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.