Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Different Tuesday

Some of us at the office had a video shoot this morning for a montage show for the upcoming Conference. A few creative people from Ch***i **p*er did an excellent work for us. Being the stiff bunch we were, with the adaptation of the awesome work from the production house, I am confident that the stiffness will definitely turn out to be a brilliant piece of work.

The producer for the shhot/montage was this very jovial, interesting and down-to-earth lady called Serena. I got to know from my friends who had watched Talentime the Movie that she is the lady who played the role of Vimala aka the nurse aka Mahesh's aunty. With a lot of promotion from her that Talentime is a must see movie, I decided to watch it together with the Aces tonight.

Why does a simple community story like Talentime touch our hearts? Why is it that they make the best out of melancholic stories that revolve around relationship, love, affection and hate? How do the creative people make wonders over a simple story which we walk through in our daily life? Why is it that we take for granted what we have yet we refuse to cherish it until we know that we will lose it? Lots of questions linger in my head. The story was quite a drag and full of confusion in the beginning, slowly but surely things came into perspective, and walllaaah... I love it.

I find the movie tear-jerking, just like any other Yasmin Ahmad's wonderful movies. Despite my early rise tomorrow to catch the flight to Jakarta, I have no regrets watching Talentime tonight when I should be doing my packing and some preparation for tomorrow's meeting in Jakarta.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Good Things Happen In 3s

Last Saturday was a day filled with endless activities for me. It started off with a CSR programme at a Rumah Anak Yatim in Dengkil. Three small departments in the Company i.e. Legal, HSE and Business Planning organised the CSR programme for the second time. For me this is the 4th time as I am expected to participate CSR programmes organised by other departments too.

Unlike other times where we mopped the floor or scrubbed the toilets or changed the cabinet, this time round was only getting to know the orphans of this home. Some of them are really yatim piatu whilst some are there because the parents or either father or mother cannot afford to take care of them or because the adik adik don't know who has brought them to this world. The activity began with my friend R**a reading to them kisah Nabi Musa. Later was followed by getting to know each other and pop quiz. This was an-all-boys orphanage, it was newly opened 14 days ago and has now 13 occupants. Two lecturers started it with the help of some engineers. Kesian tengok budak budak ni tak de mak and ayah. There was this boy, A'la, baru masuk sehari dah asyik kena sakat by the abang abang. Dia asyik menangis je when we arrived. Dalam diam diam tu, sempat jugak meng-retaliate against the abang right in front of our eyes. Boys will be boys! We gave them some cash, bags, books and a micro wave oven. You will not believe it how many things people actually sedekah to them, sampai tak cukup tempat dah. There were books, Quran, Yaasin, shoes, beras, food to name a few.

In the evening I was rushing to go to Kay's house for the makcik blogger's meet. Need I say more? Everyone was enjoying themselves berborak and bergurau. Thanks to the wonderful host, Kay and everyone present like Bibiks, Farah, Nissa, Alina and Alim.

The makcik bloggers are getting comfortable with each other already.

To Shana, you are the cool and wonderful person just like how MrsN has described you in her blog. I love the taucu and the kuawteow. Hmmm sedap. Kak Zai and Zay, so the very kakak kakak mature like that. Always looked up on you gals. The cake was so sedap. I makan tiga slices. Madam Principal, thanks for the umbrella. Sediakan payung sebelum hujan. Comes in handy nowadays. Chahya, I love the eyes and don't apologise for not baking the cake.

Jabishah, you are sweeter than you appear in the blog and talented too. Regret tak dapat borak with you lama lagi. Love the dessert. Alina loved the ayam. Aida, did not manage to talk to you much so hope we can get to know each other better. Waterlily, it has been quite a while since we last met. Don't really recall that you are so friendly.

Bella, you are so sweet as ever. Keep up being the reporter as far as the "goss" is concerned. Kak Ezza... rindu nak peluk. Sorry teeshirt tak muat. Frame je lah ok. MrsNordin the President, you are so anggun ever. Keep up the cool-ness. Will meet up again. There were so many pics but don't know which ones to upload. Some turned ok and some not, so unprofessional shots, unlike Waterlily's and Jabishah's camera.

That night the kids, beloved hubby and me (also Bibik) observed Earth Hour. We didn't do much except sat on the garden bench do nothing sambil di gigit nyamuk. That night it was just a matter of switching the lights. However with that one hour of no energy generated in the house, the kids are becoming more mindful now to switch off the lights and fan when they are not in their rooms.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Prioritising Spare Time

There are many things that one would love to do in Jakarta. For me, the first one is shopping and the second one is massage. For people like me who usually spend less than 72 hours in Jakarta with most of the time is essentially and primarily spent on working, I would make sure that every extra hour I can spare is spent on these two things. De-stess after hard day's work, hehehe, excuses excuses.

We started office at 8 am and the meeting was stretched until about 5 pm. By the time we hailed a cab at 5 pm, the roads were already machet. For a short trip like this, suffice if I enjoy a little shopping at ITC Kuningan and Ambassador Mall. I only had 3 hours to spend before the next agenda. Dinner was scheduled at 8 pm. Minus the machet to Kuningan, returning to hotel and freshening up, I was left with only one hour to shop.

Only three places to go. Make sure, just go, don't look at other things or shops. First was Helena's the kids shop, second was Euphorbia, the baju kebaya kerewang shop and third was to buy DVDs.

Thousands of rupiah were spent on the 5 Aces clothings. Sorry to say this, since I started being assigned to this Indonesia project the last 4 years, I can't help but shop for the 5 Aces' clothes in Indonesia. There is a range of branded items (maybe mass, maybe rejects, but who cares!) from Next, Guess, Zara, Osh Kosh and Gap. The jeans for example are like three to four times cheaper than KL price.

Bought one pink kebaya. The shop owner remembered me (yelah dah buat kawan since I have been there like at least 5 times already) so got discount, yay!

It was at this juncture that I met my mentee S***e with sister-in-law shopping. Just missed her VIP half Indonesian mum. There you go, Malaysians memang love shopping in Jakarta.

DVDs here costs Rupiah 7000 which is like RM 2.50! Got my Brides War and Slumdog Millionaire.

That night we went to KL Village. My first time here. Cool place. This is Idris, my friend's "kitchen". He literally dines here everyday. Rindu masakan Malaysia katanya. Single and his family is in Malaysia hence the food served at KL Village is good enough for him to survive.

Before I hit zzzzz land that night, the masseur came to massage me for an hour. Total bliss. The hotel we stay in gives voucher for 1 hour complimentary massage for our company's staff. Ramai and selalu sangat stay in this hotel. Anyway, this is what I call value for money and priority service.

Just now before leaving KL, as hoped and planned, I made a quick dash to where else but Tanah Abang. I got these.

I love the tudung yang banyak beads, it is the new trend in Jakarta. Also the cotton material, the designs are lovely! Not much damage because started to think frugal nowadays.

Then it was machet again on the way to Bandara Soekarno Hatta. It took us about an hour and a half to reach there from the hotel which normally is just 30 to 45 minutes. Indonesia will be having their Pemilu i.e. general election on 9th April hence there were many street demonstrators along the major roads in the city.

Two things I didn't manage to get due to short of time: Alina's sling bag and beloved hubby's Adidas track bottom. Very sorry guys. The trip was meant for primarily working.

Although work was done and accomplished, there could be a possible trip either on 2nd April or 6th April. Hmmm... thinking of just doing a remote meeting. Takut terlebih damage next time. I can't be doing this two weeks in a row, right!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Away and Missing

Hectic, busy, madhouse.... you name it. That is how I describe the situation for me for the past two weeks, hence my "chipsmore-kejap ada kejap tak de" appearance in the blogosphere.

I am writing this far far away from my dear home, precious Aces and not forgetting the ever so understanding beloved husband. Yup, I am outstation again. I am writing from Jakarta, one of the most crowded cities in the world. There are 24 million people in Jakarta alone. I am here for three days. There is a possible trip again next week. So far looks like it is work work work, as usual. If there is a weeny tiny bit of time on the last day, I plan to make a dash to the cotton material shop at Tanah Abang. That would motivate me to really work extra hard these few days.

What has been making me busy? Lots. Suffice to say that many impactful things happened to me lately, personally and officially.

The most impactful and historic one for the family - my 1st Ace, Aliah has pursued her studies in Sek Men Sains Muar. I am still taking time to digest that my first baby whom I have carried the most in my arms during her first 100 days due to her immense crying has grown to be an independent and responsible girl and is now hundreds of kilometres away from home. Indeed there was skepticism whether to study in a boarding school or at home equipped with tuition and doting dad and mom. We have allowed Aliah to decide on this. I know she would stay in her old school if there wasn't much housekeeping problems for the Pure Science students at SMK Sek 4 B**d** **nr***. Once she complained that there were just too many students in her class. At times, it may seem that some teachers are showing favoritism to some students. Perhaps that was one of the major factor why she decided to go.

Despite getting straight As in her PMR, she was not selected for the first intake of Form 4 to go to boarding school. When this happened, we thought it was best to pull her out from Sek Men Sek 4 and transfer her to KGV in Seremban, one of the cluster schools. She was staying with Emak for almost 2 weeks. She was enjoying it there, with a loving grandmum and cousins to disturb her once in a while. However during the last semester break, the offer from Sek Men Sains Muar arrived. We were indecisive because she was already in KGV. I was gamed that she stay in KGV but letting her stay there may be cumbersome for Emak; with her tuition, Kumon and music classes. It was quite a roller coaster ride for us that week. With the medical check up, bringing all her things back from Seremban, preparing her hostel stuff, conditioning her to the life in a boarding school etc etc. I know she will do well there and will definitely make us proud with her achievements. What I worry though is whether she could adjust to the life in a boarding school.

We have no doubt about the education offering in Sek Men Sains Muar cos the academic achievement is excellent. That aspect is already taken care of.

I had a peek at the daily time table of Samura, this is the other name for Sek Men Sains Muar. The students have to wake up around 5.30 am in order to be ready for breakfast at 6.30 am. It is all day study and prep for them except 5 to 6pm which is Riadah time. After dinner, they continue to study until 10.30 pm and lights off at 11.30 pm. No handphone, no TV, no YM or mySpace. That is a truly disciplined (maybe regimented) environment. It is in a way good for her upbringing but deep inside I did ask myself the question, can she tolerate with it? I sure hope so. I gave her some tips which I remember practising during my STF days. But STF days were different. There was no handphone then and internet has not existed. I think our breakfast was at 7 am. We could wake up at 6.30 am when the bathrooms were only meant for latecomers like me yet still made it for breakfast. Lights off at nite at 10.30 pm hence I could have the 8 hours slumber time.

I know Aliah was holding back her tears as we waved goodbye. I was too. Infact I couldn't help missing and thinking about her during my journey to Jakarta yesterday, hoping she is coping well and making new friends. My words of encouragement for her were, reach out to your friends, grab any opportunities that come along her way and as far as possible, be a leader. There are other trivial boarding matters that could make her stressful. I have been there, and done that, and it did make me stressful at times, but we just have to enjoy the moments, and laugh about them many years down the road.

Beloved hubby texted me last night and like me he was wondering how Aliah was doing, whether she could sleep like a baby last night. I prayed long and hard last night too that all things would be easy and comfortable for Aliah and that she will make many friends in order for her not to be that homesick. I also texted Ayna to doa for her eldest sister and I can feel the motherly vibes that everyone at home is missing her already.

We plan to visit her this coming Sunday and I know Aliah is counting the days.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

NJ's Misfortune

I was feeling under the weather that day. It has been a hectic week. The board meeting was the following week hence the board papers had to be ready by that Friday. After sending the 2nd and 3rd Aces to their school for their softball practice at 8 am, I inadvertently dozed off. When I woke up, I realised it was already 10 am. I checked my handphone in case any of the Aces had called me. None from the Aces but NJ had called me. NJ is my legal clerk in the office. He was supposed to send the board papers to the board members that day. That was the strict instruction from the CEO. CEO wanted the board members in particular the independent ones, to receive the board papers early so that they could digest the information and make sound decision when they congregate the following Thursday.

"NJ called, why eh?", I muttered. He made the call 45 minutes before. "It must have been some technical problem with the board papers. But that can't be... because I made sure that everything was in order before I left the office last night."

Without any further ado, I returned NJ's call.

"NJ, Yatt ni, is everything ok?"

"Puan Yatt, saya accident tadi. Now kat hospital. Doktor ada ni. Dia orang tengah koyakkan seluar saya sebab kaki saya injured."

"Oh my God... what happened, you ok ke?"

"Saya rasa kaki dan tangan saya patah. Puan Yatt, board papers tu, saya tak sempat nak hantar. Macamana ni?"

"Tak pe tak pe, NJ. Jangan risau. Biar saya uruskan. Nanti bila you dah selesai dengan doktor, saya call NJ balik."

Later I called the CEO to report on the casualty and luckily it was not considered as Loss Time Incident (the company is very strict on this). CEO offered his driver to send the board papers but I declined as I didn't mind doing it on my own. Luckily the directors are staying around Jalan Duta, Bangsar and PJ. Only one at Taman TAR.

Beloved hubby was terrific enough to drive me around. On the way to the directors' houses, I stopped by at the hospital to see NJ. However he was in the OT. I met his father and brothers and conveyed my sorrow to them. My communication that weekend with NJ was only via sms. I didn't want to disturb him because I was sure he was in great pain. I wanted him to recover.

On the following Monday when CEO met some of us, we knew that he had visited NJ that Sunday. I didn't know exactly what NJ told him but CEO was telling everyone about the accident. He said when NJ fell into the trench and discovered that he had met with the accident, the person whom he first called was me, his superior. He was overwhelmingly worried over the board papers. Maybe takut boss dia marah kenapa board papers tak send. Boss dia pulak tak jawab phone but tertidur! Only after calling me, baru NJ called his wife. CEO wanted all the medical expenses to be taken care of. He wanted NJ to rest betul betul baru boleh discharge. Hmmm... guilty ye boss, cos you had instructed the papers to be sent out even on a Saturday.

During Monday lunch time, I visited NJ together with my staff. NJ's left arm was broken. So was his right ankle. According to NJ, he was riding his motorbike to office along the road at Ulu Yam when suddenly he realised that he was flying. Apparently a woman driving a Saga, had knocked him resulting him being swept onto her car bonnet. He was on the bonnet for a good 100 metres until he was thrown away into a deep trench. Kulit lutut dia terkoyak, can even see the bones inside, left arm patah and so did ankle. The skin of his foot was also torn. The doctor had to patch an artificial skin onto the ankle. He called me immediately and later his wife. Sempat lagi took photos of his injury. He passed out and tahu tahu je he was already at the hospital. A good samaritan had sent him there.

When his friends visited him at the hospital, NJ related the same story to his friends and started introducing me as the boss whom he first called during the panicky times. I don't know whether I should be ashamed of myself that my staff is really scared over me or is it a sense of respect and appreciation towards me? I surely hope it is the latter.

On a separate note, I received the 360 degrees assessment from the boss, subordinate and peers a couple of days ago. Reading the Strength column really made me feel on top of the world. However a comment by one of the peers at the Areas of Improvement column read " Highly strung when under pressure". Oooopppsss... was that why NJ called me first? Dia takut I became highly strung !? Now I really feel bad added by the fact that on the fated day it was NJ's birthday. But then, NJ's wife told me that she would not allow the husband to go out of the house on his birthday anymore because that was the third time NJ met with an accident on his birthday. Duh! How unfortunate! So should I feel better now?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Weekend That Was

Had a good jog this morning at the park. I did 9 rounds of jogging and briskwalking, and I must admit that the jogging rounds were more than the briskwalking rounds today. The weather was good. It was windy and I could feel the wind blowing peacefully onto my face. As I pushed my legs on the pavement, it reminded me so much of the walks I used to take at some of the parks in Tehran or along the River Seine during spring some years back. It was a lot cooler this morning compared to the previous days where it was scorchingly hot.

Perhaps the weather assisted me in being energetic with my work outs today compared to last week. I wish I could exercise a bit more, but time does not permit. The office work is mountingly piling up. Just when some assignments are complete and I thought I could stretch my legs to relax, a lot more keep on coming. These past few weeks have been crazy for me. I mentioned about this state to my CEO, he concurred, but bosses being bosses, he pacified, saying that well at least we still have our jobs. Imagine the 650,000 jobs lost in the US of A. It worries me to see the state of the country. The second stimulus package will be announced tomorrow. The public will know where the RM10B will be spent on. Can the country still avoid recession? Or are we still in self denial when the growth is technically to me a negative one for the past two quarters. With me becoming the main bread winner again this time round, I really hope that on personal level I can sustain.

Jogging also helped me to think and evaluate a lot of things. It is thereupatic in a way. Had a small row with beloved hubby on Saturday that led to many understandings. We have been operating in under protest mode ever since. How I hate it when things like this happen. Sigh!

Enough of that ramblings. Despite the gloomy economic situation in the county and domestically, love is in the air and weddings still continue to be attended. It must be the beginning of Rabiul Awal month. Some believe that it is good to get married when bulan naik, and not when bulan turun. This is the first and second weeks of Rabiul Awal hence that may be the reason why there are many weddings being held.

On Sunday alone, I went to two weddings.

In the morning was my cousin, Sayaris or fondly known as Ayish's nikah. Beloved hubby and I had to prepare ourselves early on a Sunday, a rare ocassion for me on a weekend, especially when most of the week days I would be in the office by 8 am. The nikah is scheduled at 9.30 am at Surau Taman Permata. The plan was to assemble at De Palma Hotel at 8.30 am. Everything went on as scheduled. Kay and husband went with us in one car to the nikah from De Palma. Everyone was in a enjoyable and celebration mood. The aunties and uncles were pretty much chit chatting and planning what the plan was for the day. I made my way carrying the sirih junjung whilst Kay had to carry the royal icing cake and cup cakes. Ooopss.... there was a big hump on the road as beloved hubby drove his way looking for the surau, that resulted in a minor incident to the cupcakes. It made us panic, nonetheless within seconds everything was back under control. We women, really know how to mend and repair matters in an intricate scenario.

The akad proceeded with the nasihat and the lafaz. The juru nikah amongst others advised about the usual nikah and kahwin wajib and best practices. It struck me when he said that we have to treat the parents-in-laws no different than how we treat our own parents. Wuduk tak batal bila bersalam dengan the parents-in-law, which goes to show that it is such a strong bond that Allah has created for the suami and isteri upon the marriage. Actually, I know about all these. However when a juru nikah said it openly, it refreshed and made me think again whether I have executed the same as far as my parents-in-law are concerned.

The other ceremonious rituals at Ayish's wedding were history. Congratulations to Ayish and Nadia and moga bahagia berkekalan sehingga ke anak cucu.

That was the morning wedding. On the same day, we attended beloved hubby's cousin wedding reception at Dewan Sri Endon, Puspanita Puri in Putrajaya. Shahril, the cousin is married to a final year medic student, Atiqah. The nikah was held on the Friday before. Parents-in-law and brother-in-law came to the house in the evening so that everyone could ride in one car, a convenient and economical way because only beloved hubby and me knew where the place was. Although the ceremony was scheduled to start at 8.30 pm, there was slight delay because the VVIP who had to travel from Ipoh was stuck in a massive jam at Sungkai. At first we could not help but wonder which one was coming, the recently appointed one or the one still claiming that he is still in power! Luckily the ceremony proceeded without the presence of the VVIP cos he only arrived during the Cake Cutting Ceremony!

For this wedding, it was not so much of meeting the bride and groom. In fact I didn't get to shake hands and congratulated Shahril and Atiqah. The wedding was meant and inclined towards meeting almost one hundred close aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and not forgetting snapping photos. The mak ciks and pak ciks were amongst others the host Pak Tam and Mak Wan Teh, Mak Yah, Mak Teh, Mak Su Ija (as the artistic unofficial photographer), Pak Salleh, Mak Suji and Pak Nawi. The cousins were amongst others Kak Ros, Kak Teh, Kak Eda, Kak Lat, Kak Ema, Kak Sue, Sarena, Ja, Ji, Elly, Esa, Nik, Shahriman, Nazrina, Fauzlina, Fahmi, Rafaie, Shali, Naz, Boy, Jo Anne, Intan, Abang Nan, Kak Su, Abang Sahak and Kak Aishah. Unfortunately, I didn't take that many photos with my phone camera because it felt so inferior compared to the other canggih digital cams.

Parents-in-law were seated at the high table and the other aunties and uncles and cousins conquered five tables. It was really an ocassion of catching up with each other. I was seated with sister-in-law, brother-in-law and cousins Abang Sahak and Kak Aishah. With Joe Fizzlow being invited to perform in London in conjunction with Air Asia maiden flight to London, obviously that was the most talked about topic with kak Aishah. Abang Sahak who was the emcee for the day, is really a joker. I noticed that he really had a love for the bengkang ubi served on the table.

By the time we bade good night to everyone, it took us almost 45 minutes to physically leave the hall because there were still many aunties and uncles to say Hi! to and to talk to. This was the first time that we left a wedding reception at almost midnight. The management of the hall had to remind us that they were switching off the lights by 12 midnite. I doubt they succeeded because when we left, there were still many invitees in the hall rigoriously chit chatting and even some in deep discourse with each other.

To Shahril and Atiqah, Congratulations. Semoga diberkati Allah selalu dengan kebahagiaan dan kesabaran hingga ke akhir hayat.

Sharing with you some of the pics that night.

Monday, March 2, 2009

5 Places 3 Celebrations

Just a short one this time. A reflection that I am still around !

I have been to 5 places for the last 10 days. It was Langkawi, Alor Gajah, Seremban, Kota Kinabalu and today Kuantan. There were twice of flight delay. The flight to KK was two hours delay and the flight to KL this evening is delayed for an hour. With the muka so berminyak and body aching, I have not recovered after my exercise yesterday (I jogged and briskwalked 8 rounds at the park), I just need my bed and foot massage.

Despite the busy schedule, I managed to celebrate three ocassions. One was our 17th Anniversary at MIL's house. It coincided with Haneesah (hubby's niece)'s birthday celebration. The other one was beloved hubby's birthday. Happy birthday (now belated sayang). Finally was my friend, Nadia's birthday. We threw a surprise birthday makan for her at CPK.

Next week would even be busier.