Remembering/Missing My Mother…

I lost my mother in 1975 when I was only 13 years old. That was a good 34 years ago!

I can’t even remember how it would be to have a mother now. I grew up without one, esp during my adolescent years. I always envy people who still have mothers. I try my very best to be nice to MIL so that I can be like one of her own girls. After 28 years, I have to admit defeat. DIL remains DIL.

My mother was very strict but at the same time caring. I would stay away from her when she was angry (normally it was when I didn’t clear the mess in the house, or added more mess!). She seldom hit me, but when she did, she really gave me a good beating – sometimes with marks that lasted for a few days. Despite that, I never dared to answer her back, definitely not with a loud voice. Any answering back was more of explaining/defending myself, but most of the time she just refused to listen.

Despite that, I remember that whenever she got angry, I was at fault.

One story that stays with me was whenever she sewed me a new dress – most of my dresses then were sewn by her. If I refused to wear it (normally because it’s too itchy with laces/ruffles), she never failed to tell me her life history. She lost her mother when she was hardly 5! She grew up with an auntie who was poor, and who would give her a new dress ONCE a year. Each time she got it, it would be a size or two bigger than her actually size, so that the dress could last her until the next year! This would normally happen just before raya (dress for raya). She told me that when she got the dress, she’d hide herself behind the door and cry. She longed to have her own mother. I know exactly how she felt because I felt that way too every raya, even though I always managed to get a nice pair of dress – from aunties/cousins who were nice enough to either give me fabric (for me to sew my own dress) or sew the dress for me. Yes, I started sewing baju kurung when I was 12!

Mother was married off when she was about 12 or 13. The marriage didn’t work out. She was a divorcee, and only met my dad when she followed someone to Singapore (looking for work). Prior to that mum was making local kuihs for sale.

On a slightly different note, I am not sure if I am a good mother or not. I try my best, but my best may not be “up to my kids’ standard”.

I don’t remember raising my voice to my mother. I know sometimes I did answer back and irritated her, but somehow I feel that it was not as much as what my kids sometimes do to me.

I hardly raised my voice to MIL. Actually only ONCE I did so – I was driving in the jam of Seberang Prai, trying to look for signage to follow, to get onto the Penang Island. There were so many trailers, lorries, and other cars. MIL and FIL were arguing on “nothing significant”. It was so annoying that I had to raise my voice to get them to stop doing so, so that I could focus on my driving. I swear, THAT was the only time I actually raised my voice. Later that night all of us laughed at it. DH has NEVER raised his voice to his mum for as long as we can remember.

But now, my children answer us back (in the tone that I do not fancy) regularly. Do I deserve it? I always ask myself that. I must have done something wrong somewhere, some time, I guess to deserve this. I don’t know, but what I know is that I do get hurt. Instead of me “merajuk”, most of the time it would be my kids who merajuk 🙁 .

Or maybe I’ve not been a good mother?  Every time one of my kids hurts my feelings (especially with this “answering back” in high note), I get hurt, and each time I question myself what I’ve done wrong to deserve this? Have I been a bad mother? One thing for sure, I keep on telling myself to avoid getting in that scenario again. You bet I am afraid of my kids! 🙁

If I live long enough to become fragile, I wonder if any of my 6 kids would be kind enough to tolerate me? Or maybe I’ll just end up in an old folks home? Masha Allah….

To my kids, if you are reading this, like what I’ve mentioned before, I never had a proper “role-model” mother. I only learn how to raise kids from sitcoms like “Family Ties”, “Diff’rent Strokes”, “Happy Days”, and the like. I may not have raised all of you the correct way, or the preferred way. Forgive all my short comings. Your dad and I always try our best to give you the best we can. We may not be as good as your dream parents but we surely love all of you and try our best. The next time you want to raise you voice to me, or “tarik muka masam” I hope you think again. That is IF you really care. Otherwise, go ahead, and do whatever pleases you!

An Iranian Lunch

Yesterday and today I had meetings at Putrajaya. Yesterday I drove to the “Park and Ride” area, left my car, and took the “Nadi Putra” bus to Parcel C of the government complex.

Today, DH was nice enough to send me to my meeting place (same venue as yesterday). Like yesterday, I finished today’s meeting at 1pm (yeah, no sooner!), and when DH came to fetch me he was very hungry. We decided to check some eateries in Cyberjaya:


WE saw some nice ones, like the Secret Recipe:


Hey, what’s on the right-most hand side? An Iranian restaurant?

We agreed to try this Ariana Iranian restaurant:


DH ordered something lamb with vegetable briyani (or something that looks colourful), while I opted for the chicken curry with white rice and garden salad:


A close-up o DH’s lunch:


and my harmless portion:


When we were into our meals, we saw other patrons ordering something grilled – sheesh kebab!! Next time, ok?

DH liked his meal. As for me, the curry was ok (as my FIL would normally say “buleh kkiro”). The garden salad was too sour (the dressing, I mean) to my liking. Luckily DH helped to finish it, otherwise I’d feel bad ordering something and then not eating it.

By the look of the crowd, it looks like the joint is quite popular 🙂 .

After the lunch, DH sent me back to my office. I only arrived home at 8.30pm. I had not updated my Facebook status since Sunday, and am quite behind with my e-group reading/posting of messages. Not enough time to even “just read” them.

People talk about stress in life (at home and at work place). I refuse to let myself get too demoralised by any stress, so, I might get stressed out for a while, then very soon I’d be back to my normal self.

Life is too short to waste on stress!

Meeting A Long Lost Friend

Let’s continue where I stopped. On Friday, we finished the training at SUK Perak  at 4.30pm, and after dismantling the training server and packing our stuff, we left the place at 5pm heading home.

We were unlucky because on the PLUS Highway, we came to a halt for about 30 minutes due to an accidentt. Then when we started to move again, it rained heavily all the way until we entered Selangor. I sent a colleague to her home in  Kota Damansara (stopped for prayers too), sent another colleague back to office (where she parked her car), got some of the programmers (who were wrapping up their work) to come down and take the server upstairs, then only headed home. I reached home at 9.45pm.

The following day (Saturday/yesterday), DH and I took MIL to Zuhaimi’s clinic for some check up. When he said MIL and FIL were fit to  travel, we agreed to send them back to Kota Bharu. I had to give the 2nd “Makcik Bloggers Meet” at Kay’s place a miss 🙁 . I already missed the first one. Duty to the parents is more important than this.

So, at 11am, we started the journey, arriving at MIL’s home at 6.30pm.

Along the journey, I managed to call a long lost friend who is now working in Pahang. Ihah was one of the only 2 female classmates whom we couldn’t trace, until 2 days ago! The other one was Fauziah, who happened to be working somewhere new Ihah’s place. I called her too but there was no answer.

I am so happy that I finally managed to talk to Ihah over the phone. I told her about the 4th July gathering. I hope she will be able to make it. It’s going to be a grand one  – 30th anniversary since we left school!

Since I am back in Kelantan, though for less than 24 hours, I decided to do some “Jejak Kasih”. I called a school friend whom I’ve not met for over 30 years (yes, that long!) and we agreed that DH and I will visit his house after 10pm.

In the drizzling rai n, we searched for his house. After a couple of phone calls, we finally arrived there. Saipul was not home yet, but his missus, Mah, had already cooked some spaghetti for us! Delicious too.

Soon Saipul came home, and before we knew it, we were all in the family area, and I added him to our egroup 🙂 .

I also showed him some pix of our previous gatherings. He was so keen to see the current faces of our mutual friends whom he has not met since he left school.

Here’s one of the pix taken by DH last night:


It was soon midnight, so we had to leave, but not without taking some photos.

Here’s a pic of me with him:


And here’s a photo with his family:


His other child ( a girl and the eldest) is now studying in UNITEN.

To Mah, thank you for the spaghetti and drinks, and for being so sporting and patient to entertain us until it was even past midnight!

3D2N in Ipoh

I arrived in Ipoh on late Wednesday evening (2 days ago). It was drizzling and I tried my luck at Taman Maju Rapat – visited Zan’s place. I was lucky, she was home!

Zan was my closest colleague when I was a teacher in Sek Men Teknik, Persiaran Brash from 1986 until 1991. Even after we left Ipoh, we still came to visit her & family, and vice versa for several years. Unfortunately, for the past few years, we must have been caught up with our own things that wwe didn’t manage to keep on doing that. Twice before my family and I came to their home, but they were not in.
The last time DH and I met Zan & hubby (Sabri) was in 2003, and of all places, we met up in a shop in Mecca! Since then Zan and I have been on the phone from time to time. I think if given the time to just chat, both of us can easily use up a marathon of 24 hours (non-stop!).

Anyway, that evening, despite the shortage of time, we did a lot of catching up before we went out (with her DH and 2 youngest daughter) for dinner.
I snapped 2 pix using my phone but they are not very clear 🙁
They then lead me to my hotel, The Tower Regency.

Yesterday (Thursday) I was at SUK Perak with my colleagues, conducting some software training. The SUK’s Perdana came to fetch us and sent us back 🙂 .

Last night we had dinner at an outdoor restaurant in Maju Rapat, before we went to visit Kak Ani. Kak Ani was my next door neighbour when my family was staying here between 1986 and 1991. Our first 3 kids were about the same age. The last time we met was when Kak Ani’s eldest daughter (Dayah) got married last year.

Later today will be the last day of the training (my two colleagues have been here since Monday evening), after which we will just drive back home.

Update on Sunday 29th March:

When the SUK Innova came to fetch us (to be sent back to hotel for a quick checkout), I managed to snap this pic:


I then drove my faithful Mitsubishi spacewagon round ipoh, looking for Pasar Besar Minta (formerly known as Super Kinta). I had forgotten my bearing, but eventually I managed to find it:


We stayed at the new Tower Regency Hotel. The lobby is spacious:


but I think the food is lousy. Some Ipohites agreed with me. I only went for the breakfast on the first day, and gave it a miss on the second day. I instead had mine at SUK Perak (they provise breakfast instead of 10am break).

View from our 2bedroom appartment:


I could see my car from above:


Still south view, but a bit to the west:


View towards the east:


Another one:


The Ipoh City Council building on the top lefthsnd side:


For more pix, please visit my gallery  here.

The gallery is not complete yet. Will try to upload all pix tomorrow night.

The Passing of Another Friend :-(

Barely 4 days after losing a primary school friend (YI) last Friday, early this morning I was shocked to get the news of the demise of another school friend, Mahisham. Mahisham is my secondary school classmate (who happened to know YI (during some state centralised trainings).

Mahisham contracted pneumonia, and was admitted to the hospital about 2 weeks ago. We knew about Mahisham’s illness, and a few of us (not including me, of course) who are in Kota Bharu have been visiting him regularly at the hospital. Last night I read about Ita (who lives in KL) visiting him there!

When I first heard that he was admitted, I tried calling him but my call was unanswered. Later that day  he sms-ed me, telling me that he was on oxygen mask. He however called me last Tuesday and forced himself to talk to me for a few seconds (he sounded very week. That’s the last time I heard his voice, too) before he passed the phone to another common friend, Saiful, whom I’ve not met for over 30 years. That’s how thoughtful Mahisham was. He knew I was asking around about Saiful, so when Saiful went to visit him at the hospital, he remembered it and made the call.

Mahisham was an English teacher. An active and dynamic one, mind you. He just told me recently (before he came down with the illness) over the phone that he’s in the midst of writing an English book and pursuing his PhD! As one of our classmates in a boarding school, you can expect us to be quite close to each other. Only time that separated all of us. In 2004, I managed to visit him while he was on duty in school (just before school dismissed) and he looked very cheerful, and I have to say both of us were as delighted to be able to meet up after we went separate ways over 25 years earlier.


I also blogged about him when he came out top student in Open University three years ago.

Mahisham was never married and lived with his mother.

Updated at 1pm, 24th March 2009:

An x-student of Mahisham’s who left 2 comments on this page has blogged here.

will continue later….

The Passing of A Friend – Yusof Ismail

Two days ago (Saturday), I saw an sms from a primary school  friend, informing me of the passing of our friend, Yusof Ismail(YI), just the night before. The guy who sms-ed me was Yusof Yaacob (YY).

yi_1Yusof Ismail, the last time I saw him, during a re-union in 2002!

Yeah, we used to have 2 Yusofs in the class, and YI is known as the Big Yusof, while YY is known as the Small Yusof.

YI succumbed to diabetes. A few weeks ago YY sms-ed me, and also wrote in our e-group about YI being admitted into the hospital in Kota Bharu, and had his leg amputated 🙁 .

Let’s see how much I can remember about YI…

YI and I were classmates the moment I came back to Kelantan from Singapore in 1970. We were in primary 2. YY was still in a different class then. Later all three of us, plus a few others became and remained classmates until we finished our primary school.

I do have special memories of YI. First, we were both the tallest boy and girl, respectively in the class, so, many friends liked to tease us. YI seemed to enjoy the teasing, but not me. We had a love-hate relationship – I liked him as a friend but when he started making passes at me, I hated it.

Later I found out that even his family knew about me! I didn’t like that either. Actually I was fuming with anger! Despite that, when he competed in sports, together with other friends, I would cheer for him!

On the other hand, I built a special relationship with his father. He was a well-known cab-driver in town, and a very nice man, was always extremely nice to me! When I was in secondary school, and had to take the cab to go back to Kota Bharu (i.e. to school), and YI’s dad, who was affectionately known as “Tok Ayah”, would make sure I got the front seat (next to the driver), so that I didn’t have to sit with other strangers, especially male passengers.  It was so even if it was not his turn to drive. Those cabs, or “kereta sewa” would only make a move when it gets 4 passengers for each trip. Tok Ayah would refer to me as his “daughter-in-law-to-be” (Menantu Ayah), of course jokingly, and I just had to put a smiling face. I just didn’t have the heart to tell this jovial man that I would never fall for his son, who always faired poorer than me in class! (I might sound aloof,   but reality is, I needed someone I could look up to, to be “that special person” to me).

(remembering the comics of Tok Ayah always makes me smile alone 🙂 )

I was told by other friends that YI was actually a few years older than the rest of us. He started schooling in a Malay school, and later when he wanted to join our school (National-type English Primary School), he started in primary 1 again! I don’t know how his parents forged his birth certificate, but in those days, it was no uncommon for people to do so.

YI was active in sports, and he was The MSSK (Majlis Sukan Sekolah-sekolah Kelantan) Sportsman for 2 yearsi.e. 1973 (I think) and 1974. He became the champ for high jump and long jump (under-12 category) – no surprise, right?

Here’s a photo of us when we were in primary 4 (10 years old?). I found the photo in the photo folder of our e-group (thanks to YY, who is the one standing in the middle row, far right):


I am the one standing behind the headmistress, (the late) Puan Rabiatul (the teacher in the middle), and YI is the one standingbetween me and the girl in the pinafore (back row). I know the pic is too small but at least you have some idea how tall YI was, and how tall I was too 🙂 .

I didn’t see YI again after I left primary school. I actually saw more of Tok Ayah then!

The first and the last time I met him (after we left primary school), was during a re-union (during Raya) in 2002. The above pic was taken then. Here’s a pic of us having food together, and reminiscing the good old time:


There’s a bit of me on the right (in red).

I remember YI was telling us that her daughter was getting married 🙂 .

I am glad I had that chat with him then. To my other friends, when are we going to have another re-union?

We can’t wait for too long. Life is indeed very short!

Another Oldie…

I woke up today, read Nuni’s latest blog, and her last paragraph reminded me of this song:

It’s the song “All My Friends Are Getting Married” by Skyhooks.

Here’s the lyrics:

All my friends are getting married
Yes, they’re all growing old
They’re all stayin home on the weekends
They’re all doin what they’re told

Well I looked into the crowd the other night
And I saw an old familiar face
He said, “How are you doin, Shirl my boy?”
He said, “Tell me, are you playin the same old place?”
I asked him all about himself
And he said that he was married with a kid
Showed me a picture of his wife
And we talked about all those things we did

All my friends are getting married … etc …

Sometimes I feel like I’m left behind
And sometimes I feel like I just left school
Wonder if I’ll ever grow up
Maybe I’m the only fool

All my friends are getting married … etc …

But I’m all caught up in this magic
Yes I’m all caught up with this fun
I’m all caught up with this music
Maybe I’ll never have a son
Well maybe I’ll never have a son

All my friends are getting married … etc …

I never realised that Skyhooks is an Australian band, but the song surely brings back memories of good old days 🙂 .

I used to enjoy the song, despite me being married when the song was top then.

I’m really grateful to Internet. Almost everything you need to know is there. The above clip reminded me of “Hey, hey, I’ts Saturday” and Daryl Somers, and I just get all the info on the Internet!

A Camera, A Wedding, A Departure and Some Hot Air Balloons

Today DH and I started the day by going to TNT warehouse to collect a parcel. It’s a Canon Powershot Camera that he redeemed from his credit card points. The camera is for Nafis.

Then we had a quick breakfast at the nearby mamak stall (Khulafa’s, to be exact), before buying some roti canai for the kids.

After their breakfast, we got ourselves ready to attend the wedding reception in Taman Melawati. We only left the place close to 3pm. Stopped at Digital Mall because DH wanted to buy a new SD card for the new camera. Nuni managed to get her dad to buy her an 8G thumb drive too 🙂 .

WE arrived home for a brief rest, during which I managed to sew a casing for Fis’ new camera, using some fabric I bought in NZ last year. Soon we headed to LCCT to send Fis back to school.

On our way back from LCCT, as planned, we stopped at the Putrajaya International  Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2009.

Nuni and DH went there yesterday.  Read Nuni’s blog here.

Arriving at about 6.45pm (The  balloon started to lift off at 5.30pm), we thought we were late. But we were contented to be able to see a few. One cute one is that of a clown.


As Nuni, Aina and I walked closer to the park where they launched the balloons, I saw a lot of people leaving. We thought that was it then, until we saw some of them started inflating the elephant-shape balloon called “Nelly-B”.  (pic later).

Nelly-B didn’t really got off the ground though, despite seeing a couple of attempts, soon there were aborted.

Nuni and Aina were busy taking pictures (Aina using my Lumix). Later I told them I was disappointed not to be able to see the Nescafe mug-shaped balloon.

Suddenly Nuni said to me, pointing to another balloon being inflated, “That one has Nescafe on it”. True enough, it was the Nescafe mug-shaped balloon! Even though it didn’t lift off the ground, I was happy enough to see it fully inflated.

As more people were leaving, and we were also thinking of leaving, another group inflated another balloon. This one was also for show only (i.e. it didn’t leave the ground), and I think it was worth the show. It’s in the shape of a peacock! Again, pic later ya? Or you can visit Aina’s blog for one that Aina took herself?

We were informed that that would be some night activities there, but we didn’t want to wait, so we went home, stopping over at McD for a quick dinner.

A busy day today, and tomorrow we are going to Seremban to send Mae, and then to Melaka to send MIL and FIL – they requested us to send them there (even though they could have followed my SIL today). Can’t resist old folks’ request, can we? 😉