Friday, January 30, 2009

What's Happening To the World?

I think I've gone rather cynical over the years. This deep feeling of mistrust of human nature is not just something that I've slowly developed over time, but is further fuelled by the increasing number of crime cases heard, seen and even experienced.

As such, the way I behave and conduct myself have always been of caution. I trust no one except for God and my family. Though we've had our share of potentially dangerous situations / encounters with robbers and such ... we've been quite lucky so far, in the sense that nobody has been hurt and everyone is safe in the end. And I have only ALLAH to thank for that.

I honestly can't understand how anybody could rob from the poor. My gardener this man who comes to our house on his rickety bicycle once a month to mow our grass, was robbed yesterday about 20 meters away from my house... roughly 30 minutes after I had last seen him. It's so mind-boggling and difficult to comprehend how anybody could even think of robbing him as he was obviously poor. There was no way anyone could mistake him to be rich. Definitely not from the way he was dressed; old and tattered trousers worn with a shirt that has probably seen many a washings.

Ironically, I had actually seen the robbers and the white Kelisa they were in before that. But of course, I didn't know then that they were looking for victims. Through tricks, deceit and physical assault they managed to relieve the gardener of his machine ( a brand new grass-cutting machine which was bought on loan and have yet to be paid back). My husband and I saw him moments after the robbery and we were deeply affected by the sight that greeted us. The anguished look on his face which later gave way to cries of despair was something that neither of us could ever forget. He could not understand how fellow Muslims could ever resort to such acts on another fellow Muslim. Yes.. the robbers as I recall were indeed Muslim lads and there were 3 of them in the car. Such cowards!! Three against one... and I've only words of contempt for them.

Today, our gardener returned to our house with another grass-cutting machine which was given to him by a generous Haji who lived not very far from here. In our brief conversation, I advised him not too be too trusting of people ( even if they are Muslims ) and to be extra cautious in the future. As he cleared my garden of weeds and later mowed the lawn, I asked my 2 elder kids if they wanted to give the man some money as sedekah as their way of helping a fellow Muslim in need. They both agreed to part with some of their savings - Hannan from her Eid collection whilst Yusuf from the circumsicion angpau he received from Atok Famy last year. And when I gave him his dues for the day's work together with a packet of bahulu and my kids' sedekah .. I could see the tears of joy trickling down his weather-beaten face as he clasped his hands together in a sign of gratitude . Being the softie that I am, I quickly turned away as I too felt a tear or two trickling down my face.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Revisiting my past

FB has been a godsent and I have Mark Zuckerberg to thank. The whole idea of allowing people to get connected with others be it locally or globally is just great. Over the past year of being active in FB, I've been able to stay connected with friends, make new friends and even get reacquainted with long lost childhood pals from school...going as far as 25 years.

I had left primary school 25 years ago to be exact. Since then, I've been everywhere. When dad got promoted, we left the state and moved up north. I later left the country in 1990 to continue my studies abroad for 6 years. Upon my return, I moved 3 times before finally settling down to where I am today. With work and family commitments, keeping in touch with friends over the years required effort... a lot of effort. And there were many many times when contacts were lost or friends just drifted apart.

Of late, some old friends have been extra busy tracking down classmates of a primary school that I used to attend in Johor. People whom I'd never thought I'd hear or see again suddenly appear on my screen out of nowhere. Imagine the emotions stirred upon seeing familiar names popping up and the floodgates of memories opening, unleashing memories of yesteryears. Contacts have since then been re-established, phone calls made across states and messages sent flying in cyberspace. All in the pursuit of reconnecting with my past.

There's been a buzz on FB about organizing a reunion for our group. Talks about getting as many classmates as possible and teachers too (if possible) to meet up sometime soon... have definitely left me feeling so excited. I never had many pics of my primary years, and the fact that many were lost when we moved about only made it worse. So I can't thank you enough friends who have taken the effort to upload some old..really old pics of us back in school (some going as far back as 30 years). And it was indeed hilarious to be looking at the pics and not recognizing yourself in them... how terrible is that??

My Alma mater

1 kuning - 1979

Prefectorial Board - 1983

with friends at the school field

Class teacher Pn Hamidah and my tormentors

Our actual class register

OMG! I can see my name in the register!!!

(kudos to Fauzee/Fauzi)

* I'd just like to say a special thanks to several friends in Johor, who have taken the task to revisit the school and collect as much info about the class of 6 Biru 1984. See you guys at the reunion!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Family Bliss

When I was growing up, I remember spending a lot of time at my grandfather's house. On weekdays my brother and I stayed at his place in Taman Johor Jaya, whilst on weekends we would be back in Singapore with our mom and dad. He was a strict man, my Tok Bak . And I remember us (his grandchildren) being terribly afraid of him. He only had to give us the briefest of glance, and we'd be scampering away in the opposite direction. On the contrary, my Mak Tok was a gentle and quiet woman, whom we often sought comfort from. But as Tok Bak got older, he somehow mellowed in my opinion. He became more friendly and less of a disciplinarian and his grandchildren were no longer afraid of him.

If there was one thing about my garandfather that I'd remember most, it'd be his belief in the unity of the family. And over the years of growing up, I have witnessed the solidarity and unity of the Omar clan. Yes, they bicker and fight, like any other family. But at the end of the day, they remain as one. And it is this value passed on from my grandfather to my mom and to me, that I hope to pass on to my children one day.


I came aross this beautiful poem earlier on and I think it encapsulates the true essence of the family day we had last December.

Family.. by
© Ryan Guerrero

Not enough hours in the day, we often say
we watch as the business of life allows time slip away.

Before we know days turn to months and months into years,
Time is mapped with laughter and cheers,
the long road sometimes landmarked with sadness and tears.

Elders pass and children grow,
has it been that long we ask, where does the time go?

Not every chance to gather is taken.
"We'll see them next time" we say and hope we're not mistaken.

A chance like now comes once in a lifetime it seems,
when the bright light of family is nurtured and beams,
there will be laughter and time to reminisce
we will all be proud this is a chance we did not miss.


Our venue : Agrotek Garden Resort. Beautifully landscaped.


Let the games begin....

Betung Air

Tarik bangggg....jangan tak tarikkkk!!!

nombor besar..nombor besar..nombor besar

Eh! Doktor gigi tau tak anak dia tengah kutip gula-gula..


... I'm quite sure there was a baby whale just now...

santai kita....

wrestling atas titi

ohh...but he was doing so well just now...

the faris familia

and the cheering crowd

santapan rohani

Aisyah's birthday cake

Luqman's birthday cupcakes

... and Safreedah's Hilton cakes... yum! yum!

The Entertainment

David Copperfield wannabes

.. suara ikut mamanya... those dance moves definitely ikut ayahnya

bacaan selawat oleh cucu tersayang

... and the best line of the nite..."Err atok... we are balanced".

.. the crooner and his mime squad..

the singing dentist...with his most unique rendition of Purple Rain

Prize giving ceremony

our very own Princess Hannan

best performance... "mama miaaaaaaa"



kampong kastam

pujaan kuuuu

and the winner is... the mengkarungs!

orang kuat kita

the Omar family

yeayyyy! that was one successful family day!!


... the winner of the karoake nite...
Dr Purple Rain himself, accepting ( in absentia)his award at home.


A chance like now comes once in a lifetime it seems,
when the bright light of family is nurtured and beams,
there will be laughter and time to reminisce
we will all be proud this is a chance we did not miss.

... and happy I am that we did not miss, the times with our loved ones was surely bliss!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Haute Couture

My mom is a superwoman... and I'm not kidding. She's a wonderful teacher, a great cook ( all her 4 kids and 9 siblings can attest to this) and has upholstered hubby's fav sofa at the cost of RM50 (when the shop wanted to charge us a thousand bucks!!).... and these are just a fraction of the many wonderful things that she can do.

Recently she surprised the family by designing new evening gowns for my daughters' Barbie dolls. Somehow rather after giving the Barbies their bath one day... my daughters misplaced their costumes and the Barbies have been without any form of attire for many months now.

And Mak Tok who simply cannot stomach a Barbie with no clothes on, decided to take matters into her own hands. So, she came up with these.... and even decided to give them new names befitting their new identities.

Meet Khadijah (pink) Ratu Malaya in kebaya and flowing sequined skirt, complete with scarf and Priyanka (blue) the Indian Princess with an off-the-shoulder embroidered baby blue evening gown.

And that is why my daughters simply lurrrrrvveeee their Mak Tok to bits!!
** A special thanks to our tailor Tee for giving away the fabrics for free.

Hannan's Pahang Adventure