Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dear Blogger Friends,

I encountered some problem here, so I had no choice but to migrate here. Hope to see all of you again soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Goodbye, Tuah.

It has been a week since my beloved cat, Tuah, passed away. I am still grieving his loss. Tuah died last Friday1st of July at the ripe old age of almost 14 years which is equivalent to an astounding 98 years of human life! He had been with us ever since he was born, living together under the same roof..This may sound cliche but he was truly a part of the family. His sudden demise created an emptiness, a void, a vacuum which may sound a bit too dramatic to some people. It's hard to explain how an animal can have such a profound effect on a full grown adult human being!
This picture of Tuah was taken exactly a year ago

Despite his age, Tuah was in a fairly good health. Of course, he was no longer active like before but he was still strong and arrogant. He gave us not the slightest of indication that he would be leaving us so soon.

 It pains me to relate his sudden transformation from a healthy cat with a big appetite to one who lost a complete interest in food. It was so abrupt it was hard to believe. He only survived on plain water for the six days. It was his self induced starvation that eventually led to his death. We tried ways and means to coax and lure him into relenting just a bit, but to no avail. Even the vet's expertise to save him proved futile.
Tuah could still make it to my room on the night of June 28. He was already so thin and weak.

His deterioration before our very eyes was something which will haunt me for a long time. I am not ready to share his final moments just yet. Suffice to say that he was conscious till the very last gasp of breath. He was still responsive minutes before he died in front of my mother, xnuripilot and me.. That makes it even more difficult for me to let go.
Tuah,  gaunt and dishevelled  at 5.38p.m., one day before he died. He chose to be here, in my mother's bathroom. It was here that he finally succumbed to old age and died.

We buried him beneath the palm tree in front of the house surrounded by ixora and lantana. He loved to sit there in the wee hours of the morning, looking up occasionally at the birds flitting across the dawning sky.
Tuah's modest grave.

 Goodbye, Tuah. I miss you so much.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Man Obsessed Is A Man Possessed

 Initially, it was a lot of fun getting reconnected with old friends via Facebook but the fun was short-lived. I discovered to my dismay and horror that most of them had changed.....or is it the other way round. I'm confused.

It all started when I decided to give my comments on a friend's status regarding the much publicised and speculated  sex video. I knew that I was about to tread on dangerous ground but the discussion, which was heavily punctuated by obscenities, was proving a bit  too much for me to swallow. I was still able to contain my anger despite all the spillage of profanities but the last straw came when one wrote that those who refused to see it their way were insensible. Now, that was a bit too much. I decided to go to war knowing well that it would be a lone battle. But, it would be a war worth fighting for. No one calls me insensible.

I am not really bothered by the fact that they are on the other side of the divide. They are entitled to their opinions and ideologies but to out rightly condemn others who do not share their opinions is unforgivable.

I did not charge them head-on for that strategy would have seen me dead instantaneously, regardless of the fact that we were campus friends once upon a time. I decided to adopt a more subtle approach........well, with a bit of cynicism thrown in for effect. They understood my message and did not hesitate to attack. And attack they did. One decided that my line of argument was only fit for a coffee shop discussion. Another challenged me to provide evidence to support my refusal to accept their theory after  I demanded they produce evidence to support their claim! But, most decided to use religion as a weapon against me. It was an easy way to ensnare an enemy. One wrong word, one wrong move and you'd be sent  straight to Hell. One decided that I should be given 80 strokes of the cane and that he would be willing to carry out the punishment himself. He even insinuated that I was Satan! Astaghfirullah! As if that was not enough, he decided to turn vulgar. All these explosive bursts of anger and hatred behind the religious facade!!!!!

I have to admit that I am no expert on Islam. And neither are they. So, there's no point in prolonging the war. I think I made a wise decision. Two days after leaving the battle field, I was both surprised and amused when a message came through my e-mail. The guy who decided to give me 80 strokes of the rotan, who hinted that I was Satan, who spewed obscenities in his comments against me APOLOGISED!!!!!!!!!

I guess it was him who was temporarily possessed, not me. Otherwise, he wouldn't have gone into a trance, jumping about madly and uncontrollably over some harmless comments.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mulberries, anyone?

Strawberries are not readily available here, in the supermarkets of Jitra. Of course you can get them in Tesco but that's in Alor Setar which is about 20km from where I stay. So, when a friend, Abang Tad, who is xnuripilot's regular golf buddy, gave a cutting of a "mulberry" plant about two years ago, I was very sceptical by its ability to thrive under the blazing hot Jitra sun especially so when he described the fruit as being very strawberry in both taste and appearance! I'm sure many my age group learnt in our Geography class that mulberry leaves were fed to silkworms in temperate China. How an earth will it  survive the tropical heat here?

Knowing Abang Tad would expect a progress report on his precious cutting, I had no choice but to plant it, albeit very reluctantly, for this would mean an extra plant to water. I did ask him for some sample of the berries before submitting to his good intentions but was told he had just pruned his plant. I could not understand what pruning had to do with my request!! (The relationship was discovered later).

I was not wrong in my assumption for Abang Tad enquired many times on the outcome of his cutting via xnuripilot, in between their games. I had to furnish xnuripilot with the necessary information to be relayed over to Abang Tad. I made sure the information supplied to xnuripilot was heavily exaggerated to avoid an unwanted inspection by the owner of the cutting himself. I was quite certain the plant would not be able to withstand the extreme heat so why should I waste both time and energy on it..

But, the cutting started to sprout leaves and before I knew it, small green berries were seen clinging to the tiny branches. All these in just over two months!! It made me feel less guilty in faking my interest to Abang Tad. I didn't want to disappoint the old man who seemed overly enthusiastic when relating about the goodness of the mulberries.

Well, in my opinion, these mulberries will never be able to compete with those succulent strawberries we're so familiar with but they are a passable substitute for someone staying in remote Jitra and  not willing to drive 20km to get the real thing. With a bit of cream and sugar, they can be quite delectable and promise a delightful change from an otherwise plain breakfast. 

A bowlful of freshly plucked mulberries.

The mulberry tree which started out very humbly from a cutting given by Abang Tad. The berries will appear almost immediately after pruning. So, in order to ensure an endless supply of berries all year round, prune the branches regularly. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Good Time With Friends

My former colleagues from SMK Alor Biak (SMKAB) aka SMK Tunku Seri Indera Putera (SMKTSIP) decided to have a mini reunion last Tuesday. Everything was planned and organised via Facebook. One more reason not to take FB for granted. I must admit, I am slowly being devoured by this FB mania. Well, like they say, if you can't fight them, join them.

The line-up present that evening. I was given the honour to sit down with the three gentlemen.

Just the ladies with our backs facing the light hence this blurred image.

That's Surhana, the belle of the ball, being flanked by Sakinah on the left and me.

 Clockwise starting from me are Sakinah, Zuwiyah, Harison and Firdaus.

I was obviously having a good time

In a more sombre mood before we called it a day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Reunion

My association with Facebook (FB) is best described as "neither dead nor alive". It is an on-again and off-again kind of thing. It often makes me wonder why people go crazy over FB. I have yet to uncover the pleasures that many find so irresistible. However, something happened recently which compelled me to scramble back to Facebook.

Things changed (for better or worse I have yet to ascertain) after I attended a UPM (Universiti Pertanian Malaysia) Reunion recently here in Alor Setar. Friends, some of whom I had never met since the day we parted ( more than 35 years ago) were there. Amidst all the hugs and kisses and shouts of excitement, there was no escaping the word "Facebook"  that kept on echoing throughout the excited conversation. Everybody was telling everybody else to download (or is it upload) the photos onto Facebook.

I was " well prepared" for the gathering like all the rest. I had the camera fully charged the night before and dumped safely into my handbag. One has to be well-equipped these days, especially when one is a blogger, albeit a very lazy one like yous truly. I was confident there was no necessity for me to rely on friends, much less on FB, to get the pictures for my blog.

So I set out for Sri Malaysia the next morning feeling extremely happy at the thought of seeing old friends again and the fact that I was sufficiently prepared to record our precious moments together made me feel doubly thrilled. But sometimes things don't always  turn out the way you want them to and that's exactly what happened to me that day.

After the initial excitement at seeing them all again had subsided, I dug into my handbag for the camera and started  taking pictures as planned. After about 10 shots, I was aghast to read "Battery Exhausted" on the tiny screen. I pressed all the buttons visible in the hope of reviving it but to no avail. Disappointed and  a little bit angry, I had no other alternatives but to meekly request these long-lost friends to post their pictures onto the walls of their FB!! I was not really certain at that point, how to put the request to good use but  that could be resolved later, I told myself. I suppose I could use the phone's camera but I didn't want to exhaust that battery, too.

There was nothing on my wall or my friends' the next day. and the day after. Then,they came. An avalanche of pictures accompanied by numerous comments from friends who were present at Sri Malaysia as well as those who were not able to make it that day. Needless to say I was glued to the laptop. My interest in FB was once again renewed. But, for how long, I just can't say.

The young and the old me paired by En. Ahmad Fuad Muhammad, a fellow graduate of UPM

That's Ahmad Fuad teasing me about the huge glasses I wore during my student days

From left, Dr. Meriam, Khamariah Khalid, Dr. Noor Aziah and me

Greeting an old friend, Rabiah Md Aris

Those present from the Class of 75, seated from left, Ahmad Fuad, Nafisah Hassan (Fuad's wife), Masitah Arshad, Dato Mastika Junaidah, Dr. Noor Aziah and me. Those guys standing, Sorry! You all look so different now. Don't blame me for forgetting your names!!!! Kolej Pertanian was upgraded to Universiti Pertanian the year I joined it.
Dr. Noor Aziah and me. We were very close back then. Still are now. Dr. Noor Aziah was the Freshie Queen.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When Bonds Are Broken

After taking a long break, I find it difficult to start all this again. I always tell myself  every time I start to write that I'll be consistent in my writing but somehow I never seem to be able to keep the promise.There is not much news anyway, on the home front. Kitty is doing well, eating away to her heart's desire. I think it's quite safe for me to say at this point, that she is not pregnant. Thank goodness for that. Her huge tummy is conclusively the result of her continuous eating sprees as Mum had earlier predicted.

Still on the topic of cats, I discovered a few days ago that one of the strays was limping badly. I could tell that she was in great pain the way she tried to make her way slowly to where I normally put the food for her. It's been almost a week now but she is not recovering as fast as I would like her to. There's no way I could take her to the vet for she never allows me to touch her, not even now when she's in dire need of help. I have been feeding her twice daily for almost 5 years now and still she does not trust me. Watching her this morning I realised that it is this element of distrust that has made her survive the odds thus far.
The injured stray waiting patiently for her food. The fact that she found her way up the wall is indicative of her progress

May be as human beings, we should follow the same policy. It makes me wonder whether our vulnerability is largely due to the fact that we put so much trust on people around us, friends and family alike. We often fall prey to the trust that we have in them. We trust that they will be there for us when we are in trouble. We trust that they will forgive us for whatever little mistakes that we make. We trust that they will stand by us through thick and thin. Alas, it is this dependency that weakens and in extreme cases, breaks the bond completely.

Something happened recently which made me realise that  you have to be extremely careful with words and actions if you want a bond to remain intact. Never take things for granted. What in your opinion is trivial and insignificant may NOT be interpreted the same way by others. Everything is relative and subjective.You have to be thorough on these two topics. You cannot afford to make a mistake. Sometimes your rational thinking says that  it is not a mistake but if it is perceived as a mistake by the other party, that's it. Sayonara. You are not given a chance to defend yourself. The door is slammed shut with a bang right in your face.

Never assume that all the bonds that connect you and your friends or relatives are indestructible. Believe me, they are so fragile and brittle and delicate. A little tap is all that it takes to disintegrate them to smithereens.  There's no way you could put the pieces back to its original form again. If  a family bond is involved, the consequences are even more destructive because the two feuding parties share the same family members. It's not easy to dismiss the whole thing as inconsequential as often proposed by  the other "neutral" family members in their attempt to ease the tension..

A family, both immediate and extended, is a precious, almost sacred institution. There are numerous bonds that are intricately intertwined to make it strong and firm. A single broken bond is enough to render the whole structure unstable. Once damaged, it would be quite impossible to restore the family to its original strength and splendour.

I am aware of the fact that I have been very abstract in my attempt to pour out my feelings. I don't want to be accused of  blowing up an issue, making a mountain out of a mole hill. I have to exercise great care and caution in whatever I say and do from now on. There are people out there who are trained to read in between the lines and this particular entry is for them to analyse and decipher. For the others who have not acquired the skill, you are not in any way inferior. It is safer to remain unskilled than to make a serious mistake misinterpreting meanings in between the lines.

I hope my writing is not offensive, especially to those close to the broken bond. I have no intention to worsen the situation. I still treasure my association with those directly linked to the broken bond and I hope they feel the same way towards me. InsyaAllah.