“I’ve been looking for you..”


The topic for Daily Post, WordPress.com :You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?

What is it about the rain?

The refreshing smell of water falling from sky to the earth. The drops. One sound after the other. Like the hypnotic sounds of life; celebrating.

I put my feet on the chair beside me as I sat and gazed the view of the sidewalk from the lonely cafe. Serenity. I smiled.

“Assalamualaikum..”

I looked up. Wow. My first reaction must had been vivid because the man smiled knowingly and flashed the brightest smile ever. I shook my head from the flush I felt rising to my cheeks and quickly put down my feet.

” Waalaikumsalam..”. Still dazed, and still looking up to the standing stranger, I chided myself. What am I doing? Usually I just ignore strangers, or just raise one of my eyebrow with an icy stare.

” Cik… ?”

” Nur Lisa..”. At that moment, I felt like slapping my face. It was like I was under a spell.

He smiled. Calmly, he sat down beside me. Now both of us, not facing each other but looking at the open space in the rain.

“I’ve been looking for you..” The words came easily, not hurriedly. It was like he said ” What a beautiful weather it is..”

“Who are you?” . One sane moment I managed to ask, despite the fact that at the very moment he sat down, I felt I had known him my whole life.

“You know who I am.”

Still not looking at me, still calm. He looked up towards the rain then towards me.

Pure and angelic, he might as well had wings. I looked entranced.

Yes, I knew him. Deep down I knew.

“Do you know why I am here?” I blinked. Almost as though he looked into my eyes and into my soul.

I looked down, and then looked away again.

” Something about what I want?”  I whispered almost too softly.

He nodded.

” The prayers you make everyday. Don’t give up.  He is Most Listening and Most Caring”

“Allah had bestowed you the blessings and when He withheld, He is Most Knowing when it is good for you not to have it and give an even better thing..

“Sometimes it’s easier to see what we have not but actually we have more than most of us..”

I did’nt realized I sat back and put my feet up again as he did when he started talking.

” Be thankful. Be strong. This world is not meant to be Paradise. That comes after all this hard work.”

” After the rain, comes the rainbow..” It came out as though it was meant to be. From my own lips.

This time, without turning, i felt his smile. ” Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Lailahaillah, Allahuakhbar”.

” It’s time for me to go..” He decided as the rain subsided. Gentle hail became drops.

“You came with the rain..”. I said in wonderment.

With the that final smile, he got up and went away. That man in white seems to have vanished in the distance.

The peace and serenity state he left me with lingered as i closed my eyes for awhile.

” Thank you, Allah for sending me Hope..”

Rizqy from the rain.

 

I

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Dongak Ke Atas.


Atas/Bawah?

Atas/Bawah?

Subhanallah. Alhamdulillah.

Ini pandangan saya tatkala saya letakkan kepala di buai taman rumah.

Secara jujurnya, dongakan saya ke langit dengan harapan dapatkah melihat syurga?

Kemudian saya tertawa sendirian, mana mungkin hamba yang banyak dosa seperti ini mampu melihat sekadar dengan dongakan?

Tapi itu sebenarnya bagi saya metafora langit.

Syurga Jannah takkan dinampakkan dengan mata kasar.

Tapi kalau sudah langit sebegini sudah begitu hebat dan indah, tidakkah kita tertanya bagaimanakah lebih hebatnya syurga Jannah?

Metafora langit adalah metafora harapan.

Metafora kekuasaanNya. 

Metafora betapa kerdil dan mikroskopiknya kita di Bumi ini berbanding ciptaanNya yang Maha Hebat. Walaupun kita manusia, hanya dijadikan dari tanah yang lembik, tetapi kitalah Khalifah di sini. We are the chosen one.

Metafora pengampunanNya. Berapa juta kali kita berdosa setiap hari, tetapi Alhamdulillah, masih menghirup udara segarNya, deria semua Insyallah masih berfungsi untuk nikmat-nikmat ini.

Metafora kehebatanNya. Sedang saya mendongak ke langit yang kelihatan tiada berpenghujung ini, pada masa yang sama, saya dapat melihat sel-sel mikroskopik serta bakteria yang melintas di hadapan mata saya.

Juxtaposed. The biggest creation in the world the eyes can see.The smallest creation the eyes can see.

Allahuakhbar.

Note to self: This world is much more bigger than your bubble. Step out and look at the bigger picture.

Sesungguhnya pada kejadian langit dan bumi, dan pada pertukaran malam dan siang, ada tanda-tanda (kekuasaan, kebijaksanaan, dan keluasan rahmat Allah) bagi orang-orang Yang berakal;

(Iaitu) orang-orang Yang menyebut dan mengingati Allah semasa mereka berdiri dan duduk dan semasa mereka berbaring mengiring, dan mereka pula memikirkan tentang kejadian langit dan bumi (sambil berkata): “Wahai Tuhan kami! tidaklah Engkau menjadikan benda-benda ini Dengan sia-sia, Maha suci engkau, maka peliharalah Kami dari azab neraka.

(Surah Al-’Imran: Ayat 190-191)

Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad): Perhatikan dan fikirkanlah apa yang ada di langit dan di bumi dari segala kejadian yang menakjubkan, yang membuktikan keesaan Allah dan kekuasaanNya).

(Surah Al-Yunus: Ayat 101)

Spring of Sakura


 

Alhamdulillah.

It’s almost like the spring here in Malaysia. At least, in Kedah.

The explosion of the cherry blossom around my hometown is like a beautiful, soft and gentle celebration.

Image

Sakura

A blessing, hopefully as a sign that it’s the end of the hot and humid season. And a sign from Allah for us to persevere, because “fainna maal usri yus rho, inna maal usri yus rho”. After every hardship, there will sure be comfort and peace.

 

Kononisme : Feeling-feeling like  (konon) is the posing mosing

Kononisme : Feeling-feeling like (konon) is the posing mosing

The quarter of 2014 has not been a smooth ride for us, Malaysian, and for most of us. Our prayers everyday are still with the missing flight MH370 , entering its 31st day. Some of my friends and family face great hardship.

My schedule is full most of the time.(This is my first post for 2014! It’s already April!)

I try my very best not to use the word ‘busy’ as it sounds like an excuse, because I realized if you want something, you will make time for it. So this year, I’m trying my very best to avoid ‘busy’ and make time. Insyallah.

Alhamdulillah, after 7 years of living here and there and most of the time living like a nomad, I have finally back in hometown to serve locally. I am now a teacher somewhere in a kinda outback school in Pokok Sena, some 45 minutes from my mom’s house. I love the scenery on the way to school, and I love the school. So what is 45 minutes, huh?

Subhanallah

Subhanallah

A best friend and I fulfilled our promise to come back to Kedah and “make roots” here. Now the 3 of us, is working to make the best of our dreams. My bestie, the chef extraordinaire fulfills her dreams to open this great cafe, and another one of being a great global businesswoman. About my dream, lets just say I will keep it under wraps for now. I’m very protective. 😛

The timing of the cherry blossom ‘spring’ season is right on. I needed something after an exhausting quarter of the year.

My bestfriend, Nadiah. Thank you for stepping in the moment.

My bestfriend, Nadiah. Thank you for stepping in the moment.

An idea made me smile and messaged my bestie.

” Jom, let’s do a photoshoot under the cherry blossoms? ”

” JOMMMMMMMM……”

What an experience! Been a while for my G11 but it was worth every moment of this craziness.

I always wonder if I ever will see the cherry blossom Sakura in Japan ever. Alhamdulillah, praise ALLAH for bringing us this season for us to enjoy.

It made me smile.

“I had a dream so big and loud
I jumped so high I touched the clouds…”

 

 

 

Europe, Jet’aime


Alhamdulillah.

Minggu pertama bertugas sebagai Pengadil Padang (Pegawai Kejohanan) MSSR merupakan pengalamaan yang bermakna. Walaupun sekadar memegang tugas yang kecil, banyak perkara-perkara teknikal yang saya pelajari dari pegawai-pegawai senior.

Saya jemput sahabat terdekat saya untuk menjadi seorang Pengadil kerana tahun ini kami kekurangan pegawai. Kawan saya, seorang yang sangat bersemangat tinggi dan suka mencuba sesuatu yang baru, F, datang dengan jayanya membantu kami walaupun dalam masa yang sama menjadi guru pengiring/ jurulatih pasukan sekolah.

Sedang saya berbual dengannya untuk bertugas untuk minggu hadapan, giliran MSSM;

” Kak, minggu depan saya dah tak ada..”

” Tak ada? (Fikir). Oh! Le’ Paris, madamemoisselle! Oui!”

:: konon saja::

:: konon saja::

Pada bulan Oktober tahun lepas, F telah mengajak saya menyertainya untuk jelajah benua Eropah. Oleh kerana kekangan wang dan juga beberapa faktor lain, saya membuat keputusan untuk tidak menyertainya.

Masa sungguh cepat berlalu.

Rasa sungguh cemburu sebenarnya melihat sahabat-sahabat terbang sekeliling dunia melihat negara orang. F ini hobinya memang suka merantau ke negara orang.

Semasa berbual bersama-sama dengan beberapa kawannya tadi, bersama keenakkan keropok losong Tanjung Karang dan segelas air sirap limau suam, kami berbual mengenai cenderahati, waspada, keseronokan dan juga keterujaan.

Semangat teruja dan juga wistfulness (cemburu-sayu) dilahirkan dalam bentuk perbualan dalam kereta di bawah:

” F, nanti ko sampai Paris, ko ambik gambar snowflake kat aku tau..aku teringin nak tgk bentuk snowflake..“. Sahabatnya yang sedang sarat mengandung berpesan. Ngidam.

“Ok, ok nanti aku pinjam mikroskop di sana ambik gambar kat ko…”

Kami ketawa sekereta.

Kami sebagai sahabat sebenarnya, dalam kecemburuan, mahukan yang terbaik dan kebahagiaan kepada sahabat-sahabat yang lain. Saya doakan yang terbaik untuk F dan juga kawannya yang bakal menjelajah dunia impian di Eropah hujung minggu ini, semoga kami yang lain dapat juga sampai di situ nanti.

” Hah, akak tahu nak pesan apa!!”

” Apa?”

” Any souvenirs from the Will & Kate Wedding…dan juga jangan lupa fridge magnet dari semua tempat ko sampai ek..”

“Oraits..tapi kena upfront duit lah kak, exchange rate tinggi..” Sengih comel F. Nasib baik comel.

” No worries”.

Semoga selamat semuanya. Bila gamaknya hendak mendapat jemputan ke Tanah Suci pula bagi diriku.

Amin.

#12 – The End Is Not Ours To See


Overheard in a conversation:

” I don’t think she’s going to make it. From what the signs are saying. Please inform the relatives to drop by and see her before her time.”

Someone I know also had been diagnosed above. The person was really weak, thin, bedridden, could not walk  and really everyone thought the person is not going to make it because of the disease.

Today, that person has fully recovered, even had began walking unaided. Cheeks are full, smile as bright.

In Islam, there are things that are mysterious and only ALLAH knows.

The exact date of Doomsday. Our soulmate. And our death.

It is not our job to say someone’s going to die soon or later. It is like meeting a palm reader, or shaman, or someone supposedly telling you that you only have 3 weeks to live.

Which only makes the sad more depress. The hopeless more feeling down. The sick more critical.

As Muslim’s it is blasphemous to believe other people’s word, or the stars reading, or any other human act that implies foretelling the future, as a fact of the future.

The reason is simple and logical. How can we mere mortals predict something so unseen? And believing the readings of  a few cluster of stars or a few patterns of  tea or cards is actually telling of the future?

What if it said your spouse it not good for you and you should leave him? While everything is really okay between you?

It is better somethings are better left unknown. It is not for us to say something in the future that is for certain.

Insyaallah, we say. If ALLAH is willing..it will happen. Wallahuaqlam, we say. Only ALLAH is Most Knowing.

We try our best, and pray that our best is best enough, and pray to Him that He can help us. Because He is Most Powerful.

What we can do is live our lives as we are going to die tomorrow.

Where we are going to live Forever with our deeds from this life.

“Time,” the Captain said, “is not what you think.” He sat down next to Eddie. “Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning.” 
― Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven

#10 – An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse


Daily Prompt : Here’s the title of your post: “An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse.”

Set a timer for ten minutes, and write it. Go!

My handphone rang.

It is a rare occurance. I’m much of a message-type of girl, not the tied-up-by-the-chatting kind of person. As time goes by, most people who kept in touch with me, just called because it’s really important or urgent. What you give is what you get, I guess.

Of course, a landline number. Another mystery before I answer the call. The hustle and bustle of the school’s student outside the room, as if, suddenly became distant as I answered the phone.

It was an office number; a good friend is calling from her office. As she was asking about the usual pleasantries, my head wondered the actual reason of the call.

We were great friends back then, as events and life came between us, we rarely met up. The SMS and call get less frequent and came to a standstill. But when we meet up, we cannot stop talking.

” Wei, I miss youla… well, I have something to ask of you? Since we hadn’t seen each other for a long time..”

” Depends on what you’re asking..” Nervous laughter. I’m always on guard when people asks me that question.

” Well, I have a seminar I have to attend in Malacca..but the thing is there’s nobody to accompany me..I don’t like being alone in hotel rooms..and it’s boring because I had been there many times”

(Malacca?..)

” The lodgings is at A Famosa Resort, inside The Theme Park..the seminar is 3 days and two nights..”

” Very interesting…”. I was drooling.

“Plus..you can borrow the company’s car while I attend the seminar to go around Malacca..”

“Wow!”. 

She works for one of the biggest Japanese carmakers in the world.  I can already imagine myself speeding, within the limits of course, my way to the World Heritage Site.

I had been wanting to go to Malacca really badly at that time. The last time I was there, was with my family together when my father was still alive. I checked out the offer at Groupon, but somehow I didn’t bought it.

Now I know why I hesitated. ALLAH gave me a better offer to go there.

” Alhamdulillah, wei, I’ve been wanting to go there, like crazy!”

” Great! We can go sightseeing when I’m free. And plus, we can catch up on old time..thank you by the way for doing this..I owe you one!”

” No, thank you! We are going to have a great time! Woohooooo!!”

By the time the conversation’s done, everyone in the teacher’s room probably heard my woohoo-ing.

So, Alhamdulillah, we went to Malacca together and had a great time. I saw almost everything I wanted to see.

Image

:: Hangin out with Fadz in front of A Famosa::

During my ‘safari’ trip at A Famosa Resort theme park, the truck I was on that was passing through the tiger’s cage suddenly got a flat tyre. In between 3 tigers watching, we had to change trucks by jumping to another truck. Adrenaline rush.

Guess what? The next year, my family and I went again there. Had more fun still.

Image

:: Malacca River Cruise with family. Great time::

I know it’s not Paris, or Switzerland or any other place, but at that moment it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

I am open to any other travelling offers.

Depends on what you are asking, of course.

#5 – Coming to A Bookshelf Near You


Daily Prompt : Write a summary of the book you’ve always wanted to write for the back cover of its dust jacket.

:: Hakcipta Terpelihara::

” Average. That’s what people say about her. Not too pretty, just the right intelligence. Always doing the right thing. You can expect Mariam to be there when you need her. Except just a bit different . She doesn’t seem to remember her past. She always thought that all she wanted was to be living in the quiet little town of Paloma all her life. Until one day, she received a letter informing of her inheritance of a gold Eiffel necklace from her grandmother she doesn’t know she had one.  Can she overcome her crushing fear of flying to learn about her true past in Paris and learn there is more to the world than being an average? “

“Sederhana. Mereka yang disekeliling selalu berkata begitu mengenainya. Tidaklah terlalu cantik, kepandaian ala kadar. Selalu berbuat perkara yang betul. Anda boleh harapkan Mariam untuk bersama anda di saat susah. Tetapi ada sedikit kelainan. Dia tak ingat masa lepasnya. Dia ingat yang perkara yang dia paling gembira adalah hidup di pekan kecil Paloma seumur hidupnya. Sampai tiba suatu hari, dia menerima sepucuk surat memberitahunya mengenai perwarisannya akan sekalung rantai emas Eiffel dari nenek yang dia tidak tahu dia ada, Bolehkah dia mengatasi ketakutan yang amatnya terhadap menaiki kapal terbang untuk mengetahui mengenai sejarah asalnya di Paris, dan mengetahui bahawa dunia ini sebenarnya lebih dari sederhana?”

* Disclaimer : I have a lot of synopsis for a lot of the books in my head, some are better than this..but I’m writing after a 7 hour journey on a bus, and nearly a week of travelling from North to South and back again. So this is the best i can do..for now. 

The Rambutan Tree


:: My nephew bathing under the rambutan tree::

It is unorthodox really.

To plant a rambutan tree right at the corner of the  garden of my house.

Add it to the various other tropical, local fruit trees around the garden of my childhood home. Which is smack in the middle of a housing area, whereas usually here we plant the trees in an orchard, somewhere in the middle of nowhere where it can grow like Nature intended it should.

2 banana trees. 4 mango trees. And the rambutan tree. All growing around the one-storey house. To think about it, it seemed like a lot more back then when i was younger. To think about it now it seemed like a mad idea back then.

But then, a lot of great minds were not appreciated in their time. My father was one of the greatest for me.

The architect and engineer of our own private Eden.

Abah, as i fondly called him, was not one of the talkative ones. He was more of the tough love kind of man. Someone back then who had met him back then would had said he looked fierce. I thought to myself he looked darn dangerous.

When he narrowed his eyes and made his stony face, i wished i was not the one who kicked the hornet’s nest. But when he laughed, you could not help but laugh and smile too, because he had those unique laugh which is really sounds “hihihihihi!”. He loved Elton John so much that i can remember him singing clearly to the words of  ‘Sacrifice’.  Although “cold, cold heart” sounded to me like “coco heart” and i wondered about it for years.

He passed away when i was 10 years old.

The trees around the house kept growing as the three of us siblings gets older. Sometimes it sheds browns leaves as we left for school, left for University, left for work somewhere else. Sometimes when we come back to the house, the banana tree and the rambutan’s fruits ripen accordingly. 3 of the mango trees were cut down as my Ma could not take care of such many trees shedding leaves and fruits without us helping her around to clear the garden.

The grass garden was replaced by cement paving for parking spots for our cars. But the rambutan tree stood steadfast throughout the changes of the house and the garden.  Like a paternal figure , like my late father, looming over us as we go through each holidays; sitting on the swing, chatting by my mother’s flower shrub or just plain watching the day begins or ends. It soothingly brings comfort to me.

Lately for the past few years, my family always held “open house” on Eidilfitri and we always use the rambutan tree as the main background of our family pictures; unconsciously maybe as a symbol of the person who once stood there.

I decided to hang paper lanterns to the tree during our ‘open house’ recently. As i gazed mesmerized at the genius’s of ALLAH’s power of this huge tree, i wondered whether my Abah thought of us  as he planted this tree. So that we can be protected and be happy under the wonderful tree, whether he is there or not.

After the open house, my sister-in-law bathed my nephew in a small tub under the tree, under all the colourful paper lanterns. My Ma, brother, sister and sister-in-law watched with all our loves in our heart, my cheeky nephew frolicking naked in the tub while being sprayed by the garden hose.

Then i realised the tree meant much more. Abah meant it so much more than just for us.

He wanted us to remember that his presence is as everlasting as the generations of Ahmad Zaki’s clan to come.

My father, the visionary.

May Allah bless his soul. Al-Fatihah.

The #100 Post


:: Si Comot sambut Raya::

Salam Aidilfitri buat semua. Wishing all my Muslim brothers and sisters across the world Salam Eidulfitri.

Its been a month to the day that i had last wrote. Was it intentional?

Maybe. Time flies like the bullet.

Ramadhan had been another experience for me, not unlike the past few years.

Ramadhan this time around was a rude awakening to my self-perception towards patience.

I am tested to the limit with my patience towards almost everything; family and students. The traffic. The rude drivers.

Needless to say, my mouth got the better of me and my green monster appeared almost daily like the Hulk when tested.

To the point that, i severely apologized to my students and ask them to remind me that ” sabar, teacher, you’re fasting..”.

And to say that before this i believe i am a pretty patient person. Need to work on it now.

Alhamdulillah, Ramadhan and Syawal this year i am blesses to spend it among my family members. No other place i would rather be than with them during this special time.

Ramadhan was an eye-opener. Syawal is, and still is a breath of fresh air.

The thing is i never felt i really miss my friends and extended family members until i met them recently during Syawal.

Then coming back to work, i realised i missed them even more. And i love them even better.

The thing i learnt most about being with family during these times is that, it is okay to be who you really are with them.

Someone who’s not the fairest one of all, or the slimmest one of all.

When everything else needed to be perfect, being average is great.

Eid Mubaraq to all. 🙂

Midterm Melankolik


Neves sebenarnya.

Besok bakal ‘berinteraksi’ dengan ibu bapa murid untuk penyerahan keputusan Peperiksaan Pertengahan Tahun.

Masuk kelas sendiri tadi comot.

Operasi kemas dan mencantikkan kelas, kerah tugas semua murid.

Termasuklah ambik pemadam pensel padam bekas kotoran tapak kaki di dinding saya.

(You do the crime, you pay the time ..tapi masih the boys play soccer in class. Kids will be kids)

Mahkota lebihan (yang budak tak mau bawa pulang)  hasil majlis Fun Fairytale haritu saya lekatkan di atas papan putih sebagai pengemas dan art-decor.

Stapler gun sana, stapler gun sini.

Saya melangkah keluar dengan mood yang lebih konfiden.

Sedang saya hendak bergegas ke kelas seterusnya, naik tangga ke kelas atas, nampak Cikgu M berdiri tegak di tepi pintu melihat ke dalam kelas. Semua murid dalam kelas berdiri.

Saya rasa sesuatu tak kena. ” Kak M, pasaipa??”.

Penolong Ketua Kelas menjerit, “Cikgu! Ada ular dalam kelas!!”

“Ha??”. Saya baru ja keluar dari kelas itu 1/2 jam sebelumnya?!!!

Saya takmau timbulkan kekacauan lagi kerana semua murid di kelas lain sudah keluar kerana saya menjerit di tepi tangga.

Saya jengah dari atas balkoni ke bawah, nampak ular tersebut telah lembik (dipukul?) ditolak ke arah longkang…hitam dan sederhana.

Cerita dari Cikgu M ; ” Akak sedang duduk di meja guru, then rasa ada benda tengok..pusing-pusing tengok dia dok jengah kepala dari belakang almari dah…”

Macam nak pengsan!! Saya baru suruh budak-budak kemas almari tu tadi tepi saya.

Entah brapa kali dia jenguk saya tadi??!!

Ya Rabb, Alhamdulillah telah selamatkan aku dan anak muridku. 

“Ya ALLAH, aku berlindung dengan kalimah-kalimahMu dari kejahatan makhluk-makhluk ciptaanMu”

Amin.

Sungguh memerlukan cuti semester ini.

I need a vacation really bad.

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