Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mom's missing Mimi

As usual I woke as early as 6.00 am this morning. Ky was quite awake and she told me that she miss little Mimi. In fact last night she was telling me about her missing her only daughter. Yesterday Angah & Ky, drove Mimi & her cousin, Ika to a school holiday camp in Bangi.

Mimi was sent to the school holiday camp cum Kem Ibadah after Ika induced her to go together with her. If she didn't go, Ika would probably won't go either. But the first question she ask was "Mimi kena pakai tudung ke?" "Habis tu dah kem ibadah, mesti lah kena pakai tudung!" was her mom's answer.

This is the first time Mimi attending a camp. Ky has every reason to be worried about her. When she sent the two girls there, the place called something like "Teratak Dugang Resort" was in middle on nowhere. Surrounded by jungle and the place as she puts it "macam kena tinggal je".

What worry her most is whose going to handle her. Her clothing, where she sleeps, what she eats, etc. etc. Being a mother I guess she has all those concerns. But I told her that "Don't worry, Mimi will survive!". Well she has once stayed with her cousins about a week during last holidays and she was fine. She had followed her Abang Joey & Kak Nina to Melaka to accompanied little Rayyan... and she was fine. What can I say?

But again, her mother's maternal emotional feeling is unbearable. Anyway the camp is only for two and half days. By Wednesday, she will fetch Mimi & Ika.

So we'll wait what Mimi has to say about her camping trip. But I know, my little daughter will survive.

Mimi 10th & Rayyan 2nd Birthday at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa

Mimi has been pestering her mother & me for weeks to have her birthday in Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. In fact last week both of them went to survey the place. They have planned everything including the cakes, the invitation and the games.

So last Sunday 27 May 2007, we headed for Titiwangsa for that event. We drove in two cars as we have to ferry out everything there. We parked our cars next to Nelayan Restaurant and carried our things to the venue. It was next to a small lake with picnic benches and a "wakaf". Just nice for the event.

By 10.15 am people start arriving. Jah, Hindun & Yani were first to arrived and they came with some foods and games items. Then Uncle Joe & family arrived soon after that. Ina & Nazmi & family arrived shortly later followed by Jeman & family. By 10.30 am many had arrived mostly in "RED" theme colour. I reckon there were about 60 of us altogether.

Food were plenty as every brought something to eat. Minah's nasi lemak was good. Bibik's meehoon goreng was good too. Sandwiches : eggs, sardine and tuna; were plenty. Fried chicken, nuggets, sausages, brownies, fruits and many more were served.

Joey brought a nice beautiful birthday cake for Mimi & Rayyan. It was nicely decorated : halved for Rayyan (blue icing with small car) and another half for Mimi (green icing and pink decorated flowers & mini butterflies).

Soon after that, we gathered everybody for the cake cutting ceremony. Rayyan doesn't look so happy cos he just woke up. His Atok had to carry him to have his photos taken with the rest.

After the cake cutting, it was time for the children's game. Ijah, Ky and Bi organised the games which includes passing rubber band using straw, running with legs tied to each other, squashing wet sponged into a bottle and many more. It was fun and hillarious to see these kids palying the games.

The sun was getting hotter by noon. Food was still a plenty to be eaten. By 1.00 pm, we started to pack up.

Mimi got lots of birthday presents. I guess she has accomplished her mission for having everybody celebrating her birthday in a park, playing games with her and getting lots of presents from her uncles, aunties, cousins, nieces & nephews.

Happy Birthday my baby Mimi! Ayah will always love you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Al Fatihah to Amir Shaarani

Got an sms from my best friend on 17 May 2007. It reads: "Amir Shaarani have just passed away... please recite al-fatehah for him ... amin"

It was 16.39 pm when I received the sad news. I immediately called my friend and start asking him about Amir's passing. He was at his site-office he said (meaning his cattle ranch lah). He too just got the sms from Amir's hp. He tried to called the no. but can't get thru. He assumed that the person who uses Amir's hp must be busy smsing everybody in the phone list.

I knew Amir Shaarani when we both worked in Malayan Banking (now they called it Maybank) way back in 1981. I was a trainee officer at that time and Amir was the operation clerk. He was such a nice guy who used to teach me and my friend about all the banking operations as he was well versed about it. We as new training officers were assigned to Amir to learn everything. As Amir is a friendly and "tak kisah" kind of guy, he will teach us how to become a teller, how to consolidate the cheques, how to do the balancing, etc. He's such a pro at that. Amir Eventually became a bank officer himself, after getting a Diploma in Banking from ITM - he took evening classes at ITM Jalan Othman, PJ.

Beyond the banking hours, Amir used to accompany us around. Well, us being bachelor at 21 and him a few years older, KL used to be our playground. We would be heading for shopping complexes after work or even went for discos (hey those were the days ok!) in the weekends. I used to bunk over at his house during weekends. We have such a great time together.

However, when I left Maybank in 1982 to further my studies to the US, we didn't contact much with each other. When I came back in 1986 after graduated with MBA, we did contact a few times.

After many years of not knowing where he was and only heard some news of his whereabout, I suddenly got a call from my best friend. That was a couple of months back this year. My best friend told me that Amir was hospitalised in HUKM. I could not see him then as I was immersed with lots of meetings and works. But I did called him and he was surprise to get my call. However we did't talked much as he has some visitors then.

Eventually I made a point to visit him a day before he was discharged from HUKM. My best friend and I went to see him during my lunch break. Amir was lying on his bed.

Amir was surprise to see my friend & I. Imagine that was the first time for me meeting him after more tan 15 years. He was so frail and thin. He told me that he initially had pain in his lower spine. He has been feeling the pain for sometimes. However a few months back when he was in Kuala Terengganu the pain was unbearable and he went to see a doctor. To cut story short, he went to HUKM and the doctor found out that he has cancer of some kind.

Test were taken and he was given some kind of medication. The doctors even told him that the cancer is nothing to worry about and can be eradicated. Well that was what the doctor told him.

I told Amir how my wife have gone through the same predicament and advise him to take care of himself. Although he doesn't look that well, I didn't think he would pass off so fast. Amir told us that he now try his best to do good deed (as if he knows the time has come). He has come to a term that at his age, he now focus for betterment his life and forget the past.

My friend and I left Amir, in his hospital bed about an hour later and I told Amir to keep contacting us as we have not seen each other for more than 15 years. We left the hospital but we keep talking about Amir.

Last Thursday when I got the sms from my friend, I was taken aback. I didn't know that Amir has passed away so fast. He was such a great friend to us. He was our trainer in the bank, our companion to where ever we went, a friends to laughover with and the problem solver when we hit some problems. He was such a hillarious person full of fun and laughters.

Now that Amir has gone, I will always remember the good time we had together. May Allah blessed his soul and place him in amongst the best place in heaven. Amin.

Monday, May 21, 2007

May 2007 Weekend Leadership Seminar

"You got to attend every Weekend Leadership Seminar if you want to survive in this business". Well that was what the leadership in the business said. "It's like a car need some petrol for you to move one!" They were right. That's why Ky and I never failed to attend this major function held every quarterly.

So we attended this May 2007 Weekend Leadership Seminar in Menara PGRM, Cheras. In fact we have bought these tickets 3 months back in February 2007. The guest speaker is Diamond Direct Pat MacDonald from Edmonton, Canada. A very choleric but hilarious speaker. He is one of the best speaker in the N21 circle.

His story started on his encounter in the business 28 years ago. Like everyone, he was very negative about it but circumstance changed him. Now he has businesses all over the world and now reaping his fruit of labour for more than 20 years now. It's all about TIME, MONEY and FAMILY. No doubt we will need the all 3 when the time comes. Believe me, we will need all these 3 sometime in our life.

Besides Pat MacD, there were several other speakers: Founders Emerald Direct Stephen Chin, Diamond Direct Fathiah, Exec Diamond Direct Simon Thompson.

Stephen, who did the opening act, spoke why should we choose this business. As an Editor of the Investment Magazine, he has the authority to speak on this matter. He mentioned about where should one invest their money. If there's no money to invest, the next best thing is investing our time. That's where networking comes in. He also compared this Networking business with others and obviously, this is the best.

Fathiah spoke in the LC Meeting. She spoke on the "AFFIRMATION" and Law of Attraction. Well we have to be positive and knows what we want and eventually the positive wave length will attract people or things we want to meet and have. She spoke based on the book about "The Power of your Sub-Concious Mind"

Simon spoke about going 21% from LC in the Builders Meeting. It's just the simple steps that we have to make. Simon makes it so simple for people to understand the concept.

Of course there were othes filler speakers and recognition that filled up the whole 3 session from Friday to Sunday. It good to listen to speakers who have moved up and grow in the business.

I took heaps of notes from what I listen from all these speakers. I jotted down things that make me ponder and that put some sense into my brain. I was also glad that Ky can make it in all of the session despite of her condition.

The Seminar ended on Sunday. In the last session, Pat McD edified all the Malaysian, Singapore & Brunei leaders and invited them on stage. I did managed to snap the view from stage and felt how elated it was being applauded by the audience.

Immediately after the seminar, we left as I have to send Aizuddin back to his hostel in Sungai Besar.

Looking forward for another Weekend Leadership Seminar in August 2007. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Mothers Day Sayang

"Ayah! Mimi nak buat Mother's Day card for Mak. Syyhh.. jangan bagi tau Mak tau". My little darling daughter preparing a card for her Mak. She reminded me about the upcomings Mother's Day is on 13 May. She is so thoughtful and I believe she's getting it from her Mak. So she start cutting the pink coloured manila card in shape of a heart.

Her Mak and of course, my beloved wife, Ky, is now 46. We were born the same year. We met in the University where she did her Psychology and I studied Business. She is closest to Mimi, our only daughter and who could always relate to her.

This Mother's Day which falls in May also a benchmark in her life. I remember in May 2003, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was after months of body aching. She first thought was fibroid but was later confirmed cancer after the a biopsy was done. It was a devastating moment for all of us.

At 42, she was very active in what she does. A choleric and determined person, she was full of life. She knows what to strive for in life. A mother of 4 young kids, she has planned the best for them. In between being a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a counsellor, etc. the news of having cancer bleaks the day for her. It was a devastating moment for me too.

When the Dr. Kamal, the Oncologist and Dr. Anis, the Surgeon, sat down with us to break the news, it was the most intensifying moment. I felt my limbs were numbed and my heart stopped. I felt hopeless. Ky on the other hand was more relax as if she were expecting the worst.

That was the begining of the journey for us; she being a cancer patient, a mother, a wife, a counsellor and so forth. I told her to take one thing at a time. At that point of time, the most important thing for her is to get through this ordeal. Health first for her.

The most immediate course of action is for her to have Chemotherapy. At stage 4, the cancer cells have spread from her breast to the lungs and spinal bones. She has to take 6 cycles of the chemo. Initial 2 cycle were ok as the chemo have not reacted much on her. After that hair falls off, nausea, temperature rises occasionally and she starts loosing weight.

She was strong enough to go though all the cycles. Of course, supplements was always on hand to overcome the lost in appetides. I was fortunate to be able to be with her on every doctors appoinments and every chemo. That was 3 years ago.

After the 6 cycles of distressing chemo, the Oncologist recommended her to take the hormone therapy i.e. tablets form, but she has to stop her mestruation cycle by injecting some hormone related drug. But after nearly 2 years, this hormone therapy can't do much either. So the Oncologist suggest to do another 6 round of chemo using another drugs.

To our dissapointment, after 4 cycles of chemo, the cancer cells have spread to the brain, the lung and liver. Thus she has to do 5 cycles radiotherapy to the brain. One of the side effect was the hair loss. I told her, the hair loss in nothing as long as she survive.

Now after 4 years : 10 cycles chemotherapy, 2 years of hormone therapy and 5 radiotherapy later, she is still with us. Health-wise she is ok. But she always take this positively. She is more religious now than before. She reads Quran almost after every prayers, do lots of zikir and doa. Of course as for me, I never forget to pray for her well-being in every doa after solat.

Cancer might have robbed her of her livelyhood but never rob her of her will to live. She has been a good mother, good wife, a good person. I have told her before that life and death is the work of Allah. We cannot determine when we die or how long we can live. Anybody will go if Allah wanted to. But as long as we live, we have to live life the fullest.

To my dearest beloved Sayang - You are a winner to me. Happy mother's day Sayang.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mothers Day Mak

I was reading "deOughtred's" blog about mother's day. I couldn't agree more with him. There shouldn't be any specific day for Mother's Day, it should be everyday! We love our mom not only on Mother's day and not acknowledging their blood, sweat and tears raising us up only in one day.

Reminiscing the days Mak brought up the 12 of us .. yeah you read me right.. 12 of us. Unfortunately the 12th child passed away a few days after he was brought home from the hospital. So left the 11 of us. To top it all, Abah passed away when he was 46 due to enlargement of the heart. My eldest brother was 21 and my youngest sister was hardly 2 years old. I was in my standard 2 then. So there are 11 of us with Mak single-handedly raised us up.

Life weren't bed of roses then. Abah left us without much financial asset as an Chief Clerk. So my siblings have to make do with what we have. Being a 8 years old boy, I didn't have much thought on how to make days meet. That's is where my Mak, being a single parents have to feed us up, clothes us and shelter us. Mak make sure everyone will not sleep on an empty stomach.

I remember we have to move from our rented house to an annex of my Atuk & Nenek's house after a few years Abah passed away. The small annex-house with only 2 rooms were built from some money mom's got from Abah's pension fund. It enough for us to have shelter then.

Without much education and married in her teens, Mak haven't gotten much school then. But she knew how to read and write. She can read romanised and jawi too (that put me to shame hehe..) She'll will do any halal job so that she can put food on the table for us. I remember she sold dress materials and shoes from the catalogue or bringing samples around the kampung where we live.

She sells malay kueh like lepat ubi kayu (we couldn't get it nowdays). My sister used to wake me up very early in the morning to accompany her to bring this basketful of kueh to send to Warung Pak Hassan at the roadside. And every evening, I would collect the left-over kueh and Makcik Mariam (wife of the stall owner) will give the money for the sold kueh. I do that everyday.

By then Abang (my eldest brother), Kak Ngah, Kak Lang, Abg De and Abg Dak has gotten job. I remember Abang drove Abah's Lambretta scooter to IMR (next to the general hospital). Kak Ngah got a factory job in PJ. Kak Lang got a job in a printing company. Abg De got recruited in TUDM ( he later retires as a Flight Sergeant). Abg Dak got himself a job in the Agriculture Dept. where Abah used to work (recommended by Abah's ex boss).

With 6 more schooling, Mak make sure that we have what the school needs. Although we only have a pair of school shoes each begining of the year, we have to make sure that it's clean and dry the whole week. If it rained and our shoes were soaked wet, Mak will dry it next to the gasoline stove. Bata shoes were a luxury then and we never had that until we can afford it. I remember Fung Keong shoes were next best to Bata. Even unbranded shool shoes were used. School bags is brought down from my elder sisters to my brother and me. Mak make sure that we can proper education because she always reminded us that only with education we can get out of poverty.

Mak has endured the ups and downs. She is the father and mother to us. She would sometimes borrowed money from Atuk or Nenek. I remember Mak would dragged me about 2 kms from our house to Atuk house just to borrow some money to buy rice for us. I still remember that Mak would buy rice by the "kati" ie. about 600gm for the dinner as that is what she could afford for that day. Lauk used to be only ikan kering and kicap. Sometimes fried eggs and vegetables were luxury.

Till today, I remember that Mak at one time didn't have any money left and too embarrased to borrow from anybody. We only had "jering rebus" and grated coconut for dinner because there was no rice to eat.

Somehow Mak could raised all the 11 of us. After going through the hardship in life, I have promised myself to take care of Mak as long as I could no matter what. Being the youngest son and probably the most manja one (my sister always said that), it is now my duty to get her well being at best.

Now at 81, Mak is bed ridden. 3 years ago she got a fever. After couple of days, her body blotted abit and her face swelled too. Everybody insisted to take her to the clinic but she refused. It was in Ramadan month and one nite Kak Lang called me at 10pm telling me that Mak's condition worsened. Initially she refuse to go to hospital and after much pursuasion I took her to Tawakkal Hospital. After several test were taken, the Doctor confirm she had a few minor heart attacks and also have some kidney condition. After few days in ICU and later in to the ordinary ward, she survive this ordeal. After that, I never failed to get her to see the Heart and Kidney Specialist every month.

Last year she felled in the bathroom while taking ablution early in the morning. She can't walked and felt her hip painful but still refused to see the doctor. Only 2 days after that I pursuaded her to the Emergency Room at Selayang Hospital. After an X-ray, we found out that she broke her tight bone. Unfortunately, she can't go thru' the operation to fit metal in her tight because of her heart and kidney condition. She survive this ordeal as well.

Well Mak is now resting at her home with Kak Ngah and Kak Lang. Her broken bone is now healed according to the Orthopedic Doctor but she is just too stressful to use her legs. I didn't pushed her much as I think she need more rest now.

Looking back at what she has gone through in life, I have so much respect for her. I know that she has done so much to keep the 11 of us as a family. She deserve so much more than what we can do for her and we could not repay as much as we want to.

So for me now, Mother's Day is every week end. I would buy groceries for Mak's house every week if possible and sit down with her for about an hour or two just to make my presence being felt. Now it's not the money counts, it how much time I spent with her.

It doesn't matter if she ask me the same question 1o times over and over again(due to her memory condition now - but my doctor have already alerted me on this) or how many time she refuse to walk again (althought she can) or taking her into the hospital toilet to take her urine sample or whatever it she wants, she is my Mak. Nothing can compared her to anything in this world. Syurga dibawah tapak kaki Ibu.

To Mak, nothing in this world can be compared to you. Your effort in raising us up is priceless. No value can be tagged to you. And above all, May Allah blessed your life. Happy Mother's Day Mak.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Job Description Q

"En. Azam... HRD nak JDQ ari ni jugak. Semua Manager belum hantar lagi" Siti came to my desk asking for the long overdue Job Description Questionaire. "Director of HR yang nak ni".What's the heck! I thought they have forgotten about it.

Shouldn't the HRD people design and layout our jobscope so that we can do what we are supposed to do. But it went the other way round. We are supposed to do our own JDQ.

As for me, I have been delaying it a few times till I totally forgotten about it until today. Well I never get into it since there were this KPI thinggy I have to do. Then the Performance Appraisal. These are the things on top of the daily chasing for teh production of cars and never-ending challenges to get the vessels space.

With or without JDQ, we still got to do all the things we have to do. My boss will scrutinise if I'm lacking in my responsiblities. Phone calls and queries will follow suit if things fall out of place. Reports got to be done to inform the everyone about it. So what's the point of having a JDQ. A colleague once told me " Bukan apa. Senang dia orang nak tukar kan orang lain kat tempat kau tu....." Oops.

Anway, I've completed my JDQ in less than 1 hour i.e. after delaying it since last 6 months. Amazing isn't it. I can do it in less than 1 hour! Due to the pressure of the HR Director wanted it by today seems to pushed me a bit harder and got it than in less than 1 hour. Phew!

As requested I have submitted it for endorsement by the boss and emailed a copy to Siti for reference.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Moving into new house

Abg Teh & Kak Hapipah just moved to a new flat recently. So they invited family members over to the new home on Wednesday for lunch. We brought the "household products" for them for as their house warming gift.

Their new flat is in Setapak Jaya. I haven't been to that area for quite sometimes so getting there was quite a challenge. We left the house about 11.45am and drove straight to Wangsa Maju area. I did open up my map book but wasn't really sure the location of their new flat. I knew the general area though.

After driving around, at last we found it. It was on the 14th floor. When we arrived, Abg Amin, Kak Harison, Kakak, Cik Yah, Ina & Family were already there. Later Jeman & Family and Abg Dak & Family arrived. Since the flat was a bit small, having everybody seated there was a challenge but we managed.

selamat was read and lunch was served. In our family, food was not a problem. Whenever there is a kenduri, everybody would potluck each lauk. Food was abundance : Masak lemak nangka, kacang panjang goreng, asam pedas ikan tenggiri, ikan masin, hati ayam masak kicap, cencalok, ulam-ulam were there ready to be eaten. In addition, there were nasi himpit, satay, kuah lodeh and kuah kacang. Food were plenty.

Kak Cik & Family came later. The last was Zalma & Family who had just came back from the Penang trip.

After chatting awhile we make a move about 2.30pm and wished them the best in their new home.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Meeting old friends

Meeting old close friends after a long time and spend some hours together is such a wonderful feeling. That's what happened on Tuesday.

Saziah & Hasbullah came over to our place. It has been quite a while since the last time we met up. Probably since the last Hari Raya when we gave them a visit. Since then we only communicate through handphones in midst of our busy schedules. So earlier Saziah called Ky about dropping by and we decided that since Tuesady is a holiday why not they come over for lunch.

They arrived slightly after 2pm from Bangi. Only 2 of them. Their kids : Fatin & Farhan didn't want to come along and Farhana is in Kuantan.

Lunch were already prepare on the table. Ky specially requested Bibik to prepare the Johorian Asam Pedas Daging especially for Has because Ky knows Has would loves it. Besides that our dishes includes Kepah/Lala rebus (sedap!!!!), goreng pucuk paku, ikan masin, tauhu sumbat, ikan goreng bawal kecil, etc. The dishes were simple but it really brings up our appetite.

Of course we chatted while eating catching up with many things. Updating our families - the kids growing up, Saziah's parent, our jobs, and the list goes on. Of course they were updated with our current business - the Go Diamond at Putrajaya, the new Double XX, water treatment system, etc. We had a few laugh reminiscing our past.

We didn't moved away from our lunch table and we continued to have tea. I served "tapai pulut" which Azlee gave me earlier all the way from Pahang. Ky added on with kerepek bawang and kuih makmur served with tea.

We chatted till about 6pm. Times flew so fast. It's time for them to leave. But before they left, Has wanted the buah mangga - he already mentioned it immediately when he saw them hanging in the tree in front of our gate when they arrived. Pluck a few for him.

After parting goodbyes , we reminded them to keep in touch again. Adios Has & Zie.