Selasa, 29 September 2009

Ahad, 23 Ogos 2009

Would you set free a tikus kesturi?

2 Ramadan 1430H

She set free a tikus kesturi, instead of kill-baking it under the tropical sun. Her heart had the capacity to pity the rodent. I wonder what trait my late maternal grandmother had altered to be the gentle human being she was. Even Dad saluted her great nature.

Grandma was a great cook who spent endless hours preparing food in the kitchen. She only started learning how to cook after marrying, yet she mastered the art well. With what little spare time, she managed to make room for knitting, sewing, gardening, and reading.

To the day she passed away, Grandma’s mind was as sharp as I remembered her in my childhood memories. Senility was out of place to describe her. Four years after her passing, the little room with red cement-floor changed too little.

My paternal grandfather is a great person too. He kept by his wife’s side when she was warded for diabetes. Leave it to him to demonstrate what unconditional love is.

What life-learning lessons made these elders to be such wonderful souls?

Search what tikus kesturi means here, Pusat Rujukan Persuratan Melayu.

Selasa, 21 Julai 2009

The Sky Doctors

28 Rejab 1430H

I am an old wooden hut on the edge of the polluted river. In me, the old doctor bends over his work-table, focusing his attention to his quasi-flat patient; cutting little details into what locals call a wau. The old man is a rare breed among the languishing craftsmen who produce the traditional kites. Their flying arts decorate the windy evening skies of the paddy harvesting season.

My Dad’s tale of how the name, “wau” came to be:
Foreigners in the peninsular were amazed when they saw the flying kites, exclaiming “Wow!” with fingers pointing to the kite dancing with the wind. The locals thought that “Wow” was its name in the outsiders’ tongue; and nodded with a smile, confidently repeating the name. The foreigners thought that “Wow” was what locals call such an item. Thus an amazing example of miscommunication. The jawi spelling of the sound “wow” and the word “wau” would be the letters wau-alif-wau.

A silhouette of the wau kucing is visible on the vertical stabilizer of a MAS airplane.

Thanx to Sooch for information on the location of the picture.

Rabu, 1 Julai 2009

Guy Ring Finger and the silver ring quest

Dikemaskini: 8 September 2011M / 10 Syawal 1432H, Khamis.

8 Rejab 1430H

“What are the elements in suasa?”, Guy Ring Finger asked the To: Me jewelry saleswoman.

“Silver, gold, some...”, she replied.

Upon hearing the word “gold”, Guy was stunned and masked it with a set of nods.

Guy was on a quest for a special ring to milestone a very special occasion in his life. The bizarre quest required the special ring to be of neither platinum, nor suasa, nor white gold, nor yellow gold. That left the option to point him towards a silver ring.

For Girl Ring Finger, Guy had bought – simple and sweet – a beautiful white gold ring with a sole precious stone. At this point in time, Guy purposely ignored a ring for himself.

Hunting online, Guy discovers a silver collection of rings hosted by Tiff. A trip to the Tiff shop, Guy finds a corrugated silver ring of just the right size snugly hugging him. The silver little hoop was within Girl’s means.

Fast-forward several chapters later, both fingers married and exchanged their rings. They lived blissfully within company of the other.

After a check at DBP's official website, suasa can either be electrum or pinchbeck or something else. Just to be on the safe side, the Malay term is used.

Hukum memakai cincin suasa bagi lelaki Islam adalah HARAM!
Untuk mendapat penerangan lebih lanjut, sila dengar video ini sekitar minit ke-5:26

Jumaat, 19 Jun 2009

Badminton match at Garment Land

25 Jamadil Akhir 1430H

Once upon a time...

anywhere in the realm of imagination; the prosperous Garment Land, formed by 13 diverse clothe racks, was ruled by the ingenious ruler, Royal Tengkolok.

One day, Tengkolok ordered a royal mixed-doubles badminton match. The chosen participants were Baju Melayu and Baju Kurung, Changshan and Qipao, and, Kurta and Sari. Garments from across the racks came that placid morning.

As the match progressed, an odd-fashioned garment suddenly descended into the court. The Security Uniforms immediately detained the intruding garment. Introducing itself as Lingerie, it offensively challenged the players to a back-to-back duel.

Unbeknown to the arrogant Lingerie, the players are professionals refining their ambidexterity by playing in their less-dominant hand. The match was intended as a ‘warming-up’ session.

Tengkolok sent the participants on a trip to meet the glorious Champion’s Robe while Lingerie was sent to the horrifying Washing Machine who lived in the neighboring Dhobi Land.

Thanks to Ian Yates for the Adobe Illustrator tutorial :).
See the tutorial here, Create the First Page of a Fairy Tale Story Book, with a Hint of Kitsch.

Thanks to Mei Mei for the help with the terms: Changshan, Cheongsam, and Qipao.

Rabu, 17 Jun 2009

Dad & Computers

23 Jamadil Akhir 1430H

Dad has a faintly bad spot for computers. Computers are as foreign as the continent on the other side of the world – behaving like you know, and yet ignorant of its customs.

Dad is a Generation Jones, who came to know computers some 20 years later in life. His acceptance is fair as he was once a typist – tapping away the QWERTY buttons on the old-fashioned typewriter.

Rapid evolution contributed to the bad spot; the old man was slow to catch-up, consequently couldn’t grasp the knowledge firmly although gave learning some tries. He was left at the furthest station.

Dad says modern life is too challenging for him, that it’s not a place for old men. He hates wearing glasses meant for his farsightedness. The glasses are aging traits that reminds him.

However difficult to assimilate computers in everyday life, and avoids being ruled by them, Dad does use the computer at work. At home, he uses it to listen to religious recitals.

Dad spores a similar spot for telephones, but that’s another story.

Ahad, 14 Jun 2009

A letter to Dad

20 Jamadil Akhir 1430H

Dear Dad,

How are you and everyone? Hope all are in great condition. I am writing so as to tell you I am doing well at this college.

On Monday, i was 10-minutes late for the assembly. A facilitator stopped me in my tracks and asked, “What good is he, if a man does not keep his word?”, and then let me off. He sure is a wise one as the wise say little, while the fools babble.

About 3 a.m. on Wednesday, all 13 of us each ate eggs fried on a clothes iron. Hungry men aren’t picky about their food, you know. Lucky we ‘cooked’ on the 7th floor; as the smell of butter was noticeable. The saying, “It takes three-years to learn something good, but a day to learn something bad”, was proven. Half-bad, I presume.

All work and no play make me a dull geek. Next weekend I’m going for a dip at the hot springs; the stream afterwards.

A strong steed cannot be raised in the yard. Thank you, Dad for not sparing the rod over me. That goes to show how an old horse knows the way.

Send my regards to Mum.



Sabtu, 13 Jun 2009

Ducky & Skwik’s Communication Myth

19 Jamadil Akhir 1430H

One myth. Two myth busters. Three endings: “Busted”, “Confirmed”, or “Plausible”.

One of the myths in human communication is, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”.

At a mamak eatery, Ducky the Martian Darling and Skwik the Venusian Scatterbrain were unintentionally putting the myth gears to work.

“Ducky hunny, why do we always fight? Where did we go wrong?”, Skwik asks.

“Both sides need to commit for a two-way communication to be. That’s where we fail, dear”, replies Ducky, ending with a sigh.

“But Ducky; what comes out your mouth contradicts what is written on your face. Should I believe what you say? Or trust what I see? It’s better to see once, than to hear a hundred times.”

“So, if you look ill to me, I’ll just drag your tail to a vet, even if you’re screaming fit and healthy”. An evil glee grew on Skwik’s face as an invisible syringe plunges the air.

Let’s leave Ducky and Skwik to themselves to finish their talk. The possible ending for Ducky and Skwik’s communication myth is: ...

Rabu, 10 Jun 2009

The Dead Cat

16 Jamadil Akhir 1430H

From Gulaley the pink cotton candy

A cat that loves to purr doesn’t catch mice; the saying goes. Neither does a dead cat.

The news of death instantly stuns consciousness to a standstill. Its momentum freezes everything. Blood flushes out from the head, following the force of gravity. Disbelief -- a self-created shield reflects the momentum. Denial -- an absorbent to dampen oscillation in Disbelief.

Outside, the stunned’s awareness seems lost in space. Motion is paralyzed. Mind is in coma.

The heart grows hollow; the contents drawn into a black hole. A painful void sums up inside the chest, alternately appears and disappears at intervals before agonizing ripping.

The void and ripping reiterate as memories of the lost loved ones flicker. Indescribable agony substitutes the lost.

I can feel your lost. Care to feel mine?

Ignorance is bliss; some say. Can it be ignored?

A lazy cat won’t even catch a dead mouse; the saying goes.

You don’t care to feel my lost. Are you lazy? Or are you dead?

Selasa, 9 Jun 2009

The Sinking Joker

15 Jamadil Akhir 1430H

From Gulaley the pink cotton candy

Eating junk food before the swim was my bad idea. I struggled in the pool like a half-choking engine. Food waited to become vomit as i tipped myself the wrong way.

“Abang, how did you learn to swim?”, I asked my significant other after the night’s dip.

“I just kind of jumped in the water and moved about. Friends gave lessons too”, the silhouette countered the question with a trail of mouth exhaust. It took in another puff.

Self-learning, you are your own teacher.

“If sinking is considered swimming, then i’m a gracious sinker”. That’s my reply whenever asked about my swim skills. That’s the cross product of penaakulan mantik with a sinking joker. My way of admitting i can’t swim.

A Dad-narrated swim story flashed somewhere in my brain hemispheres. Dad came to realize the preciousness of life and learn to rely on one’s self when he almost drowned, alone, in a gulf. A secret only he knew, kept for decades long. A hard-learned lesson. Poor thing.

The car rumbled away to an eatery. Supper time!

Jumaat, 17 April 2009

Kompleks Kolam Renang Awam, Pusat Sukan Air Presint 6, Putrajaya

Updated: 5th March 2010. Sorry the map came very late.

21 Rabiul Akhir 1430H

Swimming! The latest activity to fill-up my 'other than office hours' time. If sinking like a rock, only more graceful *ehem*, is considered swimming -- then, i am one graceful sinker :p.

The swimming pools at Kompleks Kolam Renang Awam, Pusat Sukan Air Presint 6, Putrajaya are opened to the public. Google map 1 shows the geographic location of the pool. Pic 1 and Pic 2 shows the complex from outside.

View Kompleks Kolam Renang Awam, Pusat Sukan Air Presint 6, Putrajaya in a larger map
Google map 1 - Showing the swimming pool and Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel.

Pic 1 - The swimming pool complex is shown in the lower background.

Pic 2 - The swimming pool complex, outside close-up.

The pools referred here, are as in:
1 pool for adults (partly shown in Pic 3), and
1 pool for children.

Both pools are open-aired.

Pic 3 - Partial view of the adult pool. Pool depth ranges from 1.0m to 2.0m.

Pic 4 shows the swimming sessions as well as ticket rates. Ladies' session are at 5pm-7pm on Tuesday and Thursday, shown in Pic 4 and Pic 5. Other than the ladies' session, the pool is opened to mixed sessions. However, note that the pools are closed on Monday, as shown in small-sized texts at the bottom of Pic 4, and in Pic 5.

Pic 4 - Tables of swimming sessions and ticket rates.

Pic 5 - Ladies' session, and Monday as off-day.

To get to the aforementioned complex, just follow the signboard heading to PICC (Putrajaya International Convention Center). Then, follow the signboard pointing to Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel. The water pool is behind (if not beside) the hotel, a stone's throw away outside the hotel's compound.

Hearteous thanxs to Abang for the swimming lessons :D.

Jumaat, 3 April 2009

PTPTN: Payment 17 [Finale]

8 Rabiul Akhir 1430H

Pic 1 -

Alhamdulillah :). Finally, my study debt is over! Now to focus the money somewhere else ;D.

What should i do next? Contact PTPTN about the settled debt to get a B&W conformation?

Isnin, 9 Mac 2009

We are mere mortals

12 Rabiul Awal 1430H

Early this morning, my maternal grandfather passed away.


Somehow, i feel a little regret not traveling back to my mother's kampung for the funeral.

Below, a haiku.

We are mere mortals,
Today we meet and rejoice,
Tomorrow we 'go'.

[My rented room, 194 TSS. 12 Rabiul Awal 1430H, 9 Mac 2009, Mon. 07:28.]

Khamis, 5 Mac 2009

PTPTN: Payment 16

8 Rabiul Awal 1430H

Pic 1 -

Remaining debt: RM 340.87

One more month to go, then all debt langsai (settle) :D

Isnin, 23 Februari 2009

PTPTN: Payment 15

27 Safar 1430H

Pic 1 -

Remaining debt: RM840.87 and still going d~o~w~n~ :D.

Insya-Allah, the study loan from the licensed ah long PTPTN will settle by early April 2009 :D.

Jumaat, 23 Januari 2009

PTPTN: Payment 14

26 Muharam 1430H

Pic 1 -

Remaining debt: RM 1,339.50

Hehe~! :D
It's going down down down d...o...w...n...~!

Isnin, 19 Januari 2009

Isnin, 5 Januari 2009

PTPTN: Payment 13

8 Muharam 1430H

Pic 1 -

Remaining debt: RM 2,335.12.

It's going down~... :)

Salam Ma'al Hijrah 1430H & Selamat tahun baru 2009 :)