This is my 3rd Raya here, in the Netherlands, but probably my 8th time spending raya out of Malaysia. yes i do miss home especially this time around, with all the food you can get, and meeting most family members (mostly crazy wicked cousins), i miss going to my best friend Yoyo's house and have leftovers.. i miss the sound of fireworks at night, and the raya songs they play on the radio, i miss the smell of raya (if you know what i mean) - the smell of new curtains, new paint, cookies and cakes in the oven...
Friday, 26 September 2008
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Ramadhan is one special month for me. I have had wonderful months of fasting for the past years. my business always kicked in during the months of Ramadhan, Aidan was born slightly before the month of Ramadhan, we moved into our new house in the month of Ramadhan, i've met wonderful new friends during the months of Ramadhan (Juan of Sapura & k.Liza of Lubis to name a few).
Here's something i thought i'd share during this fasting month. its quite a personal one.
I moved to KL wanting to start a new life some 5 years ago. had a shop with a business partner but after the first year, it went downhill. i then went on my own. a few offers came in wanting me to join their companies but i decided to go on my own. it was very slow but i didnt give up. lucky for me, my business doesnt involve loans from banks and other institutions, but myself, and of course with the support of my parents. it then got to a stage where we were running dry.
One day just slightly before Ramadhan, i called my parents up for financial help. told them i wanted to make Hari Raya Hampers (back then it was at its peak). but there was something in mum's voice, and i knew something was wrong. they had sold off our second car and then i just knew that i couldnt ask for more from them. at that time both of them worked extra hard in finding extra money, dad helps a friend in a business venture and mum sells her necklaces and her oter crafts. but i could sense things are not looking so bright.
At that time, i felt like i'm the most useless daughter int the world.
Car-less, and pockets all drained, i had to walk to get to where i wanted to go. by then it was 1st and 2nd days of Ramadhan. cracked my head as to how i should do this without having to put any money up front. scouted for other people doing the same thing. i worked so hard till i almost forgot that i was fasting. i could still remember the first days of Puasa where i had to walk in the rain to get food, and i was all alone. i was sure most people by that time were already in front of their dining tables full of food and colourful drinks, waiting for the azan to break their fasts. i had to walk during azan. and it was a good 25 mins walk and coming back from the stalls, a car drove by and hit a big puddle and i got really drenched! got back to the apartment and i cried and cried. one thing about me is i simply hate to ask for favors from anybody. yes, i'd rather get drenched!
I then prayed like i've never prayed before. asking God if He could help me help my parents. i prayed, and i prayed hard. i can still remember that day when i cried to Him for help. i knew what i wanted to do, i trust myself and i believe in myself so much and have every faith that what i intended to do will succeed.
Relationships matured and one soured (for some reasons till today it puzzles me) during that month of Ramadhan. but i stayed very focused and brush the negativities aside. i knew what i was doing, and i stayed true to my words and beliefs. my relationship with my parents really matured during this time, we had fun helping each other out and it was simply a blast. i could have never have done it without them plus 2 most dearest, most beautiful friends one could ever have, Lenny and Yoyo.
That whole year was full of exciting ventures. the next Ramadhan we went full swing! Rezeki started to pour even more.
I'd never thought i'd make it this far. to which i'm very proud of. i'd never thought that other people had faith and trust in me. a bonus to see them smile whenever they see the stuff i made. everything was dipermudahkan. my prayers were answered.
2 years later, i met Hardy. got married and moved out of Malaysia, for good! it is a shame to leave everything behind just as things are picking up and bigger plans were made. but it was all for the better. definitely!
I miss those days. i miss being extremely busy! those difficult days meant a lot to me. i'm proud of what i did, how i did it. it all started with one wish. one niat - which was to help mum and dad.
Ramadhan is the best month, it pulls you so so much closer to God. it made me stronger, much much stronger. One thing that struck me was, Alhamdulillah, even without a car, even when there's no more shop, even when i'm without a soulmate, minus all the digits in our bank accounts, we worked hard and we were very happy.
Syukur, with just the basics, minus the pasar ramadhans (though i miss it), we're still able to fast till today, and most importantly, we're all fine now.
I am now helping a couple of people who i feel are in the same boat as i was back then. i'm helping them from here, afar. i've helped them before but how i wish i'm actually there so that i could help more... its difficult, yes, but i'm gonna give it my best shot!
Ramadhan al Mubarak to all muslims, my friends.
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
It was 2 years ago. and i can still remember his voice. a very humble boy, just a boy. he helped us to build our home.
I can still remember him talking to Hardy about the renovation. i can still remember him knocking down our old walls with his bare hands. i can still remember him doing the plastering of Aidan's new room and laying down the bricks for our kitchen and dining extention. i can remember it all well.
He left without even seeing our home, now all done up. he left before i could even cook him a malay meal as i had promised. he left without even finishing his final year degree in construction, he left us suddenly. but he left peacefully.
I am extremely thankful and grateful to him for all his effort and his time. 2 years. 2 years had passed. and our home would not be a home without his help.
As i prayed with Hardy last night in our room, i thought of him, and how hard he worked for our house, to get it all ready before Aidan was born. that place where he stood is now our office and my craft room, and that's the exact place where we now pray. we now spend most of our time there, in that room, which once used to be Aidan's.
Zaza, Hardy & Aidan