Sunday, 31 May 2009

My Girls Need a Holiday

I Need A Holiday

It's a beautiful day, but I'm stuck inside.
Staring at this screen, working 9-5.
How I hate this job, coz the days do drag.
They work me like a dog, and the moneys bad.
Cheer up cheer up, don't be blue.
Don't forget it's hometime soon.
We'll make it through another working day.
I need a holiday.
I need a holiday with my friends.
I'm working everyday.
I'm working everyday for the weekend.
Looking at my watch, for the millionth time.
The days go slow, and then the evenings fly.
When I'm outta this place, and the days been won.
I'm going out with my friends, I'm hanging out in the sun.
Cheer up cheer up, don't be blue.
Don't forget it's hometime soon.
We'll make it through another working day.
I need a holiday.
I need a holiday with my friends.
I'm working everyday.
I'm working everyday for the weekend.
I wish it could be sunday when I wake up every day.
I wish it could be sunday when I wake up every day.
I wish it could be sunday when I wake up every day.
I wish it could be sunday when I wake up every day.
I wish it could be sunday when I wake up every day.
I wish it could be sunday when I wake up every day.
I wish it could be sunday when I wake up every day.
I wish it could be sunday when I wake up every day.
But I need you, yeah I need you.
Yeah I need you more than I can say.
Yeah I need you, yeah I need you.
Yeah I need you more than I can say.
More than I can say.
Yeah I need you, I need you, I need you, I need you, I need you, more than a holiday.
Yeah I need you, I need you, I n-n-n-n-need you, I need you more than I can say.
More than I can say

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Message from Beyond

It had been barely 6 hours since Mak Minah passed away. Ita, Mak Minah's eldest daughter-in-law, Leman's wife, glanced at the clock - it was 12.10 midnight. The stream of visitors had eased considerably. There were only her and Sal in the room where Mak Minah lay. Sal was Usop's wife, his first in fact; his second one had chosen to remain home with her young children for the time being.

Mak Minah had 5 children, all boys. Leman and Usop, her third, both lived in the same district somewhere in Masjid Tanah, whilst her other three, Kamil, Yem and Epol were working in KL, Ipoh and Johor respectively. They wiould all be making their way back to the kampung soon after Subuh the following day, for the funeral rites.

Mak Minah was 85, and a diabetic and had complained of general weakness and a lack of appetite the past week. Mak Minah was fortunate that Ita and Sal had volunteered to take turns caring for her. As it turned out, she had slipped away while in bed with only Ita and the maid present. Ita had hastened to the bedside and whispered the syahadah in her right ear, after the maid noticed a change in Mak Minah's breathing and called for Ita.

This kampung house where Mak Minah had lived had been renovated by Usop for his mother some years ago. The upper house is on stilts and has a guest-room and a nice verandah with Melaka-style tiled stairs leading outside. The lower house has a kitchen, 2 bedrooms sharing an attached bathroom, and a huge foyer for family gatherings and the like. When she was still sprightly, Mak Minah had looked after the house really well, keeping it presentable all the time in case of unexpected visitors.

It was very generous of Usop to have undertaken the renovations although he himself had to rent two separate homes for his families. But having been a Class F contractor at that time, he had access to building supplies at discounted prices, so it wasn't too bad. However during Mak Minah's illness, times were getting to be rather challenging. Had it not been that both his wives were working, Usop might have to consider other means of income like selling at pasar malams in KL, or driving a taxi.

Sal was placing a CD of quranic recitation in the mini-compo. Ita closed her eyes, feeling grateful for being able to rest awhile.

"Kak Ita", Sal shook her from her mini-slumber, "I need to tell you something".

"Mmmmm what?" Ita was slightly annoyed.

"Like this, I'm only telling you because I have to get it off my chest". She lowered her tone. "I'm filing for divorce from Usop".

"What???" Ita was wide awake, "are you mad?".

"No, I can't stand it anymore. He doesn't come home at nights anymore, I can't even remember when the last time was, definitely more than a year, two years. I use all my pay for the bills, food, the children's schooling, I might as well be single!"

"Shhh, not so loud" said Ita.

"I've had it, Kak Ita. In fact I have bought a house somewhere near Jasin on the quiet, and it will be ready in another 6 months. By that time the divorce will be finalised and I can move in. Even if he doesn't grant me it, I will move out with the children."

Ita stared at her in disbelief.

"I'm serious, Kak Ita. That woman he married? She wasn't the first. He went for my own good friend before that, ferrying her here and there while I had to catch the bus to work, see to the children and cook his dinner. Kak Leha knows about that, that blardy friend was in the same government department as her and she had the cheek to go see Kak Leha in KL to get her advice. She knew Kak Leha is Usop's sister-in-law."

"What did Leha say?"

"Kak Leha told her not to waste her time and her future on Usop. So they broke up but he found another stupid woman. I've had enough Kak Ita. I want to be free, independant. I'm earning so I'm not worried, I can make the house payments, it's low-cost anyway. Along will finish schooling soon, she can pick up a trade or something."

"You better think some more Sal before you take this drastic action."

"I've thought 10, 20 times already Kak Ita, only I didn't want to say anything when Mak is still alive. Now she is no more there is nothing else to consider".

Epol and Mim from Joor appeared at the door. They had decided to come back earlier after all after leaving their children at her sister's.

"I'm going back home Epol, I was here since last night. See you in the morning then," said Ita after exchanging salams and went off looking for Leman at the verandah. It was really late, 1.10 am.


Kamil woke up with a start. Leha was sleeping quietly beside him. He went downstairs for a glass of water. Yem, who had driven down from Ipoh after maghrib, and his two boys were sleeping soundly in the living room. His wife and daughter were in the guest bedroom downstairs. Everything was OK. They had all recited Surah Yasin and a short tahlil for arwah Mak Minah before they retired last night. They will all drive down to Melaka after Subuh tomorrow maybe stopping for a quick breakfast at Seremban R&R.

What a strange dream, he thought. I'll talk to Leman about it after the funeral.


Next day, Mak Minah was laid to rest beside the grave of Pak Busu at the kampung cemetery. Sal had gone back home, and Usop's second wife and Mim were around to organise a light lunch of fried mee-hoon and black coffee. Usop had an appointment with someone or other and had excused himself, promising to be back for the tahlil session later in the evening. Kamil was hunched in deep discussion with Leman, Yem and Epol on the verandah.

"Bang Man, I dreamt about arwah last night, you know. She was sitting and talking to me as real as I am talking to you now"

"What? and she wasn't even buried yet! Didn't you wash your feet before going to bed?" Leman joked.

"Bang Man, I was still in wuduk after reciting yasin and tahlil lah. Listen, how is Usop and Sal, are they still together?"

"What do you mean? Off course they are as together as your Kak Ita and I. Well maybe 50 percent, ha ha ha".

He's never serious this guy, thought Kamil.

"In the dream Mak left me a message to be conveyed to Usop."

"So go tell him, why tell me?"

"What did she say?" asked Yem, curious.

"Wait, wait Epol call your Kak Ita here. Maybe she knows something, they are quite close, those two." said Leman.

Ita sauntered over to them with a tray of mee hoon and plates, with Epol following behind with hot steaming coffee.

"Not a moment too soon lah you guys demanding your food. Poor Epol got teased by the women-folk downstairs", complained Ita.

"Ita, sit down here, we want to discuss something with you", instructed Leman.

"Eh, this is men talk between you siblings, I don't want to be busy-body" said Ita while dishing out the mee-hoon.

"No, no not about that stuff, there is ample time for that and there's nothing much to discuss anyway. All the hibah had been settled by Mak a long time ago. This is about Usop and Sal."

"Usop and Sal? What about them?" Ita was wondering whether Sal had indicated anything about her intentions to them.

"Kamal, you tell us about your dream, please" said Leman.

"Kak Ita, Mak came in my dream last night" Kamal began.

"Oh really? What did she look like? At peace or troubled or what?"

"Kak Ita, this was what she said in her own words because I remember it vividly. She said Kamal, tell Usop that I love all my daughters-in-law whether they be near or far. I have no daughters and they were the ones who looked after me whenever I was ill. Tell Usop not to mistreat Sal and not to divorce her. Tell Usop to let her live in this house with her children after I'm gone. Please tell him that. This house belongs to Sal and Sal alone. I love all my children and my grand-children and I will be very sad if my family breaks apart. That was what she said."

Ita felt goose-bumps on her arms. "Did you remember what time you had this dream?"

"Yeah I woke up and went down-stairs, about 1 am. Did Usop or Sal say anything to you?"

Ita tried to remain calm, but she could feel her heart beating hard and fast. This can't be true, she thought. It was about the time Sal had talked to her. This is impossible, impossible.

She decided not to tell anyone about what Sal had told her, after all she had been trusted into secrecy by Sal. And she won't tell Sal about this dream thing either. Or should she? She felt confused.

"Why should they tell me anything anyway? It's their own masjid, it's their business," said Ita, skirting the question. "Why don't you tell this to Usop directly, that's the correct thing to do. If you'll excuse me, I've got things to do in the kitchen. They are all waiting for me."


Fast forward three years..... Sal had moved into her new house. She had filed for divorce from Usop citing fasakh - i.e not providing maintenance for more than the pre-agreed 4 months. Usop claimed they were still legally married and he was regularly depositing some amount of money into her bank account. He had never received any official summons to attend court or even to meet the Kadi.

Sal even resigned her job after successfully securing a supplies contract for a government department through a company she jointly set up with a lady polical party chief. She told Ita that sometimes her company and Usop's were in direct competition bidding for the same tender.

She was driving a very nice Honda, was very well-dressed, and wore her make-up elegantly. She was taking all kinds of supplements to maintain her health and well-being, at times recommending them to Ita. But she was still bitter about Usop - always telling people within ear-shot that one day God will show who's right and who's wrong.

Mak Minah's house, meanwhile was transferred to Sal's children, after Sal did not want to have anything to do with it whatsoever. Once in a few months, the children would stop by and open the windows and sweep and mop the place.


About 2 months ago, Ita rushed to Sal's house after receiving a telephone call from Sal's eldest daughter who was crying into the phone saying that her mother was unconscious in her car in the porch. When she arrived, the ambulance had already arrived and the medics were placing Sal onto a stretcher.

Sal had suffered a stroke due to a brain aneurysm. She is now partially paralysed, has lost her speech and is incontinent. Usop brought her back to Mak Minah's house and is being cared for by her daughter with the help of a maid. Sal's mother, whom herself is ailing visits about once a week.

As Ita was driving over to the kampung to visit Sal, she thought about Kamil's dream. Mak Minah got her wish in the end.

(This story stems from a figment of Zendra's wild imagination. Any similarities to real life situations are purely co-incidental )

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


I've taken this article lock, stock and barrel from Women's Health Magazine. It's an American man's take on fidelity and it is a fascinating read, given the times.

To Cheat Or Not to Cheat

Can a guy's guy stay faithful to one woman for 23 years?

Joe Kita

I want to tell you a secret. It's something I'm deeply proud of yet also ashamed of. It's about being a man and about being less of one. It defines who I am while it defies who I am. It's a dichotomy that's difficult for even me to understand.

How I feel about this secret depends on who I'm with. Alone, or with my wife and family, I feel pride. But with other men--coworkers, drinking buddies--I'm often embarrassed. Even though it's been 23 years, I've never admitted this to anyone--not even my wife. Then again, I'm sure she's never seriously doubted me and will not be surprised by what I confess.

My secret is that for almost a quarter century, I've been faithful. Although I've lusted after many women, I've never slept with one, or left even a lingering kiss on a pair of expectant lips.

I am successful. I am fit. I have money. I dress well and no, I am not ugly. Yes, I've had opportunities. Yet…

That's me you've seen in those sports-bar crowds, clinking pint glasses and clapping shoulders at sexual innuendo. That's me you've overheard commenting on the sassy new intern. Yes, I think about it. Yet…

Those surveys that reveal how many husbands cheat on their wives (and vice versa), I've considered them all. I've been tempted by the idea that monogamy is outdated. Yet…

And of course there's the blandness of the long-term relationship. It's seeing her in sweats scrubbing the toilet. It's running out of things to say over dinner. It's making love in the same position in the same room at the same time year after year. I crave excitement and variety. Yet…

…I've never cheated. And I haven't admitted it because, well, men typically don't do that. No matter how sensitive we'd like you to believe we've become, our brother-cliques still rely on bravado and conquest for acceptance. The minute we confess to not being on the chase, to turning our backs on our genetic drive to procreate, our gorilla chests start to shrink. It may sound small-minded, but that's the way it is, at least in my world.

So why have I never wandered? I have a few ideas:

1. I've never met a perfect 10.
A colleague once told me: "If you're going to cheat, do it with a perfect 10. Because when you get caught--and eventually you will--you'll need to look back without regret." I always thought that was good advice. Plus, I've never met a perfect 10 who was interested in me.

2. My ankle hurts in the morning.
In his book Letters to My Son, Kent Nerburn equates temptation with the time he broke his left leg: "Whenever I feel a surge of attraction to a woman, I think of that leg.…Being unfaithful snaps a relationship as surely as that fall snapped my bone. At first, it may seem like nothing. Over time, you may be able to mend the break so that the relationship is stronger than ever. But it is not healed. The scar remains and it will haunt you forever." I haven't broken any limbs, but I've sprained my right ankle a few times. And it aches almost daily.

3. I'm drawn to a particular type.
Whenever I'm attracted to another woman, I ask myself why. Usually it's because she's tall, thin, brunette, amply endowed, vivacious, witty, and kind. These are all qualities my wife has. It's made me realize that I'm naturally drawn to one type of woman. Why cheat with her twin?

4. I love my wife's gnarly feet.
I once read an article by a guy who cheated. Upon waking next to his one-night stand, he immediately noticed her feet. They had been tucked into sexy black pumps the night before, but now they appeared big and manly and even had corns. He was so disgusted he fled. We forget that love camouflages faults. After 23 years, I know and love every part of my wife--including her feet.

5. I'm Catholic.
After suffering through 12 years of parochial school and memorizing the hundreds of thousands of sins that can send you to hell, I have a deep-seated aversion to coveting my neighbor's wife. Maybe my fidelity has nothing to do with strength and morality. Maybe I'm brainwashed.

6. I keep my word.
I made a public vow to be faithful. And as the son of an ex-marine, I believe a man's word should be unassailable. I'm talking about personal integrity here, a trait often muddied by politicians, athletes, CEOs, and sometimes even our own fathers. I may not have kept some of the little promises I've made, but I've kept the big ones, and I'm damn proud of that.

7. I'm on a streak.
I have a friend who has ridden his bike every day for 14 years. It's a streak that has acquired too much momentum to carelessly abandon. Perhaps my fidelity (8,579 days and counting) is a similar phenomenon.

8. I've benefited from the doubt.
In many marriages, possession is nine-tenths of the love. When you suspect someone is trying to take away what's yours, you work harder to secure it. Even though my wife denies it, she's a bit jealous. But that's good, because from her occasional doubt springs newfound appreciation for me. It's a selfish reason, I know, but I've enjoyed it.

9. I'm scared.
This could be the real reason I haven't cheated. I'm afraid of what one moment of weakness would do to my life. I dread the innocent, unknowing look in my wife's brown eyes the following day. I cringe at the thought of my children seeing their mother hurt and knowing I'm to blame. To put it bluntly, I've probably been true because I'm a coward.

10. I married a perfect 10.
I need to clarify my first reason. I have met a perfect 10, and I married her. And the reason I haven't cheated is that I've never really wanted to. Although my wife and I have our differences, she is a great woman who deserves my fidelity. I may not always be able to give her my full attention or all the material things she wants, but I can give her this. And as the years go by, it becomes more precious--to both of us.
Awww!!! This guy's so sweet, just like someone I know.....

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sing This To Me Please, My Hubby

along with your delicious neck and shoulder rub?

Don't mind us kiddos ...... you'll get there too someday

Friday, 22 May 2009

Long time married lah

Hubby forwarded me this e-mail. Wives are supposed to laugh OK?...............

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.

David Bissonette

After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin; they just can't face each other, but still they stay together.

Sacha Guitry

Woman inspires us to great things, and prevents us from achieving them.


'Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing.

She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.'


'I've had bad luck with both my wives.

The first one left me, and the second one didn't.'

James Holt McGavra

The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once....


My wife and I were happy for twenty years.

Then we met.

Henny Youngman

A man inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: 'Wife wanted'. Next day he received a hundred letters.

They all said the same thing: 'You can have mine.'


First Guy (proudly): 'My wife's an angel!'
Second Guy: 'You're lucky, mine's still alive.'




Guess I do have a sense of humour!

Talking of humour, listen to this:-

You Want More Energy?

Zen Habits suggested 55 ways as per the list below; some of them are quite interesting and can be done immediately.

1. Change your socks midway through the day for refreshment.

2. Rock out loud - a quick one-song rock out loud session is an effective way to beat back exhaustion.

Zendy's suggestion: (Click on "Play full song here")

3. Get rid of the stuffy nose - clear up your sinuses (and your mind).

4. Work with your body’s clock.

5. Have a piece of chocolate - we get an endorphin buzz from chocolate (Zendy: This I can do right now)

6. Have an afternoon power snack.

* mixed nuts
* nonfat yogurt
* apple and peanut butter
* frozen berrie smoothie
* trail mix
* granola bar

7. Hit up the water cooler for inconsequential banter - a little midday gossip and random banter is a great pick-me-up

8. Eat lots of berries. - All types of berries help fight fatigue and are delicious to boot

9. Wear brighter colors -(Zendy: Malaysians know this one)

10. Take a power nap - Keep it short: 5-10 minutes max.

11. Flirt - It’s fun, it’s harmless (keep it innocent), and it’s effective. Nothing quite gets the heart pumping like a little flirting (Zendy: Baik toksah)

12. Aromatherapy with lavender.

13. Wake up at the same time everyday.

14. Drink lots of water -Dehydration is a sinister cause of fatigue because it slowly creeps up on you. (Zendy: I try to go for 1 big bottle everyday)

15. Use caffeine wisely - Coffee provides a shot of energy, but can also become a counterproductive dependence. (Zendy: 1 mug a day for me, more than that spells insomnia, less equals withdrawal headache)
16. Avoid energy drinks.

17. Eat low glycemic (low or complex carb) foods.

18. Eat more soluble fiber.

19. Get your Vitamin C. (Zendy: I'm a firm believer in C)

20. Sniff some citrus.

In addition to the Vitamin C, citrus scents (like orange, lemon and lime) stimulate alertness. So lather on some of that lemon scented lotion. (Zendy: I love citrus)

21. Cover the B Vitamins. (Zendy: Makes me hungry all the time)
22. Quit smoking - Ex-smokers frequently report an energy boost of 2-3x when they quit smoking.

23. Play to relax - like Scrabble on Facebook but have a strict time limit

24. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.

25. Enjoy a cup of tea. (Zendy: with my chocolate!)
26. Splash some water on your face. (Zendy: OK done)
27. Stand up, stretch and take a couple of deep breaths. (Zendy: done)

28. Get your world organized - reduce the clutter

29. Look on the bright side.

30. Take a mini-vacation - Take one day and just do whatever you want. No work, no chores, no errands. Enjoy your one full day of vacation, then come back to work more motivated and energetic.

31. Eat a satisfying breakfast but a light lunch (Zendy: Rice at lunch makes me drowsy after half an hour)

32. Choose protein over fat or carbs.

33. Shed a few pounds.

34. Listen to tunes while you work.

35. Start exercising.

36. Eliminate stress.

37. Have more sex - Talk about an endorphin rush! (Zendy: Hey! Ingat bende ni Touch N Go ke?)

38. Move gym time to the morning.

39. Purge low-value tasks from your todo list.

40. Avoid the mid-day cocktail.

41. Get a massage (Zendy: Thai is best)

42. Dress up.

43. Don’t drink yourself to sleep.

44. Get a thyroid test from your doctor.

45. Take a walk outside.

46. Lower your blood pressure.

47. Rotate yogurt into your diet.

48. Have a laugh. (Zendy: Blogs can be hilarious)

49. Add more cardio to your gym time.

50. Take up yoga. (Zendy: Auummm.....)

51. Eat eggs. (Zendy: Luv 'em)

52. Get a good night’s sleep - If you’re falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow (or while sitting at your desk), that’s a symptom of sleep deprivation.

53. Get more ginseng.

54. Socialize - Turn off the Internet and go socialize with friends. (Zendy: I do this too)

55. Get on your toes - Roll up and down on your toes. This stimulates your circulatory system, which will deliver much-needed oxygen and fuel (glucose) throughout your body. You’ll be more energized and sharper. You can do this right now.

Read the article in full here

The weekend's a good time to start - Aku Boleh!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Tok Mi's Thoughts on Lady Candidates

Tok Mi has 31 grandchildren ranging in age from 35 down to 9. Only 4 are married so far, which by 40's standards seem rather wanting. Still with 5 great-grandchildren, memang Alhamdulillah.

Nevertheless Tok Mi gets quite anxious when any of her unmarried grandchildren gets posted out-of-state. If it is Penang, Kedah or Perlis, you'll have to watch out for anak mami, they'll never be satisfied with any amount of jewellery you buy them. Off course that is very old school prejudice.

If Kelantan, be careful of the Cek Mek Molek Manja, Abeh here Abeh there, "your son will never be home for both rayas". But I must agree with the manja part though, these cek meks have a certain lenggok in their twang which can be rather mengancam, to say the least!

She told a budding pilot "Make sure you marry a teacher because she only works half a day and will be around more for the children. You can also take them overseas during school holidays on the fare subsidies". That must be a good testament for my brother and his wife, a retired pilot and a retired teacher, respectively.

My own son, and his Mum as well, got a talking to when she got news of him having been assigned to KK. "Sabah ladies are very friendly and hospitable and be careful not to be charmed by their beauty too, otherwise you'll get stuck living in Sabah your whole life. Just look at so-and-so, blah blah blah... blah blah blah... Zendy, watch out for him, I'm telling you this, if you want your son near to you".

Tok Mi... Tok Mi... we tell her, it's all jodoh lah. All we ask is that their jodohs be compatible with them, intellectually, physically, emotionally, are economically sound, are good practising Muslims and raise their children likewise, doakan their parents; does it matter where they come from really?

But then we can't really discount the instincts and intuitions of old folks. They have all that experience behind them, especially of human nature through life. It's good to get their blessings of whatever it is that we intend to do, after all they are the ones who pray for our success and happiness, too.

Tok Mi is flying off on a holiday tomorrow. She's leaving this advice for her hormone-raged grandchildren. Enjoy!

Sung by Hetty Koes Endang

Monday, 18 May 2009

Tok Mi Learns To Ride

Hey kiddos,

Did you all know that Tok Mi, born 82 years ago on 13th May 1927, only learnt to ride a bicycle AFTER she was married to Atok? Even AFTER she had Uncle Long too. Off course she was married at the tender age of 17 years - Sweet Seventeen, yessiree. Atok was all of 22 years. Their respective families chose a very memorable date for the wedding, well maybe not auspicious for the Chinese, but a very nice date sequence nevertheless: 4th April 1944 i.e 4.4.44! In the last century such a sequence only happened once in 11 years, and you had better catch such dates if you had any occasion worth remembering to celebrate.

Tok Mi had always wanted to ride a bicycle by herself but in the kampong in those days, virgin maidens were not to be seen nor heard, let alone ride a bicycle. Even if one does have to ride on one, it will have to be on the cross-bar sitting sideways; no respectable maiden should ever as much as sit cross-legged on the floor or astride on a buffalo, what more on the bicycle saddle.

Because of the Japanese Occupation, Tok Mi could not finish formal schooling. But somehow she ended up teaching little kampong children at the school by the T-junction. Atok was then a mechanic maintaining telephone poles. That was how he spotted Tok Mi from atop a telephone pole over-looking the school at the T-junction; and promptly decided that she was the girl he wanted to marry. Awww, isn't that cute?

As it turned out, Atok's aunt, Bik Minah was married to Wak Dollah, Tok Mi's cousin. Oh, oh there's a generational jump. But who cared. In those days, families were very large that you'd quite easily find uncles and nephews of the same age, which happened when mother and daughter were pregnant at the same time. In the present time, this can be hugely embarrassing for women, but for men they tend to be proud of that proof of their virility. Just imagine - mothers are supposed to look after their daughters in confinement, but in this situation - how?

Anyway, the arrangements were made and so they were married. The wedding entourage was transported by
kereta lembu and for the bertandang ceremony, when it was already halal, both husband and wife arrived together at the groom's kampong on a beca. Awww how sweet.

Fast-forward 3 years, the Japanese had been defeated and Atok, who was progressing in his career was transferred to KL. Tok Mi stayed with Atok's mum, Nek Wah while Atok looked for suitable accomodation in KL for Tok Mi and baby.

Uncle Long was about a year plus almost two, in age then and was a favourite with the family, being the eldest grandson. Pak Man, Atok's younger brother loved to take him for rides on his new bicycle.

One day, Tok Mi's longing to ride a bicycle took the better of her. She no longer was a maiden, to be sure, so there was no more of that taboo. Pak Man was napping in the house with Uncle Long, his one and only nephew at the time. Nek Wah was overseeing the Quran recitation class at the front verandah.

The shiny new bicycle was so inviting, Tok Mi took it to an area of the compound where there was a slight gradient and a tree trunk which she used to help her get on the bicycle. She had seen many times before how Pak Man started the cycling motion. She was already seated on the saddle, one leg on the tree trunk and the other on the upper pedal.

And then she pedalled...... It was exhilirating....... the feeling of being in control. She grinned and managed another rotation
...... WHEEEEEEEEEE........ and ............ KERAAAAAAASH!!!! into a coconut tree. IT was in the way!

Off course there was pandemonium as everyone, including the children of the Quran class ran down to see what happened. Tok Mi smiled sheepishly on the ground, while Nek Wah could only shake her ahead at her daughter-in-law's antics. Pak Man was relieved that his shiny new bicycle was not wrecked, but good-natured as he was, and still is to this day, promised to teach his gutsy sister-in-law the proper way of riding soon.

Pak Man and Mak Nab on their 50th wedding annivesary

Tok Mi did indeed manage to ride the bicycle, and about 13 years later learnt how to drive a motor-car. By that time, there were already 6 children, 5 to fetch and carry to and from 3 different schools. I have stories about this phase of Tok Mi's life too, but later OK?

I know that some of you have inherited Tok Mi's penchant for cycling. I just need to remind you to cycle safely at all times, wear proper head-gears and adequate protection for your hands and elbows. Boys / men especially always wear black shorts only please - like this:

and especially not red - like this, OK?

Friday, 15 May 2009

Sheesh...... I meant to take extended lunch break

but there is this emergency house-call from a pirate!!!

FOOD-POISONING REMEDY (source: e-mail)

Thought this is very good to share as quite often we encounter this.

With recent case on the Gelyang Serai food poisoning out break.. would
like to share the info received from a friend pls read on it may be of

When someone gets diarrhoea, sometimes the solution is so easy, we
wonder why anyone has to suffer..

The secret is in rice water.

This is already known in this region. Ask your maids -- Sri Lankan,
Indonesian, Filipina and they would know about it.

(My mother) knew about it. When Dr Albert Winsemius came to Singapore
for a farewell and thank you dinner in his honour, he brought along
his wife Aly and his granddaughter, Jolijn. Both women came down with very
bad gastroenteritis. They saw the doctor who gave them medication. It
was slow to work.

Mother boiled some rice in lots of water and went to their hotel with
two 1.5L bottles of rice water.

I cringed in shame at the offer of this folk remedy, which seemed so
primitive to me. Never heard of this cure before. To my surprise, it
worked, and they were even able to go out for dinner the next day.
Both were exclaiming how the rice water did the trick of making them well
again. Well, lucky it worked, I thought to myself.

I was discussing this some years back with Kim Ng, the ex-matron of KK
Hospital. She said, yes, that is what Professor Wong Hock Boon, the
notable paediatrician teaches. I was shocked and made some comment how
could he? It was common knowledge so what had he to do with it?

Many months later, I regretted laughing at it. Dr Christina Shanta
Emmanuel, who is the CEO of...uh, which group I have forgotten. Either
National Health Group, or Polyclinics, or whatever.. regarded me
seriously when I brought up the topic like it was good fun. She said
that Prof Wong Hock Boon had presented a paper on it. At some
conference. After he had done clinical trials.

Then his results were published in the Lancet, the Medical Journal all
doctors read. In fact, said Shanta, he was credited for saving the
lives of 2 million African babies by this method.

Ah, so! I am impressed.

It is rice water and not rice, that does the trick. I have found it
effective again and again. You take a handful of rice and boil it in a
large saucepan with lots of water. Like three or four large glasses.
Then you cool that and drink the water. If you are in a hurry to
relieve the ailing person, take the saucepan off the fire and dunk it in a
frying pan or basin of cool water with ice cubes if necessary.

This gives the patient a chance to drink the rice water sooner and
cure himself or herself sooner.

When drinking the rice water, make sure there is lots of it. You have
to tell the patient that enough water must go in to line your guts from
throat to other end, all 10 to 12 metres of it. If you take rice, it
stays in the stomach. If you take broth, some of it may go into the
small intestine.

But if you take rice water, it will carry rice grains to every inch of
your small and large intestine to the end where the problem is.

How does it work? Even Prof Wong Hock Boon doesn't know. Read the
attached file. Or go to

* <*>*

It is good to pass on the news to everyone you know because the
complaint is so common and people suffer unnecessarily. You would be
doing your friends a great favour to relieve them of their misery when
the occasion arises.

Try it and call me in the morning!


Thursday, 14 May 2009

Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

Popular song of the fifties / sixties

Remembered me joining in the chorus with my elder siblings screaming at the top of our lungs


Bik was Bik Minah, Dad's aunt
Zahera - her youngest daughter

Hehe that was really fun

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Most Beautiful Lady In The World

Kids, she's 82 years young today!

May Allah always keep Tok Mi in His Rahmah

Monday, 11 May 2009

Makmories Are Made Of These

What Kaklong, Adin and Yah
conjured up for Mak's Day

Fun Mum

Ibu Mithali (ahem)

Teacher Mum

Tyrant Mum

Exhausted Mum

Practical Mum in traffic jam

Lastly, Mak is the best medicine!


Thank you guys, you're the very, very best!!!
And that includes the far-away, Amin and Azeim, too!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Got Love Handles for Grabs?

One thing that never fails to happen whenever I start to re-organise the book cupboard is that I will become engross in a book that happens to fascinate me at the time. But that cupboard desperately needs tidying up ever since Mat took all 3 shelf-fulls of his books with him to KK. I need to relocate to the vacant shelves all the books that were double-parked including those that were stacked horizontally; and for these I will have to arrange them in the more accessible upright position. With me getting caught up in reading all the time, I'm not sure when this project will ever finish, though.

Anyway this time I found this book - "LOSE THE LOVE HANDLES" - by Dave Kuehls, amongst the few other anti-aging titles.

Let me type out an extract from the introductory page.
"Okay, guys. The first thing I want you to do with this book is close it.

That's right, close it. Put it down.
But first, remember these instructions. Once your hands are free, you are going to reach under your shirt and use your thumb and forefinger to pinch flesh above your hips. Go ahead and do that. Then come back."

A few lines down he says:

"If you pinched an inch or more, you've got youself a set of love handles, my friend. The name is amazingly inaccurate: you don't love them, and your wife or girlfriend certainly doesn't either. Ever hear women talk dreamily about getting their hand on your - lard?"

Well, after observing so many men in my five decades plus, I can attest that Malay men in general will start depositing unused fat onto their abdomens from their early forties. Hubby and his four brothers, and also my own four brothers all exhibited this same male pattern fatness. All of them were skinny when they got married, smoked and did not exercise. By the time they turned 40, their belts needed to be loosen a couple of notches, and their trousers hung higher up the ankles due to the tighter fit further up north. And most men I encounter quit smoking as they approach their 50's, which further adds to the weight problem as they begin to eat on the bounce.

This book is actually pushing a program called "30 days to an arrow-straight waist!" which sounds just like any other marketing ploy. Even the great Bill Phillips of "Body-for-Life" fame advocates a 12 week program of mainly weight-training, a proper diet of 6 small meals a day and some cardio-vascular exercise. Hubby became a gym-rat while doing this BFL program, yes he built up his muscles and spent a fortune on protein supplements but his weight stayed up and his love handles were still there for me to ....... grab?

What seems to be helping him though is sticking to 3 meals daily, with lunch being very low calorie, typically fruits and capati. Off course he still works out at the gym (he loves his muscles, I do too :-) ) and alternates that with swimming laps about 1.5 to 2 km each time). There are some tablets that he swallows, guarana and calcium I think, and he drinks coffee before bed to help maintain a fast metabolism. Hmmm the love handles are shrinking, his pants hang looser now, but the 6-pack are still eluding him, though.

Flipping through the pages, the program in this book looks quite prospective to me: three days a week of aerobics with Mondays being moderate, Thursdays intensive, and Saturdays long and steady; and two days a week of weights concentrating on the big muscle groups - back, chest, thighs and butt - because big muscles burn more calories. Hey, this might just work for my typical Mak Cik problem areas too. And it also says to eat 3 square meals a day, something I can handle. I should give it a try. It's only for 30 days anyway.

Oh dear, here goes Zendra again at yet another work-out program. If only she would make the trip to the gym more diligently than of late, she might just make that 30% body-fat sexy siren.

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Man I Had Wanted To Marry

when I was in Std. Four. I never understood any of the episodes, but I would just sit open-mouthed in front of the tv staring at Simon Templar. Goodness!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Four-dimensional Living

On the tree-lined avenue of the faithful-beloved, in the plush neighbourhood of Taman Salar, there is a house where a family of five and a maid used to live. Mama and Papa, who were were very loving parents had brought their three children up to be polite and well-mannered, and well-liked by friends and relatives. Both Mama and Papa came from large families themselves and because of their affability, their house was never short of visitors - ranging from acquaintances, work colleagues, school-mates, and also relatives from both sides. Occasionally they even welcomed sleep-overs, perhaps a cousin or a nephew or a school-mate of the children.

Sometimes Bibik the maid, a middle-aged and slightly cantakerous lady, could not quite keep track of the visitors coming and going. She would get most irritated if she found the downstairs bathroom occupied at dawn, when she wanted to take ablutions for her Subuh prayers. She would then knock hard on the door and demanded whoever it was inside to hurry, and then would go to the kitchen to put the kettle on. The bathroom would normally be vacant when she came back: such was the fierceness of her voice.

Not only Bibik, the children too once in a while would forget who was sleeping over. Especially Angah, who was at that time preparing for his PMR. He preferred to study in the living room with the television on. One night as he was half-studying and half-watching tv, an unkempt boy about ten years old walked in through the front door and asked whether there was anything to eat. Thinking he was Adik's friend, Angah nonchalantly told him to go and see for himself what was in the fridge. The only thing was it was a school night and Adik's friend shouldn't be spending the night, according to house rules.

As with all foreign domestic help, one day Bibik had to return to her home country and so the household was without a maid for a couple of months. Mama had to re-organise her schedule so that the house was at least ship-shape and the meals ready before Papa came home. She was quite efficient at it and usually by half-past six in the evening, everything would be ready and she could enjoy a shower. While in the bathroom one time, she heard the voices of children playing outside. What was weird was that when she stepped out of the bathroom, the voices stopped. Upon her peering outside the bedroom window, there was no one. Well, she thought, it must be the ringing in her ears that had not really gone away after her recent flu.

All these occurrences finally culminated one day when Mama came home to find Along's room in a big mess. She was in there to look for the video-cassettes they had rented the week before and which were now over-due. She was muttering angrily under her breath about a pig-sty but did not want to make a scene. On the way to the video shop she told Along in no uncertain terms to tidy up his room or else!

When they returned home, Along immediately went upstairs with the intention of tidying up his room. On entering he immediately called out to his mother, "Mama, thank you for cleaning my room". Mama shouted back "I DID NOT clean your room!" but went upstairs anyway. She couldn't believe her eyes! The room was as clean and tidy as if a cleaning lady had gone through it with a damp duster and a mop. Everything was arranged neatly, even the socks and underwear in the drawers, the clothes hanging in the wardrobe, the books, files and papers on the shelves, everything.

Goosebumps rose all over Mama's arms and neck. Not even Mama could do a cleaning job like that. They related it to Papa over dinner, who recalled that a few nights before when he returned home late after a function, an elderly man wearing a kupiah had greeted him with a salam just outside the gate under the big tree.

That night, feeling drained from the evening's episode, Mama left a couple of coffee mugs unwashed in the kitchen sink. The next morning, she was aghast to find that they were both clean and stacked neatly on the dish-drainer. Everyone denied washing the mugs.

Mama was extremely bewildered. This is all too creepy.

Who was it that Bibik said was frequently in the downstairs bathroom?
Who were they that Mama had heard in her bathroom?
Who was it that Angah had told to go check the fridge?
Who was it that had cleaned up Along's bedroom?
Who was it that had greeted Papa?
Who was it that had washed the dirty mugs?

They consulted someone learned in these matters. Apparently "who" was a family from a community of ANOTHER DIMENSIONAL PLANE who had already "occupied" the area for 5,000 or so years. They have staked their claim on the house and it would be almost impossible to shift them. There's nothing that could be done.

Well, Mama, Papa and the children had since moved to Laman Canna.

Would a two-storey bungalow with all modern conveniences plus an invisible but competent maid be of interest to you?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


Adoiii malunya terlepas posting itu.

Entah kenapa pagi tadi jari jemari ni melayang-layang kat keyboard melayan benak, lepas tu tak baca Bismillah terus hit publish. Tadi baca balik, buruk betul bunyi macam orang tua merajuk. Eh tapi memang dah tua pun.

Just came back from facial after gym. I haven't been to that salon in over 6 months, and the girl said, "ma'am you got no fine lines lah, only WRINKLES". Aaargh! Padan muka, every night dudok kat sini sampai tak ingat beauty sleep.

And she needs a huge dose of tutoring in PR, that girl. So I got psycho'ed into buying that wrinkle cream. But it's got glycolic acid from durian extract, at least I'm supporting the tropical fruit industry.

Adoiii malunya, itu padahnya performance-oriented sangat. Dah pencen pun nak KPI.

OK OK lah, after this 1,000 hits I go slow slow lah. Maybe once a week not so tensen hawh?

Now how am I going to reply those comments? Malunya......


Aku Pun Ada KPI

Aku tak taulah aku ni hepi ke tak hepi. Sebab masa mula-mula cuba berblog bulan dua dulu 15 haribulan, aku ada setting lah aku punya KPI. Kalau aku tak dapat 1,000 hit dalam masa tiga bulan berblog, aku bolehlah pencen, boleh tutup kementerian aku ni. Kalau dapat 1,000 atau lebih, aku sambung. Tapi nampaknya macam boleh aje capai, lagi 13 lagi last aku tengok. Sungguh tak aku sangka. Alah 1,000 bukannya banyak, orang lain dapat banyak tu dalam sehari. Tapi aku ni sapa? 1,000 dalam tiga bulan kira standadlah. Abis tu kenalah sambung ikut janji pada diri sendiri.

Tapi aku ni bab menulis ni susah dapat modal. Bagi nak ghak perah otak. Bila dah dapat tu, nak tulis pulak mengah dibuatnya. Tu maka aku banyak potong dan tampal je. Aku tengok kalau aku tulis, takde yang mengomen. Kalau ada pun, buat komen kesian gaknya. Tapi kalau aku tampal bahan, adelah juga sorang dua yang mengomen. Macamana diorang2 tu ek, pandai betul mengarang, agaknya dah memang bakat. Kalaulah komen aku jadikan KPI dah lama boleh tutup kementerian aku ni.

So macam mana ah? Nak sambung ke tidak, nak sambung ke tidak? Aku baca blog orang rajin juga. Tapi bila aku dengan tanpa malunya mengomen kat blog diorang ni, ada pulak yang nak tutuplah, cutilah lepas tu. Aku rasa macam aku ni jinx pulak. Lain kali aku baca diam-diam jelah, tak payah mengomen. Kot-kot kalau diorang tutup blog, tak lah aku rasa sebab diorang tak berkenan aku mengomen. Bukan aku anon, aku pakai nama blog aku. Haaai kenapalah aku perasan sangat ni?

Dulu ada juga aku pikir nak buat posting title "Ojo Lali Mampir". Nak tarik hit dari Indon konon. Indon kan ramai penduduk. Cepatlah naik meter aku nanti. Dulu-dulu masa aku pegi makan angin ke Singapore ikut jalan lama, ada restoran kat tepi jalan ni, nama dia tulah - "Ojo Lali Mampir". Abang Aji aku kata itu bahasa jawa. Tah macamana aku boleh ingat nama itu ye? Bunyinya menarik agaknya. Tapi rasanya tak perlu buat posting title tu lagi. Hit dah hampir cukup. Lagipun nanti dapat komen bahasa jowo, tegamam aku nanti. Budak-budak kata "kantoi!" Aku agak tak lama lagi perkataan ni akan masuk mainstream bahasa melayu baku. Kalau tak masuk, aku kantoi!

Entah tengoklah nanti, tutup ke tidak blog aku ni. 15 Mei 2009 hari penentuan, lagi sepuluh hari.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Before the PC

I find that nowadays office-people stay back longer at work than say, in the late 70's to 80's despite having so-called productivity tools like the PC, or blackberrys or cell-phones to help them in the efficiency department. Back then, when we needed to have a letter written, we drafted one in longhand (umm for younger readers, that means we wrote it out on paper) or dictated it to a stenographer or a secretary who would take it down in shorthand (which is symbolic form of writing used for fast recording of what's being said). These are later typed out on a typewriter by a typist, or by the stenographer /secretary herself.

Those days we did not have the luxury of frequent edits and re-edits, it was quite impossible on the typewriter anyway. So you'd better get your draft perfect the first time lest, if you were very junior and the typist an aging, disgruntled deadwood, you suffer the pain of getting an earful from her. Yes, we tended to get things right the first time; we spent little to no time embellishing the work but we did have to check thoroughly for typos, if only for a chance to get back at the old bag, hah! Nevertheless, we got to go home before sunset, take the kids to the play-ground, cook dinner if we were so inclined, watch tv with the other half and then go to bed.

cartoon mad typist animated gifsNow most office-people prepare their own documents on the PC, they spend endless time correcting or re-arranging the contents, they write their own e-mails, or organise their own files and whatever else. And they go home late, and the children wait up for them, and they have a hurried dinner and they fall asleep in front of the tv (sigh).

And so the position of "typist" and her tool of trade, the typewriter, is now extinct - dead as a dodo. Typing is no longer a job classification but an essential job skill, a living skill even. For those who remember the typewriter, hope you'll enjoy this classic from Jerry Lewis.

If you have forgotten, "tings" on the typewriter warns the typist of an impending end-of-line and she needs to feed in another line by pushing the carriage back to the beginning of the line.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Night Visions

I had recently declared that I could remember only one vivid dream in my life. Since then I can now recall two others, one of which had influenced a decision I made the following morning.

In the first dream, it was a bright sunny morning and I was welcoming a visiting dignitary at the office. It turned out to be my late father. My father had passed away from an illness but in the dream he was in the pink of health and smiling broadly. We hugged each other and I commented about how well he looked; he said that he had recovered fully from his sickness whilst in Mekah, where he had been. The dream was so vivid that the hug felt real. I awoke with a strange, indescribable feeling, maybe a sense of closure, I'm not sure.

In fact, hubby had a similar dream recently regarding our brother-in-law who had passed on almost two years ago. The dream was set in an usrah gathering at his house which, when he was alive, he had hosted for a period of maybe eight years or so prior (It is still on-going by the way). He was, in the dream, his normal cheery self and was engaging in some back-slapping with hubby. It had seemed so real, according to hubby, that it took him a while upon waking to realise that it was only a dream.

As Muslims, we are not supposed to speculate on dreams but then again, it's nice to know that those dreams were pleasant ones.

Al-Fatihah to both arwahs.

About six years ago, hubby and I happened to walk in on a sales promotion of a luxury condominium. We were so taken in by the marketing and promptly decided to book a unit; it was a double-storey unit on the ground level facing a nice-looking cascading swimming-pool, according to the scaled model that we saw. I had my cheque-book at the time and coolly signed off RM5,000 booking fees. The next morning, from the time I awoke until I reached the office I was contemplating the dream that I had during the night. I mentioned it to hubby who smiled and said it was up to me. At 9.00 am I picked up the phone and used my bank's tele-banking service to cancel the cheque that I had signed the previous day. Then I called up the salesperson involved and told him the news. He clearly sounded disappointed, and understandably so since I had denied him a fat commission.

So what had I dream? In the dream, I saw on the construction site of the condominium, a HUMONGOUS PILE OF PUTRID SMELLY DOG POO AS TALL AS A MOUNTAIN!

Had you been me, wouldn't you have made the same decision?

Well, the third dream was a good one, so they said. In the dream, hubby and I were just married (in real life at that time we had been married about 15 years already) and we were waiting to take our place at the pengantins' table at the kenduri. On the menu was bubur asyura. As we were waiting at the doorway, the bubur asyura suddenly started spilling from the huge kawah over-flowing onto the floor and into the reception area. Nobody could stop the flow and it seemed to flow and flow. Then I awoke.

According to a few people at the office, it was a good omen. I don't know, but not too long after that, I was given a promotion. Alhamdulillah!

Good-night and Sweet Dreams........................