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......

17 December, 2009

Salam Ma'al Hijrah

Another year has come to an end....

"What have I achieved?" is indeed the routine question....I really have to sit down and make sure that my set goals are achieved next year.

Anyway....here's wishing all of you out there "Salam Ma'al Hijrah" and may this new year be a better one in all aspects.

We are closing the office early today to allow everyone to take their time to reflect and to join in the making of both the du'as communally as well as ushering the new year.

I shall leave you with the du'as.........

Maksudnya: (End of year du'a)
"Allah SWT berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad SAW, ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabat baginda dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.
Wahai Tuhan, apa yang telah aku lakukan dalam tahun ini daripada perkara-perkara yang Engkau tegah daripada aku melakukannya dan aku belum bertaubat daripadanya. Sedangkan Engkau tidak redha dan tidak melupakannya. Dan aku telah melakukannya di dalam keadaan di mana Engkau berupaya untuk menghukumku, tetapi Engkau mengilhamkanku dengan taubat selepas keberanianku melakukan dosa-dosa itu semuanya. Sesungguhnya aku memohon keampunanMu, maka ampunilah aku. Dan tidaklah aku melakukan yang demikian daripada apa yang Engkau redhainya dan Engkau menjanjikanku dengan pahala atas yang sedemikian itu. Maka aku memohon kepadaMu.

Wahai Tuhan! Wahai yang Maha Pemurah! Wahai Yang Maha Agung dan wahai Yang Maha Mulia agar Engkau menerima taubat itu dariku dan janganlah Engkau menghampakan harapanku kepadaMu Wahai Yang Maha Pemurah. Dan Allah berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad, ke atas ahli kelugra dan sahabat-sahabatnya dan mengurniakan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka

Maksudnya: (New Year du'a)

Allah SWT berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad SAW, ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabat baginda dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.

Wahai Tuhan, Engkaulah yang kekal abadi, yang qadim. yang awal dan ke atas kelebihanMu yang besar dan kemurahanMu yang melimpah dan ini adalah tahun baru yang telah muncul di hadapan kami. Kami memohon pemeliharaan dariMu di sepanjang tahun ini dari syaitan dan pembantu-pembantunya dan tentera-tenteranya dan juga pertolongan terhadap diri yang diperintahkan melakukan kejahatan dan usaha yang mendekatkanku kepadaMu Wahai Tuhan Yang Maha Agung dan Maha Mulia.
Wahai Tuhan Yang Maha pengasih dari mereka yang mengasihi dan Allah berselawat ke atas penghulu kami Muhammad. Nabi yang ummi dan ke atas ahli keluarga dan sahabat-sahabatnya dan kesejahteraan ke atas mereka.

10 December, 2009

Over Cendol.....

Am I back with a vengeance blogging? I really don't know...I have been putting off blogging as I need to do some housekeeping for this blog of mine...Currently it is really misleading and tweaking it is so time-consuming. Let's see whether I can keep the momentum going, time-permitting.

I have 3 hours to kill while waiting for Khadijah sit for her MARA entrance exam at a quaint little place in Seremban...Haji Sharif Cendol. This could be the cendol near Sembilan Supermarket which we frequented almost every Saturday during school term sold from a mobile stall with the ice manually shaven. I'm devouring my second bowl now! The cocunut milk is not too creamy and the coconut palm sugar syrup is sweet enough and no after taste for the cendol bits. This place is running on a full house even though it is only half three in the afternoon. I'm sharing the table with a couple from Hongkong! Everybody seems to be having a version of Haji Sharif's cendol and mee rojak! My bb is acting up hence no pics can be uploaded now.
I have just been told that Haji Sharif used to operate from a mobile stall near A&W/Telekom...and not near Sembilan Supermarket.
Three paragraphs is good after a three-month-hiatus? I think so too.

17 September, 2009


Sempena Hari Raya Aidil Fitri yang mulia ini, saya sekeluarga, ingin mengucapkan ucapan SELAMAT HARI RAYA & MAAF ZAHIR DAN BATIN. Kepada anda yang akan memandu balik ke kampung masing-masing, pandulah dengan cermat dan selamat semoga selamat sampai ke destinasi anda, Insya Allah.

In the mean time, stay focussed with your ibadah during, what's left of, the month of Ramadhan and we can only pray that we will meet again this beautiful month next year!

Enjoy my all-time favorite Raya advert (I much prefer Raja Ema version but alas embedding is not allowed...
But click here to watch it!)

12 August, 2009

Sweet 15

Khadijah turned 15 today. We had a small celebration last night after her iftar. We ordered pizzas and wifey baked her a carrot cake...

My only advice to you dearest sweetie.....always remember Allah in whatever you do and insya Allah everything will be just fine and taken care of for you!

And...don't grow too fast, dear baby!

28 June, 2009

This and That

Khadijah's piece
Khadijah's piece too
I now fully fathom what the hype is all about - Revenge of the Fallen! It was freaking awesome (to borrow the most over-used phrase by my kids). Dad was indeed awestruck despite some reviews that it lacked substance. Well I paid to be entertained and entertained I was.
Comments from my kids :-
Khadijah - " Josh Duhamel is hot"
Yusof - .....stoic.....
Ibraheem - chatter..."Prime"...chatter..."Best"
Umar - giggle....giggle "It was funny the insect decepticon" laugh..laugh...
Mum - "Action packed!"

I was lucky to be able to get tickets for Sunday night show without any fuss...When I collected the tickets last Thursday, I even managed to get for Mrs N 6 tickets! The kids enjoyed the show very much and now they are sleeping soundly dreaming of their hero Mr Optimus Prime. I bet you they will be harassing me for the DVD from tomorrow! It will never end, I tell you.
Khadijah has started her art lessons with Janiz who's quite impressed with the rate that Khadijah is picking up drawing techniques. Janiz is teaching her figurative art - on proportions in particular. Khadijah has also started volunteering at SPCA. She's beating the system at home since cats and other hairy pets are not allowed at home as Ibraheem is allergic to fur.
Yusof's major exam, JSLA (Junor School Leaving Assessment ) is coming up quite soon...And true to his form, he is only flipping through the books like, now.
Ibraheem is hand-washing his clothes daily (flooding the house in the process) distrusting the results that my trusted-14-year-old-front-load-washing machine produce. He is still diligent but showing some signs of deterioration which needs to be closely monitored.
Umar has progressed from his Qirati to Quran. He loves to read; pretty enthusiastic that we have to bear listening to him reading everything loudly; food labels including!
Hajar is turning fiercer by the day..We think that this is her natural reaction to survive in a male dominating household...
Ah...another busy week ahead. Breathe in breathe out! Looking forward to Half-Blood Prince the movie. Hoping to catch this with the kiddos.

26 June, 2009

Mr Imelda

Yusof has finally decided to save up his pocket money but for all the wrong reasons - to spend on things that he loves! His penchant for shoes is definitely driving him to earn the title "Mr Imelda"!
He has been sharing with me of his newfound love "Macbeth" the past few months - not of the Shakespearean kind though, which I secretly hoped it was (err...I mean love for literature and not modelling after Macbeth)! So this Macbeth is actually a brand for , among others, shoes!
So Pavilion was our destination last Sunday as this was one of the few places he could make his Macbeth footwear purchase after he barely saved enough money for a pair. His last straw to make up his insufficient savings was to wash all three of our toilets at home for RM20 that Sunday morning!
So, armed with his pad of notes (a lot of them were in RM1 and RM5 - so imagine the thick pad carried in his pocket!) he strode confidently into the store and asked for the one which he liked. Alas, there was no size for him; which is UK size 9 (may be it was the cutting; his normal size would be 7.5 - 8)! He had to then pick a pair which was RM20 short of his savings which I paid the shortfall! Well, mind you, it was not without quid pro quo! Suffice to say that the maid does not have to scrub the toilets this weekend!
Have a good weekend! Looking forward to T2 on Sunday!

24 June, 2009


Yes....!! The constant nagging since a month ago will be laid to rest finally. I actually managed to secure an on line booking for ..yah...Tranformers : Revenge of the Fallen, T2 in short. Mmm all this talk about being sold out for the next week is utter rubbish. So all of us are going minus Hajar.
It's Umar and Ibraheem who have been really looking forward to T2. Ironically, the movie is rated PG13 (even Yusof doesn't qualify to watch!). Let's just hope it will not be too violent to leave scarring marks in their minds. I have not watched T1 in full despite the 24/7 DVD screenings at home. So I need to sit down and watch T1 before this Sunday!
I really can't blame these kids for desperately wanting to watch T2. Every where they go, they are slapped with T2 images, merchandise etc and naturally they can't escape from being absorbed in the hype! The power of media.
But I know for certain that my life will be easier at home till Sunday!

23 June, 2009

What else...kids!

Let's just say that Khadijah and her team mates didn't get to, literally (well they were to present a disfigured pineapple to their opponent had they won the debate) and figuratively, mutilate a pineapple today. Her debate team lost to the state reigning champion team which school bears "pineapple" as part of its name. When I called her right after the debate, she was in high spirit, which for a wee moment I thought they had trumped their opponents. In their mind, I was told, they were the victors! I like their attitude - that's the spirit laddies!

Since the tourney was not a round robin one.., she can now retire early as usual. She and her team mates have been sleeping around 3 a.m. since last week scouring the net for resources and discussing points via IM - the wonders of cyberspace, I must say although not without the cons! Speaking of which, she has been invited to speak at CyberSecurity Malaysia's inaugural Internet Safety Awareness seminar on this coming 8th July and her topic is "What the internet means to me". Click here for details. I will be there to lend moral support!

Last Saturday was the boys' report card day. The comments made by the teachers were what we had expected. Yusof = Mr Popular/Leader who has even managed to coax a quiet boy to move out of his comfort zone (I'm taking this comment positively by the way); Ibraheem = Mr Diligent/Obedient and finally Umar = Mr Pleasant.

Hajar is discovering, in an amazing (or is it alarming?) speed, spoken words now...so our report card to her : "Yes you our little one is one Ms Pot Pet". I should upload a video clip to bear this testament. Making a mental note now....

14 June, 2009

Ah Peng

Picture of an old armchair against a newly acquired 1950s display cabinet in our Ayer Baloi house

This entry is actually inspired by my discovery of a 1970s advert below..."Puan Nora, ... anda kalah!"

It was a good weekend in Ayer Baloi, as always, last week. Kids had fun, parents had their much needed break...But most importantly had a quality time devoid of modern world entrapments which would normally distract us! Can life always be that simple?

This time I re-visited kedai Ah Peng, a grocery shop which situates two doors away. Met Ah Peng, his wife and daughter. His daughter, ironically has a Malay name! She was named after allahyarhamah Normadiah, the actress. Being in a largely Malay community, I suppose, joining the fan-club of Malay silver screen was inevitable!

Ah Peng has not changed the least bit as if he is trapped in a time warp; still donning his khaki bermuda and P-Ramlee singlet! He is still, physically, a strong man but his memory needs to be jogged at times. The Labour Weekend when we had khenduri , Ah Peng actually delivered a gas cylinder to our house single handedly! Only during this visit that I had time to actually say hello to him. Of course he couldn't recognize me a it had been umpteen years since we last met! My kids have been frequenting his shops, though, in each of our sojourn like ten thousand times a day! My introduction to him was "Ni Boboy (yes this is what I was called by my grandparents)lah Ah Peng" which was met with an overjoyed reply "Oh anak Chekgu Mat!".

We chatted on for a bit and reminisced of the good old days. He eagerly described me how I was as a toddler and relating to my kids of how I used to, like my kids now, frequent his shop for tid-bits and main tikam-tikam with my cousins Kak Lin and Sab (fondly called Chab boy).

I used to look forward to going back to my granddad's house in Ayer Baloi as he was one of the first few owners of a National colour tv! We only had a black and white tv with a roller door and we only lived about 15 km away, then.

I remember, electricity would only come on at about 7pm and national tv would also start around the same time. My granddad's house would be filled to the brim in the evenings as relatives and neighbours would flock to watch tv programmes in colour. It was like having a night fete daily! The best thing was that, we could receive SBC's (Singapore TV) transmission due to the close vicinity and their programmes were definitely ahead of our time. How time has changed....!

Enjoy this video!

04 June, 2009

School Break et al

Khadijah & me @ Lookiss

Hajar & mommy @ Lookiss

(Image : Copyright belongs to Janiz Chan)

With three kids and two teenagers all cooped up at home 24/7 - definitely a formula for disaster, well nearly! No, just kidding....

Gone were the days that kids could roam free around the neighbourhood without any fuss. This reminds me of the good old days (aaah..reminisce..reminisce) where days were spent outdoor catching guppies and tadpoles in the longkang, cycling aimlessly, climbing trees, building (or rather trying to build) tree houses and only to report home when the tummy went growling (some days we would just pluck fruits from any trees).

Here we, working parents in the millenium cracking our heads thinking of what we can provide in order to stop them from killing each other of boredom at home! Other households may have Astro, wii, PS and the like. We don't, you see, as a matter of choice. We do not even have one tv which is working properly as I refused to call the electrician to fix the aerial. Well, they somehow survive through thinking imaginatively! Ha! Ha!

No, they don't have fancy mobile phones, either. Khadijah has the privilege to use my basic Nokia for the weekend and school holidays. Yusof was lucky enough, recently, to be handed down by my mother a dinosour-age looking mobile (most of the times with zero credit). Oh yes, although our house is wirelessly connected, internet access is limited for them (even during school holidays).

It's amazing when these fancy stuff are not within their disposals they learn to pick books and magazines to read, draw and paint communally, play with their siblings in civil manner (within a good span of time) BUT enevitably end up fighting (like I used to with my brother) etc. I think they communicate and interact better!

Anyway, they don't actually stay indoor all the time. From 5pm while waiting for us to arrive (which they normally give up as it would be dark when we arrive), they would play badminton outside, within our compound or at our neighbours' (we are lucky enough to have neighbours who are either retired or working from home!

Khadijah's latest sketch

Oh yes, Khadijah will start her art lessons under the tutelage of Janiz Chan, a young artist represented by Lookiss Gallery, at Taman Tun on 20th June. Well the image in this posting is her work. Kerk (also a lawyer), the owner of Lookiss introduced me to her last week when I collected two paintings which I bought last year. Now, I can strike out one of the things-to-do from my list.

Will be taking a break from tomorrow until Monday..Where else but a trip down to our Kampung house where the kids can roam freely, cycle to the grocery shop two doors away for their tid bits, playing in the rain (if it does) and a picnic in the kebun! The kids are relly looking forward to it!

30 May, 2009


Raising teenagers can be daunting on parents. When will the issues ever end, one might ask? It will never.
Yusof has entered his new phase in his life. He definitely has a mind of his own now...He chooses his own style, charters his future path, over-zealously speaks his mind and so forth. Physically, he's shot up to almost my height and we share the same shoe size. This means, half of my sporting wardrobe not surprisingly lands in his! That reminds me, I need to replenish mine!
Issues which are attached to this metamorphosis are indeed alien to us. Khadijah went through the same morphing process but the issues are definitely dissimilar. The only common thread is that wifey and I are indeed at wits' end, initially! Yes, there is no one proven formula that fits all! Every day we learn new things as parents. And we take it in our own stride...one step at time.
Yusof is attending his Syabab Fatayat's (co-curricular activity organised by his school which teaches discipline etc through community service programmes, marching, first-aid etc) weekend camp and so the house will be a tad quiet with his absence. We miss him dearly!

26 May, 2009

More art...

I like this; so whimsical. Is it the naive style? Not sure myself.
Got Khadijah an easel, acrylic paints and three sets of mounted canvas last Saturday. Lucky for me there are a few art supplies shops in Taman Melawati which are barely five minutes' away. There is an art institute there hence the many art supplies shops.
She hardly wasted her time to start a piece - of wifey and Hajar but still unfinished. Now I understand why good art pieces cost a bomb! Artistic people just do not bow down to pressure. They take their time to be in sync with their creative juices, don't they?

Charcoal on paper

I turned 41 less than a minute ago...It was just a not-so-quiet dinner at Thaba with my family, my parents, sister and hubby and nephews and niece - cake with candles included. Looking forward to lunch with wifey later today...

In the mean time enjoy Khadijah's pieces!

22 May, 2009

Khadijah's art adventure

Khadijah was running an art-marathon a few days ago finishing her school art folio. This girl has got talent but refuses to admit it. Saw her charcoal landscape sketch last night and I thought it was good. She had annotated colour schemes on the sketch. I think she's going to transfer the idea somewhere else. True enough, she's asked me to buy readily-mounted-canvas and acrylic paint this weekend. But still she's not disclosing what the big "project" is. I have thought about sending her for serious art lessons but don't know where lah (NJ - any idea?).
Khadijah's piece

Only Ibraheem and Umar have finished their mid year exam. Yusof will finish on Monday and Khadijah on Wednesday. As usual, no pre-exam study is needed for them save for Khadijah who knows of her responsibility.
Ne concrete plans for school hols. Khadijah does not want to follow us if we decide to go on a trip. She'll be with my sister, I suppose! What they have asked is if they can go back to Ayer Baloi. Mmm...how considerate - that will not hurt my pocket!

18 May, 2009

A party that was

Ib had his birthday party and wifey and I are so relieved. It was a hectic but pleasant week for the both of us after failing to persuade Ib out of his self-planned weekend. You see, his and his siblings' exams started this morning and obviously having a party for him would mean that the last-minute-pre-exam-prep-night is out of the equation! But we eventually relented and let him have the party. It was late nights for mum and dad, though...
Wifey doesn't belive in catering since she wants her touch, exclusively, in the party's spread. So from rolled fondant to curry had to be from her kitchen. She had to give in at some point and asked my work partner's (Superwomanwannabe) maid to fry noodles and ordered roti jala from Kak Jie. I on the other hand had the easier task - party packs (abandoned this idea after Superwomanwannabe suggested tees painting) and decor (how convenient!). I did more than that, though - our maid and I prepared vol-au-vent (it was dead easy [thanks to youtube tutorial]- bought pastry from Bagus, rolled it, cut it with scone cutter and chucked in to the oven) and mini meringue cases for summer fruit pavlovas (left over from wifey's choux pastry egg whites). Easy as it may sound but we had to sleep at about half three a.m. the morning of the party!
The D-day itself was even more chaotic. Three visits to the loacl supermarket and a visit to the nerest mall was my department whilst wifey was holding the fort at home with the help of our maid and a part-time helper.
Whilst scouring for white tees for the kids to draw/paint on and bring them back, I came across plain mugs and decided to organize mug decorating activity for the kids. Tees painting can be quite messy for the younger ones and some of the kids might end up with tees not their size! The kids really had fun decorating the mugs!
One thing which I was supposed to do which became a surgeon's (superwomanwannabe's hubby) job was to come up with the pinata! Ib came back from school Friday evening and told me that SW's children were making one for him and this I verified with SW and had some truth in it....! Lo and behold...Mr Surgeon himself had to finish one after his kids did it halfway....He slept at 6 a.m the day itself to finish it! It turned out lovely! Thanks J**!
It was fun...good turn out and good company. We are glad Ib insisted he had the party!

B'day Boy

Mini Pavlovas

Baked Macaroni



Sophia's painted mug

JoJo having a go

The dragon pinata

Mug painting/decorating

11 May, 2009

Ib wants a party

Ib's turning 8 this 17th and he wants a party. He wants to celebrate it with his classmates. So, mom and dad are frantically organising one for him! It'll be one hectic week ahead for us.
Invitation cards : printed; menu/food/drinks : mum's job; party favours : my department (haven't started); pinata (yes he wants one - this will be about the only party game which I agreed) : my department; decorations : my department; cake : from mum's kitchen (he wants Arsenal dragon themed cupcakes); that should be it, right? - it'd better be!
Until then.....

09 May, 2009

Labour Day Weekend

It has been a dream of my dad to organize a gathering to reunite his immediate family - his siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings and step-mother. They had, somewhat, grown apart since the demise of my paternal grandad who passed on when I was fifteen.
The house in Ayer Baloi was inhabited by my dad step-sister and her family with my dad's blessing since Tok Ayah's passing-on. She was the caretaker of the house until her demise a few years ago. The house was then occupied by her husband until last November, when my dad decided to refurbish the house as its condition had become unfit for habitation.
Last weekend was just perfect for the reunion; the house condition is almost fully restored and furnished (except the compound), as you can tell from the pictures. My parents organized a thanksgiving and tahlil khenduri for the reunion. Guests were feasted with nasi ambeng; a javanese traditional spread prepared by my mom's siblings who are of Javanese and Yunnanese descent served to my dad's family who are of Arab, Bugis and Malay descent! We are indeed a confused lot but proud to be Malaysian!
I would say that it was a weekend full of emotions, some even had tear-jerking moments; witnessing the reunion of siblings whom have not met under one roof for the longest time was simply awesome! My step grand-mom was there with her grandchildren whom I have not met and all my dad's living siblings were there except for Mak Bal, my dad's cousin who was taken care by my grandparents. At the end of the reunion, promises were made to have such gathering again in the near future; I believe it will be during Eid! I'm looking forward to this coming Eid as we will definitely be in Ayer Baloi (3rd day possibly) to celebrate with re-kindled uncles, aunties, cousins and distant relatives.
First living room area

Second living room area
Nasi Ambeng

Last day in Ayer Baloi; dead tired, I believe

Butterfly in the garden

Some hanging plants

Hajar napping

Newly planted lemon tree

Old-school plant; Puteri Menyembah Bumi (the flowers literally droop to the ground once bloom!)

Pokok Melati

Newly planted Pokok Pulasan

Cempaka tree
The house

L-R Pak Po (half-sibling), Pak Nan (half-sibling), My dad, Pak Ngah (sibling)

08 May, 2009

Another anniversary of birth

Wifey turned forty one almost eight hours ago..Exactly a year ago, the above pictures were supposed to be posted BUT I procrastinated; so shoot me : ). BTW ignore the U in FOURTY as it was a mistake by the bakers. Those were the cuppies I surprised her with last year together with a handbag.

What did we do for her birthday, you ask? It went uneventful, as usual...Not not really, wifey baked brownies and I ferried Khadijah to and fro her tuition class and later exercised my lungs on the boys to get them study...(the last I checked this word did not exist in their dictonaries).

What was supposed to be a surprise prezzie for wifey became public knowledge a few days before her birthday; so there I presented her with her current dream kitchen gadget (which she has made in no uncertain terms that she wanted it here; truthfully, I would have gotten her anyway even if she had not disclosed it as I'm the happiest person on earth when she decided to take on baking - an activity which I have been hinting that she'd take up for the past 10 years!) a couple of days ago after I arrived from Kuantan.

Presenting her new toy (in white, though!) which she did not defer using nor hesitate in making my every ringgit worth spending (he he he); we had vanilla and carrot cupcakes 3 hours later - - - - -
Oopsie...I have not wished wifey Happy Birthday...So dear wifey.....
"Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmatNya, memurahkan rezq, memberkati segala perbuatan, menerima segala amalan, panjang umur....Selamat menyambut hari kelahiran ke 41"

on my mind certainly constantly

on my mind certainly constantly