tolerance I don’t even know which one to pick. I guess I’ll choose the basics, the 5 times prayer.

Yes, it is an obligation to pray five times a day and it is considered a sin if you missed one prayer. Sounds difficult? Not really! You don’t have to go to a place of worship for the prayer. It only needs a clean place and off you go (subject to some conditions and rules)! And if you are traveling, you may combine two prayers at one time (subject to some conditions and rules). If you are sick, you can pray sitting down, and if you can’t even sit, you can pray lying on your back. And if you cannot move a muscle, you can still pray using your eyes (all are subject to some conditions and rules). For those who are considered as insane, they are excused from doing the prayer.

Those were one of the many tolerances that Islam has. Don’t forget that when a person converted to Islam, he is considered as clean as the newborn baby, free from his previous sins, given that he has sincerely and wholeheartedly repents on his sins. So, Mr Luthor, I guess I have to agree with you on this. There is in fact a gray area in between!



p/s I googled for a quote from Al-Qur'an while I was writing this. Couldn't find what I was looking for but I stumbled into many interesting forums.. some issues can be quite provocative.. freedom of speech? yes! but don't believe everything blindly.. confirmation from the scholars are still needed.. I am keeping an open mind though.. I have always love a healthy discussions!

Friday, August 10, 2007

H.A.P.P.Y

It's been a while since I last write. Nothing insightful or funny to share. Life is as usual, some days are more hectic than the other and today falls in the 'more' part. To be exact, for these past 3 days, I've been running around and still have not reached the finish line. I still have to go to Kota Bharu tomorrow. Like always, have to be there for one week and it never really thrills me before. Staying in a hotel alone in one week and eating takeouts for dinners. However, this time I am a little relieved and I am sorta kinda looking forward for this trip. Like I said, it has been a hectic 3 days (work and non-work wise) and I am officially emotionally drained and physically exhausted. So this trip to Kota Bharu really feel like a getaway. Suddenly, eating KFC alone in my hotel room feels like a blessing.
total solitude. heavenly.


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On a different note, I am ecstatically thrilled since my best friend is.. *drum roll please* ..getting engaged next weekend to also another friend of mine! So, it's a double happiness. *grinning widely*. She's a little anxious about the engagement, afraid that things will not go the way it should be. Fear not o friend of mine, I'll be there to save the day! Hehe, actually I'll be there as her Mak Andam although when I told this to another friend of ours, she replied "Betoi Ka hang boleh jadi Mak Andam, aku takut orang tak cam dia nanti." Fana, fana, buruk sangat ka aku make up? hehe.

Which brings me to another exciting news. Fana is pregnant! Though this is not new (she's 7 months pregnant) but I have not talked with her for quite a while. So when she called me the other day, we talked! More on her pregnancy and it feels really weird. I know a lot of women my age whom I know (but not close to) who is pregnant or have given birth. But Fana is.... Fana! She'd been my roommate for 3 years and when she told me about the baby and everything, it feels like she is so far away. It saddened me that I don't know her the way I used to know her for the past years. *termenung 5 saat mode* Anyways, she IS pregnant and I can't wait to see her! Jom Yani, masa Raya nanti!

I can't wait to see another friend of mine too. Missy Ella. Who has been bugging me to write funny stories and when I did she would say "Is that supposed to be funny? (maybe that's more of Syu's line).. knowing the Queen of Sarcastica Kingdom , she might say "Laa you buat lawak ke tadi? Lain kali bagila cue gelak" Dush! Seriously minah, you are too far away! Bile nak balik semenanjung nih? Ainur baru ajak I jalan-jalan macam tourist kat KL and I suggested kat dia buat benda yang kita planned dulu. Alah, plan yang you are supposed to wear big hat with flashy skirt and I am supposed to wear striking colors with heavy pearls... yang tulah..

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Today, I had to pick up a few girls that my mother invited for our little makan-makan. I don't know where they live so I have to follow my mother's car. It felt like the location is far and I was a little uncertain because I don't know where the place is. On our way back (with the girls in my car), I realized it is not that far from home and the journey felt half as short when talking to the girls. Same things with life, it would feel twice as long if we are uncertain of the destination and thrice as long when we do it alone. So, I started with a little story of my life, which is not too bad, only one of it down days. But I add another 3 stories of the rider of my cars. They definitely make my life seems less bumpy.

There are more names I want to mention but I think this is getting too long. I've been truly blessed to have the privilege of having these people in my life. More names that I don't mention, I love you just as much. I also spare some time to put some colors in this entry. Why? because you guys put colors in my life. Life is beautiful and if you look hard you will find that the happy stories outweigh the sad stories.


p/s "Happiness is really simple", am quoting this from Ainur's latest entry. I love it! check it out!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Jendela Hati

Sesungguhnya mata itu jendela hati. Oh how deep. Well, these are not my words. They are Noor Suraya’s. Noor Suraya is one of (the few) my favorite Malay authors. Her books are published with quite a few publishers including Creative enterprise and Jemari Seni. Her writing is a little different compared to the other authors. If you have read 3 of her books, you would notice her style/plot. My favorite is of course, “Nyanyian Tanjung Sepi”, and it’s not because of some of you might thought an obvious reason. It’s not!

Her storyline could be a bit monotonous and you might not like her endings. What I love about her books mostly are the characters. Most of the characters are simple, humble and free of unnecessary drama. Another reason is the message/moral of her stories. It will grab you out of your fairy tale life and open your eyes to see what is more significant in life. Anyways, I’m not actually writing this to discuss her work. The first sentence is more what I interested in talking about.

Sesungguhnya mata itu jendela hati”. The first time I read the sentence I was stunned by how accurate it is. Don’t you think it’s true? What is a Jendela, literally? A jendela is a small part of a building. It usually is small in size, yet it plays such an imperative role. It allows the person from inside to view the world outside, and it allows the passerby to steal a look inside.

It’s the same with our eyes. It is only a small part of our body, yet is capable of doing so much. Aside from its glamorous role as capturing the world’s beauty, it is also capable of portraying what is inside a person body to the outside world. Words can only describe so much but our eyes say a lot more. Its language is universal, crossing the borders of country, religion, and race. It is the most honest part of the body. It holds no lie, no secret.

Feelings are exposed bare nakedly in our eyes. The eyes sparkle in a lover’s gaze. And the sparkle can easily vanish in a sorrow. It flickers in quest and flaming in rage. Determination can easily be spotted in a sharp eye. Well, I’m no expert. But if you asked this to an artist, they can easily tell you the eyes’ language. A drawing can only look alive if the eyes of the object painted tell a story. Isn’t that why the portrait of Monalisa is famous of?

This is only one of many other functions of the eyes. Isn’t it amazing how something so small is capable of so much? All the praises for you, o Allah Almighty.

“On the Day, when their tongues, their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions”

Al-Qur’an,24:24 (translation by Abdullah Yusof Ali)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's been a while since I last update my blog. Is it because I don't have time? Well, I won't say so, I am in Terengganu after all. Away from my KL's happening life (which also translates to pergi pasar malam hari khamis and layan grey's anatomy with my lovely roommates, =D). Yup, time is what I have (said Mr Mohan from the Astro commercial). It's just that lately I have been having what a writer would say a "writer's block". I would sit in front of my PC for hours and try to write something. All I have are the first 5 words which are "I remember when I was" and poof, it turned out nothing that happened on that day or the past week that are worth remembering. I'm not complaining though. I like my life this way. Peaceful and quite and drama free. full stop.

What triggers me to write today? Well, I was surfing and reading random people's blogs and looking at random people's fotopages and I bummed to one fotopage that has a picture of an airplane. I remember (here we go again) about 2 months ago I had a meeting in KL. My company booked me a morning ticket and luckily,I got a window seat. I have always love looking out the window. And on that day, words can't describe how beautiful it is. The clouds are amazingly white and fluffy. And the rain forest, the view from the above, MashaAllah was so exquisite, saujana mata memandang.

It reminded me of my apartment back in Bloomington. I arranged my bed so that it would be aligned with my big window. I have never closed the curtain (except when the girls esp the one from UIUC came visit and they would complain about the morning sun, =D). My apt was on the ninth floor so I never have to worry about peeping tom or anything. Everyday, I would just lie down and watch the clouds. This might sound a bit bias and mengada-ngada but I have always thought that the Bloomington's clouds are the most beautiful clouds in the world. And on that day, on the plane, the cloud was just as beautiful and the scenery was just so breathtaking that I could not resist myself from taking pictures.

There I was taking pictures oh so passionately, I totally forgot that I was on the plane with about another 100 people. The stewardess' were distributing the kacang and the drinks at the time and one of them approached me, asking what kind of drink that I want. Unfortunately I was too deep in emotion and busy taking pictures that I didn't hear her calling me. It turned out that she had raised her voice and the person who's sitting next to me had to cuit me since I wasn't responding to the stewardess. When I finally turned around, I found out that almost everyone's around me were looking at me with a little smile. I know they must have thought this was my first time on the plane and truth be told, yes it's a little embarrassing. But I will always remember the day I found my clouds. Ok well, the last sentence sounds a little too dramatic. But what the heck, I could always use some drama in my life. =D *smile*

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Guys and Cars

I was in my Hotel room in Kota Bharu, reading, a few weeks ago. I turned on the TV just to add some noise to the night. I was concentrating on my book when my ears caught the sentence, "the most expensive car ever made, Cadillac V16" from the TV. My mind suddenly alerted me to watch it so that I have something to talk about at the office since most of my colleagues are males.



I turned my attention to the TV to see what is the car like, and it did not look that impressive to me. My eyes were glued on the TV screen for quite a while, still trying to figure out what makes the car so expensive but it failed to impress me. It got me thinking, what is it about cars that make men crazy about it. To satisfy my curiosity, I text messaged a few male friends that I know well.




Within a few minutes, a few replied and some even called. I was expecting a similar answer from these men. But I was surprised when I was given many different answers. The most interesting part is their answers can really show their personality. These are the answer that I have received.



1. Dunno, I don't

2. Because it gets me to work, see my friends, buy food for my parents and other 1001 conveniences.

3. Because when a guy has no woman, all his loving, caressing, attention, devotion has to go somewhere, I guess. But for a guy with a woman, the car is probably more responsive to his needs

4. Maybe because it's masculine; fast cars symbolize power, expensive ones show wealth, modified ones give a sense of self, etc. Maybe guys think chick dig nice cars. Do they?

5. Style

6. Symbol of pride. Men love shape and power.

7. Actually guys don't really like cars. Girls like cars. Men are just hunters. We use flashy cars as bait.

8. I don't know. Maybe for the same reason why girls like shopping. Whenever I upgraded or modified my car, I feel satisfied.



Well, I was hoping to make a generalization of men based on their answer, but like I said, they are all rather different. What I can conclude is that, a car to a man is like a handbag to a woman. Some use them for necessity and some use them as accessory. It's not fair to generalize that all women love handbag and all men love cars.



Women and men are not much different after all. Men might come from Mars and women might originated from Venus, but like Kanji, we might sound different but we mean the same thing. Solution: Learn your kanji character and find out if car really does translate to handbag!




Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fruitful plate (Part 2)...

Do you know why we have to wash and rinse rice before cooking it? When I was a kid, I thought the reason was because the rice is dirty. When I started learning to cook rice, I wash it thoroughly, until the water is crystal clear; just imagine how much water I wasted on my first rice wash. When my mother saw the result, she knew right away what I did. She asked me why and I told her that I wanted the rice to be completely clean. Then, she give me the do's and the don'ts. Do: Wash the rice just to make sure that it is clean from the insects/weevils. Don't: Wash too thoroughly because we might miss the nutrition.

No matter how careful we are, we might miss a few insects. Every so often, we found small stones or insects in our food. These food are not safe for us to eat. Same thing if we are served with the food that we are allergic to. If you know there are stones in it or you know that you are allergic to it before you eat it, stay far away from it. It could be tempting, like serving an ice-cream for a diabetic. But it is dangerous. However, if you have accidentally eat it, get a cure. Let the experts handle it. Fetch a doctor, get medicine. Do whatever you have to do except eating it.

Same thing in life. We play fair. We stay clean, or at least we try our best to live safely. However, life is full of surprises and sometimes it surprises us with these dangerous challenges. It could be anything, from the smallest of things to the highest of things. It could come from your neighborhood; a neighbor could be asking you to lie for them, it could come from a workplace; a client giving you a hamper just before you approve their loan. These people could be your dearest friend or a family member. As a human, no doubt that we will feel incline to abide to their request, but DON'T.

This is the poison of your life. You are not helping anyone by doing that. You have to learn to say NO. If it has to do with legal procedures, let the other responsible party deal with it. And, if you are involved in it unknowingly, get out right away. Then, ask for an expert's advice. If a damage control needs to be done, do it. You are after all responsible for your own action.

My mother put dried chillies in the place where we store the rice. Her reason is that it will keep the insects away. I'm not sure if it really works. But at least she tried, to keep us healthy. Same thing in life, prevention is always better than cure. But like the rice, don't wash it too thoroughly, you might take away the life's many nutritions.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Fruitful plate (part one)..







Often, we heard people say "I cannot deal with this right now, I already have too many things on my plate". Well, that is actually quite a good analogy, things on the plate represent the challenges in life. What people often omit to do is to use the same analogy to deal with it.







Let's take a a typical Malay/Asian meal for an example. What we normally see on their plate are rice, vegetables and meat. Each of these food contributes in making us stronger and healthier. Rice gives us carbohydrate, vegetables is of course rich with nutrition and meat provide us with protein. In life, these foods are the challenges that we deal with everyday. Each and every challenges contributes in helping us to be a physically strong and emotionally healthy person (if we deal with it correctly). Just as a food is a need, challenges are also the same.





Most of the times, we enjoy eating because the food taste good. However, sometimes, without us wanting, we are given the food that we don't like. Some people choose to walk away from the plate, take a nap and hope that somebody else will pick up the food while they are sleeping. Sometimes, we are lucky enough, when we wake up, the food is gone. But most of the times, when we wake up, the food is already so rotten and smelly. To avoid our neighbor's complaints, we are now forced to shove the food down our throat. The result? food poisoning if not death.







Same things in life, everyday we are dealing with positive and negative challenges. Marriage and a newborn would be the positive challenges because we love it even though it is a hassle. However, sometimes we are forced to deal with negative challenges, like a divorced or a death of the loved ones. When it happens, we cannot leave and expect people to solve it for us or hoping that the problems will solve by itself. Every once in a while, it can happen, but most of the times, it DIDN'T!







Walking away is definitely not the answer and time will only make it worse. Some personal problems can be a talk of a neighborhood just because it was left long enough for people to pick up on the stories. At this time, there's nothing that you can do other than solving it or suffer a chronic depression which eventually will put you in an asylum or early grave. It's harsh, but then again, so is life.







*iklan* Just downloaded the new mozilla firefox (version 2.0). Excellent web browser, with cool add-ons: fireFTP acts as a web FTP-fast, sturdy and user friendly; Greasemonkey allows you to change the scripts of the websites you are viewing;Cooliris previews let you preview the page when you hover your cursor over a link;Firebug (gotta be the coolest!!) lets u explore all (n i mean ALL) the inner workings of a webpage-css,javascript,images,etc-a web-developers playground!!! I could go on for pages but why don't you go check it out.. and for goodness sake, download it!







Download Mozilla Firefox 2.0: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/







Download Add-Ons: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/recommended/



Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ikan
Today, I learned a new lesson, cutting a fish, ikan kerisi to be exact. I do know the standard fish cut, but for ikan kerisi (to be fried), it has to be a full cut from the backside of the fish. It was my first time. When I first hold the fish, I know right away that it's a little fragile. So, I decided to cut it softly without putting any kind of pressure on it. The result: the fish was destroyed due to excessive softness. Then, I put a little force on it, and it went quite successfully though not really beautiful. For my third fish, I was too excited which causing me to put an extra pressure resulting another destroyed fish. For my fourth fish, it was quite successful where I learned to put the pressure at the right places. Though all the cuttings after that can never match my mother's, I was quite satisfied.

Then, to clean its stomachs. I have never take it out bare handed before. With the normal fish cut, my grandmother had taught me to do it using a knife. I tried to do the same, unfortunately it ripped the thin layer of the fish's abs. For my second trial, I tried using my hand (while comforting myself that it's just fish) to jerk away the gill but it became quite messy because I didnot get the whole of the gill. On my next trial, I decided to be a little braver this time, I dig deeper, allowing my hand to get a little dirty. The result: a really smooth and clean look of a fish abs. I was satisfied though my hand smells, and I was glad that not only now I know how to cut a fish, I also learnt quite a few lessons:

1. You can never be too soft, it will destroy. You can never be too hard, it will destroy also. You have to know to put the right pressure at the right time.

2. Different people requires different kind of approach. If you force a wrong approach to a wrong crowd, somebody might get hurt.

3. Sometimes, you had to get it dirty first to get it clean (please don't misunderstand this). For instance, you have to be in the field and get your hand a little dirty to achieve your goal. You also need to be a risk taker. Be creative, dig deeper to find your answer.

4. Of course, I learnt that practises make perfect. You can never be too old or too young to learn something.

It was quite an adventure with the fishes today. I spent my whole afternoon with them and i was satisfied with my findings. There is always something to learn in every act that we do... God bless..

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

tonight

Just my fingers dancing
with the echo of the old keyboard
breaking the silence on this night

scared
of what tomorrow will bring

numb
with yesterday's stories

empty
just tonight..

Monday, February 05, 2007

Cameron Trip
Just a few pics from my trip to Cameron..

The breathtaking view of the Boh Tea Plantation.. MashaAllah..


Sarimah, Ana and Erhan.. menikmati teh Bharat berlatarbelakangkan ladang teh


One of the beautiful flowers that you can find in Cameron..


nice trip indeed..

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I.E version 7.0

Any of you downloaded Internet Explorer version 7.0? It's been released for quite a while but I have just downloaded it yesterday. Microsoft really goes all out this time to make sure that we did not buy a pirated microsoft products. They requested to validate the copy of Microsoft windows twice; First, before downloading it, second, before installing it. Having to go through this process, I was expecting something excellent, and at my first glance, I was satisfied.

They have adopted the tab browsing capability (just like Opera and Firefox). On top of that, they also have a preview panel that allows the user to overview (in small windows) all the tabs. The screen looks bigger since the "file, edit, view, etc.." toolbar is viewable on request (have to press alt key). The buttons on the screen (web browser) are carefully pick and arrange. The GUI is better. I really like the "open new tab" button, very user friendly. The internet explorer's icon is also modified to look more polished.

I've used it a few times, enough to get back to my good old Mozilla Firefox. Though everything looks nice, I don't think IE can handle too much tabs. With Firefox, I can open God knows how many tabs, the processing speed remains the same. With IE, to load each tabs take quite sometimes, especially when you have opened quite a few tabs. I also have a few experiences of IE crashes everytime I open (too) many tabs.

Congratulations Microsoft for the efforts. I give a A- for the look but for the performance, you can do better. Hopefully Microsoft will give a FREE upgrade of this version soon.

P/S My brother told me that even if you are not using a genuine Microsoft Windows, you can still ILLEGALLY install this version of ie. Not really sure how to do it but Microsoft should be prepared for this. Nowadays, what thing cannot be hacked?

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Malays

I googled:
1. "Malays are lazy" =
Results 1 - 10 of about 356 for "Malays are lazy". (0.14 seconds)
2. "Malays are hardworking" =
Results 1 - 5 of about 15 for "Malays are hardworking". (0.24 seconds)

Well, the sentence could have been "I don't think Malays are lazy". Therefore the stats might not be accurate but the gap is too big. 356 pages against 15 pages, over 300 pages variance. So we can conclude that the majority agrees that Malays are truly lazy. Fortunately (or unfortunately-depends on how you see it ), majority doesn't translate to truth. Are malays really lazy? Let's see.

The sentence "Malays are lazy" is not new, it might be as old as "the chinese are greedy" and "the indians cannot be trusted". If I'm not mistaken, these 3 conceptions had been introduced by the british since they set foot in Tanah Melayu. Since then, the malays have been labeled as a lazy race. I wonder on what basis did the British give that label because back then the Malays have quite an achievement. To name a few, Melaka was once an international trading port and Panglima Awang (a.k.a enrique of malacca/henry the black) was claimed to be the first person who traveled around the world.

Race is formed from a group of people that share similar physical traits. However, I believe that each of us have a unique character that cannot be categorized by race, religion or country. We might be influenced by these aspects but not naturally born with it. To say Malays are lazy is unfair because I know quite a good number of Malays who are extremely hard working and know quite a few chinese who are quite laid back.

To me, the statement " malays are lazy" is a British's dogma which trapped us to believe and live in that perception. It saddened me that the sentence "the malays are lazy" mostly come from the Malays themselves.
After all, you are what you believe right? I hope this repetitous statement acts as a reminder, not an excuse. Being a Malay myself, I repeatedly remind myself to prove them wrong.
*********************************************
Just for the fun of it I also googled:
1. "Chinese are greedy" =
Results 1 - 10 of about 141 for "chinese are greedy". (0.06 seconds)
2. "Indians are dishonest" =
Results 1 - 10 of about 30 for "indians are dishonest". (0.48 seconds)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Backpacking!!!!!

Calling out to all backpackers out there!!!!!! If you have stories, or photos to share.. or you have taken a freakamazing backpacking route anywhere in the world and you want to share with the rest of the world, please contact me at nurul.mardiana@gmail.com!!!!!!!
When I was a kid, I read a story about a pious man who ate an apple that he found floating on a river until he realized that he didn’t asked for permission to have that apple and had traced back to the owner of the apple (trees) and asked for permission. The owner, impressed with the man’s piety, gave him challenges. He agreed to “halalkan” the apple if the man agrees to work for him for several years and marry his daughter who is blind, deaf, mute and disabled. The man, though felt that the conditions are quite heavy, agreed to it. Turned out, the daughter is in perfect condition and in fact is very pretty. He asked his wife why her father said she is totally disabled, she replied “My father said i was deaf because these ears have never heard haram, he said I was mute, because I have never spoken haram, he said i am handless and without feet because i have never touched or walked to anything haram.”
These people are later known as the parents of Imam Abu Hanifa.

So, my question is.. who would you be? Do you prefer being the naive girl or do you prefer to be the know-it-all girl?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to Ella
Happy Birthday to you..

Allah selamatkan kamu
Allah selamatkan kamu
Allah selamatkan Suhailah Abu Bakar
Allah selamatkan kamu

Wishing Ella a very Happy Birthday for her **th birthday on 12th January... May your life will forever be blessed and of course, many happy returns!!

MashaAllah, what a blissful day, today it is..

P/s I've a few entries to upload but none of them siap at the moment. Can't wait to have a peaceful moment to write... *sigh* ..

Monday, January 01, 2007

Coretan 2007

Coretan pertama 2007... Alhamdulillah, 2006 sudah berakhir dan aku mengalu-alukan kedatangan 2007. Hari Raya AidilAdha juga jatuh sehari sebelum tahun 2007, menambahkan lagi kemeriahan hari semalam. Namun dalam kemeriahan semalam, banyak berita yang di paparkan di kaca TV yang membenarkan aku memuhasabah diri.

Berita penggantungan Saddam Hussein ku terima dengan senyap. Tiada protes ataupun sokongan, kerana aku sebenarnya jahil dalam isu ini. Namun, hatiku terdetik sendiri. Apakah rahsianya ataupun apakah propaganda pihak Amerika dalam memilih tarikhnya, di hari Umat Islam seluruh dunia menyambut Hari Raya Korban. Adakah itu satu mesej tak langung dari mereka?

Juga peperangan yang tidak sudah di Asia Tengah. Biar segunung simpatiku masih tidak dapat aku selami perasaan-perasaan mereka di sana. Aku kagumi semangat mereka. Biar saban hari nyawa di hujung tanduk, menyerah bukanlah satu pilihan buat mereka. Jika diizinkan Allah, mahu aku panjangkan langkahku ke sana. Inginku selami rahsia-rahsia ketabahan mereka. Malu untuk ku akui, namun aku bersyukur yang aku di sini ketika ini.

Di dalam negara sendiri tak kurang ramainya kurang bernasib baik. Mangsa-mangsa banjir di serata negara terutamanya di negeri Johor terpaksa menyambut Hari Raya Aidil Adha dan Tahun Baru dalam keadaan serba kekurangan. Alhamdulillah, banyak bantuan yang telah dan akan dihulurkan kepada mereka. Semoga apa yang hilang dapat digantikan dengan yang lebih baik. InsyaAllah.

Namun begitu, aku sebenarnya sangat menunggukan kehadiran tahun ini. Aku nantikan perubahan-perubahan yang bakal berlaku. Aku mahu lebih mengaktifkan diri pada tahun ini. Terima kasih kepada Sarimah, kalendar acara dari tourism Malaysia pada tahun ini sudah kumiliki. Banyak program-program menarik yang akan di adakan di serata Malaysia, sejajar dengan kempen Tahun Melawat Malaysia 2007 dan juga sambutan kemerdekaan yang ke-50. InsyaAllah, akan ku muat naikkan di laman ini dari semasa ke semasa. Ada beberapa lagi perubahan lain yang aku nantikan. Buat masa ini, biarku simpan untuk diriku dulu.

Aku berharap, tahun baru ini akan lebih mematangkan aku. Seperti tahun-tahun yang sudah, azam tahun ini tetap sama, aku ingin menjadi umat yang lebih baik. Selamat tahun baru!