Thursday, December 27, 2007


Yesterday, we dropped in to the "Rumah" to deliver Bata shoes to the girls staying there. We recalled humming the Bata ads during our schooling days (nearing half-century ago) "mula ke Bata, kemudian ke sekolah".
With school scheduled to open soon, the timing is right. Wifey and her sister purchased Bata shoes for 16 girls from the home, a small year end social contribution. I was the delivery boy-cum-driver, with wifey in tow.
The joy of receiving overshadowed our joy of giving.

The joy of receiving was naturally followed by the joy of trying. Ah, the simple joys of life. They were just Bata shoes, not the likes of what "other kids" wear.

And finally the joy of sharing the memories with a few of them.

My two sons have initiated their own collection amongst their friends. Like the girls, the boys of this Rumah will be receiving their Bata shoes in a few days time.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Lalangs have grown around my letterbox. I am still waiting for THAT mail from TM. Who doesn't want to be a millionaire, eh. And 2008 is fast approaching

So, please Mr Postman...........

Saturday, December 22, 2007



Last year this time around, I was in Kompong Cham, Phnom Penh distributing Qurban donations from well-meaning Malaysians to the needy Cambodian Muslims of Kompong Cham and several other kampongs. It was an experience I never forget.

This year, Qurban was in the suburbs of Kelana Jaya, a far cry from the likes of Kompong Cham. Mimi, our "Dublin" daughter wanted to Qurban a small portion of her Euro, not sure whether to term it as "hard-earned" Euro.

The family first performed our prayers at Masjid Abu Bakar, a recently completed mosque in SS19 Subang Jaya, a two par-5 distance from our house.

The usual "salam-bersalaman" with the neighbors followed after the prayers, a time to forgive all those talks/grouses/complains about the neighbors. Alhamdulillah I had none of those misgivings and therefore can openly embraces the salams with a peace of mind.
The machets and knives were presumed sharp when we drove to Masjid Kelana Jaya. Time for the slaughter. Such brave words from one who watches the slaughter from a safe distance.

OK Mimi, that's your cow. Well, not exactly all yours, one-seventh of it. Sharing the cow with you included a reknowned butcher, Bapak Om. He "slaughters" friends on the golf-course, and hence called a butcher. But as you know Mimi, golf is a fair game. What goes around, comes around. Bapak Om sometimes gets slaughtered too. That's when he said he played "like a cow".

Of course slaughtering a cow in the urban is not an easy task. The village folks will smile at the efforts of the urban folks. The urban folks like to call it the spirit of gotong-royong. The poor cow could have died of suffocation with the number of urban-folks attempting to hold it still. Gotong royong?
And the urban folks got plenty of help from our neighbors, no not "jiran tetangga" but "jiran dari seberang". In exchange for their voluntary work, they brought back the daging Qurban - a fair exchange.

See the butcher at work? That's Bapak Om aka Omar Aziz and he's armed with a Rambo knife skinning the cow with ease. He is not "jiran dari seberang". We affectionately called him Bapak Om. He is the "jiran dalam Saujana", that 5-star dwelling gated community where I spend early mornings burning off my calories on my bike.

Again, in the spirit of gotong royong, the men were busy skinning, "de-meating" (got such word kah) the carcass and later putting the meat in 1kg bags for distribution.

The ladies were also "gotong-royonging" at the make shift kitchen. The menu for the hard-working urban folks and their helpers were...what else...meat of several dishes. "Take a look at this meat, dah empuk ke?"

And this lady at the kitchen looked very familiar. Seen her somewhere, very very often. Mimi, you know her????

And this guy looks familiar too!!!!

And he promises to be more actively involved in the slaughtering for next year's Qurban. We shall see.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I flew in to Kuching on Sunday to facilitate a training program on Monday. After checking in to The Hilton, I took an evening river-side walk to the esplanade but finally landed in a book store. Bought myself a book, "60 QUICK TIPS FOR OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION". Ain't we all guilty of being a procrastinator at one time or other?

The book worked! For a start, I didn't procrastinate from reading it! At the airport on Monday evening and on the flight, I finished the chapters.

Still "high" on the procrastination dose from the book, I scanned my study area and figured out I could improve its layout to further improve my productivity. I looked at the rows and rows of books on the shelves, the CD's on the racks, brochures, files and finally at some of my display items.

The red BMW RT1100 motorcycle gained my attention. Ha, a past hobby and a painful reminder of the crash in Feb 2001. That's one era of my life that has fleeted away. I have enjoyed those motor-biking days. My numerous trips into Thailand, to the Golden Triangle, the Burmese border, Phuket, Koh Samui, riding via Hadyai back to Kota Bharu through South Thailand - these were great memories of my mid-age hobby. No, it wasn't mid-life crisis as some wives of some of my envious friends said.

And I have no regrets. What's left is the replica given my office colleagues during one of my birthdays when I was in Saujana. The real BMW RT1100 went to scrap metal after the accident. Alhamdulillah, I didn't become scrap metal.

"Di sebalek musibah ada hikmah" held true. I am still on two wheels, minus a powerful engine, replaced by self-propelled pedal power. Life is therefore much slower now, but I get to experience and see more, much more. So besides the replica of this red monster, I have a much timid replica of my latest craze - a healthy pursuit too. And I continue to tour.

So what has "procrastination" got to do with my past and present hobbies? Nothing really. I was just reflecting, not procrastinating. The job of re-arranging the work area still got done.

By the way, today is my wife's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY ROOM-MATE! I bought you a bicycle for your birthday a few years ago but it's still brand new.

I'm not procrastinating and I know what you wanted for your birthday this year. But you were too busy yesterday and this gift requires you to choose yourself ( mindful of my budget ya...).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


My mom came to KL a week after Hari Raya Puasa and stayed with my sisters in Bangi and Puchong. I picked her up from Puchong on Monday 3rd Dec for a week's stay at my house.
A few days ago, Mimi (my youngest daughter) spoke to her all the way from Dublin, and spoke for quite a considerable length of time, inspite of the distance (and cost). My mom was grinning from ear to ear after that conversation with her cucu. She was very proud of this cucu of hers who incidentally, possesses some resemblance with my mom's mother! And that's my late grandmother (Mok Bidoh), Mimi's great grandmother.

My mom could not stop talking about her phone conversation with Mimi. And as she now likes to do, she repeats most of her conversation and I was enjoying the repeated stories, sometimes twice a day!
She talked about giving Mimi a "doa" to recite when meeting difficult people. Mimi had one in the office and she did mentioned this to us several times before. Mimi had applied the doa. The difficult lady had turned "easy". I told my mom and she was overjoyed that Mimi had indeed applied the doa.
Mimi plans to return for a short holiday in March and had told my mom she missed the real Nasi Kerabu. My mom will be returning back to Kota Bharu in a week's time and will most likely remained there for sometimes.
As all mothers (and grandmothers) are, my mom will now wait for Mimi's return in March. She will cook the Nasi Kerabu and Mimi shall take the trip back to KB for her Nasi Kerabu. Of course, I need to chaperon Mimi back to KB, to make sure she has her fill......