When they are not in laksa or assam pedas

I always use “Bunga Kantan” to make laksa. Some other ladies use it to make asssam pedas. The Thais use it to make offerings in the temple for their prayers to be accepted. But what I didn’t know, and only recently realised, that when they bloom, they are oh so beautiful.

Shots are taken just before maghrib, at D’s place at Mutiara Damansara. I think they are gorgeous. The flowers, I mean… not my shots. Heh. (Takut termasuk bakul angkat sendiri… 😛 )

Raw and unedited

These were what I was actually capturing on Sunday morning, when I got distracted by the copulating frogs…

Very early in the morning, it started with this…

Slowly, as the day went by, it opened up…gently but surely under the morning sun.

Final glory… OH GLORY BE TO HIM!!!


Making du’a

Kiambang… somehow, the mention of the word kiambang reminds me of P.Ramlee’s movie Anakku Sazali where they sang.. Tanya sama pokok apa sebab goyang.. nanti jawab pokok.. angin yang goncang… heh

The white princess’ turn

Pure and delicate




Sunday mate

I am not proud to say that I spent my Sunday morning spying on the copulating activities of a couple. But that’s what I did anyway, all for the sake of science. When one is an educator like myself, we can never resist collecting teaching materials as and when the opportunity arises. So, meet Mr and Mrs Frog!

Guess, which is Mr Frog and which is Mrs Frog?

Mr Frog looks kinda… err ..nevermind!The egg casing which will later release tadpoles

ANOTHER Mrs Frog who had in a low palm tree. Her Mr Frog jumped off before it was done and left her alone here to settle her mess! (How typical, no? :P)Preparing to leaver her ‘nestling’ till it releases her tadpoles later

Like I said, all for science, ok?

Lam Peng Kwan would be so proud of me.

Canoeing on troubled waters

Just a couple of hours ago, we came back from our date night, watching –well, Date Night. It was hilarious and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. I thought Tina Fey was awesome and we could identify with some issues raised in the movie.

It was a great night.  When we were driving back, I couldn’t help but silently pray that this happiness would last and that even though we would not be deliriously happy all the time, that this stability and happy marriage that we have would last till, well– death do us part. Why the sudden urgency for this prayer of hope and thankfulness?

Well, an hour before we left for the cinema, I got a msg from a very dear old friend, one whom I knew since I was having ponytails and babyfats still intact– that his marriage has fallen apart and they are currently going through divorce proceedings. They have a kid, barely 3 years old. This came as a shock to me as I didn’t see it coming. The last I saw them together on a trip back home, they were a picture of a perfect small family, financially stable and both of them being very educated people.

Prior to this, another good friend’s marriage ended slightly just before Eid last year. That one made me sad because it took so long for him to finally find his Miss Right and finally he got married at the 2nd half of his 30s. I remembered his radiance at this wedding and how he beamed gleefully when we congratulated him at the dias, jesting– FINALLY!

Currently  in between breaks of editing my work, I suddenly began counting, amongst my personal friends, around 5 of them had gotten divorced before their 7th year of marriage, most of them with at last a kid. While about 4 others are having troubled marriages.

The highest divorce rates back in my hometown belonged to the Malays. In the past, this was said to be caused by lack of education, low family income (hence they always fight about money), lack of religious knowledge , lack of.. well any other thing. It seems that the lack of something, more often material was what attributed to the crumbling marriages of the Malay community in that tiny island of ours.

But then again, as I am typing this, my friends whom I mentioned above are educated, with both husbands and wives with at least a general degree, some even with Masters in hand already, high-flying careers in their resumes– so it is very unlike they lack money and fight often about it, and they definitely do not lack basic religious knowledge by the amount of community work they do for the people of the same faith there and the classes they attend. So then again, why?

My father once made a statement… “Budak-budak sekarang, kawin main-main… for my generation, we stick through thick and thin together. Sekarang, tak suka, just walk out!”

I dare not agree or disagree with him, because I am pretty sure that whatever the reasons may be for the crumbling marriages of my friends, and the many other marriages these days, they must be valid enough for two people whom once upon a time love each other to walk out of each other, kids notwithstanding.

Whatever reasons they may have, I just pray that those reason won’t be applicable to my own marriage, and that my friends, who are going through some painful episodes in their lives right now would see the light at the end of the tunnel.

My most ardent prayers are for their children, actually. When I was teaching English in the school back then, I got my students to write daily journals of their feelings and experiences. The journals of kids from broken marriages were the most painful to read. My own husband came from a broken family. And I see the impact of it in him, although now as an adult, he has mellowed down by a lot.

Through these kids whom I taught and also my own experiences with my husband (and in-laws), I finally understood why in my faith, although divorce is allowed, it is the thing most hated by HIM.

In ward

The long and short of it, Tito had birth complications last Sunday where her uterus ‘terburai‘ after her last push for the 3rd kitten. And yes, yours truly was again, the midwife who went through it with her all night long. I should get a certificate of feline midwifery already, no?

We rushed her to the pet hospital where the vet looked in disbelief on how her uterus could have been pushed out like that. Monday was her major operation, unfortunately the uterus couldn’t be put back in, so they removed her whole womb. Excessive lost of blood prior to and during the ops made her need blood transfusion which was done on Tuesday.

Yesterday when I visited her at the hospital, she has stabilized, has begun eating and nursing her kittens despite still hurting and high on antibiotics and painkillers. When I walked into the ward, she gave a loud meowwww that made both myself and the (very awesome) vet laugh. She is on the road to recovery, we hope.

Tito’s hospital ‘bed’.. she’s still on drips and I think that is for monitoring blood pressure…

When I called out to her… she responded with a loud meowww… perhaps trying to tell me hospital food is blergh and she wants to go home…

On drips. She’s very well-behaved. Not once she tried to tear this away from her leg…

Looking at her surgical scarLooking utterly bored…

This whole incident costs us perhaps an equivalent of a  trip to Jakarta/Chiangmai (airfares+food+acccomodation). But we reminded ourselves that HE has promised that if we take care of HIS creations, HE will take care of us. So these are all, as they say, our ‘saham akhirat’.


Twilight days

I feel a bit sentimental when I saw this pic of my nyai (grandmother) taken in Makkah for her 2nd Hajj more than a decade ago.

Because now, she is frail and wrinkly and old and can’t really walk without assistance. She can hardly remember who is who and she speaks and asks about the same thing over and over again. This very person who once raised 12 out of her 13 children without a flinch (and without a maid, if I may add).

She is my icon of isteri mithali and ibu teladan. She is also my reminder. That no matter how strong and unbreakable the youthful years have made us to be, we will one day just wilt and wait for our time, like this awesome person I adore.