Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Heart is Full

Congratulations Lil!
While I am writing this my son is sitting close to me slurping his share of the instant curry noodles. The gravy, runny and thin, the noodles slightly soggy with an egg poached in the centre makes staying indoor in this rainy season such a treat. Come evening, heavy showers clean our porch diligently. Big puddles decorate our grassy patch making them the perfect natural pool for sneaky feet to trample on. In the background, behind the screen of my laptop, the bigger kids are throwing the big cushions on the floor. One has dressed up as Batman, the other is stretching the skipping rope as the main obstacle. From the looks of it, they are probably making some sort of a safety net to cushion their precarious jumps.

 As I look on, I can't help but wonder about my own safety net. Have I created one for the kids if ever something were to happen to me. Would they be alright in my absence? There will be many falls in real life and if I could not be there for each one of them, the best thing to do is to equip them with a good pair of feet. So whenever they fall, they would fall strong and jump back to safety.

...and grooming them into Batman is a good start. :o)

I am listening to this song below with the kids. Part 0:46 is so so so so true.;o)


Sunday, December 9, 2012


I'm here. Is anyone there?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Berlalulah Sudah Ramadhan

 Sebulan genap kita berpuasa,
Semoga digolongkan pada orang berjaya,
Diperintah sudah oleh Yang Berkuasa,
Sesudah berpuasa kita beraya.

 Aidilfitri hari kemenangan,
Kejayaan menempuh pelbagai halangan,
Mengenali erti nilai kesenangan,
Bagi mereka yang serba kekurangan.

 Aidilfitri hari kemaafan,
Menghapus kesalahan sesama insan,
Memupuk perpaduan sesama ehsan,
Mengikat kuat tali keakrapan.

Jelita sungguh Puteri Barbie
Berkain cindai cantik dipandang
Meriah menyambut Aidilfitri
Sahabat handai datang bertandang

 Memukul gendang pelbagai gaya,
Amat meriah riang gembira,
Ramai bertandang di hari raya,
Tersenyum riang sanak saudara.

Negara kita aman sentosa
Jangan dilupa orang terinyanya
Makan sudah baju bergaya
Orang fakir jangan dilupa
 Tanpa mengira miskin kaya
Pangkat kedudukan hamba shaya
Sama-sama menyambut raya
Maaf-maafan dihari bahagia  


Sungai disusur sehari-hari
Dalam gelap menangkap ikan
Kami menyusun sepuluh jari
Salah dan silap harap maafkan

Adik tersayang segak bergaya
Mengait kuih di atas para
Suasana riang di hari raya
Bermaaf-maafan riang gembira

Gemersik takbir mengundang hiba,
Salam diutus tanda ingatan,
Syawal dinanti menjelang tiba,
Salam diutus pohon kemaafan.
Dalam kerendahan hati ada ketinggian budi,
Dalam kemiskinan harta ada kekayaan jiwa,
Dalam kelembutan lidah ada juga keterlanjuran kata, 
Dalam gurau & senda tentu ada khilaf & dosa.
 Mohon ampun dan maaf jika ada terlanjur kata,  terkurang rasa, dan terburuk rupa.
Terima Kasih kepada yang menempah kek dan biskut raya drp wizcakes.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri,
Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

wiz dan keluarga.

Koleksi pantun drp google.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1, 2...Juice!

I bent down slowly to squat on my toes and peered into the lower half of the fridge just to check if I had enough greens for that day. The basin I brought with me always seemed too small to carry my harvest. I ended up coming back for a second round. The plucking began with the green  and red apples, pears, lemon, oranges, and a very ripe guava I managed to grab at a "reduced to clear" price. The vegetables consisted of broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and a dozen of belalai gajah leaves. I never peeled the fruits but only cut them in chunks before cramming all of them inside the blender. Blitzed the beautiful content a couple of seconds before the sieving process began. I normally get a big jug of the green juice leaving me a bowlful of the fibre behind. I try not to discard as much, most of the time using the remnants for our dish for that day. Our food centers around the fruits and vegetables used and so far I have done variations of curries, nasi goreng, currypuff, poppiah, murtabak, nuggets, all using the leftovers for our iftar. It saved us many trips to the pasar ramadhan. I reckoned, we would have enough food on the table for iftar this year by just surviving on veges and fruits alone.  My kids who have never given vegetables a second look prior to this project, have eaten all that I have prepared, maybe because they were just hungry to be fussy and alhamdulillah for that.

If anyone were to ask me, what is the kids' favourite food using the remnants from our juice, it would definitely be pizza! It was the only food that they were confident enough to eat without any alarming thoughts of braving through a sea of veges.  They looked victorious and enjoyed every slice and finished one large pan in one seating. Then came the expected question "...guess, what's inside the pizza?" :o)

This is my trusted pizza base recipe. I tweaked the pretzel recipe and came up with this. 

You need to prepare the pizza base first before the filling. The recipe is in the picture. All you need to do is mix the packet of yeast into the lukewarm water and leave it for 10 minutes. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well until a soft dough is formed. Leave to rise for 30 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the pizza filling by slicing a large yellow onion. Then lightly fry it till fragrant. Scoop about 4 tablespoon of chillie sauce and 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce and fry together with the onions. Put in a teaspoon of oregano leaves, pepper and salt to taste and lastly your minced veges from your juice. Mix well until it looks like a thick tomato paste.

Take the dough and knead it well. Roll it thinly and stretch it evenly onto your pizza pan. ( I just used my tudung periuk, not the ones yang pandai menari lagu putera mahkota, though.) Spread the vege paste onto our pizza base before the generous amount of the other cooked ingredients like sausages or chicken and beef strips. For a little bit of sweetness you can go Hawaiian by adding pineapples. Then comes the cheese, put as much or as little as you want and sprinkle a little bit of chilli flakes before baking.

Not baked yet.

ready to be enjoyed.

The first thing my son said after his first bite was "...sedapnya Ma! first time mama buat tak der sayur2 yg Anin nak kena kluarkan."

keh keh keh ...and so he thought.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Gift of Giving

 The gesture of giving something meant to be given, 
Makes any day, a meaningful celebration.
Gifts come in big packages, some in  boxes so petite, 
Others are conveyed via words, in any way, they are alwiz a treat.

Some like them pretty, others like them plain instead, 
But  I love mine in paper bags with a simple ribbon to decorate.
It's all about what's inside, but please don't be mistaken,
The gift comes secondary, what's  inside your heart is more important.

So give, give, give, not just presents wrapped in a fancy decoration.
Give your time, your effort, your kind words that need to be mentioned.
Give a nod of appreciation if you are least in the mood,
Or simply give a smile ...when you know you should and you could.

Give a prayer to strangers, wishing them good things in your heart,
And the angels will offer the same prayer for you, whilst you are in their guard.
It needs not be an expensive gift, or an extravagant present,
A sincere salam to the toll lady would lift her spirits up to heaven.

And once you have given all that the heart speaks true,
There will come a time when all the gifts will return to you.
A friend offers her time to hear you out,
When sometimes you feel like you want to shout.

Another comes running to your rescue,
When she stays back to finish your work with you.
When your car breaks down and you have the urge to cry,
A helpful stranger from nowhere, suddenly drops by.

And in some moments when work buries you in your place,
A smile from the kids turns that frown into a happy face.
Feel free to give as much as you know how,
And you will receive so much more, ... maybe later, maybe now.

And if I could help you choose a gift that stays in someone forever,
And remembers you, not only  for your lovely gesture,
I would hand you a piece of my heart and my soul goes into them too.
They are the core ingredients of all the cakes that I do.

All packed in the way I like to see them best,
Flavours of the delicious three, in a simple paper bag.
Try and give them to your colleagues
And witness a smile from their faces so big.

Your boss I'm sure would fancy them too,
He is just too shy to say it to you.
Your family would be delighted if you bring these back,
You can enjoy three different flavours all in one stack.

And when you feel you have given enough to all the people that matter,
Let's not forget to reward yourself later.
Take a spoon and open a pack with unabated relish,
For it's alright once in a while, have the cake to yourself and  be selfish!


Cake bars in white paper bags,

All three in one stack.

Some come in brown packages tied up with string,

These are a few of my favourite things.

Flavours of the three:

1. Choc fudge cake drenched in chocolate fudge sauce with couverture chocolate shavings.
2. Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting sprinkled with crunchy toasted almond flakes.
3. Jaffa cake, an orange cake drizzled with chocolate sauce and topped with orange cream and choc chips.

All these for RM50

Have a prosperous month of giving, and as we know it already, tis' the most beautiful thing.

To order, please drop me "The Gift" email addressed to 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Once Upon A Crime ( Part 1)

Thanks so much Tok Ma!

 It rained that evening, setting a cosy mood to unwind with friends over a bowl of instant noodles. The best seat of the house was always by the window, on my roommate's  bed, overlooking the road down below, just so we could  watch some seniors  crowding the uncle's van for some knick knacks! There was no entertainment in the house other than Shake's radio and Sheila Majid was constantly singing "Lagenda",  the DJ's favourite song choice, hence the gawking at the handsome seniors who always happened to be buying their ration at the uncle's van. Perhaps they knew there was an appreciating crowd above them every time and perhaps they liked the undivided attention. "Perhaps...", I was in my  third perhaps when I spotted my cousin's car in a distance approaching the parking area, happy, i jumped out of Shake's bed and ran down to meet her. At that time there was no such thing as handphones or emails and we communicated with the outside world by lining up at the phone booth patiently. I didn't know she was going to visit neither did I know how that night would  change the course of my life, ( putting this in exaggeration actually). And so  the story began...

The chilly night created a happy mood for everyone. The other students were walking about, chatting with packets of snacks in their hands, munching noisily. You could actually hear the crunches each time they took a bite of the Twisties or Cheezels or Roller Coaster. I was tempted to grab a packet from the uncle but I was too excited to see my cousin and  desperately hoping she had brought better food to be shared with me in the car. I hastened my steps to reach her car and to my surprise she brought my other cousin who just came back from the UK with her. 

"...kakyong!!!!!, awak pun ade? bestnyer!" Both of them were smiling from their seats and welcomed me with endless  chatters only cousins would be able to understand.

Kak Lin and Kakyong are my two elder cousins, the people I shriek,  and roll my eyes to, for communication. There was never a time, when we meet that we do not shriek in between chuckles or roll our eyes to something. There are often important stories to discuss and to analyze with great intensity on how they would affect the world we live in, including the green house effects as well as the environmental issues relating to them. :o) With our analytical views towards anything and everything, our chats are very animated, with hand gestures flying in the air and shrieks and laughters that could penetrate any sound proof windows. I reckoned, it did that night, when we were in the car, talking endlessly as if we would never see each other again. I remember kakyong was reading an airmail and sharing the content with the rest of us when there was a loud knock on the passenger's seat window.

"Keluar! keluar!"

 I searched the face who directed me to exit  the car and it was the male security guard for the girl's block who was on duty at that time.

"Kenapa pakcik? ada apa? I asked in bewilderment. He then asked for my matric card and looked at me with disgust and bent down to look at my cousins in the car.

" baru pukul 10 lebih ni jer, belum curfew lagi pakcik." I defended my action as if I needed one. He then said out loud and directed me to go in right away. "Masuk!, masuk sekarang!"
And at that moment time stood still for me. The handsome seniors weren't no longer the attention, but I was. The 50 metre stretch from the car to the gate was the longest one I ever took. I hung my head with humiliation, dragging my legs to walk the walk of shame. Everyone stopped at whatever they were doing and turned to look at me with ill thoughts. It was on their faces, before the murmuring began. "tu la, buat lagi, sapa suruh duduk dlm keter dgn boyfriend?" I heard it coming from one of the boys. Perplexed,  I left my cousins without a word. They didn't know why I was sent back to the hostel in such a revealing act, ...neither did I. 

Thanks so much Ida Zentell! be continued.

Friday, July 20, 2012

In A Galaxy Not So Far Far Away...

The long fought battle has been won! The green aliens have been conquered once and for all. It is no longer a struggle for this Mommy Monster to accomplish her daily mission. She has conquered once and she thrives to conquer all, right after the very first victory. All is good now,  at least for  this side of the universe. Even Baba and The Star Command joined forces to install a better Universe for the new generation, a stronger and healthier  generation which beams goodness from the core of their existence.

Nothing goes to waste in this galaxy. Every bit of the shredded greens is turned into fuel for our  everyday consumption. The juice from the green and all those fibre leftovers get to be relished. Initially, it was hard to convince the skeptical minded that anything that does not look good does not necessarily taste bad. But now after much practice of the trickery, everyone is eating and drinking healthy. 

Without much persuasion, when I put something that looked like these the other day on the table, an empty plate was the only thing that was left in a few minutes. I call these Vege Nuggets, made from all the leftovers from our green juice.

We have been having these every evening now and for the first day the kids thought they were home made chicken nuggets. I just wanted them to give it a try and like them without force and alhamdulillah they ate them all! They were only told about the content the very next day, not only surprised but it had grossed them out for a little while. But since they have tasted and liked them, they continued eating them whilst saying how unbelievable for them finishing the sayur and liking it too.

Here is the simple recipe.

All the leftover veges from your green juice.
The one in this picture was made from
1. One whole carrot,
2. One whole cucumber
3. One bunch of Sawi
4. A fistful of baby tomatoes
5. A cup of brocolli
6. 4 oranges
7. A cup of honey dew
8. One whole guava

All these are mixed with

1. An egg
2. Roughly about a cup of wheat flour, maybe more.
3. Minced onions
4. 2 tablespoon Wheatgerm
5. half teaspoon of oregano leaves
6. salt, pepper and turmeric powder to taste.

Once shaped into discs, coat them with corn flour before lightly frying them in canola oil.

Other than vege nuggets, you can also use the green leftovers to thicken soups, gravy and even curries. It gives more flavour and packs a punch of vitamins and nutrients to any simple dish.

I think the kids will fast better this Ramadhan insyaAllah with 2 weeks of prepping them  with the green juice. Their energy level has increased tremendously and hopefully they would not be as tired  and lose so much weight this time around.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a blessed Ramadhan dan juga ingin memohon kemaafan jika ada kata2 saya disini yang menyinggung perasaan. Semoga Ramadhan tahun ini adalah yang terbaik dari segi amal ibadat, rezeki dan kesihatan. Let's strive for the best one this year!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Goodness Gracious

Thanks so much Rini!

I have been going to the hospital for my follow up once a week and I think this will be the pattern of my new routine. It's all about health now and at the age when numbers do count other than the wrinkles on the faces, your well being becomes suddenly important. You start noticing things you  never bothered to scrutinize before, that bag under your eyes, those visible lines on your hands, the dry patches everywhere and constantly you would then fall sluggishly on your bed mumbling "...I'm old...".

I am now 40 and this new age hit me the most when I realized that I was seeing the doctor more than I was seeing my husband ... for lunch that is.:o). There are many tests to be taken, blood to be withdrawn and I have been scanned too many a time that I feel I should have a personal bar code already. ;o). In the meantime before another operation is due to take place, I am eating and practising  a healthy lifestyle, not just for me but  for the whole family as well.

 I have been reading a lot about the benefits of juicing and even though I do not have the juicer machine of my dreams such as below, I am still determined to make juicing part of our daily routine. The most challenging quest isn't making full use of the ordinary blender but forcing the small kids and the grown up one to drink up and liking the green concoctions. After more than a week of juicing I think I am getting better at reducing the bitterness of some of the vegetables by including lots of sweet fruits and honey. Some vegetables have this very raw chlorophyll   after taste and it is quite a challenge to try and camouflage the taste and make it drinkable.

The kids would normally down their juices immediately after they reach home. They have to drink it 30 minutes before their meals for the body to absorb all the nutrients efficiently. Do not drink your juice with food as fermentation would occur, well that's what I found out from many of the articles. For my kids who hate vegetables and not so much into fruits, I think juicing is a great idea to ensure they get the required portions for the day.

Above is  the winning combination of the week with 12 ingredients made in one jar!

The ingredients:

1. purple cabbage
2. tomatoes
3. carrots
4. celery
5. sawi
6. cucumber
7. oranges
8. pineapple
9. apples
11. honey
12. dates

blend with adequate water.

After sieving this is what you get ...

...Ribena, well that's what I told the kids!

It's a different juice everyday and I know I am giving myself and my family something good. In the morning before they go to school I make them chocolate shakes with walnuts, almonds, oats and wheatgerm blended with milk and cocoa powder and you instantly see them roaring to school.

After 10 days of juicing I noticed the improvement in everyone's mood. I get more smiles and they are less irritable. My daughter mentioned that she does not suffer from headaches anymore whilst my son said he is less tired after school. My husband lost 1.5kg and I on the other hand did not lose anything unfortunately, huish. It is a great way to start and end your day and I am sure you would try juicing soon. You need not have any special gadget, just your ordinary blender. Try not to use the same one for your chilies though. :o)

For more juicing ideas please visit here. Happy juicing everyone!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kain Batik Opah

Kain Batik Opah
   "...pilihler yang mana berkenan" Mak was pointing to the a pile of kain batik inside a plastic bag. They were folded immaculately, untouched by time and smelled so familiar. In an instant I knew they belonged to my arwah Opah who just passed away. "...I love the turqoise one." I said, taking hold of it and trying to find if it still had Opah's scent. Mak said "...sorry the turqoise one is mine, mak dah chup dah yang itu." I rolled my eyes and smiled something mak is very used to seeing ever since I was small, a side effect of having irritating brothers! So, I settled for the purple one instead in the end. Mak also took out some of Opah's long kebaya, beautiful, multi-coloured kebaya which all looked lovely on her. Only Opah could wear them perfectly as she had the prettiest skin tone. She was a fair lady and anything looked good on her. 

 My sister and I loved watching Opah getting ready to dress up. She would wear her best during kenduri kahwin and hari raya time. She would sit in front of her wardrobe and each time she opened the door, our eyes would light up upon seeing the treasures that she had kept inside. If we were lucky, she would regale some stories about the trinkets she so lovingly kept. The same old stories were told but never once they bored the little life out of us. We were kids who loved to be told again and again. The stories about Tok whom we never got the chance to know, about the mischief of our uncles and aunties but most of all, my favourite story was the ultimate love they both had for one another. Tok was the love of Opah's life, taken away too soon from her, hence the countless memorabilia of Tok's belongings preserved in that small cupboard. " kain songket CikTan, Opah tempah dulu. Kain songket penuh ni." Opah said proudly as she began her descriptions. "...Yang itu sapa punya?" I reached for the maroon one. "...yang ni mak awak punya ler. Dia pake masa dia berinai dulu. Esok, lusa, nanti awak pulak yang pake. Cuba terai, entah2 dah selok dah." I springed up and put the beautiful maroon kebaya songket on. It fit me nicely and from then on, I remember looking forward to the day I would be clad in the same maroon songket. While I was looking admiringly in the mirror, opah teased me with "...itu dah gate nak kawin le tu!" "...mana ada laaa Opah!" and we both laughed.

Opah was also proud of her kain batik. She kept many of them which were mostly given by her kids, relatives and friends. She arranged them perfectly, nothing was jutting out of place, as if a ruler was used to ensure its neatness. "...cantiknya kain batik Opah...pande nya Opah susun" I was already in my early teens then but kain batik was never my interest. I didn't even know how to tie one on my waist. "...nanti Opah dah takder esok, hangper pake ler. Tapi hangper ni bukannya reti nak ikat kain. Macam mana ler nak kawin nanti, ikat kain pun tak reti!" She grimaced. She then took one out and taught me how to wear it. I complied but only for a few minutes before I ran to the back to join my sister who was in the kitchen munching on something. Where else would my sister be!

And now, after Opah is gone, we are here to share the kain batik she left us so abundantly. Some retained Opah's sweet powdery scent, the same scent that triggered my olfactory when I saw her last."...wanginya Opah ni!" I remember saying that to her all the time when I was small and I also remember saying the same thing in my heart when I kissed her farewell.


Opah in the middle with great grandkids and Makngah during our last reunion organized especially for her.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When Life Throws You Lemons make Lemon Meringue Pie!

I love lemons and I don't really mind if life throws me a lot of them continuously . They are expensive here and  having them in my kitchen makes me feel rich and regal somehow.

The yellow fruit was going at 40sen each at Carrefour the other day and I bought a plasticful! There is a story behind my love for lemons, yes there's always a story with me.;o). When I was expecting my second child, I needed to have the scent of a lemon close to my nose. If I could not get hold of the real fruit, I would settle for the scented lemon soap. I would have it in my handbag and constantly in my hand when I was in the delivery room. It allowed me to focus and calmed me down nicely. So from then on I was hooked.

I  made this pie twice already this week in anticipation of Zue's visit actually. But she could not make it since I don't drive that far out to her sis' place. Sorry Zue, maybe next time k.

So here's the recipe.

Lemon Meringue Pie

The crust (A recipe inspired by my kemalasan maksima)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt of rock salt
2 tablespoons of cold milk mixed with 1/2 cup of canola oli.

You need to whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix the oil and milk and beat till frothy. Then add the wet ingredients slowly to the dry ingredients and knead until a ball of dough is formed. It should be soft. Press the dough onto your pie mould. This would spread perfectly onto an 8 inch pie mould. And pop it into your oven 180 degree Celsius until the crust turn light yellowish.

The Lemon Custard. (I tweaked from Yanie's Lemon Bars recipe)

1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks (keep the whites for the meringue)
Zest from 1 lemon and Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
Mix all the dry ingredients together then add the the yolks and the zest and mix well. When the pie crust is ready turn the oven to 150 degrees Celsius and  pour the custard onto it and bake till it does not jiggle in the centre. When the custard is baking in the oven, prepare the meringue.
The Meringue

2 of the remaining egg whites
3 Tablespoon castor sugar,
1/2 tablespoon cornflour,
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the egg whites till frothy and put in the castor sugar and the rest of the ingredients and continue beating  till the meringue forms a stiff peak. When the custard is ready just spoon the meringue onto it in any way you like, piped or spooned, and bake with the top heat at 150 Celsius till the meringue is golden brown.


Enjoy enjoy enjoy!
Zue, missed having this with you today!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

About Everything Else

Thanks so much Zurina!

Opah passed  away peacefully on the 26th Of April. She was 89. She was to me wanita melayu terakhir. The epitome of kelembutan, kecantikan luar dan dalam. Her cooking skills were unmatched and I wished I had learnt from her before she got sick. All her granddaughters  felt that way, I believe. But even if we did learn from her and some of us did try, I reckoned none would still come close to the perfection of her traditional cooking. Air tangan Opah, lenggok tangan dia, inimitable. She was a beautiful person. Hope to share stories about her one day.

I found myself writing less and less here as I was busy taking care of myself, something I have been neglecting  to do before this. I had this condition at the back of my head that needed prompt attention. Had to undergo an operation to remove all three of them. I was not able to leave the house as my whole head was  bandaged and to be seen would only invite endless stares. Didn't want to scare the kids. ;o).  I am still recuperating now nicely. The pain still persists and I can only sleep in certain positions for now. Alhamdulillah, I am feeling better and hope there will be no recurrences as this was actually the second operation. Like they say if it does not kill you, it will make you stronger.

Baking still continues on. But at times like this, I do apologize if I decline orders that require too much from me. Exertion is not prescribed by the doctor at the moment, hence the easy orders.

Thank you so much for still dropping by and checking out my page. I appreciate it.

Have a good time entertaining your kids this school break. And kids! be nice to each other k.

Thanks so much Na!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Seadanya Akhirnya

Berbekalkan ayat2 Quran dan doa2 yang menghiasi bibir, saya melangkah pergi. Jarak antara hotel dan Pintu Nombor 1 atau Pintu King Abdul Aziz, adalah hanya dalam 300 meter sahaja tetapi terasa terlalu lama untuk mendapatkannya. Setiap langkah terbit rasa keinsafan dan kesedaran kerana jika tidak terlaksana hajat di hati ini, persoalan apakah yang akan berlaku nanti memenuhi benak fikiran. Suami telah saya tinggalkan bersama jemaah yang lain, bau tangannya masih terlekat di tapak tangan saya, itulah bau syurga dunia saya.

Miqot di  Ji'ronah,
Suasana malam tidak sedikit pun  melengangkan keadaan, malah bilangan jemaah meningkat berkali ganda. Udara yang lebih sejuk dan nyaman menjadi faktor utama mengapa ramai yang lebih menggemari beribadat sehingga lewat malam. Saya mempercepatkan langkah dan mengharungi ratusan manusia yang membanjiri Masjidil Haram. Setiba sahaja di pintu nombor 1, sayup kelihatan Kaabah yang terlalu indah untuk pandangan mata ini. Kepada sesiapa yang belum pernah menyaksikan Kaabah secara langsung, tidak ada ungkapan yang dapat saya gambarkan disini kerana tiada perkataan di dalam apa2 juga bahasa yang dapat menjelaskan betapa indahnya Kaabah itu. Indah bukan sahaja dari segi fizikalnya tetapi indah itu lebih  menusuk ke dalam hati sanubari kita sehingga air mata akan mengalir membasahi baju, tanpa kita sedari. Kita akan peroleh pahala dengan hanya menatapnya, begitulah istimewanya Kaabah.

Di Jabbar Rahmah memakai baju Melayu suami.

Jubah dan selendang baharu  yang saya kenakan pada malam terakhir di Tanah Haram lenjun dengan air mata. Sayu apabila menatap Kaabah. Kaki ini seperti terperangkap di dalam bongkah simen kerana tersepit di tengah lautan manusia. Dalam usaha saya untuk melangkahkan kaki ke hadapan, seorang pakcik tua berketurunan Arab menghampiri saya. Dia berdiri bersebelahan dengan saya dan tidak kelihatan  seperti pakcik2 yang lain yang pernah saya temui. Berjubah dan berselendang serba putih daripada rambut hingga ke kaki, penampilannya terasa istimewa bagi saya. Saya mendekati beliau dan memberi salam dan pada waktu yang sama saya menyedari beliau buta. Saya cuba  menolong untuk tunjukkan jalan dan berkata "Baitullah?" "Lak, Lak" katanya. Dia kemudian bertutur dalam bahasa Arab, malangnya saya tidak dapat mengerti apa yang ingin sampaikan.

Kaki yang berat, tiba2 menjadi ringan seperti angin. Saya menerpa ke hadapan setelah lautan manusia tadi surut seolah-olah memberikan laluan untuk saya berjalan terus menuju Hajarul Aswad. Tiada halangan, tiada sekatan, tiada asakan. Saya berjalan tersenyum syukur kemudian berpaut pada batu daripada syurga itu. Kucupan saya diiringi dengan sekeping doa agar saya dan suami dapat kembali untuk melakukan ibadah Haji pula suatu hari nanti. Ya Allah syukur syukur ke hadratNya, dan seterusnya saya berlari pulang ke pangkuan suami yang menunggu setia di pintu bas.

"Alhamdulillah, you are back. We are about to leave!"

"I promised you didn't I? Thanks for letting me go."

"Please don't do that again."

"Do what?"

"Leave me."

"InsyaAllah I won't laaaa, ... till death do us part, k." then I took his hand and breathed in the scent from heaven, my heaven on earth..

                                                                The End.

Sebelum berangkat pulang ke Tanah Air

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sehelai Sahaja Seandainya

 Thanks so much Zaida!

 "You've got to trust me. I need to do this." Itulah kata2 yang saya lontarkan kepada suami sebelum melangkah pergi. Suami menangkap tangan saya dengan wajah yang agak cemas memesan supaya saya berhati-hati. "...but we are leaving in an hour's time." I will come back before that, insyaAllah k, I promise." bisik saya. Jemaah mula turun memenuhi kedua-dua bas yang disediakan dan amat jelas terpancar di wajah mereka kesayuan untuk meninggalkan Kota Suci. Tiada siapa yang tahu bila kami akan dijemput lagi ke sini dan yang tinggal hanyalah doa dan harapan  menggunung untuk kembali. Dua minggu yang sarat dengan pengisian rohani terasa terlalu singkat. Rindu sudah mula terasa, walaupun jasad kami masih berada di Kota Makkah. Saya menoleh ke belakang dan kelihatan  suami bersama pekerja2 yang lain sedang membantu  jemaah mengisi bag dalam perut bas. Jika diizinkan, insyaAllah niat saya akan tertunai. Semuanya sudah telah tertulis, saya hanya perlu cuba sekali lagi. Saya mempercepatkan langkah menuju ke Baitullah dan ayat ini mula membasahi bibir "...Hasbiyallaahu laa 'ilaaha 'illaa Huwa 'alayhi tawakkaltu wa Huwa Rabbul-'Arshil-'Adheem"


Kami pergi menunaikan umrah pada  musim cuti sekolah dan juga pada waktu musim sejuk di tanah Arab. Maka, bilangan jemaah2 dari Malaysia dan dari negara lain hampir menyamai jemaah2 pada musim haji. Umat manusia yang mengemut ramai ini tidak mematahkan semangat saya untuk cuba mendapatkannya sekali lagi. Kali pertama, saya menunggu agak lama dan dalam kesesakan itu saya hampir tersungkur ditolak oleh jemaah wanita yang lebih kuat dan lebih besar daripada saya. Saya tidak menolak atau memaksa diri untuk mendapatkannya, tetapi saya hanya membiarkan arus manusia membawa saya ke hadapan dan bertawakkal panjang agar saya dapat mengucup bauan dari syurga ini. Secara tiba2 dalam asakan orang ramai yang kuat itu kelonsong perak yang mengandungi Hajarul Aswad berada betul-betul dihadapan saya. Lantas, saya memasukkan tangan kanan dan mengusapnya sebelum mencium batu syurga ini. Sambil tersenyum saya tersebut di dalam hati "...insyaAllah, I will come back before I return home. Kalau boleh saya tak nak balik sebelum saya mengucup Hajar Aswad sekali lagi."

Niat itu menjadi kata2 pertama saya lahirkan pada suami apabila saya bersua kembali di luar perkarangan Masjid. Pintu nombor satu menjadi saksi bagaimana suami agak gusar dengan ucapan saya itu. "...kenapa awak cakap mcm tu, astaghfirullahala'zim." "Kenapa?" saya tanya.
"...awak  ni!" keluhnya lagi. "...nanti kalau awak tak dapat kucup lagi mcm mana, nanti tak boleh balik nanti sebab awak dah cakap tak nak balik kan?" Saya termenung seketika dan merenung jauh memikirkan nasib yang akan menimpa saya jika saya tidak dapat pulang mengikuti suami. Bermacam benda boleh terjadi di sini, kita perlu berhati2 dengan pertuturan samada di mulut mahupun di hati. Pada ketika itu saya mempunyai beberapa hari lagi untuk cuba mendapatkan Hajarul Aswad, tetapi tidak kesampaian. Ada saja yang mematahkan usaha tersebut, terlalu panjang untuk saya bercerita segala nya disini.


Pada hari terakhir, selesai Tawaf Wida, kami terpaksa kembali ke hotel untuk menolong suami menyediakan jemaah2 untuk pulang ke tanah air. Saya masih tidak dapat melaksanakan niat saya kerana umat manusia yang terlalu ramai dan Hajarul Aswad tidak kelihatan daripada tempat kami melakukan pusingan tawaf kerana lapisan manusia yang padat. Suami menyuruh saya untuk melambaikan tangan sahaja ke arah batu syurga itu dan saya turutkan nasihatnya sambil melayan hati yang tidak tetap.

Saya tahu ada terlalu banyak kelebihan tentang batu ini dan yang paling istimewa ialah  ianya pernah dikucup oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. dan para nabi dan rasul sebelumnya.

"Terdapat beberapa hadis yang menyebutkan bahawa mengucupnya akan dapat menghapuskan dosa kecil sebagaimana sabda Rasulullah s.a.w. yang bermaksud: “Mengusap Rukun Yamani dan mengucup Hajarul Aswad dapat menghapuskan kesalahan (dosa)” ( H.R Tirmidzi )Rasulullah s.a.w. juga bersabda, “Demi Allah, Allah s.a.t akan membangkitkannya pada hari kiamat kelak, baginya dua mata. Dia akan melihat dengannya dan baginya lidah yang mampu berkata-kata menjadi saksi kepada sesiapa yang mengusapnya dengan kebenaran.” ( H.R Tirmidzi )"

Semua jemaah telah berkumpul di lobi hotel dan menyerahkan kunci masing2. Mereka kemudiannya beratur untuk menurunkan dan memasukkan bag masing2 dan saya menolong sebanyak mana yang saya mampu. Di hati terlintas untuk cuba buat  sekali lagi, mengucup Hajar Aswad dan melihat Ka'abah yang selama hidup ini  hanyalah gambar di atas sehelai sejadah, buat kali terakhir.  Saya lalu turun daripada bas, membawa hati yang nekad mencari suami untuk bersemuka dengannya dan menyampaikan hajat untuk dia yakini ...

 "You've got to trust me. I need to do this."


Thanks so much Zaida!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sehelai Berdua Bercerita

Thanks so much Erna!

"...I think you forgot to check in my bag la sayang." saya memberanikan diri untuk bersuara tanpa mempunyai sedikit pun perasaan marah. Bag itu telah saya letakkan bersama bag jemaah2 yang lain akan tetapi, mungkin Allah ingin menguji saya maka bag saya telah terlindung daripada pandangan suami. Padankan muka saya juga sebab mempermain2kan kata2 mak sebelum ni. Apa yang saya takuti bukanlah kerana saya tidak mempunyai apa2 untuk dipakai, bukan juga kerana tidak mempunyai kelengkapan harian yang lain, yang sejujurnya, kegelisahan saya lebih tertumpu kepada bicara mak yang akan saya hadapi nanti. Sebenarnya, bag yang tertinggal itu adalah bag yang mak pinjamkan kepada saya, jadi alamat dan nombor telefon dibelakang bag ada tertera nama mak! Saya pasti pihak lapangan terbang telah pun menghubungi mak mengenai bag itu sebelum saya sempat menelefon mak dari Madinah. Tidak ada harapan jugalah untuk saya sorokkan cerita ini daraipada mak.

Setelah menelefon mak dan mendengar leteran, ke padan mukaan dan tak terkira I told you so sentences, saya hanya mampu tersenyum sambil berjalan pulang ke bilik untuk bersiap sedia pergi ke Masjid Nabi. Pakaian saya pada masa itu hanyalah sepasang seluar kerja dan baju kemeja tangan panjang petak2, seperti yang saya pernah katakan, saya bukan gadis bunga, dan bertelekung panjang. Setelah seharian dalam baju tersebut, saya perlu menukar pakaian dan pada masa inilah saya terpaksa meminjam baju melayu dan seluar tidur suami untuk ke Masjid. Kami membawa sedikit wang dengan niat untuk membeli pakaian yang sesuai buat saya kerana kami akan berada di sana selama 14 hari.

Sebaik pulang dari Masjid, kami pun berjalan2 dan melawat beberapa kedai pakaian wanita. Pelbagai jubah ada terjual dengan harga agak mahal saya kira. Kami beli yang termurah yang berharga sekitar RM50. Suami tiba2 menggenggam tangan saya dan mengatakan dia tidak mempunyai banyak wang. Antara kami ada lebih kurang RM700 sahaja, maka saya batalkan hasrat untuk membeli apa2 lagi kerana kami masih mempunya masa 2 minggu untuk berada di sana. Kami perlu memastikan wang sentiasa ada terutamanya untuk membayar tambang teksi dan bas untuk berihram di Miqat kami Zul Hulaifah atau dikenali dengan Bir Ali dan juga bayaran dam sekiranya perlu. Jika ada lebihan wang boleh lah kami membeli kurma dan buah tangan untuk saudara dan jiran tetangga nanti. Syukur kami tidak perlu risaukan tentang makanan kerana sudah disediakan oleh pihak hotel.

Alhamdulillah, saya muat memakai baju2 melayu suami walaupun agak besar sedikit tetapi masih selesa. Begitulah setiap hari, kami berkongsi segalanya yang kami bawa. Langsung tidak terasa apa2 kekurangan malah saya rasa lebih senang kerana saya hanya perlu membasuh sedikit baju setiap malam. Tidak siapa yang tahu dibawah telekung saya itu adalah baju dan seluar suami kerana masing2 sibuk dengan hal masing2 jadi tidaklah terasa janggal sangat apabila berjalan keluar.

Jadual harian kami agak padat. Suami sentiasa perlu bersama jemaah2, terutama yang uzur dan yang pertama kali datang membuat umrah. Banyak yang perlu diuruskan dan apabila suami sibuk, saya akan berjalan pergi ke masjid seorang diri dan melakukan tawaf sendirian. Ada suatu ketika, dalam perjalanan pulang ke hotel dari Masjidil Haram, saya telah diekori oleh seorang lelaki. Saya cuba untuk meloloskan diri daripada pandangan lelaki tersebut tetapi tidak berhasil. Saya mempercepatkan langkah saya dan dia pun berbuat yang sama. Apabila tiba di suatu selekoh, dalam 100 meter daripada hotel saya pun mengangkat telekung panjang saya dan berlari sekuat hati ke arah hotel. Ada hikmah saya memakai seluar panjang dan baju melayu saya kira, kerana saya berupaya berlari pantas. Apabila tiba di hotel, saya duduk di sofa lobi dan menunggu sehingga suami pulang. Sejak dari hari itu, suami menasihati saya untuk tidak melakukan apa2 ibadah seorang diri. Saya menurut perintah suami...kecuali pada suatu malam, malam terakhir.


Thanks so much Me!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sehelai Sepinggang

Terima Kasih Zalina!

"Bag ni dah check in kan ker belum? Nanti tertinggal nanti baru tau." kata2 mak menyambut saya petang itu. Mak bising bersebab selalunya, seperti saya dan anak2 saya sekarang, tak habis2 saya mengomel, entahkan mereka dengar entahkan tidak. Tapi pesan mak pada petang itu saya balas, " alaa tak per mak kalau beg ni tertinggal pun, saya boleh survive..." saya sambung dengan lagak yang saya kira kelakar pada ketika itu.

Suami saya pernah bekerja sebagai seorang mutawif antara tahun 1997 hingga 1999. Dua kali setahun, dia akan mengambil upah menemani pakcik2 dan makcik2 untuk mengerjakan umrah di Tanah Suci. Pada penghujung tahun 1997 saya berpeluang mengikutinya bertugas dan peluang itu saya sambut dengan penuh syukur. Kami baru setahun lebih mendirikan rumahtangga dan tidak pernah terlintas di hati saya untuk dijemput pergi tanpa perlu membayar pakej umrah yang pada ketika itu di luar kemampuan kami. Walaubagaimanapun saya pergi sebagai pekerja juga dan membantu suami saya sebanyak mana yang saya mampu. Menjadi mutawif bukanlah pekerjaan yang mudah, lebih2 lagi jika kita mengendalikan orang2 tua yang sangat memerlukan pertolongan dalam setiap segi.

Terus terang saya katakan, saya amat jahil tentang proses mengerjakan umrah. Ilmu yang saya ada hanyalah yang dipelajari dibangku sekolah menengah dulu. Saya tidak sempat mempelajari apa2 sebelum bertolak kerana pemergian saya ke Tanah suci adalah secara last minute. Berdebar rasa hati kerana perjalanan saya pada masa itu adalah dengan yang dada yang kosong. "Tak per sayang, nanti saya ajar awak masa dalam plane nanti k. Kita blajar sama2..." Dan itulah yang berlaku 8 jam seterusnya di atas awan.

Terima Kasih Rena!

Saya bertasbih panjang apabila tersaksikan Masjid Nabawi dicelah2 matahari terbenam. Kami tiba di hotel di waktu azan magrib berkumandang. "...macam azan dalam tv la sayang!" saya memegang tangan suami erat tanda kasih dan sayang yang tidak berbelah bahagi kerana kami menganggap perjalanan ini sebagai honeymoon yang tidak sempat kami rasai. Saya berdiri di tengah2 lautan manusia yang sibuk menurunkan beg masing2 untuk dibawa masuk ke dalam dalam hotel. Saya yang masih tercegat disitu gagal mencari beg saya. Saya berfikiran bahawa bag2 kami telah pun dibawa masuk ke dalam oleh pekerja hotel.

Daripada luar lagi kedengaran suara suami yang kuat memanggil nama2 jemaah untuk diberikan kunci bilik. Ketika itu jugalah mata saya liar mencari beg baju di celah2 beg2 orang lain. Mata saya bertemu dengan beg suami, tetapi beg saya masih tidak kelihatan. "Tak pe lah, jumpa lah tu karang." saya menenangkan hati yang semakin gusar. Manakan tidak, segala-galanya berada dalam beg kecil tersebut. Saya tidak membawa hand-luggage, hanya handbag yang berisikan asam masin, mopiko, paspot, kamera, stokin dan dompet.

Saya cuba tidak menganggu suami yang sangat sibuk ke hulu ke hilir memastikan semuanya teratur dan memuaskan hati jemaah. Bukan senang untuk menjaga hati jemaah kerana ada diantara mereka yang berpangkat dan yang biasa dengan layanan istimewa tetapi suami saya telah beberapa kali memesan kepada mereka, "...kita ke sini bukan untuk pergi bercuti mewah dan walaupun anda bayar mahal untuk bilik2 yang terbaik, kadang2 kita tak semestinya dapat apa yang kita fikirkan. Tapi saya akan cuba sedaya upaya untuk menolong pakcik2, makcik2, abang2 dan kakak2 seperti saudara saya sendiri. Orang2 Arab ni agak payah nak berurusan dengan mereka, jadi saya minta semuanya bersabar." Suami yang boleh bertutur sedikit dalam bahasa Arab kelihatan cuba untuk menyelesaikan masalah bilik dan saya hanya duduk di sofa lobi memerhatikan gelagat orang2 Arab disekeliling yang bersuara kuat.

Terima Kasih Fatin!

Setelah semuanya selesai, kami pun berjalan naik ke bilik kami. Suami saya mengheret bagnya tanpa menyedari bag saya tiada bersama saya. Seperti kebiasaan saya tidak suka membebankan dia dengan masalah saya sebab dia banyak masalah lain dan lagipun saya takuuttt dan tidak terbuka mulut untuk memberitahu perihal kedaifan saya. Apabila kami tiba di bilik dan dia pun mengangkat bagnya ke atas katil, barulah dia perasan yang saya hanya berlenggang-kangkong. Saya hanya mampu tersenyum sebab saya sedar pada masa itu yang saya telah sampai di negara orang sehelai sepinggang. Sambil tersenyum saya bersuara perlahan "...kita share baju boleh?" Kami berdua pun terduduk keletihan dan terketawa bersama-sama...sebelum dia bersuara, "Astaghfirullahhala'zim."


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sunny Days

I am only human who constantly forget that everyday is a blessing. Blessings don in many entries, at times unrecognizable to the naked eyes of the unappreciative. I am guilty of that on a daily basis especially when kids act up, cakes slide down, ideas dry up, orders slow down, there are always reasons to dampen any sunny days.

I am still learning to be appreciative of any days ahead, sunny or rainy. Hot and sunny days give me perfectly dried clothes whilst wet and rainy days offer me cooling ambiance, both perfect for any appreciative souls.

Thanks so much Linda!

And in between those days when it is neither sunny nor rainy, little gestures by heart warming people greet you at the most opportune time, in a big big way. It makes you believe again that everyday comes with abundant of blessings even with some imperfections you stumble along the way.

Thanks so so much HS for the card and the novel!

At the end of the day, it is up to you to create those special moments to be shared amongst your precious ones, even though they miss to appreciate you and your gestures. The fact that you know that the desserts you put in the fridge will be munched on, the soup you left in the pot will be slurped up and they are always there for you to hold and embrace make those little imperfections impervious to this heart.

Our favourite pie.