Friday, 23 June 2017

Confronting the devil in me

Well, I can't pretend that I have no more task to complete. I have already push it to the back of my mind but now I can't. The clock is ticking. I have until September to submit my Thesis. I have already failed once. I can't afford to fail it a second time because then, I might just throw in the towel. I am glad that I threw my draft into the black hole, letting my brain thaw before I try again. The first time i tried to transcribed the women's stories, i couldn't stop the tears. I distracted myself with a million things; movies, books, hikes ... there was always something else to do, something else to think of. I couldn't make those stories a priority because the voices that screamed from the taped audio were voices of broken dreams, of hearts so crushed with disillusionment, of unexpressed anger full of cynicism, of worries for their young ones, a mother's love so full it that no universe could contain it but a wife's love like the melting glacier as the earth's get warmer. From a bellowed "how dare he?!" to a whimpering "how could he..." like a twist of a knife in the heart.

Update : I went to see my Supervisor and she taught me things. Thank God! Gave me more clarity on how to proceed. When i am made to break their words into pieces then reconstruct them, i can look at them objectively with detached emotions. Is it better to be detached or be with them? Sometimes our emotion paralyze us from taking action.

-back to work-

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Sunday, 11 December 2016

...the blood that ran through my vein...

There are times that we wish our parents were much much better than they are/were; more nurturing, more caring to our needs, be at our beck and call, not pay so much attention to our siblings, or their job or their friends or their hobbies...infact, they should not even have a world of their own and should make us their entire world. How dare them not being there when we want them to be or give us what we want! How dare them to be so selfish; to not care for their child! How could they abandon me??Why are they such a disappointment?? I didn't ask to be born!

And as we grow and have children of our own, we are hurt when the 4-year old screamed from the top of the staircase "i wish you are not my parents!"  or the time when a 16 year old looked at you and muttered under his breath, scowling that he thought that "the older the person, the wiser he should be,..but it doesn't seem to be that way" (that's my son) or hear a word from them weeks after weeks after weeks on the flimsy excuse that they are busy, oh so busy so busy so busy that they couldn't leave two words and we are not even asking for the three little words. 

No matter how much our parents disappoint us or how much our children disappoint us, that invisible cord connecting two generations can never be broken. Maybe the distance is only a few hundred miles away, or maybe just 10 km away, yet it may feel as though we come from different universe, but still, we are linked ...i can't take you out of me, nor you can take me out of you. We are still part of one.

So, live with it... better yet, celebrate it!

...because when they are no longer there, nothing in thie world would be able to fill that void.

"And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them, "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small."

Monday, 26 September 2016

My car and i.

Now is a good time to update my blog while waiting for them to replace my aircond. It is makng some highly shrill noise and the damage to me will be RM350. Last week it costed me RM620 to repair my damaged bumper and reflector. I didn't have the heart to make the girl pay for it after seeing how dejected the mom look. The girl was apologising profusely saying that she had brake as hard as she could; which would mean that she might have a faulty brake. Better for her that she crashed into me; a minor damage than be in a major accident later on. I hope this is a lesson for her, although my daughter said i should teach her a lesson by making her pay. Doing so would cause hardship to her family, and being a student she wouldn't have the money to pay for damages to her car and mine. Not to mention the trauma of being in an accident.

Twice i have been in a major accident: watching the passenger of the motorcycle flying over my car and being the driver of a turtled 4WD. It is very traumatising to see someone hurt because of you. Well, i wasnt exactly at fault. The motorcyclist drove too fast. His wife confided in me that this wasnt his first time; my car didnt hit him. His bike hit me. He was ready to stab me with his wife's scissors but was pulled back by the bystanders. This is when having many brothers make one feel safe. No matter, i was really sorry i hurt his wife as she was pregnant at that time. On hindsight, after being trained to identify abusive men, i dare say he falls into that category. I still think of his wife, after more than 35 years since the incident. I hope something good came out of it.

Hmmm doesn't look like my car is ready and it has been more than 1.5 hours.

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

that which goes bump in my mind..

It's close to 2am and i am wide awake. I am a coward. I can't sleep alone; sleeping alone means having the lights on and having the lights on means i can't sleep. I'd try putting myself to sleep by watching some movies and when i have decided that the movies have watched me enough..because i fell asleep, i'd switched them off...and then i am back to being wide awake. back to square one. i wish she didnot tell me what he said when he was two. They were standing at the balcony 21 storeys above ground and it was dusk. "wow. he can fly". Mommy asked "who?" Pointing to the sky, he answered "the man in white". a child's imagination? or their pure innocence revealing that which skeptics no longer see?

i don't want to believe in them but there's too many people encountering too many of them. they are there; among us. Just as bugs, spiders, mites ... i can't see dust mites. i would rather not see them but i am sharing their space. They are crawling all over me..they don't bother me as long as i can't see them. Thank God for that!

why the heck am i trying to frighten myself?!

this is my space...that's your space...see this line..? .don't you dare cross it!

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Slapping as a lesson for rudeness? to your wife?

 It is normal for any couple not to see eye to eye with each other about certain issues. The malay even have a saying or was it a lyric from one of P. Ramlee's song?
"...our own teeth would bite our tongue.."

i would forgive anything under the stars but cheating is a deal-breaker.

oh! i forgot....emotional, mental and physical abuses are also deal breakers.

Are abusers remorseful of what they did to their significant other whom they are supposed to "love"? Of course their concept of love is "I just want to teach her a lesson because that's what my religion taught me....i am the one to guide her..." Okay, are so way out of line here. No religion would teach you to harm others unless it is to defend yourself... and definitely not to the one whom you are sharing your life with. Not to anyone. Period. 

[Quran 30:21] "Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think."

Monday, 7 March 2016

the extended family

Marriage is never about just the couple but all couples think that love conquers all and that love alone would iron out the creases in the relationship magically. It would be so much easier if the couple live in a vacuum and no one else; including their children exist. Unfortunately, sometimes we get irritated even by our own shadow...or by our hair that doesn't even curl the way we want it to be, or the nose hair that sticks out without our permission or the smelly fart that decided it just need to get out the minute someone else steps into our lift. (Damn! Why does she need to get in just as i let it go??)

And sometimes we even get bored of our own company. that just-turned-adult person who whined "ibu, i didn't do anything today. I am so bored."  (hmmm ....I can't remember ever signing a contract about having to entertain my kids if i have them).

I used to cry whenever i was told my dear late mother-in-law was coming for a visit. I had to quickly clean up the house, make sure the kids don't fight, and enough food in the fridge. I'd be so full of anxiety that one day i was quivering and sobbing on the stairs. "Is my house clean enough? Are my children fat enough for her?  Are the clothes folded nicely? Would my cooking be up to her standard? Are my children smart enough, polite enough, perfect little beings...?" And so on and so on...everything is about me never being good enough...for who, i don't know.

I didn't sign up to be a maid, a cook, a nurse, a financial manager, a sexy pot ready for 24-7 sex while trying to have a career of my own....all i was trained to do was study, get your grades up, finish your degree, work, give parents money etc....although kakak would harp of women's place being in the kitchen, mak never said anything to that effect. So trying to balance what you wanted to do and what society expects you to do took alot of adjusting to the point that you starts to feel you have become invisible.

Life becomes so scripted by society that you don't know where you start and where they end. You became so entangled and so enmeshed; that you felt blamed for even the ripple in the pond; or when your your chilli plant died due to the hot weather. You didn't water the! you! you! or when everything you do is perceived as being malicious who, you don't know...but you did it because you thought at that moment it was for the best to you and whoever is concerned.

Perception. Perception. Perception.

but by whose perception?

...until the day i looked her in the face and asked her "are you jealous of me? did you feel that i was trying to take your son away from you?"

it gets easier when defenses are down, and masks taken off and we become our authentic self , revealing our insecurities and vulnerabilities.

then can only the conversation begin .."i see you and i hear you.."

"...All i wanted to do was love you as i love my mother"

so do what your nenek did to me ...distracting me when i tried to whine about the other side...stopped me and said "i don't want to know"...or not to allow friction between you and your in-laws when your child starts to roughhouse with his cousins. Never ever think bad of anyone.

We are all on the same side.
Don't allow anything, big or small, to come between you and them. Ever! 

“And among His Signs is this that He created for you wives (spouses) from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for people who reflect.”

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Count Down to Mount Kinabalu! Another 14 more days to go.


I am left with just 2 more weeks!

Anxiety? Tak usah cakap. Takut giler. Whenever i think about the climb, i get palpilations. Well, not exactly. The palpilations were mainly due to the submission dateline of my internship documentations. I am still not out of the loop yet..but at least i am no longer cock-eyed trying to tally the figures in the wee hours. Now i have to worry about my fitness level and if i can overcome altitude sickness.

I have done Bukit gasing, bukit apek, ayer hitam forest reserve and pine tree hill.

After Pine Tree Hill, a 7 hours i-almost-died-hike, the rest seems easy peasy. That beauty is a full body workout. Clambering over huge logs, sliding downhill on butts, pulling tree roots to pull upwards and yet defeated by an almost vertical climb of 3 minutes to reach the peak. Really humiliating. As a newbie, it is a shock to my system but i love it! I stiĺl hope to climb bukit nuang; someone said you train on mount K to climb nuang. Hmmmm
Still hunting for the essentials to climb mount k. I have  lost one toe nail since training. Both the nails on my big toes are still black. Other women use nail polish while mine is au naturel and i feel good being in my skin; albeit getting darker.

adter the Bukit Gasing clim. Eureka!
I am not happy that i am just climbing bukit gasing for less than 2 hours. I doubt if it is sufficient to build my stamina. I have to remind myself that the beauty is not the destination, but the journey. Sometimes i wonder what actually IS the destination. Is it when we are at our death bed we would be saying "i am satisfied with my life now, and i am ready to let go"? Is there actually such thing as a life that is without an "if only..." or a life of "i wish i didn't do it because it was not worth it.."

..and then i watch the guy who made the bus-stand his home...what was he thinking when he lay his head down every night on the bench, what dreams does he have while awake or when he sleeps? What stories will he tell me if i ask.


The first time i set my heart to climb Mount Kinabalu was when you, Cici, was just a toddler. Remember that time, you were so chubby; and the folds of your fat arms and legs made you look like little Buddha. Your skin was so fair, maybe slightly fairer than you are now with brownish hair. Most times when i picked you up at the Baby sitter's house, i'd see you seated on her ample lap and you looked so happy and contented. I remembered a little boy probably a couple of years older than you who would show me his toy of the day. Then there's the pretty kadazan helper whose smile would light up the room. Do you remember the little electrical poodle toy that we bought for you and you'd let all your teeny friends enjoying themselves; clapping their hands to make it move? You were very happy there. We did take a picture of you being hugged by the kindly faced bosomy baby sitter with your friends surrounding you. You were the baby of that house; loved by the carers and the other chidren.

I didn't get to climb Mount Kinabalu while we were there; although your papa did. We wanted to, when your auntie and uncle came over for a visit. We were so excited at the prospect of climbing but the excitement was greater when we found out your aunt was carrying their first child. And so, i shelved that idea...

Life happens, and ibu forgot all about it.

Until a few weeks ago, a group of mid-lifers decided to take up the challenge. Date : end of August. 50% of payment made.
And now time for training to build stamina.

1st Week
The whole of last week i did 30 minutes on the treadmill! Hallelujah! A good start when the only form of exercise i normally do is to watch online movie on viooz or putlucker.

2nd week

Climbed Bukit Saga. Normally it takes 6 hours to and fro; the reward being the waterfall. I did it within 7 hours; with alot of stops trying to force oxygen into my lungs. A day later, muscle ache.

Rule No. 1 : Don't make impulsive decisions until you know what you are getting into. "it's only a 3-hour trek to the waterfall". What she omitted to tell you was that the 3-hour is just one way.

Rule No. 2 : Don't start your journey at 11am because by that time the heat is terrible.

Rule No.3 : Don't go with a 21 year old daughter because she will say "Dont sit down!! Stand!! Come on!! We are wasting daylight hours!! You can do it!! they are just steps and you won't roll down the ravine! When you go downhill, just run..!.(and that's how she fell)

Rule No. 4 : Don't stare at elderly folks who sprinted past you. No fair. They used staff to help them climb. Next time bring your own staff,  otherwise they'd pity you and lend you theirs. Shameful!

Rule No.5 : Keep hydrated. Two big bottles of mineral water may be sufficient. I prefer my own sophisticated 3 packets of soya drink plus 1 small bottle of mineral water. Definitely not sufficient! ..and maybe chocolates to your heart's content..or not.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Another blow up.


"you should be supportive of whatever decison that i made just as i supported you in yours. Stop being selfish.".
" Is that so? i have always felt that i lost my siblings whenver they marry...the closeness..they would be busy with their own wife and children and then they forget me..."
" you would have gained another sibling if you have been closed to their spouses but you didn't. You pushed them away."
"..that was what i was taught!! Mom hated me!!. She treated me like a step-daughter!! she wanted to abandon me..i had to quickly marry...!!"
"you have to let it go. Forgive her. It's hurting you..."
"how would you know??!! You were not there!! You were at your boarding school. You dont know what is happening at home!!"

...and she slammed the car boot in anger, and in her distraught emotional state of mind, she left her phone behind.

Ok..where was this leading to?
Again, another blow up. Each time i brought up some other matters, the same issue will come out.

It is understandable that a child would feel devastated when she perceived she is hated by her parent. Not an easy task to change that perception although in reality, only her name existed in the title deeds. If her parents did not love and care for her, they would not have made sure she has that privilege that her other siblings do not have.

"I want to hurt you as you have hurt me!!" and so kept stabbing and twisting the knife onto herself.

...and with that thought that i am not loved by the one who gave birth to me, therefore i am unlovable, and therefore i should reject them before they reject me..., what does it take for me to feel loved?...


A person can choose to be stuck at those times when she was emotionally wounded by the parent, or she can choose not to be that wounded child anymore. Why do you allow anyone to have such control over your life; albeit your own parents?

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

You are loved no matter what...

My Beloved Children,

Today's lesson is about parents' love for their children.

It's been 12 days since nenek passed away. Kak Rei is busy scrubbing and cleaning the house. Ibu wish I could keep her with me; her loyalty towards nenek and Atok cannot be bought with money. But it would be very selfish of me if i do that when there are other family who needs her more than me.

Ibu gave away my poncho that I bought in South America and my jacket that i bought in China to one of you aunts. During Nenek's last few days, she was wrapped in them. Even though those warm clothing are of sentimental value to me, i believe your aunt needs it more to comfort her in her grieve over Nenek's passing.

My siblings and i are going through what nenek left for us; which is almost next to nothing. As in any family, not everyone thinks the same way. Whatever contentions that were expressed among siblings, were actually a cry of anguish due to perception that possessions left by nenek is her expression of love. Although she meant well by trying to be fair to her children, it is still very hurtful
that one has to pay cash to possess her old jewellery. Anything that she gives away is connotated with her giving her love to that person. So for those who did not get anything perceived they were unloved.

And the pattern will be repeated among the three of you if you are not aware of what is going on.

No matter what our parents did, we will still think that they did not love us enough. I don't want the three of you to ever feel that way. Love cannot be quantified and expressed in objects. And again, ibu wants to stress here not to be calculative among your siblings, have compassion and take good care of each other.

A song dedicated to all three of you..and my grandchildren... :)

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I can
How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan

How long will I be with you
As long as the sea is bound to
Wash up on the sand

How long will I want you
As long as you want me too
And longer by far
How long will I hold you
As long as your father told you
As long as you are

How long will I give to you
As long as I live through you
However long you say

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I may

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Sunday, 14 February 2016



A Promise Kept.
"Mak, promise me you will not go anywhere" while i held your hand in the Emergency Room; tears rolling down my face. ". "Where can i go when i can't even move?" you said weakly. "No, promise me you will not go until i come home!" and then your eyes lit up with understanding and you asked me to come back safely. I thanked Allah, you got better and was discharged...and then i came home. The minute you saw me you said "I want to go home". You repeated your request because you saw my confusion. I was so happy because i thought you wanted to come home with me. Mak, my home had felt so empty without you,"No, Mak want to go home...the 6foot house" you said softly. "i have troubled my children too long". I am sorry, Mak, at that moment I pretended not to understand you and changed the subject.
And yesterday, Mak, for the firs time i carried you the way you carried me when i was a child. You felt so light and warm in my arms. In my awkwardness, i caused your hand to bleed. You seemed so far away and i know i am losing you. But you still managed to scold me for the last time; for taking so long to park the car.
Mak, for so many years i have dreaded this moment where you will never go home with me ever again. You kept your promise to me and i have kept my promise to you. I rode with you in the van to keep you company; to prepare you for your temporary house. Mak, we bathed you for the last time. We kissed you for the last time. I really hope you feel our love for you. Did you see how your grandsons and sons build your house for you? And we said our last goodbyes to you. You and I, we have created a billion memories too hard for me to reminisce now.For where ever you are now, i pray that you will have beautiful dreams, better than the ones you had before.
In Allah's mercy, I pray that we will still meet again in Jannah; and you will not see the last of me ...and you can still scold me...and you will never ever have to worry about me leaving you ever again.

“And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in Faith, to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything”
[at-Toor 52:21].

Monday, 25 January 2016

What is life, Ibu?

What do you say to your 21 year old daughter when she keeps asking you "What is Life?". 

Maybe Life is about jumping in; sometimes with your eyes wide open and sometimes with your eyes closed. 

It is about maneuvering the raft over and around the rapids; about teamwork and protecting each others' back. It is about being in the "now" and going with the flow. But sometimes the one you trust the most is the one who flips the boat. Sure, you will be underwater and swallow tons of water ..or you can just stop fighting 

... which means 2 things can happen :you will float or you will wake up and its judgment day.Either way, you still win..and you can look back and say to yourself that "hey, i am still wasn't so bad after all." .. then wipe your face...grab your paddle and continue your journey...

Just remember that the one who flipped the raft ...he fell,too...

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Being Happy in the moment

Adelaide : 
Going on a holiday on impulse with no itinerary...means... not having any expectations and just going with the flow...which means: no disappointments and everything that is happening becomes a source of joy. 

We missed some of the usual tourisy places but happiness is more about giggling over being lost, or laughing over the smell of cat's urine in our airbnb room or crushing eucalyptus leaves and inhaling the fragrance or watching the jellyfish bobbing and eating rendang puff that doesn't taste like rendang .... and most of all, meeting an old high schoolmate who never seem to the end of it, it is about one's life priority at that moment. 

When one feels that one doesn't need to achieve anything to be happy.

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

My grandsons

To my darling grandsons, Adam Ali and Aman Ali,

Nana's eyes filled with tears with a heart so big with pride staring at your pciture. How beautiful the outcome of a genetic poutpouri of Malaysia's three major ethnic groups (malay, chinese and indian) So proud of you both and so full of hope for a better future for our country where racism will stop rearing its ugly head. Nana remembered the times when your great grandparents tried to stop Nana and Ah Kong from starting an inter-racial relationship. Yet, look at you both now. 

smile emoticon
My prayers for both of you to become one of the world leaders of the Muttaqeen who practises wisdom based on compassion and love.

...My Lord, grant them in this world good and the hereafter good and protect them from hellfire".
- NANA Lina-

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

From Birth to Death...

The last two weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster; beginning with stress then relief that the logbook is now completed, excitement in seeing my lovely daughter and her family and her growing tummy. Soon i will be a grandmother twice over. A little sad to leave them after a week, joy in exploring Gua Tempurung and then soaking ourselves in the Sungai Klah hotspring.

And then it was like waves of grief after grief. Before i could savour the week's lovely experiences, we received bad news. and then even before my brother-in-law was cremated, we received another heartbreaking news; of the sudden death of my daughter's boyfriend. He is not even 21 and now he is gone.

It is easier to accept the death of someone who had been diagnosed of stage 4 cancer. You know that it is kinder to have his life taken away then to have his suffering prolonged. But no matter what, he is loved and will always be missed. Certain things that my brother-in-law had said, i will always remember. May his soul rest in peace and may his loved ones be blessed with much abundance.

I have only spoken to the young man twice; once at my house and another time when he was sitting in my daughter's car looking distressed.  i had this overwhelming feeling enveloping me after speaking to him. This young man loves my daughter! Intituively i know he is a good person and i was proven right.

To the parents of Ahmed Osama Heiba, you have raised your son very well. I am honoured to know him and my daughter is blessed to love him. As a mother, i grieve with your family, and as a mother of my daughter it pained me to see her sadness.

May Allah forgive him all his sins and put him among the Believers, the Righteous, the Prophets and Messengers  and grant him Jannah. And may his family be blessed abundantly for their patience.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihirojiun..

Thursday, 23 April 2015

"ibu, what is happiness to you?"

Few days back my son and i had one of our rare lunches together. The days that i tried as much as possible to delay has arrived; of that him being a grown man with a life of his own and would be having his own family in the very near future (okay, yang, when is that happening?) That reminds me of the conversation i had with him when he was only 7 years old when he complained that i was spending all my time with the baby. I told him that "...i cannot be too close with you anymore because one day you are going to get married and you need to make your wife the closest person to you."

I have heard of so many stories of women complaining about their husbands' mother interfering in the running of their homes. Unfortunately husbands tend to think it is cute that their mothers are there "helping out" in the household. No, babe, no woman likes another woman in her turf unless that woman is the wife's mother. You don't make you mother your bestfriend, you make your WIFE your best friend because you need to invest in a team of people, and these little people need to know their mother is very important to you. Your job is to reassure your mother that she has raised you up to be someone her grandchildren would have good memories of when you are dead. Complicated? no! i think at the end of the day, for the sake of our descendents, we want to leave a history of us that they could be proud of. Like it or not, what we do today will affect our children and grandchildren.

Again, i am digressing. Seems that i tend to digress ... i think old age does that to me...there is a saying that old people talk to much.

Anyway, we had "nasi campur", sat at one table already occupied by a salt-and-pepper haired malay chap. We continued with our varied conversation. Then my son asked ... heck, i can't remember his exact question. But he said if he is rich then he will be happy. I said "don't use external factors to determine your happiness because you are going to end up very unhappy." Of course, when you are rich you will be able to be unhappy in comfort, better than suffering in discomfort. Then again, what is the objective of being rich? Because then travelling makes us happy, at least for awhile, and to travel you need money. Good food costs money; doesn't matter that it will come out as shit 4 hours after that. Extra money means being able to distribute it to others and that "giving" evoke good feelings in us. Getting that branded clothes tells others that i am "successful" because i have money and you don't and that means i am smarter than you...and so on and so forth.

Truth is, the only person who can make you happy is yourself. The only person who can fill your void is yourself and the only person whom you can permanently be in love with is yourself. Until you feel you are complete, you will always be on a quest to find something or someone to try to "complete" you and that is the formula to failure... to discontent ... to continue doing stuff you wouldn't want your grandchildren to know...  ;))

...and oh....we were so engrossed in our conversation, we ended up paying for the stranger...why the heck did the waiter put his bill on our tab???

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Sunday, 19 April 2015

the clutter

"ibu, when are you going to blog?"
"Mak Teh, update your blog lah"

The problems with blogging when prople know who you are is that ...well, it is difficult not to make your thoughts known and not have people who know you say "hey, she is writing about me!". In other words, you would still need to filter your words which means you can't write the things you want to write and not affect the people you know. Right?

But since they insist that you write... well, okay... but don't say i did not tell you so. :))

There are things in your life that you know one day you have to let go. For instance, i know my mom would leave me permanently one day. It is easy to count my mother's birthday. I just add 30 years onto my own birthday. In 10 days' time would be my 54th birthday. 54! If nothing change, i would be taking my EPF in one year's time. I used to say that i would withddraw those money, splurge it all .... because i expect to die in that year. Saying it years ago sounds so funny but when that figure is only about 1 year from now, it no longer feels like a joke. The fact that God has given me this so much years is already a miracle in itself. It means, looking back over those years and evaluating if you have done everything in your checklist or did life turns out as what you imagine it to be when you were young.

Ok. Unfortunately, oday''s blog wasn't about that. I digress.

It is about my mom and dad.

A couple of weeks after she left, I cleaned her room. Somehow i never do that when she was around. I felt it was an invasion of her privacy, an invasion of her space that she shared with my dad. There were still many things that i have not sorted out since my dad's death; certain remnants that i could not throw away until i realised that my own death is looming. So much stuffs from my own parents and that on top of my own clutter; my children would have a hell of a time cleaning our mess.

But in every "mess" tells a story. I found my dad's diary; infact two. He uses our full name in his diary. and i am glad that he wrote his diaries because now i can still have a part of him. One dated while i was still in college. He gave me about half of the pension he received, for my allowance. Truly a wonderful father uncomplainingly bringing up 9 children and trying to make ends meet.

He wrote about my parents' sadness having to let his son fly thousand of miles away.

Now you,  my darling children, can have tiny pieces of your grandparents as part of your own memories about them at the time when you were not even born.

I attended a grief workshop way before rummaging through my parents' stuff. I thought i had closure of my dad's death yet when we went into small group and i became the psuedo client, i recall the time of his death and the pain is still acute.
I shared to the big group the guilt i felt for what i thought i was partly to blame in hastening his death but a kind participant who identified herself as a doctor came up to me dispelled my misconception. What a relief!

So my children, whatever happens after our death, you will always feel guilty for thinking you did not do enough for your parents. Please don't! We as parents have done the best we could under the circumstances, to raise you. All we want is for you all to be happy and lead a peaceful life. THAT would make us happy...well, at least that would make me happy... so that the cycle of life continues.  Ibu loves you all very much. That includes my nieces and nephews, if you are also reading this. :)))

which means, i have to go to today's wedding. My work can wait.

Monday, 23 March 2015

the cute sweet one..

we did a workshop on setting healthy boundaries in a healthy romantic relationship yesterday.

it was a hodge podge of activities that we drew up within less than a week. Desperaton can make one do wonders. One improvises as one goes along with whatever resources one has.

The group activity on constructing a building was really an eye opener. Each team consist of a couple, a helper and a saboteur. The function of the saboteur was to...what else...sabotage the couple from completing the building. The couple construct their relationship with the building as a metaphor of the end product of their relationship. If the two of them are in sync, even without words  they would be able to communicate to each other their personal vision of desired outcome.

Every couple would have their own ups and downs: the Helper is what connects the two while the Saboteur is what pulls them part.

Sometimes in life we don't realise the saboteur is the one who looks so cute and sweet, to the point that we become distracted; losing focus of who is our real partner. At times, we are able to turn that negativity into something positive for our relationship. And sometimes the saboteur actually becomes our ally. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Kuala lumpur - Egypt

My 20-year old daughter is so excited to revisit the countries she had gone to 17 years ago. We were there with my parents. At that time, we had also visited amman and baitulmaqdis.

Via Egypt Air, the flight was delayed from 9.30pm to 10.30pm with transit in Bangkok for 1 hour. We were served food 3 times!

Going through the immigration was a breeze. Had to fill in a form. We were so used to travelling that we were 30 mins  outside waiting for the other members of the group.

We were taken for breakfast, then to see the Giza Pyramids.
The pyramids were impressive. Going into one of them would costs about rm100. You need to stoop along the tunnel. There is nothing inside and so our tourist guide told us it is not worth going. He recommended going to another place tahrir meseum which would cost usd35 or so. At the perfume shop, we were given some kind of drinks that tasted like ... and was presented with various scents. Of course, we were invited to buy the perfume costing Rm75 (150L.E). We bought 5 and given 1 free.

Next stop was to the sphinx. We can use the same ticket bought at the Giza Pyramid to enter.

The papyrus shop was not exciting. The t-shirts costs the same as what we would get in KL.

The buffet lunch was delicious.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014


The thing about reunions is...
Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, "surely I can't look that old.". Well . . . you'll love this one.
My name is Meena. I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist.
I noticed his BDS degree on the wall, which bore his full name.
Suddenly, I remembered a tall , handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 30-odd years ago.
Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then?
Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate.
After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended St Mary's high school.
"Yes. yes, I did.' he gleamed with pride.
"When did you graduate?" I asked.
He answered, "In 1984. Why do you ask?"
"You were in my class!!!!", I exclaimed.
He looked at me closely.
wrinkled faced,
"What did you teach" ?

Sunday, 10 August 2014

time standstill...

time, please standstill...

remember those moments when you were in high school and wishing you would be all  grown up and leave school, and then you go to college and couldn't wait to stop studying so that you could spend more time reading novels. And then the children came one by one and then life becomes a blur.

and you reflect back if  the life you imagined years ago is the one you have now.

You are lucky if you were given that opportunity to do so because that would mean you have had a long life; and if you are not, then you'd better pray you would get the opportunity in another life.

So would we not wonder why when life is so fleeting that people would take it so lightly?

When the present life is all we have, then it is easier to decide what we want but it gets complicated when our life touches the lives of others, and you live through your descendents.


if i could have this, why would i need brick and mortars?

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

So, why God?

As i was driving home just now, i kept asking God "God, why do you do the things that you do? I needed to know the wisdom behind the things that you allowed to happen. Some things are so unfair. So why do you? " ... and then i change my mind and said "sorry". You don't ask God things like this when you are driving because if you get into an accident, and that would of course freak you out cos, you'd thought that's God kicking your butt for being too nosy. Anyway, driving in KL while most people are still on holiday is such a pleasurable experience that you can afford to daydream and ask profound questions...which nobody can answer. Only KL-ites can relate to that.

Maybe i am impatient to know the consequences of every action although i have seen or experienced the good that came out of that which I had perceived as terrible at that moment.

Reminded me of the story of Moses and the man in the desert...each time he got upset with the action of the man-in-the-desert, he would be reprimanded for his impatience.

He said "you will not be able to bear with me patiently. How can you bear patiently with that you have no knowledge? So don't ask until i tell you!"
...and then he made a hole in the ship they were on ...and then he killed a boy...and then he repaired a wall where the city dwellers refused to feed him... (Quran 18:67-82)

and after being bugged by Moses incessantly, the guy probably felt annoyed and said "This is the parting between us. Now I will tell you the interpretation of that you could not bear patiently.  As for the ship, it belonged to certain poor men, who toiled upon the sea; and I desired to damage it, for behind them there was a king who was seizing every ship by brutal force.  As for the lad, his parents were believers; and we were afraid he would impose on them insolence and unbelief;  so we desired that their Lord should give to them in exchange one better than he in purity, and nearer in tenderness. As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan lads in the city, and under it was a treasure belonging to them. Their father was a righteous man; and your Lord desired that they should come of age and then bring forth their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. I did it not of my own bidding. This is the interpretation of that you could not bear patiently.’

"So, Lina don't ask until I tell you!" sez God. 

I guess i will just have to wait until He unfolds it to me one day and i will go like "OoooOo ... barulah aku tak tahu..."

Good Night, God. xxxoooxx

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Friday, 23 May 2014

House hunting : the so-many-i-have and the have-nots...

We went house hunting yesterday..infact, we went house hunting since  last year.
The four years since the shelter was set-up, we have moved to three houses and by June, it will be our fourth house. House hunting is exhausting; especially when you have limited budget and you need  to consider 7 person's input. The first house was in a nice condominium; it felt more like a place of retreat with adult and children's swimming pool. Our heart missed two beats when two of the resident's children went missing. We went frantic but finally realised their father had planted the daughter to lure his other children away from their mother.

To minimise expenses, we had to move. anyway, the landlord was surprised that her house had been occupied by "that type of people"...when asked "what do you mean by that?" her answer was "you know..." My heart was saying "why can't they? they are human, too". But you don't argue with your landlord, not when house hunting can be so annoying.

"wow. spacious. this will be  good for them. but what about the two men?"
"oh.  they are renting  the small unit at the back. They'll use the back entrance."
" ..errr...okayyy..but that would kinda go against our house rules of no men allowed in the house."
"don't worry. we will lock the connecting door so you won't notice their presence."
"...err... okayy...sounds like a plan...."
"...and i am hardly  at home and maybe sometimes i may bring back clients..."
"clients? no no no...we will have children here..."

as i hunting  is tiring and time consuming.  The sooner you get the house, the better will be your state of mind.

"it's cheap. almost the same as the one we saw. although a little bit dirty, we can spruce it up."
"ok...we will come over to check out the vibes..."

when they said "vibes", they meant the spiritual kind that goes bump in the night.  One of a friend's sister had lived with a ghost; a pretty naughty one that locks her up in the toilet but would relent when cajoled.

....but they forgot to check for vibes of  the wet type.....

we were located on the 2nd floor yet our stuffs were floating when it poured dogs and cats.... water was coming in from the ceiling and the walls.... this is what i call "instant swimming pool"..

...and so we had to move again within 4 months.  The ceiling was practically falling on us especially when it rained.

3rd house.

The neighbour downstairs kept running up; even when we had guests.
"too noisy! too noisy! i can't sleep. I can hear everything you all say downstairs!"
"my ceiling is leaking!"
"somebody threw their hair into my house!"
"your plumbing is too noisy! it's making noise!

wow. how do we make our children play quietly?  how did those rubbish come into your balcony when there wasn't anybody in our unit?

It is kind of difficult living with a paranoid neighbour. And so we started hunting again.

"yes! we love your house! we would like to sign up."
"no. people will come in and out of the house. the neighbours will say. malu!"
argue back and forth but you can't argue much because it is their prerogative who they want...

Next day, i ask another estate agent.
"kak, i think it is the same house...errr..maybe not....thank God...oh no! it is the same owner!"

and when asked by the agent why he refused us the house, he said he didn't want a dead body...

i wouldn't want a dead body in my house either but i can't control who wants to die in my house.

so we have people with so many houses and yet there are those who can't even afford a basic house. What is sad is that the ones with so many houses are so prejudiced towards those who couldn't afford them.

A Licensed Counsellor in the making...

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Iran Trip : From Esfahan to Yadz 4 & 5th May 2014

At 2.15pm the journey to Yazd begun. Luckily i managed to empty my large colon as something in my persian diet is giving me wind. Half an hour later we were at the Sofeh Passenger Terminal picking up new passengers. The bus constantly stopped to pick up other passengers along the way. The maim scenery being dessert. We saw  several sandstorms nearer to the hills.

The scenery along the bus journey from Esfahan to Yazd

I though i saw several sandstorms ...

We finally reached Yazd at 7.15pm. Our driver was waiting for us at the bus station.

A woman driver hit our car from the side; wasn't much damage to our car but her light was damaged. Well, i have to give it to the two women: they were definitely not submissive women; arguing animatedly with our young driver.

Yazd is a relatively beautiful town with tree-lined pavements. Population is about 750000. Traffic seems more civilized compared to Tehran.

We stayed in Hotel Dad; very nice hotel.

Reached Yazd half dead and hungry. walked over to a grocery shop and a pharmacy. 
My legs itched like crazy because of the dry skin. However, putting the lotion made it worse. i should have remembered to put vaseline on my skin; cheaper than lotion.

Hotel Dad as seen during day time, taken from our room. It's beautiful. I love it.

Breakfast included.

It's lovely sitting outside in the cool spring air.

Our gorgeous guide, Feteshe. Very young lady. She was one of the best guide i have ever known; very knowledgable. I asked her about the iranian custom on marriages. Most couples would have their parents approaching the intended bride and normally an engagement period of one year is allowed before the marriage. Being in Yazd, where "everybody knows everybody else", dating is not encouraged but they can get to know each other. Iran has not stoned anybody for adultery for the last ten years, for which her ex-judge father-in-law would not do t. That's why i don't understand why Malaysia is so anxious to implement the Hudud. Ok..this will be one of my topics i would write ion later.

Yazd Towers of Silence
1st place we went to was the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence. The bodies of their dead were left on top of the flat towers to be exposed to the elements and eaten by the vultures; for purposes of purification in accordance to their beliefs. This ritual was carried out by a specialised group of workers who were not permitted to go into the city. 

The families of the deceased could stay in these buildings during the funeral and each building is designated for specific neighbourhoods/tribes. Take note of the windtowers.

Stairs leading down to a canat; a water source.

The shelters for the families of the deceased

Zoroaster; the prophet of the Zoroastrian religion; a monotheistic religion that existed 3,700 years ago was once the official religion of Persia before the arabs came. Their concept is very simple : Good Words, Good Thoughts and Good Deeds.  

Inside one of the shelters. I have no idea why he is hiding behind the column. :)

Climbing one of the Tower;a slightly less steep one.

The view from the Tower

After 2 weeks, the workers would collect the bones and leave it in the hole. Then acid would be poured on the bones to dissolve them. Since the 1970s, due to the encroaching city limits, the Zoroastrians were forced into burying their dead in the nearby cemetery. 

the other silent tower in the far right, is too steep to climb but few people were seen trudging the hill. Good exercise.

The Fire Temple
the Prophet's depiction at the Fire Temple

Fire is considered a form of purification. This fire of Yazd has been burining for the last 1,500 years. Anyway,this building is one that provides unisex lavatories; much to my pleasant surprise.

Their Holy Book is the Avesta : oldest and core part of the scriptures, which contains the Gathas. The Gathas are seventeen hymns thought to be composed by Zoroaster himself.

They pray several times a day by reciting from the Holy Book.

A celebration when a boy reaches puberty

Some of the contents of their Holy Book.

Their traditional dress.

Every part of the person signifies something Check this link for further information Zoroastrianism.

We went shopping for table clothes and prayer mats. A beautiful table clothe i bought costs RM 175 while the above prayer mat costs around RM112. It comes in 3 parts; the smaller one is where the mohr is placed.

Note the domed-shaped building. I am not sure if this is the building the guide said that the mosque was completed by the wife of someone who died before he managed to complete it. It has no minaret because it was completed by a woman. Sigh... 

The Nakhl, a contraption used by the shiahs to commemorate the matyrdom of Imam Hossein during Asshura. About 400-500 men would be carrying the contraption around the Square. 

Iranian local delicacies.

If you have a sweet tooth...

The Water Museum

Iran is experiencing drought, most of the canals are dry.

The workers wore white as their uniform because a collapsed ceiling may cause them to be buried alive in the shaft. It takes a generation to build the canats.

timing for qanat water shares (traditional water clocks)

The uniform that may be their shrouds. The ceiling may collapse at any time.

Where they used to collect water...

Yazd's Mausoleum (can't remember what's the venerated man's name)

Take note of the money left by the visitors; possibly as donation in maintaining the mausoleum and not for bribing the dead fellow to grant  wishes. 

His tomb is inside

the mimbar. Part of the building is now under repair.

Wind Towers

You can know the status of the owners by the size and complexity of their wind-towers; the bigger and beautiful it is, the richer the owners.

You have to go through a shop selling carpets to get to the roof-top. The shop owner would offer you tea and if you can afford it, buy their carpets. We didn't because we are too poor.

Note the walls;  their made up of straws and clay.

The old city made of clay. If you are willing to build an arch between two houses,  you are allowed to build a room ontop of that arch.

One quaint restaurent.

Time to eat! Eggplant dish. Yummmy!!
Dowlat Abad Garden


the divans for resting

at the right time,  you can see colours on the floor

Chak Chak Pir-e Sabz Zoroastrian fire temple

The story goes that this is where Nikbanau, second daughter of the last pre-Islamic Persian ruler, Yazdegerd III of the Sassanid Empire hid and was never found thereafter. The name Chak chak was derived from  the sound of water dripping from the cave's ceiling. It became the holiest shrines of the Zoroasterians; flocking here annually between 14th to 18th June.

Be prepared to climb 

Parts of the temple is under repair so i guess that's why the donkey is being used to carry the materials.

A huge tree is situated infront of the entrance. It is claimed that this is Nikbana's cane that grew into a tree.

Candles lit here

Maybod's ancient fortress in Yazd province predates the Sassanians (224-637 AD)

There are 3 levels of the fortress: 1st level dated 2,000 years and the topmost about 700 years old

View taken from the fortress.

Lunch time! 

kebab, kebab and more kebab...Iranian food is rather dry and sourish compared to Malaysian food

note the weaving gadget...

Ice Pit (Yakhchal)

Ice stored here.

Just a tiny hole in the ceiling to allow the cold air to enter.

To make ice, the pool would be filled with water. Once frozen, the ice would be stored in the Ice Pit (Yakhchal)
Meybod Pigeon Tower 

The Meybod Pigeon Tower is 3 stories tall. Note the white ringed; this is to prevent snakes from climbing into the tower.

About three levels condominium  for the pigeons; used for meat and as courier. It stank but no longer as there are no more pigeons.

Inside the Pigeon Tower