28 October 2009

Better late than never

It was this time of the year when the full moon obscured by the monsoon cloud overhead. My fellow law-abiding citizen in my neighborhood felt that we should once again get together to unwind ourselves and ease our mind a bit from the post-budgetary syndrome. I thought that was a great idea and great ideas shouldn't just be left idle on a dusty shelf. With that in mind, last weekend we all packed our food and left the kitchen with a handful of mouth watering and delectable foods, erected a big tent on the street, sitting packed together under the cloudy sky, munching and laughing until the first morning dew started to settle on the grass.

That was actually the second community-get-together gathering by the law-abiding citizen residing along the street this year. Actually that gathering was planned and meant for the Raya of which we would normally held it in the month of Syawal. But we had a consensus to have the annual event out of the norm as we wanted everybody if not all to have the chance to attend this special congregation. Living in a rather big community especially with multitude of backgrounds, political believes, religion and personal taste, a consensus is very important. At least we managed to decide and agreed upon on who should be in-charge of looking after and manned the teh tarik section.

As usual at the end of the night, everybody was very happy and well stuffed like a reticulated python after the night hunt. This gathering has undoubtedly brought us even closer to each other. Our next food-chomping meeting is scheduled to be on the first quarter of next year, with more interesting activities and a very interesting theme - "You bring your food, we'll finish them all".

This was the first time this chapati made its first appearance in our meeting and straight away become very popular and a star choice among the street dwellers. So popular I didn't have a chance to get a taste of it and it was gone the moment I went around the table for the second helping. Kudos to the chapati and its chef!

Food was never a problem and in a colorful abundance but I had a problem in making up my mind on what to consume. My gastrointestinal system is still adjusting to all the temptation and my normal cardinal diet.

Law-abiding citizen waiting eagerly and patiently for the organizer to make an opening/welcoming speech. As there was no eminent sign of by-election looming in our neighborhood, except probably in Batu constituency of which we are not quite sure when, a short (makan) doa reciting was suffice enough to start the ball rolling.

Joke of the day left our members feeling ticklish but some were not amused at all Or probably didn't understand what the other member was mumbling and rambling about.

Law-abiding citizen it their comical mode. There was one caution though, don't laugh while your mouth is still munching and full with potentially face splattering food geyser.

"Aku dah tahu dah. Hang kalau pergi F1 tu mata kena buka besau-besau"

20 October 2009

Brickendonbury gave me a glimpse of the past

It was the summer of 2006. I was on a two months attachment to our sister office at the fish-and-chips-land. Blogging was so alien to me at that time so instead of blog-hoping into someones virtual territory and have a peek and taste of their secret life, I spent most of the weekend gatecrashing religiously into many craft and antique fairs around Brickendonbury, hunting for rare and hard-to-find national treasures (Brickendonbury is a small village set in a beautiful Hertfortshire countryside, 20 miles north of London)

In one of those occasions, while going through some of the bric-a-brac and other memorabilia on displayed, my eyes caught this beautiful piece of first day cover. A stamped envelope with a very familiar and distinctive insignia on it. It was a household logo, printed clearly on its front page flanked by three beautiful and colorful stamps. I was so excited as that was the first time I came across a mint condition, well kept first day cover specially made to commemorate 50 years of RRIM (The Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia - now known as The Malaysian Rubber Board). The envelope dated in 1975. I bought it straight away without even bargaining.

Over the years I have collected many interesting first day cover, but this one is really special and a bit nostalgic to me. I started my first working career 18 years ago in this prestigious research institute which single-handedly for umpteen decades unraveled the mystery and wonder of rubber. It was until few years back (1998 to be more precise) somebody in the board room probably felt a bit bored with the name and fancy a new name and changed it into the current incorporated board consisted of a cocktail of many agencies and finally become like a rojak. Rojak however if mixed with a proper sambal dressing or sauce can be a good past time delicacy.

Inside the envelope I found a nicely folded bilingual note (Bahasa and English) elaborating in detail on the design and the three stamps. The note also highlighted RRIM's many glorious achievements and significant contributions toward the nation in the past. Somehow it made me feel very proud. I will keep this memento as my personal treasure.

The Golden and and Platinum Jubilee has passed and long gone for this only custodian of the rubber industry in Malaysia . It will take another 16 more years for the institute to reach and celebrate its Diamond Jubilee (the 100th year). I will be 57 and just celebrated my Golden year by that time. I am hoping my playing ground will still be strong to withstand all the rapid changes that taking place internally and externally. I am also hoping to be around on the auspicious day and be part of our national history too.

16 October 2009

Raya D'kota

It was not that bad after all. Celebrating the first dawn of Syawal in the heart of the Bolehland metropolis, surrounded by tranquility almost a zen-like stillness that settles over a high mountain that follow an annual migration of their materialistic inhabitants and urbanites to their safe haven. Everything starts with the first time to begin with.

I enjoyed this year's Raya as much as I enjoyed the post-psychedelic atmosphere and good companies that continuously color my Raya days despite the warning that another earth shattering tremor was about to hit our homeland. I must admit though, my dietary regime was not as in harmony as my relentless appetite, an internal crisis unbeknown to me probably disguised in form of a lackadaisical state of mind lately.

Raya without friends, families, neighbors and even strangers around us to cherish with is not a Raya to celebrate for. Despite the very limited time and limited ability to move around this Syawal, I managed to savor the sweetness of those special days with special people. Some were new friends, known only through the blogosphere and some were long lost friends who came to pay the visit to their long-time-no-see friend just to say hello.

At the same time, I am still hoping and expecting (menaruh harapan tinggi) from our blogosphere's penyimpan mohor besar raja-raja especially the one in Bangi (you know who you are :) who promised to organize a bloggers' hari raya gathering (or was it over already?). The Raya is almost over, but the spirit is still high.

One super cool couple they are, Kanda RA and Zendra. That was the first time meet, a short escapade but the feeling as if we have been knowing each other for ages. Many thing to talk about and to share with. To tell you the truth, that was the only open house I attended this year and so far. It was one memorable experience with the warmest hospitality ever. The food was superb, especially the lamb curry (really commendable).

Before we left, one happy family photo for the album . I am feeling a bit poetic and into my element now (as put it by kanda RA)

Terimakasih daun keladi,
Kalau tak raya pun jemputle lagi

Another popular and ardent blogger who almost detour the whole districts of Selangor in order to reach my house. At first I was a bit reluctant to publish this photo as he told me he is a photo-shy guy and for some reason unclear to me, never shown his true persona in public (or his blog). I hope he is not mad with me (ampun). A really nice and lovely couple to spend time with.Wishing you a smooth sailing ahead and hoping to see you again June next year. Hang on there and keep persevere mate!

These young and elegant ladies we first met and got acquaintance with during the bloggers mengeteh sessions earlier this year. CAHAYA, Teja and kama are blogger, while the sweet lady in red is Teja's and kama's course mate, who was born in Ganu but didn't ganuspeak with me :) Luckily they didn't gatecrash into my house and gave a notice earlier, otherwise they won't had the chance to sample the famous beriyani gam Bt. Pahat.

I didn't know CAHAYA is also a camera freak- like me (Camera freak doesn't mean one is a good photographer - just like me). Out of a sudden, she whisked out her cute little camera from her secret Doraemon's pouch and diligently taking photos one of my classic camera collections. In this digital era, not that many knows the 120 mm film anymore, but she did.

DrZue, a blogger and family close friend (in the middle) came all the way from University Malaya to celebrate Raya with my staffs and me in my office. She didn't came alone but with her big entourage. This was the second time. The first time they came to visit me a week after Raya and I didn't prepare anything for them. This time, even though the food were not that lavish but we were a bit prepared with nasi lemak special and curry puff - courtesy of makcik cafeteria :)

My long lost friend Osman, his wife Jah and their lovely kids. Osman was my senior in UKM, a silat buddy whom out of the blue got married to my wife's best friend, course-mate and housemate Jah. To make the story more interesting, Osman's younger brother married to my younger sister while both of them studied at Al-Azhar. So that make us what bro? A beras....biras...or bau-bau bachang?

13 October 2009

Live and kicking...again!

I am not sure what was the real culprit. Was it because of the powerful sedatives that put me in almost as high as a 'mat fit' after a routine ketum drinking session or copious amount of anesthetic of which still lingering in my bloodstream that rendered me more lethargic than a donkey to move on with my beautiful life again? I became one lazy sick-puppy. Very-very lazy that I almost wanted to just lie down on my bed and count almost every second that passes by.

For the past few days I'd been searching for an answer. Perhaps it was just another one of my delusions in this increasingly paradoxical life. After becoming a perpetual visitor to the same sick-house for the past 3 consecutive months, I almost believed somehow or rather it has taken its toll not only on my physical attributes but also on my psychological state of mind as well. I almost feel my mind started to freeze and I was suffering some sort of brain constipation. There are so many things that stuck in my mind, waiting to be translated into pieces of readable jottings but they just won't come bursting out flawlessly.

Luckily today... yes today, out of the blue I found my mental laxatives. It comes in a form that I couldn't possibly imagine myself. A Samaritan somewhere in the Blogosphere, sent me an email with a song (Wali band ha...ha...I found it really refreshing and funny) attached to it and after listening to that heart-thumping rendition with some body swaying and foot tapping, suddenly everything becomes very lively. My frozen state of mind started to thaw up faster that the melting iceberg in the northern Hemisphere, the idea started to flow and my fingers started to dance again on the key board.

What I really wanted to note down was that everything went well with the surgery last week. I walked in to the hospital last Tuesday and got myself warded. First it was for an endoscopic procedure to remove a stent in one of the bile ducts and later undergone a scheduled surgery to remove my gallbladder the next day. A day after the surgery I was happily discharged by the attending gastro surgeon. It has been a week now and Alhamdulillah I am feeling very much better each passing days.

Thank you everybody for your concern, the well-wishers, friends who continuously visited me in the ward even while I was still in my delirious state. I am especially very much grateful to both of my parent who came all the way from Ganukiter and spent the night at the hospital tending to my helplessness despite being told that my loving significant half will be with me all the time and no need to drive all the way to S. Alam. I guess that was the nature of parenthood. No matter what, how and where. Parent will always be there for you. I am blessed.

Now I am on a very long holiday. Perhaps a short break somewhere in a paradise island will heal the wound even faster. Perhaps a tip or two from a seasoned captain who find his heavenly sanctuary on the Kapas Island on how to conceal the scar from becoming too obvious would be a good idea too. I am feeling cool again.

After having a long thought on whether to show off to the whole world the aftermath of two and a half hours surgery - with a slight censorship to cover my modesty of course, there you can see three small dressings that cover the small wounds that pierced through my front abdomen. No six pack abs here but at least I managed to shave 2 inches of belly fat. That was considered a big achievement and i will try to keep it that way. Not much pain as far as I can remember. I guess a stab at the back is probably far more painful especially by someone you trusted before.

Haiya Pete! Your practical joke this time had almost caused a confusion if not panic among the hospital staffs. I don't intend to be casted away to the Seychelles Island for having myself involved in another humiliating Datukship scam. Since you owe me an apology, another sashimi session would be suffice. No heart feeling though, thank you for your thought and kind gesture. However, the Malay believe if you keep chanting that word 40 times like a mantra, it might become a reality. You'll never know your luck...so keep chanting my dear Pete!

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