Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Raya Reflections

There's nothing like Hari Raya to make you realize the passing of time. Your younger cousins are older and taller, some have finished school and start working, some have produced even more offsprings... Hari Raya is also the dreaded moment where you are asked the same old question, when are you getting married? People feeling a sense of deadline on my eligibility of getting married the older I get.

During Ramadan, I do felt a sense of anguish that I might end up alone, and I made du'a, for me and my single close friends and families that Allah grant us a befitting spouse. I thought I'd need a companion especially in my older days, perhaps a nuclear family that can take care of me in my later years. Mama made me realize though that we should rely only on Allah, that Allah is actually our Greatest Carer.

Alhamdulillah for my Mama, who is always reminding me of the important things, and my greatest defender when people question me why am I still unmarried.

Being a practical Fadzlin though, I can't help thinking of a possible future where I need to take care of my own self. As much as possible I don't want to be a burden to anyone. Part of what I can currently do is to take good care of my health. I've been meaning to go for a full body checkup and a dental checkup at Klinik Kesihatan Jasin for a while now, but I keep on postponing it. Today, I finally managed to make my way to the Dental Clinic.

I felt like a criminal surrendering myself to the executioner because it has been years since I last went to the dentist. Alhamdulillah the doctor was extremely nice, she matter-of-factly explained that I need to have my wisdom teeth removed, all four of them. She asked whether we can set an appointment for the surgery, and I freaked out inside! but outside I'm all Fadzlin Baru © and acted adult-like, agreeing on a surgery date. I had a scaling procedure done too, with not too much wincing.

Oh, it was all free. One of the perks of being a gomen worker. Alhamdulillah.

Selamat Hari Raya from me and Mama

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Atok Ali(n)

I lost someone who has always loved me unconditionally, even when I don't deserve it.



Atok, I'm sorry for not always being a good enough granddaughter. There's nothing on this world that is deserving of you, I guess that's why you are there now.

Thank you for spoiling me with your love. In this family and our sometimes awkward ways of demonstrating affections, yours to me has always been apparent.

I pray that when it is finally my end, I'll have done good enough to be deserving of your company again.

Al-Fatihah.

Monday, January 11, 2016

30 Tahun

Losing one's father without being able to remember his presence at all.

When I was younger I wasn't sad, because I didn't have any reason to be sad. There was not a dad-shaped hole because I never knew him enough (I don't remember enough) for me to be sad.

With time the fact of a loved one's passing becomes easier to face. I think you never get over being sad, but it is no longer a devastating feeling that stays with you at all times.

With time I changed from not being sad to feeling a big sense of loss. He had passed away more years than he ever lived, and I'm missing his presence more than I ever had. I have no point of reference on how big this dad-shaped hole should be, another fact that griefs me.

I loved someone before. An emotional high that I didn't know I was capable of feeling. I don't know whether I'll ever feel the same way again but I am thankful for having experienced it.

I don't know what I'm missing with the fact that I am missing a dad. I have no reference, I have no memory, but I miss him, very, very much. It is not a feel that stays with me at all times, but at days like these it feels even more so.

"Ya Allah Ya Tuhanku, cucurilah rahmat ke atas roh ayahku."

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Tradisi Bercerita

Terlalu banyak perkara yang diberikan oleh Mama kepada saya. Antara hadiah paling istimewa adalah kesungguhan Mama memupuk minat membaca kepada saya.

Baru-baru ini ketika di kampung Mak Ina bercerita tentang bagaimana dia akan membuka bermacam-macam cerita kepada saya yang tidak henti-henti menangis kerana Mama perlu kembali ke Pulau Pinang selepas Arwah Ayah meninggal dunia. Menurut Mak Ina saya akan diam mendengar cerita dan kembali menangis apabila dia berhenti. Saya terlalu kecil untuk ingat perkara ini, tetapi saya ada ingat Mak Ina bercerita kepada saya selepas saya menangis kerana Mama perlu pulang ke Kuala Lumpur (naratif yang sama) ketika saya bertadika di kampung. Saya masih ingat watak cerita itu adalah seekor kucing bernama McGyver.

Saya juga ingat sewaktu kecil sebelum tidur Mama akan bercerita, "bedtime story" if you may. Saya tidak ingat cerita lain, tetapi Mama selalu akan berceritakan tentang Arnab dan Kura-kura. Saya sangat sukakan cerita ini dan sentiasa meminta Mama mengulang-ulang cerita yang sama. Saya masih ingat, Mama mengisahkan kura-kura itu jalan dengan begitu lambat dengan bunyi "ketak, ketuk. ketak, ketuk".

Apabila saya sudah boleh membaca, it was like a whole new world opened up for me. Saya tidak perlu menyuruh orang membacakan kepada saya, dan apabila pergi ke kedai buku saya boleh memilih apa saja buku yang saya mahu. It was heaven. Trip ke Jasin tidak lengkap tanpa singgah di Koperasi Buku dan saya akan mengambil masa yang sangat lama untuk memilih buku yang saya hendak.

I think one of the best stories to tell is Sirah, and kisah-kisah Nabi. Mama used to buy me multiple books on it and I can still remember the illustrations. In my short-lived stint being a Sekolah Agama student in Masjid Subang Jaya, saya tidak ingat tentang apa-apa mata pelajaran lain (and there was a lot of subjects: tajwid, akhlak, khat etc), but I still remember the Sirah lessons. It was fun because we didn't have to do anything, cuma mendengar kisah Nabi Muhammad daripada ustaz, and he really was a good story-teller.

Currently I'm watching a series of lecture by Shaykh Yasir Qadhi on Surah Yusuf, and he said, this surah was a gift from God to Prophet Muhammad. Baginda baru saja kehilangan isteri kesayangan Siti Khadijah dan pakciknya Abu Talib. This story is meant to entertain the Prophet among many others. Kisah Nabi Yusuf adalah cerita Nabi yang saya amat suka semenjak saya kecil lagi. Knowing the loving source of it, I can't help thinking "Ah, no wonder" :)

Pada pendapat saya, tradisi bercerita dan minat membaca adalah hadiah paling istimewa yang boleh diberikan untuk seseorang. Terima kasih Mama untuk hadiah ini. I hope that I can give the same gift to someone in the future. Here, have the video I'm currently enjoying:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Slayed My Demon

Do you have something that always seems much more larger than its reality in your head? Your own made-up demon? The last time I had something that freaked me out long before I had to face it was the BCG immunization shot at Standard 6. There were so many urban legends regarding the shot: broken needles, very painful, "BCG tak jadi" that even from Standard 5 I was starting to freak out. I think I was more afraid of BCG than UPSR when I started Standard 6.

But the day of the immunization shot was quite anti climatic. When it was my turn I was prepared to cringe/cry/show that i-am-afraid-please-be-gentle but there was a girl in my class that has learning disabilities, she was crying and refusing to be shot and the class teacher consoled her: "tak sakit, tengok Fadzlin tu senyum" so I had to smile when receiving the shot.

The shot was a bit painful, but it wasn't PAINFUL like what I was imagining it to be. It does left a very ugly mark on my arm though. Tak boleh masuk Miss Malaysia.

When I started my Master by Research, even before I had a research title, even before I started anything I was freaked out with the prospect of the viva. The dreaded defend your thesis session. In my head I was imagining the panels finding every bit of a flaw in every pages, criticizing everything and ending up with me sobbing my messy face into my thesis. Drama queen sungguh! But if there's one thing that makes me nervous it is being put in a spot. I'd rather write 10 pages long essays than talk in front of an audience.

Yesterday was finally my long awaited viva. And Alhamdulillah, I passed with minor corrections. And all praise to Allah, things were made easy for me. I wasn't overly nervous, (I think I was more nervous for my Defend Proposal than viva), when I walked in my external examiner greeted and hugged me, and then my supervisor came in and smiled.. it was very smooth sailing. The chairman, Prof Zainab who is the former Dean of my faculty also really helped in making me not nervous. Also my internal examiner. All four ladies inside the room.. may Allah bless their kindness towards me. I can feel their sincerity in helping me improve my thesis, they weren't looking for faults, rather they were teaching me where I can improve. It did end up with me crying, but out of gratefulness that it went well, and that I'll finally be awarded this long awaited Master title.



Victory!
MasyaAllah, all these teachers of mine really showed me how I should behave when I become a lecturer soon. May Allah grant me the ability to be as good as them and to inspire my students to be good too.

Finally, I am graduating!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

How Not to Update Blog only when Complaining

.. you tell me, I have no idea.

Okay, not complaining. Lets see if this stays true to the end of this entry.

I am missing both my brothers who are not with me. Izzul and Aiman. Aiman severely so because he just left us last Thursday. Out of all my brothers, he is the one always poking his head into my room asking me what I'm doing. And also the one I argued often at the dining table with. I miss the heck out of him. I thought I am all out of tears, but then suddenly my eyes are wet again. He is in a very challenging position right now. I pray that God lighten his burden.

I was trying to find how to get him connected to the internet. Based on an info I got from a Yemeni friend of mine, I googled further and discovered more. Seeing as there is very little information about this on the internet I thought I would put this here so if anyone else has the same problem as me, he/she may find this useful.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO MOBILE INTERNET IN YEMEN

  1. Buy a special sim card from Sabafon called "SabaNet". This is a special sim to connect to the net, and different from the usual Sabafon sim card.  (source)
  2. Buy Sabafon scratch card (top up card) in the highest denomination (Bronze for 200 Units at 2,300 YER ~ around RM 35) (source)
  3. Choose which package to subscribe. The cheapest is 100 MB/month at 130 Units. (source)
Expensive considering how little data they are allocating. But seeing this is using GPRS technology it might actually be a challenge to finish up those 100 MB in a month.

This is the end of this entry. I didn't complain after all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An update after a very long while..

I registered to Lowyat.Net forum a long time ago back in 2004. The forum is a wealth of knowledge, with many helpful people always willing to help (as long as you searched previous topics first, else you will just get slammed).

In my "online world" I have many social networks that I am a part of. There's Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, Tumblr and the many forums I love to visit. I am a veritable "netizen" (citizen of the internet). When it comes to women's rights and feminism, there's a huge gap between the talk in Western-based audience and here in Malaysia. Like for example today I read about empowering girls in science on Tumblr:


And then in Facebook I saw this:



I bet those who commented and "liked" these comments don't even think that these are sinful acts.

Yesterday a lady dared to v-log about what it is like to be a woman in Malaysia. I don't condone some of her choice of words, but this is an issue long due to be said:


Someone opened a topic in LYN forum discussing this video and look at the responses by our brothers:





So while in other things LYN forummers are extremely helpful and civilized, start to hint that victim blaming is sexist and all kind of drivels will come out. Why is this so? Dear brothers, we are not your enemy. Why is the hate so extreme?

Lets talk about involving ladies in things that don't relate. Few weeks back the nation was shocked with the video of a few bullies kicking and punching their class monitor. Then someone identified the perpetrators from the video and posted pictures of them, including pictures with their girlfriends. First of all the girls' only "crime" is dubious taste in men. WHY the need of including their pictures as well? And then typically comments like "gemuk, hodoh, badak" etc attacking the girls started to come out. In politics too, I've seen pictures of daughters of politicians being spread around facebook, some even being used as proof why one leader is better than the other. This has got to stop.

This should not be normal, this is not Islamic. But I've seen religious figure saying "Dah dia buka aurat, dirogol, padanlah muka dirogol, dia jual murah-murah" I want to say.. where is your mercy? :(

People need to stop looking at women as objects or a project, one where when everyone has been successfully covered then the men will have less trial and can finally perform as a good Muslim. You need to be a good Muslim regardless, you will face trials regardless.

May Allah save and guide everyone of us.