Friday, September 18, 2015

Time Limit

Salam.

This is going to be a short one. Just today, after I came back home from work, my husbad related to me a quite sad yet common story. Our friend's sister in-law's passing. A young wife of 29 years of age, she passed on just before sunrise. She was believed to have had a heart attack.

My husband rarely shares story with me. I am not quite sure why this one was important for him to shared, but I reckon it must've been the tragic way ofthe deceased's husband finding out the death of his wife - when he woke up in the morning, just like any other morning or so he thought, before that mad dash to work, he tries to find the wife next to him only to found her already faced-down on the floor next to their bed - all blued, stiff...and cold dead. 

The wife was not suffering any serious health problems, in fact the story goes she was healthy except did complain of being tired and backpain of late...

And then it occurred to me to relate to my husband my story - was quite recent and of late kept happening to me. That I too, had some serious scares of my life! 

In fact just about 5 days ago, when I had to stay up late in my failed attempt to finish some pending work (was staying up late for 3 consecutive days & woke up early each day), one night...after thinking that I had enough of the s**t, I decided to hit the sack at 5.30am BUT only to find that somehow my pulse was beating too fast...I could actually felt the veins near my neck beating fast too...and the veins felt so big, it seems. It was weird thing. Not healthy too...

You know when you've been living your life for 3 decades, and have gone through 2 life-changing traumatic experiences of giving birth, you've gone through that horrible pain of unimaginable ordeal that is labour pain! And this, this heart beating too fast your veins feel like exploding, was something peculiar yet you know it is unnatural and calls for red flags! 

Suddenly I felt like choking, my chest was heavy and I couldn't breathe. I know panicking is the one thing I shouldn't do. Tried calling my husband for help, but he was sound asleep. I knew if this is the way I'd go (God forbids!) I just want yo close my eyes and go quietly - I reached out to touched my youngest girl, just barely 19 months who was sleeping next to me. Her soft tiny hands against mine...I hold her...if I was to go, I wanted to hold her next to me. I shut my eyes and took deep breaths and exhale slowly...it was hard. BUT that tiny hand suddenly moved and my baby rolled herself closer to me (she does that all the time) and I knew I just don't want to go just yet. I want to see her grow. She and her bigger sister. I moved my arm and hugged her while still taking deep breaths  in between - I don't want to die! I sniffed her lovely hair and just kept breathing and thinking of death. And I chant a lil zikir. I prayed Allah don't take me yet. I don't want my babies becoming orphaned at such tender years. 

Of course I woke up in the next 1.5 hours, alhamdulillah. Allah did give me another chance.

This, thing of a sudden heavy-chest, difficulties in breathing and heart's rate like a bullet train, happened quite regularly lately. And it's scary.

I told my husband, one time I tried moving my feet to called him but I couldn't moved. 

And that's the moment that I tell him, if anything bad did happen to me while he was sleeping, and he found me froze the next morning, I want him to know that he shouldn't feel sorry for me. 

My dear husband, if I do go before you, please take care of our daughters. Please don't ever forsake them. Please, as reluctantly I want to say this, find someone who will love them as much as I do (and I hope that you don't find another woman that soon to replace me when I'm dead)...that's painful. 

I know I haven't been the best of a wife and mommy to our kids, BUT I do try. And LOVE them with all my heart.

Dear Raihanna Iman and Raessa Imani, mommy sayang buchuk2 mommy sangat. 

For Kakak Hana, mommy memang cepat marah, but that's because I love you. I want you to be the best of a person you can be. 

For Adik Icha, you're the cutest lil angel. When I was carrying you mommy was diabetic, it was difficult. I couldn't eat much at all and never gained weight - and when we were in labour, it was the easiest part with you Icha sayang. However the doc had to used forceps apparatus to helped with the birth. Because mommy couldn't pushed you out. Was on epidural and already tired after 10 hours of labour. 

Do remember me all my beloveds and hope you will always have me in your hearts forever even when I am long gone from this world.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

What does Merdeka means to you

What does 'Merdeka' means to you? 

For me, it has been many. Sure as cliche as it may be, my Merdeka means being freed from foreign rule since 31st August 1957. To be able to wake up & live each day without the fear of guns/bombs is another. 

In my early 20s, my Merdeka means to be able to enjoy free concert on the eve of Merdeka & just loitering around KL till wee hours thinking that is the coolest thing to do (of course that my 'party life' didn't last long...my mom was a fierce mama bear at home).

Then 2004 on the eve of Merdeka, I left my motherland for the first time in my entire life. I could recall in the plane, looking down I felt a teeny lump in my throat, it was an unaccustomed feeling. Was I being patriotic? I looked at the Jalur Gemilang my friends gave me when leaving the airport as a parting memorabilia - they signed & scribbled some well-wishes on it. The next 8 months of my life as an alien (gaijin) that flag kept me company, especially in my time of solitude & feeling terribly homesick sitting at the working table, the flag was next to pictures of all my loved ones, I'd feel that lump in my throat again. This time, that lump and I are tomodachi (friends). 

And in between the years of finding self & adulthood, that patriotism slowly diminishes and before long it's just a distant feeling. Looking at the national flag, it is what it is - flag. Now, where's that lump that used to choke me whenever this nationalistic imagery come into contact with me?

Fast-forward, in my 30s, I found that lump again. My 'merdeka' lump and I reunited after 10 years since its debut in 2004. Now, with two kids, my first born was the one responsible to strike some independence day sense in me. 

Her pure request of getting some mini Jalur Gemilang was denied initially until I gave in to her and bought each one of my nucleus family, a piece that costs only 50 cents each. 

Her innocence towards the meaning of Merdeka slowly made me feel excited again. We both sing in the car, even her younger 1 y.o sis tried to say "eka" short for Merdeka. My daughters and I sing a few rounds of Merdeka song over and over again till our heart's content, a bit off-tune yet we were singing so loudly and happily that my daughter even roll-down the car window and scream "Merdeka" at random people while waving the flag at them (she feels so euphoric having a flag in her hand finally).

Seeing my 6 y.o wholeheartedly celebrating Merdeka made me lumps in the throat again. Suddenly, all of the Merdeka lyrics reverberate deep in me. I want this maintained & treasured forever. 

I want my kids to love and respect this nation so that it will prosper into an even more wonderful Malaysia. 

This love displayed by my daughter who is 6 years old to Malaysia, is unconditional & pure...However, it will be a disgrace if her love and many more innocent souls like her get tainted all thanks to many of the so-called loving mostly young adult Malaysians who wore Yellow (read: Bersih 4.0) today, on the eve of our National Day smearing the country's image under the pretext of saving Malaysia, such a fallacy that needed to be rectify immediately before the damage goes beyond repair.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I am no poet but you're my haley's comet

Although I rarely say I love you,
But do know that deep inside, I do,
For having you is truly a blessing,
Your my other half that has been missing;
Over the years my heart grows fonder,
But it's no wonder,
A father, a husband, a friend & a lover,
You know what tickles my fancy,
What drives me crazy.
Lately I know I am busy,
Forgive me sayang,
Though I appear to be neglecting,
Not an intention of deflecting,
Thank you syg for staying with me,
Albeit my waistline you could no longer see,
Please bear with me for years to come,
When my body be like a drum,
Never succumb.
Alas this is no sonnet,
For I am no poet,
But you'll forever be my haley's comet.


For someone who I miss dearly, and only can see you through tv,
Me hubby, in saudi. Come back quick, i am going crazy. With the kids & work that's neverending, afraid that i'll jump-off building. 

Huh, even that part rhymes. No, i am no poet.
Not even pseudo, not even going to try. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Subway Dismal Service

This is a story of a dissatisfied & frustrated loyal Subway customer. Today, I almost went the way just like many viral videos of angry woman engaged in conflict over what seemingly minor things - in my case of having my salad & cheese on the side! 

Yes, weird but I have my reasons. And I have been eating and having this order eversince my eldest took to the liking of having Subs for breakfast & lunch, say like 2-3 times in a week.

Her usuals would be either the breakfast strips or subway melts (both salad & cheese on the side) and would add-on soup + cookie + mineral (or coffee for mommy).

For a (now 6 year old) menu on sandwich - that is quite a pricey meal even more ridiculous if the salads & cheese omitted. What more with GST, having a Subs for a meal is something that many parents would think twice but not me - not being arrogant, but my eldest is extremely picky eater, thus when she does like something, I would just shut one eye and fulfill her want as long as she eats them, and Subway is one of the few things she likes. 

BUT today, for the first time, I encountered rude service crews, real samseng (word for goon). Really made me BP rised! And forced me to utter things (after provoked) that so condescending yet I don't think he care (or even understand) pUnks don't have good grades usually, that is why they ended being punk and had to work meager jobs such as waitressing at a sandwich joint. 

I was so irritated that I really wanted to just went to his face and snapped his picture, but my husband was being the composed one today, advised me not to. 

I have then sourced the net to lodge my complaint - FB, Twitter & Email to various chains - Subway Malaysia, Subway US and even the Dato' Vincent Choo - owner of Subway Malaysia.

This is my disgruntled feelings and unpleasant experience encountering rude Subway crew for the first time in my life. 

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To whom it may concern,

I have been a regular of subway since forever and have been to most of the outlets in Malaysia, in fact whenever I travel overseas, I would frequent the outlet as much as I could. 

My tastebuds and crave for your delicious sandwiches grew stronger when I was pregnant with my second baby last 2013 - I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and had to watch my calories intake - and turns out only when eating your sandwiches will be calories not shoot up over the danger zone & kept my tummy filled at the same time. 

I even introduced the menu to my eldest daughter since she was 4 years old and now she's 6. 

still a big fan on the subs though she's not so keen on the veggies and usually whenever we ordered we would opt for the veggies to be separated. 

And this has been always been our routine since forever and even post-GST. 

Dear Dato, as the owner of Subway, I humbly asked for your time to take into consideration to the content this email. 

I have tried looking for a 'Customer Service' link on Malaysia's Subway website, but to no avail. Thus, I think as the numero uno and a successful entrepreneur who have just received award of the year, I hope this email would not be thrashed for the improvement of your company & maintaining good loyal customer like me & many more. But even more important to keep in line with the spirits of Subway itself - keeping a harmonious relationship with customers & that customers would have the liberty to decide their Subs - it has always been that way and hope it will always be. 

Dear Dato, We have never encountered, I repeat NEVER encountered any problems with our order as weird as it sounds and probably caused a few confusion, but your crews HAVE NEVER been impolite with the order until today at Subway Giant Seksyen 13 Shah Alam, 26 April 2015, at 2pm.

My daughter would usually order the same thing, Subway Melts on Italian bread sans the cheese & veggies.

I'd like them separated from the bun because she does not eat them & usually doesn't even finish the meal, hence I would have to finish her leftovers (just some of things Mommy's would have to do) and thus I'd eat with the earlier separated veggies & cheese (and I would still eat this leftover even if I have ordered my own fav which is the BLT so it isn't the issue of being cheapskate. I just like to have extra veggies & cheese with my own sub).

Again I say this, this has always been my standard order at any outlet (and other outlets I frequent to are at Tesco Alam Jaya, Kelana Jaya SS5, One Utama Subway Ground Floor, Sunway Pyramid, Ramsey Sime Darby Hospital (SJMC), and Seksyen 7's Shah Alam outlets) - all of these in the state of Selangor, which is the state I am currently residing, and the frequency of Subs is 2-3 times in a week, including the breakfast menu. 

Again, all of these outlet I have frequent to without having to face RUDE service crews who would denied my requests to have the veggies & cheese separated. 

Thus, I would like to officially lodge a complaint on the crews at the aforementioned outlet - Giant Seksyen 13 Shah Alam, on one male & the female cashier (dark skinned & free hair). 

The said crews not only denied the requests on the basis that it is the rule and SOP of subway and was being rude about it. 

Although I've said that this come as shocking (the rules) as I explained, this "rule" was not norm at any other outlet, the male crew RUDELY provoked me with his gestures and tone & repeatedly denied the request. 

This was also joined by the equally RUDE female cashier that joined in the ruckus and supported her friend. 

Now, I do confess we've exchanged words and debated, as I said I have never encountered being denied the rights as a customer to have my full priced premium purchased of the sub's salad on the side, BUT is this how subway crews handled the situation with the rude male kept provoking me and asking me to go ahead with a complaint & even have the audacity to dare me to engage in conflict? And yes, due to his dare & RUDE MANNERS I obliged to the provocation and used my rights as a customer and did not proceed with the purchase (although the bread's already went in the oven for crisps).

Now, even if this is indeed the new SOP of subway of DENYING customer's right to "pick&choose" which is the ethos of Subway, does your crew have to be extremely RUDE on this? 

Your crew is so arrogant & acting like goons that even after I have retreated, and my spouse came over to talk things nicely...NONE, i repeat NONE of the crews have the decency to apologise let alone feeling even a bit of remorse! Especially the cashier who dared stared me back like a punk and the male crew who I reckon is definitely a punk!

If this is the way your outlet's standard - by having punks mending the front counter, I suggest to have them removed and enroll them in manners class. 

As I said, I have NEVER encountered such rude Subway crews, even during my travels in other countries. 

Please Malaysia Subway HQ, have this matter looked into Subway Seksyen 13 Shah Alam.

If this is really a new SOP, Subway should put it up on the board along with the menu which clearly says your RULES of not having the cheese & veggies separated & pay as advertised price even if you dont eat the fillings because Subway does not tolerate this salads/ cheese on the side which is UNUSUAL even at ANY global Subway. 

I think is utterly disgraceful - customers is paying the full price thus customer SHOULD HAVE THE SAY what goes in or out of the bun/ or what to do with what goes in or out of the bun, shouldn't they?

And I am not even talking about asking for extra veggies like some customers do even again that too is ALLOWED in the spirit of global Subway's franchise. 

Again if this is indeed your new RULES / changed policy Subway should have this on a circular & advertised!

As for the rude & incompetent crews that behave more like a punk than human - they should be penalised for their misbehaviours. 

I plea, Dato'...to have this matter looked into. 

Utterly disappointed regular customer,
Nurul Aishah Ab Raman
Selangor, MALAYSIA.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

That aching longing the inconsolable yearning

Salam.

A wise man once said...

In your saddest days you should turn to Allah the Almighty; when you're feeling jubilant it is Allah whom you should be thanking first; in all calamities and fears faced with bravery that Allah is by your side - that is the true traits of Imaan in a Muslim. 

In other words, in every single thing that you do, Allah must be on your top list before anything else, for nothing else matters but Him. 

"fa bi ayyi irabbikumma tukadzibban..."

The following picture sums up my feelings today. For some reason, I'm all teared up inside looking at this magnificent picture of the Ka'abah - the true compas of every Muslim. 

Never have I felt such aching deep in my heart that I fear I wouldn't make it to see for myself and gaze at the majestic Ka'abah, performing Salah in Masjidil Haraam & submitting my du'a to the Almighty Allah in the holy city of Mecca...

I am no pious person, I've sinned alot for the past 33 years of my life. BUT I never stopped to wish to become a better person than I've ever been. 

I want to have this one true meaning of LOVE - to love and be loved in an eternal blessing of His grace until one day we are all awoken for Judgement Day & I would received with my right hand that book of deeds.


No one will ever understand your trials and tribulations, the pain who've gone through, the challenges you got to embrace but Allah.

When the world seems to spat on your face, only one type of love that will never forsake you, that is the love from your God, the Creator of Heavens and Earth and all living things in it. 

O Allah, show me the way. Bless me and guide me onto the right paths. Keep those with good intentions close to me and keep away the sinister hearts as far as possible. Bless my loved ones with even greater love than you've shown to me. 

Ps: keep on smiling and saying praise, Alhamdulillah...if one hurt you continue to have the kindness that you'd wish to receive from others. Do good things the way you would want others do to you. Keep me safe Allah. Keep this heart content. Amiin. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

death, die, dying and the dead

Death. For every living things must die one day.

Death is such a sombre thing to even begin with. The sheer thoughts of death, and process of dying - when one's soul crosses that bridge and depart from this world onto the next is unimaginable and scary.

I remember year 1999. That was a sombre year for me. From my beloved grandpa (my dad's father) who passed away due to old age (he was 89 years old) and then my uncle 'Utih' Derih (my dad's older brother, he succumbed to his long battle with Parkinson) and followed by a very shocking death of another uncle 'Pak Itam' (my dad's brother in-law) just 1 month after uncle 'Utih' passed on...that year was our family 'Black Year'. So much so, even my school friends were saying how weird it was to have strings of death in one family (all from my dad's side) - and true enough, I had to went back to my dad's hometown which was in Lubok China for all three funerals and for that skipped classes (i was in my SPM year - so it was a big frown to skip classes to my teachers). 

As if that was not enough, year 2000 opens with another sombre passing. This time my beloved grandma (my dad's mom) was taken away from us and met her Creator. Grandma ( I called 'uwan') suddenly fell ill and was admitted to Seremban Hospital and we learnt that her liver's was not functioning well and that was the reason her stomach seems bloated). Uwan didn't suffer too long, within a month after she was diagnosed with that, Uwan passed away...I remember vividly that sad night, when the doctors told us to take her home as the hospital's given up hope on Uwan, we already started to cry. And as Uwan was transported back to her home, my relatives and I, convoyed from Seremban to Lubok China like past midnight with the ambulance leading the way. My parents were in the ambulance as well...and suddenly just right at the corner before Uwan's place, the convoy stopped. There was panic and commotion. And everyone just literally stopped and leave their car and started running....so was I. My cousins and I ran as fast as we could and I was literally screaming "uwan, uwan..." with tears coming down...I knew Uwan has left us. who knew that she wanted to leave us from her own house and not the hospital. All of her children and almost all grandchildren and great grandchildren of hers were there witnessing her passing. All of us cried, inconsolably. That night, was the longest night I felt...all of us didn't sleep much, and kept Uwan companied. 

However, just as we thought the dark skies were cleared for us, just few months after Uwan's passing...my dad's younger brother and also his closest buddy whom I called 'Acik' Bakar, followed suit and succumbed to his long battle of Diabetes. For the first time in my life, I saw my dad looking so terribly sad, grief-struck, devastated. We knew he felt his life is much more emptier than it used to be now that Acik is gone...his baby brother. Our favourite uncle as well...Acik was loved by many. And I loved him dearly too. During his last few months and warded in HUKM with his health  deteriorating...my parents would never fail to visit him and my baby sis and i would tag along. We would sleep in the corridors of that cold, long alley nearby his ward often losses sleep and would resume life just as normal the next morning. At that time I was still waiting for a place in Uni after SPM thus often I would catch on some sleep in the morning till afternoon! and by 4pm after dad's back from office - he would take us all to HUKM and stayed there for many hours....and this was the cycle again and again....

now, 15 years has passed - my dad's siblings are down to four - with the eldest  we called 'Pak Ngah' and then aunt 'Mak Itam' (the widowed of Pak Itam), aunt 'Mak Lang' (also a widow for more than 30 years) and lastly my much beloved dad, who his nieces and nephews called 'Achek'. At this point, pak ngah is quite frail and so is mak itam - both in & out of the hospital quite often...even dad is not doing so well post-prostate surgery, he's never been the same. Only Mak Lang is still looking so strong and healthy.

I missed dearly all of my beloved uncles and grandparents. I missed those days we would go back to 'kampong'. I missed so much my Atuk and his stories during the war in Malaya, Atuk was also fluent in English, Tamil, Hokkien and some Japanese. My Atuk, the 'stubborn son' of his dad - one of the richest guy in Lubok China in the 1940s, in fact all of Atuk's brothers made through formal education and became 'somebody' except him who was known to be 'stubborn' and didn't want to do what his father told him to. he didn't want to help with the family business and 'stubbornly' stayed away from his family's wealth - doing all sort of odd jobs to make ends meet. My Atuk left the comfort and lived as 'nobody' ...he was an educated man who ended up as a lorry driver. 

I also missed my Acik Bakar, who was very kind, fatherly, and so giving. I remember he would repeat calling me by my full name until i answered him as "yes Acik Bakar" instead of simple "yes"...he was so strict on manners and was such a family guy. Being the last in his family, he had the opportunity to finish school to uni level - he was a PTD (high ranking government officer) and thus was the only siblings of my dad who was well-off. BUT he never lost his ground and treated us all with kindness. I remember him as a funny guy too. (just like my dad, always cracking jokes).

AlFatihah to all of them. Atuk, Utih, Pak Itam, Uwan and Achik. I know all of you are now resting well in heaven. Wait for me, for my time will come...and we would rejoice once more in the everlasting jannah insyaAllah.

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As for me, 2015 too have seen many deaths thus far. First, there was the shocking and so inhumane death of my dear university friend whom I've known since 2000 - Allahyarham Rais Ramzidi Rrahim. Rais, was such a significant friend in my life. He was my classmate since day one in UiTM and we kept in touch even way after I got married and all. Rais, was very soft-spoken, petite guy, nice and always smiling. Rais was the only friend who would always called me up every now and then, and would never failed to asked about my mom's health. I named my second child, Raessa which is the feminine name of Rais - that means "the wise" in Arabic/ Islam. I cannot lie that when I was looking for a name that starts with the letter 'R' (as to sync with my husband's name that also starts with R) I thought of the name Rais and inevitable thought of Rais, my friend. In fact, I wanted to tell him that I named my daughter just like his name...because that name just so nice & beautiful...Rais was killed by his own construction workers who've strangled him with some cables, beaten him up and ditched him to rot in his own bathroom in his parents old house (which was under renovation) only to be found 36 hours later....the killers (believed to be indon workers, still running free - reckon have fled the country...). When I learnt the news about him, I couldn't help but cry my eyesballs out....I did, cried alone in my office...I thought of his face, I can hear his voice and even recalled that sheepishly shy smiles of his..:(( 



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And on a national level, the passings of famous sports commentator Dato Hasbullah Awang with his legendary remarks such as the "oh sayang sekali..." everytime one misses to score a goal....and of course Allahyarham Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat the former Kelantan MB and PAS's spiritual leader...Lee Kuan Yew also passed away, and more recently we are saddened by the passing of another prominent political figure and a statesmen, Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis who was killed in a helicopter crash in Semenyih after attending the PM's daughter wedding in Pahang, 

Tan Sri JJ as he was fondly known just by his initials, was one of PM best buddies and significant malay leader, an MP from Rompin which is also my husband's grandparents hometown. I personally do not know him, but i've met him several times during those years when he was the MOSTI minister during my short journo stints - he was a sharp minister, brilliant economist, certified engineer, but most of all he was so down-to-earth, kind and approachable VIP, a minister. cooperative to journos which is a trait all journos appreciate. 

AND my last honour to have met him and worked with him was during one of UMNO's Selangor roundtable meeting - I was involved as the rapporteur for economy's section which had him as the Chairman. I wanted so bad to snap a selfie with him, but due to the overwhelming work that I had to finish in such a tight deadline and not to mention of a subject that is quite foreign to me ( i dislike economy!) LOL - thus i didn't seize that moment. But I remember that time I came in 5 minutes late  (or rather he was super early just like most of those big guns who attended the economic meeting, such important part of the whole UMNO meeting) - my hands trembled as I was typing away things that I did not understand, and often there were many typos and pauses and Tan Sri JJ would stop and point to the screen and corrects my typing (just when I taught he didn't care about such petty things like my job as 'typist'). 

For the haters, say what u want about this man, but he was an exceptional leader - top scorer of his days , he was one of the very few smart ministers in malaysia and UMNO. and now we've lost another great mind in this counrty. AlFatihah Tan Sri JJ :((

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I often wonder and shivers in fear of what my end would be...what it would be for my loved ones. my parents, my husband, my daughters. For I've sinned so much to even deserve a decent passing...but I hope if I am taken away to meet Allah Almighty, that I'd go in peace, with my body intact so that my loved ones would remember me as that, that my death be swift and Allah be gentle with my soul for his keeping. I pray that Allah do the same with my much beloved parents, my loving and kind husband and my two beautiful daughters. 

O Allah forgive my sins. Grant me your jannah. And keep me and my loved ones, safe. Amiin.