Friday, 30 March 2012

Bila cik abang cakap

'Blaus ini tak sesuai pakai kat luar. Pakai dalam rumah je.'
'Buruk sangat ke bang?'

Nampak sangat blaus itu sudah buruk kalau suami pun sudah tegur begitu.

Aduh blausku sudah buruk rupanya.
Tapi kalau dah sampai tahap suamiku tegur, buruk benar dah tu.

Takpe bang, isteri abang nak belajar jadi zuhud.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Usrah itu umpama membina batas


Jauhnya perjalanan mengenali diri sendiri. Ini adalah sebuah kisah mengenai saya yang mengenali usrah.

Saya ini orangnya keras hati. Saya seorang yang apabila diajak berusrah berpuluh-puluh kali di sekolah atau universiti, saya tidak akan menjejakkan kaki untuk berusrah. Saya dipaksa berusrah ketika saya di sekolah berasrama penuh semasa tingkatan 4 (itulah kali pertama saya dengar perkataan 'usrah'). Saya tidak suka usrah. Bagi saya, usrah sangat ortodoks, membuka kitab-kitab lama, pengisiannya terlalu berat, sehingga saya rasa seperti berusrah itu umpama memampatkan kepala dengan ilmu berat yang lain.

Saya jadi bukan ahli usrah. Tapi kawan-kawan saya hampir semua pergi usrah. Saya sahaja yang tidak pergi. Perasaan malas pun ada. Kalau di sekolah dulu wajib, di universiti tidak wajib, jadi saya akan pilih untuk tidak mewajibkan diri pergi. Ish ish ish, tidak insaf-insaf lagi Aida masa tu.

Ada masa saya bertegang urat dengan kawan-kawan. Apabila saya cuba memberikan pendapat, lantas sahaja dicantas. Mungkin kerana itu semakin timbul rasa tidak selesa untuk saya cuba berjinak dengan usrah. Dan pendapat saya, ketika berusrah, kita tidak boleh memberikan pendapat yang bertentangan dengan naqibah kita, lalu kita harus menurut sahaja. Saya ini kata orang 'devil's advocate'. Ada sahaja benda yang hendak dikomen, cuma apabila orang menepis pendapat saya tanpa memberikan sebab, saya rasa terkongkong dengan usrah.

Bagi saya, kenapa usrah tidak boleh dibuka kepada orang yang tidak bertudung? Kenapa pengisiannya harus berdasarkan kitab semata? Kenapa kita tidak boleh berbicara untuk bertukar pendapat? Atau kenapa usrah tidak boleh menyediakan satu premis yang seronok seperti berbicara perihal hobi, kesihatan dan lain-lain? Bukankah agama kita merangkumi semua aspek kehidupan?

Lalu, saya hanya sebetulnya mengenal usrah selepas berkahwin. Bukankah saya sudah tulis sebelum ini, suami saya suka melayan pertanyaan pelik-pelik saya? Dia tidak paksa saya berusrah, cuma setiap kali program, dia bawa saya. Setiap kali tanpa gagal. Mujur juga suami saya bukan orang yang memaksa, sebab saya orang yang memang keras kepala.

Usrah selepas zaman universiti, ketika bekerja, skopnya lebih terbuka. Tidak berbicara hal agama sahaja, tetapi kadang-kadang saya buntu untuk memecahkan tembok pengisian yang masih lagi ortodoks. Bukan mudah sebenarnya untuk berusrah di zaman bekerja. Tidak ramai yang mahu komited.

Pengalaman saya di UK memberi skop lebih luas tentang usrah. Usrah di sana, mungkin kerana terdiri daripada pelbagai golongan, maka skop perbincangannya sangat berbeza. Ada seorang rakan menukilkan cabaran menjadi wanita Muslimah di UK, bagaimana beliau menanganinya. Pengisian dari kitab dalam 20 minit, selepas itu dikembangkan kepada isu semasa. Masih lagi berkait-kait, tetapi pengalaman setiap ahli usrah sangat menarik. Malahan di sana, akan ada rakan menelefon mengingatkan kita tentang perjumpaan usrah. Tidak ortodoks. Kadang-kadang kami berbincang tentang fesyen Muslimat. Adakala mengenai masakan dan teknik memikat hati suami. Di akhir usrah, kami akan diberi slot untuk bercerita apa yang berlaku dalam hidup. Malahan pendapat masing-masing tidak pernah dicantas, dan diskusi lebih terbuka walaupun berbeza pendapat.

Cabaran hidup sebagai seorang yang dikenali Muslim di UK membuat kita menjadi lebih terbuka untuk keluar dari tembok ortodoks. Dan selepas usrah, kita kadangkala perlu berdiskusi hal agama dengan rakan-rakan yang luar dari usrah. Perlu menjadi pendengar yang baik walaupun pendapat mereka amatlah berbeza dari kita.

'May God bless you, Muslim women,' pernah dicoretkan rakan saya di blognya apabila seorang lelaki bukan Islam melihat rakan saya berjalan berhati-hati agar aurat beliau tidak tersingkap ketika berjalan ke universiti.

'Islam itu bukan sahaja dari segi pengisian, tapi juga dari perbuatan kita.' Nukil sahabat baik saya yang bukan pun ahli usrah. Lalu saya mengangguk, bersetuju.

Pecahkan tembok, pecahkan tembok, hati saya menjerit. Saya berkawan dengan pelbagai jenis golongan di UK. Malahan, rakan-rakan kolej saya bukan langsung ahli usrah. Lalu haruskah saya tidak berkawan dengan mereka kerana saya berusrah, tetapi bukan mereka? Apakah saya tidak boleh berkawan dengan rakan-rakan yang berbeza pendapat dengan saya mengenai pemahaman Islamnya?

Saya ingin usrah Malaysia seperti usrah saya di UK. Rasa berkeluarga itu sangat utuh. Bukankah usrah seharusnya menyatukan ahli-ahlinya? Walaupun sukar hendak dipecahkan tembok ortodoks itu, saya masih lagi tengah mencuba. Saya percaya rakan-rakan usrah yang saya jumpa sudah tahu visi saya. Usrah seharusnya sesuatu yang sangat menyeronokkan sehingga ahlinya tidak rasa terbeban untuk datang. Setakat ini, sudah ada kelas kesihatan dan memasak. Pengisian dari kitab memang ada, tetapi tidak seharusnya terikat 100%.

'Masih berusrah lagi sekarang?' ada seorang rakan bertanya.
'Ya,' jawab saya.

Kerana bagi saya, perjuangan mengenal Islam itu bukan mudah. Tetapi dengan usrah, kita umpama membina batas. Dan batas itu dibina agar kita lebih mengenali Islam sebagai gaya hidup secara keseluruhan.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

One year after Manchester

Heaton Park, Summer 2010
I have learned that...

Achieving a childhood dream of being a professional accountant, even though everyone around you says it impossible is totally worth it (yes, one of my dream is to study ACCA).
Even though you cannot achieve for the moon, you can achieve for the stars (going to the UK is another of my dream where I want to take my degree there. It is just after settling down and having a family is so much worth it when I won the scholarship). Allah answers my prayers in an astounding way.
It is never to late to achieve what your heart desires (I am in my 30s, but it is never too late to start anything).
Stop and smell the roses. Pause and reflect (it makes your day all the more worthwhile).

One year break from the work makes me appreciate relationships more.

I am able to focus on my relationship with Allah, my God.
I am able to focus on my relationship with my family (thanks to my husband for being the pillar of strength).
I am able to try to be a better person.
I am able to learn that my kids are what they are, not being measured by text books intelligence (thanks to the UK education system for making me realising that I am too harsh of a teacher with my kids. There are lots more than just focusing on exams).
I am able to have not just friends, but second family, away from Malaysia (our committee is a tight bunch of people).
That my mega rich college friends are not a bunch of snobs like typical Malaysians used to think.

But I miss..

My mom's ever delicious cooking (thanks Ummi for coming to Manchester).
My mom and dad (I got homesick thinking of them).
My siblings.
Malaysia (even though we tend to comment on everything, believe me when I said the grass is not always greener on the other side).

My hopes for the future..

I really, really am thinking to further my study, just for my satisfaction (which most people still think it is too hard to believe).

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Taiping

We went to Taiping last weekend to attend a kenduri.

Stayed at Hotel Flemington for a night. Booked a superior room (with the famous Taiping Lake Garden) view at RM 148 / night.We have been staying there last year to attend my husband's friend kenduri and I was satisfied with the room and service. My kids enjoyed the room very much.

Anyway, Taiping is a laid back town, with many historical sites and monuments. But we enjoyed most, is the Lake Garden, with serene view and greenery. Taiping people consist mostly of the older citizens, which suits the town perfectly.

My husband wanted to eat the famous Mee Udang Mak Jah, but unfortunately, there were floods everywhere on our way from Taiping to Kuala Sepetang.

My kids, being as urban kids as me (growing in a city) have never seen floods before. Imagine their amazement when they saw houses and cars badly hit by floods. And I remind them, "Do you remember last week when I watched National Geographic about Mumbai's floods and Japan's tsunami?". They were actually enjoying themselves when they saw the floods. It was really bad that there were cars swimming by. We decided to turn back and settle for nasi kandar at one of the Mamak stalls.

Floods at Kuala Sepetang
Now, the weather at Taiping, I know that Bukit Larut is famous for being the wettest place in Malaysia. But, in the afternoon, it was nice and sunny, that from our way back from Kuala Sepetang, and car riding around the lake, we counted 5 just married couples taking pictures at the beautiful lake.

Room with a view (the captions reminds me of Helena Bonham Carter's film)
And the next thing we know, it was raining cats and dogs, without the thunder storm.

Raining heavily.
We settled for a buffet breakfast, since the breakfast are free for 2 guests. I paid for the kids, and they charged RM 7/person for kids between 5 - 12 years old. For adults, the rate is RM 12. The breakfast buffet spread were marvelous. There are lots of selections to choose from, and Amni & Fawwaz enjoyed themselves.

As for Fateh, he was content being able to sit inside the bedside table drawer. Heheh.. (Fahri is still sleeping at this point of time).


And now, for the main event, we went for Syu's kenduri, my ex staff, colleague and friend. Her house is in the forest, we had to climb the hills on foot. I was quite confused when I saw lots of people riding motorcycles to go up to her house. When we were walking along the muddy path, I said to my husband that if I have to ask Amni to fetch the letters from the post box, she will be fit as a horse. The post box is situated down hill and the house is up hill.

But when the bride greeted me, and smiled and chattering gratefully with me, I am so glad we made the effort to attend her kenduri.

With the beautiful bride :)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Source: Wikipedia
I saw Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever at Popular Wangsa Walk last 2 weeks ago. I was tempted to buy since I know, one of my friends, kak Tie is a huge fan of the series. Later I found out that the 'Cabin Fever' book is the 6th in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

And I watched the movie first before I read the books. It was delightful and I laughed out loud at my kids, especially during the Cheese Touch scene. It was funny!

I started borrowing the series from kak Tie last week. It turned out that her daughter enjoyed the series as much as the mother. Amazingly, I finished the books in two sittings, but I was unable to read the first book since it was loaned to our friend. After I finished reading it, my daughter, Amni, started reading the books, and she will be finishing book 3: The Last Straw soon.

My husband was puzzled when he saw me laughed out loud while reading the books. It was funny. Furthermore, what made it more interesting are the illustrations that accompanied the stories. There are lots of drawings inside the books, that we can relate to the story much better. And the book ditch the usual font used in books, but rather use a handwriting font, which jives with the story of a middle school kid. Even the cartoon drawings that accompanied the diary look real, that I was going to believe that it was hand written and hand drawn by the main character, Greg Heffley.

Source: Amazon
The plot was simple enough for kids (and their mother) to enjoy the story.

It is about Greg Heffley's adventure in school, on how he manage to juggle his life with family, friends and school. And the amazing part is, he want to keep a diary, so the series seemed to be born with the diaries written by Greg .

The books are on first term basis, like we are reading the diary of Greg Heffley himself.

We get to know about his family and his siblings (Greg is a middle child), how he braved his adventures in school and home. Sometimes, it was amusing to note that his family seems bizarre, but I guessed, if compared to my family, it is kind of normal (like mine).

And this include, having a mom who tries to juggle everything (like me), and try to exercise (failing miserably). She loves her kids, but does not have the wisdom insight when she hired a helper who is lazy even to start the washing machine.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is funny without being too preachy, of just being yourself. Of having the sort of family that I can identify myself with, and of knowing the characters had many similarities with my family.

And it makes me laughed at myself, for having such a wonderful family, but still I seemed to appoint myself as an all knowing mother and wife. (Greg's mum had the veto power to use her own decision even though the family members have voted differently in the family meeting :P).

This is a must read for the kids (and their mom)!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

He writes his own name

I am proud of him :)
And after that he wrote his siblings' names.
With the numbers from 1 to 10.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Oh crap!

Something funny happened yesterday.

I accidentally dropped my novel when I was in the toilet.
No, don't ask me why I bring my book in the toilet.

I should have much better sense than to read in the toilet. It spells obsession with books.

And this morning, when I relate the incident to Aini, she asked me why I bring a book in the toilet. Being a bookaholic herself, I do think the answer seems a bit obvious, don't you think?

And that book, bless that book, only shows a minor damage. Yes, I know certain people think it is kind of weird when I indulge in the e-books, I still indulge in the real book. It is an unwritten rule that you should never read in the toilet, to ensure the book is in good condition. I learned my lesson, not so well, I suppose.

I know my supervisor is trying not to laugh at me right now  ^_^ (betul tak kak?). Because only 2 days ago she asked me whether that author is good or not, seeing me bringing the novel back and forth.

Hihihi.