Sunday, November 28, 2010


As much as I love weddings for the beautiful gowns and dresses, the flowers and decoration, the family warmth and mostly importantly the husband...I also know that first and foremost marriage is about responsibility. Responsibility is something we learn since we were small, starting from taking care of ourselves to taking care of others. When we were younger, we were in charge of our own things, i.e. books, school bag, stationeries, school shoes and as we grew older we were in charge of our rooms and bathrooms. Some of us were assigned chores like doing the laundry or putting out the garbage. Later on we're in charge of our own learning. After years of coaching and scolding from our parents we then learned that we were accountable for our own successes and failures.
And then we start working and we have work to do, work to submit, bosses who watch us and evaluate us and when we have earned some money we need to learn how to be responsible of that too. Soon enough we have to pay our car loan, bills, insurance and then there is also savings to think about. You know the cushion to ensure that you don't fall hard on the ground when there's emergency. And most definitely because someday that money will come in handy when you need to buy a house. That's hard. After that it's time to give back to our parents. The two most important people who did all they could to make us who we are today. Although not much, we try to 'give' something to our parents. In a way, that's like taking care of someone else other than ourselves. And for some with younger siblings, of course they need to look after them too, which includes spending some money on them. I suppose this is especially harder for the eldest, more so for an eldest son. How could they be expected to afford to take care of another person, who is someone else's daughter? I mean, if they only just started off.
No matter how well to do one is, we all know how much money one earns and needs to spend when one is just starting off. It takes time to be stable before one is able to be responsible of taking care of another person. There's the dowry, the ring, the gifts, the outfits, etc to think of and on top of that there's a life to look forward to after that. That of course needs more money, right? For some who come from well to do families, whose parents could afford to support the wedding the burden is somewhat eased with the financial aid. Some are even lucky enough to have a place to stay, all thanks to their parents. Hence, nowadays it's no surprise some could throw such lavish weddings, of course with the help of their very kind parents.
On the other hand, if we all put our mind on our actual intention and look at marriage as a 'sunnah' and a responsibility as a Muslim, I'm sure the Divide intervention will help the couple in a way or another to make their wedding happen. Of course savings must come into play but I'm one who likes to believe if we put our mind into something we could make anything happen. Especially when it's such a noble intention like getting married.
I'd also like to add my reaction to the Malay drama shown on TV just now. If you remember it's the one with Fahrin and Sh. Amani. Anyways, they are a young couple who decided to get married. However, unequipped with domesticated knowledge, the young wife turned the marriage sour and put off both her husband and her mother-in-law. This is another important skill in a marriage. No one needs to be a gourmet chef, even men should understand this, especially if your future wife has had a maid all her life. However, having said that, it's never too late to learn. At least get your fundamentals strong. Women should know their place in a marriage. Men too, should know their limits to hang out and do manly activities, i.e. outdoor activities, futsal and 'lepak' with friends. It's not the end of it, just strike a balance. Sometimes women too want to be with their friends or have girls' day with her sisters and mother. Work something out that both could agree to. Even better if you could involve your wife with your activities.
Lastly, we all should learn how to give and take in our responsibilities as a couple. After all it's about learning and getting better. I'm no expert but this is what I think. Remember, later on there are children to think about, house, education so on and so forth...It never ends, but do have fun along the way :)

P/s: Selamat Pengantin Baru kepada semua rakan-rakan, sahabat handai dan kekanda ku sendiri. Semoga jodoh kalian kekal bahagia hingga ke akhir hayat, sentiasa dirahmati Allah & dikurniakan cahaya mata yang beriman & comel-comel.

Wedding calendar:
1. Mursyida Husna & Faiz, 6th Nov 2010 - attended
2. Nurul Syuhada & Hairul, 20th Nov 2010 - attended
3. Nur Faizah & Ridhwan, 28th Nov 2010 - attended
4. Suhaili & Nazran, 11 Dec 2010
5. Shafik Afendi Surkery & Yuhainis Kamardin, 17 Dec 2010 (nikah), 18 Dec 2010 (bride's side), 19 Dec 2010 (Perlis reception), 26 Dec 2010 (S.Alam reception)

I think that shall end the weddings for end of this year. To the weddings I could not attend:
1. Aizuddin & Darleena
2. Syazana & Erman
3. Siti Hawa Jamilah & Irwan
- my apologies, as your weddings are either too far or clashes with my brother's wedding. I wish all of you the best, may your events be a memorable one :)

It's always good to see people happy and starting a new chapter in life :) A happy one, InsyaAllah...Amin...

Pictures - thanks to google images

can't help it

Music is my art...and sometimes I can't help but indulge in good music. Here's one...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What's in numbers anyway?

Hi! Today I went for a facial appointment. Apparently, the premises has been reduced to only the upper floor. Are they closing down? I was relieved that the therapist will be opening her own place soon and she knows who'll sign up for a programme there. None other than, Aida! Anyways, we talked about random stuffs and I felt comforted, pampered and relaxed on today's session. After the session, she asked about my phone number, it seemed like she's got the wrong one in her records. So I gave her my number. To her excitement she asked me where I got my number? Was it pre-paid or postpaid? I told her I just went to a shop and randomly picked a number which I thought was easy to press. 012-**6957*. Apparently those 4 digits are good numbers. Even better if it's 9657. She said 6 is good for business, 9 is for wealth, and the combination of 5 and 7 means that I am easily liked anywhere I go. I attract people. (And why am I still single??? Ting3) She even told me if I ever want to let go off the number, please give it to her. Okay, point taken! But God, what difference does it make anyway? She also added that 0 should be avoided and 1 is a good number too! Number ONE!Of course it's good. So, what's in numbers anyways? Any insights?

I miss teen-romance movies!!!

I love my teenage life and I believe it's WAYYYY better than teens nowadays. Watching the late Heath Ledger on tv reminds me of this movie. Do you remember this? "I want you to want me, I need you to need me..." - AWESOME!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A sad but still very nice song

Sadly there are typing errors...But I figure you are all smart enough to know the correct spelling. Take a listen to's by Josie and The Pussycats.

Beg, Borrow or Steal…huhu, just simply BUY!!!

Pics source: Google images

Somehow I couldn’t run away from the topic of fathers after watching two movies about fathers’ sacrifice and reading this book, written by a son, husband, father, dreamer, academician and educator who was also terminally ill due to pancreatic cancer. This self-help, motivational book was written by a man who knew that the end was coming, in fact quite near, with just a few months left to live. The Last Lecture was written as a tribute to loved-ones and a reminder to all about how to deal with life’s challenges and most importantly how to live, whether or not you know when you’re going to die. The narrator was given the opportunity to give his Last Lecture and by doing so he hoped to give some of his insights about life to the students and send the message to his children after his passing, as at that moment they were too young to understand what he’s saying. His topic was simple, something we are all familiar with: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. So, he had this lecture videotaped so when his children are grown ups, they could watch his last lecture and get to know their father better. My personal opinion about the book is nothing short of admiration towards the narrator’s attitude on life. This was a man, who was definitely smart, having everything to fulfil a man’s life; a career, a family and stable finances, but just a spot of bother at a young age. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and you and I both know that often times, people with pancreatic cancer do not make it. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Randy was determined to live longer and it was for the selfless reason to be able to live for his wife and children. He was a fighter, not for himself, but for the sole reason of being around as long as he could to make his loved-ones’ lives easier after he left them. That’s a father right there. This time, I was better prepared as a reader. I wanted to actively participate with this book and my way of interacting was having a pencil with me and underlining the lines that were poignant that gave me light bulb moments, that made my eyes teary and also the ones that made me smile. I also did that to share with you his clever words, as well as my thoughts on them which I put in italics. Here goes:
• We cannot change the cards we are dealt with, just how we play the hand – Yes, fate certainly is beyond our control but we can choose how to deal with it and what we make out of it. Try to make the best of everything. I’m still working on that. HUHU.
• Never make a decision until you have to – There’s no rush in life, think it over and pray for guidance.
• Just because you’re in the driver’s seat…doesn’t mean you have to run people over – Often times, people abuse power because they hold the key. It’s about respect and being fair when you’re working or in any kind of relationship.
• When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell anymore, that’s a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better – We’re all not perfect that’s why we need people who have our best interest at heart to help us improve. So, listen well…
• The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something – Simply said, you want it? Go get it!
• Look, I’m going to find a way to be happy, and I’d really love to be happy with you, but if I can’t be happy with you, then I’ll find a way to be happy without you – This was his reply to his then love interest when she rejected him once. He fought and won, and they got married. Now, that’s the spirit!
• My parents had raised me to recognize that automobiles are there to get you from point A to point B. They are utilitarian devices, not expressions of social status – SPOT ON!!!

• Earnestness is highly underestimated. It comes from the core, while hip is trying to impress you with the surface – AGAIN, SPOT ON!
• Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier – Guilty of this in many occasions…I really should stop complaining and start being grateful :)
• When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and pay attention to what they do – Now, here’s an excellent one. GIRLS, REMEMBER THIS! And guys, it’s time to man up! It’s what you do that proves your love, not what you say…Hmm…let’s ponder…

There are many more I wish to share with you but the limited energy to pick them out from the novel and type them here has forced me to stop…In a nutshell, the message the author was trying to point out was the importance of living your life. Really embracing it and never ignoring the child in you. The time when you truly lived. That explains the pictures I uploaded. We all loved our childhood very much, didn’t we? We played, and made believe and lived a life free from worries. What were your childhood dreams? Have you fulfilled them? It’s about time you revisit your life over the years and how much have you lived?

My Childhood Dreams
1.Be on TV – checked! My friends saw the video clip, but I didn’t. It was from Flop Poppy, Dari Studio 1…haha, I didn’t watch because I was too embarrassed to see myself on TV
2.Perform on stage – checked!
3.Visit London – checked!
4.Euro trip – not fulfilled yet
5.Go on a roller-coaster ride – checked!
6.Go to Disney Land – not fulfilled yet
7.Become a doctor – not gonna happen
8.Get married to the love of my life! – haha, not yet…kot...
9.Play a musical instrument… - not fulfilled yet
10.Act on stage – checked!
11.Become a mom, kindda like my mom who juggled work & family well - not fulfilled yet

I could only think of 11…maybe I’ve missed out a few, as I was busy growing up I may have forgotten what I’ve always wanted as a kid.

P/S: I think I was so cute then, if you don’t share the same opinion it’s ok…I’m just saying! And someone said I take after my mom…I take that as a compliment because my mama was gorgeous!!! No kidding…my dad scored BIG TIME!

This morning I woke up and I remember one more thing. I used to go crazy over KRU in primary school and all I wanted was to see them live. It took a few years, but finally in form 2 I went to their concert - The Way We Jam (it was ok).All thanks to free tickets from Chik who worked with PWTC back then! Haha, we left the auditorium and waited for my cousin to arrive guess who I saw? I'll leave that question unanswered here while I smile alone here as I'm typing this. Toodles!

For the love of old cameras

This entry will have more photos...from way back when. There's a reason why I put them up, but that will only be revealed later when I write the next entry

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My quest of becoming well read

I read. Sad to say, I should read more. I just miss those days when you are so free from any obligations that you could just be nicely tucked in your most comfy duvet and read romance novels whilst imagining your knight in shining armour. Although seriously cliche, and these romance novels do nothing good but feed you with imaginations of non-existing men in real life, but I must admit they were such fun reads. However, having grown up and finally able to call myself a woman, haha, I've adopted a different kind of interest in my reading selection. The three that I'd like to highlight are; A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (a had a good cry for this one), Brida by Paulo Coelho and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. With one central theme, set in three very different time and place settings these novels are about women who have developed and discovered the realities of life and love through various different ways. In this entry, I would like to share some of my deepest understanding on womanhood as well as what I could relate to when I read them. Please note that I read two of them last year and the latest finished early this year. My memory of the exact plot may have rusted quite a bit but what I wish to capture is the gist of what I have learnt from my first reading of these books. Fyi, there hasn't been any second reading. Please bear with me if this sounds like reading an English assignment, I may have been influenced by the number of assignments that I have written before.
A Thousand Splendid Suns was one book that gave me a good cry. Set in Afghanistan, Khaled Hosseini writes about women oppression in a war-torn country. Maryam's life was never at ease, as a child her hunger for her father's love and acceptance drove her to desperation that finally just breaks her heart. As 'harami' (illegitimate child) she was neither here nor there. Every now and then meeting her father was something that brought joy to her, but having a mother who feels that she is a constant reminder of her mother's bleak life never helped. After both their passing, a tragic one for her mother in particular, she was married off. Her marriage was not a lovely one, simply said. Marrying a man, a few times her senior, who was conservative forced her into a more saddened life. Years later friendship with Laila, a bright girl with some misfortunes managed to ease some of the pain. Together they ventured their lives with the same husband and tried in vain to free themselves from the clutches of this chauvinist. I felt that this novel is definitely inspiring and powerful in sending a loud and clear message to all women about self worth. Although we may be perceived as weak, our strength lies in the fact that we are able to endure and persevere despite such cruel realities, such painful truths and such negative surroundings. In a modern society, women have more power but in this novel even with the little empowerment women receive, these women proved that they are able instead of disabled. They are strong, only misunderstood as being weak. This novel ended tragically for one character but on the other hand, she was finally free. Allah shall be the ultimate judge for what she did is just putting justice into her own rough hands. Her sacrifice gave hope to other character to stay strong and perhaps able to change her course of life. This is a must read, highly recommended even for men.
Brida by Paulo Coelho started off as being quite confusing. It's about a young woman finding her true love. When I read this novel, which was very philosophical in nature and contains many great lines like; "Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong, my dear...Even a stopped clock is right twice a day" and "But how will I know who my soulmate is?...By taking risks...By risking failure, disappointment, disillusion, but never ceasing in your search for Love. As long as you keep looking, you will triumph in the end." Both these lines are just some of the memorable lines in the novel. This tale is different from others because of its inclusion of reality and spirituality. A young woman in the quest for the latter was confused between her love for her boy friend or a teacher who has brought her into such amazing discoveries of the spiritual realm. Although difficult to understand in the beginning, I could quite relate to this novel because when I read it I was both healing myself from a nasty break-up and finding a new love interest. I learnt to come to terms with the previous and embrace the latter even though I know for a fact nothing is certain even with the latter. Ambiguity is not something I am akin to, but learning to understand in a broader perspective. I must admit one of my weaknesses is accepting failure. I am the kind of person who always tries until the end of my very last breath. However, I am learning to accept that life does not work that way. Sometimes people come and they go, they don't appreciate your love and even if they do, it's not strong enough to make them stay. Hence, life must go on. In this novel, I could see that message sent across. Aida, redha, redha, redha. "Ya Allah, make me a servant who abides by Your prophet's teachings and who accepts what You have written for me"
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a highly acclaimed novel and the movie was also highly anticipated. I didn't watch the movie, I wans't really anxious about the movie to tell you the truth as I was already acquainted to the novel. (As I'm getting tired now...) In a nutshell, the novel explores a woman's desire to fulfill her life's dreams after realizing how unhappy her marriage has become. A thirty something year-old woman suddenly realizing NO, I don't want to have babies and my marriage is going down the drain, went on a quest of self discovery in three different aspects; EAT, PRAY and LOVE. Eating a very physical act in nature was achieved in Italy. The narrator cum author told her story and wonderful journey of eating and travelling while learning about people and life in a different part of the world. Praying a spiritual act put her life into balance. I believe life makes sense when you have something to hold on to. Hence, we have our religion to become our support system, in which we build our values on and we live by them. Whatever your religion is, if you follow them, you believe you can find that inner peace. Finally, Love, like I said both a noun and a verb, is something truly emotional, tucked deep in our hearts and often times very difficult to explain. From this novel I realized that self fulfillment is the utmost importance to achieving what you call happiness in life. Many things in the novel was quite understandable, i.e. disappointment, heartache, loss and finding joy.
Wah! That's a long piece of writing. I have many more to read both for hobby and self improvement. I hope I could continue this very beneficial hobby until the ripe age of 80 and perhaps read my great-grandkids their bedtime stories. Read, Read, Read - That was what our prophet was told.

The greatest God-given GIFT

A bundle of joy - that's what they are called. That calling perfectly suit them as babies are the cutest, purest and loveliest gift of all. A friend of mine once said, they perfect your life. This year alone, my jumbo size family has welcomed 5 babies and 1 on the way...huhu, still being cooked in the oven, due to give a good loud cry very soon. On Hari Raya Aidiladha a visit to Kak Raihan's house was super fun because there were so many babies!!! The newly-born Hana, the doll - Rania, the one with teeth protruding - Soraya, the beautiful angel - Syahdia and last but not least, Zhahir Zharif - the only boy of the lot! Huhu, that's many to take care of Aisyh! Anyhoots, just adore them, love them to bits and all my wishes and prayers to them. They will start standard 1 together, sit for exams together, graduate together and perhaps even get married together. Watching others' milestones, thinking about mine and praying long and hard to Allah that it will happen someday...InsyaAllah...Amin...

Good purchase...and the cash register went kaching!!!

Huhu, the cash register didn't go kaching, but the credit card machine did scan my credit card when I made those purchases. I'm happy with what I bought. My first dinner clutch, and a pair of shoes to match. What seemed to start as a man-hunting session at KLCC on a holy FRIDAY - please note the use of the word 'seemed', became a more fulfilling day because I bought what I intended to buy without spending such a bomb! The previous attempt failed as Isetan was filled with women and we didn't have time to check out men at all. HUHU. Nothing great in particular but they look good and most importantly will match the 'kurung moden' I've sent for tailoring, due to finish Dec 10th - PHEW! When it's ready I'll proudly upload it here, as it is my first ever expensive outfit - sad, teachers don't earn enough to tailor nice outfits very often. It's chiffon with embroidered patchwork plus a bit of stones scattered. So, need a date for your corporate dinner? I already have the outfit ready. *All smiles*

Friday, November 19, 2010

It’s starting…OH, NO!!!

This entry is seriously going to make you think I’m a bit crazy. I don’t know if I could justify myself, but I am surrounded with people who are either recently married, soon to be married and will be getting married i.e. those planning their wedding now. This will continue until the end of this year, after a month or so will be Shaela’s and here we go again…after a few months rest, Faridah’s wedding, Aira’s wedding, Adibah’s engagement and later Sabariah’s engagement. Perhaps end of next year will be her wedding. That’s how many new outfits I’ve got to get tailored and that’s the number of times I have to answer to this question, “Aida bila lagi?” Huhuhu, “ESOK!!!” Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

If you know me well enough you’d know what an integral part I play in almost all my cousin’s weddings ever since Kak Ija’s to the most recent, my cousin Kak Raihan, which was 2 years ago (…kot). I’m not really involved in my brother’s wedding because planning on guy’s side is less intricate, less fun! Haha. Everything is just order here, order there, book this and that and DONE! No decorating, no getting dolled up and excited. HAHA. Forgive me, I’m a girlie girl, especially about weddings. When it comes to wedding I like going the traditional route. Maybe not traditional all the way but I’d like to retain the important essence.

The beginning has to start with ‘merisik’. During the olden days, couples don’t know each other. It’s the ‘merisik’ that introduces the girl to her prospective husband’s family – not the husband! HAHA. It’s got nothing to do with the couple per se as back then adults decide and children always obey to what the adults decide. The best the girl would probably get is a picture of her husband-to-be. Often times, if she thinks he’s okay, and gives the nod, families will proceed to the ‘meminang’ ceremony. Back then, ‘merisik’ was just as simple as having a simple tea party but now people like to ‘dress it up’ and make it grand. I think it’s too early to go grand. For me, I’ll just make it as simple as possible. As you know, anything could happen – so, hush hush now…

Next comes the ‘meminang’ ceremony. This ceremony is basically to officially book the prospective wife. Commonly both sides will exchange gifts meant for the bride and groom. 5-7 or 7-9 are the usual number of trays, but it’s really up to the families to decide. The girl’s side always give 2 more than the number of trays brought by the man’s side. Perhaps it’s a sign of gratitude for the man’s side for coming to their residence. Usually the gifts will consist of sweet delicacies and definitely the engagement ring plus sirih junjung or tepak sirih. The sirih is a symbol of courtesy to begin the ceremony. It is definitely a must. The purpose of this ceremony is actually to discuss tentatively when the wedding will be held and how much is the ‘belanja hantaran’ or ‘wang hantaran’ from the bride’s side to the groom’s. Nowadays, usually this is discussed later between the bride-to-be and groom-to-be after which they have discussed with their parents. I think it’s crazy that people put such ridiculous amounts as if they are selling their daughters. One should really consider the guy’s financial status, his career and responsibilities. It should be what he could afford to give to his future wife, but guys come on, you’ve got to be fair to her. You don’t want to put the digits too low, you ought to know what she deserves. The best way, get to know from friends what the current range is and discuss with your other half what is the reasonable amount. Communicate and don’t let this becomes a problem that put your heads out of the real perspective. Marriage is about following the sunnah and getting Allah’s grace for such noble intentions. NOT TO SHOW OFF. During the ceremony, the soon to be mother-in-law will put on the ring on her future daughter in law’s ring finger and often times the husband-to-be does not play any role in this ceremony. However now, people like to do it a bit differently as the guy would also be present to not only perhaps show the direction to the girl’s house, but also put on matching outfits and snap photographs. Personally, I’d like my future husband to be present, just to celebrate the event and bring me a bouquet of fresh lilies but he doesn’t have to tailor a baju melayu that matches with my outfit for this event. He could just put on something decent and let me take all the glamour and limelight. Hehehehe….

The solemnization is the most essential part in a Muslim wedding. It marks the beginning of the couple becoming husband and wife. The bride’s wali, namely her father would usually give her away. However, many people also get the ‘juru nikah’ to represent him. Other than her father, her brothers, grandfather, uncle from father’s side and lastly uncle’s from mother’ side could also do the deed if the one on the above rank is no longer alive or could not be there. The solemnization is the most emotional, especially for the bride’s side. You’ll see tearful moments, long hugs and true and most genuine tears of joy. Well, unless the couple were forced to be married, I have yet to see a sad solemnization ceremony. The ijab and qabul is recited and the husband will also read aloud his responsibilities to his wife. In a nutshell, a husband must care for his wife and not leave her, he must provide and protect her, never hurt her both physically and emotionally and not take the ‘talak’ easily especially when in rage or unstable emotions. Since this is an entry filled with merriment, let’s not discuss ‘talak’ any further. Before I forget on this day also both sides will exchange gifts like the one in the ‘meminang’ ceremony, but usually the number of trays are more and the gifts are things or materials that the other half could use, i.e. perfumes, clothes, make up, shoes, handbag etc. Also included are the sirih, the wedding RING and ‘belanja hantaran’ or ‘wang hantaran’.

Next will be the reception. Some people do it in the afternoon and some like dinner. There are really many ways to go about with this ceremony. We always start with the bride’s side, and it could be anytime following the nikah. Usually the most awaited event is the ‘bersanding’ ceremony where the newly weds also known as ‘raja sehari’ sit on the bridal dais and family members from both sides of the family will celebrate the couple by putting ‘bunga rampai’ on their palms and sprinkling some ‘air bunga’ to show their blessings and well wishes to the couple. This act is called ‘merenjis’. The couple will then ‘salam’ with them as a sign of respect and gratitude besides seeking their blessings for this marriage. Wah, I’m sounding like an expert! Huhu, I may have missed a few details, but this is the simplest way to describe I suppose. Now we’ve mixed western culture a bit with the cake-cutting ceremony, and there are some other who refuse to do the ‘merenjis’ ceremony because it is unIslamic. However, whatever makes you happy and whatever the elders in your family decide, just abide to avoid conflicts…It’s unbelievable what kind of conflicts could arise due to weddings. After the bride’s side, comes the groom’s side. Usually simpler but this is really up to their personal choice and preference.

As you can obviously see, wedding takes a lot of work. The wedding dresses, ‘hantaran’, bridal dais, what packages to choose, PHOTOGRAPHER, decoration and the list goes on and on. Not to mention the uniqueness of different states and how they go about with the ceremonies. What I’ve written may not be exactly the same in all Malay weddings you see but this is as much as I know. How did Maryam pull her sudden I’m getting married wedding? WOW!!! She’s getting a baby soon, yeay her!. Oh. My God let me check the word count: 1377!!! Aida is insane!!!

Here are some pictures I found from random google searches

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The aftermath

I didn't know how but the news spread that morning even before assembly began. Even the head warden was shocked when other teachers started asking. THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CONFIDENTIAL. Who leaked the story? We discussed and we had a few suspects. DAMN! Yes, we're very disappointed with what had happened, we were upset with the students' foolish actions and saddened by this whole episode. We are the adults, so in situation like this we are supposed to guide them, or else they would forever be lost. Scolding and yelling do not help at this point. It's done and it can't be undone. So, moving on is the only solution. Moving on, as we all know, is definitely the hardest especially when one does not have a support system. It's even worse when the whole world detests you, whispers and stares at you, labels you and seem to have a lot of fun doing all of the above without any regard to your feelings and emotions.
Back to the story. That morning, not long after the assembly we were told by the head warden that other teachers already knew. My house mate alerted the female warden but instead of giving a shocked response, she nonchalantly said, "Hmm...memang patut pun semua orang tahu,". My friend thought, that's it! She was even more infuriated when she got in the staffroom and the teachers were having a wonderful time gossiping about the whole thing. Some started saying, "Muka aje baik, tapi tak sangka...", the other replied, "Patut la tak ingat muka, dah takde cahaya sebab banyak dosa..." and another went scouring for last year's school magazine to parade the picture of the girl.
FYI, that morning we alerted the school disciplinary board to tell them that both the students' prefect certificates should be taken back and they will not be given credit as prefects. As we all know, you are awarded high points for that post. Anyways, it was meant to be done without the knowledge of others as a form of punishment to both of them since they are prefects. Yes, it's such a shameful act, but there is no need for defamation. But somebody had such loud voice, loud enough to spread the story and another was simply too busy body to tell from one ear to another and finally this story became a hot and spicy news with LOTS of extra flavours added.
What happened to the two of them? The boy seemed cool, he attended school and was happy enough to walk around the school as if it was not his fault. In fact, when interrogated he claimed that the girl had asked him to meet up the other day and initiated it. WTF??? And you were too weak, huh? The boy aside, the girl on the other hand locked herself in the hostel. She only went to the principal's office and later sneaked into the hostel because she could no longer face the world, especially the teachers and peers. I didn't know this as I was too busy on the last day of school. The head warden only told me to be ready just in case the principal called me. But he didn't, and I also didn't go to his office. I WAS EXTREMELY BUSY.
At about noon, we were told that both students were ordered to pack their stuffs and they could no longer come to school in prefect uniforms when they go to school during SPM. Just ordinary school uniforms and they will not be allowed to stay in all through SPM.
I really wanted to see the girl, at least give her some hope before she went back. I'm so sorry that everybody knew. I was even more sympathetic because she will be sitting for SPM soon. She's still a nice girl to me, just naive and desperate for love. It was a HUGE mistake.
On the last day of school I got a chance to talk to her. I comforted her and asked what her parents' decisions were. She said her mother would not speak to her. She was mostly quiet, after she asked in detail about their relationship. She didn't even reveal the whole thing to her father as he is very fierce and he might beat the boy up to pieces. As for the boy, I don't know. So far it seems that his parents live in Terengganu, and he's in Pahang with his grandpa. They still haven't come down to meet the girl's parents, which they actually should, but perhaps it's still being discussed. I hope they come to their senses and do the right thing.
When the girl was at our house she told me that she'd performed solat taubat just like I told her to. She couldn't stand being at home because her sisters knew and she was really ashamed of herself. She knows she's wrong. That night, she spent the entire night at the mosque. She prayed for mercy and to be pardoned from her sins. It's between her and Allah, we have no say. I told her and I will support her through and through. She could come stay at our place during the gaps between papers. I told her that I would help her study. I am very lucky to have a house mate, who's also a fellow warden, who thought the same as me. We gave her some advice, but most importantly we told her to be strong and strive for the best for SPM. Prove to everyone that they were wrong about her. We just wanted her future to be bright. I hope what I've done is not misunderstood as protecting the wrong. I just want to give her a stroke of hope despite the negativity and hatred around her. It's unbelievable what these people were saying about her, I could only imagine what she's going through.
As for the other teachers: Please stop all the talking. You have children too, who will grow up and someday be away from your protective eyes. So what you say to others today may be eating you someday. You'll never know. She's not the only one who's made that mistake, many have, I'm sure...but she was unfortunate because she was caught. Perhaps her getting caught was the only way for her to free herself from his clutches. He has beaten her and threatened her before. I still believe she is a nice person but she did a grave mistake of being too trusting of someone who obviously never deserved her love. She loved too much and that has backfired on her, even destroyed her. She could only repent, start anew, do well in academics and secure herself with brighter future ahead. InsyaAllah...
I found this and copied it from
I hope it's something good to share
The Mercy of Allah in Regard to Forgiveness

"O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and put your hope in Me, I have forgiven you for what you have done and I do not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and then you would seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins that are close to filling the earth and then you would meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly bring to you forgiveness close to filling it."

In this Hadithi Qudsi, Allah gives hope to mankind more than any other narration. It displays the quality and attribute of Allahs mercy. Indeed, He is ar-Rahman, the Most Compassionate, and ar-Raheem, the Most Merciful. In this Hadithi Qudsi, Allah tells man of the greatness of His forgiveness and mercy so that no one would despair due to the amount of sins he may have committed. This is supported by the following verse of the Holy Quran:

Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah az-Zumar 39:53)
This hadith teaches us the importance of realizing Allahs mercy, having faith and hope in Him especially when making dua, calling to Allah alone for forgiveness, and the importance of repentance in the life and faith of a believer.

As teacher, I hope and pray that this bleak episode will be a good way for her to turn over a new leaf and start anew. I believe she can because I know Allah will not test his servants with obstacles and challenges which they couldn't bear. Therefore, I hope and pray that she will emerge as a stronger person after this misfortune. Don't ever repeat this again.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We Hate to Say - I Told You So

Girls, listen!
Ponder, and reflect...
Who is this boy?
Who is this guy?
Who is this man?
Who's whispering you sweet nothings
Who's luring you with his charm
Whose supposed love is destroying you
Who's shouting, yelling and hurting you
Who's making you do what you didn't want to do
Who is this person?
You thought you knew
You thought you loved so much
You thought respected you
You thought would protect you

Girls, listen
Because we love you
And we hate to say - I told you so

*Triggered by a recent incident at the hostel which we feared most. Please take extra care and attention to your daughters and sisters and teach your boys a woman's worth. May they repent, for the Almighty, the All-Loving and All Knowing promises forgiveness for those who do so. Amin...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Probably the best advice I’ve ever given to my students

Teaching older students is a lot different from teaching younger ones. And when it comes to boy-girl relationship it has to be dealt with subtly because respecting space is extremely important. A little background on the scenario in this school, boy-girl relationship is badly is viewed and sometimes I find that disturbing. It’s really not nice having adults poking their nose into your business especially when it’s got a lot to do with your feelings. But then again, adults have the responsibilities of taking care of and guiding the ‘children’ so they do not go astray. So here’s the deal. Since a few weeks back I noticed a couple in the upper six class. They’re pretty obvious, always clinging to one another and that flirts, I’ve lived those days, so it’s pretty easy to see. I didn’t say a word, just observed and kept it to myself and suddenly flashes of my young, silly days crept into my mind. That lasted for a few seconds before I scoffed them inside. Anyways, about two days ago while preparing the exam hall for tomorrow’s MUET exam I overheard one of the students expressing her annoyance with the couple I was mentioning. Especially with their PDA – I do hope you know what it means. Hence, I thought it’s a good time to ask. They did reveal, and they talked a lot about it. I just tried to be professional, took in and listened well. Finally I said, “Don’t get yourself involved in relationships now. You’re 19 and you’re definitely going to different places next year. God knows who’ll you be meeting and where you’ll be studying. So keep your options open and just be focused with what you are supposed to be doing right now, which is studying. Don’t even date seriously in uni, because the best time to find a good guy is when you’ve started working. Trust me, it always gets better because guys take time to be matured. So many couples spent years dating, being extremely attached that they don’t know themselves without one another and allowed that relationship to define them. Once it comes crumbling down, then only they’d know just how real reality bites. I am not speaking just because I am a teacher and I’M SUPPOSED TO BE TELLING YOU TO STUDY, but I’m saying this because I have been there and I know. I really know. As for them (the hot couple), well, it’s just a few months. I don’t think it’ll last (cruel me), but they’ll come around to realise it someday, InsyaAllah. Hopefully it’s not too late by then. At this age, it’s like 70% or even perhaps 80% hormone driven and the rest is probably the sheer excitement of being flattered and some boost of confidence to feel wanted and attractive in someone else’s eyes and perhaps a bit of love or infatuation. Commitment? I don’t think so. Just don’t be too judgmental because maybe the same thing could happen to you. We all know that love blinds us from seeing the truth, so we can’t talk, judge and label people because God is great and sometimes we’ll be eating our words when we realise we would do the exact same thing, or even worse when we’re in their shoes.”
So yes, I did it. I have become a boring adult. I have become almost like a parent instead of a partner in crime and telling them my 2 cents worth of advice and doing the responsible thing. Aren’t you proud of me now? I feel grown up. Now I know why adults say, “Do as I say, but don’t do as I do” or rather “did”. As adults we’ve realised that our experience, mistakes and bad choices were the ‘teacher’ that taught us the most about life. That’s what you call, learning it the hard way. Having said that, although experience is the best teacher, adults do feel the need of protecting the younger ones. If possible, we don’t want them to repeat our mistakes because it reminds us of our naivety and silly choices. It’s also because we know how bad the aftermath could be. However, it’s something that perhaps they have to go through to learn and grow and eventually become better people. We could only do so much and that’s why prayer is the best shield to safeguard our children and the younger generation from going astray and getting lost in the cruel reality of life. I think this profession could help me become a good mother – InsyaAllah…

Monday, November 8, 2010

Short entry

My senior colleagues in this staffroom is super funny...they are all discussing our Staff Room Masakan Kampung Potluck! We're making ondeh-ondeh...the easiest!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's about LOVE

I am watching Marley and Me and if you've watched the movie you'd know that it's about how a dog, a troubled one for that matter, live his entire life with this guy from his dating days until he becomes a father of three. It's not about the dog I'm writing about because I've never had a dog so that bond between man and dog is not something I could relate to. I'm pretty sure from what I've seen on TV and what I've read before, this bond is definitely something special. Besides a man's love for his dog, I could also see parental love and a couple's struggle to maintain a relationship, a marriage to be precise, are displayed in the movie. Oh my God, this is starting to sound like an assignment from my days of studying. Getting back on track. Where parental love is concern, I could see how parents would do anything and everything in their power to give the best life to their children. Giving the best does not mean giving all the expensive and branded items or fulfilling all their children's want and needs. Giving the best to me means always doing something and sacrificing for their children's future. Look at how our parents work so hard to ensure that we get what we need. How they struggle not only to make ends meet but also to have extras so that they could save for the rainy day. How they sacrifice their dreams and ambitions for our sake, giving all they could for a better home for us, saying no to what they want because that chunk of money could be better used for our education fund. Although parental love is something we can't visibly see, just watch Parenthood and you'll understand what I mean, it is for a fact true love that we're blessed with. Many of us might think that the love for a girl friend or a boy friend is the best, but it's not the kind of love you get from your parents. Parental love is something so unconditional, so protective in nature, some may confuse that with not getting enough privacy, but trust me when you get older you know why your father gave that lousy guy a hard time and why your mother took away that hand phone and switched off the TV and forced you to study instead. They are constantly worried. Worried that they could not protect their children from the cruelty out there, they could not protect their children from getting their hearts broken and so on and so forth. Just count their wrinkles, that's how much we have made their lives difficult. But have they complained? Never. Clearly, my missing my parents is seen through my writing right? It's something unconscious I suppose, the things I write is triggered by what I feel and what I feel is what is inside my heart. Here's to my parents: I hope you will stay strong together, thank you for everything, the times when you worked so hard for us and the times you say our names in your prayers. May Allah grant you with health, wealth and happiness. I hope I've done you proud and will continue to do you proud.
The next issue that was poignant in the movie was a couple's struggle to maintain a relationship in a marriage. Whoever said that a marriage is the ending to a perfect love story has lived in a bubble for far too long. A relationship of any kind, needs work. As much as we think love is everything, it really isn't. It is definitely what drives you to do what you do but a lot of other factors come into play. Here's a short list of what I've observed from people, what I've read as well as TV:
1. trust - you need to earn it, to give it and to keep it.
2. hope - always smile with hope because it keeps you going.
3. commitment - show love and be committed. Otherwise, don't even bother being in a relationship.
4. respect - very important!!! do I even need to explain?
5. patience, patience, patience
7. understanding
8. communicate - talk about things, dissatisfaction and frustrations. Talk things through to address the issues when they there shall be no digging from the past
9. sacrifice - you win some, you lose some
10. pleasant surprises - dates, parties for two, etc. be sweet, be loving, make love..

What credentials do I have in this area? None. I don't even have experience, but this is just a sharing of my opinion and the little knowledge I've gathered from my observations and reading.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Putting sense into Money and Cents

Yesterday’s episode of Giuliana and Bill enlightened me about my area of weakness: budgeting. I could relate to Giuliana when she tried to justify her leather jacket and I-pad casing. I could come up with various ways to rationale an expensive but definitely good meal, as in really good meal. I could also make believe that the facial retreat was a necessity especially after working so hard and the next material for some wedding I’ll be attending will come in handy in the future. That’s it sweetheart! NO MORE visit to Jakel or Gulatis. You have enough clothes already. Hmm, but I do need some casual wear. Parkson? Isetan? OMG! There I go again, distracted and tempted into buying something for myself. Okay, before you start imagining the worst, I must tell you that I DO NOT own any designer’s items – no Coach, LV or Chanel. I’m just currently using a Sachs handbag and I got it for quite a good bargain. As for skincare and make-up, they are all from the pharmacy shelves, not from any counter. So, I am NOT high maintenance. I for one, only shop during sale or promotions. I also could refrain myself from following the trend, because I always see myself as a step behind the rest. People are using smart phones but I’m still using my humble and reliable Sony Ericsson Cybershot with its shy 3.5 megapixel camera. I do have a monthly financial planning, I’m just not doing what my dad told me to do – save more than you spend, that will need some working on. When I get my backdated pay next month InsyaAllah, and marking pay sometime next year, InsyaAllah, I intend to do careful and intelligent planning so I don’t end up going what the heck happened to those kachings?! Anyhoots, most importantly I definitely will take into account travel and living budget – my NYC trip next year (pls3, happen!) as well as, hanging out with girl friends. If I do get lucky, I might, even by the slightest impossible chance get proposed, 11.11.11 sounds good right? Hahaha…it’s too impossible, I’m going to set a more realistic goal. 10.11.12? Nice date too, huh? So I’ve got to think about that too. HAHAHA. Big fat impossible laugh! Tough luck, love…very tough luck! I was just kidding. It will happen when it happens. Most importantly, I’ve got to be thinking about buying a house. That will not be easy and certainly will take a long time but saving today will come a long way in making that dream of owning my own property come true. So, now do I sound a tad smarter? Last but not least – it’s not how much you earn, it’s how much you save. So, Aida! Save for the rainy day, PRONTO!

Speak up!

Two days as MUET Speaking examiner for form 6 final year examination was certainly not a walk in the park. Although it was somewhat expected, but I did not think it would be until that extent. I was disappointed with many but a few did make me happy. At least they tried. The topics were very simple but unfortunately their limited vocabulary bank hindered their speech. What they intended to say was not conveyed. Some of them only had umm… and aaa… came out from their mouths. It’s so sad to even begin to imagine these students embarking their journey to the varsity but could not even hold a decent conversation in English. I tried to empathize with them, tried to put myself in their shoes in understanding why they find English simply impossible. Learning English is actually not that difficult. Like any other language, when you immerse yourself in the language, i.e. watch lots of TV, listen to English songs, READ, READ, READ, and speak in English with your friends, it will come naturally. I tried to get my students to be interested but the limited time was not sufficient to help them prepare for this test. Next year, I need to do better to help them. But I always feel frustrated because I feel like I can’t do much and there’s so much to do. Often times the responses I get from them discourage me from doing more. These kids have such negative attitude towards learning and this does not help at all. Their lack of discipline, laziness and extreme silence drive me up the wall at times. However, not all is bleak, not everything is bad. I see a few potentials, a few students that could be polished. So, looking at their level now what can be done? What can I do to help them? Please help me…

Monday, November 1, 2010

So we thought we knew

I'm sure many of you have had this moment when you realised you knew so little and you strongly believe God is great. How many times have we been shocked by the death of people whom are known to be as fit as a fiddle, or a breakup of a very loving and attached couple, or difficulties faced by the girls with both beauty and brains and lastly the mediocre life some genius or once very intelligent person is living? When we hear these stories, we know for a fact, we know very little.
I was shocked with my uncle's recent death. Before his passing, he visited his sisters and mother and spent quite some time in KL. My uncle lived his life. He was one of those people whom you just couldn't seem to figure out what's he's up to next. He was quite a handful for my grandparents, and being the smartest of the lot he channeled his intelligence to the creative ways he pulled his next stunt or pranks. The last reminder he gave me was, "Be a good teacher. Don't scold orang asli students badly because they might use some black magic unto you," Advice taken, Pak Chak.
Another friend of mine, although not close, is currently facing a huge problem in her relationship. So we thought beauty with brains will never see a day of hard life? Utterly wrong here. In fact, good and solid relationships also get tested and sometimes fail. And that's when you realised that sometimes as much as you'd like to stay optimistic, you have to think of the worst case scenario, like, what if I get stood up on my wedding day?
Life as we see it, is definitely full of surprises. Not only do bad things happen, good things also happen. A heave of relief here. Alhamdulillah. The ugly ducklings turned into beautiful swans and fairy tale endings could appear amidst the hopelessness you see in life. After 25 years of living I have learnt that faith is a good thing but trust is a different story. Once broken, well, you can bid farewell to any good that once existed. Never do unto others, what you don't want done unto you. Simple, don't break people's hearts if you don't want yours to be broken. We all know karma's a bitch, so don't let it get you. But why do bad things happen to good people then? Well, sometimes, for very special people, bad things happen before really good things happen. You could sometimes only see the light at the end of the tunnel after being thrown into the dark dungeon and not seeing daylight for the longest time. In fact sometimes, the light even pierces your eyes and it's hard to see but you know you have been saved and darkness is just another story from the past.
As life is so fragile, never take it for granted. Never take yourself for granted, i.e. your needs and health. Do not destroy yourself with headache from work or heartache from someone unworthy. Be your own best friend and love yourself everyday.
Once you're happy with yourself then only could you channel that love to the people around you, your loved ones in particular. Tell them they're important, let them know they are loved. Now pick up the phone and call your mother. Help out your dad and treat your siblings. Visit your aunties and uncles and hug your grandparents. Meet up with friends and catch up with their lives. Spend time with that special someone and let them know how much they mean to you. If you already have a husband or wife, take that day off, go for dates, kiss longer and gives warm hugs. Those with children, bring them to the park and just hang out! Chill...
So we thought we knew, but really we don't. We don't know what life has to offer and what it can take from us. We must think positive but make allowance for disasters. Be nice to others and learn to love life. Take a deep breath and utter Alhamdulillah. Pray consistently that life treats us well. Amin.