Monday, November 30, 2009

The Haj Story - Invited Deaths

Accident 1:
After the last stoning of Jamrah, the Indonesian female group quickly proceed back to their tents in Mina. Excited to go back to Mecca, getting shopping done before the last tawaf around Ka'abah, to bring souvenirs back to their homeland.

As the public washrooms' many queues were very, very long, these 5 female jema'ahs decided to clean and bath themselves together in the '1 person per entry' washroom.

The moment the last person closed the door, a loud thundering crash was heard - They fell deep down into a very long trench dug to collect human wastage and used-water flow.
Instant death was anticipated. The corpses were covered debris, feaces and dirts.

Accident 2:
It was announced that no South-East-Asian jema'ah is to perform the stoning in the day. No way we can rough ourselves in the sea of Turkish and African jema'ah - but 1 of our men did just that - the 2nd time - for his aging parent, who performed the Haj together with him.

This 2nd time around he wasn't so lucky - He was pushing his way and being pushed by others.
He fell and was unable to immediately stand-up. To worsen matter, there was sandstorm, everybody was requested to stay indoor - Even the officers-on-duty went to the Jamrah sites 2 hours after the report was made that he did the stoning during the danger hour.

Alhamdulillah, this year's stoning all went well unlike the yearly hundreds death due to unruly stampede.

But the 100+ deaths Jeddah flash-flood really took everybody by surprise.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Man-Made World

The first 2 man-made worlds I knew was the Great World and New World, somewhere around Geylang / Kallang. It has seen its days in the money-making world. Does the 2 worlds still exist today? I'm not sure.

And as I attended school, there's '7 Wonders Of The World'.
Hey, at least I've been to 1 - The Great Wall Of China - There's a certificate awarded to climbers who reached the top. I tried to reach, but the air's getting thinner as we climbed higher.
As I stepped down the steps, I wondered how's the situation like in those days, people laboured themselves to death for the benefits of the generations to come.
A very big thanks to them. May GOD bless all their souls in heaven.

The 70's song Wonderful World is definitely beautiful to hear. It's occasionally aired on radio Class 95, I'll check it in You Tube later.

The greatest of all man-made world today, is Dubai World. It really sent investors out of this world.
The ripples it caused even shivers my spine. The whole world's stock-exchange crashed when the announcement was made that Dubai World will postpone to another 6 months for debt payment of US$80 billion (US$80 000 000 000).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Terms & Conditons Used

"...Japan is in deep deflation..." Radio news 938 Live 2 days ago.
Oh, no. Not another new term which will take me 'quite sometime' to understand the meaning.

'Inflation' is the term used in the 21st century (?). Now, 'deflation'.

The first time I heard 'thesaurus' being mentioned, I asked myself if it's another dinosaur's species just discovered or I wasn't aware of the existence all these while.

Then I came across 'LOL' in many, many comments in blogs I read. It just doesn't make sense to connect LOL to shipping lines (similar to NOL). Then another AOL. Then another ROTFLMAO. Oh, my...

To differentiate 'pandemic' from 'epidemic' (the 1st time I heard was during the SARS period), I have to do lots of 'Straits Times' reading. I did not bother to look up Oxford (mine - old edition).

It took the then-Prime Minister (or was it the MM, if memory serves me right) to tell Phua Chu Kang to speak proper English. His Singlish was 'taken-up' by storm. Students and Singaporeans alike were all speaking the 'in' language. His sitcom made me wanted to reach home early before 8pm.

Between outlook and intelligence, I would go for the latter. That's what I see in Gurmit Singh.

Even though I knew that I did not know so much (I'm not stupid, but slow and blur most of the time), it saddened me to always observing that same style of answering tv interviews.

"So,... saya akan jadikan bidang lakonan, nyanyian, model (etc. etc...) sebagai 'carrier' saya."

Phua Chu Kang 'sure to fire back': "Sure or not, you want to become a bag. Don't want to work meh?"

Or, should I 'fire back' those who want to 'show-off' their spoken English to me, when answering phone-calls, telling the other party that they are on their way:
"Ok! Ok! Ok! I sekarang UNDERWEAR."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Inner-Mongolia Remembered

Allaahu Akbar 3x
Laa Ilaaha Illallaah
waLlaahu Akbar

Allaahu waLillaahil Hamd.

Eidul Adha is here again.

This year we have our qurban in Cambodia.
But qurban best remembered was in 1999, Inner Mongolia, China - Of many places we attended, be it in Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia.
China really left many sweet memories.

The men's features we saw were identical to those sketchers of Mongolian worriers.
The skilled handling of weapons, this time the sharpened knives, drives a shiver up your spine.
The skinning done on more than 120 sheep took less than half a day for them.

Nothing was left to waste.
School girls immediately took the sheepskin to wash and left to dry under the sun.
The skins will late be sold and money earned will be funded to their madrasah.

Every bicycles left the slaughter scene with a sheep head placed in front of the bicycle.
Initially it was a frightening sight to see the bodiless head with eyes looking at your way.

The last few persons that left to clean up the place, scrapped up the frozen blood that has turned to ice due to snowfall and yes, the sheep's stool too was not left behind.
It will be made into fertiliser.

What a green earth we should follow.

It's a great contrast to all sheep heads being buried here.
Nevertheless, the giddy smell stretched for days and extendable to weeks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Haj Story - 9th Dzulhijjah

9th Dzulhijjah today, I waited for Astro to show wukuf live from Arafah, only to realise that it's shown at 3pm.

9th Dzulhijjah, Tarwiyah Day (The day Prophet Abraham a.s. dream that he needed to sacrifice his son, Prophet Esmael a.s. It was a test from God of his faith. The sacrifice was later changed to sacrificing of sheep).

9th Dzulhijjah, 6th March, 632 AD, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. gave his last sermon during his one and only Hajj Pilgrim the foot of Jabal Rahmah.

9th Dzulhijjah, 2001, I was at Arafah reciting Maulid (life story of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.) with the group from Murad Travel. It was Asar time when the Maulid ended. Not wanting to be part of the people who congested the public toilet, with a Chinese convert, we recited the Quran.

While reading, the smell of fresh citrus lime engulfed the whole tent we were sitting in. Looking at each other, we knew it's not us as we were in ihram (forbidden from any worldly niceties).

Just then, 'swish swash', kind of big people with long robe walking, can be heard (not seen) entering the tent crossing it. The person 'entered, left' and leave a stronger lime smell that's undescribable.

9th Dzulhijjah, 2005, I assumed such incident to happen again, sans.

9th Dzulhijjah 2009, I can only connect myself with wukuf at Arafah with Astro.

9th Dzulhijjah worldwide, is the day where sincere prayers will be answered.

Oh Allah, here I come...

Labbaikallaah humma labbaik
Labbaika laa syariikala labbaik.

Innal hamda wan ni'mataa laka walmulk
Laa syariika lak.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Haj Story - A Small Sacrifice That Blew Big Argument

It's already the 6th Dzulhijjah today. 3 more days before wukuf at Arafah - Where around 3 million Muslims performing the 5th pillar of Islam congregates at and around Jabal Rahmah - The place where Adam met his long lost wife, Eve.

From 10th Dzulhijjah till the next couple of days, making sacrifices of sheep, camels, cows and buffaloes in and around the Muslim world follow suit.

Sacrifice is easy to mention but hard to perform. I remembered well when 5 years ago, in 2005, I was sitting outside Masjid Nabawi in chilly cold weathered Medina as the mosque was packed as early as 4.30am - waiting for Subuh, the early morning prayer.

The coldness took a toll on weathered legs of mostly very old Turkish women. I took pity on the Turkish woman sat next to my left.

Using the ginger-grass oil I brought from home, I massaged the old woman's legs. She thanked me for relieving the numbness in her legs.

Another woman came, then another, then another... each pushing and shoving their way. They started to shout at each other - A quarrel soon followed...

I have to get out of the once good-intention I had in mind. I have to get out of the situation. I just shoved the bottle of lemongrass oil to a hand that I did not recognise the face.
Yes, now they argue who should have the bottle!

Never once did I ever see a very heated argument among old ladies over a massage and... Over a bottle of ointment!!!

But, that very night, I dream 3 white-robed men, 1 of them with a long, light-red beard, eager, wanting to get-to-know the person who had massaged the legs of the women pilgrims outside the mosque, the place where the body of Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ) laid.

O p E d: What money cannot buy (& kotak pak arab)

O p E d: What money cannot buy (& kotak pak arab)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sacrifice Yourself - Succumb To Pressure

After 6 long years of waiting, at last, Dian is carrying a baby which will be arriving in 5 months time.

But will the arrival be of much fanfare now?

Dian didn't go to work on that 'fateful' day. She wasn't feeling well so stay cooped at home. While searching for motherhood magazine which she put away in the storeroom, she stumbled upon an unfamiliar photo-album.

While browsing through the photographs in the album, she fainted.

She woke up to find herself in a hospital. Her husband was away in Batam on his 'business-trip'. Luckily her mother was in the house when the incident happened.

The husband came home 2 days later, a day after she was discharged.

The completed album of her husband with a baby was on the bed. Should he deny?

He admitted, after years of pressure from family and friends, he succumbed to having another family in... yes, Batam - A year ago.

What's going to happen next?

Should she move on with this family life?

Should she move on with her own life?

Should she give in to the other lady's life?

Should _____

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Maid Story - A Multi-Tasking Girl

Maid In Singapore (2)

I was at Changi International Airport early yesterday morning to see My Sister's helper left for her hometown in Demak, Indonesia.
My Sister went to Australia the same night.
But seeing the helper flying off is of more importance to Me than seeing My Sis going Down Under.

Somehow, I just felt indebted to her.
Yes, Suri* is My Sister's maid.
I should have been more thankful to My Sister than the maid.
But then, certain things happened are just beyond what we could imagine.

The simplest thing Suri did whenever she get her salary is to call up My over 70-year old Mother, telling My Mum she received her pay.
She will then ask My Mum if she could get anything for My Mum before she dropped-by at  My Mum's place.

Now, I don't think if any of My Siblings, nor Me even, could ever be so thoughtful in calling out Our Mother, the very moment We drew Our salary.
Suri's thoughtfulness is what I'm touched with.

In the 3 years Suri is a maid to My Sis, she's a fast learner in receipe My Mother taught her, beside following cookbooks and her own creation.  
After the completion of her tailoring class, her craving for knowledge let My sister to permit her continuing her post secondary school study.
She left her hometown after SMP in secondary school, to come to Singapore.

In between her role as a maid and a student, Suri juggled her time well.
Seeing her is just seeing My Girl, around her age, although My Girl is not as multi-tasking as her.

Nevertheless, both are the best of friends, SMSes between them.

Suri will be back in two weeks time.
GOD willing, I'll be at Changi International Airport to welcome her back.
She'll resume herself as a maid and a student as she has 2 more papers to sit.

I sincerely prayed that Suri passed her examination and enrolled herself in university.
That's what she wished for whilst in Singapore.
That's what she wanted Us to pray - For her success.
She needed and asked all the blessings and prayers from people all around her.

*Changes Made

Friday, November 13, 2009

London??? (Our) Bridge Is Falling Down

I was tuning in, to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) the previous night when the radio was airing about "Collapsed Bridge" in Europe, In South America.

Alas, they weren't saying about our recent "Collapsed Bridge" in Perak which resulted in 3 innocent girls' life being suddenly snapped away. And the said bridge is ONLY 2 WEEKS OLD.

But as I read Masterwordsmith's posting, even before she could posted her article, her London friends had already skyped talking about the incident.

What a 1World, 1Country we are living in with 1News we hear.

Even how scheduled we are, nobody can schedule their last day on earth. But such incident happening is a horror story to relate.

The reason why bridges are built are to close a great gap that divide 2 sides. If I were them, I'll feel the eeriness and the unpredictability when crossing the suspensed bridge high above the Kampar River with the world out of my control.

But I pray they were not. Not afraid to fall down, down, down the river. Fear not of the unpredictability.

After all, why bridges are built are to bring us to the other side.

Yes, the said bridge is a metaphor... It really brought them to another world. And now... they are crossing a rainbow bridge that will bring them to heaven.