Milo:In Loving Memory

It’s the last day of January today, what would be the last day of a very eventful first chapter of 2011. Nevertheless, January 2011 won’t just go into our family book as the year my sister got married, it was also the year when we lost someone really, really dear to us forever, in a very heart-wrenching way.

Early morning of 27th January 2011, I logged out after writing my last post below. I did actually doze off for a while until we both were suddenly awakened by really deafening loud howling and simultaneously, all the neighbours’ dogs started to bark really, really loudly. The husband jumped out of bed and ran out of the house and to the front gate. Soon he ran back in and grabbed our katana (a wooden sword we use for training) and ran out again. I watch from the window but I couldn’t really see what was going on. Soon, I heard water being splashed and sprayed hard and I saw the figure of 4 large dogs, running away while howling, and the rest of the neighbourhood dogs barking along.

The husband came back in and said just one sentence, which crumbled my world there and then. “Milo is dead” he said, before hurrying off again with a towel and old newspapers. It was a full minute later that it sank into me. That Milo was attacked by those 4 wild dogs I saw running away from the front of our house and he was killed in the process. I looked at the clock. It was 3.10 am. The attack must have happened around 3 am when we were woken up by the howlings. Suddenly, I heard myself bawling. No. I was wailing. Milo dead? My Milo? Our dearest, dearest Milo is no longer with us?

By 3.30am, Milo was safely buried in our garden. The last memory I had of him was that I gave him a bowl of milk which he lapped hungrily. I then patted him and said ‘I love you Milo’ as with any other nights before I go to bed. That was the last contact I had with him. The rest will just remain as wonderful memories.

In Loving Memory

When Harry meets Stegosaurus

Ok I’m back. Barely 2 minutes after I published the previous entry. Because I am still wide awake.

The day before yesterday, ‘Harry’Lee rocked the boat with his comments about the Muslims of my native land not to be able to integrate into the society at large, and that they (the Muslims) should become less Muslim or practice a less strict Islam in order to be part of the society.

All this came from a man who set up SAP schools purely for the Chinese, extensively ran the ‘Speak Mandarin Campaign’ for years and keep the statistics of minorities at bay by importing planes of people from the mainland when the Singaporean Chinese are not really keen on procreating due to the rising costs. He doesn’t really mind if these imports can’t speak English even when they are working in the service industry. Nor does he mind if they can integrate into the society due to language barriers. He brings in ‘Study Mamas’ using taxpayers money, who are Singaporeans and not all Chinese. And these ‘Study Mamas’ and their children are all from the mainland China. And of course, many other things.

His comments rubbed many in the wrong way, myself included because it borders between baseless insult and low class display of political vindictiveness. I got too upset but after a while, I cooled down, because I have a dementia-stricken grandmother, and she talks a lot of nonsense these days. Harry doesn’t seem to be much different, only that the has not been diagnosed with dementia like my grandmother. Hence all I can say is that I hope Harry enjoys his stay in Jurassic Park as his views are too obsolete for the the modern world controlled by globalisation. And where purists like him are only good in the milk manufacturing industry.

A union to be remembered

I have inevitably turned into a lazy blogger, which in my defense I have to mention that I’m hard pressed for time these days. Too many good things are happening and the first 3 weeks of the new year had been too eventful for me to be sitting behind the computer, doing something as arcane as blogging. But of course, I will eat up my own words now and blog because I can’t sleep and I am trying not to raid the fridge ala Nigella.

I watched my sister became a wife one Saturday, and on my mother’s birthday the next day, we had a simple yet cosy reception to celebrate her marriage to someone 1) balding/bald like my own husband 2) an engineer like my own husband 3) a virgo like my own husband 4) eldest born like my own husband 5) born in September like my husband. I am the last person on earth she would want to emulate so let’s just say all of it are coincidences. Hence my parents have 2 bald/balding virgo-an September born eldest sons engineers as their sons-in-laws.

Call me a terrible sister for I readily admit that I am beyond doubt, one–but of all the aspects of the pink and purple garden themed wedding that I can remember is the fact that omg, the food were gobsmack good like no other. The cheese brownie sent to the house after the nikah ceremony was oh-sooo-yummey, Fazana catering, who also did the catering for my wedding did the bubur som-som to perfection and all the other dishes are what I would describe as ‘divine addiction’. I had 2 rounds of main course at the buffet mind you, and 3 rounds of desserts. You see, during my own wedding, I was a stupid bride. I acted shy and coy in my kebaya, in front of the cameramen and of course my newly minted husband. And ONLY took small bites of the Fazana Catering spread and I spend years after that reeling from regret.

See. When I talk about food, I get carried away. Where was I? Ah yes, my sister’s wedding. Overall, I am overjoyed that she got herself a good man, whose family lives 4 bus-stops away from my parents so they will not ‘leave the nest’ it seems. To celebrate this union, my mother and I ‘glamorised’, with fake eyelashes and glam make-up by the make-up artist no less. And 4 outfit changes for mum and 3 for myself. Who got married, the line was blurred because the bride is a simple person who prefers simple things but my mother and I are wedding loving people so we didn’t really care if we went over the top. :p

At Parkway Parade Borders on the eve of the wedding, I got myself the copy of Commitment by Elizabeth Gilbert from the Eat Pray Love fame. Previously, I had shamelessly been reading pages after pages of the book for free at Borders The Curve and on the 2nd chapter, I decided that shamelessness has to stop so there, I got my own copy. In it, Liz tried her best to make sense of this whole business of marriage, in her own quest to make her 2nd to be marriage to her Brazillian lover Felipe work. I had been hesitant about buying the book in the first place (hence reading it for free initially) because 1) I find Liz jugdmental 2) She blows things out of proportion aka makes much ado about nothing 3) Too much rationalisation of her action to make whatever she does acceptable when she can’t seem to be the one to accept 4) ‘menyenyeh’ — like for one point that she tries to make, she beats ten bushes with research findings and if that is not menyeyeh, I don’t know what is.

It all seems to be a good enough reason not to read or even buy the book, although I enjoyed her travelogue Eat Pray Love tremendously (take note Commitment is not a travelogue, but more of a lump of her research findings to support why she should marry Felipe and her issues with the marriage institution). But I bought anyway because separating Liz Gilbert from her issues about marriage, the book actually gave many delicious research nuggets about the history and statistics of marriage (even that of seagulls–I learnt that seagulls has 25% divorce rate, which Singapore is catching up with, but I digress) without me having to read an academic thesis.

A marriage is complex, (probably not as complex as Liz Gilbert made it to be) but I do pray that my sister and her husband find the joys of it just like we did and as cliche as it may sound, till death do them part.

And if there are any other upcoming weddings in which Fazana Catering will be working at, can you kindly invite me? Please? heh

Strike 1

1.5 weeks into the new year and I managed to cross out one of my goals. I passed my 5th kyu grading exams with flying colours. To the point, head SenseiHakim, who was the judge, described my performance as outstanding.

Being the slowest and tail end student in the class, it took me 3 years to actually qualify for my 5th Kyu exam, which is the second most basic stage in aikido.

On the day of the exam, I was reading ayatul kursyi all the way from home to BukitJelutong in ShahAlam, which was the exam venue. The whole procedure of having a crowd watching me go up there and ‘fight’, plus the two senpais whose blood I’ve sucked dry while they were teaching the ‘difficult to focus’ me, plus the head sensei of the aikido school I’m studying in–were all too overwhelming.

I was like Sudin when he had to go for his audition at the Jln Ampas studio, under the watchful eyes of director Ahmad Nisfu and manager Kemat Hassan. I was afraid that I would eventually turn out like Sudin, –“Ko tau tak sudah berapa kali aku sudah terkucil?!” But alas… I didn’t. The ayatul kursyi worked wonders. I was calm when I went into the mat, heard my name called for the ‘rei’ to Sensei before exam began. I felt so relaxed, probably because I blocked out all the image of the audience outside the mats, I blocked out the fact that head Sensei was staring at me executing my moves, I blocked out everything and simply focused on the attacks from my sparring partner.

The next thing I knew, exam was over and I was called to the final bow. It felt like I was just awakened from an eventful dream.

In a flash…

A place that habours some of the best memories for me in the last decade is submerged under water, taking 10 human lives with it and several others missing. The first bad news I have in this 2011. I just pray that the people there who means so much to me are safe.

This city is up the hill. 700m above sea level. And it got flooded. Probably, we do need a Noah’s Ark after all…


Vintage deal

A vintage orange Volvo was put on sale outside Chawan cafe in Bangsar. Everything is intact. Full leather seats. Perfect engine et al. The price was Rm 8500.

What do you think happened next? 😛

Hear no evil

Last night we were training along with several other aikidokas from the other dojos. Training itself was intense and serious as they were coming to learn from what our Sensei from Jakarta had to share. And moreover, it was a martial dojo (in opposed to a training dojo) in which all budokas are trained to kill or be killed for honour. Yes, it sound all so masochistic, even to me who were in there with men who want to be samurais. But men are men in flesh and blood and when putting that in perspective, biology takes precedence over masochism. During the final ‘seza’, where we sat in one straight row listening to Sensei’s last advice before training ended, we all heard a loud ‘ppproottttttt’.

So. Samurais wannabes do fart. And when they do, they seem to be able to control their faces tight and taut as thought nothing happened. But alas, the not so samurai me couldn’t stop myself from being kaypoh. I stole glances, sideways to the left and then sideways to the right and immediately knew who did it.

Jln Surabaya, Menteng…

I spent the new year’s holiday along the streets of Jakarta in which I saw the dirt poor and the filthy rich side by side. I asked myself where is justice in this world when this is allowed to happen.

I walked on and I saw the the smiles and laughters of the seemingly poor people on the streets, their children’s playing gleefully in the puddle by the roadside after the storm and the simplicity of their lives. I also heard the complains of the stresses of the rich who are controlled by their wealth in manners we common people can only imagine. And then, that was when it daunted upon me, that justice, in accordance to HIM is more than what meets my eyes.


I just sms to say…

I don’t come from a family culture like my husband’s, where him and his mother and his brother openly hug  and say ‘I love you”. Come to think about it, I don’t think all through the years of my life, have I ever said it to my own mother directly. Even hugging her sometimes feels awkward.

But since it is the new Gregorian year and all, I decided that I would do away with all the lofty ideals of resolutions which I cannot keep, year after year. This time round, I decided to make just one effort and to keep it consistent. I decided to ensure, if possible, on a daily basis to let my immediate family know how much I love them and appreciate their presence in my life. It sounds easy, but it is not. At least it is not for me. What seems like something natural for people like my own husband, is in fact quite a gargantuan awkward task for me because I was so not brought up to show PDA (public-display of emotions) where family members are concerned. We show it by showing concern about each other’s lives or by buying them things or by being there, but not by saying it out loud directly to the person.

This morning, I sms-ed my mother a happy new year message and thanked her for bringing me up and I ended the sms with “I love You”. I know I should have called, but I don’t have the guts to be mushy over the phone–yet. And then I sent a separate message to my father and my sister, a personalized message each btw and also ended it with letting them know how much I love them.

Within minutes, I got two replies. My mother replied with “Have a safe trip to Jakarta and I love you too!” and my father replied with ” I miss you…”. That wasn’t so bad wasn’t it? 🙂

For my sister, I didn’t get any reply from her at this point. She’d probably be rolling her eyes with ‘she must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed’ or her signature ‘whatever’. But hey, at least I tried.