Monday, July 18, 2016

Eid Mubarak Raya Story Eight

I saw this moist fruit cake that day and immediately remembered my mum.

It has always been my mum's tradition to bring her delicious moist steamed fruit cakes as gifts for the hosts we were visiting during Eid. Every house we visit would receive a portion of her cake.

When I was younger, we used to bake the cakes together. My mum loves making home made cookies and cakes so there we were, having fun in her kitchen every Ramadan.

Then one year, she thought I have earned my Master Chef in Steamed Fruit Cake and decided I should take over the whole baking thingy. 

It was then I lovingly spent four long hours to make one whole fruit cake and mind you, I need loads of cakes for all the houses my dad and mum plan to visit during Eid.

Then, time passed and people's taste changes.

I still bring gifts for all the houses we visit, but it is now it is the easier to bake type of gift- Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

So no matter what they are, InshaAllah I will continue this wonderful tradition my mum has started in our family. 

Which is to always bring gifts for the hosts we are visiting as there are tons of happiness in giving. 

For them, the recipient and for us, the one giving. That is a family tradition I hold close to my heart..

So, it used to be Steam Fruit Cake. And now it is Chocolate Chip Cookies. I wonder what would the gift be by the future generation InshaAllah..

Friday, July 15, 2016

Eid Mubarak Raya Story Seven

We were just about to leave home on the third day of Eid to start our journey to visit our late parent's kampung both in NS and Johor.

This was then Tariq came walking towards me with a full smile across his face. 

I immediately knew he was up to something.. 

Mama... Tariq have something for you.. I got you a flower! Tariq said happily

Awww, thank you darling.. I love it!, I said to him

One second later, being a typical mum, my eyes went straight to his shirt.


My heart shriek. Oh no.. Got stain already? And we haven't even started our journey yet.. 

Thoughts are firing in my head.

But just like that, I decided to zip mouth and not say anything about the stain on his shirt. Not to query where he got that stain from. To buat buat tak nampak. And not to get upset.

We should all treasure the moments we have by focusing what's really important - for this is the gesture of love via the flower from Tariq

Never mind his shirt has stain, never mind if he dirtied himself, never mind we don't get the perfect picture on the 3rd day - never mind all the petty things in life.

I must always remember to always focus and refocus at the most important things - the moment, the love, the gesture and the thought..

Thank you my love for your beautiful flower which you plucked from Mama's garden.. 

Oh, and never mind my garden.. 

Life is so much sweeter and happier this way

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Eid Mubarak Raya Story Six

Hari Raya is the rare occasion when Malay men get to wear a full body, complete set of our traditional Malay costume. 

A complete set of Malay men's traditional costume is made of one set of Baju Melayu shirt and pants, a headgear called songkok and sampin*.

And this year, Tariq and his dad have two sets of Baju Melayu Johor for Eid due to my cousin's wedding.

So the First day of Eid, both my panglima (warrior) wore their champagne colored Baju Melayu. 

Tariq's dad looks like a wise dignified man, and Tariq looks like his mischievous little soldier! Huhu
And on the second day, both wore a maroon Baju Melayu. So pleasing to my eyes.

I have to say that I absolutely love our Baju Melayu traditional costume. If I have have my way, both of them would have to wear the Baju Melayu everyday.

So you can imagine my joy when on the second day, Tariq's dad said to me,

....We should continue this tradition. We should wear Baju Melayu for the first and second day of Eid because this is our custome. Our identity. Our tradition..

Yeay!! Thanks darling. You read my mind.

So InshaAllah for next year onwards, I will have both my Panglima and our mini Panglima wearing Baju Melayu for first two days of Eid!

Brain Waves does work 😍

*Sampin is a sarung-like cloth worn around the waist of the wearer. It adds color and a certain attractiveness to the Malay Baju Melayu costume without which it looks ordinary. It is an essential accessory, worn together with the Baju Melayu for completeness as well as for its aesthetic value.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Eid Mubarak Raya Story Five

Last night Tariq's Baba thought that Tariq had eaten too much since the first day of Eid.

So he decided to help Tariq shed off some grams.

Lie on the bed Tariq, said his dad. Baba wants to teach you do some sit up and pumping.

So little Tariq obligingly lie on the bed and started to follow his Baba's instructions. I was just giggling away.

Okay, now you do 100 times, said his Baba

What?! 100 times Baba? 

Tariq almost pengsan when he heard that

Yes, 100..., said his dad. Not giving in.

Come one.. Don't waste time.. 

So up and down Tariq went. 

One... Two... Three..., Tariq started counting

... Four... Five... Six... Seven.... Eight... Nine... Ten....

and that's when Tariq seems to have lost his mathematical skills,

...Fifteen.. Twenty... Thirty five... Sixty... One hundred!! 

Terguling2 I was laughing at both Tariq and his dad.

Needless to say, his dad was not entirely amused. But his Mama was!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Eid Mubarak Raya Story Four

On the first day of Eid, we went to visit a family that is financially challenged. We have never missed visiting them and Alhamdulillah this year is no different.

And every time I visit them, I will end up in tears. They are always smiling and cheerful despite whatever situation they are in. And the way they memuliakan tetamu (honor the guests) can put many of us to shame.

So after some time, it was time for us to make a move. One of the Aunties told us to wait and rushed to the kitchen.

I immediately knew her intent. So after a few minutes, I went to their kitchen and saw her wrapping one stick of lemang*.

Tak payah susah2 Chik (don't trouble yourself), I said to her

Takpe, tak susah.. Nie Chik nak bagi satu lemang nie untuk bawak balik. Tadi dapat 2 batang. Orang bagi. Bina ambik satu batang bawak balik ye..

(Don't worry, no trouble at all... I want to give you one stick of lemang to bring back. Just now I received 2 sticks of lemang. Someone gave me. You take one stick and bring home okay...)

I choked. And no words could come out from my mouth..

Ya Allah, ya Allah... I almost cry immediately.. What is this that Allah wants me to see? What is this that Allah wants me to witness?

A pure heart of an old woman who doesn't have much. Yet the two sticks of lemang she received in the morning, she insisted of giving one to me..

Ya Allah my Lord, Most Merciful Most Kind, I thank you and am truly grateful to You for giving me this beautiful lesson of life. For showing me the true meaning of giving and trusting You. For allowing me to witness the existence of a beautiful soul in this time when material rules..

On my way back, I kept looking at the nicely wrapped stick of lemang, with tears running down my cheeks...

*Lemang is a traditional food made of glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt, cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick lined with banana leaves in order to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Eid Mubarak Raya Story Three

Morning of 'Eid is a very precious time for me.

My dad has trained us all to wake up super duper early regardless of whatever time we slept the night before, then my mum would take us for our ghusl bath for Eid, we would wear our new Eid clothes and eat some dates before leaving for the masjid for Eid prayers.

But there is one very important and beautiful tradition Malaysians do during Eid. That is asking for forgiveness from our loved ones.

For my family, we do that before we leave for Solat Eid-ul Fitri. Some families do it after the prayers.

My parents would seek forgiveness from one another, and my siblings would seek forgiveness from our parents and from one another too. We would hug, kiss and tears of regret and love will fall too.

It is what we call kosong kosong moment, which means zero zero. It literally means I bear no grudges against you and I forgive you if you have hurt me etc totally (zero) and you too, hold no grudges against me and you forgive me totally (zero).

That is why the Eid greetings in Malaysia is 'Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin'. Selamat Hari Raya is Eid Mubarak. Maaf means sorry. Zahir is physical which means what you can see And Batin is non physical which means what you cannot see. Beautiful, isn't it?

And this Eid as I continue to teach Tariq this beautiful tradition, after he asked for forgiveness from me, I added a 15 seconds elevator speech of how much we love him, that he is Anak Soleh who loves to pray and read Quran, that he is a good boy who loves Allah, Prophet Muhammad, Mama and Baba. That we want him to continue to be kind to people, help the poor, love the animals, keep reading books etc etc.

And we end it with a big hug, with him patting my back, which is quite funny actually. As if he is saying to me, now now Mama... Don't cry... Keep yourself together.. Huhu

What to do Tariq.. Your Mama is easily smonel..

*These two pictures are the first picture Tariq's Baba ever snapped without being asked to do so. That makes it super special for me. Thanks darling for capturing this precious moment

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Eid Mubarak Raya Story Two

This is my 3 generations of love. In the middle is Tariq's paternal grandpa.

He is 85 years old Alhamdulillah. Despite his old age, wobbly legs and failing eyesight, he will follow us and make this trip to visit his sister's and brother's home every Raya.

One of Malaysian's best culture is to travel far and wide just so we can visit our relatives and friends. And I absolutely love this culture.

And the visiting is only one aspect to earn Allah's Love and Reward. Equally precious to me is the life lessons that we are able to impart to Tariq throughout the journey.

As all children is the case of 'we see and we follow', Tariq followed his Baba's example and would walk with his grandpa, holding his grandpa's fragile hands back and forth from our car to the home we are visiting.

And I pray one day, Tariq and his son will walk us too if we ever reach that age and state, InshaAllah.

That's the cycle of life.. ❤