About Me

My photo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A 40 something dad of five and a half wonderful kids with amazingly different traits and temperament from whom he wants a break from at times, yet wish they never grow older.....and be with him always.....(howzat possible?)and now wishing that he can be a stay at home dad......

31 May, 2007

Overdue Piccies from Makkah

I have been procrastinating on this...and my three days' hiatus is due to work and family commitments which are unusually too big for my plate at the moment.

I know I owe the prawn briyani recipe (please be patient as I will get wifey to post on her blog or email me the recipe - when you read this dear wifey, as a gentle reminder, please post on your blog or email me the recipe..LOL; wonders of technology!!!!) and a meme to do (D I will do it this week!).

In the meantime, enjoy the piccies.

p/s BTW D-I-L was finally discharged yesterday evening! He's doing well and thanks for all your well wishes.

The house where the Prophet (pbuh) was born

One of my stops everyday on the way back from Masjidil Haram for kebabs, fresh fruit juices and sandwich

One of those days longing for ice cream - Movenpick ice cream whilst enjoying the view of Fatah Gate of Masjidil Haram

View of Fatah Gate from Movenpick ice cream stall. A triplet-tower-building under construction next to Makkah Hilton

A sign at Jabal Thaur where the cave which the Prophet (pbuh) hid when he fleed his home

Jabal Thaur

Jabal Rahmah - where Adam and Hawa were runited after 400 years

Fully adorned Jamal (camel in arabic) at the foot of Jabal Rahmah. I rode one in the year 2000

Ji'ranah Mosque - one of the meeqat place

An interesting sign at Ji'ranah Mosque

Where Gua Hira' situates - the first revelation

One of the biggest Camel farms outside Mekkah (near Houdaibiah). Milking the Camel!

Close up - smile!!!

The camels at the farm

More camels

Tasting and buying fresh camel milk - i bought three bottles; yummy! Tastes a bit like light cocunut milk but sweeter

One of the arches of the original Houdaibiah Mosque

What's left of Houdaibiah Mosque

Where artefacts from the two holy Mosques are displayed

A very old mobile staircase to the Ka'abah door made of teak

Kibash briyani cooked by wifey's cousin, Najwa, whose mom has been staying in Mekkah since the mom was 13. Their house is 10 minutes' drive from Masjidil Haram. Can't wait for them to visit us this July.

The "floating" mosque in Jeddah. The mosque which Malaysians will stopover before adjourning to the airport before departing for Malaysia

This machine gun greeted us at the airport entry.......

27 May, 2007

Prawn Briyani 101

Mmm not exactly a tutorial on prawn briyani.
Spent half the morning yesterday, on my birthday, in an unlikely place for me - the kitchen! Wifey had an order for prawn briyani for 50 people...I decided, with her condition (5 months' pregnant) it was a husbandly duty to at least accompany her in the kitchen....It was an enlightening one for me too....At least I knew roughly how one of my favourite dishes is cooked...If you asked me the ingredients now - i'd say prwan, basmathi rice, onions, some spices, ghee, mint and corriander leaves, evaporated milk and pureed tomato. I'm sure there's more but I wasn't a good student yesterday! LOL (if you want the recipe, e-mail me ....!)
Wifey cooked a separate pot for us to wallop....Invited a couple of friends for a mid-night snack (how can I call it a snack when we devoured at least 3 plates each) last night....Even though we only had the rice and dhall (normally wifey would make raita or achar and spicy deep fried chicken , we left the pot clean to the brim!

The prawn and onion

Spices for the rice with screwpine leaves before the basmathi rice is mixed with them

The dhall

26 May, 2007

One short of forty

I turned one year short of forty six hours ago ...and very proud of it!

As usual my birthdays are like any other normal days. I like to keep it that way. My first birthday card was given last night about 9 pm when I sent my accounts assistant home and it was signed by both my secretary and her. Thanks J*** and In***. It was totally unexpected.

Today is also the birthday of my brother-in-law! If you are reading this, which I doubt, "Happy Birthday and many happy returns". He has cancelled his trip to Langkawi with his family together with d-i-l and m-i-l as d-i-l met with an accident last weekend.

D-I-L will get discharged today if everything is ok. Wifey and I are supposed to bring him home since we have a "lorry" (this is what I call my MPV - friends have jokingly asked me to upgrade to a mini-bus ever since wifey is pregnant with no. 5 and seriously they have a valid suggestion; we need a bigger vehicle!!!!)!

NB : Thepicture is taken fromwww.betterphoto.com and the copyright of Khawla S. Haddad whose website you can visit here

25 May, 2007

Mumbai Se...NOT... Mumbai Grill

This is Mumbai of a different kind. It's Mumbai Grill at The Ampwalk, Jalan Ampang (it's part of Passage Through India restaurants). Stumbled upon this Indian eatery when I was scouting for new office premises.

Mumbai Grill offers Bollywood fusion food hence the dedication to Bollywood actors and actresses on a huge wall of the eatery which is the focal point of the restaurant. I could only recognise Aishawarya Rai, her father in- law and Salman Khan as I don't follow Bollywood movies. It's strange that Sharukh Khan was not on the picture collage. But then again I may have not recognised him there....

They serve set lunches ( at least there were seven varieties) as cheap as RM11.90 before taxes (Note : MONDAYS to FRIDAYS only and not available during public holidays). The set lunch comes in the form of a soup, main dish and a drink of your choice.

I had difficulty in choosing my food. The chicken briyani ("Dum Briyani") appeared brilliant as it's cooked in a sealed mud pot over coal (at least that is what was described on the menu). My first choice would be lamb...Apparently they don't cook the lamb the "Dum" way. It's cooked separately from the rice briyani (which is cooked using the "Dum" method). Of course I was distracted a bit and wanted to try the Persian set which consists of two kebab rolls, one chicken and the other lamb....I didn't bother looking at the rest of the sets for fear of having to spend three long hours mulling over which one to choose. Had the chicken "Dum" briyani in the end and Mango lassi to go with it (the soup was a clear but spicy chicken soup which is quite different - that's fusion for you! The service was really fast....

Verdict - the briyani was very spicy which I love...The chicken (three chunks of them) were tender, fresh and succulent and of course spicy to the bone. The side dishes were raita (with a twist - I couldn't tell what was different to this raita unfortunately), some pickles (extra spicy), half a boiled egg and pappads - excellent!

Mumbai Grill is located at G-02, Ground Floor, The Ampwalk, 216 Jalan Ampang. Tel : 21623885

Nice and very clean restaurant

The set lunch menu

Yeehaa...Chicken Dum Briyani

Baden-Powell junior

Yusof's going on a three-day-two-night camping trip with his school scout mates and of course his teachers. This is his first school trip which requires overnight stay. Somehow the decison of letting go of a son, as opposed to a daughter, on a long trip with overnight stay seems easier to make although I must say it took us about two weeks to decide whether to allow him to go on this trip after persistent persuasion by him. I didn't want to miss what I went through during my scouting trips in primary school...But then again, my mum was one of the scouting mistresses....So less worry for my parents then!

Last night was about buying of what he needs for the trip which I did on my own....Asked the maid to do the prelimnary packing for Yusof and off we went to visit D-I-L at the hospital with all four - wifey didn't follow as she was a bit knackered. BTW D-I-L has shown a lot of improvement.

Upon reaching home, did the final packing for Yusof in his presence and briefed him on what to wear when etc....He just nodded throughout the briefing.

This morning, on the way to school ran through a final round of instructions..like please change undie at least twice a day...make sure wet/damp clothings are hang-dried before putting in to the solied clothes plastic etc etc...Made sure he understood everything by asking him to repeat which he managed to hit 70% in accuracy..But the implementation side of it...I just have to trust him!

Hope he will enjoy three days of night walks, jungle trekking, pond rafting, flying fox etc etc.....

24 May, 2007

Ampang Daily Photo Blog

I'm sure by now you guys know that my daughter, Khadijah has two blogs (look at the right panel under MY HAUNTS) and one of them is a community blog which she joined after wifey and I encouraged her to do so. One of her interests is photography, so it's a natural progression and logical that she did so.
Just before her exam commenced she received a comment from a Melbourne University journalism student, who happens to be a Malaysian, doing an article on photobloggers and DailyCityPhoto community and wanted to interview her for the fact that she's the youngest photoblogger in her community. I actually read this first and, naturally, got a little bit excited over this and told her to reply, after making some checks, to say that she's interested in the interview through emails but only after she'd finished her mid-year. Ans so she replied last night and asked her to cc a copy to me....Her goes the email to Al****:-
"Hello Al****,

Heheh you should also try visting Malaysia Daily Photo [http://malaysiadailyphoto.blogspot.com]. The blogger is new to the community. ;)

Yes I'm the youngest but I'm sure there are more students younger than me who would want to try posting on their city. I feel very delighted and happy to be able to show Ampang through my eyes.

I found out the Daily City Daily Photo Blog community when my father showed me Kuala Lumpur Daily Photo. That was the first Daily Photo Blog site I saw, and from there I started browsing other Daily Photo Blogs. I started Ampang DailyPhoto this year on March the 21st, so I'm still quite a newbie in the community but the newest member is the Malaysia Daily Photo as I've mentioned before.

At first, it was rather hard to post a picture everyday. But after a few months I got used to it and now it's like a hobby after a day at school.

I started photography last year when my dad bought me my first digital camera. What attracts me about photography is that it helps me to wind down after a very tired day at school and photography als helps me to see things from a different point of view.

In my opinion it has helped me to be more responsible to post everyday to show what's going on here in Ampang. I think it has made me learn about other countries around the world and can imrove my Geography better. I sometimes feel nervous when I know that other people around the world view my pictures. I feel worried about the quality of the pictures if the picture is good enough but at the same time I feel happy because I get to share my city to everyone. I think it has changed the way I think a bit. It has made me think more mature than how I used to think.

I guess that's about it; just drop me another e-mail because I know I did this kinda badly.
Have a nice day!"

She's been asking for a dSLR to bring her to the next level.....We'll see how she performs in her exams this year. So far -has been very encouraging! There goes RM3k end of this year...LOL. But the deal is to share the dSLR with me!

Ah well....it's wifey's and my education philosophy to bring up our kids well-rounded. Well, isn't that most parents' philosophy? As schooling in Malaysia is academically-focussed...we have to really crack our head to think on how not to bring up our kids as stereotypes and not kill the right brain of our children in the process.

I used to, long ago, have this idea that my kids must live my dreams......I found out soon enough that it always backfired. It's now suggesting to them what they might be interested in and give them our fullest support once they have made the decision.....I had made a mistake a few years back asking Khadijah to take up flute....and excitedly I bought her one....A year later she dropped out - her reason was she was not comfortable with a male instructor....And trying to find a female flutist was sooo difficult. There was one lady flutist from the MPO but she was very busy and hence explains a grand worth of investment is lying somewhere in her room idly...But she'd play for me occasionally. She's picked up the piano instead now.....And that is her choice!

23 May, 2007

When things go wrong......

Life's like a wheel...Sometimes it's up sometimes it's down and sometimes it's down and grazed by gravels...

A friend of mine gave me this a few years back. I revisit it everytime when I'm down and it lifts my spirit immediately. But always remember...do count your blessings each time when you are faced with challenges....Then you will have a better perpective of the challenge.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit

Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup
And he learned too late when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems afar
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit

21 May, 2007

La fête d'anniversaire/عيد ميلاد الحزب

As in any other events, Ib's and Umar's birthday party was not spared with glitches...
We told the bakers that we would pick up the cakes at 9 sharp so that we could pick up the currypuffs at Mak Jah's at half nine! When we arrived, there was only one cake in the chiller, which is Ib's Beemer cake and the T-Rex cake was no where to be found! The pastry chef arrived late and her staff could not find the cake....She finally arrived at five past nine and sauntered in to the shop unperturbedly despite the noise my four kids were making and the fact that an agitated father was ready to pounce on her! She made her way to the kitchen and came up with a cake which was as clean as a hound's tooth. She had to start the icing from scratch! She had the cheek to say that she was busy finishing the cakes which some customers ordered the day before and scheduled to picj up much later in the day...Where's the logic here? We ordered a week ago and scheduled to pick it up at 9 a.m! Confrontation would not solve anything and I had to endure a ten minutes' of "why dad this" and "why dad that" plus "Dad, I'm thirsty" "Dad I'm hungry" despite the breakfast mom had provided them an hour before. Lucky that a "sharp" staff offered my kids hot milo and buns on the house! Got the cake and heade for Mak Jah's and guess what? The curry puffs weren't there! Apparently the owner was told by a staff that I would come about 10 a.m. I made that staff write 9.30 in the diary and did he bother checking the diary? Typical... The owner led me the way to a house where the curry puffs were! It was ready all this while......Imagine my time wasted. Finally evrything was done by close to 10 a.m. Drove rather frantically to Isi Rimba as my invitation card says from 10 a.m.
By the time we reached there it was quarter past 10 already and there was Ra**an and his family already helping themselves in the stream. What an embarassment for us!
We started the party with the stream first as we wanted all the kids to arrive before the singing/cake cutting/games...Food was served piecemeal basis as suggested by Kak Heart of Isi Rimba - which was a brilliant idea....At least the guests had a go at all of the food whipped by Kak Heart herself - Chinese Fried Rice, Bee Hoon Goreng, Coleslaw, BBQd chickens sausages and fish, nuggets, fruits and pudding. We brought along packet nasi lemaks, roti jala and curry, kueh koci and curry puffs.
The kids had fun in the stream and did not bother to eat at all apart from junk food! The kids were really looking forward to the cakes, though...Strawberry and blackforest cakes!
Khadijah helped (but got distracted a lot of times while helping me) me made a Pinata out of samll box decorated with blue and white crepe paper. Considere buying one....but one costs RM70 from this big toy shop...Mmm...it was an easy way out by the Treasury department would surely gave me ahrd time if I did that! In the end I spent RM8 for the Pinata. I smiled after it was mutilated by the kids thinking how much I had saved!
A few of our guests left about 1 pm since some of the kids have exams the following day. We continued with two more games of relay in balloon blowing and tug-of-war. I think everybody had fun.....Most of the guests left about half two and my immediate family stayed on until 4 pm....And the thunder roared thereafter! Perfect timing!
Honestly, we definitely will go back to Isi Rimba...The place is great, food is above my expectation and Kak Heart is a gem! I don't have qualms to recommend friends this place...If you are looking for a fuss free birthday parties, try Isi Rimba!

Trying to sort the kids out in to two teams which took ages for me to do. I wonder how teachers manage 40 kids in a class????

My auntie who's such fun to be around with my mum

Eagerly waiting to blow the candles

Nicking the fresh cream from the cake
The only blew with one breath

What a mess Umar!

Mum and Dad cutting the cakes. Notice my latest hairstyle....very easy to maintain

Yusof with all his might hitting the Pinata which I made

Ib having a go. It took about 15 rounds of hitting (3 hits each round) before the Pinata gave way
What a leeway for Umar by the person who controlled the rope

Superwoman's daughter having a go

Tug-of-war in the stream

Prizes enough for all the participants

Mishap - updated

Wifey just came back from the hospital and told me that my D-I-L was in an upbeat mood albeit a bit disoriented.

He kept repeating the story of how he said his car was actually parked at a hospital to which my wife answered that was probably what went through his mind whilst the accident happened. My M-I-L was quick to quip, "nasib baik teringat park kat hospital and not batu 2" (lucky that he thought he was parked at a hospital and not a cemetary".....He even asked my wife whether she thought that he could be paralysed....etc etc....to which wifey said a flat NO. Still talking about when are we going back to Kedah to see his orchard and his "rest house" (a pondok) which we have had to cancel a few times the last one in March (school holidays) when he got himself hospitalised. We'll see whether wifey will be up to it this coming school hols.

His operation is on as scheduled. We'll go to the hospital tonight and see him.


After the party, my mom-in-law and my niece came back to our house which was 10 minutes away from Isi Rimba. Whilst chatting away over tea and kuehs which my mom bought, (apparently Yusof told her to buy as according to him I love those kuehs namely bingka ubi and cara berlauk - I was so touched by this BTW!), my m-i-l received a call from wifey's sis to say that dad-in-law met with an accident in Slim River (he was on his way back from Alor Setar).

S-I-L received a call from some people from Slim River (not from hospital) to say that they were waiting for an ambulance to transport D-I-L to the hospital. Despite not wanting to hope for the worst, it had to be quite a bad accident. S-I-L and her nuggy drove from Shah Alam to Slim River to sort out a transfer from Slim River hospital to UMMC (where my S-I-L works).

Managed to get information regarding the extentof his injuries only at about 9.30 pm. Broken femur (2 sites), broken collar bone (not very bad) and a cut on the head. He's scheduled for an operation this afternoon....We are all praying that everything will be ok!

His car, an old Morris Minor (which all his grandkids call Tut Tut; he collects old cars you see) was badly damaged and lucky for him he drove this car; despite the age it's solid! A policeman made a remark saying that had it been a kancil, it would have broken in to two..(that's how bad the accident was). Apparently my D-I-L was very ill...He had high fever (due to an infection [same infection as in my posting earlier] and low blood pressure without us knowing! In spit of this, he drove back by himself! According to him he felt very ill and then the accident happened - he hit a divider, his car flung to the other side of the road and flung back to where he originally was. It was God's grace that no other vehicles passed by at that moment as that place is known for speedy vehicles zooming past......

19 May, 2007

Isi Rimba

The hut which will be the centre of the party

Drove up to Isi Rimba this morning with my three boys to send the bday posters to be put up at the entrance of Isi Rimba.

Have a glimpse of what Isi Rimba is all about.

The shallow stream which is the most upper part of Kemensah where the "resorts" are.
The main R&R area

on my mind certainly constantly

on my mind certainly constantly