Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Smile

She sat quietly opposite me on the train ride back home. I can't help but steal some glances. Our eyes met and we played the staring game. I smiled at her, and she smiled back. I smiled a little wider and she smiled a smile that's slightly wider too. I looked away...

... and smiled in my heart. I closed my eyes and thought about school, anything that'll make me stop smiling. I opened my eyes ...

... and there she was still looking at me. I tried not to look away this time round - hoping to win the staring contest - but I cant. There's something about her that's just so sweet that if I had looked into her eyes any longer, I might fall in love and fall through the window of her soul.

I looked away and rested my head on the palm of my left hand. I tried to hide my smile as best as I could, for her parents were right by her side! I closed my eyes and thought to myself, "It's not everyday someone returns your smile."

When I opened my eyes, there she was, resting her head on her left hand with a tiny finger in her mouth. She was clearly imitating me and was looking right at me, smiling. I smiled back.

As the train approaches Choa Chu Kang station, it was time for her to go. She held her dad's left hand and her mum's right hand and off they went - leaving me with memories of the sweetest smile I've seen in a long while. She's probably a little older than one, that sweet little girl.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I pray that all of us have our own Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali within our circle of friends. If not now, perhaps in the near future.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Remember ... Life's Memorable Moments

"Abang Ali, what is the meaning of me..mo..rable?"

Good question,
and I then asked the class if anyone knew it's meaning. A girl at the back of the class raised her hand and answered, "Something you remember in your memories."

At this point, I wished that I had checked up the meaning of memorable before conducting the Journal Writing session.

"Abang Ali, must it be good memory or can it also be bad memory?"

At this juncture, I really wished I had done my homework.

"Class, I believe something memorable is usually something good. But it can be due to bad experiences also. So let me give u an example by starting the session off by sharing with you something that I remember - one of my life's memorable moments.

I remember, when I was in K1, in the bus, on the way to school, I stuck my head out of the window and the wind blew my songkok away! I asked Cik Amin, the friendly bus driver if he could help me get it back. He then said,'Dear son, your songkok has probably been flattened by the wheels of a thousand cars. There's no way we can get it back.'

That was the last time I ever stuck my head out of a moving vehicle. It was also the last time I let the wind blow my songkok away."

Some of the kids laughed. Some smiled. I was glad they liked it. I then asked a fellow mentor to give the kids another example by sharing with them one of her life's memorable moments - which was about her experience at a story telling competition when she was in primary school.

As soon as her sharing was over, I asked the kids if anyone would like to share a story they remember with the class. Little did I know that the next few minutes would go into my list of life's memorable moments.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Life's Memorable Moment

Saturday mornings spent mentoring young kids at the nearby madrasah are time well spent, alhamdulillah.

The kids are cute, adorable and their personal stories are just so priceless and heartwarming. Talking to the kids as and when I have the chance always opens up an untapped section of the heart which in turn sets the brain into producing endless train of thoughts. The floodgate of emotions opens and for some reason, I feel emotional.

Abang, where do you stay?

I stay in Sembawang. Why do you ask?

How did you get here? MRT and bus?


Then why were you late? I stay in Tampines and reached here at 7. I wake up early, pray subuh cepat-cepat, run to the nearest bus stop to catch the 6:02am bus. And then midway, I'll change to another bus at 6:24am and reach the school at 7am.

His story on punctuality and how much effort he puts in to be punctual or early for class was a reminder for me and the amount of effort I put in for the stuffs I participate in. Granted 735am is not too late considering that we're supposed to reach at 730am, but still... Also, I watched somewhere in a movie that one of the ways for teachers/mentors to build bonds with the kids is by getting them to teach you something in return. They teach, I teach, we learn from each other. They'll be teaching me some Arabic phrases.

At the end of the day, I had the opportunity to spend 20mins on a journal writing activity. Having thought of a million and one topics that I could do with the kids, I chose the title: "I remember... Life's Memorable Moments." What happened during that 20mins will definitely be one of my Life's Memorable Moments. A story to be shared in another entry perhaps.

It's puzzling how I feel more attached to these kids than to siblings of my own. My siblings were once like the kids at the madrasah, but as they grow older, they become bolder and prefers their own space. Perhaps being the eldest, I do not know how it feels to be disturbed or loved (irritatingly) by someone older than me. Anyways...

.. however puzzling I may feel, I pray that I'll be a good son to my mother, a good brother to my siblings, a good mentor to my kids, and a good friend to my friends.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Good Friend

A good friend is someone whom you argue over the littlest things in the lab and then over dinner, he asks you about your love life. Life's beautiful like that.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Reflecting on the past, looking forward to the future - to do it on the 4th of January seems a little odd.

Stuffs of note include the last Inter-School Games. My last floorball match representing the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. We ended up in 4th position, again. Very tight matches, so close yet so far. But what struck me was the fact that a wish I had 2 years ago came true. It's always nice to talk to individuals you rarely get to meet. Though the ending wasn't quite the ending I had hope for, it was one that I'd be contented with. (Things happen for a reason.)

Other stuffs of note I've already noted down in my entries, so I shall not repeat myself.

Looking forward, it's all hazy and mysterious but I'm looking forward to what's been planned for me. And I do hope that certain aspects of my life improve for the better, insyaallah.