Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Growing up

She was excited when my brother had expressed interest to apply for a position in the Navy. However, when she saw the blank application form in the kitchen, she wondered if he had changed his mind. We later found out that he had withdrawn his application on his own accord. When asked, he mentioned that he needed two guarantors for the said application - and that I'm not eligible as I'm currently one for my sister.

He saw how difficult it was for my sister to find a guarantor - especially when she approached some cousins. And I guess he didn't want us to go through the same "begging" process.

While I'm somewhat disappointed that he hadn't consulted me or my mum in the matter, I'm also glad coz it shows how far he's grown. I wouldn't have minded helping him ask around on his behalf. I have several friends in mind whom I could have asked.

Well, I guess things happen for a reason. At the very least, I hope I've gotten the point across to him and his twin clearly - that wherever possible, I'll be there to help.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sensitive old people

I used to find old people weird. 

Weird because they get slighted over the littlest things. They get upset when we do not drop them a call for a long time. They get upset at the slightest rejection of their ideas. They get upset when others do not agree with them. Their hearts seem softer and much more sensitive than they used to be. And I wondered why. Weird, they are... until one day someone shared a perspective that I find pretty interesting. 

The older one becomes, the closer one is to Death. This "newfound" sensitive nature - a reminder and preparation for death. The distance that may form between us and those around us makes us become closer to the One that created us. When we feel as though the world's against us, we're reminded of the One who is always there for us. I find it amazing how He reminds and guides us even when we're approaching death - like the kind invigilator who reminds and gives additional few minutes to those who're frantically racing to complete the exam paper.

As it's often the case for me, it's only when I feel alone that I find myself find Him. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Missing November

I don't know how many times I've been writing this but work does take time away from the things you love doing.

November's the month in which we had to relocate the showflat. The planning, safety, coordination and details and the endless chasing of people to get things done was a pretty draining process. Part of the learning, I'd tell myself. Reaching home late often meant a cranky or tired me. Some nights, I found myself sleeping in the living room within 10 minutes of a quick lie down. Even Mama stopped nagging at me for sleeping in my work clothes. Either that or I must not have heard.

There was a brief period in which me and Ma did Maghrib and Isya together, and I checked her recitation which was honestly, better than I thought. However, November came and broke whatever momentum there was. While I know I should not let work control me and the things I do outside work, sometimes it just happens. I remember ranting to my mum about my work and how tough it can be at times early this November. I remember her reminding me that this is what the working world is like. And she added, "Ini baru alam pekerjaan. Belum lagi alam percintaan. Belum lagi alam perkahwinan."

That this, is just the working world. That I've yet to go through the trials of love and marriage.

While I know that she's probably trying to tell me to hang on, that everything I'm going through at work is normal and that things are gonna be alright, I can't help but wonder if love and marriage would make things any easier. I'm reminded of how a colleague once shared how his wife joked that after marriage, she felt like a married widow - simply because her husband either worked late or comes back home too tired. I laughed, but fear the day my future wife says the same.

I remember that while ranting to my mum, the phone began to rang. My younger brother called from camp - the twins routinely call back home once in a while. He called to say hi and shared with my mum what went on in the day, complained about some things. And then moments later, my sister called from her trip overseas to say hello. I realized that we all turn to our mum to hear some words of comfort once in a while. No matter how much we feel that we've grown up, we need her words to remind when we forget and reassure us when we feel troubled.

I remember realizing how fortunate we are that our mom's a stay-at-home mum who looks after our needs. If she was a working mum, I wonder if she'd have the time and the strength to listen to her children's stories and complains and the likes. Or would she simply go to bed early, like I've been doing most of November.

And then I realized that I'd need someone to be there for me should the day come when my mum is no longer around. Someone whom I could call everyday and ask, "Hello. Nari masak apa? I'm on my way back." Someone who could hear me rant and offer some words of advice.

November also made me realize how I'm starting to feel a little more sensitive - like old people. I don't know why. I find myself thinking and reflecting about life and happiness. I find myself missing my siblings. I find myself thinking about my mother. And then I find myself tearing, again. Perhaps, it's been a while since I had my eyes washed. I guess the body has it's unique way of making things happen.

And then there's 3 weddings in November. And another 3 in December. And then there's the planned break in January. Hopefully the journey to the three mosques would be the break that could help sort out the mess and knots in my mind. Until then, hello December. Be nice.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Voice

The voice is a gift often overlooked.

It started with a combination of fever, flu and cough on Monday followed by 2.5 days of work despite feeling under the weather. Took the loss of my voice as a sign to visit the doctor - and she gifted me a 3 day MC. It seems that the body too has its way of forcing me to take a break!

Lack of water. The sun. The dust. Stress. Lack of sleep. Lack of healthy food. Lack of exercise. And who knows what else resulted in my body's shut down. Took the mind off work completely. Ample rest. A couple of jug of barley drink. Lemon. Meds. Sign language. Whispers and plenty of water later...and the voice is finally (partially) back.

And so is work. Still can't figure why I'm getting less and less psyched up about work lately. Something's not right and I need to put a finger to it fast.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sometimes, big boys do cry

He thought he had mastered the art of controlling his emotions.
But he later realized that he hadn't - the moment his voice began to crack midway through the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah. And for some weird reason, tears rolled down his eyes and he couldn't control it. Perhaps it was the dust in the living room. 

Or perhaps the build-up of emotions were simply too much for the mind to ignore. Big boys cry too - even if it's only for a short while. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Twenty Five. Twenty Six.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

Firstly, alhamdulillah  for being given the opportunity to turn 26 on the 2nd of October. 

It's been a while since I last wrote. I missed writing about Eid, how I totally forgot about my mama's birthday on the 31st of August, and how both my brothers were recently enlisted, and how weekdays without them felt so empty. I missed writing about turning 26 and my reflection on life this past year - oh what a 25th year (yes, work work work!!) it has been! And I missed writing about the passing of my beloved grandmother on the 6th of October.

Work has been very very overwhelming. The mind's in a mess. It feels like there's a million and one things to learn and do and being the hardworking worker that I am, I'm allowing myself to be drowned as I swim my way through this hard time. It's been a year and 3 months since I first joined the company and there's still a lot more to learn. Countless times I feel like raising the white flag but there's a part of me that enjoys this struggle. I pray for the day when everything clicks and everything begin to feel more manageable. A part of me always reminding that the next job, should I ever decide to call it quits, will not be any easier. 

On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear – [Quran 2:286]

The Prophet said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Sahih Bukhari Vol. 7, Book 70, #545)

But still some days, lately most days, it feels as though I'm starting to distant myself from people in general. I believe that's what people do when they graduate and enter the workforce. I'm still trying to find the balance between life and work. I used to tell others that work is life and we will only disappoint ourselves if we try to see it as two separate things. But lately, I find myself struggling to see life and work as one. I find myself struggling to find time to sit and pour my thoughts out - be it through my blog, through smses, FB messages or whatsapp messages. How I missed the days of MSN Messenger when I could chat people up to rant and stuffs. 

I guess 25 is the year I kinda lost myself as I tried to establish myself. Who am I? What do I wanna be? Who do I wanna be like? Where do I see myself in 5 years, 10 years, 30 years down the road? May my 26th year be the year in which I find and define myself. May Allah guide me and send individuals to help me find my way through this temporal life.

And to those who still visit this dusty blog of mine, smile always. May you always be in the best of health. (:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thoughts and Reflections

Reintrospection: Thoughts and Reflections

I can't quite recall when I renamed the blog as such. But it has definitely been a while. I've been told many times that I think too much. I overthink. I think too far. I think too deep. I've been reminded that while thinking is good, I should not overdo it. I should keep things simple. Today, my aunt told me that. The fact that she could "analyze" me despite not spending much time with me speaks a lot about my over thinking. The thinking shall be restricted to the online world and should not be made too obvious in the real world.

We were talking about when I'll find my jodoh when I started to gave a list of excuses with weak supporting explanations. Dear me, please keep replies to one or two lines. Else u may come across as being too defensive, or one who thinks and overread too much.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chasing Ramadhan

Chasing Ramadhan was what I did on the 28th and 29th night of Ramadhan in an attempt to make up for the past days that were lost due to worldly matters. But then again, it would be unfair to blame it on worldly matters when the problem actually lies within me. For I've been too passive. I've been thinking but never putting plans to action.

Took leave 2 days before Eid. A quick text to a brother for qiyam. He had plans. Another text to another brother. Soon I found myself at Masjid Sultan. I had planned to qiyam on all 10 nights but only found myself on the last 9th night. Went to an organisation in Eunos and another in Pasir Ris to help Mama pay her zakat harta coz that's where she wanted her money to go to. Took a long bus ride to grandma's place to just be by her side and bore her with my "melodious" recitation voice. Sigh, if there's one thing I envy this Ramadhan, it's the voices of the imams and muezzins and their ability to memorise surahs. I've been rotating between Ar-Rahman and Surah Mulk for the past couple of years. I forget one after the other.

Organised a random buka at Mak Long's with a cousin. It's been a long while since I saw them both. Caught up with the cousin who shared about his marriage plans and how he met the girl and the difficulties they've discussed about -like what if he had to leave for overseas for work. Never saw my cousin as one who is forward thinking but I guess he's one who dares to commit and make things work out instead of sitting back and thinking without making any moves or commitment fearing the potential disagreements that may or may not arise. *wake up, marzuki*

 Persuaded him to follow me to Masjid Ahmad Ibrahim for the last night. He agreed and shared how he's been doing qiyam at home the past 2 weeks without fail except the 27th coz he slept right through. I felt worst. My cousin did more qiyam than me. *quit judging, marzuki*

It was a good quiet night. It drizzled thru the night. The mind was pointing to signs of lailatulqadr, but having been slacking for the most of Ramadhan, a part of me didn't feel deserving of it. Slept. woke up an hour later. Prayed and made long duas. Read the quran. Made zikr. And more last minute dua till the azan for fajr was called. Could somehow hear ssomeone announced "Pens down. Please stop writing." The last night. The final chase. May He understand that I am weak and gives me an opportunity to learn from my weakness the next Ramadhan.

Woke up at 11am. Nice to wake up within the walls of a mosque. Reminded of the nights in masjidil haram and the awkward moments when you realize that the once empty space around you are filled with people who arrived for fajr prayers.

A verse caught my eye. A pick-up line pops up in my mind:

"Assalamualaikum. In surah Al-Hujuraat verse 13, it was mentioned we were made into nations and tribes so that we may know one another. So when I first saw you queuing for the food during sahur tadi, I was hoping that you would allow me to know you."

Too wordy. Perhaps next time, I could write it on a piece of paper and ask a brother to help me pass to her during sahur. Too cowardly. Perhaps next time..

Eid Mubarak!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I try my best to understand. To speak to them only when required coz for some reason them being older makes them too cool for small talks. I tried my best not to offend. To respect. But I guess something mustve gone wrong somewhere and I reached a point where I realize that perhaps it's not going to work. I've been pretending and lying to myself thinking that I've got it in me to wear my dad's shoes.

Lost my cool. Raised my voice. Broke my heart. I hate people who break hearts.

Probably the reason why I'm not into marriage mode despite it being encouraged and despite me being envious of parents with children at the mosque for terawih prayers is because of the fear that someday, my kids would grow up hurting me and my wife's feelings like how I'm feeling right now.

Fear prevents me from doing things. Lots of things.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Saying hello

Just say hello. 
Ask for direction to Subway.
Ask for recommendation to nice food outlets. 
Say something.
Say anything.
Okay I know. Say that you're from a charitable organization in Singapore and that you're wondering if she could donate her handphone number to you.

Publika @ Mont Kiara.

We were just walking around when we saw a girl in purple hijab looking at books at MPH. The next thing I know, my two travel companions were pushing me to step out of my comfort zone and say something to her.

We're not asking you to marry her.
All we're asking is for you to say hello. Anything. Something.

I didnt, of course. And we went on exploring the mall.

Guys, I'll say something if we meet her again for the second time.

30 minutes later, we found ourselves at MPH again. She was there sitting on the bench outside the bookstore with a book in hand, reading. There's something lovely about girls with books that I can't quite explain.Kinda like how it's always lovely to cross path with the girl on the morning train to work. There's always a quran in her hand. But I digress.

She sat there for around 30 minutes. And so were we, nearby and from a safe distance. And it stayed that way much to the chagrin of my two friends who believed that I could find muster up the courage to walk up to someone and say hello.

Why should I say hello to someone whom I know I'll probably never ever meet again?
Isn't it kinda pointless?
Am I really afraid of making a fool of myself?
What am I really afraid of?
Will I ever do what needs to be done should the day comes?
Perhaps I'll wait till next time. Perhaps she isn't the one. 
If we're meant to be, we're meant to be.

Cmon Ali!
Say something. Walk up to her. Ask anything.
Say something funny. Girls like guys who are funny. 
Ask her if she's had her dinner and if she'd like to join us.
Heck if you want, we could be invisible and let you have dinner with her.
Do it for Allah! Even if you don't want to, then at least do it for us.

Guess nothing much have changed.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

On a short break

It's been a long long while since I sat and write. Writing helps one to keep in touch with our inner self. It's like making time for the self - something which I've not done, clearly.

Hopefully this short retreat in urban KL allows me to just take the mind of work. And hopefully think about what's next.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

3 hours with a child

It was around 8 pm when the next door neighbour knocked on our door to drop off his son. The father had to leave for work while the mom will only reach home at around 11.30pm. Apparently this babysitting arrangement started this week while I was away in camp.

The kid was probably in K1. He came with a bag stuffed with a writing book, two storybooks and some toys. My twin brothers aren't exactly fans of kids - one went into hiding in mom's room and later fell asleep, the other hiding behind his phone. My mum had to alter some pants for the neighbour upstairs and left me to entertain the kid.

We read a book.

He spelled the words. He could spell pretty well. Couldn't read though. "Around the house, the fox chased the mouse..," I read. He repeated after me.

"Show me the house." He pointed the house to me. "House dalam bahasa Melayu apa?" I asked.

"House dalam bahasa Melayu.... rumah!" He replied.

"Around tu apa Sheldon? What is the meaning of around?" 

"Around tu...."

I took a biscuit container and told him to imagine it to be the house. I then took a car and a fire engine and told him to imagine it to be the mouse and fox respectively. And then the fox chased the mouse around the house.

"Chase dalam bahasa Melayu apa Sheldon?"

"Chase dalam bahasa Melayu kejar-kejar."

I then pointed to the tree on the page and asked him what that is. "Tree," he said.

"Tree dalam bahasa Melayu tu apa?"

"Tree dalam bahasa Melayu tu pokok."

"Bird dalam bahasa Melayu tu ........ burung."

"Sheep dalam bahasa Melayu tu ....."

"Kambing," I prompted.

"Spider dalam bahasa Melayu tu ......"

"Labah-labah," I prompted.

He then pointed to the spiderweb and asked what spiderweb is in Malay.

I replied, "Spider web dalam bahasa Melayu tu .....Spider web dalam bahasa Melayu tu .... entah eh! Abang pon tak tau."

It went on until  the last page. I don't remember reading a book to a small kid before. Should I have kids some day, I wonder if i have the time or the patience to read a book to them - to teach them how to spell, read, write and recite, and translate. Would I have time to show them around? - to show them the field and explain to them what the field is, what the field is in malay, the many creatures that can be found in the field. Would they be interested? Would they be inquisitive? Would they be close to me if  I spend most of my days at work?

Gosh! I still think too much!

Later I asked him to recite the English alphabet followed by numbers. Not bad. I then asked him if he knew "Aleef, Baa, Taa". He gave a blank face.

I went to Google Play Store and searched for arabic alphabets for kids. I pointed at the first letter and asked,

"Sheldon tau ni huruf apa?"

And when I concluded that he has never been taught the arabic alphabets, I went through it with him. It's amazing the apps that can be found in the store. One touch on the letter in the screen and one could hear the letter being pronounced. He touched, listened and repeated after the voice. He swiped to the next letter, touched, listened and repeated after the voice. I then wrote the first four letters of the Arabic alphabets and instructed him to write lines.

"Write from left to right," I reminded him each time he wrote huruf baa, taa, saa from right to left.

We then watched Youtube videos of kids reciting Surah Al-Faatihah. I recited a verse in parts and he repeated after me. Secretly I was jealous of the voice some of the kids had in the videos.

Soon it was 1130pm. His mom came to pick him up. Finally some rest, peace and quiet. Not long after, I fell asleep in the living room.

It was kinda tiring entertaining the kid from next door as he waited for his parent to come back home from work. I tried to make him tired by making him spell, read, write and recite but the kid had too much energy. I even tried to make him sleep by tucking him in on the sofa bed in the living room and pretended to fall asleep. Nothing seemed to work. The kid seemed to want attention. When he doesnt gets any, he would quietly play with his toys or just walk around aimlessly like a lost child.

I then remembered the amount of endless attention I received from my aunt, my grandma, my parents. I then realized that even up till today, I crave for their attention. For some reason, during the duration of his stay, I tried my best to keep him engaged. For personally, I know the effects that attention and love may have on a child.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

When reservist and weddings collide

Today's technically Day 3 of 16 of my annual reservist. It's been such a wonderful break from work and I've never felt more relaxed and refreshed. It's nice to be able to meet individuals whom you only meet once a year yet they still feel dear to me. 3 of my camp buddies recently got married, 1 is getting married at the end of this year, another getting engaged this year and getting married next year. I lost count. At this rate, the remaining 6 in-camp-training over the next 6 years will be like going to a Malay wedding and people will take time to catch up with you and ask the question,

"Bro, so when are you getting married?" or ...

"Bro, so when's your engagement?" or ...

"Bro, are you seeing anyone at the moment? A girlfriend perhaps?" or ...

"Bro, seriously, still not seeing anyone? Let me know if you need my help."

I don't know which is worse - the makciks at weddings or fellow soldiers in camp! haha. I guess any pressure is good pressure - not that I need any, I think. And as I lay in my bunk bed staring at the big blue sky, I wonder a never ending wonder.

Ah, when reservist and weddings talks collide. I've been warned.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Writing in the office

It's been a while since I last wrote. I've allowed work to consume me during the weeks leading to the launch of the showflat. And just when I thought I'll be able to take my foot of the gas pedal, more and more work just keeps coming. Well it only means that I'm still of use to the company (positive thinking in progress).

Now I'm thinking and can't seem to think of anything worthy of writing ...

I would usually just click "close" and let this post rot away in Drafts. But I shall be different tonight and post this short crappy entry. Hopefully it'll force me to think about writing about something nicer asap.

Friday, March 29, 2013


This past week has taught me that work isn't the main story of my life - even though it occupies a significant portion of my time.

Relationships, however, is.

The way I interact with my colleagues, bosses, sub-contractors and workers are more important than the work I actually do. I realized that without all the smiles and good mornings and assalamualaikum from those on site, work would be quite a drag. This week, I saw an experienced foreman of one of my sub-contractors leaving just after lunch because of some things that were said earlier in the day. He handed over his work permit via his friend the next day. "Speak good, or be silent" is always a good advice to keep in mind but the pressure on site makes it harder for some to be nice. They say that nice guys don't get things done on site, like how they always say that nice guys finish last. But I hope to prove both statements wrong.

Work supports the main story of my life - family...

I realized that working 6 days a week in pursuit of experience, good salary and hopefully better future prospects should not be the main story of my youth. This pursuit, however, links directly to my main story - family ie. supporting the family, trying to become someone my siblings look up to and making my mum happy. Although at the moment, my mum isn't too happy that I'm working too hard. I explained to her that in construction, there are months where one needs to work extra hard and there are months that are less intense. This month just happened to be an intense month. But I digress. Having a good relationship at home allows one to put aside work stress and life sorrows and just be a child.

And then there's stories of me with my friends... 

Encouragement, motivations and words of advice have always been through friends I've gotten to know. However quite frankly, I haven't been good with treasuring and sustaining friendships yet my friends have always been so kind to me. Alhamdulillah. May I improve my relationships with my friends simply because they're part of my becoming someone better.

And then there's the story of the one friend that becomes family...

My friends will get married. My siblings will eventually grow older and get married. My mum would someday say that she'll be happier to see her kids get married. I realized that I too would - so that the stories of family and friends becomes central. But this story seems the hardest to write...

... and I realized that it's probably because for this particular story, it takes two to write.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Between 2 hearts

"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect."

Surah Ar-Rum, 30:21

I may have read the above verse several times when I was younger during weekly Quran sessions. But I first learnt about the meaning of the above during a lecture in NTU with the theme being love and all. 

And it made me wonder then how the above could actually transpire. Will the love and mercy between hearts be before or after someone makes the move? 

Ah. "The move". Of all the "moves" that Ive heard of through word of mouth, I seem to fancy how my late dad made his move. It seems that a friend of my mom left my mom's number in my dad's van - hoping that he'll see the number and call my mom. He did. 2 years later.

Jodoh tak kan ke mana, mama would always say.

Perhaps as days go by, the more I say I'm not ready, the more I'm closer to saying I'm somewhat ready. Perhaps, having another person in your life might aid you in becoming the better person you want to be.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Life is a story

Life works in mysterious ways.

I've been writing little snippets about my life, my thoughts, my fears and my dream on this little space of mine. Quietly almost every other night, I would let my mind wander and write little stories to myself (and my future little children) as a little reminder about the things I think about as I live my life.

This past couple of weeks saw me reading a little bit about myself in the papers. It started with a mention by the Deputy Prime Minister in the concluding portion of his Budget 2013 in Parliament:

"But our policies will ultimately succeed by building on the strengths of Singaporeans - the skills and mastery in every job, the compassion, the sense of collective responsibility, and the belief in this country. Singaporeans who are in their own ways, building a better tomorrow for themselves, their families, and for Singapore.

Like Ali Marzuki Abdul Rani, whose father passed away when he was 18. He was determined to succeed and support his younger siblings, got bursary support to see him through his studies at NTU, and is now doing well as a project engineer and giving back to society.
Or Madam Yeo Hui Imm, 58. A former factory operator, she found a job in a café, and decided to go for English lessons so that she could play a bigger role in her workplace. She is now a team leader, with more responsibilities and pay.
And Alfred Yeo, a young accountant, hearing- and speech-impaired. He is a tireless source of feedback on public transport and cycling paths, using emails, photos and even videos that he takes himself.
They each tell us something about our strengths, and about why we will have a better Singapore ahead."

The Straits Times and Berita Harian called and asked some questions that night as a follow up. A couple of days later, Berita Harian said that they wanted to ask me more questions. My little story appeared the following week on the front page. My relatives were telling me how proud they are and how happy they are for me and my family. Friends too. My niece even shared how her Malay teacher told her class about me being a good example to follow. (I can't help but secretly wonder how many students in Singapore used that article for their weekly Keratan Akhbar assignment.) Funny how the media makes something ordinary seems extraordinary. 

Still, my mum seemed the happiest and if she's happy, I'm happy.

Funny how life is like a story that might just end up in the papers due to some series of events. 

It's been a month since I last wrote. Besides the brief publicity on the papers, something else more worthy of mention happened:

It seems that Mama has kinda given the green light. Never in the past would she entertain talks about relationships or marriage. I asked her if she has set any target for me to get married. No, she said. I jokingly replied that I'm a little too used to life on my own that I'll find it awkward and weird to be with someone. Oddly enough, ever since she kinda gave the green light, I've been giving it a second thought. 

And a third. And a forth. And I continue to wonder if I'll ever be ready to embark on that next phase of life. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Annoying Idealistic Optimistic Introvert

He is terribly annoying. Always tries to see the positive side of things no matter how negative it may be.  Always hoping that the best will happen even though he knows that most of the time, things will turn out differently. He keeps to himself, sharing only selected thoughts out of the endless train of thoughts running through his mind. He cant quite explain why he does the things he does mainly because he himself doesnt quite know why he does what he does.

He is annoying. And weird. As much as he wants people to understand him, he knows its hard. Perhaps he just wants people to be supportive of his being who he is - this weird annoying idealistic optimistic introvert. And let him be just that.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Bonus

My first bonus. It's been nearly 8 months since my first day of work. I'm ever so thankful to so many people who've helped me grow throughout the years. Yet at the same time, I feel ashamed that I can't bring myself to say thank you to them. I feel afraid that my thank you or simple gifts would not be enough to match their contribution to my life.

I realized that although I've been providing the family financially, I haven't been doing my job as a "father". When I received news that bonus will be deposited into the bank soon, I wondered if there's anything I could do different.

This wonder led me to a couple of bookstore that very day after work. Deep down, I knew I wanted to gift my mother, sister and brothers a gift that is tangible - a book that I hope each of them would one day flip open and read. May Allah move all our hearts to read and put to practice the things we read.

Hidden in an envelope, between the pages of the book, is their share of the bonus. Their reactions were similar - surprised that I handed them a book each instead of simply cash. Pleasantly surprised to find the envelope in their respective books.

Throughout this process, I realized that after all these years, I still find it hard to express my feelings. For instance, on my sister's book "Don't be Sad", I wanted to write her a note which says:

"Your current pursuit for a degree will insyaAllah encourage our twin brothers to consider pursuing a degree as well. In this pursuit, there's bound to be difficulties - but do not be sad. In this pursuit of ours towards a better future for ourselves and to make Mama happy, let us not forget that everything comes from Allah.

Make dua for me and my future... (add a short dua so that I'll find a pretty and humble wife soon!)"

I wanted to write notes on the remaining books too but I decided not to - for fear that it might sound too cheesy or too sweet. Perhaps next time. As I regret not writing those notes, I realized that I could move forward by writing little notes on a blank envelope before putting their monthly allowances in and giving it to them. It could be a quote, a hadith, or my own little words. Perhaps.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Little Thoughts: Let's go

*clears dust off laptop*

*types in the wrong Blogger password*

*checks out the blog to see the last post that i wrote*

*saw the post called Life: Fast Forward and it's feels kinda funny to reread that thought*

Honestly, I think I've allowed myself to be consumed by work. Work has changed the way I lived my life. Work has been about planning, coordination and execution coupled with the occasional problems. I go back home feeling tired most of the time and I also began to seek comfort by sleeping in the living room with my brothers. There's nothing much to think about really besides work. It's as though the word "thinking" would immediately link the brain to thinking about work.

That said, alhamdulillah, work has been a wonderful experience. 

I've often heard that the transition between school and work will see one become too engrossed in work to a point where everything else becomes blur. Work prevented me from spending time teaching kids at Apex on Saturday mornings, not forgetting the interaction with fellow mentors. Meeting different people allows one to listen and discuss about many different things. These interaction, I realize, helped trigger thoughts about things in general. I miss that.

I seek comfort on Wednesday and Friday nights during Tafsir and Hadith class. Having written it as part of my To-Do in that post called Life: Fast Forward, I'm kinda glad that I'm actually doing the things I plan on doing. Post-Hadith class discussion with a fellow brother of mine over a cup of hot milo often ends up with us attempting to decipher the tricky bit about finding The One. 

I shall end with the following. Till next time.


And those who say, "Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous." (25:74)