Thursday, May 24, 2007

It is their hair that I smell...

It’s strange when I think about this –
But, I have been asked by my friends, oh so many times,
“You must be missing your children so much…”

To which I would reply –

And silently I would say to myself –
“Yes…I miss the smell of their hair…"


It is their hair that I smell
When they kiss my hands and I lean over to hug them…

It is their hair that I smell
When I lie down beside them,
When I twirl their hair,
When I kiss them goodnight
Every night…

It is their hair that I smell
When they wake up in the morning
And when I have to carry my sleepy-eyed babies into the shower…

It is their hair that I smell
When I help them get into their tops
When their heads struggle to get through those tight collars…

It is their hair that I smell
When I bend down beside them to help them tie their shoe-laces…

It is their hair that I smell
When they hurt themselves
And I give them a hug
When I try to comfort them…

It is their hair that I smell
Every time we say goodbye
When I hug, kiss, and finally let go of them…

The last thing that I would remember of every parting moment –
Would be the smell of their hair…

And because of that –
It is their hair that I smell…
in my dreams…

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Romeo and Juliet(s) - The Saga Continues...

To those who are here for the first time – this entry will make more sense if you were to read my previous entry on “Romeo and Juliet(s)” first.

To those who have been following my blog, I only have ONE thing to say about my Romeo –


Hmmmm…what can I say? I’m speechless – but, thank God, I can still write!

Here goes –

Ayah posted comments on “The Melting Pot at 47CJR” and “Romeo and Juliet(s)” today which read –

Mommy dear...
Just to update u...Your son NOW has 4 girlfriends!!! Definitely more macho than any Italianno!
I think u better come home fast...and start da mother-and-son talklah. Hahahaha...(I'm laughing worriedly..if there is such a thing!)

To which I counter-commented “WHHAAAATTT???! I’M CALLING HOME NOW!!!

And I did just that.

No beating around the bush this time – when Ayah gave the phone to Hilman, I immediately asked him –

Me : Hilman (chuckles) – Ayah told me something about you!

Hilman : I know – I have four girlfriends now (and he was sooo cool about it!)

Me : So, who are your new girlfriends?

Hilman : Gabrielle and Aina.

Me : Do they like you?

Hilman : I dunno…

Me : Hmmm…They are not your girlfriends then.

Hilman : Well…it’s okay - I like them!

Me : (Hmmmm…you obviously don’t get the concept, my dear…) Okay, okay who’s the nicest and the prettiest amongst the four, Hilman?

Hilman : Athirah.

(Hmmmm...If you have been following Hilman's story before this, you might have noticed that it was "Farhana" whom he liked before!)

Me : Second?

Hilman : Farhana (YAWN….), then Gabrielle, and then Aina (YAWN…)

(Mind you – it was around 11:00pm - way past his bedtime when we had the conversation! So, do excuse his yawning, please!)

Me : (Just wanted to play along with Hilman ) – Hilman, tak best lah if you have too many girlfriends…

Hilman : Why? (More YAWN…)

Me : You won’t have time to spend with Mommy nanti… Choose ONE only la… okay?

Hilman : (Silent for about 10 seconds, and then -) Okay lah, Athirah then (like trying to decide between wanting to go to McDonalds or Burger King?!)

Me : Okay. But, does she like you?

Hilman : I dunno….BUT, I LIKE HER!

Me : Sigh....

(Till the Next Episode - Errrrr…HOPE NOT!!)

I guess all mothers out there who have boys of their own, wherever you are, would agree with me if I said that they can be so cute with all their innocence. And I know that you would also agree with me that we somehow secretly wish that our boys will NEVER, EVER grasp the concept of having girlfriends, so that they will always be our little boy - forever… (Right?)


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The melting pot at 47CJR...

It has been six months. Six months of me staying at this flat – and I realized that I have never really talked about my flat-mates! Alright – maybe in one of my postings in March, and also a mention in passing in one of my earlier entries.

I have to say that over the past six months, I have got to know them better, and they are not a bad lot at all…I guessed I learnt to just accept the different ways they look at life (coming from four different countries!), the different ways they let loose (mainly by going pub-crawling), the different ways they wash their dishes (normally once in three days!) and the different ways they clean up the kitchen and their rooms (if they ever do, that is!)…. and I feel that today is a good day for me to write about them.

You see – yesterday was my birthday, and two of my flat-mates, Paulette and Eva, threw a small BBQ dinner do for me and another flat-mate, Jani who had her birthday on 5th May (she just came back yesterday from a field trip in Phuket, by the way). And I was touched because they went all out to get vegetarian sausages, burgers, and pizzas for the BBQ because they knew that I’m a Moslem, and that I don’t take anything that comes off the meat/poultry shelves from TESCO, or ASDA (and other hypermarkets of any sorts). And last night they did not consume wine or any other alcoholic drink as they normally would during previous BBQs…

The BBQ was just for the four of us as our fifth flat-mate, Kat is now in Birmingham undergoing a work placement as part of her Masters Degree requirement. But, when it was time for the cake-cutting ceremony (or rather a Giant Cookie for Jani, and nine pieces of diabetic chocolates for me!), Kat joined in via Paulette’s mobile – to sing the Birthday Song for Jani and I...

I thought that was really sweet of them…But, I knew they would not enjoy the vegetarian quorn BBQ as much as they would have enjoyed a proper carnivorous meal, and so I just dumped some Halal chicken sausages onto the disposable BBQ pit, which made everybody happy(ier?) ….And I guessed they, too, must have thought – “Aaaawwwhhhh… that was really sweet of Sharina…” Hahaha!

Anyway, a bit on my flat-mates.

Paulette hails from Toronto, Canada – and is one of the sweetest and friendliest girls that I have ever met. She’s 28 years old - pursuing a Masters Degree in Heritage Management at the University of Newcastle (her second Masters actually), and she’s the one who tells me which websites I should surf to get good TV programmes and movies whenever she sees that I’m in need of double dose of entertainment when I’m all stressed out. She has been going out (on and off) with Paul (a Greek guy) - a junior doctor at QE Hospital. She spends her weekend, either at Paul’s, or if she’s at the flat – baking. And boy, can she bake! She once baked a huge loaf of farm bread for us, and there were other times when she baked Cherry Strudels, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies, to name a few. Suffice to say, I now know how bake some of the cookies – which is a miracle, because those who know me would agree when I say that baking and I – we just don’t go together!

Eva is a 25 year old Taiwanese lass – very sweet, demure and soft-spoken, and I think the one I get along best amongst my flat-mates. She reminds me of those petite Hong Kong movie stars who always act in those sad love stories. Eva is pursuing a Masters Degree in Translation and Interpretation (Chinese-English), and it is funny when sometimes when I pass her room, I could hear her talking to herself, practicing and honing her interpreting skills in front of her notebook. She has a French beau by the name of Yves, who, unfortunately, had just left for Japan for a one-year job-stint there. Most of the time, when Eva is at the flat, she would be on Skype with Yves. And sometimes, late at night when I see her online on my YM, I would buzz her and we would chat for a bit on our YM – which is pretty funny considering our rooms are barely 5 feet away from each other!

Jani is a 26 year old Singaporean-Indonesian girl who is a marine biologist by training, now pursuing her Masters Degree in Marine Management. She’s going out with an English guy named Robin, who happens to be Paulette’s and Kat’s course-mate. I have to say that Jani is the loudest amongst the lot, and the most happy-go-lucky girl I’ve ever come across in the whole 39 years of my life! She is someone whom I would share most of the hot Malaysian dishes that I cook, and it gives me such great satisfaction when I see her devour whatever food I offer her. The way she would sigh and roll her eyes when she tastes my cooking (which she says reminds her of home), you would think that I was Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Floyd – all rolled in one! Hahaha!

Kat is a 24 year old American – from Denver, Colorado. I could still remember the first time I met her, I thought – “Wow…she’s tall!”. She is – she stands at 5’10” and she would be the one who would reach up the top of our lockers whenever we need the tin foil, or the cling films or the other stuffs which we keep up there! I think I only started warming up to her when I saw a paper cutting which she pasted on the wall in her room which read – “BUSH IS CRAP”. I felt so endeared to her after that! She’s now undergoing a placement in Birmingham as part of her Masters in Art Management Degree, staying with Ed, her English boyfriend. She comes back to Newcastle every now and then for short visits, but she calls Paulette nearly everyday! I guessed her Birmingham flat-mate is no fun to live with?

And then, there’s me. I guessed some of you somewhat know me. But, one thing which I’m sure you are not aware of is that - while Canadian Paulette is going out with Greek Paul, Taiwanese Eva – with French Yves, Singaporean Jani – with English Robin, and American Kat – with English Ed, to add colours to the varieties, I (Malaysian me!) am now going out with a hunk of an Italian boyfriend (a James Franco look-alike) named Fabio…..(Hahaha! Just kidding, Ayah…just kidding!) Winks* Phew….

Hmmm…It has been a pretty interesting 6 months for me - living with these young girls, and I know that I will miss them when I go back home in June. But, it’s good to know that I will have a place to stay and friends to show me around if I were to visit Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, or The U.S of A with Ayah and the kids one of these days, Insya Allah…

Being in a melting pot, wherever you are, is not a bad thing at all when you stay true to yourself, your identity, your values and your beliefs, while respecting and accepting those of others…


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day...

The sun

the rainbow

the ocean breeze

the shooting stars...

I wish for all of these... and more

for all mothers -

glorious... as the morning sun

beautiful... as the colours of spring

gentle... as the receding waves

magnificent... as the lone star on the darkest night

wherever you are...


God Bless...

(Specially dedicated to Mommy and Mak - with love, till the end of time...)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Romeo and Juliet(s)...

Hmmm…what can I say? My 6-year-old little boy has a girlfriend… (Errrr…make it TWO, please!) And how did I get to know about this? Through a phone conversation which I had today with Ayah, Hanna, Hasya and Hilman – the MAN himself.

Ayah started off the conversation by saying that K.Long Hanna and K.Ngah Hasya had been teasing Hilman in the car throughout their journey back to PJ from their swimming lesson this afternoon. And when I asked Ayah what was the teasing all about, Ayah just started laughing, and in between the laughter and his attempt to keep serious, he managed to say – “Errr…(laughter) Hmmm…anak you (laughter) – Hilman (laughter!) dah ada girlfriend…(more laughter!).

And I was like – WHAT?!!! Did I hear Ayah right?!!

“What do you mean ‘girlfriend’?”, I asked Ayah.

And Ayah said, “Ooops! Did I say “girlfriend”? I meant to say “girlfriends”!”

And I was like, “Errr…haah?!

And when I realized that I actually heard him right, I just started laughing myself!

And Ayah said, “Mommy, you’d better speak to the kids themselves to know more about this, okay?”

When I spoke to Hanna, I was told that they (the two sisters) apparently knew about Hilman and his TWO girlfriends for the past 3 weeks, but they had been keeping it to themselves – waiting for the right time and opportunity to use this “secret” against Hilman.

And Hanna thought the opportunity came this afternoon when they were fighting over who should sit at the front passenger seat beside Ayah (which normally would be MY seat, but apparently had been the object of tug-o-war, between the three siblings whenever I’m not around!)

And Hanna thought she could blackmail her brother into giving the seat up for her by threatening him that she would tell Ayah the “secret” if he did not let her sit at the front! This went on for about 2-3 minutes, and Ayah was really curious to know what the secret was all about. And Hanna was just about to spill the beans, when the MAN himself confessed-

“Ayah, I have a girlfriend!” - it just came out from him – just like that! And he just looked at Ayah, straight into his eyes!

Hilman being Hilman, he was pretty DETERMINED that he was NOT going to let his big sister get the seat through blackmail! He’d rather tell-all than be subject to his two sisters’ “sinister” plan!

And both his sisters blurted everything to Ayah when they realized that they had then just lost their secret Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) to use against their little brother when he came out with his own little confession. “No Ayah! Hilman has TWO girlfriends! Not one!!! One Standard 1 girl, One Standard 2! Bla-bla-bla…..” And everybody started talking at the same time, and yelling at each other, and the teasing went on throughout the whole journey from Sri Cempaka back to PJ.

According to Hanna, Ayah’s eyes nearly popped out and his mouth was opened for nearly a minute after that. (Hmmm…Sanguine Hanna and her exaggeration of stuff!).

Apparently (after he recovered from his shock, that is!) Ayah told Hilman – “Hilman, you’re too young to even have a girlfriend, let alone TWO!”

To which Hilman answered : I know…

And when I spoke to Hilman, this was what he had to say –

Me : Hello sayang… How are you?

Hilman : I’m fine Mommy.

Me : How was your chess and swimming lessons today? (I was trying really hard NOT to show my anxiety. Hahaha!)

Hilman : Good.

Mommy : Ayah told me that you have TWO girlfriends? (Bammm!!! No warning whatsoever from Mommy given to Hilman!)

Hilman : Uh-uh. (Answering it like it was just another one of my standard questions!)

Me : May I know who your girlfriends are?

Hilman : Farhana and Athirah (VERY “matter-of- factly”!)

Me : Hmmm…which one do you like better?

Hilman : Both.

Me : You cannot have two girlfriends at the same time, sayang… Which one do you like more?

Hilman : Both.

Me : No, Hilman…you have to choose one!

Hilman : But I like them both, Mommy.

Me : Hmmm…. Do they like you? (By this time I was trying really hard NOT to laugh because Hilman sounded SO serious about the whole thing, but at the same time I could hear his Ayah, Kak Long and Kak Ngah laughing their heads off in the background!)

Hilman : Yeah.

Me : Did they tell you that they liked you?

Hilman : Yeah.

Me : But, Hilman…you can only have one girlfriend!

Hilman : No, Mommy – TWO.

(And this ‘debate’ went on for about 30 seconds, and then I asked him – )

Me : Okay, okay… IF you have to choose, which one would you choose, dear?

Hilman : Farhana (without hesitation!)

Me : Why Farhana?

Hilman : She’s pretty.

Me : (I was starting to have stomach cramps by this time because I was controlling myself so hard not to laugh! And I said -) Hmmm…I think Athirah is pretty, too!

Hilman : Yeah… (he sounded so confused!)

My oh my! My boy is having his first relationship dilemma at the age of 6! I was starting to feel slightly dizzy at this point, I think because I had been holding my breath for so long when I tried controlling myself from laughing! And I asked him –

Me : Hmmm…Did any of them say that you were handsome?

Hilman : Yeah.

And suddenly he said –

“Mommy, can I stop now, please? I’m hungry! I want to eat! I want to eat the big fish. It’s going to habis!!! Nanti everybody else eat and Hilman cannot eat! Please, Mommy!!! Nanti fish habis!”

By this time, I just could not control myself and I just burst out laughing until I cried – and I was thinking to myself – “Typical men – they just don’t know when and how to get their priorities right!” And in Hilman’s case – his FISH is more important than his CHICS!!! LOL!!!

Hmmm…all these while I thought Hanna would be the first of my kids whom I would have a heart-to-heart talk about boyfriends and girlfriends! Never did I imagine that I would be having this talk with Hilman first, let alone when he’s only SIX! (Sorry, Hanna…your brother beat you to it!!!) So, I guess my previous entry on “The Wedding Planner” should be meant for Hilman, instead? LOL!

This entry has certainly warmed my heart up today and it will definitely make me smile for the rest of the week, at least! To those of you who are reading this now, wherever you are, I hope this has brought a smile to your face, too…


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

There were times...

There were times (lots of times...) when I thought I could not finish what I have started.

There were times when I could not sleep just thinking about it.

There were times when I could sleep - but only to have nightmares about it.

There were times when I finally fell asleep - only to have been woken up by the sheer coldness of my sweat.

There were times when I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There were times when I could not even see the tunnel.

There were times when I felt like my heart just could not go on.

There were times when I felt like disappearing from the face of the earth.

There were times when I felt like nobody understood.

Yes...there were times...

But, there's also today.

Today ONE person said that SHE believes that I CAN do this - even if it might take slightly longer than we first anticipated.

The crux of the matter is -


And, because of that - I BELIEVE...

Thank you, ICC...

* This entry is specially dedicated to all PhD candidates out there, wherever you are... Keep holding on...Just believe! *