Monday, April 17, 2017

Mother 4 - My 1st Parent/Son 'Heart 2 Heart' Talk

In the late fifties and early sixties, with high respect for elders which was one of a general ethical training given to children of the time, teenagers would not cross the path of their parents and other elders, both literally and physically, and would wait after them. Talking back, interrupting, even personal decorum in their presence were no no's then. That would absolutely be disrespectful. My parents however allowed me alot of freedom, to do things on my own, and make my own decisions, under their watchful eyes notwithstanding. My father, was especially open with his relationships and allowed discussions when necessary.

I had just finished school after passing the Senior Cambridge School Certificate and was at the 'junction' to either further my studies or fit into the job market somewhere. I was then a temporary teacher in a school in Batu Pahat, earning some pocket money for my keep. My father called me one day and in the presence of Mum 'discussed' my future with me. My first 'adult' talk with my parents.

Father of course talked first, and he opened up by asking me how I was coping with my teaching job and whether I enjoy teaching. He went on to say that now that I have finished school I was already an adult and I was free to do whatever I please. I was free to consider and do whatever is right or wrong, weighing and analysing them by myself after all the guidance I have had when in school and in the process of growing up. If to me it was right I was free to do it and if it was wrong then leave it he said. The decision was mine and Father will not interfere. However, he strongly reminded and cautioned me to always be vigilant and in whatever I do and whatever steps I make I must always uphold the family name. I must preserve family tradition and never to blacken the family name, especially Father's and Mum's names and reputation. Father will not volunteer help or advise but will gladly do so if I ask.

Mum had with her a few newspaper cuttings showing various opportunities for me to apply. There was one that she said or thought I would be interested in, that is to be a trained teacher and another to be an apprentice in a bank. I was not interested in either one, and I told them that my interest was in Engineering. Ok they said and left it at that.

A couple of weeks later Mum asked me whether I have done anything to pursue my interest in Engineering. I said no but that I had kept scanning the papers looking for advertisements that would lead me towards that direction. She asked me whether I have asked for Father's assistance. Didn't he tell you that he would not offer help or advise unless I asked, she said. Hmmm, that was my mistake! I should have remembered what Father said. That evening I sat with him after dinner and told him my interest to pursue Engineering and asked for his help. He said he will look into it.

The next evening, after returning from office, Father told me that he had made a couple of phone calls, and that I was to go to Kuala Lumpur the following week and attend an interview for entry into the Technical College. Hmmm, an example of Father knows what to do! (To be continued)

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Teratak Senyum Simpul

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The month of Syawal, Eidl'Fitri month

The month of Syawal, the celebration for Eid'l Fitri, has been a 'low-key month' for Ramlah and I. We do receive visitors, mostly family members and especially those younger than us, but we hardly go out visiting as is traditionally the practice during Eid month. Our health has not been that good and we had to avoid exerting ourselves. Nevertheless we did manage to make a trip south for several days, mainly to visit my elders. There are not many of them left to visit and I recognise that Ramlah and I have become elders ourselves! Our younger brothers and sisters and their families, nephews and nieces, close relatives, came to visit. Most of them know of our health conditions and although they came as guests  most were ready to help in laying the tables and cleaning up afterwards.

One Saturday, two weeks through Syawal, our children arranged to receive their cousins and close relatives in Teratak Senyum Simpul. I took the opportunity to invite our immediate neighbours as well. It was a day of fun and laughter, plenty of food and drinks, all arranged by the children using food caterers. They even arranged for helpers to come and help clean up. Ram and I did not have to do anything except entertain the guests.

Ram's nephew and nieces:

My nieces:

Immediate neighbour:

My nieces:

Thats my younger brother sporting same hairstyle!!

The 3rd and 4th generation after us!!

Another neighbour, same name with my daughter:
Yuslina & Yuslina

On the last day of Syawal, one of my cousins held an open house in his residence for the  'AliDara Clan'. Ali and Dara were my grandparents.

Sita carrying Faizien Naufal with my cousins:

Plateful of durian seeds!

Home prepared and family recipe: 'roti naik'

Main feature, the durian!

The host Datuk and Datin Khairil Anuar and Rossaya:

Thanks Dato and Datin for being such a gracious host. We all had a good time and meeting relatives all at once was so comforting.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hari Raya 2015 - Family Getaway

Just like last year, when Ram had to go through another cornea transplant on her left eye during Ramadhan, this year's Ramadhan had also been a trying period for her. So was it for me. Both of us had very bad flu and cough and it was tough coping. with the incessant coughs, weezings, and sniffles, pressure was impacted on her eye that some times it became painful for the eyes. But Alhamdulillah, with Allah's blessings, we persevered and managed to perform the necessary obligations, or at least most of them, with very high hope that all our efforts  and prayers are acceptable by Allah and we seek His guidance always.

Then came Syawal and Eid'l Fitri. There was the usual reciting the Eid takbir and doa from house-to-house of our neighbours starting from soon after Isya' prayers and ending at about 1.00am or so. There would be food in every house and most of us would just take a bite or two or otherwise it would be tough overfilling our tummies then. Children especially, my grandchildren included, would enjoy these visits, as apart from eating good food, they will receive raya packets as well. There were easily about 70 children that night. By strange coincidence, five of the houses we visited served pizza and the children enjoyed themselves.

The next day, after Eid prayers and family breakfast, we had the usual rendang with rice cakes and also glutinous rice (ketupat palas) for breakfast, we adjourned to Ram's elder sister's house in Shah Alam for lunch. Lunch was the sister's signature lontong and more rendang.

We decided, breaking from our traditional annual Eid routine, to get away as a family for the Eid holiday period. We chose a place called Kepyok to spend our time together (google 'Kepyok Malaysia' for details), a resort quite a ways from the city, about an hour drive out to a remote area where there are alot of greens and of course serenity.

We spent two nights there, all of us, 2 grandparents, 6 parents and 7 grandchildren. We had the whole resort to ourselves. The resort is owned by a local Malay, Zakaria and his Japanese wife, Yasmin Yoko, who happens to be a very good cook. Tessa, Sita and Yasmin Yoko, had prearranged the menu for all the meals throughout our stay. Yasmin was the main chef and she has a helper to help her in the kitchen, We were all allowed access to the kitchen, encouraged to make ourselves at home, cook ourselves or together with Yasmin if we need to. The children get to make their own pizza and they had much fun! So the meals were Japanese, which everyone of us love, barbecue and pizza, Japanese rice and curry, sushi, a lot of vegetables, fruits, sweets and cakes. Steamed sweet potatoes, red beans soup, featured as snacks together with other snacks which are always on the dining table. Beverages available anytime throughout. 

When not eating the children swim a lot, the pool is always so inviting,
even after a lot of pizza!

When not eating and or not swimming, the children would play with the fish in the pond built around the chalets, or chase after the house cat, ducks and other domestic animals, and run up and down the hill to the gazebo:

For relaxation they woulod play chongkak, board games, monopoly, the piano, or read in the library.

Time well spent, Alhamdulillah.

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Teratak Senyum Simpul, PJ