Wednesday, September 26, 2007


A couple of days ago, sometime after dinner, I was alerted by a call ( well..a shout actually) from my partner. Sensing something's not right, I rushed to the living room to find him sitting on the sofa staring at his hand.

From where I was standing, about 3 meters away I could see a small black plastic device in his hand. Coming closer I soon realised that he wasn't actually holding it. It's more of his finger being stuck in it! This of course resulted in me laughing my head off. And my reaction certainly didn't go down very well with the victim as he chided me for not taking the situation seriously.

Really... how could I ever be serious in a situation such as that? There I was standing infront of a 40 year old man who somehow rather had managed to get his finger stuck in what was apparently a mini weapon contraption that was part of the ensemble for my son's toy action figure! He then revealed that he had slided it onto his finger when my little girl had handed it to him. Out of curiosity he wanted to see if the thing would fit in his finger. And fit it did!

After much pulling and tugging (with a swell slowly but surely forming) we soon discovered that the little contraption would not budge.

At this point, all sorts of things went through my mind . I wasn't sure if I was to continue tugging at it or to drive him to the A&E instead. Mentioning the word A&E brought an instant reaction from husband who insisted there was no way he was going there. And I can imagine why. The thot of seeing his colleague's reaction with regards to his predicament was enough to put him off the idea altogether.

After much deliberation, he agreed that I should simply yank the thing off his finger. So mustering all the energy that I had, I then yanked it off with all my might. This was of course accompanied by a scream that must have echoed around the neighbourhood. And at the end of it all, dear hubby was left with a swollen finger and a slightly bruised ego.

Note to all children and...adults too...Do Not Try This At Home.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

She came, she performed..and almost conquered

When I was in primary school, taking part in competitions was often limited to the academia. Simply because I'm hopeless in everything else! It would mostly be an English quiz or a storytelling competition or the occasional pantun competition. I won some of them but lost many too! It was fun taking part, especially those with friends. The adrenaline rush as we fought tooth and nail to win every point and the feeling of group camaraderie were some of the things that I find hard to forget till this day.

So when my daughter came home from school one day and declared that she had been selected to represent her school in an action song competition, I was thrilled to bits. We’ve all heard of storytelling and choral speaking but Action song?? Ditto…that was my reaction too.Well apparently it’s singing a medley of English songs accompanied by actions and movements. Hence, the name.

Hannan's Action Song journey began way back a couple of months ago. She went for her first competition with her team sometime in March and slowly made it through the succeeding rounds securing the district and state level competitions. The whole family was ecstatic when she announced that she’d be representing Selangor in the national level competition in September. Both hubby and I were terribly proud of her. Especially since none of us has ever made it further than class level in any of the competitions we entered during our school years. I think secretly we were living our childhood dreams through our daughter's achievements!

Anyway, the finals was held at Kuantan, Pahang and the whole family was there to watch history in the making!The first in the family to have made it to the Nationals. Hoorayyyy!

They came, they performed and they did their very best. Though it would have been super fantastic to win, it was not meant to be. The top three spots went to the other states. Sure there was some disappointment from the Selangor camp but that is part of life. You win some, you lose some. I was close to tears when I saw Hannan and her mates crowding their teacher and asking her why they didn't win. I have to say I was most impressed by the teacher's response. One that had a bit of psychology, pedagogy and analogy in it. A complete answer that left the 9 year old girls feeling slightly better and in a happier mood after that. Thank you Pn Shazrah.

And words of consolation come in many forms. My husband on the other hand, overheard a different gogy-approach adopted by a teacher from the northern region. It went something like this...(to be read with a thick northern accent of course!):

"Hang ingat hang sorang aje yang nak menang? Hang ingat balik-balik hang soghang sahaja yang nak menang. Kasi chan lah kat depa, depa pun nak menang jugak!" (rather unconventional I admit, but it worked too, coz his student broke into a laughter after that)

Anyway, as we left Kuantan and made our way home, I relayed the news to our family members via sms. One sms was read out loud to my daughter later as I felt it conveyed the true meaning of taking part in competitions.

It came from her dear Mak Lang which read "Don't worry, we celebrate effort, ALLAH determines results!"
And that is what we call TAKDIR.

Hannan and her team before boarding the bus to Kuantan

the highlight of the trip - a 30 min splash time at the swimming pool

my daughter, the flower in the middle.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I've always loved the month of Ramadhan. The very thought of millions of muslims around the world fasting and performing the Tarawih prayers during this special month has always been fascinating.

When I was just a child, fasting was a very big deal for me. I remember vividly during my early years, my mom would allow me to fast for only half of the day - up till noon time. I often argued with her that I was BIG enough to fast the whole day, but mom insisted that I practice fasting bit by bit and assured me that I would be able to fast the whole day some day soon. She would wake my elder brother and I for sahur and watch us with our eyes half closed slowly struggle to swallow the rice on our plates. How proud was I when I was able to complete a whole day of fasting. I was happy that I was able to get up for sahur before imsak just like the adults and fast a whole day just like the adults. And so I thought. During a conversation with mom a couple of years back I discovered that my mom had all the while woken us up for sahur at 7a.m. and whenever my elder brother asked if it was imsak time, she would insist that there was still plenty of time and we can eat for a little while longer (we were of course oblivious to the fact that the sun was already up at the time) .

When I was a student back in the 90s, I stayed with a Scottish family. My roomate D and I would have our sahur in the confines of our room. We both had a rice-cooker each. And during the fasting month we would have a simple sahur. One rice-cooker would contain rice, while the other a simple dish. We would take turns to wake up to reheat the cookers. Then we would set our alarm clocks for a 10 minute snooze before waking up again to eat our sahur. I remember once it was my turn to reheat our food. I got up. Pressed the reheat button and crawled back under the warmth of my duvet. I got up again after that and woke D up for sahur. We both sat around the cookers and were ready to eat our simple sahur. Just before eating, a quick glance at the clock revealed that I had not taken a 10 minute shuteye. Infact it was more than that. Through my blurry sleepy eyes I saw that it was exactly an hour later! So there we were, two souls cross-legged infront of two rice-cookers looking forlornly at our steaming hot rice and daging masak kicap (I think) and realising that we would have to go without sahur for that day.
To all I wish you a Happy Ramadhan!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


31st August has always been a special day for my husband and I . This year is more significant namely because it's a public holiday to commemorate the country's 50th year of Independence. It's also a day when the whole world remembers the sudden and unexpected death of Lady Diana who was killed in a car crash 10 years ago. But more importantly on 31st August this year, it's my 10th wedding anniversary.

I still remember on that day, the conversation amongst the guests centred around Lady Di's accident and later confirmed death. Infact many of the guests who made their way to our reception (which happened to be at my house) would briefly congratulate us before making a compulsory 10 minute stop or more, at our TV room to get an update on Lady Di. It was obvious the buzz of the day was definitely her death and our wedding reception took second spot. Oh well!

Anyway, 10 years down the road and 5 offsprings later... this year's anniversary celebration was marked by our mandatory dinner for two, minus the candles of course. Mind you it nearly turned out into a dinner for 7 (kids included!). But we managed to take the kids out to the park earlier, just so that mama and ayah can have a romantic??? dinner surrounded by at least 30 strangers at some nice restaurant later on.

Our delicious tiramisu. Yum yum.

Hannan's Pahang Adventure