Monthly Archives: March 2014

mon lapin

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It is always advisable to enjoy  a few lighthearted moments in life.

Coco Nuit, 2 years old now

Coco Nuit, 2 years old now

My little rabbit, as black as night,

So black you can’t see him in twilight

My little rabbit, as soft as snow,

So soft to the touch, he is aglow

My little rabbit’s eyes, so brown and gentle,

He makes me happy, he is my petal

Mon lapin Coco Nuit, you are my bright light

You are my joy, you are my delight!

(poem by my young daughter)

malay malaise

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master.malaysia_airlines11

I had to write this post, I simply need to get it out of my system. My homeland Malaysia is now in mourning, since the announcement by our Prime Minister yesterday. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (Kuala Lumpur-Beijing) which disappeared an hour after take-off on March 8, ended in the remote part of the southern Indian Ocean 8 hours later. Hard to believe, but that’s the conclusion the authorities have arrived at after careful investigations. The Malaysian government has been criticised to no end in their handling of this unprecedented crisis. They believe they have done their best of course, and to a certain degree I’m sure they have. It’s more the manner in which matters were related and conveyed that’s in question. Many Malays (not all, there’s always exceptions) lack effective communication skills. I am a Malay, I know what I’m talking about. We can come across as defensive, aloof, even cold sometimes. See my point? I still have a lot to improve on myself! We don’t seem to express sentiments of concern, love or sympathy very well at times. In our culture and as a nation we might accept these flaws, we tend to close one eye over them. Never mind lah (Malaysians like to add lah at the end for emphasis), that’s what we would say. Some Malays can also be a bit laid back, they like to take their time, much to the annoyance of the Chinese especially, who are known as fast-moving people. So in the case of MH370, where lives were at stake, this character flaw is a definite setback. It’s imperative to move super quick and get your act right the first time around too!

Let me relate to you a simple story which happened to me the last time I was back in my homeland (a few years ago). I took my family out for a meal at a renowned international restaurant in our capital, Kuala Lumpur. I was disappointed however when the vegetables which I ordered didn’t fit the description on the menu. Seemed like the cook couldn’t be bothered to add butter and whatever else that was described, he simply boiled and served them. My mom told me not to stir a scene, just eat them up she said. I would have done so in the old days, but you see, I have changed quite a bit since living in the West for almost 2 decades now. I can’t just be quiet! I was paying a lot of money for the food and I believed I deserved exact copy as described, not a simplified version! I summoned a waiter and explained that I wasn’t too happy with my orders. Before I knew it, another waiter with better English came to apologise on behalf of the cook, and minutes later a perfect version of what I ordered (along with extras) was laid before me. Yes, I did get stares (much to my mom’s embarrassment and annoyance) but I’m used to that. At least my hubby wasn’t with me that time, he normally caused heads to turn just because he looked foreign. Oh, and by the way, there’s no such thing as it’s rude to stare in Malaysia either! Took me a while to practise averting my gaze quickly when I first lived in England.

Anyway, to sum up my point, even though the Malaysian authority had done what they could in handling this tragic incident, certain character flaws have got the better of them. Had it been a local event it would have been a storm in a teacup; we would have accepted, forgave, forgot and moved on like we normally do. But the loss of MH370 is an international catastrophe, other nations will not close one eye and be as forgiving or as understanding. Changes need to be made big time, Malay youths could do with thorough lessons in public relations and communication skills. Learn to express yourself effectively, it will benefit you in more ways than one. It helps make you more human. The English of course are very good at it. I recall my experience during bad turbulence on MH4 (London-Kuala Lumpur) when I returned home last time. The Englishman next to me looked very concerned, he noticed how scared I was, clutching my toddler tight. He tried to comfort me by talking and assisting me (we were served our meals then), which truly helped. The Malay guy on the other side couldn’t care tuppence how I felt, if he did, he didn’t show it. Need I say more? What is our admirable trait then, as Malay Muslims? The ability to accept (when all else fails), in this case to believe whole heartedly that MH370 has met its fate as decreed by God. Death is the only reality in this world, we shall all have a taste of it, how and when only God knows. Farewell MH370, my tears are with you, along with my prayers. May God grant abundance of strength to your loved ones to cope without you, may God replace their sadness in losing you with something better eventually.

spring blooms

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It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~ Charles Dickens

Hello everyone! Hope all well! I’m still recovering from coughs and colds, got the bug from my children who went downhill one after another the whole of last week. It’s quite common to catch a bug at the change of seasons. I didn’t quite mind it, but blowing hot and cold and the giddiness did get to me in the end. My hubby had to return from work earlier than usual last Friday as I felt so dizzy I couldn’t get up. Fortunately it was then the weekend so he was home to take care of us! At times like this I realise how crucial the role of a wife and mother is, when I’m down seems like the whole house is down too. My family can manage without me but it’s not the same somehow. I’m certain all wives and mothers out there understand what I’m trying to say. I’m afraid this is all I can manage this time around, still need to rest to recover fully. I leave you with several Spring blooms images I managed to capture recently, hope you’ll like them. I’ve also included a Malay song I used to love many moons ago, felt like having a listen to it today, don’t know why! Guess having been ill has made me a touch sentimental, felt a sudden need to stroll down memory lane…Till next time folks…take good care yeah!

* Just read the news that the missing flight MH370 (Malaysia Airlines) ended in the Indian Ocean. 😦 My thoughts and prayers are with those on board and their respective families, relatives and friends. Life is indeed very fragile.

cherry blossom can be seen on many streets

my plum tree is blossoming too

pink primroses in my garden

my yellow primroses

Great song (keeps me young at heart!), I still love it, 3 decades on! 🙂

seek peace

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The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. – Anne Frank

Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.Rachel Carson
 
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. – Henry David Thoreau

fear and hope

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The Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur-Beijing (MH370) that vanished a week ago is still missing. It made me reflect on the fragility of our entire existence. When I was in my teens and early adulthood, news of deaths/tragedies had little impact on me. The first one which affected me personally was the loss of a dear cousin when he was 17. He was 3 years my junior, we got on really well. He drowned a day before he was due to fly to The Philippines, he had won a trip competition. I was shocked, totally taken aback. I still remember my late dad sobbing away on his prayer mat after we received the heartbreaking news, it was his eldest brother’s son. We attended the funeral, it seemed so surreal. I visited his grave for a few months afterwards, it gave me comfort to read verses from our Holy Quran in dedication to him.

As time passed by I moved on, there were other deaths/tragedies of course but I wasn’t moved in the same way. Until my own beloved dad left us in December 2001 due to sudden terminal illness, it was devastating. I began to realise how fragile and temporary our life is, it was certainly a major turning point for me. I went around like a zombie, trying to live my life as normal but found it very difficult indeed. My husband and children kept me going, it’s hard to stay miserable and grim with a young family. Slowly life got back to the way it was, I could genuinely smile again. The world felt beautiful once more. Just like it was when I was a child, a teenager, a young adult.

But I’ve also become more cautious now, there’s this fear in my heart amidst the hope in daily living. Unlike my younger version who was carefree, who followed her heart and never bothered much with the consequences. Now it seems I worry over every little thing; with regards to myself, my hubby and children mainly. Health, safety, general well-being, you name it, I worry about them all. I’m definitely becoming more like my mom! It takes a while for me to get over tragic news these days, I brood over them longer than I should. I live in fear and in hope; knowing that illnesses, tragedies and deaths do occur recurrently in this fragile existence, no matter how careful we are. I know that when all efforts fail, one has to accept the fate decreed.

At the end of the day, we are not in full control of our lives, as much as we would like to believe so. We go through life as best as we can, with our respective faiths as guidance. We hope and pray for a good life and a good end. And we hope for mercy and forgiveness in the after life, God knows best. There has to be hope, to counter the fear. And I continue to live between the two, praying that God makes me stronger each day to cope with whatever life has in store for me. Right now I just pray they find MH370 real soon, for I know what it’s like to live between fear and hope. I’m sure many of you do too.

jbdl

my youngest amongst the blooming daffodils, happy times, Spring is here!

happy and carefree, as they should be

my older 3, happy and carefree, as they should be

NLN

colourful crocuses at the park, bringing hope and cheer after a bleak Winter

IHPH

my family, our journey in this life continues for now