Posts Tagged ‘family’

Isteri berdikari suami tidak hilang maruah diri

Suami saya, arwah abahnya meninggal dunia ketika dia berusia 5 tahun, waktu itu adik bongsunya cuma berusia beberapa hari. Kemudian mereka dibesarkan oleh seorang emak yang tabah dan hebat.

Kita seringkali disogok dengan cerita bahawa orang lelaki suka sekiranya wanita bergantung pada dia. Namun jika lelaki tersebut insaf dan sedar bahawa dunia ini pinjaman, dirinya pinjaman kepada isteri, isteri dan anak-anak pinjaman kepada dia, dia akan memberi ruang yang sepatutnya kepada isteri dan anak-anak untuk meningkatkan kualiti diri supaya dapat berdikari tanpa sedikitpun merasa bahawa keberdikarian mereka akan merendahkan egonya sebagai suami dan bapa. Kerana sudah termaktub adat meminjam, sampai masa akan diambil semula. Jika ditakdirkan tempoh pinjamannya tamat lebih awal, sekurang-kurangnya isteri dan anak-anaknya tahu apa yang perlu dilakukan demi kelangsungan hidup.

Kaum wanita pula, sentiasalah berazam untuk memperbaiki kualiti dan kemahiran diri, jika kurang menyerlah dalam pelajaran, mungkin boleh mencuba bidang masakan, jahitan, jualan dll. Memang suami tempat bergantung, tapi selitkan juga ruang untuk mempersiapkan diri menghadapi kemungkinan-kemungkinan tidak terduga. Senangkan hati suami dengan membuktikan bahawa kita boleh berdikari sekiranya dia diambil lebih awal. Tidaklah hatinya risau sehingga dia lupa tentang pinjaman nyawa yang Allah beri dan menganggap dirinya hak milik, penyara dan penanggung mutlak isteri dan anak-anaknya.

Jika suami sekadar menjalankan urusan menyara dan menyediakan kelengkapan keluarga sebagai tugasan wajib tanpa nilai ibadah, rumah tangga akan jadi kehidupan yang hambar. Keluar pagi balik petang yang diulang hari demi hari sampai mati. Para isteri jika bangun pagi cuma berazam untuk shopping besar-besaran duit suami segeralah muhasabah diri. Juga wanita bujang yang tergetnya cuma untuk mengahwini lelaki kaya supaya kelak boleh hidup senang goyang kaki, istighfarlah. Ini bermakna hidup sudah sedikit lari daripada tujuan asal yang Allah cipta.

Sentiasalah mulakan setiap hari baru yang Allah masih berikan nikmat hidup dengan pemikiran dan perbuatan yang menjangkau akhirat, bukan sekadar untuk hidup dunia semata-mata.

The art of giving

I grow up in a not so wealthy family. Both my parents work, but with 8 children everything seems to be a little harder. When i got married, abang asked me why did I choose to get married at such a young age. I went utterly speechless at first, but then after a while I found the suitable answer. Because I was so poor, I need to get married, at least I know abang will take care of me and Allah promises those who get married, Allah will grant them with bounty of rezeki, and make everything easier. .

After Aqeef was born, I thought I wanted to make him experience how hard it is to be poor, I meant to not living in luxury. But then you know, I keep buying things for him, anything he wants, and turn out that if he wants something, we’ll get it for him.We rarely say no. It is quite hard t say no. We do procrastinate but at the end of the day he still get it.

From the ‘poverty’ I endured when I was a kid, I developed some belief. Among them, I am easily irritated by people who know they are able to buy something but still want to ask, borrow or negotiate to buy something at cheaper price. I remember once I bought an easel from IKEA for Aqeef. Then there was a couple asked to buy it from me at cheaper price. Said I bought it at £12, this person wanted to buy from me at £6, and I just bought that easel for 3 weeks. I was wondering what was in their mind, what they were thinking when they asked to buy from me? I assumed they thought it would be better if the easel is used by their daughter instead of Aqeef? Or they thought I dont want the easel. So why did I buy it in the first place if dont want it? What a ridiculous art of buying! Whatever the reason was, it still rude and inappropriate to asked someone who just bought something for 3 weeks to sell it.

Then some people asked to rent a room in my house. As if a homestay. I have three bedrooms, and the one at the back, nobody sleep in it. It is the room I use to sew and put my dryer. And these people started to tell story like they come to London on budget, they want as cheapest rent as possible, they even cut it tight on food, they brought packets of MAGGI from Malaysia to make the trip as cheap as they can. COME ON!!! You are visiting LONDON. Why visit London if you dont have money. Go visit Perak, or Kedah or Pulau Perhentian. You managed to buy flight tickets to come to London, it means you have money. I understand if you are students, you come and need temporary accommodation to stay before you get your own place ( because I have experienced that kinda struggle before), or you are student from Egypt or Russia or Germany or France and other country around that come for winter break. But people on holiday, from Malaysia, come to London purposely to shopping and sightseeing? Ohhh come onnnnn. Are you kiding me? Be reasonable please!

I am still struggling to save some money to send my parents and mum in law to umrah, if I manage to do that, it may be the first time for them to be on flight! And I simply think people who tell so much story about how tight their holiday budget to London are selfish and trying to fool me. If you really dont have money you will not be able to come here, you know with all the complicated process- flight booking, passport making, check in to the plane and everything. My parents and mum in law, they dont even have passport. If I am to ask them to come to London, I have to have them go to Immigration first and get the passport done, then I have to write a letter to make sure they know what to do once they arrive airport, and many things. And of course I have to buy flight ticket for them. They are not your average flight traveler you have ever seen. Buying flight ticket, moreover to another country is just too extreme for them. All the ‘travel to another country’ things are strange for them. So people who say they are ‘poor’ but they come to London for holiday and want a cheap accommodation, I am sorry, tak dapek den nak nolong. I just cant stand the stupid feeling I gonna have if I help you. This is the obvious reason why I am not ready to let the extra room of my house to people who asked.

And I am very allergic to help people who steadily look like they are rich. You know like when you give something to someone who can actually buy that things with her own money. Why bother to help orang yang dah sedia senang’? Find someone who really needs it, it will be a sedekah (with pahala). Give it to someone who so-so in accepting it, it will a ‘hadiah’, you may or may not get any pahala from it. You know for example you give a school uniform to a poor kid, every day he wears it to school. Every he day made du’a may Allah grant you with bounty of nikmat and kebaikan. Then try give a pair of shoes to a rich fashionista artist, who owns a closet full of shoes. And you will wait forever to see her in the shoes you gave.

Life is about giving. But giving is an art. You have to know why you give, and what you may or may not get back.

And I am now a chef

I am a kind of person who eats a lot of dish instead of rice. It is a normal thing for me to eat 1 senduk of rice with mountain of dish since I was a kid. Growing up in my family, all of those habit are bound with sharing. Emak and my elder sisters keep reminding me, “Ingat orang belakang” each time I was so like a possessed girl when I scooped dish into my plate.

As long as I can remember growing up in my family is the best thing ever happened to me. Ayah is the one that in charged of grocery, buying things from market, surveying chicken fish and meat price. Because emak doesn’t drive. Ayah was so particular about where and how to spend for household needs. And the thing about portion that still in my mind was, ayah, each time we asked him to buy outside food, he would say something that made us “Ahh couldnt agree more”. (even in most event we complaint). His words was, “Buat apa beli makanan luar. Dapat sikit je. Baik kita beli ayam, kita goreng sendiri. Puas makan”. (in case of ayam goreng we asked him to buy at pasar malam). And many other food, I remember ayah and emak tried hard to make murtabak for us, tempeyek, daging salai, sate and kerepek. Once in a while, he bought burger meat and bun so that his children can eat burger, home prepared. What a memory.

Now when I grow up, I realised the same thing especially when I was at Malaysia, restaurant, stall, cafe or pasar malam bought food are getting smaller in portion. You know a pasar malam nasi kerabu packed in polysterene container only have 3 slices of grill beef, 1 solok lada, half ekor of ikan kembung (smallest size) goreng tepung, around 3 spoons of kelapa goreng without any hint of fish meat inside and much tauge (represent the kerabu) maybe because taugeh is cheap. And sometimes the budu has already been diffused into the rice, with the only trace is smaller than 50 sen coin. So how much of budu did the seller put on the rice? I bet around 1 tea spoon.

Food in many halal restaurant in UK are big in portion. And the price are big too (if you like to convert). Say, if you have hankering for mamak style food. Go to restaurant that serves tandoori. They only have half or whole portion of tandoori chicken ( sorry but they dont sell in pieces, I dont know why). and the biryani they said for one person, dont be fooled. When the food came to your table you will realise it is enough to feed the whole family. i remember went to a restaurant near my house, and asked for naan bread. The bread came and to my surprise, it was very big. I can even wrap Aminah in it. My husband even said, “Boleh jahit buat baju roti naan ni punya besar”. It was somehow look like a giant underwear.

When I become an adult and have my own superpower in managing household spending, I realised ayah’s way is the best way I could ever learn. Even as a kid I always didnt agree, I rebelled and keep saying when I grow up I want to be rich and I will buy all those food that ayah didnt want to buy for me. Homecook meal is the best, no one can beat. You have your own say in quantity and quality. And that’s how someone like me, who was labelled by my family as “tak pandai masak” can cook my own hidangan hari raya, nasi briyani nasi daging, gulai lemak nangka, asam pedas tetel and many more. I guess as a mommy it just happened. Today you dont know how much salt you suppose to season in your kurma ayam, tomorrow you can even trace what ingredient you forgot to put inside by just smelling the aroma of your dish. What a chef !

Not a colourful shopping list

There were some times in my life, when I was young (I mean literally young but not as young as a baby) that whenever ayah took us out to do household shopping, I prayed again and again that ayah would drive us to my favorite shhopping complex. But things weren’t always as beautiful as we hoped for, most of the time ayah took us to supermarket of his choice, obviously not that interesting as the one that I prayed hard for.

You know what, as a child it was hard for me to understand at first. I had always been asking and complaining why would he bring us to Senyum Suprmarket instead of Jusco, or kedai Leong intead of Giant but now as I grow up and become a mum, I do understand it, thoroughly.

Now that I have my own debit card, I keep my own cash, I am allowed to buy grocery of my choice by my husband, I have become slightly like ayah, that deepen my understanding of every choice he made, every cheap, dull but firm and long lasting thing he bought even when his children pointed to something colourful, more expensive and look vulnerable. Now when I made my shopping list, I go to the shop and supermarket to buy things, I do compare the price, quality here and there, how long it will be lasted, and that very much reminds me of ayah. I live very near to a big shopping complex, that sometimes in good weather me and my children would go there by walking but I don’t think it’s the best place for me to do shopping.

There is a phrase in the famous movie, Confession of A Shopaholic,

When I was a little girl,
there were real prices and mom prices.
Real prices got you shiny, sparkly things
that lasted three weeks,
and mom prices got you brown things
… that lasted forever.

As I grow up I realise not every pen I buy should be colourful as stabilo felt tip, or every shoes mus have big Nike trademark. Indeed ayah’s ballpoint faber castell pen priced RM0.80 or a pair of BATA he made me choose as my kasut raya serve me longer and at the end of the day made me happier.

My son’s second birthday (and his daddy’s birthday too)

So it was a week ago, on February 24, my little boy, Aqeef Afwan’s 2nd birthday. The next day, 25th February, my ‘big boy’ aka daddy aka mr husband aka my hero’s 30′something birthday. We were so happy, I was dreaming of organizing a birthday party for long, and on that very day of Aqeef’s birthday, which fell on Sunday, every thing went smoothly as planned. Alhamdulillah. Because their birthday are just differ by a day, consecutively so daddy was too shy to own up that it was his birthday party too (afraid that people might tease him for having a birthday party at the age of 30 something) ;) so we just said that it was Aqeef’s birthday. I made everything myself, nasi tomato, ayam masak merah, pulut kuning with rendang daging and a black forest cake. Daddy did the party decoration, and Aqeef did the joy. Almost all our Malaysian friends that reside in London came, Aqeef was so happy. He bounced all day long, even forgot to take his evening nap, and forgot to eat too.Aminah had a nice sleep. Knowing Aminah, she loves sleeping in noise, the more the merrier.

We had fun, chatting, sharing stories got to know each other better. Aqeef got presents and was so excited that he couldn’t choose which present was to be unwrap first. He got puzzles, books, musical instrument set, a wagon, slide (from daddy), playhouse from mommy, rocking caterpillar,chocolate, and some other gifts. There is a battery powered tooth brush that he keeps trying to share with me and his sister. Just want to say, thank you everyone for the present and for coming to our son’s birthday party.

Birthday boys, and look at Aminah, adopting someone’s hug to fall asleep in. What an easy baby she is.

Some of our guest. Thank you everyone for coming

Aqeef with some of the presents he got. Was very confuse to choose.

Brother and sister. After the party.

The party decoration, balloons were all nice, arranged by daddy, and still there in my hall until now. Every day Aqeef takes the balloon in and out from his playhouse. About the playhouse, Aminah seems to be very fond with it. She fell asleep in it once. It was so funny to find a little baby sleeps in the playhouse.

And, on that very day too, we received three guests from Egypt, Hanim, Amirah and Anisah. Nice girls, doctors to be. thank you for the souvenirs, very delicious chocolates and warm chatting we had. Akak sedih when you all left huhu, tapi akak faham kamu semua kena balik Mesir sebab cuti dah habis.