Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kullun Nafsin Za Ikatul Maut

A sad day.

I lost a dear friend, ,a classmate...even sadder I only know about this devastating news after 2 weeks of her death.

Al-Fatihah to *Siti Dalilah Ramli (1973-2011). She was an ex-Astro, ex-NTV7 staff and my ex-MSDS UM classmate of 2010/2011.

She was a private person, very lone ranger type - rarely mingles but had one big heart. She was ever helpful. Thing was, prior upon knowing this news (or rather outdated news) I kept thinking about her, the thought of calling her, checking on her was so strong i woke up several times in the past few weeks to the thoughts of her - i was meaning to call her so bad, but i never did. and now how i regretted not doing that.

It is said she died of cancer, but of what kind - we were never told. I tried calling her cell, but it is already disconnected. None of us (the classmates) knew about her death, and apparently only one guy who had smsed her earlier this semester (around july) told me that the last time he chatted with Dalilah via sms, she told him she was sick, she was really really sick and couldn't answer any calls. But El (the guy who chatted with her) never said anything...not until today.

I personally am devastated. Even though i knew her way before we were classmates (when working in the field, she was a reporter too)i was never close with her and rarely talk with her until we were in our second semester, i've got preetty close with her. We studied together, we exchanged notes, we went to library, but most importantly in what seems to be one of her last few months - she has helped me A LOT on my thesis proposal.

For someone whom i never really was close with - i was really moved when she offered to help me with my studies...there i was struggling about my studies, and she came to the rescue, of all people i knew ...and yes, she really helped me. went through the troubles of going to the library during our semester break to see me, to discussed with me, to brainstormed with me about my work! she didn't have to do that, but she did. and she did wholeheartedly. I was overwhelmed, i was really grateful for that and vowed to her if she needed anything for her work - i'll be there to help.

But, I'll never get that privilege. For now she is gone, too soon...from us. She was kind...really kind.

Seriously without her pushing me for that proposal, i would had never finished it, would never had the idea to do what i am doing right now - coming from the same 'field of work' before - we exchanged ideas easily about what we aimed to do that was in relation to our working experiences. She and I even spoke several times about getting back to the field but as freelancer, and she was ever helpful to let me know if there is any opening anywhere and so was i - but that never took place.

In addition, what is even weirder - this is my third time having 'lost' a friend that i've been thinking about so strongly before finding out their death - the first was, Allahyarham Eddy Adika (i wrote about him before) and then there was Allahyarhamah Nor or Kak Nor of TV3 News whom was so dear to me as i was always chatting with her every time i made the visit to the 'injest' room at tv3 news - so much so, she was kind enough to buy me my favorite Muar coffee every time she comes back from her hometown. All of them died of cancer, yet Dalilah's death was the most shocking one - cause she never showed any symptom. She was as healthy as we know her to be since day one - yes, she talks very slowly but that's just because she was one of those soft-spoken kind. There was nothing unusual about her..at least to our naked eyes.

But now that this happened, I could not helped but to reminisced the times she and I were studying together and that was in end of May/early June-i remembered we were crazily thinking about the titles of what my thesis going to be...from the 'normal' one to the 'ambitious' one - and I said to her how much i really appreciate her helping me, truly am thankful and said i would do everything i could to return the favor once she needed that help with thesis, she said "Oh, I don't know Aishah, maybe I won't be able to do it" i mean it struck me as odd, but i never knew what she meant really so i asked her why and she said because she was old. Looking back, who knew maybe she was already falling ill and i was the foolish one to have not seen that coming. That was in May/June and from El's account he smsed Dalilah in July (im guessing) because that was the start of the new semester when Dalilah was supposed to registered for her other 2 subjects. So in between that, it was pretty quick, how her health deteriorated just like that...she must have been having stage four cancer or some really serious cancer because when i saw her she was just fine - and then................

Oh, Dalilah. May you rest in peace, May ALLAH bless your soul, and you be in the everlasting Jannah - happy and free from all diseases - you were a good friend, was really good friend and i am forever indebted to you for helping me out with my proposal, with my studies - forgive me for not being a good friend for i never called you to check on you although every muscles in me ached to do so - but never did, and now it is too late. Al-Fatihah Siti Dalilah Ramli :'(

*correction: I had mistakenly wrote her name as Dalilah Abdul Ghani (according to my hub that is), turned out that was wrong. Am sorry. More about Dalilah in the following links:

Media run Sydney

Help for cancer

PS: thank you to one of the visitor here, she was the one who had pointed out the links.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Random

Besides the fact i am trying my hardest to get back into my 'writing zone' after taking up a few days of break (due to my daughter's falling sick yet again), there are a few happenings in my life that i would like to record here.

1. HTC tablet
What was thought to be a good bargain from Maxis, turned out to be a disaster. Hub bought a new HTC tablet as a 'replacement' for himself since our lil rascal hogging his Samsung Galaxy Tab since forever. So in what was a short lived joy, he brought home the new HTC with a new upgraded wifi package only to find that the cable are a bit torn near the cord, and when we're trying to remove the sim card, the sim card slot jammed. Utterly disappointed (him, not me), he brought the HTC to fixed at Maxis presumably under warranty since it was still the first day since purchase! So, left that thing for about 3 weeks - up about last Monday, hub's hopes to be reunited with his HTC- crashed. Maxis didn't want to pay the repair that costs RM950! said it was completely my hub's fault. After 3 weeks, with 2 visits - the asst manager said it was the customer's fault to not thoroughly checked the purchased item! what bull is that? I didn't witness the quarrel between hub and the asst manager as i was waiting in the car parked illegally of course in the very congested ttdi area in the morning, so i could only imagined hub's fury (and yes it can be scary if his angry) he said, he terminated everything! now if it was me, i for surely would want to make it a complaint, publicly, maybe an open letter to the GM of customer service/HR/Corp Comm everyone in Maxis, you know make it a big fuss with the ridiculousness of the whole ordeal - but it is hub, so he didn't do much although he is in good contact with their head of PR all thanks for his position in the media co. BUT he didn't use that advantage to just channel a little frustrated concern. so typical of him, never like to abuse or misuse anything.

2 lessons learned from this incident though. 1# HTC sucks! the quality surprisingly dismal. Ruined on the first day of purchase! can't be any worse than that. in times like this, i applaud the sturdy design of apple products. i was an apple skeptics before owning an iPhone, but since i bought it - it has suffered countless scratches, being dropped numerous times, heck my daughter even used it for teething! 2# don't get overly excited over something and must never get a product that matches your existing one ( more like lesson for hub) am gonna persuade him more to get an ipad2. or not macbook yes macbook (fingers crossed) haha.Anyways, we are now wifi-less. and it sucks to only rely on very unreliable streamyx at my housing area with no backup in times of need.

2. Flu, fever & coughs
So me lil rascal is still unwell for the second time in less than two weeks. AND that is not good. I am really worried really, really worried. I hope it is nothing serious, cause every time we pay the visit to our local clinic, it would be the same replies - "no worries, kids they get sick easily". yeah but for someone as young as she, and diagnosed broncho-pneumonia last 2 months - falling sick on a regular basis is not something not to be worried. I mean, in one perspective i feel like a sore loser parent - unable to care for her so that she won't fall sick. I am failure. In another, i feel there must be something more that these doctors can do -she seems to have a lot of phlegm building up inside her and yet every time we visit the paed at SJMC - she only prescribe Ventolin and another kind of inhaler. that's it. She's so tiny, and not gaining much weight - she's only 12kg at 30 months of age. She barely gained weight since last 8 months. She's amazingly active though, but her digestion i don't know - sometimes she didn't poop until 3 days. She already got the first jab of pneumococcal, and 2 jabs for hepatitis A and B - and she will get her second dose today (friday). All these vaccinations are not cheap at sjmc mind you, and under the new medical coverage system by hub's co. under ING insurance - these vaccinations are not covered! meaning we have to bare the costs, now doesn't matter that under ING hub's med benefit's "upgraded" until 40K (the old one under GL was only 5K for spouse and kids)think the union at the co. gotta do something about this insurance coverage. Anyways, hoping the best for my lil rascal, poor her...little but can't enjoy much without worrying she might fall sick...again and again. InsyaAllah, my Nur Raihanna Iman will be fine...i got so much going on this year...dugaan betul :(

3. scholarship
Worst case scenario might well be the only scenario for me...is granted extension without allowances/fees coverage. My compatriot of tpm thingy who is studying in uitm, said his application is still pending. although kpt's approved the other part is still waiting to be processed. this friend of mine always update me on anything about everything tpm thingy since day one - so i wont miss anything cos the idea is he's studying in the uni, thus he'd get much more info (more accurate). Anyways, i better have that safety net out by feb - cos by the looks of it - i might just be unlucky. u see this friend of mine have sent his forms last 3 months and still pending, i had only sent mine last week! so what are the odds? Haha. anyways, as i have been writing, i just hope my 'worse case scenario' would be getting half of the allowances extend- that is the kpt's side. at least i don't have to worry about fees...as for the other half; i will get by ...insyaAllah. there will always be something somewhere to find money. I mean i just helped out my lil sis's bf freelancing job last week - enough said he paid me more than i ever earned when i was working for a 12 hours job. (yes, my last pay was roughly less than rm100 per day, yep that cheap - so think again if you want to be in the media industry) :)

new year's reso? want to be a better muslim. last week, while filling up my gas at shell, i chitchatted with the attending person- a bangladeshi man as usual or 'mat bangla'. impressed with his fluency of BM, i asked him casually how long he have stayed in the country. anyways, the dialogue between him and i went something like this:-

I: so your BM is good, u must have stayed here for quite a bit.
MB: ah, yes, 5 running years ive stayed...(he actually said that..5 running years and continue explaining what he meant by that...)
I: oh ok ok (dont hurt yourself) i get what you mean. (smiled)
MB: before, i stayed at JB...everything ok people ok, but my amoi boss not - she didnt let me pray. (teary eyes)
I: that's why u came here?
MB: yes, but here ...i thought ok, well...slightly...my boss (Chinese) always nag me on why i have to pray so many times a day. I had to explained to her many times. and..there's no prayer room except that (pointing) store room..so no place to pray very hard.
I: just pray in the store room, couldn't u ask your boss for that?
MB: i did, she said no, and she said if i want that room so bad, it will be deducted from my pay...i said, ok do what you want to do - cut my pay, as long as i can pray 5 times a day that's all matters...i am a muslim, i must pray..i must no matter how hard life is, no matter how small or cheap my pay is - i must pray 5 times a day...i must.
I: (humbled)

--------------yes, that was how hard this Bangla guy had to face his daily struggles just to pray 5 times a day at work , bullied, questioned, but his Iman, his faith remains strong as ever. I kept thinking about this conversation i had with him and how i myself have numerous times let this duty of mine 'slipped'...i kept saying praise to Him, but i forget to thank Him most of the times, I take things easily this duty to pray 5 times a day - yes unashamedly , i skipped Subuh so often, that i think it's always ok to qadha' (repay) later ...but when i want to qadha', i feel ashamed because i've let myself go to the devil ...Allah has blessed me with this life, i am still living, He blessed me with the chance to pursue my dreams - getting this scholarship was a dream, i had constantly asking from Him to grant me 'the break' from my previous job- He listened. the Almighty Allah but what have i give in return? having chatted with this Bangla guy really opened up my eyes - i saw the sincerity in his eyes i felt it in every words he uttered. I want to emulate his sincerity, his spirits, his perseverance, his Iman...despite the many hardships - he never complaint about the pay, the skipped meals he had to live by but only the chance and place for him to face Allah. he only voiced throughout his convo with me - he's been denied/questioned to pray and that what saddens him...

i want to have that in my heart. that hidayah, that light, that taqwa. that is my hope for next year and maintain for years to come. oh and of course i want to finish my writing pronto, can't wait to get back to uni, and give back to the place that has shaped me, educated me all that early years of my adulthood. uitm sangat cantik sekarang. uitm dihatiku..(eh sama slogan ngan tempat kerja lama..takdir sangat haha)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A dan ukuran kepandaian...?

So i finally submitted my application for an extension...now am leaving everthing to Allah. As expected, my dean was not happy with my cgpa, heck i am not happy with my cgpa, it could be considered "bad" for a tpm scholar like me...but what can i do abt it? I am as frustrsted as i can ever be upon learning the very burdensome theses won't be graded except for a mere pass or fail, so in other words i have no more chance of improving my cgpa.

So, could cgpa really be the yardstick for one's intellegence/diligence? I dont think so, well not really, at least not for postgrad studies and especially not in um very discreet peculiar grading that is solely on the lect's prerogative.

I think it is fair to say that all of my batch mates that took all subjects last 2 sem- were screwed! At least for 2 papers- of which all of us had awesome carry marks- heck, i got a 44/50 for my IR class, a 38/50 for Warfare...i could have easily scored at least A- for both! All of us could easily scored A- ...but none did! None! even for those who had soaring carry marks of 48-ish, didnt get A-. Peculiar. So, only one reason could explained that- both of the lect for each papers that we were all so aiming to get As, resigned just before final exams!! they have done all they can for us, marked our papers, hints for finals, finish all syllabus- they left us with hope to score well. But tangled in offc politics one of them did, made all of us "pay" for a second review i reckon...especially requested/probe by one person (of whom i think was not on a same page with the other one) this said person took over the class, and "took" away all of our carry marks too i reckon by requesting a second review (something tht any lect can call for, on any students/class to re-assess the marks given, and whatever marks the second review tabulated- tht is finalised! Even if it's lower than the first time score. I'd say pretty draconian don't you think?

So, with tht- we were all screwed! I am screwed. Gone were the hopes of securing at least 2 As although i busted my ass for it, and gotten a very good carry marks. It was difficult to fathom the calculations, i mean even our mr ambassador thts been on top of the class didnt get A for IR class- of which all of us had great carry marks, and was hinted final exams' Qs.

So there, i personally think, to get good cgpa one doesnt have to be good only at the studies, because even if you're good- there are other factors such as how fond is the lect to you or the perception of the lect to you could also be subjecting your As. and in um, if one lect thinks u dont deserve the A, they can ask a second review with no reason but dissatisfaction/disbelief and basically can ruin your life without u even know it until it's too late.

I may not be super excellent, but i never failed, i send my work on time, i did my assignments, i didnt skip class, i was never late-however i was never the booty licker, party warmer, i dont talk much (cos there was one mad woman in class that was super egoistic and control freak, so we mostly let this mad woman speaks) , heck i never offered to send the lect home, i dont go knocking on their doors after class bugging/showing my interest for extra notes...because thats not who i am.

anyways point being As or not, purely subject to tht lect- some can be stingy some can be very lenient. Though we had two lenient lects, we were screwed becos they resigned (asked to) earlier than final exams, and got screwed with the second review system. So this sem, from what i heard, most are doing well cos they have 1 lenient kind prof. one friend who extended the studies for 3 sems more- even had 2 As bcos she was lucky to have had some lenient lect.

Was i stupid /lazy student cos i didnt get A+? no, i dont think so. I can better write than one friend that got A+ yet i dont have A+ becos i was one of the unlucky batch that got screwed with the second review system!! My cgpa could have been at least 3.6 now. Could have but didnt, and there goes my hope to further my studies overseas. Damn the system!

Monday, December 12, 2011

decisions decisions

Salaam.

this one is short and not so sweet unfortunately, despite my high sugar intake that is i still cannot make this entry a 'lickerishly' sweet one. LOL.

Still pressing on the race of finishing the unfinished.

I reckon am so under stress and pressure that i got ridiculous acne breakouts almost every part on my face now - even the delicate part of my eyelids! I don't have to be a rocket scientist to know this as you know it's not that month of the months when acne breakouts are anticipated.

Yes, stress it must be.

Way off schedule. In fact make that way derailed off schedule. So derailed, that I can't even make a good sentence and look up in my dual dictionary even such primary school words like 'underestimate'. Bah!

Exhaustion... cannot even begin with that part.

OH last Sunday, my neighbour held her son's wedding- i was really anxious of making an appearance, simply because i am just so fatso now, and the eye bags and acnes oh so unappealing to anyone's sight to behold mine included. Yet, hub pushed me to go, and i know i just must go for the food of course because i was so immersed in work (and sleep deprived) that i just don't have the interest to cook (unless really really need for the sake of my daughter) so we usually have take-outs, and last sunday, 'lunch' was served practically in front of the house. Under the tents of course. LOL.

I was so anxious and worried, i tried couple of my baju kurungs as if getting ready for a date,. Even then, i was never that anxious. But this time, to my horrid discovery, i can no longer fit into one of my fav baju kurung!

Gosh, i must have gained so much saturated fats. Reckon the sleep deprived part is also one of the contributing factor to weight gain.

LAstly, i resorted to wearing casual black skirt matched with the only decent-kenduri approved attire and still fit into- black tops..with decent amount of diamante to dazzle people on a hot sunny Sunday. LOL! No surprise, to the very laid-back community that still surprisingly practice gotong-royong for this kenduri kawin, they were giving me a smirk or reluctant smile or wondering smile maybe because of my seemingly out of place and colored attire. Black for a wedding! HAHA, i was mourning alright, mourning for my own "death" on thesis writing. Death of that derailed thoughts...that is taking longer than expected to be fixed.

Anyways, decisions decisions. Content analysis? Suicidal! Indepth interview? Double suicidal! Mere qualitative secondary data reviewing? Do-able but too easy for me (gosh, nak berangan lagi tu ...da takde masa pun still nak reach for the stars)

yes i'd still reach for the stars. and hope i get extension to buy me some time to reach for that one star of finishing this incredibly burdensome writing. Mama help me.

Progress: 15,000 words. Half to go. HALF!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kenangan....

Kenangan.

Hidup memang banyak kenangan. Suka duka. Pahit manis. Ada yang kita perlu lupakan, ada yang ingin kita ingati dan ada...yang sudah kita terlupa tiba-tiba menerjah kembali.

Contoh hari ini, ketika ini, tiba-tiba aku teringatkan cikgu sementara sekolah rendah aku di Kampung Tunku, ketika Darjah 4. Cikgu Nur Izzah Mokhtar kalau tak silap, beliau menjadi guru sambilan untuk tiga bulan rasanya ketika itu. Kami rapat dengannya. Aku rapat dengannya. Selepas dia berhenti mengajar, kami (bersama dua tiga rakan sekelas) pernah ke rumah beliau berhampiran dengan sekolah kampung tunku, betul-betul dekat simpang stesen minyak Esso.

Kami berjalan kaki ke rumahnya yang mengambil masa kira-kira 10 minit. Sampai ke rumah beliau, kami dihidangkan air oren ais. Sejuk. Rumah banglo cikgu aku masih boleh ingat, kosong ketika itu tiada orang- kedua ibubapa beliau keluar (bapa cikgu seorang Hakim). Cikgu perkenalkan kami dengan adik kembar perempuannya. Kami terkejut, seronok pun ada. Muka sama. Putih mulus, dengan cara pakai tudung yang sama (bayangkan stail tudung tahun awal 1990an- tanpa bonggol unta yang tinggi ye!)

Beberapa tahun selepas itu, kami masih juga sesekali bertandang ke rumah cikgu, Hari Raya dsb.

Kemudian, semakin lama semakin jarang berhubung. Sehinggalah cikgu menyambung pelajarannya dalam jurusan perundangan di University East of Anglia, London. Beliau pernah mengirim kepada aku sekeping poskad berlatarkan universiti beliau serta sekeping gambarnya. Itulah yang pertama dan terakhir.

Sehinggalah, aku menjejak kasih kembali sekitar 2003. Itupun melalui telefon. Beliau masih ingat pada aku ketika itu. Dan beliau sudah bergelar peguam. Rasanya aku menghubungi cikgu untuk mendapat nasihat undang-undang.

------------kini zaman teknologi serba canggih, dengan FB, Google etc. Aku cuba jejaki di alam maya. Tapi, hampa. Manalah tau, untung nasib cikgu terserempak dengan entri ini, saya ingin membuat pengakuan- saya teringatkan cikgu! :) apalah agaknya khabar beliau sekarang? tentu sudah berkeluarga.

Dan, sedang aku mengimbau kenangan bersama cikgu Izzah, aku teringatkan seorang lagi cikgu Kampung Tunku aku, juga cikgu sambilan, atau lebih tepat Ustazah sambilan. Tapi, aku lupa nama uniknya kecuali nama pangkal RATNA. Sekali lagi aku gunakan enjian carian, tapi tiada apa-apa. Kemudian, tiba-tiba, nama itu datang, kenangan itu menerjah...aku ingat kembali! Cikgu RatnaDumilah Sari, asal singapura. Ketika hari terakhir beliau, cikgu hadiahkan sekeping penanda buku buatan sendiri dengan kata-kata hikmat "Strive harder for a better future". (wow, tidak semena-mena teringat tentang itu juga).

Aku juga masih ingat, betapa aku merujuk kepada kamus untuk perkataan "strive" dan jadikan ayat itu motivasi kehidupan pembelajaran aku.

Dua nota penting kepada entri ini:
1) Betapa orang yang baik walaupun sekadar "menyentuh" hidup kita walaupun seketika, tetap tersemat dalam kenangan, apatah lagi seorang insan bergelar cikgu.
2) Benar, kata orang - tentang kuasa minda. The power of our brain = minds. How, suddenly, without any warning we could be reminded of something that has passed our lives many years back. Memory do remains.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Temporal happiness or absolute happiness?

So what choice would it be for you: temporal happiness or absolute? No doubt many would answer- absolute! Who'd wants anything temporary? No one likes temporary position- be it anything. For temporal being losses out the sense of security. Something we humans can't live without.

Don't believe me? In finding job, we surely don't fancy anything temporary status- the possibility of you being terminated is high. Now, securing a permanent position, secures you a place, the certainty that you belong to the place.

In seeking love, absolutely wanting that special person returning the lasting, absolute love for you, hence marriage often seal the deal, security that that one person won't leave you and easily find him/herself out of love.

When speaking truth, people trust more with absolute truth than half-truths (eh, wait...that equates to lie is it not?)

OK. It's 7:18 am. I haven't slept since morning and i been working for hours in front of my pc, often hitting the backspace button when trying to write something regarding my school work. I need vocab boost, i need absolute intellegence? OK am rambling too much.

Wrote a piece about can we live our life without Facebook. Actually, wrote that out of my sister's request for her...um, can't say. Spent quite some time and took me some real effort- i think i wrote not too shabby piece. Nothing academic, just ordinary, columnist like writing.

Hence, the rambling - am stress but not too stress for blogging this. Found out Rara Zikri, a 23 year old beauty lim kok wing student that made headlines a little while ago because she got diagnosed with respitory problem that's depriving her brain with oxygen supply. She initially just feel ill, had an asthma attack one unfortunate day while briskly walking in a park- turned blued, admitted to hospital then fell into a coma for 2 months and when she woke up- only to be in a veggied state, paralysed...can't speak, limbs stiffs. And now she is gone. It is a sad story, and a good lessons for us that life can be too short, and taken away in a moment. Imagine you were just laughing away with friends, enjoying your day and suddenly...collapsed & fell ill and disabled. This Rara Zikri is such a beautiful, sweet looking girl. Really beautiful and just in a split moment that beauty was taken away by Allah. She had to endured pains that only we can imagined before she was taken away forever from this world. And to know that she's the cousin of my ex-classmate, makes it even sadder, i cannot ever imagine the grief her family is going through. May Allah bless her soul and found her absolute happiness that is jannah.ameen.