Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dubai At Night

Took a drive with my son in his Subaru hot rod that somehow gives me a feeling that we were always out of sync witht he rest of the crowd when it comes to cars and RVs in Dubai. Like all great pilots flying the Marktoum's fleet of Emerates Air, my son drives like a maniac on the Dubai dusty and often muddy highways although he swears and insists that the rest of the Emeratis who drove their BMWs and Messeratis were total idiots when it comes to driving. Dubai is considered the second most congested city only to Cairo when it comes to traffic in the whole of the Middle East and sources say that the volume of vehivcles on the road is ever growing. I asked one of my son's colleagues why everyone drives big and heavy Rvs. and he said that it is for safety reasons and not prestige. Most of the roads are excellent, however being relatively newly constructed, however during the rainy days one sees lighted signs warning against 'ponds' on the road. In an area of what used to at one time being a desert this is a modern day miracle for Dubai. On a more serious note i foresee a major problem for the city if the municipality does not pay carefull attention to proper drainage system as part of its blueprint, I do not even want to dwell on what the sewage system is like as yet.

The world's tallest building like 'the needle whose eye through which the camel could not pass' strikes up into the desert skies like a lightning rod inviting the wrath of Allah. This structure has brought the Petronas Twin Towers a notch down from being the tallest phallic symbol man has created pointing at the heavens. It stands among some of the the most uniquely designed architectures in modern times lining the skyline of what is the Heart od Dubai City. In ancient times the Beduins musy have congregated in the area never imagining in their wildest dreams that their Wadis would one day become a world class city.

Where Mecca and Madina draws muslims from all over the world yearly, The Emerates is a shopper's heaven and visitors comes from all over the world to have a great time fulfilling whatever their needs may be. This is the future playground for the rich and famous no doubt after all the infra structures has been set and the last of the tower cranes has disappeared from the skyline, perhaps The Emerates will be ready to do some serious tourism business.

In the meantime what do I really feel about my being here so far? It is too sterile for me, this place is like there is very little human warmth, like one big bazaar where alot of business florishes but you will never know what the other guy feels beyond the Dirhams. The locals, as far as foreigners are concern is like oil and water and symbolically it spells outright in their traditional costumes of men in white and women in black long robes. The foreigners are here to earn a living mostly in one form or another and what with the global economic as it is, one goes where the money is and most are not here to socialize or learn about the native or the country and its social customs, norms and religion. I have yet to meet a real home boy Emerati someone who I could sit and talk to about life here, dive beneath the surface and touch the bases of culture and traditions, but that is not going to happen not in the near future, not on this trip.
I am watching my son live his life, reflecting over what his sense of values are and what makes him tick while holding back a father's role and enjoying what is being offered with grace and thankfulness. I have almost completed two murals since I arrived and am quite happy with the outcome, safe to say that I have left my mark on the walls in Dubai as an artist. I am enjoying the fantastic food and company my son and his friends has to offer and the sights that I would never have behold had I not been here. I am in another country on another journey to find out.

Deep down I feel a kind of loneliness, an empty feeling like something is missing. Maybe I miss my two children back in Malaysia, but that's not entirely true as they are well cared for and are most probably glad that I am out of their hair for a while. Maybe this is part of ageing a process that creeps up on you whenever you are having fun and whispers in your ears that 'this too will pass'. Bright lights and glittering tall sky scrapers, luxurious dinings at fancy restaurants, I hunger for deeper more meaningful conversations and spiritual awakenings not talks of fish n chips and the traffic in Dubai.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The unveiling of the Mural

An inauguration party was held to unveil the Mural on Naz's wall although it was officially unannounced as such but all those who were there were forced to take their pictures against the wall! It gives me a great feeling to have been able to create something in a short period of time and hear the compliments for it. It is such an opportunity to be able to express myself with no pressures hammering at my mind knowing that I am in my son's home and his care I feel a sense of temporary relief from the life I am leading in Malaysia. And this too will pass, as the great Jalaludin the Sufi Master in his infinite wisdom once said. However I am going to enjoy this temporary reprieve no matter how short it may be and make the best out of it by possibly doing as many more murals as I can afford to on other walls as there has been requests to do so.

The guests were all employees of the Emerates Air off course, pilots and flight attendants from all over the world and it was just as exciting for me to watch my son living his own life among his friends and colleagues a far cry from how I lived mine and an even more distant cry from that of my father's.

I am experiencing a whole different world of existance as compared to those I have had before. This is where the successful hang out, the captains and the crews of one of the most 'prestigious airline' in the world today and they each in their own ways have their own special personalities that makes them who they are and yet when you talk to them you find them to be down to earth ordinary kids learning the ropes of survival in a mixed up world.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Shot At The Mountain

I started painting the Mural on living room wall of my son's apartment two days ago and is now almost completed. The theme sort of materialised as I got al;ong wiht the help on my son's inputs and suggestions as to what he would like to have. The end product is a scene of a winter scene of Mount Fuji with a Tori ( a Japanese Arch or gate) in the fore ground and an archer striking a stance underneath the arch. The Painting was done with acrylic paint in black and white using the acrylic spray to pull the painting together. So far the painting has received mostly positive comments from my son's friends and visitors to the apartment.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dubai The New Born City.

Presently the skies of Dubai is being filled with her 'National Bird', the Crane. As constructions are everywhere all over th city one cannot help but take it with a sense of humor.

Mall of The Emerates is right across the highway from where I am sitting and writing this blog and the Ski Ramp for the Dubai 'Snow Mountain" can be seen looking like some alien spaceship that crash landed and part of its tail sticking out from the ground. Took a trip there yesterday and had lunch with my son and his girlfriend Eli where we had Sushi, just what the doctor prescribed! The rest of the Mall was occupied by brand names outlets and the locals in their traditional white jubah and head gear or kifayah mostly overweighed men and women alike. The women in their black hijab with only the eyes looking at you possibly smiling or maybe not while the men sat around counting their beeds and stroking their beards looking contented with life.

One thing worth noting about Dubai while driving around is the fact that there are all kinds of expensive vehicles on the road American, Japanese and European made and there is even a Harley Davidson motoercycles outlet next to the Wal-Mart. Yes this is the land of plenty allright and at tpresent there is plenty of new building mushrooming all around who and what for is yet to be discerened by the next generation of Emerates residents. Perhaps this will be the center of the Muslim World where all commerce and industries will be centered and administrative bodies will commence from. The Emerates is is spending money in developing their major cities like Doha and Qatar building not only Malls, hotels and offices but Institutions of higher learning museums and art galleries, public recreational facilities that is out of this world. The Emerates have the means and the will to create a whole new world for their population to experience and enjoy the twenty first century before it is all gone up in smokes for one reason or another.

While the city is being built Dubai is inundated by foreign workers just like Malaysia, however being a strictly Muslim country 0ne sees less Orientals and Vietnamese but instead there are alot more Indians and Pakistanis as well as Bangladeshis. In the shops however one sees a greater number of Philipinos and some Malaysians, the later are alot less in number so far.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day one Dubai

Woke up late partly from sleeping in the 'Movie Room' that my son had constructed for himself so he can watch all his favorite movies in comfort together with whoever happens to be visiting him. The room is really like a mini theater which has reclining lazy boys chairs and staged in terrace just like in the regular theaters. Theres also a drum set and guitar for a music game which is kinda exciting to play especially if you have an enthusiastic group of people who loves to have good times. The room like all movie theater is totally dark and sound proof which was why I kept on sleeping everytime I woke up thinking that it was still dark out.

Took a drive to the Mall of The Emerates which can be seen from where I am sitting and typing this blog entry and had a sushi lunch at the Tea House Restaurant aka 'Chop Chop'. The Mall was like a Mecca for shoppers and most of the shops were world class outlets that catered to the rich Dubai citizen who drives fancy cars that the liscence numbers alone were known to cost alot if they were shorter than average. I have yet to be confronted by a typical Dubai locals but from what I hear and observe so far I sense the arrogance and superiority complex that the native have towards all foreigners. I am beginning to believe that this is becoming a common factor wherever I am and not something exclusive to any one given nation. The Japanese were aloof towards foreigners and so were the British and the Jews or the Chinese when in their own countries. The Malays in Malaysia are just as arrogant about their their so called Bumi Putra or Sons of the Earth status which sometimes gets to become overly boring in the light of so called day and age of Globalization. One the one hand everyone seems to want to become a universal being a part of a whole, unified in a collective conciousness of Being while on the other hand everyone thinks in terms of tribalism, of groupies of sectarianism or racial and religious creed they belong to, we as humans will never see eye to eye so long as we have not come to a reconciliation of who we really are on this planet.

We have advanced into the New Millionium with the hope that we could come to a better understanding of and thus become connected to who we are as humans, however from what is transpiring around us the fate of humans as a whole hangs in a precarious balance. Wars and devastations those caused by man and those that are a part of the natural phenomena are still haunting us to our graves and it seems as though there is no end or solution in sight. On the one hand cities are being built left and right and on the other there is nothing but rubbles and vengeance in the streets where gunfires is the familiar sound one hears day in day out. As humans it seems we are short of compassion and understanding toward our fellow beings and Love is a word in danger of becoming extinct even between parents and loved ones. Drug and sexual abuse has become a matter of fact in most societies and yet on looking at how much is being spent in creating new and better soocieties it boggles my mind. The amount of construction work going on in and around Dubai alone is phenominal not to say beyond imagination but one cant help but wonders at who would fill up all the living spaces beign constructed. As my son pointed out in relation to the Emerates Airlines, it is without doubt that the Emerates has the best of everything to offer even compared American Airlines , however thus far it is just in the appearences but looking deeper below the surface one starts to discover the lack of professionalism, the quality or integrity of a good service provided.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dubai Here I come!!!

I am writng this from the Personal Computer at the Emerates Lounge at KLIA where they offer free food and drinks and there is alot of who is who in three piece suits of the Arab world hanging around waiting for the connecting flight. Funny how there is hardly any young ones in this gathering and most here are pretty much ready for the pasture just like myself.The Sushi at the salad bar should have been in the garbage can two days ago sad to say but i ate it having taken it and most probably will be the downfall of my tummy. I was a little worried at the beginning about taking anything for fear that the coffee might cost like six Rm and the Sushi bad as it was might cast me my botttom dollar. So I SMS my son and he told me to go for the kill it is all free so long as I have my Emerates Voucher. WOW!! Lots of cheap wine and bad sushis! What could go wrong?

My nephew Naser or Jamal as i call him picked me up at the LCCT terminal where Air Asia dropped me off from Penang. The flight was delayed for one hour!! The cabin was beginning to feel like an oven and all those who did not recently had a shower was most uncomfortable. From the sound of the engine I thought we were never going to leave the ground, but thank God for good looking stewardesses in their tight and short red skirts walking up and down the aisle, they kept everyone except the crying infants occupied. This was my second flight experience with Air Asia and the first was my flight to Jogjyakarta. It was not the best of experiences as far as flights went either. But hey, you get what you pay, you pay peanuts dont expect the Emerates Lounge treatment!!

From the sound of it my son Naz has already lined up jobs for me in Dubai! It seems there is two possibilities of mural paintings that is being comissoned already, one to be done in a Villa while the other is for his friend's place. The Buddha might be leaving his mark in the Middle east after all! What kind of excitement lies ahead and to be with my son after all these years! 'The mixed up kid' is now a grown man and a pilot no less! I remember when he visited me in San francisco when i was working on the water front for H&H Ship Services sometime in 1990s. The two of us took a trip up in the Helicopter and flew over the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County, it was a flight I will never forget. My son sat in the front seat with the chopper pilot and when he returned to germany where he was living then he drew me the whole scene that he saw from the air. It was pretty impressive because he had named all the places in the Marin Headlands area including Green Gulch farm where I used to hang out with him. I remember too having my father and son talk on drugs when he was sixteen as demanded by his mother insisting that the school required it to be so! So I took my son to green Gulch where I asked my friend Peter to go for a drive into the fields in the old field pickup truck wirth my son stuck in between us in the front seat. When we got to our usuall corner of the field out of sight from curious eyes we lit up a joint. Peter took a few hits and passed it to me and I took a few and passed it to my son who by now was like a jack rabbit about to take off but too scared to make the move. 'No!, No Way Dad! he shouted and jumped out of the truck over me. I caught a hold of his Berlin American Highschool Jacket and and pulled him to me and told him that if he could say no to his Dad he can say no to anyone in his life with regards to drugs and that was the end of our discussion on drugs. Till this day I wondered if he ever told his Mom about it. My son went on to become the Batallion Commander of the ROTC for the Berlin American Highschool and won the first place for the Fancy Drill Competition which was held for the entire Western Sector of the US Arm Forces Highschools in Europe. I saw the video clip he made for me of his Group's performance and attended the Flag Presentation Ceremony when he had to relinquish his position to an incoming Batallion Commander when my son graduated from the Berlin American High School. I may have made errors in my life but somewhere sometime I must have done something good to be given such a gift.
And then there is Karim Bahari!! nOW THAT'S FOR ANOTHER DAY and another time!!

I praise the AlMighty for being generous in giving me three beautiful children, ( I still wish I know where the fourth is) and to the fact that eldest has turned out to fulfill a father's hope and dreams. Alhamdullilah!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Running around like a chicken without a head.

The past two weeks saw me travelling twice from the west coast all the way across to the east coast of the Malay Peninsular. First driving my sister and my son and then by bus all by myself to again pick up mysister and return her to the west coast. I stayed in Manjung, Perak with my sister who is house sitting for her daughter. It was rainning heavily when i left Manjung for Penang by bus today where i hope to book an airline ticket for KLIA where I am to catch a connecting flight to Dubai on the midnight of the 20th. My son has booked the flight for me however i have yet to receive the itinerary for my flight reservations and schedule in my email. Well, have to play it by ear I guese patience i am learning is indeed a virtue either that or give up your plans and grow rossele even if the guys you plan on working out with turn out to be opportunistic dicks.

My daughter is going to KL with her school for a gathering called 'Kami Anak Malaysia", what an irony! Here's someone who is not qualified to receive any form of response from the Malysian Government for her citizenship status and has to pay foreign student fees for her education in her own father's place of birth, 'Tanah tumpah darah ku", as the national anthem goes, is representing her school in a Spirit of Nationalism Campaign. She most probably like her dad would get the opportunity to shake the prime Minister's hand to give the irony an even finer twist.

My son did very poorly in his finals and has decided to retake some subjects having hopefully learned a little lesson about life and education. I do not believe in too much force when it comes to educating my kids as i have learned from my own experience growing up that often enough force has the tendency to backfire and oftentimes makes things alot worse than good.
It is best to let my son learn the lessons he need to learn on his own terms while I provide all the assistance a father could to make sure that his choices in life does not deviate too much from what is right and wrong. Children I believe has to be allowed to remain children untill such time that they can outgrow their childhood through whatever external or internal intervention or motivation but not through force or psychological manipulation of an adult. A father works hard so his children can remain as children for as long as possible this is the gift from father to his children and not trying very hard to force the kids into adulthood so as to break off from the sense of responsibility a father should have towards his children. Once a child becomes an adult then everything changes, my children becomes my close friendsm my trusted friends my soul mates. It makes no difference if they are doctors or lawyers or street sweepers, they will still remain my loved ones.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Kokeshi Dolls

The Penang State Muzium had an opening of the Japanese Kokeshi Dolls exhibition and I accompanied a member of the Muzium Gallery Tuanku Fauziah USM to the event as a photographer. I wanted to be there too because i have had some interest in the Kokeshi Dolls when I was living in Japan or perhaps as one of the Chinese Dailies photographers retorted to his collegue, simply 'Kepochi' or busybody in Hokien dialect, as I was in his way every now and then getting up close shots of the CM's wife. Perhaps i was, however i was the only Malay who cared enough to take interest in the affair other than the Muzium photographer, so much for sensitivity in a crosscultural environment which is suppose to promote such related activities.

The dolls were originally made for the farmer's children in the rural areas of the Tohoku region of Northern Japan and it later slowly evolved into a fine art. The show was inaugurated by the wife of the Chief Minister of Penang and also present were the Japanese Consulate General and the Director of the Japan Foundation. This was an added bonus for me as i had the opportunity to introduce myself to the Director and told him of my intention of publishing the Sendai Book which is in the process of making. He gave me his card and I gave him mine. However it is unfortunate that he will be leaving soon and be replaced by another but who knows what lay in store in the future as i have at least had my foot stepped into the doorway.
The collection of Kokeshi Dolls put on display were exquisite true to Japanese craftsmanship and aesthetic taste. I was surprised to discover that there were more styles and forms than I had seen before when I was in Japan and the information on these exhibits was very helpful in explaining all their historical as well as their socio- geographical origins.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Another three months for Karim to exist...

Yesterday took adrive with my son to get his visas chopped and signed at the Thai Malaysian Border. While driving i noticed that my car's engine was over heating at 100Km per hour and i had just paid 60RM to get it service the day before. Blame it on the economy? Blame it on my negligence? Blame it on the Chinese Mechanic who I took as a friend or perhaps blame it on God! Keeping the speed at 80 km an hour I managed to get to my destination while sweating because the aircon was not worth a f... either. Tried to get my son to read Harry Potter while all these was happening my effort to get him into the reading habit which I doubt will ever happen unless it is a trashy Japanese manga or some teenage magazine with lots of TNAs and Macho shitheads. But thats what being young is all about these days I guese, like lets pretend and make believe or lets deny that it is not happening or otherwise and in the meantime leave it up to the adults to solve the mysteries of life and living so long as I get my 85Rm jeans and my much needed sandals.

I do not envy the children of today especially those of teenage years for they have alot to deal with in terms of ensuring they future survival or what to look forward to except for the few whose parents have the means to ensure it for them. I do not envy them because they are inheriting what are leftovers from a voracious predescessor namely us their parents, not only are we gluttons in our habits but we are also destructive and wasteful by nature to the extend that we have to protect the prospect of their future against ourselves. I dont envy the fact they have little left to dream about and fewer mountains left to conquer other than the desires and wishes injected into them by their ever competitive parents demanding and insisting upon their so called success through the process that they themselves had gone through. Work hard Boy! You will find that you'll have a job like mine!.

So Karim can have his jeans and sandals and keep his dyed long hair if it suits him and sleep all he wants till his pecker drops, I am not going to be in his way so long as it is not endangering him healthwise or getting him into trouble with the law. I have every desire to see him successful too but hey, I have problems defining success these days myself! I always believe that my son will find whatever it is that is his calling and then he will discover his true nature and fight for its growth and development. Till then let Karim be Karim and let the Naz be the Naz and Marissa be Marissa. I love them all including the one that is now MIA in Switzerland somewhere if he is still reading my blogs. Sorry that i am no miracle worker to be able to conjure simple and pure happiness out of thin air for everyone but hey so long as I am alive I do my very best even if sometimes my very best is not good enough.

What happened at the border is another story! As we arrived there was a long line of vehicles waiting to get through, bummer! So I decided to play foul and entered a one way parking street to my left and snug the Kancil into the staff parking space. Walked with my son ionto the Immigration office and confronted the same gentleman we saw thelast time we were there and he informed us that we had to go all the way across to the Thai Border post and reenter with the Thai stamp of renetry on my son's pasport. I told him I had not brought with me my passport would it be a problem to escort him. Sure, but talk to the police gaurding the post there maybe you might get lucky! He said this with a sinical smile on his face like I am about to ask his permission to go for a joy ride at lake gardens. This is a Malay middle aged Muslim about to retire! I said Alhadulillah in my heart of hearts and walked away after he had stamped my son's passport. Now my son is officially in no man's land and he has to leave Malaysia and go across the border to Thailand and later return where he will be readmitted intot he country, this is the regulation said the man with a sinical smirk on his face.
My son looked at each other with forboding despair lets try what we did before dad my son suggested. Lets just walk across the street and take our chances, what is there to loose? So we did and no one stopped us till we got to the Immigration office. There was a line of vissitors waiting to enter Malaysia while two immigration officers processed their papers. I saw one of them stepped out of the booth and decided to catch him on return and ask him for help. Upon his return he caught sight of me and smiled extended his hand and greeted me like old friends and I did likewise. He started asking me what i am doing now as though we had known eachother for a long time and I played along soon everyone there was greeting me like I was one of them from the past and pretty soon my son got his three months stay. I thanked Allah silently in my heart and walked away not believing my luck! Don't ever doubt that small miracles do happen every now and then and it is just a matter of having faith of the possiblility and in the Creator who made it happen. My son was as surprised as i was and asked if i knew the immigration officer and I told him that I did not and the the officer saw what Allah wanted him to see and did what Allah wanted him to do so not to ask questions.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

And the journey just keep going...

Left for Terengganu yesterday and headed for the Kelantan Thai/Malaysian Border where we had hoped to get karim's Passport stamped at the Immigration post which would buy him three more months of legality in the eyes of the Malaysian Immigration Department. It has become yet another added pain in my life to have this to worry over. When we arrived in Pasir Mas near the Thai Border we found out that karim had left his pass port in Penang! So to make a long and aggravatingly painful story, we drove on to Kuala Terengganu and delivered my sister and her daughter's car at her home there and booked two tickets on the bus back to Penang which left about two hours after our arrival.
After a long and uncomfortable ride we arrived in the morning here and called my cousin to pick us up... what a pain!
Another round of testing Ya Allah?
I must abmit that my face has not really been rubbed into the dirt as just yet and that what You got in store for the likes of me much more than. Alhamdullilah!! You are the Tester.
And yes I have much more to be cleansed of than meets the eye, hence for every trial and tribulation you lay in my path I say thank You Lord, Alhamdullilah!!
There's pain in my chest now where there was none before and I am alot less energetic than normal and this too I thank You perhaps it is time for us to wrap up the show and move on to the bigger shows. Anytime now i am most greatful to end this so called life and return to You for better or for worse. I understand now and fully accept my faith and belief in You let this piece of garbage be my testimony to this fact, if given the choice i would leave this life anytime!
Thank You for having given me such vast amount of experiences and so many things to be proud of as accomplishments for the past sixty years and thank you for Being there in times and moments when I called out to You in the nadir of my life. I know and i felt Your answers often enough, Al;hamdullillah!! There were times when I least expected You stepped in and make things happen which or stopped them from happening for my benifit and in my younger days I used to take these things for granted but now being in the more matured stage in my life and being closer to the end I am more acutely aware of Your interventions for better or for worse as the cases might be.
Putting my faith totally in You was never easy and the need to find a scapegoat has often been a whole lot easier especially one that does not react with immediacy or too conspicuously. But now I realize with better understanding of how close You really are or how far You can be from me depending on my intentions and actions in this life, I pray that You will never leave me so far that You are beyond my reach. This may sound like a confession and it is, as a matter of fact this whole blog, Ramblings of the Cheeseburger Buddha is one long confession in the form of a diary cum psychoanalytical carthasis. Why not? After all how the hell do I try to make to make sense out of all the nonsensical episodes of my life? You only know how much blunders I have made in the past and am still making wevery step i take towards You, how do i justify myself for all these wrong turns and lost cases if i dont somehow keep track of myself in this manner. Screw if no one read this mind stuff but to me it is all a keeping of a record of my every move and my every thought and visions, it is my effort in getting to know who I am. As the nephew of the Prophet (PBUH), has said "He who knows himself, knows his Lord."The self is the most elusive entity to get a hold of as some else once said and 'nafs' is something more slippery than an eel for one like me who has most of his life been gambling with fate and destiny. Ever taking chances and making wrong choices just to test the outcome has always been my modus operandi which often has led to disasters and unwonted results.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Up In Flames

Mohd Kalam figuring out how they tried to fight the fire located on the twentieth floor of the building and every window had grills.

My cousin Norliah whose spirit is as large as she is and her patience and perseverence in facing the hard facts of her life has my utmost respect.

My cousin Norliah Yahaya ansd we call her Non is a single mother whose husband passed away sometime ago when her three kids were still ni primary schools. Now the kids all three have found jobs all over KL and Non lives in a low cost housing somewhere in Melawati area in KL. Two months ago she quit her job at a factory and decided to take it easy after havinf worked all these years raising her three kids on her own. Almost two months after, her rented apartment on the twentieth floor of a lowcost housing went up in smokes and almost 95 percent of her belongings with it. Fortunately no one was home and thus no casualties however the fire was caused by faulty switch board and the fire department took its time getting there and those that got there were from fire departmentslocated further away from the site than the one that was located closest to it. Investigations should be carried out on this incident as to why this occured by the KL Fire Department Fire chief if it meant any thing to him other tyhan bragging about getting new equipments and bonusses and raised standard of operations for the department as appeared in the Media not too long ago. But HEY! Malaysia Boleh!!
I was there with my cousin on the second day and visited the site taking as many pictures as i could not for anything in particular but just as a record for my blog, something to fall on to if there were enquiries made into how much damage was incurred. It was heart warming to see how the other friends, fellow office workers and relatives raly to the rescue of this surogate mother and her unfortunate younf children as most donated sums of money to make sure that the family does not recoil into despair over the tragedy. I could only offer words of positive support like, Allah this and Allah that, over the whole incident like they dont already know and I am some kind of imam, but I was there wholeheartedly in mind body and spirit. If I had money that would be the first thing that I would hand out but thank God I did not have a penny to my name and was awakened to the reality of life yet again over the fact that life is not all about money but about Love and Compassion too and these are gifts that are given in silence and with no fanfare.
It also taught me that alot worse can happen in my life than just being strapped financially, my health for one thing has been by Allah's Grace, in good shape although I am beginning to feel telltale signs of pains here and there that could mean something else much more serious building up for the grand finale. I am not going to worry too much over it and keep on my daily meditation and Yoga exercises and watch my diet a little more closely on top of slowing down or even quit smoking totally. I still have my children to be proud of especially the pilot who has been concientious in keeping tabs over what is going on with his dad the best he could. My two sisters are no strangers when it comes to lending a hand when I desperately needs it and so by and large i have alot to be thankful for.
After two days in KL I drove my sister who had just returned from Kuwait back to Manjung, Perak in her daughter's car. Her daughter and husband had been relocated to Kuwait due to work and had left the car and their house in Manjung in my sister's care. My sister saw it wise to have me accompany her as she is all alone in a big house and I am without a home! Allah works in mysterious ways?
Stayed in Manjung for two days and later left for Taiping where we atayed at on of my sister's old friends a Matron and her husband who was a close friend of mine in our younger days in Kuala Brang, Ulu Terengganu. Jamal was and is still a very active man in sports and living in general. Very highly disciplined by the looks at how he had kept himself and his home after all these years. Never misses to ride his mountain bike every morning as an exersise and cooks and takes care of the house like a five star homestay hotel, he is over seventy.
We left for Penang the next morning and arrived at Sungai Pinang for lunch. I started my chore of moving out of where I was living and my son Karim helped having returned from KL after spending two months there getting to know the adult world and himself in relation to it. He had returned with my cousin Mohd Kalam with whom I had gone to KL in the first place.