26 May 2009

Persona non grata

Some people might think that having to work in the thick jungle, somewhere in the oblivion and perhaps living in a primeval civilization may be a bit bored and unthinkable of. Stinking odour from the rubber processing factories that will last for seven generations, a chowder of effluent discharge ala-Chernobyl and a prospective of constant exposure to the numerous hazardous chemical will turn any sanity into a shamble. Even the many unsung heroes who are still hanging on to their last breath will be merely reduced into a couch potato. Somehow, I have been enjoying my celebrity status here and thinking of opening my own fan club soon, speaking of which will be swarmed with unfazed menachees who have been made redundant working in the field, thank you to the global economy hiccup.

This morning was not an ordinary morning. While having an early morning discussion with my subordinates, loud bangs and unfamiliar scuffle along the corridor had almost made me fell from my comfy chair. That was very unusual as normally we will enjoy our serene and blissful morning peacefully. A peek through a window unfold a high drama involving our security personnels with another rare species, which according to Charles Darwin is our distant relative from a common ancestor.

That was not a point of the day though, and any argument as to validate the theory will be as futile as to argue on why frogs are made to jump and donkeys are to follow blindly any instruction coming from the sky. Whoever that is still believe and worship the theory (a Darwinian), might as well shoving a banana into their big nostrils.

But the irony was, this morning I saw a monkey, monkeying around in the office. I feel some sort of deja vu. A straying monkey is considered a nuisance. What's more a male one. Ladies especially hate that monkey as earlier this morning this lone primate had chased menacingly after menachees (probably one of my hardcore fans) and showing off openly his primal obscenity toward the opposite sex. The monkey was later tamed down and send off to their natural habitat nearby. Not to put the blame solely onto the monkey, widespread development and real-estate hunters molesting the scarce land bank surrounding our almost extinct habitat has forced this creature to find his own sanctuary elsewhere.

I couldn't help but smiled to myself. This unfamiliar sight caused a stir in my stomach and I had this familiar feeling. There are a lot of monkey business going on in the offices and around us. Many factors for us to monkey around when trying to explain the phenomenal disorderly behaviour that plagued the mentality or our own kind. One that might interest the public is the classic thinking that the higher you climb the ladder, the more respect you'll gain. I believe this type of thinking has in a way corrupted some brain cells thus making correct and fair judgement is almost impossible. I still believe, the higher you climb the more pain you'll get if you fall. But then people might says - no pain no gain. For me, I just want to live longer and happily ever after.

In this monkey's case, he has probably lost his diplomatic immunity and during his quest to claim back his glorious past, probably forgot he is no longer living in the Planet of the apes. Obviously those didn't cross his mind this morning. He is now a persona non grata.

I have to obscure the true identity of this cheeky being. We don't play fool with monkeys. You'll never know what they are capable of. They can be your closest friend, while at the same time (when you turn your back on them) throwing their shit at you. But hey...they are monkeys!

This is an undifused 'bomb' that was used to scare away the monkey I found on the crime scene this morning. With proper and correct persuasive approaches, monkeys can be easily tamed down. Monkeys are animal like us (in classical sufism we are referred as 'haiwanul mantik') and they are creatures that can use their brain probably better than any of us if not cleverer. At least they don't bite you back especially if you charm them with bananas.

23 May 2009

Yes chef !

I woke up this morning smelling something very familiar engulfing the bedroom. It was nice, sweet and rich. The smell really made my tummy grumbling. The pungent smell invading my nostrils led me to jump out of my bed and straight away heading to the kitchen. In my clumsiness negotiating the stairs, I almost bumped into my cheerful significant half and she greeted me with the biggest smile ever. I could see that she was very occupied with her chores preparing some delectable delicacies. But this time the ingredients and the amount of raw cooking materials packed like a mountain on the small table in the kitchen.

Rumi : "Kenapa banyak sangat barang-barang kat dapur ni, nak buat kenduri ke?" I am trying very hard to recall if I miss any important event.

Juli : "Bukan kita yang nak buat kenduri, jiran depan rumah tu mintak tolong masakkan." the internal affair minister explained.

Rumi : "Sejak bila pula buka bisnes catering ni" Just trying my luck, hoping to see some ladles flying in the air. Nope. No luck.

Juli : "Dulu masa mengandung, Az (nama jiran - bukan nama sebenar) ada bagitau dia mengidam nasi beriyani yang kita masak dulu. Tadi dia minta tolong masakkan, tak sampai hati pula nak hampakan" With that, I just left her and got ready to see my dentist (that jaw-dropping experience can be another episode - just like Mia's mom said. But probably not interesting enough and not worth sharing in this blog anyway)

I seldom spent much time in the kitchen as that is not my territory. I later realised since the first time I met my significant half, some twenty years ago, she actually melted my heart with her gastronomic skill. In fact, I should have thanked her now, if not because of her wonderful skill in the kitchen I would have been so skinny, a mere gusty wind of Pantai Batu Burok will surely blown me away.

Now that she is a full time housewife, after leaving her teaching profession a few years ago (that is another interesting episode to share - but let her, the internal affair minister write it herself in her blog), she can passionately spend more time in her command center. In a away, that really made me worried. Now I have from time to time, checking the needle in the weighing scale just to make sure it won't swing that much from my comfy zone. I remember when we were in the far land, the land of fish and chips, I ate so much of her cooking, when we came back to the Bolehland nine years ago, were like a ballon, if we accidentally sit on a pin sharp grass, it will almost surely made us burst.

Probably my dear wife, you can open a small catering services or a cosy restaurante and fulfil your childhood passion to have your own business.

Yes Master chef, I will be your first loyal customer!

Our bibik diligently assisting the master chef getting everything ready for the big showdown. During this critical moment, it is wise to keep my distance from the ground zero. The wonderful smell of finely prepared condiments will caused my tummy to sing a familiar notes.

I didn't expect to have another gathering by law-abiding-citizen in my neighbourhood to be that soon. We have just had one earlier this month. This time another member of law-abiding-citizen who had missed the previous gathering take the initiative for the members to gather and got update with the latest local news.

No, they were not actually waiting for the freshly cooked nasi beriani being delivered from my kitchen but anticipating another members to join the corrum.

20 May 2009

A heavenly encounter too many

It was one fine Sunday, by Bolehland standard. Bright bluish sky, cloudless troposhere , and with God's blessing you can see heaven staring directly into your eyes. The scorching heatwave and the hazy atmosphere caused by many 'secret' open burning, of which we should be thankful to the many 'expats' working in the construction industry didn't dampen my spirit to plan few family's weekend activities.

Last weekend my parent came back after two weeks performing their umrah to the motherland. My kids were really excited to go to the airport to greet their tokki and che' (nenek). The kids behaved very well and got themselves ready as soon as the sun started to rise. They even couldn't bother much to wait for their favourite cartoon show 'Hagemaru" to finish and with astonishing speed, seated themselves comfortably in the car.

We arrived earlier than ETA and have to wait for another two and a half hours before we could see the first glimpse of my weary but very contented parent. Ther recent outbreak of H1N1 put everybody into a higher alert state. A more thorough screening and some miscalculation on the ground staff in handling the baggages had caused the delay. It was a big relief though to see both were in a very good health. Even though my mother had just recovered from a flu, I was very thankful and glad to see her having steadfast recovery and as cheerful and compassionate as ever.

Another five hours of transit time before they embarked a domestic flight to the Keropoklekorland had given us ample time to get together and to catch up on many interesting things. As usual several common paraphernalia from the Holy land changed hands very fast in the airport itself. This included air zam-zam, dates and other dried fruits, par fumes and even jeweleries - things that every woman in this earth can't resist for. Even though I'd on many occasion reminded my mother especially, not to buy many thing (as in their previous trip - the dates she bought could feed the whole jemaah in our kampung for the next five year!), still my parent had to pay for the domestic excess baggage. Off they flew and we will see them again in the next couple of weeks, when I once again plan to visit my home town during this coming school holiday.

On our way back home, I stopped by at one of our blogger friend at Shah Alam to deliver some item she asked me to buy for her earlier. I purposely didn't inform her of our visit because firstly I didn't intend to stay long and secondly I wanted to surprise her. And a surprise we got as she was still donning in her weekend white 'bedak sejuk' - a rare sight to behold! Even her hubby look bewildered and was still yawning when he opened the door. Luckily he wasn't in his pyjama. Sorry Maria & Faizal for gatecrashing into your house! I know that was quite uncivilised of me, but given another opportunity, I would love to do that again :)

Having chuckling and giggling of the funny thought (cheeky me), I continued our journey back to Subang. It didn't take long for the karma to happen. A heavenly wrath befell on me, more precisely on my car. All of a sudden, the car stopped and the engine died at a traffic light not too far from my house. Having a similar situation earlier, I checked the fuses (fuel pump fuse) but this time the fuses were all intact. I suspected the fuel pump kaput beyond repair. Since I didn't have the correct tools to rectify the problem and nothing much I could do, I called my regular mechanic to tow the car to the workshop.

Even though I am a member of AAM, our Bolehland motoring association, a previous mishap experience told me it was better to trust my friendly neighborhood mechanic rather than waiting for them (AAM), dangerously beside roadside, not knowing how long it will take to reach you - sometimes it could be forever. My suspicion was later confirmed and it was a faulty fuel pump that caused a dent to my wallet.

Lesson of the day - never, never gatecrash into your friend's house (and having a very big smile after that) - because karma is just waiting to greet you anytime, anywhere. If not sooner, it will come to you later.

At last we saw familiar faces emerging from the crowd after a long waiting hour. It was a big relief to see both my parent managed to perform their umrah flawlessly. I was a bit relief also to see my mother didn't push any cart this time :)

My second son greeted his nenek, closely watched by my significant half. The youngest member of my family didn't realise the importance of this event, was helping himself with snicker - his lunch of the day.

There was a lot to catch up and a good few hours to kill before my parent embarked their domestic flight. Both my sons were too excited to see some exotic produces from the Holy land, unaware to their surrounding.

Earlier, my kids posing in front of an exhibition at the departure hall knowing that waiting longer down stair at the arrival hall will almost increase the chance to contract airborne bugs. These days, in that very hostile environment, you have to take all the possibilities into account. Even extreme measure like sticking cotton into your nostril!

When God says kun fayakun, all the creatures will obey and the car stop! Luckily we had a very good rapport with our neighbors, they ferried my family safely back home while I attended the car with my mechanic (seen here attaching a towing tool at the rear).

16 May 2009

A restless soul, feasting to my eyes

This whole week, life was not that bored after all. My diary was full with meetings, which was quite unconventionall for me. Despite the periodic and scheduled meetings that I had to attend, there were also quite a number of unexpected meetings that really bogged me down with the unnecessary nitty gritty bit, of which normally shrinks my brain into a pea size. I am very surprised to see many meeting nowadays can drag on and on until the wee hours and the people can still talk like there is no tomorrow, and the minute of the meeting hardly finished the last line on a piece of paper.

I have not yet subjected myself to a very strict regime of diet, but I am quite sure this week alone has contributed a lot in adding up a few kilos into my body weight. I supposed the normal practice to serve calorie-laden pastries and caffeinated drinks during the meeting need to be seriously considered. No wonder government officers nowadays could not keep up with the ideal BMI (Body mass index).

Having spent many hours warming the seat in the cold meeting rooms, and got caught in the traffic jam, I really missed my serene and sedated life in my office. I hardly had enough time to join my normal corum in the cafeteria for a round of serious discussion on national issues, like why most Malaysian government servants wanted to extend their retirement age until they can't even remember their own age, whereas they can retire early and spend their remaining mortal life repenting for their past sins in Gua Tempurung, for example. What more on politics. If any of my colleagues ask me now, who is the current MB of Perak, I wouldn't know or tell for sure. I hardly read any newspapers these days. The only program I watched is 'House'.

Despite the heavy schedule and after spending numerous hours gazing through photos and micrographs, which were compiled for the past few weeks, I decided to treat my eyes on other subject that wouldn't strain my iris as much, thus inhibited my eyes from becoming more 'sepet'. After all, I need to thaw back my brain into its normal size. Coincidentally, my colleagues told me that there are few interesting exhibition being showcased in the University of Malaya. The one that I am interested to see was by an artist from South Korea, Prof. Mi Jai Lee. Jolly good I thought, I must go!

I however missed the opening ceremony and also the beautiful gamelan performance, a traditional musical ensemble played by my friend. I can't remember when was the last time I listen to the sound of gong, angklung and other peculiar musical instruments. The exhibition entitled "the '25th. Solo Exhibition - Celebrate Transition from Traditional to Digital Art"
was a good one, even though there was not much artifacts on display. At least the tour around the museum had put some perspective back into my life and burned up few grams of calories in my body.

My colleague with her team getting ready for their gamelan performance during the opening ceremony. photo courtesy of my friend (middle in the front row).

This blur image of the opening ceremony has proven my long suspicion that Parkinson's syndrome has somehow has a very strong connection with the quality of each photo. Never ask your friend with known disease to shot for you at any important event. This photo courtesy of a budding cameraman who wants to remain unidentified, using my colleague camera while she was getting ready to perform the gamelan.

10 May 2009

Nukilan rasa buat ibu

dengar bicara nukilan anakmu
walau sedetik sekilas waktu
biarpun lidah terlipat kelu
lontaran rasa tiada dayaku
namun hati meronta selalu
kau penyeri hidupku

ketahuilah ibu
masih aku anak kecilmu
menagih cinta belain dulu
jemu tidak melangkau waktu
selagi nadi degupan jantungku

terimakasih ibu
penat lelah pengorbananmu
makan minum secangkir susu
sakit demam malam jagaku
memberi kasih menyinar hariku
tanpamu siapalah aku

tiada emas permata biru
kalungan kasih setulus ingatanku
balasan budi pengorbanan ibu
sekuntum mawar putih buat ratuku

Selamat Hari Ibu!

05 May 2009

Living under the same sun

Everything seems to be very quiet in our neighborhood lately. I hardly see my fellow law-abiding citizen jog in the morning or busy-body maids gossiping with each other about their stingy lady bosses. Even Samantha, a petite blonde living next door became very agitated with the serene surrounding . She will moan and whine on anything that suddenly disrupted her afternoon nap. A hunky postman doing his usual business will really piss her off. A real bitch she is. Samantha is the only dog in the vicinity. She barks at anything that passed in front her gate. Loneliness has really got into her. Though she is such a bimbo, a real stud is hard to come these days. Not while she is confined in her comfort zone. But I believe even a spoil brat like Samantha will be a good sire one day.

And thank you to our Bolehland weather, it is summer again. The blazing heat, skin-biting UV, air pollution, head-banging deadlines and traffic jam has worsen the situation and really shrunk our lifespan (into half) as compared to our own species in the northern and southern hemisphere, who has the privilege living in the fridge. But who are we to complain? With mamak and tom yum stalls around the corners that operate 24/7, all year round. It is a fiesta!

Back in my neighborhood, I have a different story to tell. In order to kill the boredom and to fulfill our social obligation, my fellow law-abiding citizen who shares the same 'lorong' with me decided to have our annual communal gathering, while at the same time celebrating the labour day holiday together - pot-luck style. The truth is, we have been engaging in this healthy activities ever since we moved in into this neighborhood seven years ago. The idea was initially mooted by me (ehem...ehem) thinking that by knowing my fellow law-abiding citizen better would allow me in the future to borrow their grass cutter or even their posh car in case of an emergency. And not surprisingly, whoever came up with any good idea will almost unanimously be selected as a leader, in this case the chairman of the 'lorong' of course. (I noticed these has become a common practice in the government sector, no wonder why not so many good and constructive ideas being put forward these days :)

With 44 houses in the 'lorong' and very supportive law-abiding citizen, the venue will be rotated among us. The chairman has the honor to choose which house to become the host. I was the first, in fact the second and the third to host such an event, that if my memory still serves me right. In a way, this gathering has also served as a testing ground for budding cook to show off their cooking skill. This has left the men, who oblige willingly to succumb themselves indulging with all the food they can stuff into their belly. The gathering has become a tradition and I hope the tradition will continue.

But strange it may seem, in all of those occasions, we somehow have never invited the blondie Samantha to join the fun.

The host cum-treasurer (far left) giving an inspiring opening speech to the speechless guests.

Ice-breaking session after the opening speech has left our bilal (in the middle) gasping for breath to recite a 'doa makan'.

Kids are having their good time as well.

After an inspiring speech by our host and a short doa recital by our bilal, the ladies made themselves busy preparing the feast.

Oblivious to the heavy discussion that almost rival the parliament around him, one of the law-abiding citizen helping himself with satay kajang, courtesy of our bilal.

Archive of time - the theme of our previous gathering was BBQuing under the moon. Seen here was one of our ex-member of law-abiding citizen (stripe t-shirt) who had moved out to join another law-abiding citizen in another neighborhood. That was the last BBQ we had.

Archive of time - members of the community deeply engrossed discussing the current affair - mostly rubbish but rather very entertaining.

Archive of time - the ladies, with enough corum to vote and send in their representative in the next general election.

Archive of time - our prolific and outstanding chef, checking to make sure the foods were not contaminated by straying saliva from a heavy discussion nearby.

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