Monday, September 29, 2008

Sayonara Ramadhan and Welcome Syawal

Ramadhan is lowering its curtain. In one or two days Muslims the world over will be celebrating Eid.

How much have we grabbed all the special promotional offers blessed by Allah onto us?

Or is it just fasting as usual, just abstaining from eating, drinking and sex during daytime?

Have we improved our fasting status, from a lay-man's to those of the pious and prophets'?

Only us could answer the above questions.

Are we so sure that there would be more Ramadhans for us?

What if this is our last Ramadhan?

It is sad to see people wasting the last 1-2 weeks of Ramadhan scrambling for new clothings, curtains, new furnitures, baking cookies andf what nots instead of carrying out iktikaf, increasing prayers etc.

We should by now realize that Ramadhan is not just a usual activity - it is one of the five pillars of ISLAM for the good and well-being of Muslims.

Ramadhan is never meant for us to engorge ourselves in food and drink so much so that we become heavy and lazy to perform our prayers during the nights.

We are far too conscious about preparing for iftar and syahur.

Sayonara Ramadhan 1429 and welcome Syawal 1429. I pray to ALLAH that we can still perform fasting in the next Ramadhan.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Exodus home

The yearly exodus of sons, daughters, son-in-laws, daughter-in-laws and their families towards their home villages, to meet and ask for forgiveness from their parents, is here again.

Despite of the escalating prices or petrol and other things, their spirits of going home has never subsided, at least as long as their parents or one of them is still living.

In their overzealousness of reaching their destination and the tiredness of Ramadhan and the fatigue of long drive on congested roads, many do not make it...some are involved in road accidents and not a few even lost their lives.

For us, this will be our second year where we all stay put while waiting for the Eid. There is no more the need to ask for extra-long leave just to travel home. We now live in our own house in the midst of relatives and friends.

The two of us are anxiously waiting for our sons and daughter to come home. Our eldest daughter is already with us since yesterday. Syazwan will take a bus home tonight and he is expected to arrive in Chukai at sahur time tomorrow morning.

Amirul, the only son of my wife's sister is impatiently waiting for Syazwan to come home.

Syafiq cannot make it. He is not allowed leave during the first three days of Eid. He will come home only on the fourth raya!

As usual, our Teratak Syakirin will be the meeting point of family members. The giggles of children will bring live to the quietness of Ramadhan.

As I am finishing a round of Quran reciting after iftar today, I wonder whether I will have time to do it again many many years ahead.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Then there were six, but now only one remains

She came when we just moved in. She was a small-built tri-coloured queen perhaps too young to start breeding. Oh yeah she was pregnant when she came.

We were too busy unpacking to really care about her presence. As far as I could remember she was as manja as any queen that I had encountered. She would laze around on our old sofa and whenever we sat there she would rub her slender body against our legs.

Barely a week after her appearance, one fine morning there there were, five of them all soaking wet with her mother's birth fluid on the sofa. The sofa was, understandably, wet.

We placed the kittens in an old box lined with old clothes that we brought along during our transfer. For a few days she and us were fighting over the right to care of the kittens - we placed them in the cosy box and she brought them out to some other places she thought safe.

Once she and her kittens just disappeared from sight. I was searching high and low for them but failed to find them. After playing dumb for sometimes and pretending that I did not notice her actions, finally I discovered her hideout - under Kamal's bed!

She, with an instinct of a well-brought up mother, had successfully concealed her babies in the warm old carpets.

Only after a week she stopped carrying her babies around. Perhaps after she realized that we did not want to harm her babies.

The kittens were multi-coloured - one was tri-coloured, two were orange and the remaining two were black and white. They grew well on their mother's milk as well as extra milk that we supplied.

Tragically, one day as I was reversing the car on my way to work, she suddenly ran across the car porch right underneath the car. My children shouted warning me of her, but it was too late. I accidentally ran over her.

She was badly hurt. Pushing her limp body forward, she ran towards her babies. They all came and surrounded her. Then she went limp and quiet. She died and I was the culprit!

Kamal quickly picked the lifeless body and buried it in the empty space in front of our house. Everybody was sad. Amalia and Diyana cried.

Lives for the five kittens after that were not the same, just like us humans. The orange ones suddenly went missing, just like that, with no trace at all. The tri-coloured one contracted a viral disease and died on us. The black kitten with kinky tail was killed by a wandering tomcat.

So, only one black kitten survived. It was a pity seeing him learning all the tricks of life by himself.

Now, he is a year old but he still behaves like a kitten! Often times he gets involved in a one-sided fight with the neighbour's tomcat.

Twice he went missing after such a fight and after two or three days he would reappeared in our house compound. It looks like he will be long with us.

We hope that he will one day soon become a full grown tomcat that will claim our house compound as his very own domain and chase intruders like that tomcat!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Good luck in your UPSR

After countless extra-classes, education camps and night tuitions finally, starting from tomorrow 9 till 11 November, our Amalia will sit for her UPSR.

Tension is in the air. SK Pusat has its targets to many percentage of students to get 5 A's and so many to pass all subjects.

Students, they too have worked hard and smart all through out the year or may be even the past two years to get as many A's as possible.

Parents are tense too. Not only they have to ferry their children to school for all the extra-calsses, they too have a big responsibilitiy to see that their children perform.

As for me, I don't put that much pressure for Amalia to get 5 A's. I just make sure that she is doing her best. That she did very well. Her academic prowess progress steadily as UPSR nears.

All I ask of her is to do her best. Be herself, confident, trust her own ability and keep cool.

I know it is different with her. She always told me that she does not want to go to SBP. All she wants to do is to score 5 A's and continue her secondary schooling in nearby school.

I understand her. I know she just wants to be close to the family, her mother especially.

She knows that she can do well even if she does not join SBP. Her sister Diyana and brother Syazwan have proven that.

For me, going to boarding schools is no more a priority like during my time. I will never force my children to do anything that they do not want, more so with things that will determine their lives like education.

She is ready. We are ready too. So, go in there Amalia and do your best. You have studied well and there is nothing more to worry. Read the questions well, understand them fully and answer as best as you could in the allocated time. The rest leave it to Allah.

Our prayers are always with you. Good luck to you, your friends and all tahun 6 students.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dok Rok Doh

The energy and stamina are no more with me, but the spirit and zealousness are still here, intact, at least for most of the times.

The stress of work is mounting each day, more so with two of my assistants missing. Pahang is just too big a state to be runned by a Director and a very junior Veterinary officer.

It is just outright outrages and unfair for much smaller states to have 3 or 4 Veterinary Officers

I don't know how much longer I could keep my cool, doing whatever best to keep the department running.

Newer things keep on coming and all these, the incentives, the buku hijau, satelite feedlot farms, KPI and other what-nots have deadlines. And deadlines have to be met, one way or another.

Sometimes the feeling of boredom, helplessness and being uncared-for creep in. Why? Because nobody upstairs seem to give a damn what acute staff shortage could do to the well-being of a department. Because nobody too seem to care that we are confirmed on time. All they care is that they get their JUSA on time!

But when schedules are slightly missed, you are straight away labelled as being slow, incompetent and other negatives.

At 54, I can no longer run here and there, doing whatever I used to do when I was in my thirties!

I guess I have to have a relook at my retirement option. Unless something is done fast about the staff shortage, I may just go at 56 or slightly later, just to have that 360 months of service.

I think I have enough of this temporary worldly and never-ending chase. It is time to make preparation for the other more-permanent and sure world.

A friend just told me that he has posted his early retirement letter. He has enough.

Dok rok doh. Puah cemuh doh keje...nok releks lah pulok...