Friday, December 28, 2007

Hang On To A Dream

I am listening to Hardin's Hang On To A Dream. The simple lyric and the soulful melody is simply captivating. Sometimes I can't help it but welled up listening to it for it pierced deeply. With a few more days left of the year, and the moon is once again playing silhouette; bathing the trees in cold half light, am fighting hard to hang on to my dreams.

Looking back, I must admit 2007 has been kind to me. I rediscovered freedom and friendship, two things I lost when I left school and became a wife. The discoveries were made possible through the advance of technology which eventually led me to this new found love ... blogging!!!

Though I am still struggling to reduce all the goings on in my head into comprehensible pieces, the effort somehow brought indescribable relief. Brings some kind of order into the chaos of feelings, rationalizations, anger, hopes and thousand others. The ablility to articulate what I have inside my head helps booster a bit of confidence ... something I used to have in abundande but somehow lost most of it along the way to getting aged. Funny though! It should have been vice versa. Oh well!!! That's life and it is real not a fiction.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Look Of Love - Diana Krall

Among my fav song. Am looking for Norah Jones' next.

"The Look Of Love"

The look of love is in your eyes
A look your smile can't disguise
The look of love is saying so much more than just words could ever say
And what my heart has heard, well it takes my breath away
I can hardly wait to hold you, feel my arms around you
How long I have waited
Waited just to love you, now that I have found you
You've got the
Look of love, it's on your face
A look that time can't erase
Be mine tonight, let this be just the start of so many nights like this
Let's take a lover's vow and then seal it with a kiss
I can hardly wait to hold you, feel my arms around you
How long I have waited
Waited just to love you, now that I have found you
Don't ever go
Don't ever go
I love you so

Light and easy listening while staring at a pic of a silhuette bathed in half light against the sheets of light rain dancing in the wind outside the window with a steaming mug of hot black coffee ...

looking back hurts hellovalot ... for a long while, I was much too depressed to even raise my head to look ahead ...

and then ... perhaps God gets tired of my wailing ... I looked beside me and you were there ... my friend ...

you gave me your hand and took me thru' ... making the break and taking the leap ... and you were always there ... I only need to hold out my hand and you'd take it ... never asking ... you just give ... unconditionally

you are like the stars ... I don't always see them but I know they are always there ... I can never touch them but the beauty of their lights will always shine on me ... captivating, mesmerizing, exciting and help me keep on dreaming ...

thank you

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


It’s been raining non stop since Monday. 10 days ago anak omak came down with a fever which was first diagnosed as dengue and the doctor at UIA clinic told him to test for platelets counts everyday until the 7th day of the fever onset. On the fourth day of fever, he had platelet count test and it was at 150. On the fifth day, the count was 125. On the brink of the dawn prayer on the 6th day, anak omak called asking to be taken home. I went to his college and took him to the university clinic for his platelet count test. It was 105. He was in a very bad shape. I was surprised he was not warded. The doctor who attended him explained to me that he’ll be warded only when the count drop to 90. I didn’t know what that meant. I asked the doctor if I can take him home because he was too sick to look after himself. The doctor was indifferent. I asked if he could be given MC because there was no way he could attend class in that condition. Then I took him home.

Once home, I gave him the dengue remedy I read about on my egroup - papaya leaf juice. He downed the 2 tablespoons of the bitter juice extracted freshly from the crushed papaya leaves. I was hoping for the miracle as described in the posting but it didn’t come. It was a torturous night with high fever, non stop vomiting and excruciating muscle and joints pain for him and a lot of heartache for me seeing my son in such condition. I spent the whole night holding the pail to his mouth, rubbing his back and emptying the pail. I gave him a wash with cold wet towel and urged him to gulp down isotonic drink to compensate for the lost fluid. He managed to keep down few spoonfuls of porridge and fell asleep in exhaustion.

I dozed off on the chair when at 4.00 am he got up for his paracetamol. He had some cereal then woke me up and told me go to bed. He seemed to be getting better. I tried to catch up my task which was getting behind schedule. He drifted into a fitful sleep on the sofa.

Perhaps he felt some difference when he took the bitter papaya leaf juice. He asked to take it again when he woke up. Later he forced himself to finish half a bowl of porridge. His fever didn’t seem to abate despite the four hourly paracetamol prescribed by the doctor. His headache was getting worse and he was complaining of difficulty to breathe. It was the 7th day. Trusting the papaya leaf juice, we decided to give it time to work and postponed going for the final count of platelet. I persuaded him to take a bath to try bringing the fever down. He must have felt a little better after the bath and managed to take in two small scoops of his favourite strawberry icecream.

He drifted in and out of sleep the whole day and the vomiting was less frequent and less violent. However, by night, the fever and the vomiting worsened. He started complaining of pain in the abdomen. He refused the isotonic drink claiming the carbonate was giving him gas and making his tummy very upset. The vomiting got so severe he couldn’t even keep the plain water down. He asked me to de-carbonate the isotonic drink and forced small gulps down. I could only rub his back and wash his face and the upper part of his body because his feet were ice cold. The headache was very severe that he cried out each time his body was racked by the vomiting. He kept asking how long before he could take another dose of paracetamol. The night felt so long. The hour arm on the clock seemed to be dragging a hundred tan iron ball. His moans got louder and more frequent.

I suggested taking him to hospital and he asked me “ kalu gi sepital boleh buat apa? Doktor cakap bukan ada ubat pun lain pada paracetamol. Pain killer lain tak leh nanti entah apa apa ngan platelet. Kalu platelet turun 90 baru masuk wad. Ini dah minum jus daun betik, platelet maybe dah naik. ” (What’s the point of going? Doctor said there is no medication other than paracetamol. Other pain killer will jeopardise the platelets. Only when platelet count drops to 90 will be warded. Now taken papaya juice, the count might be up). So we decided to brace the remaining hours. At 4.00 am he took paracetamol again and slowly drifted into another fitful sleep, moaning every now and then.

The vomiting subsided and he was able to sleep the whole morning. He woke up feeling slightly better and took another bath. He was able to eat a piece of toast and some ice-cream. At 2.00 pm I drove him to the emergency room of Jerantut Hospital. His fever returned and he was put on drip. The doctor asked me to wait outside. By 5.00 pm I got tired of waiting and inquired about my son. He has been sent to the ward about an hour earlier and nobody thought of informing me. Sheeeeeshh!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Epit has been calling me every so often, something he has never done before. His fever is worsening. I told him to get a couple of papaya leaves and get 2 tablespoons of juice out of it. I had no idea how he could do that in his room at the university.

I called Ayong to try getting the papaya leaf juice somehow. Since it was night, Ayong said she could only do that after her class the next day. Epit called again telling me he was feeling worse. I was exasperated. It was almost 10pm. I called his father and TOLD him to get the papaya juice to Epit. He said he would do that as soon as he could. I knew it would be never. Why did I bother?

I tried to finish as many scripts as I possibly could which was not many. I must have dozed off at the table when Epit called again. It was about 6am. He asked to come home.

There was no way I could drive to KL in my sleep deprived condition. Anyway, Epit might not be able to walk down from his room. So I called my youngest brother to accompany me. Luckily this was school holiday and he was not unwell himself.

Reached UIA at about 9am and Epit was able to come down himself. His fever had subsided a bit. He had an appointment at the university clinic for another platelets count.

Took him to the clinic. His platelets count dropped to 108 from yesterday’s 125. I told the doctor I want to take my son home. The doctor said, usually the count would return to normal on the 7th day after the onset of the fever. I decided to take Epit home considering his muscle and joint pains were making him very weak and it would be difficult for him to handle the fever from a university room. The doctor gave him 3 days MC. I took Epit home.

At home I made sure he took the papaya leaf juice every 12 hours.

As far as I know there's no specific treatment for dengue fever. Hospitalized patients are just put on IV of saline solution ... pretty much the same as taking isotonic drinks.

I think it is a standard procedure to wait for the 7th day after the onset of fever and unless the platelet counts drop to below 90 there's no point of hospitalization.

Anyway Epit prefers to be home nak bermanja ngan Umi kot. Kalau kat ward tak ada sapa nak layan dia. Kalau kat rumah ngan Umi boleh manja lebih. And I am confident it couldn't be any worse. I am also giving him the papaya leaf juice as recommended in postings to our YG. I notice every time after he took the juice, Epit seemed a bit better ... not in so much pain. Memang doctor hanya bagi paracetamol to bring down the fever and helps with the muscle and joint pains which didn't help very much so far. I hope his platelet count will improve tomorrow. I'm giving him another dose of the juice in the next hour.

Monday, December 3, 2007


It's almost 5.00 am and I have not been to bed. I reached home at about 12 midnight after sending Ayong back to UIA. Her brother left earlier on his bike despite having a bad fever for the past two days. Just before I reached home he called to tell me that he went to see the doctor and the prognosis is possible dengue. I am praying the prognosis is wrong.
They were home for a three weeks semester break. And now ... coming home to an empty nest ... the loneliness just pierced through as deep as it could possibly go and came out the other side
I am supposed to have finished one quarter of my task three days ago and yet here I am listening to the songs on Yahoo Launchcast and this one song simply tugged at my heart, unplugging all the pent up emotion sending it in a torrent pretty much in the manner of La Nina

ROSE - Bette Midler

Some say love it is a river that drowns the tender reed.
Some say love it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love it is a hunger; an endless aching need.
I say love; it is a flower and you, it's only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking, that never takes the chance.
It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong.
Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows;
lies the seed that with the sun's love; in the spring becomes the rose.

This ROSE is especially dedicated to a very special person whom I owed so much for rekindling my dying ember. Thank you and may Allah bless you!

Friday, November 30, 2007


Here is the concluding part:-

On the second day, I was the first person to arrive in class and remarked to the lecturer-in-charge that there were not enough tables in the room. I ended up helping him to bring down the tables from upstairs. In schools and colleges, there is no janitor or handy man. We have to do everything ourselves including moving tables and chairs and cupboards and cabinets. So there I was in my heels carrying a table down two flights of stairs. I was wondering if my insurance covers that kind of situation. Maybe someone in insurance might come up with a special plan for teachers – there are more than 200 thousand of us out here.

Since the first day, I detected wireless connection in the room but could not get associated to the network. I enquired from the lecturer-in-charge about the kind of arrangement made for my group concerning Internet connection since it is one of the course components. His response was negative so again I requested to speak with the Head Department ….

Somehow an access point was installed in the room during lunch.

On Wednesday morning, I found myself in the Director’s office (summoned) earnestly justifying my actions (which has by now been registered as complaints – not my doing though) but somehow I ended up feeling like I was supplying him with classified information about a certain department. I took the opportunity to suggest some topics which I think should be covered during the course because after two days of classes, I honestly felt that I was not getting what I was supposed to get from the course and the coordinator kept giving us excuses. So when the Director asked for my opinion, I gave him my honest ones or so I thought.

However, by the next day my honest opinion has turned into complaints about lecturer’s insufficient ICT skills and ‘periuk belanga terbang melayang menghentam’ the scapegoat and I was it. Gee weez! And guess what! I became an ‘inFAMOUS celebrity’. Even the Head of Unit (an EXSASian, Nnnnnnn Jnnnnnnnn class of ’81- I hope you read this Nnnnnnn) turned up in the classroom to ‘see’ this teacher from Jerantut. All the lecturers who came to the class knew my name and I was officially appointed ‘Penghulu’ for this first cohort. Hehehe! The male teachers were so happy and I could see their wives wearing big ‘batu’ studded earrings.

On the second week, I sat down with one of the lecturers who seemed unhappy with the macro and micro facilities at the institute and think that the top gun of the college has personal interest in the company which gets the contract to supply and service all the ICT need at the institute which kind of creates a bottle neck situation. The ICT infrastructure (read: broadband facilities) of Kxxxx Xxxxx is way below what is required and available at the college. Hence the millions RM worth of equipments supplied and installed to the college under Multi Media Super Corridor Programme launched in 1997 just went to rot. There is nothing anybody can do about the persisting problem.

Personally, I feel this is a real ‘lebih kuah dari sudu’ and the ‘sudu sebesar belanga’ situation.

Exsasians would be familiar with these two expressions: ‘lebih kuah dari sudu’ was a misquote (I think) from brother Yyyyyy and ‘sudu sebesar belanga’ was coined by brother Dddddd (I sincerely hope both would not claim royalty from this poorly paid teacher).

I regard the bottle neck situation created by over specification of ICT facilities at the institution as ‘lebih kuah dari sudu’ because the infrastructure available at the location is very limited and this situation is in fact the reality of our country. For all the hypes over MSC, in actuality there is hardly 2 MB availability of broadband connection for the mass despite the latest launching of MAESAT (?). Hey! Yours truly is using a wireless fixed line telephone (cdma) and paying the dial-up rate for internet connection which is quite hefty and that is a ‘sudu sebesar belanga’ situation.

In conclusion, I think we are in serious need of a paradigm shift in our attitude towards responsibilities. We should be professional in carrying out our duty. Material and personal gains should not be the guiding force. At the end of the day, the money we earn will be used to feed those innocent children who in turn will take care of us when we are no longer able to care for ourselves.



Here is the second part of the Celoteh.

There was no one to direct our questions to. So we waited. After an hour of grinding the heels, my feet screamed of agonies and begged for a respite. I tried the closed door and it was not locked, so me and the other ladies went in and rest our poor feet.

More teachers joined us in the room. I was getting concerned because I still did not know where to go to. I came out of the room and saw a few more people walking around the courtyard. They turned out to be more teachers and were in the dark as well. They thought I was the person in charge (well .. my size always causes confusion – many thought I am a Guru Besar)

Other teachers in the room came out too and as we were deliberating the situation, a rather disheveled looking man ‘berlenggang kangkung’ carrying a CPU came into the courtyard and rather unassumingly admitted he was the person in charge BUT since there were other ‘things’ going on simultaneously and bla, bla, bla …(he mumbled something incomprehensible).

I took the lead to inquire about our schedule for the day since it was almost ten and the first class was scheduled at ten thirty. Another incomprehensible explanation and he told us to go and register for rooms at the hostel (which requires us ladies in our high heels to walk quite a long distance to our parked cars and drag our luggage all the way) and to have breakfast prepared for us at a café a few blocks away. Then he disappeared.

I figured that I could not get back in time for the first class so I decided to do that later. By ten thirty, many who went to register for hostel room have not returned and the man appeared again and insisted that I go register for the room and have breakfast because there was no way the first class could start.

I thought of registering for room during lunch break and turned to the said person-in-charge requesting confirmation about the day’s schedule. He was unable to be conclusive. I suggested speaking with the Head of Department and he made a few calls with his mobile.

A well dressed handsome young man came and introduced himself as the Head of Department (HD), and the man in charge turned out to be one of the lecturers at the department. We gathered in the room we went into earlier. HD explained that he was going on transfer next week and asked us to send any complaint or comment directly to him.

I took the opportunity to tell him about the difficulty of finding the registration desk due to absence of signs and voiced out my dissatisfaction about the way the registration was handled. I expected some kind of information at the registration desk and registration for room and car sticker to be taken care of during course registration as is the usual practice for such courses. HD apologized for the inconvenience and said such comments will be noted to improve the situation for the next six cohorts.

I thought everything was settled then and despite the unsuitable condition of the room, class commenced about two hours later than was scheduled and conducted by no less than the Head of Unit from the State Resource Centre. It was an introduction to the ‘Aplikasi Perdana’ under the Smart School Concept, a component of MultiMedia Super Corridor launched in 1997.

It was quite upsetting to note that after ten years of being launched and RM23 billion spent on the concept, this key personnel treated all the course participants as ignorant of current trend in information technology. The intro to ‘Aplikasi Perdana’ treated video conferencing, internet and emails as novelties. I think the lecture notes must have been prepared ten years ago and was never updated. (This should be a strong reminder for me to update my notes for my students).

Oh dear! Looks like I am running out of space again and have to extend the series. I hope I am not boring you to death with my ramblings. If I am, I would appreciate it if you would let me know and tell me how to make the reading better.

… … … bersambung lagi


I wrote this piece for my little column Celoteh Kak Azlina on my alumni website and caused quite a stir at the mentioned institute. At first I was rather put off by the reaction from some of the staff but come to think of it I now read the old adage “A pen is mightier than a sword” with a slight smugness. Never in my life had I effected such strong reaction by relating a true account (from my very own personal experience) of what took place. Here it is copied from the column:-

Assalamualaikum everyone.
First school mid-semester break is over and I did not get any break at all. I was away in Cameron Highlands for the final week of ETeMS course for Year Six Science Teacher 2007. It was a gruelling week but the ambience of the place somehow diffused the sombre nature of the business at hand.

One of the course participants got married on Sunday and that very Monday he had to join us in CH. So, guess what he did!! We did manage to get Rosa Pasadena Hotel (our three star accommodation provided by Jerantut Education Office) to provide the newly weds with a cake during the special dinner on our final night there.

I took the new Lojing road to CH. The drive from Jerantut to Gua Musang took about three hours. Before reaching GM town there is a left turn to Pulai which will take you to CH. I did not take that turn because I was supposed to regroup with my convoy leader at Lojing. I broke away from the convoy when I had to stop for petrol at Kechau.

I thought I was behind so driving up the gentle slopes easy corners no speed limit very little traffic four-laned road was done at full speed. The scenery was fabulous. The secondary jungle (I think the prime jungle has all been timbered a long time ago) was flaming with colours.

I arrived in CH in about one hour from GM minus my convoy leader. Apparently, he missed the left turning to Lojing at Kuala Betis junction and drove straight to Dabong and unfortunately, there was no mobile reception along the way. He made it to CH about three hours later.

The drive back was even better. I was not in any hurry to keep up with any convoy. I made stops after stops after stops along the way from Brincang to Kg Raja. Yes! I made sure to have the last bite of chocolate dipped strawberry, stumbled upon fried ice-cream and washed everything down with strawberry milkshake. Burp! Excuse me. And oh! I almost forgot the ‘Stretched Chai Tea’ I accidentally discovered at Bharat Tea Shop. Chai tea is recommendable for those with lots of ‘angin’ (pus-pus included).

I arrived home to piles of exam papers waiting to be marked (five classes of not less than 30 students each and paper 1, 2 and 3 make fifteen bundles and the marks to be submitted on Monday). Tengku Puan Pahang is coming for the State Girl Guides ‘Pertandingan Kawad Kaki” on 24th March and yours truly is the secretary of the event.

Anyway, out of respect for the hard works of my colleagues on EXSAS, I attended the Semsas 7’s Rugby final held in SEMSAS on Sunday 18th March 2007: my very first time watching a game of rugby. Honestly, I've never cared much about rugby. I always thought of it as a very exclusive chauvinist type of game.

However, after watching those boys (some were surprisingly skinny) panting and chasing after that oval ball (aren't balls supposed to be round?), I think I'm 'corrupted'. I believe now that rugby is a very suitable game for boys (brawny and skinny), especially ones with stress issue. It helps those capricious boys with raging testosterone spent a bit of that 'wild' energy (making a wild guess here). I was impressed by the organization of the event and the commitment of all the participating teams: kudos to the organizing committee (EXSAS Eagle).

I wished I had attended the event earlier which started on Friday but I was away in Kxxxx Xxxxx attending in-service-training for smart school teachers. I want to share my taste-of-ash-in-the mouth experience during the first week of the so called “Kursus Bestari” carried out at an institution where hundreds of teachers are trained every year and are then entrusted to educate our children.

I arrived at the college at 8.00am. Registration and briefing was supposed to be from 8.00 to 10.00 am. It was a very large place and I had a hard time finding the registration desk. There was not a single sign or arrow to point me to the right place. Finally after a lot of asking and walking, I saw a sign “Pendaftaran Bestari” printed on A4 paper pasted on a glass door.

I went through the door into a covered courtyard and saw a few ladies standing outside a closed door. There was a table nearby and there were some files and a piece of paper for registration. I was the eighth person to register and all of us kept asking each other where to go to for the briefing.

This is a lead in to a bigger case of sweeping under the carpet attitude in relation to macro and micro development of our country. Since space is limited here, I am breaking this account into two parts.

… … … bersambung

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

WORDS ...dedicate them all to ...

Consider these scenario:

One person posted an article to an egroup in the spirit of sharing the justification of a nationwide “gelombang BERSIH” (a rally initiated by NGO’s and the oppositions). Whilst the validation of such act is still being debated by the government and the opposition, the article has started another bout of horn locking on the egroup.

1 - This is the excerpt of the article posted. I put the focus of the ensuing arguments in bold for emphasis.

n wrote:
untuk dikongsi...

Islam membenarkan demonstrasi, 12 nokhtah perhatian Ustaz Abdul Ghani Shamsudin Berhimpun dan mengadakan demonstrasi; menunjuk perasaan secara aman adalah salah suatu tindakan yang sah dari segi syara dan undang-undang untuk menyatakan penentangan terhadap kemungkaran. Ia suatu pendekatan yang berkesan untuk menyerlahkan pengaruh dan kuasa kebenaran. Dengan itu orang yang zalim akan kembali sedar menginsafi kesalahan diri mereka. Hukum asal berhimpun secara aman dan berdemonstrasi adalah harus . Tapi kalau dirujuk kepada 'Maqasid al Syaria'ah' ia mungkin menjadi 'Mandub' atau sunnah. Malah ia mungkin beralih kepada hukum wajib seandainya tidak ada cara lain untuk menegur dan membetulkan …”

2- Then a member responded to the posting emphasizing the bold lines by ADDING the word “berubah (change)” :

d wrote
“…Menarik juga bahawa beliau memberi pendapat bahawa hukum itu berubah-ubah mengikut keadaan. … Itu juga telah dibincangkan dahulu dan sesetengah kita menanggap perubahan hukum itu adalah rapuan yang tidak berasas.”

3 – Next another member responded to the first response :

s wrote:
“… Bila dikatakan *hukum berubah-ubah mengikut keadaan*, kita kena faham bahawa yang berubah-ubah adalah *keadaan*, hukum tidak pernah berubah.”

s went on and gave two examples on how “hukum” is never changed. The examples involve the hukum on consuming pig and alcohol … both are haraam for Muslims. However, in a matter of life or death consideration, consumption is ‘allowed’.

4 – d posted a lengthy response
…”Yang menjadi 'substance' dalam perkara hukum tentulah keadaan. Hukum tak akan berubah dengan semena-semena. Tentulah ada keadaan yang mengubahnya.”

... giving highlight to the limited examples … “Sebab itulah juga I memberi highlight mengenainya supaya semua tidak kaku dalam pentafsiran hukum …jangan menghadkan diri dengan contoh tersebut … bukan hanya tertakluk kepada babi. Pokoknya ialah survival insan Muslim itu …”

5 - to which s conluded with a two liner: “Kesimpulannya masih sama, HUKUM TIDAK BERUBAH, YANG BERUBAH ADALAH KEADAAN. Bersandarkan kepada hadis yang mengatakan, "Yang haram itu jelas, yang halal itu jelas".

6 – and d riposted : “… Apakah bedanya apa yang I perkatakan, apa yang ustaz itu perkatakan dan apa yang brother perkatakan? … Adakah ianya menjadi salah bila I katakan, atau ustaz itu yang perkatakan? Atau adakah ianya menjadi betul apabila ianya datang daripada brother? Apa yang brother cuba buktikan? Apakah pembuktian itu bertentangan dengan kefahaman I?”

... after which the next responses in the thread lost the original argument point which is “hukum berubah mengikut keadaan”.

7 - sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiizzzzzzz. Who is the moron here?

Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas in Islam and The Philosophy of Science wrote:

“A word as it really is, is a symbol, and to know it as it really is, is to know what it stands for, what it symbolises, what it means.”

“If we were to regard a word as if it has an independent reality of its own then it would no longer be a sign or a symbol, as it is being made to point to itself, which is not what it really is.”
“Suppose that a person, touring an area, comes across a warning written in red, “Beware of Rottweiler.” If he is reasonable enough, what one often expects him to do next is to pay heed to the message and leave the place, lest he encounter the Rottweiler.

But suppose that, instead of leaving the place, he spends his time pondering the very composition of the sentence, measuring the shape and size (length, width, diameter, etc.) of each letter and determining its colour and shade, then given the somewhat obvious context, his reason will surely be questioned at the very least.”

8 – I think this para from Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas answers my question in #7.

“It is clear therefore that a word, as a sign or a symbol, remains useful as long as it points to the meaning or message it is supposed to convey. Otherwise, one may spend one’s time scrutinising everything surrounding the word, yet miss its very raison d’etre.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

All In A Day (1)

Today, I submitted the bundle of the sideline task I undertook since 26 Oct ’07. Huarghh!!! What a great relief!!! Beginning to feel like my spine was bending and my neck and shoulder could break anytime due to all the strain. My eyes, my poor eyes!!! Hmmm … and I only have until 26th Nov before I begin another bundle. I have thought of quitting after each bundle is submitted but each year it is harder and harder to get replacement. Not many are willing to undertake this task for it requires a complete commitment and one would be tied up for the whole three weeks.

Sideline apart, my hormone is returning to normal I guess and since the past two days I’ve been feeling elated. Although I haven’t finish my work with the first bundle, I attended a special 'kenduri’ (party) my alma mater hold to say farewell to relatives and friends before embarking on a very special journey to do ‘haj’. Here’s wishing Nonie and hubby “Semoga mendapat haji mabrur” and I pray I too will get to kiss Hajaratul Aswad soon after you.

It so happened the kenduri was on the 10th Nov, the same day a big rally was supposed to take place in KL. I was too tired to drive, been without proper sleep and rest since I began the bundle. So, Pae (another alma mater) took the turn to drive (the two of us have been taking turn at the wheel whenever we attend events in KL). We were stuck in a massive traffic jam at Gombak toll. Took us one hour and a half from Gombak R&R to the toll. And both of us were in black with yellow ‘tudung’. He he he … we did expect to be stopped at the police road block but probably two old ladies did not look so much of rally participants.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Still up to my nose with the sideline task I undertook couple of weeks ago. And looks like I won’t be getting any long break before the next batch of task arrive at the end of the month. Huh! Am getting too old for this. Too much abuse on my poor back and wrist. But the magnetic bracelet I started wearing last month seems to help a lot with the Carpal Tunnel.

Still rummaging in my saved folder and found this tongue-in-the-cheek illustration of English language. This particular piece was sent to me by someone very special who got it from someone else too. Sorry … again no proper credit. I am taking it for granted the originator of this piece would love to have others enjoy the pun. So in the spirit of sharing fun ... here is


The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph"will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What Does Love Mean?

Touching words from the mouth of children for what love mean. A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.
See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." -Rebecca - age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." - Billy (4)

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." - Karl (5)

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your Frenchfries without making them give you any of theirs." - Chrissy (6)

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." - Terri (4)

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." - Danny (7)

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss" -Emily (8)

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." -Bobby (7)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend whom you hate," - Nikka (6)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." - Noelle (7)

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." - Tommy (6)

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked At all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore." - Cindy (8)

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." - Clare (6)

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."- Elaine (5)

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." - Chris (7)

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." - Lauren (4)

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." - Karen (7)

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." - Jessica (8)


And the final one

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"

Friday, November 2, 2007

Life Is A Gift

Darn the PMS! Disturbing my focus on task at hand. Also, it is starting to rain everyday now. The gloomy sky matches my mood. Nothing much can be accomplished in this kind of mood. So, whenever it hits, I'd rummage in my folder and reread something I 've been collecting for moments like this. Since I am a blogger now, I can share this piece which reminds me to relish every moment for it might not come around again.
Life Is a Gift
Today before you think of saying an unkind word - think of someone who can't speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food - think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Today before you complain about life - think of someone who went too early to heaven.
Before you complain about your children - think of someone who desires children but they're barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn't clean or sweep - think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive - think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job - think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another - remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - put a smile on your face and thank God you're alive and still around.
Life is a gift, live it, enjoy it, celebrate it, and fulfill it.
Relish the moment, it may not come around again!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

In Tribute To All Teachers

My dear sis ZMS send me this beautiful piece. I wish I could give credit to the author but I am not familiar with the convention of quoting and the author of this beautiful piece of discourse was not mentioned in the forwarded mail. I hope to learn how to handle this issue later. If there's anyone reading this posting has something to share about this, please, I would really appreciate the info. However, I simply have to share this with my friends. This is in tribute to all teachers.

What Do Teachers Make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, and then began...)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)

''I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life."

(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant...

You want to know what I make?


"What do you make Mr. CEO?"

His jaw dropped, he went silent.

**M and S ... Mr CEO rings any bell?**

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Appreciate What You Have

Ahhh ….. this is the hardest part of blogging …. to keep going. Getting started was hard enough but keeping going is harder. There is so much to put down but I don’t have the spontaneity. I am too corrupted with the technical and mechanical aspect of writing. I hope I’ll learn to “de-corrupt” (if ever such word exist in the corpus of English Language). In the mean time I wish to share something I collected from sent in by Randy F of Atlanta.

"Appreciate What You Have”

The baby is teething, the children are fighting, and my husband just called and said to eat dinner without him. Okay, one of these days you'll shout, "Why don't you grow up and act your age?"
...and they will.
Or, "You guys get outside and find yourself something to do and don't slam the door."
...and they won't.
You'll straighten up their bedrooms all neat and tidy with bumper stickers discarded, bed-spread tucked and smoothed, toys all displayed on the shelves, hangers in the closets, animals caged, and you'll say out loud, "Now I want you to stay this way!"
...and they will.
Then you'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death, a cake with no finger traces through the frosting, and you'll say, "Now there's a meal for company."
...but you'll eat it alone.
And you'll say, "I want complete privacy on the phone! No dancing around, no pantomimes, no demolition crews! Silence! Do you hear me?"
...and you'll have it.
No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti, no more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent, no more dandelion bouquets, no more iron-on patches, no more wet-knotted shoe strings, no more tight boots, or rubber bands on pony tails.
Now, imagine your lipstick with a point. No baby sitter on New Year's Eve. Washing clothes only once a week. No PTA meetings, no car pools, no blaring radios, having your own roll of tape, no more Christmas presents made out of toothpicks and paste, no more wet-oatmeal kisses, no tooth fairy, no giggles in the dark, no knees to Band-aid.
Only a memory of a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?"
And in the silence will come the echo, "I did."

This is Rex Barker reminding you to appreciate what you have and when you have it. Don't wait until after things have passed to appreciate them. Lets all focus on what we do have - not what we don't have - and let there be giant smiles on our faces.

I like Barker’s reminder – to focus on what we DO have. I remember someone very dear once told me to count my worth not only in what have to be done but in what I have achieved too .

Well, to Momilo – enjoy your talcum powder snow and to limau purut kacang botor, my heart goes out to you. I pray you have the strength to ride out the little storm. Like all storms, this one will subside and sometimes there is a beautiful rainbow at the end of a little storm.


Friday, October 26, 2007

What's Happening To Our Teens

I went to a school today for a task I have been entrusted to carry out after form three students sat for their summative test. I’ve been doing this for many years now and am convinced that the task is a booster for the age to catch up with me fast. The toll is especially high on my sight and carpal tunnel. The knots in my shoulders are so tight and ahh .. my poor back is crying for a respite from all the abuse it has been subjected to over the years.

Am not complaining but contemplating rather. I first did this for the experience and now I feel compelled doing it because I am experienced. What an irony!!! Many times I thought I’d quit by declining the invitation but at the last minute, they couldn’t get a replacement and I ended up being the “replacement” for myself. All because … *alaa … akak boleh sebab tak de sapa nak kacau ke apa …. anak anak dah besar … tak payah nak kena rush gi ambik anak kat sekolah ke nak kena masak bla bla bla…*

Today, as I was returning to the meeting after breakfast at the school canteen, I asked something to one of the girls and as I turned away another girl asked her …*mak sedara awak ke tu* in a cynical manner and broke out laughing (my three colleagues were taken aback and crunched their faces while shaking their heads).

The issue here is impudent behaviour of the 16 year olds of a religious school. Such behaviour is not exclusive to this bunch of young girls in lowered head-cover. In fact, many of you will agree with me and even attest to the fact that such behaviour is so rampant among our teenagers.

Gosh! I am sleepy. Sorry friends… the old bones need to lie down *tongue*. Will try to continue tomorrow. Good night.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Anger - Part 2

This blog thingy is getting under my skin.I’ve been spending a large chunk of my beauty sleep fiddling with the page. Hehehe … hopefully this investment will help build up enough confidence for me to undertake something bigger at my workplace.
One of the reason for my anger was this piece of writing I laboured for a certain corner of the cyberspace which was rejected on a reason I felt was stupid. Very. So, in this space I claim as mine, here is the rejected piece and to anyone who is kind enough to read my thoughts penned here, please tell me what you think.

Assalamualaikum warga xxxxx yang diberkati,
Lama sungguh akak tak sempat nak berceloteh. Bermacam alasan. Ramadhan menjengah lagi. Semenjak menjadi ahli XXXXX pada 2003, akak rasa bersemangat sekali menjalani Ramadan dan seakan tak sabar menanti ketibaan Syawal. Satu perasaan yang membawa nostalgia zaman bersekolah di SSSSSS. Perasaan yang terhakis sedikit demi sedikit oleh kedewasaan. Dan kini Ramadhan 2007, akak sambut dengan hati yang berbaur resah.

Semenjak XXXXX ditetaskan pada tahun 1997 dan AJK pertama dilantik pada 1998, XXXXX telah diterajui oleh tiga orang Presiden. Kini menjelang genap10 tahun usia XXXXX, nampaknya roda berpusing ke bawah. XXXXX seakan hilang semangat. Acara utama tajaan XXXXX iaitu AAAAAA seolah tidak dipedulikan langsung oleh ahli ahli. Seolah ada yang tak kena di mana-mana. Malahan ada AJK yang meletak jawatan, sementelahan selama ini pun sukar mendapat ahli yang sanggup menjadi AJK.

Dalam kita meniti usia 50 tahun sebagai rakyat sebuah negara merdeka, di mana kita XXXXXians setelah 10 tahun berpersatuan? Adakah XXXXX akan tinggal nisan menjelang MAT tahun depan?

Akak ingin berkongsi satu senarai yang dikirim ke laman

“Dos and Don’ts” - Nancy

Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don't set your goals by what other people deem important.
Only you know what is best for you.

Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.

Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.
Live your life one day at a time.

Don't give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don't be afraid to admit that you are less then perfect.
It is a fragile thread that binds each of us to each other.

Don't be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give love; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don't dismiss your dreams.
To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose.

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been, but also where you are going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Raya Ritual

When I was small, bersalam hari raya with my parents were such dreaded chore. Don't know why but it was very hard. Unnatural. And the timing was never right. This person would not be here, another one not ready yet .... 1001 reasons. There was no special *salam raya*. My brothers and sister would just salam raya with our parents anytime anywhere. Sapa siap dulu, dia gi dulu salam raya. Usually I would be so busy in the kicthen sometimes I even missed the salam raya. I never hug or kiss my parents (count out zaman hingus ler).
When I have my own children I make sure this particular raya ritual is observed faithfully and continue even after I became single again. I believe that kissing and hugging my grown up children even in public is nothing shameful. The ritual I started with my own children are being observed by other family members and their children. And I am very proud to declare here that I have no more inhibition about salam raya and even kiss and hug my old father and mother.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Raya pic with heliconia

Ayong, Umi and Epit and the fresh bunch of Heliconia from the bush making one for the camera on 1st Syawal morning after our raya ritual (next post hopefully). Hmmm.... we are grrrrrrrrrreeeennnnn.

Raya pic

Took me 2 nights to try upload raya pics. Unsuccessful.
For not giving up, I got this one with nephews and nieces and Baba half sitting. He fell down a rambutan tree two months ago and smashed his hip bones. All of us thought he would be confined to bed for a long time. Totally refused to see a doctor. Now with the help of an old bomoh patah from Kg Pangsanam Temerloh (of course not denying Almighty Allah swt) Baba can get up and move about and the pain is a lot less. Syukur Alhamdulillah.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

6 Syawal 1428H

Much contemplation. Loads of doubts. Writing has always been a hard chore. Couldn't even keep a diary when younger though never declared given up. The older I get the more inhibited I am. The better my penmanship is; the harder it is to get the thoughts from the neurons of my brains to flow to the tip of my fingers. The wider reach the writing is, the more *pantang* there is: tak boleh itu tak boleh ini, tak boleh begitu tak boleh begini, tak boleh di situ tak boleh di sini : nanti ada yang terasa hati, kecik hati, ambil hati, BUSUK hati. But what the heck! This craving to have my thoughts shared is taking the better of my sense. The last entry to my journal was way back in 1984 ages before blog was created and I think the termites have long had their fill with it so here goes another entry and this time I am techno.

I am angry. There are lots of anger in me. Have been hoarding them since forever; giving me bad acid reflux. Never really know how to deal with it or what to do with it. Always conflicting with the values I was brought up with. At the moment my anger is collecting at a certain corner in the cyberspace.

Part 1

After a decade of struggling with the pain of my broken marriage, I was steadily resigning to a dark frozen world of loneliness. My two children are grown up, attending university and would soon have their own world. I have just made home where I didn't know anyone. Then out of the blue I was transferred to a new workplace. I was going into the mood where the curtain was down and the light switches were turned off one by one by one. Thick ashes were fast covering the ember.

From my window, I watched my roses losing their petals under the fading purple sky. From a different window on the desktop, a small tornado coming from the west lifted off the thick ashes on the last of the dying ember and somehow nursed it to life.

Took a whole year and a lot of nursing to get a flame out of the ember and the tornado turned into a gentle breeze that kept the flame going. The flame grew quite strong to get noted and was soon deemed good enough to heat up and keep light a small corner in the cyberspace.

However, a couple of hurricanes from the east put a damper and worked hard at putting out the flame and easing it out of the cybercorner. That made me angry. And sadly, I didn't know how to deal with it effectively. Throughout my life, I was taught to not give in to anger.

Ironically, I discovered priceless treasure in friendship. H and S, my tabik springgg to you two. Thank you for your support. I am so blessed to have you two for allies.

But most of all I dedicate this part to a very special person who gets covered with soot in the process of de-ashing(?) the dying ember . There is no word to describe my gratitude. I am much humbled by your wisdom.

Thank you.