Wednesday, December 31, 2014

to sum it up

It's that time of the year when everyone reflects on what the whole year has meant to them. On our part of the world, it's been pretty clear that 2014 has been a year of tragedies.. Even if I was not directly involved in any of the calamities, it's fair to say that nobody in our country has been left unaffected by the incidents.. 
Truly Allah is the best of planners and as Muslims we must believe that he gives us trials and tribulations so that we don't forget Him and so that we will learn from it.. It would just be a shame if we came out of these disasters not being educated on the beauty that lies within the mess..
On a personal note with you dear Khadeeja,.. Mama has learned (and is still learning) the art of patience. As much as I think one of the solutions is for you to have a sibling (if only it were that simple), I'm happy to be the one playing with you and hearing you talk.. Boy you can say a lot these days you smarty pants.. ;) You can tell me stories, sulk, be cheeky (very) and demanding all at once.. The only thing I haven't been able to help you with yet is potty train you... And that will be a story for another post.. 
And so I bid this year goodbye and hope that 2015 will be a year of growth, healing, forgiving, caring, nurturing and all good things for us and mankind.. 
And I hope I won't abandon this blog that long too!
Have a happy new year everyone!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

pit stop

Gosh. It's been months. Such a cliche statement that I just had to start this way. The thought of writing has crossed my mind a dozen times and you have no idea how much I've been constructing things to say in here but.. to no avail :( 

As usual I'm squeezing in time. You're happily playing in the bath tub right now while I'm tapping my fingers on this phone and having one eye on you at the same time.. I call this multi-tasking ;) 

But now you're demanding I show you something on my phone.. So I'll continue writing in my mind and get back to focusing on you.. 😘 


Ps/ because you like green :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

As I leave on a jet plane

When I was a student at Uni, my late grandmother, on seeing me off to the UK almost every summer, would often sigh and maybe even cry while saying 'when will we meet again..? Will we ever get to see each other..?' Of course she'd say this in her Negeri Sembilan accent and I'd say nice things to stop her from tearing up..  At that time I knew she was referring to her old age and thinking of time that was running out for her.

I guess I was no different too often thinking of death whenever I boarded the plane and when it was taking off.. Then a few minutes later all would be forgotten when the plane started cruising on a certain altititude and the nice cabin crew served drinks and food and later I watched a movie or two. It was all happy thoughts of that moment and of the anticipation of returning to studying in England, my second home ;) But then when the plane went into air pockets and shook I'd grab my seat and feel my heart jumping and lurching for a few seconds.. and start thinking of the things you shouldn't think on board a plane..

Death is inevitable. I think about it a lot sometimes. But sometimes only to lament the same things as how my grandmother used to do it.. Maybe not out aloud, but I say it in my mind at times. I also pray that Allah grants me a peaceful death that allows me to say His name as I leave this life..

The thing is we don't know the when and the how. We only know that it will happen.

My grandmother lived a good number of years even after I finished studying in the UK. She got to see me get married and welcomed a number of grandchildren (sadly not mine) and maybe great grandchildren too I think.. When she passed away I got to see her for one last time in the hospital and even though at that time she was unable to respond, she heard what I had to say to her and tears trickled down her face. May Allah bless her soul..

So as with the fact that we don't know when we will die, we also don't know sometimes if we ever get to say goodbye. And that part sometimes can be the most heartbreaking.

But trust in Allah my dear that He is the best of planners and that He is the all-knowing.. We may not know of the last day of our life but at least now we should make full use of the present time and be prepared to face the next stage of our life, the after life, whenever it may be.

At the time that I'm writing this, the whole country is weeping for the lives lost in the tragedy of MH17.. Yet in times like this it has taught us that truly there are blessings in calamities. I am in no way suggesting that I understand how the families are feeling but I would like to say that they are truly blessed. For today and for many more years to come God willing, the victims will always be remembered and thousands of people will have led a prayer for them, will have shed a tear for them and would continue to pray for them and their families..

But how will it be for us?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

while I was invigilating..

A Farewell Ode

The first day to me was really nerve-wracking,
My thoughts were like 'they're gonna be judging',
As expected, we all slowly got to talking,
After that history was in the making.

Like often before, there were times I got sad,
And maybe sometimes a little bit mad,
But surely there were moments I was ever so glad,
To have met you people who ain't all that bad.

My hope for everyone is succeess all the way,
May you find it in studying or on any given day,
Be sure to be good and of course always pray
That a time will come that we meet again someday.

You know where to find me, that is if you care to,
God willing I'll be here to receive a postcard or two,
But silence will not mean that all is forgotten,
From the bottom of my heart please accept this little token.

- Ms Shereen, 21st May 2014-
In memory of my mentees, M12B, M12C & E12D


Monday, March 31, 2014

take 5

Currently alone in the living room, listening to the radio, taking five, and pretty much enjoying this quiet time. Make sure you do this kind of thing once in a while dear. Do things that make you happy. Make you calm.. Gives you peace.. :)

I love you!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

there's something better, InsyaAllah

It was your Wan's birthday recently and I decided to give her a gift I think people don't give these days. An album filled with printed photos! It was given out of a sense of guilt too cuz I think we have owed her a lot of pictures in the past years which have been stored in a CD somewhere and forgotten.. This is clearly an era where snapping photos on your phone is so habitual you don't realise that you've already stored thousands of photos in the process. But most pictures we gave Wan was the one we took with a real camera :) It's a shame photos on your phone don't turn up nice when you print them. There's SOooo many photos of you on my phone dear ;) Anyway, I recommend people to do this. The gift actually makes a nice conversation starter and gets you going down memory lane.. A lane that you have also kept in one part of your memory or may even have unintentionally forgotten.

Bottom line is all the pictures were happy pictures. Don't we all take pictures when we're happy? Looking back at pictures dated 10 years ago remind you that at that time, days were sunny, smiles were bright, bonds were tight, everyone looked healthy, skinny (?).. etc. That last part may sting a little but it gives you hope perhaps that you can still look that way :D

But my dear, life isn't all that's contained in a happy picture. Life is a series of many moments, good, bad, happy, sad. When you're big enough to read this I'm sure you'd already have experienced those moments. As much as I don't want you to get hurt or feel sad, it will be something that you will have to feel. Everyone goes through it. I did too. And probably will again in the future.

I could rant about what kinds of sadness you could possibly feel but experience is the best teacher. Again, it's not that I'd wish this on you but suffice to say it's inevitable.

If you ever feel bad or sad, cry if you must but also remain strong.. One way is to know that Allah is the almighty God who if you keep in your heart, will always be there for you. So always remember Allah, pray and ask for good things. Ask to have a strong heart to endure all obstacles. Ask to be thankful for everything. Know that not everyone you meet will be nice to you, talk to you nicely, but be nice anyway and talk nice to them. Think good of people and of situations and always know that things happen for a reason.

My dear Khadeeja, I hope I'll be able to be by your side through your good times and your bad times. I want to be there. But I know you will have to face some of those times on your own and so may this post be something you can come back to if you need a little boost when something gets you down. Mama isn't really a master of words and so I'd like to quote a bit from a favourite writer of mine, Yasmin Mogahed:

`Sometimes Allah doesn't give you what you ask for when He wants to give you something more. Sometimes He doesn't give you right away because He knows there's something better. Or so you can keep asking. Because it is in the process of begging, the process of crying to Allah, that you are elevated and brought nearer. It is in the process of asking that you are brought to the foot of his throne.'

On that note, I don't just dedicate this post to you my dear, but also to everyone out there who is going through a rough time. I dedicate it to the families and friends of flight MH370 who I know are going through a difficult time unimaginable to me.. I pray Allah gives you strength and elevate you to be nearer to Him..

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

bon appetit!

At an early age, I was blessed to have an appreciation for food ;) Your Wan will always tell me the story of how one day I came back from school and proudly told her that `Today I had seconds Mummy'.. (meaning: I asked for a second round of food at the canteen) The school I attended at the time prepared food for their students and all we had to do was queue up and be served :) 

My favourite was the sweet stuff. That hasn't changed much. I still have a sweet tooth. I don't recall much of what exactly were my favourite food.. but all I know is I had an appetite and it led to several nicknames used fondly by my relatives that I choose not to mention here.. It's no fun that sometimes when they're reminiscing the `good ol'days' they remind me of it.. :p

At 2 and a half years going on 3, you love a number of healthy food. Thank you Allah. Carrots are your favourite vege; you love fruits especially apples, grapes and watermelon. You love my spaghetti and most recently, your Daddy's macaroni and cheese ;), anything soupy and also yogurt. I'm kinda glad the only chocolate you seem to eat these days is only the Kinder Joy choc you get with a toy. You can finish the whole thing on your own :)

I can talk all day about food but let us not forget to feel blessed we have the ability to taste our food with joy and that we get to eat enough everyday.. Be thankful for that, don't be wasteful and above all try to get to know the food you eat. Most people realize a little too late that what they've been eating all this while has affected their health. I may be in denial when I say that I'm not one of them.. but what I'm certain of is at this age I want to be more mindful of what I eat. It would've been great if I had taken more interest when I was much younger.

It's only when you feel age creeping up on you that you start to take notice.. I just hope it's not too late :)

Be healthy my love.


My Zalora Affair

So I've been writing for Zalora since July last year and I'm loving it! Tried to link the latest article to my blog but here's ...