Monday, August 31, 2009

It's Merdeka Day

31 August 2009

Since the fasting month, today is the first day in Ramadan that my husband did not break fast with the family, as today, he had to attend an official buka puasa do at Putrajaya.

And today is a day when I feel a dark cloud hovering over my head (I just couldn't shake the feeling). Could it be because my husband isn't around to break fast with me, or could it because of some other reasons?

Today is also the day my little girl goes back to UTM after spending 3 glorious days with us. Perhaps, that adds to my despondent feeling.

The last 3 days had been great as we took her and my 3 boys shopping for Hari Raya at Subang Parade and the shopping complexes around Shah Alam.

And both Ina and I spent precious time in the kitchen cooking up a frenzy. I whipped up my kids' favourite food for buka puasa. On the 2nd day (29 August) Ina arrived, both Ina and I cooked my kids' all-time favourite dish, i.e Nasi Tomato Daging, Kurma Ayam, Acar Nenas, Sambal Tomato, Salad and Cucumber.

And yesterday (30 August) , despite being very tired, after shopping with Ina and my husband at Jalan TAR and Jalan Masjid India, I was adamant in cooking for buka puasa. I prepared Creamy Fetucinni, Minced Beef Tortilla, Popiah Otak-Otak, and Mee Goreng Mamak.

Today, the house seems quiet during buka as my husband and Ina aren't around to join us. Missing too from the table is my second son, Khairil who buka puasa with friends.

Today is also the day when I reflected on my time with my ESOL students at Olympia College. Suddenly, I had this longing to see and talk to them. In particular, I miss my ex-Advanced ESOL students like Gothama, Chanda, Jina, Sudhee, Khema, Alu, Siti, Catherine, Sharon, Rami, Christina, Hamed and also all my ex-Intermediate students. Hey kiddos, I do miss all of you terribly.

And after buka puasa, I'm still feeling despondent with a splitting headache. I wish this feeling of despondency will go away........

Confessions of a Book Addict

Let books be your dining table and you shall be full of delights. Let them be your mattress and you shall sleep restful nights.

Books in My Current Collection That I Will Devour Now That I'm Retired
And there's no stopping my reading.....

1/ Memahami Jenama by Peter Cheverton and Translated by Wan Sallehah Wan Mahmood (hey, that's me!!)
2/ Hijab: antara adat dan tuntutan syariat, by Fatimah Hj Omar
3/ Hijab Waali... The Veiled Girl, by Dr Syed Ikram Hussain Abidi
4/ Bimbingan Taubat, by Mohd Abdul Wahab
5/ Dunia Alam Barzakh Alam Akhirat by Yahya Nuryadi
6/ A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
7/ Perfect Match, by Jodi Picoult
8/ My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
9/ Hidup Ibadat, by Ustaz Haji Fadzil Haji Ahmad
10/ Hidup Betaqwa, by Al-Ustaz Dato Hj Ismail Kamus
11/ Enjoy your life, by Dr Al-Ariffi
12/ In the Line of Fire: A Memoir by Pervez Musharraf
13/ Kabuki: Skin Deep by David Mack
14/ Kabuki: Metamorphosis by David Mack
15/ Creativity Workout: 62 Exercises to Unlock Your Most Creative Ideas by Edward De Bono
16/ The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
17/ Chocolate for a Lover's Herat by Kay Allenbaugh
18/ Unleashing Genius by Dilip Mukerjea
19/ 68 Soneta Pohon Gingko by A Samad Said
20/ Eat, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
21/ The Innocent Man by John Grisham
22/ False Impression by Jeffrey Archer
23/ Honor Among Thieves by Jeffrey Archer

24/Mars and Venus in the Bedroom by John Gray
25/ Lone Eagle by Danielle Steel
26/ Independence Day by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich and Stephen Molstad
27/ A Place Called Here by Cecilia Ahern
28/ Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern
29/ Eat, Pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
30/ H.R.H by Danielle Steel
31/ Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts
32/ Little Whie Lies by Bernadette Strachan
33/ The Last To Know: Can You Keep a Secret by Melissa Hill
34/ Good Luck by Whitney Gaskell
35/ Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
36/ Tears of the Moon by Nora Roberts
37/ Making Chatter Matter by Jennifer Eileen Peters
38/ Funktionary by Ruth Wajnryb
39/ Change of Herat by Jodi Picoult
40/ Life Lessons for Women by Stephanie Marston
41/ Mercy by Jodi Picoult
42/ The Hollow by Nora Robers
43/ A Brother's Journey by Rochard B. Pelzer
44/ Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
45/ Read Me and laugh: A Funny Poem For Every Day of The year by Gaby Morgan
46/ Beauty Junkies by Alex Kuczynski
47/ The Accidental Family by Rowan Coleman
48/ A Thousand splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
49/ A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
50/ Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
51/ The First Patient by Michael Palmer
52/ My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
53/ Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
54/ Just the Right Words by Judith Kimberley
55/ Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
56/ Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
57/ You & Your Problems by Dr K Sri Dhammananda
58/ A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
59/ Word Game by B Jain Publishers
60/ Gandhi - An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth
61/ 50 Days Rantings by MM by Marina Mahathir
62/ The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
63/ Twisted Roots by Virginia Andrews
64/ Punished by Vanessa Steel
65/ The Appeal by John Grisham
66/The Associate by John Grisham
67/ Not Without My Sisters by Kristina, Celeste and Juliana
68/ The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
69/ The Time of the Uprooted by Elie Wiesel
70/ Chocolate for a Lover's Heart by Kay Allenbaugh
71/ Jar Fools by Jason Lutes

72/ Starting Over by Tony Parsons
73/ Against the Odds by Lynda Page

And many more books that are waiting to be devoured. Ohhhh.... I wish there's more than 24 hours in a day.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Cry of My Heart for Mak

23 August 2009
(In loving Memory of Mak)

Mak, Alhamdulillah.We know that you were on loan to us for that period of time you were with us, your 8 kids. 
Mak, we were grateful to God for lending you to us.
Nevertheless, when you left us, it caused a void in our lives.
It was difficult for us at first to accept the reality that you are no longer with us.
And that God had taken back what belongs to him.
 .. M A K ..18 April 1929 to 23 August 2000
(the day Mak breathed her last breath)
Mak, as I sat watching by your hospital bed,
A million thought ran through my head.
Of just how much were you aware?
Did you know that we (your 8 kiddos) were there?
Could you feel the love we sent,
In whispered word, Or prayer bent?
As we asked God,
To spare your life for our selfish cause?
So that we could tell you just once more,
"We love you Mak! " as we had before.
And we could chat like days of old,
Over coffee cups and fried bananas.
And laugh and joke, or just to share some small hurt and perhaps a tear.
To talk of the past, or things yet to do.
To sniffle, and sneeze, and say "Bless You! "
All these dreams now hang in shreds,
As my 3 brothers, 3 sisters and I sit here with bowed down head.
And ponder on these sad thoughts.
Just to wonder, "Was it all for naught? "
Innalillahi Wa Inna Illahi Raaji'uun.
 Mak, we will always love you.
We will forever cherish our memories with you
And we are grateful to Allah
for giving us the opportunity to love you.
May Allah bless your soul.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ayah, thank you for paying me a visit

25 August 2009

Ayah, thank you for coming back to my house today. Thank you for paying me a visit, albeit just in my dream. It felt so real as I could see you languishing and relaxing at that little corner in front of my 3-seater in the living room (that was your favourite corner whenever you came to my house).

And we were joined by Kak Pah (my eldest sister), Amir (my hubby), Abang Cen (my eldest brother), Khairil (my second son), Kharina (my daughter) and Khairi (my youngest son), and many others in my living room but I couldn't recall everyone's faces as they appeared quite vague.

Ayah, in that dream, I was so happy to see you looking so relaxed and happy as you were surrounded by people who love you. I could see how animated you were and, occasionally, I could also see you inhaling small puffs from your cigar (something you enjoyed indulging in your life time).

And towards the end of the dream, you kept asking me to wake Khairul up as he was supposed to take you for your medical check up at HUKM. You did not want to be late as you had always been a stickler for punctuality (now I knew where I inherited this little quirk, as my major weakness is my absolute intolerance for people who are tardy and late).

Anyway, upon hindsight, it was kind of amusing that even in my dream, I had difficulty waking Khairul up so much so that you had to keep reminding me (Khairul's major occupation is SLEEPING, and it has been repeatedly remarked to him that even if a bomb goes off in his room, he would continue sleeping).

Ayah, what I felt most happy today was that you appeared very much alive, very much your usual self, like the time when Mak was still with us. You seemed contented and happy, with the cigar in between your lips and your head propped up with several pillows and a big cushion, just like before, at that favorite spot of yours, in my living room, surrounded by everyone who loved you.

Ayah, I'm sure you are missing us as much as we are missing you. You have left a deep void in our lives. And, despite you having left us 8 months ago, I will always feel your presence in my house, particularly after today, as I reckon you had come back to say a proper goodbye to us, particularly me.

Ayah, remember that I was one of your children who did not get to see you before you left us. I did not get a chance to kiss your hands and your wrinkled cheeks. I did not get to hug you before you left us.

Ayah, my memory of you would be when I last spoke to you, two days before your soul leaves your body. And because your soul came back to my house today, gradually, the deep regret I have been feeling the last eight months for not being able to see you is slowly reducing.

Ayah, the first few months after you left us was really a trying moment for me. Every time I looked at your photo, I would burst out crying. And every time, I looked up names under W, and if I happened to glimpse your name as I scrolled the contacts, I would be sobbing uncontrollably.

Ayah, it was hard for me to erase your name from my hand phone contacts as I felt that you had been a major part of my life and would always be with me, albeit in spirit and in memory only. And I would never erase your name as I wanted to preserve your memory forever.

Ayah, today, I feel so good. The deep regret and hurt is slowly ebbing away, and I'm thankful you came back in the month of Ramadan. Perhaps, it was actually a message you wanted to convey to us children to sedekah AlFatihah, surah Yassin and salawat Nabi.

And Insyallah Ayah, we will continue to do so, not just during Ramadan, but all the time.

Ayah, thank you for paying me a visit today. It means so much to me.

Kring...kring......kring....kring....... . It was time for sahur. That was my alarm at 5:00 a.m

Alfatihah, Ayah and to Mak, ..., and to Pan, Tok Ayah, Wan Mohd Fisol, Wan Yusoff, Wan Zakery, Tok Baba, Tok Wan Chik, and to Tok (Mak's mum) too.....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ramadan Al-Mubarak - My Home-cooked Daily Menu

I've always had a deep passion for cooking, but due to heavy work commitments from 1982 to July 2009, I couldn't spare the time to indulge in this labour of love.

During these period, I only get to cook during weekends or on public holidays. Now that I'm retired, I've started to don the apron again and boy, am I creating a storm and frenzy in the kitchen.

I relish whipping up new recipes for my dear hubby and kiddos who, I strongly believe, harbour a sinking feeling that this is one Ramadan where there's little chance for them to lose weight....

22 August 2009

Eat Laugh and Enjoy the Earth, And feed your Love for all it's Worth.

1/ Popiah@Kinsella
2/ Pul Beans and French Loaves Garlic Bread@Kinsella
3/ Spicy Chilli Padi Macaroni Cheese@Kinsella

23 August 2009
I recalled a touching and moving remarks made my husband today that this year will be the best Ramadan ever for him and my kiddos given that they get to savour daily home cooked food by yours truly.

Food food absolutely appetising
Food food absolutely tantalising
The way it makes your stomach jump at its mention
The way it melts on your tongue when you go to taste it

1/ Kuah Pedas Ikan Pari Wrapped in a Foil @Kinsella
2/ Kerabu Kacang Botol@Kinsella
3/ Daging Masak Kicap@Kinsella
4/ Thai Fish Cake@Kinsella + Special Coriander.Kaffir Leaves. Chilli Sauce@Kinsella
5/ Stuffed Tofu

24 August 2009
Thick red blood veins bath in anger
The stomach grumbles in idiotic anger
A taste of food and out springs laughter
Triumphant moods commence again after

1/ Mamak Beef Stew@Kinsella
2/ Cheese Garlic Bread@Kinsella
3/ Potato Wedges@Kinsella
4/ Tortilla with Cheesy Minced Meet@Kinsella
5/ Bubur Cacar@Kinsella

25 August 2009
Food, food We love you so,
People say go on a diet, but what do they know.
Food, food you make us grow,
You are the one on that makes us glow.

1/ Nasi Putih Daun Pandan@Kinsella
2/ Ayam Padprik@Kinsella
3/ Tomyam@Kinsella
4/ Thai Fish Cake@Kinsella
5/ Sos Daun Ketumbar
6/ Potato Cheese Balls@Kinsella

26 August 2009
The raven searches for food to consume.
He flies high and low,
Yet none does he find.
He thinks this is not a very good sign.

1/ Organic Mee Hoon Soup@Kinsella
2/ Sambal Kicap@Kinsella
3/ Mee Goreng Mamak@Kinsella
4/ Cucur Udang Tahu@Kinsella

27 August 2009

Is it really so depraving
We like to eat a lot?
The thought of food We're craving
Just ties us in a knot

1/ Nasi Putih@Kinsella
2/ Ikan Cencaru Belah Belakang@Kinsella
3/ Kuah Lemak Kobis@Kinsella
4/ Ikan Bawal Goreng Asam Ayah@Kinsella
5/ Air Asam Sambal Belacan@Kinsella
6/ Sambal Tumis Telur Rebus

28 August 2009
In the country
The Land will produce the food
You take just what you need
In the city

1/ Nasi Tomato Mak@Kinsella
2/ Ayam Masak Korma@Kinsella
3/ Acar Buah@Kinsella
4/ Acar Timun@Kinsella
5/ Sambal Tomato@Kinsella
6/ Fried Beef ala Mummy@Kinsella
7/ Creamy Caramel@Kinsella
8/ Potato Cheese Pancake

29 August 2009
An ache perforates veins deep
Blood cold as moods of night
tears fall on food I eat
tears fall on food withered

1/ Laksa Lemak Johor@Kinsella
2/ Laksa Garnishing@Kinsella
3/ Pancake@Kinsella
4/ Mee Goreng Mamak

30 August 2009
'I'm so hungry, mommy! '
But there is no food
Will this little kid die?
Just because of hunger?

1/ Nasi lemak kukus@Kinsella
2/ Sambal Tumis Udang@Kinsella
3/ Rendang Daging Istana@Kinsella
4/ Telor Rebus
5/ Timun

31 August 2009
Tis not the quantity but eating speed;
'Tis not the quality but balanced food;
'Tis not the satiety but primal need;
‘Tis not the food that matters but our mood.

1/ Spicy Fried Macaroni@Kinsella
2/ Cheese Tortilla with Chicken Slices@Kinsella
3/ Corn Custard Pudding with Fruits Cocktail@Kinsella

Our mother earth gives
For one good grain sown
Hundreds of fresh grains
For our food in return.

1/ Spicy Spaghetti Bolognse@Kinsella
2/ Mushroom Soup with Oats@Kinsella
3/ Potato Salad@Kinsella

It was a buffet to remember
With a lovely Hawaiian theme
Food so fresh and flavorful
It was truly a food critic’s dream

I wanna tell you about a place
That’s very special to me
It’s called The Spicy Pickle
They serve food so deliciously

In his mansion, millionaire celebrates marriage bash
Without derision hungry beggar scans for food in garbage trash
One not able to digest the over eaten rich food, omits
One not able to taste such food, his wants and dreams remits

Foil is like a herb of metallic strength,
It cries like a butter of oil with food,
As tears of the cry, as tears of the cry.

No food on the table
A little childcries

Her mother sits begging
With tears in her eyes

We had a night I’d like to tell about
Consisting of an extraordinary meal
The food was simply delicious
With a down-home country feel

If you’re over the world and looking down on the sea
All you see in the earth is people in poverty
If you want to you could have the world to explore
But go half way round the world there’s kids on the floor

Because I love food,
i eat it everyday.
I make sure none goes to waste,
because that would be a disgrace.

Pizza, pasta,
Burgers and fries.
Sweet, sweet sights
to a hungry man's eyes.

Food is very tasty,
I eat it every day.
It comes in many ways, many sizes, and many shapes.
From squares to circles, from triangles to rectangles.

Thank you
For the

Being healthy
Eating healthy
Eat more veggies, fruits, and salads
Stop eating junk food

Why food -
Is it at all necessary?
Why must we go
Every other day to the marts

I am greatful for what I have
I have food, water
A roof over my head
Unlike others.....

He sits outside his shanty
Dark skinned in tattered clothes
Hair dishevelled eyes soaked in tears
Hunger making him cry

As i wake up
I say a prayer
because someone didnt see a brand new day
As i eat my breakfast i thank god again

Drink your food and eat your drink!
Throw unused dishes in the sink!
Splash water on the kitchen floor!
Drop mucky spoons into their drawers!

Food can taste good.
As long as you cook it right.
And that's what me Mah did.
We had spaghetti and meat balls last night.

I hold in my hand my last source of food
I squeeze it in my mouth
the sweetness envelopes my taste buds

growing increasing the ever small size of my belly