Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Merdeka @ 53 years...

Happy Merdeka Day to all. May we continue to enjoy peace and prosperity...

Have a nice day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The mind of a child...

Well folks like grandpa, one of my grandson is a blogger too. He is just eight years old, the youngest in the family. A few days ago he was happily telling me of his new posting [August 25 and 26, 2010], which he say is much longer than before. I went over to his blog and have a look and found it to be a brilliant piece of writing for his age. Here it is and I believe you too would enjoy his narration of his thoughts.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gifts from the hearts...

Above is the Birthday Card created for my seventy one birthday. The five grand kids put their heads together and came out with such a unique birthday card, that one could never get at the store. An original card, a creative work by these kids and they did it with loves. I am indeed glad that these wonderful kids are our own.

The Birthday cake, two small one is special too; one with seven candles and the other with just one, making Seventy One. How creative! Instead of putting all the seventy one candles all over the cakes which might look messy, they had two cakes for that and only eight candles. Nice...

It was such a wonderful moment in my life. Grandma and the kids were there too, enjoying another great moment of our lives. I was delighted to get such gifts and from the look of it the kids and grand kids were delighted too. A joyous moment indeed.

Have a nice day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A beautiful week a beautiful life...

It is the weekend again folks and it has been more than a week of Ramadan, the month Muslim fast during the day. The weather has been helpful in that it rain off and on and kept the temperature down. As usual during this month, the Ramadan Market has sprung up everywhere like mushroom after a rainy night, where one could get varieties of foods and drinks for the Buka Puasa [Iftar]. Personally I do not subscribe to this festival of food during the Ramadan. For me one should not be talking about eating especially been tempted to buy foods when one is hungry. So I do not go to these markets except when I do really need to buy some small items for the Iftar. Otherwise our family break the fast in our own simple way; just by consuming ordinary food like we do everyday of our lives, except that during the Ramadan we often eat much less.

To me fasting during the month Ramadan is a state of mind. It is not about not eating or drinking during the day. It is about self discipline of oneself in going through a changing ritual of living style. That first drink and that first mouthful of food at Iftar made you appreciate more than ever the true meaning of having a drink and eating. Every Iftar became a joyous moment indeed. At the same time enjoying the change in our eating habit; instead of eating during the day, we now enjoy our food during the night. In a way it is good for the physical body; our system get to rest during the day for one month. A sort of a detoxification of the system; preparing to go on working again doing the normal ritual for the next eleven months. Fasting is also an excise of the spiritual side of our being. It is the combination of both the physical and spiritual aspect of our being that fasting could be carried out with ease, every time. The experience of Ramadan would made oneself appreciate living more than ever. Life is indeed beautiful.

About is a scene in our litter garden; a beauty by itself, enhancing our quality of living. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My 71st Birthday...

Well, I am Seventy one years old today August 17, 2010, so Happy Birthday to me.

I am as healthy as ever and enjoying life in my golden years surrounded by my loved one, as well as relatives and friends from near and afar.

May we continue to prosper and enjoy life.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Air Batu @ Buka Puasa..

It was the writing of fellow Blogger Temuk that triggers my thought to write on this subject. First let me explain the title; in English it would be "Ice @ Iftar during Ramadan".

In the Tropic there is no such thing as a natural ice thus there is no such word in Malay which mean Ice. So when ice was introduced during the colonial era, it was translated as Air Batu which translated as Air [water] and Batu [stone] so it is Water Stone or Stone Water. Thus in Malay Air Batu mean Ice.

In the forties before the coming of electricity and running water folks in the Kampong [village] break their fast during the month of Ramadan by just drinking plain water to go with their food. Ice water was never in their menu until traders in the town start selling ice water. Ice water is where ice cube or broken pieces of ice are place in a glass and plain water is added to it which later became known as Air Batu Kosong or Ice Kosong. So if you happens to be eating at a stall and need to have a plain water with ice, just ask for Ice Kosong and you would get just plain water with ice in it. As years goes by folks in the village soon learn to use ice in the plain water or syrup water and there is where the Air Batu came along and eventually added as a menu at the Buka Puasa. In those days ice is sold in block and for the takeaway it is usually in the size of 1'X 6" X 6”.

It was common for boys to cycle to the town to buy the ice block before the time of breaking of the fast [Buka Puasa]. In our family I would be the one who would cycle and buy the ice block. At the town I would wait as the china man saw the ice block, dump it into a sawdust box and then rap it with old newspaper and tie it with a string. I bought two blocks and tie it to the rack at the back of my bicycle and ride home happy. It was a four-kilometer’s ride and along the way the ice would slowly melted in the tropical heat and drip alongside. By the time I get home one fourth of the ice block would be gone by the melting process. It would be more had I stop to chat with friends along the way. Anyway folks at home would be happy to see me coming back with the two block of ice. My mom would take over the ice and we all wait for the time to Buka Puasa. The first taste of that sweet rose syrup with the ice floating in it made the daily eight kilometer rides worth the while. It does quench your thirst. It is a ritual during Ramadan that I still vividly remember till this day; buying the Air Batu.

Nowadays folks it is a different story altogether, you just walk to the refrigerator and Voila! you would get your glass of cool Air Batu.

On the left is the scene of the happening as sketch by the famous Malaysian cartoonist Lat. The image was taken from Lat's book 'Lots of Lat'

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Of the Pencil and Knowledge...

The Pencil is one of the most versatile writing tools ever invented. No matter how advance our writing tools have progressed, the humble pencil is still in use till these days.

When I first start going to school in 1946, just after the war, there was no pencil around and for writing we were given a Slate and a Slate writer. These are the only tools that we kids had when learning of how to write. Using the Slate writer we would write on the Slate and then we would erase it with a damn cloth or just by using our finger. It was only some years later that our generation of school children were introduced to the pencil, which made it easy to write on paper in the form of book. And till these days I would still use the pencil from time to time to write on paper. Amazing that after all the years and the new inventions of writing tools, like the fountain pen, the ball pen and other tools we still have not let go of the pencil.

It is a simple writing tool and yet it is through using this tool that we had managed to acquire knowledge. From learning to write the first means of calculation to writing words that translate our thoughts into writing, which made it possible for others to read our thoughts. Eventually books are written and printed that could be read by others and preserved as record of our civilization. It all started with this humble and simple tool we call Pencil. Above is an image of pencils taken using the Macro lens.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Green...

Green is one of my favorite colors. It is the color of freshness and to me soothing to the eyes. About is a closeup image of a plant that grows well, floating on the water in a shallow pot in my little garden. Enjoy it and do have a nice day.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Of Bicycling @ Blogger Zaharan Razak...

Now folks this is no ordinary story. It is a story of Adventure, of Endurance and Challenges. When I was just a boy still in school I love adventure. In search of that a few friends and I who are members of the Kuantan Boy Scout troop would go on an Expedition of sort almost every weekend and during school holidays. We call this an expedition because we are actually going on an adventure to the unknown territories. Like hiking along the stretch of the beaches near Kuantan and cycling from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur that no one had ever thought of before. We did it and enjoy. It was hard; it was fun and most of all it was an adventure that we never forget. The endurance and challenges that we went through on such adventure taught us many aspects of leadership, which later on in life proved to be very useful indeed. Especially useful in diligently carrying out our official duty in administration or business, as well in managing the family lives.

In this posting I want to highlight a friend Blogger Zaharan Razak, a retired teacher of journalism in one of our university, who was once a journalist. At 64 years he says he is still young and I do agree with that statement for I am much older than him. Sometimes ago he relates to me that he wanted to go on an adventure by bicycle to China and ask me to come along. Had I been younger I would have gone and join him on this adventure of a lifetime. He insisted that I should come along and even willing to give me a handicap from time to time along the route. Like allowing me to take the bus or other mode of transports if ever I felt like not cycling along with him. Anyway I told him thanks and hope that he would be actually make the trip. He even plan to take a dog along to accompany him on the travel but Pat, another Blogger friend and I advise him to think seriously about the implication of taking along this man's best friend. For there are regulations when animal is brought along to another country and crossing boarders which may hinder his cycling schedules. He eventually drops the idea and now he is going alone on this cycling adventure come this September, 15 2010.

This is not the first time he has done cycling adventure. In the past he has cover many places in the Asean region. With the experiences and the training he has had I believe he would go through this adventure with flying color. So come this September 15, 2010 he would fly to Taiwan and starting from there he would cycle to Mainland China then to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand and back to Malaysia. When he completed that journey he would have had cycled for four thousand five hundred kilometers. That folks would be a great achievement for a cyclist of his age. Perhaps would be an envy of many in the golden age and a shame to the youth. Like my motto, there is nothing impossible to a willing mind, I know his mind is willing and his body is as healthy and fit as ever. The image on the left shows how healthy this man of sixty four years old is.

As usual on such an expedition he would love to meet like-minded folks in those countries where he would be traveling. So to those who read this do spare some of your times to meet this Blogger friend of mine Zaharan for a friendly chat. BTW he is on Facebook too. Have a nice day.