Tuesday 22 September 2009

..the magic of raya..

..yes, it was a joyous raya..my children came, along with my grandchildren..nieces and nephews..brothers and sisters-in-law.. and neighbours..

.it was riotous, with the children milling and running, crying and shouting..fighting over raya money...

..there was also a little drama... played out in front of all the children and adults alike, when my second and my sixth daughters, mothers of two children each, kissed and hugged, and cried and patched up, over their almost two month quarrel... over something trivial and forgotten but the hurt remembered..

..yes, for this old man the magic of raya was still there...even at 64..it was, after all, a time to forgive..and for this oldster, seeing my 4 adult daughters and a son from a previous marriage, mingling freely with their other 4 brothers and sister, children from a second marriage, and calling affectionately their stepmother Cik Ani, the joy of raya was complete..

..Praises be to Allah..life has a way of not turning out the way we wanted..but whatever way it turned out, that was what Allah had meant it to be..

Tuesday 15 September 2009

..raya ramblings..

..the raya songs is getting to me..

..sometimes, we just do not see things in perspective..God created this universe so vast that it is nigh impossible for man to circumvent it..and He filled it with trillions upon trillions of stars and other mysterious objects that man just cannot keep track of it..and never ceased to wonder over it..

..and somewhere within this vastness is a tiny speck of dust that we called home...earth..the only one we know, and the only one we have..

..yet, we chose to fight over every little thing that we thought is ours..we fought over a lil bit of land, over a lil bit of water..we declare war over a matter of language,.over creed, race and over every petty little thing..sometimes over nothing...we see enemies lurking in every shadow..

..we failed to see that this whole planet earth, this tiny speck of dust, is ours to keep..and it is ours to share, and care...for we are His caliphs..but our time on it is so brief..

..and so, with the end of Ramadhan near...and IdilFitri just around the corner, I am standing to be counted..I am standing before God, in all humility, seeking His forgiveness..for all my failures and sins..for my misdeeds and transgressions..

..before my wife and ex-wives I stood, too..please find the grace in your hearts to forgive me..I am not the best of husbands..nor the man you all thought I was...I do not have the qualities that you all seeked..I am just what I am borned to be..a man without pretensions, trying hard to carry the mantle of caliphship and faltered trying...

..and before my children..for I am not the best of fathers...and there are times when my ego blinded me to your needs..actions only after bouts of regrets..this old man is standing before you now..please forgive your father his inadequacies..his faults and his wrongs..

..and I stand before my friends..forgive me if I did not turned out to be the friend that I am supposed to be..

..selamat Hari Raya IdilFitri...

Thursday 10 September 2009

..talking excrement..

..once in a while, this old coot made trips to Kota Bharu, which is about 20 kilometers from home in Bachok..ten years ago those trips were a daily affair, and in my Peugeot 405, I covered the distance in 15 minutes, sometimes less...

..now in a Kancil 660, I took 45 minutes to one hour.. at a fair clip of 80 kph..but traffic has quadrupled..and jams in Kubang Kerian are a common feature..more so with the Ramadhan Bazaar near the traffic lights drawing the crowds and aggravated with this peculiar Kelantanese habit of parking their cars as near as possible to where they intend to shop..

..on a trip back with the missus one Friday evening, after getting a week supplies of groceries and knickknacks from Tesco, we were caught in a slow crawl just before the bazaar..we were talking, yet not really talking..a family with three very young children in tow was trying to cross the road..

..suddenly the missus became nostalgic..she remembered her eldest son, Afiq, now 22, when he was three..he was a bit sickly when small..and prone to diarrhea..there was this particularly bad case when he spewed shit all over the house..and the missus remembered how she went through the house with a rag and a pail, collecting shit as she went..

..she chuckled as she told me that as a girl she could never stand excrement of any kind..be it human or animal..she would vomit..hmm..I did not know that..she never told me that before..and the way she handled all the shit from our five children without a shudder, I would never would have thought that possible..

..I looked at this woman whom I married when she was 26 and me at life's beginning 40..after decades of marriage, we are comfortable even talking about shit..

..how come?..I asked..she pondered upon an answer..by now the family with the three kids in tow had safely crossed the road..their son had a fair resemblance of Afiq as a kid..

..oh, I don't know..she said, without looking at me, and without realising it, she spoke for all the mothers when she continued, 'somehow when it is your own life and blood, it doesn't feel like shit'...

..I was silent for a moment..thinking.. ..the measure of a mother's love..unreserved and unconditional..shit and all..


Wednesday 2 September 2009

..facial mask and Ramadhan Bazaar..

..not having much to do during the Merdeka holidays, I thought perhaps it was the proper time for me to check up on the Ramadhan Bazaar at Beris Kubur Besar, Bachok..I heard there is a young couple there who operates a fish-grill stand..grilling mainly torpedo scads..ikan cencaru..topped with sambal..and they are attracting the crowds daily..seemed that their grilled torpedoes are out of this world..

..it will be crowdy, the missus warned..but I was prepared for that, showing her my newly picked facial-mask..no, it was not the N-series, but good enough..and so, armed with a facial-mask, I left for the bazaar..

.the missus was right, as she usually was..there was nowhere to park and the crowd was bumper-to-bumper..but I waded in..zeroing towards the torpedoes..the smell of grilled fish and smoke and a myriad of other smells overwhelmed..even through my facial-mask..I raised my hand to adjust it.

..and then it hit me...wham! ..I froze in my tracks..scanned the crowd slowly..a gradual pan with my right artificial lense..I was the odd one out..no one was wearing facial-masks..except this old geezer...no wonder that sweet young thing gave me a lingering glance..in a sea of anxious and hungry faces, I was the only Zorro in reverse..what the heck..

..so...what happened?..what happened to the sometimes swine-flu, sometimes H1N1 scare?..I thought the number of deaths were mounting..there was even a suggestion that the government declare a state of emergency..

..I bought my fish and slowly beat a retreat..